Fully Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
800 Montana Avenue Natrona Heights, PA 15065   724.224.5552    Fax: 724.224.3205

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Student Handbook

Philosophy | Mission Statement | Spiritual Life | Academic Policies | Student Regulations
Financial Policies | School Schedules | Parking | Alma Mater


Saint Joseph High School is a Catholic School which believes that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore have inherent individual value and personal worth. This belief creates a well-defined moral environment of mutual respect which is necessary to educate the total person in the Catholic tradition -- a tradition which believes that education enlightened by the wisdom of Christian revelation can be fuller, richer and more humane than any other kind of education.

Saint Joseph High School exists as a partner to parents, who have the first responsibility for the education of the child, so that adolescents may engage in the process of identity formation, secure in the knowledge that home and school share the same commitment to the Catholic Church and its teachings and to the value of personal responsibility and initiative in all areas of the curriculum. Saint Joseph High School is committed to providing an atmosphere in which each student prepares not only for further formal education, but also for lifelong learning.

Saint Joseph High School strives to provide its students with the opportunity to see themselves and those in the world around them as integral members of the Mystical Body of Christ so that the awareness of the struggles of any portion of mankind will prompt their active participation in meeting the challenges of building a just society in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Mission Statement

Since 1915 in a tradition of excellence, Saint Joseph High School has offered a college preparatory education grounded in the Gospel values of Jesus Christ and served the families in the Alle-Kiski Valley.  The school creates an environment that nurtures the whole person by encouraging spiritual growth, academic excellence, extracurricular participation, and service outreach.  Our mission is to graduate men and women who are committed to holiness, justice, integrity, and learning.

Spiritual Life

Saint Joseph High School exists to nurture the faith and moral growth of our students.  We make every effort to remind ourselves of our Mission of Sanctity.

Students in the Student-Ministry Council work to create authentic experiences in Christian community among and for students, faculty and staff.  It is a program of liturgical, pastoral and educational services that gives witness to the Gospel message.  By integrating the school's mission and philosophy with community service and leadership, the Student Ministry Council works to create an environment for members of the school community to "be Christ" to the community it serves.  Members of the Council oversee and implement many of the activities of Campus Ministry.

A part-time chaplain is available to serve the spiritual needs of our students and school community.

It is expected that over the course of four years each student makes a contribution of 100 hours to community service.  This program nurtures Christ's own example of leadership through service.

At the beginning of each school day during the Homeroom period, the entire school community begins the day with prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance.  This is a most important time and all students are expected to respect this opportunity for community prayer and citizenship.

SJHS makes every attempt to arrange for the entire school community to gather for liturgy once a month.  All students are required to attend these religious services.  From time to time there may be individual class liturgies.  Students are expected to attend all liturgies and behave in an appropriate manner.  Parents are always welcome.

SJHS is a Catholic high school and is, therefore, dedicated by its nature to Christian philosophy.  The program of religious education is the most important, and, is in fact, the integrating discipline in the school curriculum.

In keeping with the mission of SJHS, a retreat is scheduled for each class during the school year.  These days are required school days to which the normal policies of attendance and tardiness apply.

Twice a year, during Advent and Lent, students have the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Saint Joseph the Worker is the Patron Saint of Saint Joseph High School.  We celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph on March 19th.  Our prayers usually end with a plea for his intercession on our behalf: "Saint Joseph.... Pray for us."

The seal of Saint Joseph High School is symbolic of the motive and purpose of religious education as expressed in the initials of our school, SJHS, which stand for our four values: Sanctity, Justice, Honor, and Scholarship.  The Lantern of Saint Joseph serves as a reminder that he is our Protector and will assist us on our journey as we continue to search for the wonders of God’s knowledge and wisdom.


Academic Policies

The athletic and drama programs are important to the atmosphere and life at SJHS.  Yet they are only secondary to what must happen in the academic classroom.  SJHS applies standards for athletic eligibility that exceed the guidelines of the P.I.A.A. and W.P.I.A.L.

Any student with a failing grade, continued absenteeism, consistent tardiness or a disciplinary issue will be declared ineligible to participate in all extracurricular activities.  Eligibility for extra-curriculars may be reinstated if the teachers have indicated that the student has made significant effort to improve.  The Assistant Principal will give notification of the reinstatement of eligibility.

The Scholar Program enables students to earn college credit through La Roche College for the following courses:  English IV, Civilization II, US History, Macroeconomics, and Art History.  Students may earn college credit through the University of Pittsburgh's College in High School Program for the following courses:  Calculus I, Calculus II, Statistics, Latin IV, and Computer Programming.  Students may earn college credit through Saint Vincent College for courses in Psychology and Catholic Social Justice.

All of the above classes require the payment of fees determined by the college or university and are not covered by SJHS tuition.  Successful completion of college courses may require students to attend programs outside of regular school hours and to complete work in addition to that required for high school credit.  Students enrolled in the college credit classes must meet the requirements of the program to receive college credit.

Students are responsible for finalizing their course selections each spring by the announced deadline.  Failure to do so will result in a late registration charge.  The Parent indicates approval of the student's choices by signing the Course Selection form.

Students are not permitted to drop or change any course after September 5 without the approval of the Guidance Counselor and the Assistant Principal and a processing fee.  No changes will be made after September 9.

- 4 Credits in Religion
- 4 Credits in English
- 4 Credits in Social Studies
- 4 Credits in Mathematics
- 4 Credits in Laboratory Science
- 3 Credits in Foreign Language (4th year strongly encouraged)
- 4 Credits in Approved Electives
- 1 Credit in Physical Education
- 1/4 Credit in Drama

Conferences are scheduled each school year in early November.  The purpose of these conferences is to provide an opportunity for each parent and student to speak with teachers about the student's status in any course.
Students are required to be present at the conference.

PowerSchool links parents with teachers.  Using a web browser, parents simply enter a unique username and password to access information about their child's grades, assignment status, and attendance.  Parents can get a snapshot of their child's progress at any time right from their home or office computer.  Parents can then use this information to discuss academic expectations with their children.  During the year, parents may contact teachers at school by phone, by e-mail on the school website, or e-mail through PowerSchool.

Report cards will be distributed to students quarterly at the end of each academic marking period.  Semester and Final course grades are recorded on a student's Permanent Record Card.  Parents will be notified five weeks into each academic quarter if their child's academic performance is poor.

 A Progress Report is notification of the student's poor performance in a subject with suggestions on how the student can improve.

 An Academic Deficiency Notice is notification of a failing grade in a particular subject.  Academic Deficiency Notices and Progress Reports are indicators of serious academic problems and parents should encourage their children to take immediate, positive action to remedy the situation.

All students are expected to successfully complete all courses attempted to the best of their ability.  At the very least, a minimum passing grade of "D" is necessary.  Dropping a course is not a solution.  Students learn by dealing with adversity.  No course may be dropped after the first deficiency report. 

Any course not successfully completed will need to be repeated in the summer in order for the student to return to St. Joseph High School in the fall term.  

There are no summer classes at SJHS.  It is the student's responsibility to locate a comparable course and have it pre-approved by the Guidance Counselor and the Principal.   An official transcript verifying the successful completion of the repeated course must be sent to SJHS before the student returns in the fall.

Any student who fails summer school, or an approved alternate, is not permitted to return to SJHS.

Seniors must pass all subjects during their senior year in order to graduate.

A student who fails a first semester course may not remove the failure during the second semester.

A student who fails the equivalent of three or more courses will be required to withdraw from Saint Joseph High School.  Students who fail out of Saint Joseph High School will not be readmitted.

Accelerated courses that are rigorous and intense are offered at the beginning of the sophomore year.  Because of the increased level of difficulty, these courses are awarded an extra quality point in the computation of the Q.P.A. and may require teacher recommendation.

Student Regulations

As stated in our Philosophy, it is our belief that a well-defined moral environment of mutual respect is necessary to educate the total person in the Catholic tradition.  We expect our students to be responsible, honest, respectful, and well behaved.  Although the following regulations to many student rights and responsibilities, they obviously do not and cannot cover every conceivable situation. Saint Joseph High School is not responsible for omissions in the handbook.  Final authority rests with the school administration in all matters.


Absences deprive the student of opportunities for learning.
 If a student must be absent from school, parents are required to phone the school before 9:00 am on the day the student is absent. (724/224-5552).  Either inform the secretary or leave the following information on the answering machine: student's name, date, reason for the absence.  SJHS office personnel will call those parents who do not call.

 Upon returning to school a note signed by a parent/guardian stating the date(s) of absence and the official REASON for the absence MUST be presented to the Assistant Principal before going to class,  If the student fails to present an absent note within one week, the absence will be regarded as an unexcused absence. 

In accordance with Pennsylvania law, students absent twenty or more days will be required to attend summer school before being promoted or awarded a diploma.  Exceptions to these attendance standards due to special circumstances may be made by the school administration.  For illness or hospitalization, a competent medical professional must verify on a prescriptive note the nature of the illness and the dates missed due to the illness.  This note must be provided to the Assistant Principal within five school days after the student's return to school.

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.  Absences are recorded as EXCUSED, UNEXCUSED or ILLEGAL.

•  Illness/Hospitalization/Quarantine
•  Death in the immediate family
•  Impassable Roads
•  Exceptionally urgent reason that affects the student and does not include “work at home”
•  Three pre-approved college visit days (seniors only)
•  Family trips that have an educational value and are pre-approved by the school Administration

•  Blamed on parent or guardian
•  Car problem
•  Employment
•  Missing the bus
•  Oversleeping
•  Unapproved trip or college visit

•  Being absent from a class or classes without permission or authorization

Falsifying a phone call or written note
•  Class "cut days"

Family trips are not a recognized valid excuse for absences.  Students are to refrain from taking vacations during school time especially during mid-term and final exams.  If a trip can be shown to have some educational value, pre-approval must be requested at least one week in advance for the days absent to be considered "excused" absences. When a trip has been approved by the Administration, the student must notify all his/her teachers and receive any assignments. Teachers will be under no obligation to provide make-up work or tests. However, the teacher has the final determination and will set the student’s schedule for make-up work.

Any student missing any time from school for any reason is obligated to be responsible for any work missed.  It is the student's responsibility to make arrangements with the teacher to make-up missed work.  When absent, the student should call a friend or visit the teachers' websites for assignments.

If the absence is deemed UNEXCUSED or ILLEGAL, students do not have the right to make up material missed nor are the teachers obligated to provide such opportunities.

A student who has been absent from school for a total of twenty (20) or more school days during a semester shall not be eligible to participate as a member of any athletic or non-athletic activities until he/she has been in attendance for a total of sixty (60) days following his/her twentieth (20) day of absence.  The exception would be medical documentation for a confining illness.
  On a day when a student is absent, he/she may not participate in or attend any extra-curricular activity that day.

Early dismissals are discouraged and should be requested only when absolutely necessary.  If an early dismissal for a doctor/dentist appointment is unavoidable, the following procedure must be followed:
The student must present to the Assistant Principal before 7:45 AM a note signed by the parent/guardian requesting an early dismissal for that day and a telephone number(s) where the parent/guardian can be reached for verification.  Upon return, verification from the doctor/dentist must be presented to the Assistant Principal.   Failure to follow these procedures will result in refusal to honor future requests.  The school cannot accept responsibility for the welfare of the student once he/she has left the property in such an instance.

Students reporting to school after 7:45 AM are to report to the office for an admit slip and must present a written excuse from the parent.  Students who are often tardy on days following school activities may also be suspended from participation in the activity.

 The Assistant Principal will make all determinations as to whether the tardiness is excused or unexcused.

When a student is consistently tardy, the Assistant Principal will review his/her attendance record.

Written parental excuses are required for all absences, early dismissals, or tardiness.  Parental excuses must contain the following information:
1.  Full name of student
2.  Date(s)/times
3.  Reason for the absence or early dismissal
4.  Signature of the custodial parent/guardian
5.  Daytime home or business phone number


Students are expected to act in a Christian way.  They are expected to respect each person's racial, cultural, ethnic and religious heritage and to be courteous, respectful and kind. Certain behaviors are unacceptable in light of Gospel values. 

Some kinds of behaviors are not only immoral but can also carry civil and criminal penalties.  Students are expected to behave in the appropriate manner both in school and at outside school activities and events.  Major violations that are subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to the following: 

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, to one another, to the Church, and to 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 refuses to eat.
• Calisthenics such as push-ups, sit-ups, jogging, and runs.
• 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 such as "teabagging," causing 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

It is the responsibility of students and supervising adults not to stand silently if they observer 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 his/her responsibility to report the incident the principal.  Individuals or groups found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action that could include suspension or expulsion from the school.

Students represent SJHS on all buses transporting them. Students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately at all times.  Loud boisterous behavior, objectionable language, or lapses in courtesy are never acceptable.  Students must obey rules established by the bus companies/resident school districts for the safe and effective operations of vehicle.  Failure to do so could result in the termination of bus privileges.

In light of our Mission Statement, cheating will not be tolerated whether on exams, tests, quizzes or projects.  It is considered an extreme violation of the educational process and code of honor.  It is required that each student avoid anything that calls into question the validity of any schoolwork.   In addition to academic sanctions by the teacher, the administration reserves the right to impose disciplinary measures as well.

Acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to:
• Talking to another student during a test or quiz
• Any form of communication between students during a test or quiz
• Looking at the paper of another student during a test or quiz
• Giving or receiving information about specific test or quiz questions     prior to the administration of the test or quiz
• Copying homework or allowing another to copy one’s homework
• Homework completed by family members or friends
• The use of “cheat sheets” in any form at any time
• Any type of plagiarism including downloading 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 a significant contribution to the development of that project
• Taking course materials from a teacher’s desk or computer files.

Students are expected to show COURTESY, RESPECT and CONCERN not only for each other, but also for the entire SJHS Community to include teachers, secretarial, janitorial and kitchen staffs as well as visitors and guests.  Disrespect or defiance is unacceptable and such actions are subject to disciplinary action.

Sale, use, transfer, possession or aiding the possession of alcohol, and other illegal drugs or related paraphernalia on school property or school-sponsored activity, is absolutely forbidden.  Saint Joseph High School fully adheres to and supports the Pittsburgh Diocesan Abuse Policy. 

As a student of St. Joseph High School, each student represents the SJHS Community and is responsible for the good name of the school.  Students who bring discredit to themselves and/or the school through any unlawful activity outside of school are subject to serious consequences.

Unlawful or unethical activity includes, but is not limited to, membership, involvement, or association with a group or gang that engages in violence, harassment or intimidation of others; the use or sale of illegal substances; theft; possession of a weapon; the use of print, visual or electronic media (such as blogging or e-mail) for harassment, intimidation, defamatory statements, etc.  Wearing gang paraphernalia, using gang signs, symbols or graffiti will be considered evidence of gang association.

These actions will result in stern disciplinary action, including possible expulsion.

Once on the school grounds, any student leaving the school grounds without permission from a school administrator is subject to serious consequences. 

No student may touch another student with the intent to harm him or her.  Nor will inappropriate contact or behavior be tolerated.  If involved in this type of activity, both students will  be sent home immediately and the parents/guardian will meet with the Assistant Principal before the students may return to school.  If the actions continue, the students may be asked to leave school.

Students are cautioned that if at any time another student threatens them they are to bring the matter to the immediate attention of a school official.

Fines for possession and/or use of tobacco on school time or on the school grounds (including all areas in sight of the school building) or at school functions will be levied.  The fine for the first offense is $50.00 with a $100.00 fine and penalties for any succeeding incidents.

Inappropriate display of affection is forbidden.  Kissing, inappropriate touching, embracing, etc. are considered public displays of affection not permitted at SJHS.

Stealing is a very serious offense as it breaks down the trust of our community.  The student will be expected to return or make restitution for any property taken.  In addition, there will be other penalties for this behavior.

A parent or guardian must accompany students who are truant before being readmitted on the following day. Students will NOT be given the opportunity to complete missed academic work or tests due to truancy.  Students who forge a parent note for absence or early dismissal may be also considered truant.  The school administration reserves the right to pass judgment on the validity of all absences

The student will be assessed any expenses and costs caused by destroying or damaging the property of the school or that of another student.

Verbal violence is defined as any spoken or written words that by their very nature belittle the dignity of the person.  Derogatory racial, sexual or ethnic language, comments or slurs to include intimidation, threats or any type of bullying are all examples of verbal violence.  Verbal violence is a serious matter and carries the same penalties physical acts incur.

No weapon may be brought onto school property, including, but not limited to, the school building, outdoor areas, school buses, or to any school related activity.  A weapon is defined as a gun, knife, or any other article that could be used to cause injury.  If a student is found in possession of a weapon, his parents will be immediately notified.  The matter will be referred to the local police if the school Administration considers it appropriate.  After a review of the facts of the incident, the Administration will decide the appropriate disciplinary measures, including possible expulsion (Diocese of Pittsburgh Policy 630).


The discipline system at SJHS is an attempt to develop in the student the practice of self-discipline characterized by a sense of responsibility, maturity and respect of others.  Our regulations are designed to help students develop the qualities of a responsible Christian.

SJHS students are expected to know the school policies and behave appropriately.  When violations occur, such violations depending upon their severity may be handled in any of the following ways:

Teachers ordinarily handle relatively minor infractions incurred by students inside or outside the classrooms on a one-to-one basis.  Teachers will make contact with parents when necessary.  Students are expected to report to scheduled classes, study halls, etc. on time and equipped with all materials necessary for learning.  Once in the classroom, students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner conducive to education and the education of their fellow students.  Similar responsible behavior is expected in the halls and other nonacademic areas of the school campus.

Should any student act in a manner which creates a disturbance within the classroom or disrupts the learning of another, that student will be subject to the disciplinary action on the part of the classroom teacher such as: private conferences, written improvement plans, detention, calls to parents, etc.

Teachers may require a student to stay after school to resolve an academic or discipline issue.  This is generally scheduled for Friday but may be scheduled on another day at the teacher's discretion.  Difficulties with after school jobs or transportation are NOT acceptable excuses.

Failure to serve either lunch time detentions or after school detentions will result in a loss of privileges. 

Students must act on resolution of the problem within two days and will not be permitted to participate in ANY extracurricular activity as long as an unresolved discipline or academic problem exists.  If a student fails to work toward a resolution, the parent/guardian will be notified and other disciplinary action will follow.

Integrity of Student Work: Our Mission Statement that includes the value of HONOR states, “We believe that each person is called to act with integrity.”  Students are expected to complete and submit assignments, test, and quizzes that reflect their own understanding of the concepts taught or researched.  A student who submits illegitimate or plagiarized work is subject to any or all of the following:
• A zero for the assignment
• Loss of weighted academic credit for the course
• Grade for the course dropped by one letter
• Requirement to submit legitimate work
• Disciplinary action and/or academic ineligibility
• Saturday Detention

When repeated inappropriate behavior or blatant violations of school policies occur, intervention by the administration will take place.  When a student's behavior falls into the major infraction category, or if he/she presents clear and immediate danger to him/herself, other students or the school community in general, administrative intervention takes place.

Students who commit a major infraction against school regulations are subject to any or a combination of the following consequences:
1. Expulsion
2. Suspension (In-school or Out-of-school)

  • Student will not be permitted to participate nor practice at any extra curricular activities including athletic, drama and social activities.
  • Student must complete missed academic work by the third day of the student's return to classes.

3. Detention
4. Probation and/or Discipline Plan

  • Student may be ineligible for participation or practice at any extra curricular activities including athletic, drama and social activities.
  • Student may become ineligible for Student Ministry Council and/or other positions of honor or leadership.
  • Probation period ends only if teachers have indicated that student has made significant academic or behavior improvement.
  • The student and parent must sign a letter of acknowledgement that includes the steps the student is required to fulfill in addition to all other academic and behavioral obligations as set forth in the School Handbook and directives of faculty and administration in order to remain at Saint Joseph High School.  The student and parent(s) acknowledge that the student’s continued enrollment is conditional and is subject to reviews at any time.

5. Service Project
6. Requirement to seek professional counseling or education through an outside source
7. Student may be referred to the Student Assistance Program, Guidance Counselor or Social Worker.
8, Saturday Detention: 9:00-11:00 AM.

Threats or physical force towards any school personnel or their property; possession of a weapon; transfer of illegal substances; conviction of crime; repeated violations of school policies – WILL BE CAUSE FOR IMMEDIATE EXPULSION FROM ST. JOSEPH WITHOUT APPEAL.  The Principal is the final recourse in all disciplinary situations and may waive any disciplinary rule for just cause at the Principal's discretion.


Qualified applicants regardless of race, nationality or religious background are admitted.  The Guidance Counselor must be contacted and appropriate academic records and documentation must be submitted.  Interviews with the Admissions Committee may also be required.

Teachers and all other adult members of the school staff are to be addressed by their proper title at all times: (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Sister).

Students are discouraged from driving to school.  Parking in the school lot is a privilege, not a right, and may be revoked if the following regulations are not followed.

•  Students are to park in the student parking area only. 
•  Students are not permitted to go to any vehicle during school hours nor
permitted to loiter in the lot or in parked cars.
Students are not to change clothes in the lot.          
•   The speed limit of  5 M.P.H. must be maintained.

Parents who drop off or pick up their children at school should be aware of traffic patterns in the parking lot and take care not to block the entrance way located at the bottom of the ramp.

All students are required to report to the cafeteria for the assigned lunch period Monday through Thursday.  Students are not to make purchases in the cafeteria on Fridays.  Students are not permitted to go to their cars, congregate on the stage, nor loiter in the stairwells to include the outside church steps or elsewhere on the property during their lunch period.

Good manners and a spirit of cooperation demand that the cafeteria be a pleasant, clean place where all can enjoy a break from the day's routine in the company of friendsStudents are expected to be polite and considerate of others and to leave tables clear of all trays, paper, and crumbs.  Throwing food, loud and rude speech or actions to fellow students or cafeteria personnel will not be tolerated. 

Underclassmen will be asked, on a rotating basis, to help wipe cafeteria tables.  If the student assigned to lunch tables is unable to meet this obligation, he/she is to find a substitute for the day.  

When the weather is fair, students are to go outside after they have eaten.  During inclement weather students are to remain in Patterson Hall.

No food or drink is to be consumed outside the cafeteria to include Patterson Hall, the parking lot, the halls or the classroom.  The only exceptions may include: breakfast in the homeroom, a lunch meeting with a teacher, Friday snack break, or an approved special celebration. 

Any change of address, telephone numbers or emergency telephone numbers should be reported immediately to the school office.

Chewing Gum is prohibited at SJHS because of the maintenance and health problems it creates.  Many illnesses can be spread from student to student through contact with pieces of used gum stuck on desks, chairs, railings and elsewhere in the building.  Fines may be levied for infractions.

Students’ possession of certain electronic devices is restricted as follows:

·        Telephones:  The use of, which includes having the device turned on, or having in hand a cell phone by a student on school grounds, during school hours, to include during lunchtime and in the restrooms is prohibited.  The phone must be turned off and left in the student’s car or locker.  Phones may not be carried in purses, bags or pockets.  If removed from the locker or car during school hours, the device will be confiscated.  A fine will be paid and a detention will be served before the confiscated item can be returned to the parent.  The first offense is $25 and a Friday detention.  Each additional offense incurs an increase of $25 as well as a Saturday detention that is held once a month.

·        The possession of telephone paging devices, commonly referred to as beepers, shall be prohibited on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities and on school busses. These items will be confiscated and returned only to parent or guardian. (Pennsylvania School code, Sec.1317.1)

·        Headphones, radios, tape players, C.D. players, etc. are not permitted during school hours and will also be confiscated.

• A student may not attend or participate in any extra-curricular activity if absent from school that day.   
• Arriving at school late the day following an athletic or other event is not permitted.
• The student must be current in all classes and in good standing. The student will not be permitted to participate in any extra-curricular activity if there are any unresolved discipline or academic issues.
• Students are held to the same standards of behavior for extra-curricular activities as when they are in school.
All students participating in athletics must have
the proper medical and parental authorization.  No student will be admitted to practice without this  authorization in place.

Access to student records by parents and/or students is governed by Diocesan school policy which is in compliance with the State Board of Education Regulation on Pupil Records and consistent with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Act).  Please contact the school for further information.

Field trips are curriculum enhancements and activities.  However, leaving the building is a privilege and students may be denied this privilege if they do not meet the requirements necessary to participate.

Parental permission slips (official Diocesan form) must be submitted to the sponsor of the trip three days prior to the date of the trip.

A student will not be permitted to attend without this completed official permission slip.  School uniforms are to be worn.


State law mandates that fire drills be conducted as quickly as possible.  When the fire alarm sounds, leave the room quickly and quietly.  Leave the building using the route posted in every classroom.  Students are to wait quietly for the all-clear signal.  Compliance is necessary for everyone's safety.

Card playing, betting, and gambling are forbidden on school property.

Students are not to be in the corridors or at their lockers while classes are in session.  A student must sign the Sign-out sheet located near the door in each classroom before and after using the restroom.  Students sent to the office during school time for any reason must have a Pass signed by the teacher.

When a student becomes ill during school hours, he/she must seek permission from the teacher to go to the office to call home.  Students are NOT permitted to leave the school premises without reporting to the office.

Under no circumstances may student absent him/herself from class, call a parent to release him from school, or leave school grounds without proper permission.

Each student will be assigned a locker at the beginning of the school year.  All lockers must be secured with a school-issued lock at all times.  Lockers should never be left unlocked.  There is a $2 fine for failing to lock the locker the first time and $5 fine for each subsequent violation.  Non-school locks will be removed.

Students may not share lockers.  Students are not permitted to switch lockers with other students or place belongings in an empty locker without approval from the Assistant Principal. 

Each student is responsible for his/her own lock and combination.  Care should be taken that no one, except the student using the locker, knows the combination.

Students caught tampering with another person's locker will face serious disciplinary measures.  The school is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged articles under any circumstances.

Students may only use lockers before homeroom, before and after lunch and at dismissal.

The Administration may confiscate materials and books from an unlocked locker and hold them until the lock is replaced.  All lockers are the property of Saint Joseph High School, not the student. 

The school administration reserves the right to inspect lockers at any time.

Marking devices for personal use (felt-tip markers, paint spray cans, paint markers, etc.) containing permanent ink and paints are forbidden for personal use on campus.

Students are not permitted to carry prescriptive or non-prescriptive medication with them during school.  It is advisable that all medications be given at home and that physicians be urged to schedule the administering of medication before or after school hours.

When medication must be administered during school hours, the following procedures will be followed:

Prescriptive Medication:

1. All medication should be taken to the Assistant Principal clearly marked with the student's name on the container provided by the pharmacist.

2. The container must include:
      a. name of medication
      b. date
      c. dosage
      d. schedule of frequency of administration

3. A student who uses an oral inhaler or insulin will be permitted to       carry these with him/her.

4. For all medications (prescriptive and non-prescriptive) taken in school, parents must sign an Indemnification Agreement.

Non-Prescriptive Medication:
(Aspirin, Tylenol, Cold Medication, etc.)
1. No medication will be supplied by school personnel.
2. If a parent wishes that a student takes non-prescriptive medication while in school, procedures 1 & 4 above must be followed along with verbal permission each time the student requests medication.

St. Joseph High School admits students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students.  It will not discriminate on the basis of race in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, loan programs, athletic nor other school programs.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires all secondary school students to take physical education.  To be excused from an individual physical education class, the student must present a note from a parent to the P.E. TEACHER.  Students with a medical gym excuse who do not participate in athletic activities for that day will be required to attend the class and will be responsible for completing an assignment. Students should never take valuables to the YMCA dressing rooms.

All posters, banners or signs of any type must be approved by the Administration before being posted.  Under no circumstances may they be hung on a wooden or painted surface; only the brick walls or a bulletin board may be used.  Any sign not approved will be removed.

To assist in maintaining a safe and secure learning environment, the school reserves the right to search a student, his/her locker, belongings, or vehicle parked on school grounds.  Although a search may occur at any time, it is usually conducted on the basis of reasonable suspicion of violation of civil or criminal law and/or school regulations.

Any delay in the start of school or cancellation due to weather will be announced on KDKA Radio from 5:30 AM. Be aware that St. Joseph is under the heading of and follows the Highlands School District with regard to delays and closings due to weather.  Follow the delay for your school district if you ride the bus provided by your school district; but follow Highland's schedule if you drive, are driven to school or ride either the New Kensington/Arnold bus or the Oakmont/Penn Hills bus.

Students are expected to respect school property.  All books must be covered.  If books or other items are found about the building, you will be assessed a fine to redeem them.  You are responsible for the replacement cost of lost books, calculators or materials.  You will also be fined for damage to books, materials and any other school property.

When students are attending a school-sponsored event, either on or off-campus, they are subject to the same rules and regulations that govern the student body during the school day.  Students of SJHS always represent the school.  It is to their credit that they represent the school in a positive way. 

All guests of SJHS students are subject to the same rules and regulations that govern the student body during the school day, or a school sponsored events both on and off campus.  Dances held off the property are usually date dances (semi-formal, prom).  All persons attending SJHS sponsored dances are subject to all rules and regulations regardless of age.  Dancing that is considered lewd or vulgar is prohibited.  Written guidelines will be issued for all date dances.  Please note that all school events are nonsmoking for both our students and their guests.

If a student needs to leave a study hall to meet with a teacher or guidance counselor, he/she must have a note from the teacher or guidance counselor beforehand.  The following rules for the study hall will be observed by all students and enforced by all faculty:
• Students must report on time with books or materials.
• No food or drink is permitted.
• Playing of games, cards, listening to headsets is not permitted.

Only in emergency cases will phone messages be delivered to students.  Parents should not phone the school office with requests to deliver non-emergency messages to students during the school day.  Students will not be summoned to answer telephone calls.

Students are responsible for all textbooks and materials in their possession.  Should a book or school item be lost or damaged, the student will be required to make restitution.

Work permits must be obtained from your local public school.

ALL VISITORS upon arrival, are required to register at the office.  All visitors must comply with all rules and regulations on campus.


It is the purpose of St. Joseph High School, in establishing and enforcing a dress code, to inculcate in students a sense of pride in their appearance as well as a sense of discipline that will serve them well in the larger world.  It allows us to focus on academics rather than appearances.

Students are expected to be in compliance with the uniform dress code at all times during the school day, including arrival and departure.  This also includes all field trips and off campus school activities.

Students found by a teacher or administrator to be in violation of the Dress Code and unable to correct that situation may be sent home to correct the situation and will be assigned detention for classes missed.  The school reserves the right to set the following standards as well as those it may deem necessary during the course of the school year in the best interest of the student body.

1.  Gray, navy, or khaki trouser. No cuffs.
2.  Trousers are to be belted at the waist.
3.  Navy blue blazer with school insignia sewn on the breast pocket.
4.  White or blue button-down Oxford cloth shirt which must be tucked inside the trousers.
5.  White/blue knit pullover shirt with SJHS insignia worn during the months of Aug/Sept and May/June.
6.  Dress socks.
7.  Blue, red, or striped school tie.
8.  Navy blue "V" neck long sleeve sweater is optional and may replace the blazer on Thursdays.
10. Shoes should be soft-soled and appropriate for the uniform.  Dress or casual leather shoes of a distinctly non-athletic nature.

1.  Navy blue, Blackwatch plaid, skorts, or kilts are to be no more than two (2) inches
 above the knee.
2.  Gray, navy, or khaki trousers.  No cuffs.   
3.  Navy cardigan, pullover sweater, or sweater vest with school insignia.
4.  White or blue button-down Oxford cloth blouse tucked in at the waist.
5.  White/blue knit pullover shirt with SJHS insignia worn during the months of Aug/Sept and May/June.
6.  Above ankle socks, knee socks, or opaque tights in white, black, forest green, burgundy, navy, red or gray.  Neutral hosiery is also permitted.
7.  School tie is optional and is the same tie boys wear.
8.  White turtleneck is optional for winter months but is not to replace the blouse or the sweater.
9.  Shoes should be soft-soled and appropriate for the uniform.  Dress or casual leather shoes of a distinctly non-athletic nature. 

· Students in grades 11-12 may wear uniform items previously purchased from Crill-Tog.  All other items are to be purchased from Campus Outfitters.
Only plain, white T-shirts, free of printing and graphics, may be worn under the uniform shirt.
Coats, jackets and outerwear may be worn when walking to and from the Annex.
· Permission to remove blazers, sweaters and ties will be announced by the Administration.
· Students may wear tennis shoes only with a doctor's request that includes a time frame and is submitted to the Assistant Principal.  (Students with medical excuses for tennis shoes or special clothing may not participate in athletic/cheerleading activities for the duration.)

Slit, frayed, or unhemmed uniforms are not acceptable.
Extreme hairstyles such as outlandish colors or dyes, Mohawks, shaved heads nor hair with a cut-in logo.
“Flip-Flops,” sandals, athletic shoes, boots, bare feet or shoes with heels more than 2 inches high.
Baseball caps, hats, bandannas.
Body piercings are to be visible in the ears only.
Chains, clamps & excessively large key holders or long belts used as wearing apparel.
· Clothing which displays pictures or advertisements of alcoholic beverages, drugs, sexuality or any other message contrary to Christian values.
Colored T-shirts worn as undershirts.
Facial hair, goatees, beards, mustaches nor sideburns longer than the bottom of the ear.
Below the ankle socks are not permitted.
Visible tattoos

Continual minor violations, including but not limited to: torn, unkempt and dirty uniforms, untucked shirts and blouses, shortened skirts, hanging belts, excessive jewelry will result in fines and/or detentions. 

In all cases, the administration reserves the right to determine and curtail unacceptable articles of dress, jewelry and hairstyle.

All faculty members have the responsibility to enforce the dress code.

On designated days, students may wear uniform slacks and a shirt with a Saint Joseph High School logo.

On designated days students may come "dressed up.”

Male students: dress shirt, tie, dress slacks, belt, dress shoes, dress socks, dress jacket or sweater.  Female students: Dress or skirt and dress blouse, stockings, dress shoes.

Required gym attire includes only SJHS logo T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts or sweatpants.  Socks and tennis shoes are also required for physical education classes.  The P.E. teacher may forbid an unacceptable article of clothing or jewelry even if it is not mentioned specifically in the handbook.


Saint Joseph High School considers the many levels of ability and diversity of talent in students as personal resources that can be maximized to the fullest potential of the individual.  Curriculum options are open to all students to better prepare them to identify to specific career and educational goals beyond secondary education.  These options are directed to providing classrooms that are workplaces for students and teachers to interact and share learning experiences.   

These student/teacher learning experiences should include the tools used in the technology rich society of today.  Practice with technology tools and comprehension of technology concepts will enable students to gain self-confidence and develop problem-solving skills that will be utilized in their technological workplace.  By learning to identify and heed the indicators of change, students will be more likely to ensure a lifelong learning style of self-improvement and fulfillment. 

SJHS has been able to bring into the classroom computers, software, and multimedia equipment that have immensely changed the learning environment for our students.  Our primary goal has been to engage student in using the computer as a learning tool that will process information and enhance critical thinking skills and creative expression.  This goal of creating classrooms in which students and teachers work together solving problems is being realized with tremendous success. 

Technology rich classrooms are possible at SJHS through grants and donations.  Only maintenance expenses are calculated in the budget.  Therefore, it is important that students realize and appreciate the work, time, and effort necessary to acquire this equipment.  Uses not pertaining to educational purposes, vandalism of any kind, and abuse or misuse of any technology equipment will result in loss of the privilege to use this equipment.  If replacement or repair is necessary due to the above actions, the student and parent will be expected to bear the financial burden.


1. Acceptable Use - The purpose of using the Internet in our school is to support education by providing access to unique resources and the opportunity for collaborative work.  The use of school accounts must be in support of education and consistent with the educational objectives of Saint Joseph High School.  Transmission of any material in violation of school policy or any U.S. or state regulation is prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to:  copyrighted material and threatening or obscene material.

2. Privileges - The use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of those privileges.  The faculty member in charge will deem what is inappropriate use, according to school philosophy and policy, and his or her decision is final.

3. Network Etiquette - Students are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette as outlined in the Student Agreement.

4. Copyright - Students are expected to abide by the general accepted rules of copyright as outlined in the Student Agreement.

5. Security - If a student identifies a security problem on the Internet, he or she should notify a teacher immediately.  The student should not demonstrate the problem to other students.  Students may not use another individual's account at any time.  Attempts to logon to the Internet as anyone other than himself or herself will result in cancellation of his or her Internet privileges.  Any student identified as a security risk will be denied access to the Internet.

6. Vandalism - Vandalism will result in cancellation of privileges.  Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, network, or agency that is connected to the Internet.  This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading of any computer viruses, attempts at gaining unauthorized access, or changing on-line materials without permission.

Both the parent and student must sign the Student Agreement at the beginning of each school year before the student will be given access to equipment and services available at SJHS.   The Student Agreement form is included in the First Day Packets, which are distributed at the beginning of each school year


The secondary 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 the 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.

The secondary education system within the Intermediate Unit Consortium and the Diocese of Pittsburgh recognizes that chemical abuse and dependency seriously impair the ability of individuals to develop their full potential.  We also recognize that problems created by chemical abuse and dependency have adverse effects on the ability of all members of the school community to achieve personal educational goals.

Our policy is based on the belief that chemical dependency is a life threatening illness that affects individuals in all areas of their lives, emotionally, intellectually and socially.  Because it is our conviction that chemical dependency is a treatable illness, the substance abuse policy on the following page has been adopted.

In addition SJHS strives to serve students and to promote the total well being of each student.  In response to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, members of the administration and faculty have formed a Student Assistance Team.

In all cases of drug and/or alcohol abuse a mandatory evaluation will be required with a professional drug rehabilitation agency within five (5) days.  Students and parents must demonstrate a willingness to comply with the recommendations of the agency prior to the student's readmission.  Refusal to comply with school's recommendations may result in immediate dismissal.

The SAP Team is a group of faculty members who have received training through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to recognize behaviors inhibiting the educational process of our students.  The inappropriate behaviors could indicate a problem with chemical abuse, depression or adjustment.  The SAP Team is not punitive, disciplinary or diagnostic in nature.  The Team assists only in identifying inappropriate, nonproductive behavior, and making positive recommendations to help correct or eliminate the non-productive behavior.

Financial Policies

Saint Joseph High School strives to enable any student who desires a Catholic education to attend SJHS.  All students are subsidized since the tuition is much less than the cost per pupil.  The financial policies are strictly enforced and contribute to the affordability of tuition and the solvency of the school.  

Three options exist for payment of tuition:
Option 1:
  Single Payment due July 1 preceding the school year.
Option 2:  Two equal payments due July 1 and December 1.  (The school will assess a fee of $41 for late payments in options #1 and #2.)
Option 3:  Monthly Payments through F.A.C.T.S.  (Fast Automatic Cash Transfer System).  Payments begin in June (12 payments) or July (10 payments).

A limited amount of financial aid is available for those students in need of financial assistance. Application with documentation (Income Tax Forms) must be made to the PSAS (Private School Aid Service) by March 1 preceding the school year for which you are applying.

No transcript of grades or report card will be released unless all tuition and other financial obligations are met.  Students will not be permitted to return for the following year nor permitted to participate in summer extra-curricular activities until financial obligations are met.

It is fair and just that tuition accounts be current before a student attends the Christmas Semiformal,  Prom or receives other non-required purchases.

Seniors with outstanding balances will not be permitted to participate in graduation.

If a student chooses to or is asked to withdraw, tuition payment shall be due for each quarter up to and including the one in which the withdrawal occurred.  Refunds will be made for any full quarter of nonattendance after the date of withdrawal.  Contact the school office for further information.

School Schedules

7:45 -  7:55                         Homeroom
7:55 -  8:45                         Period  1
8:45 -  8:50                         Announcements
9:40 -10:30                         Period  3
10:30 -11:20                       Period  4
11:20 -11:50                       Lunch
11:50 -12:40                       Period  6
12:40 -  1:30                       Period  7
1:30 -  2:20                         Period  8
(On Fridays the upperclassmen are dismissed at 11:20
and the underclassmen at 12:20)

7:45 -  7:55                           Homeroom
7:55 -  8:35                           MATH LEAGUE or Period 1
8:35 -  8:40                           Announcements
8:40 -  9:20                           Period  1
9:20 -10:00                           Period  2
10:00 -10:40                         Period  3
10:40 -11:20                         Period  4
11:20 -11:50                         Lunch
11:50 -12:40                         Period  6
12:40 -  1:30                         Period  7
1:30 -   2:20                          Period  8

7:45 -  7:55                            Homeroom
7:55 -  8:40                            Period  1
8:40 -  8:45                            Announcements
8:45 -  9:30                            Period  2
9:30 -10:15                            Period  3
10:15 -11:00                          Period  4
11:00                                      Meeting 
11:20 -11:50                           Lunch
11:50 -12:40                           Period  6
12:40 -  1:30                           Period  7
1:30 -  2:20                             Period  8

8:45  -   8:55                         Homeroom
8:55  -   9:30                         Period  1
9:30  -   9:35                         Announcements
9:35  - 10:10                         Period  2
10:10  - 10:45                       Period  3
10:45  - 11:20                       Period  4
11:20  - 11:50                       Lunch
11:50  - 12:40                       Period  6
12:40  -   1:30                       Period  7

1:30    -   2:20                       Period  8

9:45   -  9:55                            Homeroom
9:55   -  10:35                          Period  1
10:35 -  10:40                          Announcements
10:40 -  11:20                          Period  2
11:20 -  11:50                          Lunch
11:50 -  12:40                          Period  6
12:40 -    1:30                          Period  7
1:30   -    2:20                          Period  8

9:45   -  9:55                            Homeroom
9:55   -  10:35                          Period  3
10:35 -  10:40                          Announcements
10:40 -  11:20                          Period  4
11:20 -  11:50                          Lunch
11:50 -  12:40                          Period  6
12:40 -    1:30                          Period  7
1:30   -    2:20                          Period  8


Alma Mater

All hail to St. Joe's High!  Noble and strong.
Through the dear portals lies the truth of our song.
Fly thy colors, red and blue, Wisdom echoing.
Lead on, O guiding light, of thee we sing.    

All hail to St. Joe's High!  Our voices raise.
To the Alma Mater, the tribute of our praise.
Live, O Alma Mater!  Humble hearts we bring.
Bearer of truth and light of thee we sing.

©2006 St. Joseph High School