Questions?

Finding a school can be a daunting task, and we know that you have many questions.  To help, we’ve created a list of frequently asked questions so you can peruse the answers at your leisure.  If you still don’t find what you’re looking for, or if you’d like clarification, feel free to contact us.

We would love to have you visit our school!  Tours are a great way to meet some of the staff, experience the atmosphere, and see what we offer in action and in person.  Above all, we hope that you feel welcomed by the loving atmosphere and that you can see our mission in everything that we do.  We desire to reflect the love of Jesus in all aspects of our school and hope that you will feel the love and peace of Jesus Christ in our hallways and in our classrooms–and you will see the unique and engaging educational opportunities that Holy Family Catholic School offers to its students.

Please click on the button below, fill out the form, and we will contact you to set up a convenient time.

What are the regular school hours?

Preschool:  8 a.m – 11:25 a.m. Monday and Friday
PreKindergarten:  8 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

NOTE:  Preschool & PreKindergarten days/hours will be changing for 2019-2020!

Grades K – 8:  8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Grades K – 8:  8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fridays

What is the average class size?

The average class size in 2018-2019 is 21.7 student in grades K-8.  Some classes are larger and some are smaller, but no class is currently larger than 27 students.  Preschool has a 1:10 teacher to student ratio; Pre-K has a 1:12 teacher to student ratio.

 

Do you offer before or after school care?

We know that families have many responsibilities – including work – that fall outside the confines of a regular school day.  To that end, we provide care for students from 7-7:50 a.m. and from 3-5:30 p.m.  Holy Family offers staff supervision from 7:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. to alleviate congestion in drop off and pick up lines. Students arriving prior to 7:50 a.m. or still on campus after 3:15 p.m. will be taken to our childcare program. Parents will be billed in accordance with our childcare rates. Parents must sign children out of daycare. Parents requesting childcare must complete an application available in the school office.

School staff brings students not picked up by 3:15 p.m. to after-school care and HFCS will charge the family accordingly.

Extended Daycare Hours

Morning Care:  7 a.m.—7:50 a.m.  (208) 765-4327 Ext. 200
Extended Care: 11:30 a.m.— 3 p.m.  (208) 765-4327 Ext. 219
After school Care:  3 p.m.— 5:30 p.m.  (208) 765-4327 Ext. 230

Do HFCS students wear uniforms?

It is the policy of Holy Family Catholic School that its students wear uniforms. A separate document outlines the HFCS uniform policy. HFCS expects all students and parents to completely understand and adhere to the uniform policy.

What time do classes start and end?

School hours are from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday. (Preschool and PreK release at 11:25 a.m.). Students arriving prior to 7:50 a.m. will be escorted to morning day care and the family will be charged the appropriate fees. Students may enter the building at 7:50 a.m. A “warning” bell rings at 7:58 a.m. Morning Opening prayer begins after the final bell rings at 8 a.m. Students arriving after this final bell must check in at the office. The first dismissal bell rings at 2:55 p.m. (or 1:55 p.m. on Friday) and the final dismissal bell rings at 3:00 p.m. (or 2:00 pm on Friday). School staff will bring students not picked up by 3:15 p.m. (or 2:15 p.m. on Friday) to after-school care and HFCS will charge the family accordingly.

What kind of parental involvement is available or expected?

We love parents!  HFCS believes that the parent is the primary educator of his/her child(ren) and parents are not only welcomed at HFCS, they are expected and required to complete 30 hours of volunteer time.  All parents (and volunteers) are required to comply with the Diocese of Boise Safe Environment policies and must complete an annual course and background check every five years in order to be eligible to volunteer at the school in any capacity.

How does the school handle discipline, including bullying?

Discipline – Holy Family Catholic School bases discipline on respect for God, self and others. It is a joint effort by home and school based on fundamental Christian principles of respect for the Person of Christ present in each individual and evidenced in the mutual respect of staff, parents and other students. The student discipline code extends to all school activities, including activities at school or activities related to school.

In the event of disciplinary problems, HFCS will notify parents and may request a conference be scheduled in order to assist the school in addressing the problem. In certain cases, HFCS may consider some behaviors sufficient cause for placing a student on probation, suspending a student, or expelling a student. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Possession of any weapon or items that may be construed as a weapon (i.e. a toy gun or knife)-see Weapons Policy below;
  • Behaviors or an attitude showing open, persistent defiance of school regulations and/or the authority of school staff and volunteers;
  • Continual disruption of the learning environment;
  • Habitual use of vulgar or profane language;
  • Willful damaging or defacing of school property or personal property;
  • Actions which are detrimental to the health and/or safety of others;
  • Failure to report incidents to a supervisor that may result in harmful or dangerous situations at school or a school-related activity;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products, alcohol, drugs or narcotics;
  • Other inappropriate behavior or conduct that may be unbecoming of a Christian student.

Electronics Policy – Students are prohibited from using and/or having electronic devices (including, but not limited to, headsets, cell phones, smart phones, or other messaging devices, CDs, or other music players, iPods, radios, electronic games, electronic cameras or video cameras, etc.) turned on during the school day whether on campus or during school sponsored activities, or in before/after school care.  There are times when the use of technology is appropriate.  A student who participates in the “Bring Your Own Device” program must follow the “Bring Your Own Device” use policy and must follow all teacher/staff instructions regarding technology use.  Electronic devices brought to school should remain in the student’s backpack and off.

  • Devices or related peripherals that interfere with the instructional setting or that are used to harass, annoy, offend, or are used inappropriately on class work/tests are strictly prohibited.
  • Devices with recording capability may not be used to record without the intended subject‘s knowledge and without permission to do so.
  • Students are responsible for the safety and security of any electronic devices they bring to school.
  • The principal, his/her designee, and/or the classroom instructor may prohibit or limit the use of any electronic device if being used in violation of this policy.
  • Smart watches are prohibited.

Violations of Policy – Any electronic device used in violation of this policy will be confiscated by a teacher or other administrator and a parent/guardian will be required to attend a conference with the principal or administrator or his/her designee at which time the device will be returned.  The teacher or administrator confiscating the device shall refer the matter to the principal or administrator.  Confiscated communication devices will not be released to minor students except under extreme circumstances.

  • Consequences for violating this policy beyond confiscation of the device, even on a first offense, may include, but are not limited to the possibility of suspension and/or expulsion or referral to law enforcement or other sanctions as deemed appropriate by the school principal or his/her designee.  If an electronic device is determined by the school to have been used for cheating or plagiarism, the principal or his/her designee may take additional action as deemed appropriate, including, but not limited to, adjusting the grade for the questioned work, removing the student from class, and/or mandating a loss of credit in addition to any other sanctions.
  • There is a zero tolerance policy for any form of cyber-bullying or harassment.
  • Parents and students are reminded that in today’s electronic age our virtual campus and community extends beyond the physical grounds of the school.  Inappropriate behavior and cyber-bullying or other forms of harassment of students or other conduct on computers or electronic devices off campus which impacts students or the educational environment at Holy Family could be considered a violation of this policy and result in sanctions by the school.
  • Nothing in this policy shall prohibit a person from using an electronic device when needed in an emergency, to report a crime, or to summon medical attention.

Computer/Internet Policy – HFCS expects students to exhibit good judgment, consistent with general school policies, when using the school’s computers in the classrooms and in the computer lab. Failure to do so could result in loss of privileges or other disciplinary actions. All students and parents are required to sign a statement acknowledging that they understand the diocesan and school policy before HFCS allows students to use the internet.

Harassment – Harassment is a form of discrimination. Harassment is defined as any unwelcome comment or conduct that intimidates, demeans, or offends an individual. It includes behavior or comments that put down, insult or offend another person because of race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, family status or disability. Any form of harassment is not acceptable whether it is physical, verbal, by telephone, electronic, in writing or in person.

Bullying – Bullying behavior can be very subtle and many times students may not recognize their actions are a form of bullying. Bullying can take many forms including, physical, verbal, or psychological. Bullying may develop into a more willful form when one person uses power with the aim of hurting another individual repeatedly. Holy Family asks students to report bullying behavior they witness or incur to an adult so HFCS can address and resolve the behavior.

Specific examples of bullying:

  • Hurting someone physically by hitting, kicking, tripping, pushing
  • Stealing or damaging someone’s belongings
  • Teasing, putting others down or ganging up on someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Leaving someone out on purpose or trying to get others not to play or associate with someone
  • Verbal or written threats
  • Teasing others about their appearance, possessions, clothing, etc.
  • Intimidating phone calls, email or notes
  • Gestures or body language meant to put others down or exclude them from a group.

Sexual Harassment – HFCS expects students to behave in respectful ways in all relationships with others. Open displays of affection are not appropriate. HFCS will not permit such displays during school hours. Sexual harassment can take many forms from silent body language to gestures to overt responses that are verbal and/or physical in nature. Reference to body parts, abusive and/or vulgar language directed toward another person as well as specific verbiage or action directed toward another person that has sexual overtones will not be accepted, condoned, nor tolerated. The principal will promptly address such behavior. Possible sanctions for such behavior include immediate dismissal from HFCS.

Weapons – In the HFCS community, as in any community, responsible behavior is an expectation in order to ensure the orderly operations of the school and the safety of the students, faculty, and staff. The need to safeguard the students is of paramount importance and requires that students and parents understand and adhere to school policy concerning what they bring onto the campus and into the classroom. In addition, students on school-sponsored field trips must conform to these policies.

Weapons are not permitted on the school property at any time, unless in the possession of law enforcement personnel. The term weapons includes but is not limited to pistols, rifles, air rifles, BB guns, pellet guns, knives, explosives, and martial arts instruments. This applies as well to all replicas or facsimiles of a weapon.

Any weapon brought onto school grounds for the purpose of display or use as a prop in a school activity must have prior approval by the Principal. In such a case, the weapon must be non-functioning or otherwise rendered harmless. When not being used in class, the student or parent must leave the approved instrument with a school official.

Any student who accidentally brings a weapon onto campus must turn it in to their teacher, an HFCS staff member, or to the Principal’s Office immediately upon discovering it in his/her possession. The principal may discipline the student as deemed necessary.

HFCS expects all students to report any knowledge they have concerning another student who has brought a weapon onto school property. Failure to report such information may result in disciplinary action.

HFCS will severely discipline any student who knowingly brings a weapon onto campus or any student who fails to report his/her possession of a weapon. This discipline is at the discretion of the principal and may include a written warning to the student and parents; a suspension for a period deemed appropriate by the Principal; or expulsion. The principal may take other disciplinary actions as appropriate and necessary.

The Principal will make every effort to notify students, parents, priests, and board members when a serious violation of this policy results in disciplinary action. The Principal will comply with all rights of privacy that apply in these circumstances.

Search and SeizureHFCS reserves the right, with reasonable suspicion, to examine any student’s personal possessions. HFCS will seize any items pertaining to an infraction of its school policies. This includes, but is not limited to, clothing, backpacks and lockers.

Does HFCS offer hot lunches? What if my child has food allergies?

Hot lunches are available five days a week. Milk is included in the hot lunch program. A separate milk only purchase is available. Menu substitutions may be necessary. Children bringing their own lunch should do so in a suitable lunch container that consists of items that are easily opened by the child and do not need to be heated or cooked in a microwave oven.  If your child does not have a lunch on a scheduled hot lunch day, HFCS will provide a lunch and will bill the family. The hot lunch program is nut free.  If your child has a special nutritional need, please contact our Kitchen staff to see what accommodations are possible.

What safety measures are in place?

At Holy Family Catholic School, the safety of our students and staff is a priority. We work closely with law enforcement officers to ensure that our safety plan is current and effective.  Our building is locked during school hours and can only be accessed via video security at our front door. All adults working with children—whether teacher, volunteer, parent, or grandparent—have taken the Diocese of Boise’s Safe Environment program and have passed background checks.

Other securing measures include:

  • Building securing system activated when building is empty.
  • Building fire alarms.
  • AED, first aid, and CPR training for staff.
  • AED in gymnasium.
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Crisis plan in every room; crisis app on cell phones.
  • Panic hardware on classroom doors.
  • Schoolwide communication system.
  • Frequent emergency drills.

Is HFCS accredited?

Holy Family Catholic School is proud to be accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA).  All of our teachers are certified and highly qualified to teach.

How can I keep up with my student's progress?

In Preschool through 5th grade, parents receive weekly emails that highlight important events, curriculum, and expectations for the week.  Frequent communication with teachers is encouraged, whether through email, phone call, or face-to-face visits.  In grades 4-8, parents can check students’ academic progress online through our Parent Portal.  There, parents will find grades, missing work, a school calendar, and much more!

Do you offer accelerated classes?

Our teachers work hard to differentiate content for students so that each individual is challenged appropriately at his/her level.  In middle school, we do offer leveled mathematics courses so that students can progress more quickly.  Placement is determined through a rubric that includes MAP scores, a placement exam, and student grades.

What services do you have available for students who need additional support?

HFCS admits qualified students of any race, color, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or disability (if reasonable accommodations can be assumed by the school and parents in partnership).

Children who are performing near or below grade level are referred to our Title 1 program based on the Istation assessment (new IRI), MAP testing, classroom performance, and/or Teacher referrals.  This placement is reviewed regularly and children come in and out of the program based on their needs.  Progress monitoring and frequent communication with parents are key elements in the Title I program.

Sometimes, a situation requires more intense intervention.  The Student Success Team provides support and intervention to students who are not responding positively to whole classroom or individualized strategies.  The team will collaborate individually with teachers to ensure that students’ needs are being met appropriately.

Will you accept a child with an IEP &/or 504 Plan?

HFCS admits qualified students of any race, color, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or disability (if reasonable accommodations can be assumed by the school and parents in partnership).

How well do HFCS students score on standardized testing?

Spring 2018 MAP Testing:

Math

  • National average score–216.5
  • HFCS average score–225.6

Reading

  • National average score–208.4
  • HFCS average score–216.6

Language Usage

  • National average score–208.5
  • HFCS average score–217.2

Are your teachers certified or have teaching degrees?

Holy Family Catholic School is proud to be accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA).  All of our teachers are certified and highly qualified to teach.

IS HFCS affiliated with a local parish?

Holy Family Catholic School is the only Catholic school in North Idaho and is unique because we are the only elementary/middle school in the Diocese of Boise that is Regional rather than Parish-based.  We are, however, affiliated with three parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise:  St. George’s in Post Falls, St. Thomas the Apostle in Coeur d’Alene, and Pope St. Pius X in Coeur d’Alene.

HFCS is proud to be considered an Idaho “model” Catholic school:  we are the first to be completely self-supporting and strive to be forward-funded on an annual basis.  We take pride in our founding mission and vision statements, in our philosophy of education, and in our school “Parental Covenant.”

Does HFCS have mass?

HFCS has Mass weekly on Wednesdays at 9:30 am.  Mass is celebrated by priests from our affiliated parishes:  Fr. Timothy Ritchey and Fr. Costance Swai from St. George’s parish community, Fr. Mariusz Majewski from St. Thomas the Apostle, and Fr. Francisco Flores from Pope St. Pius X.  We welcome you to attend Mass with us!

Is Bible study a part of your curriculum?

All of our students are required to participate in Religion classes; every year focuses on an ever-deepening understanding of and relationship with God.  Part of that is hearing and learning about God’s Word in the Scriptures.  We have Morning Opening prayer, which usually incorporates a daily reading, in addition to Religion classes and weekly Mass.   In all of these places, students have the opportunity to learn and grow in their faith.

Does my child or family have to be Catholic to attend?

HFCS welcomes all families, regardless of faith denomination, who are seeking a high quality, faith-based, academically excellent educational option.  During Mass, we welcome non-Catholic students and guests to come up to the minister at Communion and receive a blessing.  All students are required to attend Religion class daily and Mass weekly at the school.

What sort of daily and/or regular prayer can I expect to see?

Holy Family Catholic School is primarily a parochial school; we infuse Religion and spirituality throughout our day–in the classroom and curriculum, in the hallways, in the lunchroom, and at recess.  We begin our days with Morning Prayer, which includes daily readings and reflections.  We pray together in the classroom, before meals, before meetings, before performances, before games – prayer is a way of life here.  Students have the opportunity to be leaders when it is their classroom’s turn to host Mass – they prepare the readings, bring up the offertory gifts, and lead the school prayer.  We pray the Rosary together as a school on the First Friday of each month.  We end every day together with closing prayer, led by our fifth grade and projected over our intercom system.

What sports do you offer?

We offer the following competitive sports programs:

  • Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball

I would love to volunteer for the sports program; how do I do that?

We always need volunteers for our sports program – from team parents to concessions!  To volunteer, you must have completed the Diocesan Safe Environment program and passed a background check.  Please contact Cathy Greif, Athletic Director for more information.

Are students allowed to play in more than one sport?

Students are allowed to participate in more than one sport, as long as practice and game/meet times do not conflict.

What is the policy on tryouts and cuts?

We do not hold tryouts for our teams.  However, we do ask parents to sign up in a timely fashion so that we can appropriately staff the coaching team for students.  Late registrations will be accepted, however, athletes may not be able to fully participate on the team (depending upon numbers).  We do not cut students from the team.

What does my child need for sports registration?

To register for a sport, you will need to complete a registration form and pay athletic fees.  In addition, students need to have a current well-child check (annually, up through 5th grade) or a sports physical (every 2 years, middle school) on file at the school in order to participate.

Please explain Aces for Academics and Bucks for Buckets.

Aces for Academics and Bucks for Buckets are fundraisers for our sports program.  Sponsors agree to pay $1 for aces served by HFCS Hawks volleyball players or free throws made by HFCS Hawks basketball players.  At the end of the season, the money collected goes to help maintain the sports program to purchase equipment and uniforms, pay refs, etc.

What fine arts activities are available?

Holy Family Catholic School offers music classes to all grades.  Students also have the opportunity to learn instruments:  recorders in 4th grade and beginning band in 5th grade.  Starting in 4th grade, students can also choose to participate in the HFCS choir.  In middle school, students can choose to participate in band and/or choir.  There are also opportunities to participate in the annual Christmas program, Broadway night, and Spring concert.  HFCS also offers after-school band opportunities.

Art is offered to grades K-6.  In the second semester, middle school electives include art and drama/improv as options.  Seventh grade has the opportunity to explore photography for one semester as well.

Do you offer recorder lessons?

Our 4th graders learn to play the recorder in music class.

Admissions Questions

We are looking forward to getting to know your family throughout our application process and answering any questions that you may have.

School Handbook

Click here to discover all of the opportunities and expectations for students and their families at HFCS.