I. School Admissions Policy
Diocesan schools shall comply with state laws and regulations regarding school enrollment and attendance to the extent possible, as consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and diocesan policy.
II. Nondiscrimination Policy
Diocesan schools shall follow and promote an open enrollment policy, accepting students without regard to color, race, gender, or national origin, and reasonably accommodate the disabled in its educational programs.
III. School Entrance Requirements
A child can be enrolled only by a person having the legal custody of the child. A certified copy of the student’s birth certificate and a baptismal certificate shall be required for original entrance at all grade levels. Proof of legal custody may also be required in cases where a child does not reside with both natural parents. If these required documents are not provided to the school within thirty (30) days of the student’s enrollment or appear to be inaccurate or fraudulent, the school shall notify the Indiana Clearing House for Information on Missing Children and will cooperate with local authorities if the child has been reported missing. The custodial parent or legal guardian shall provide the name and address of the school the student last attended, if any. The school shall request the records from the last school the student attended within fourteen (14) days of enrollment. Written proof that the child meets state and county health requirements (immunization record) for enrollment shall also be required.
IV. Kindergarten Age Requirement
Schools shall follow state law in enrollment of Kindergarten students. In order to enroll in Kindergarten, a child must be at least five (5) years of age on August 1 of the year the child will be attending. A school may choose to administer the Gesell Assessment of Developmental Readiness or other readiness test for determining proper placement in kindergarten.
NOTE: A child coming into a diocesan school from an out-of-state kindergarten program or an in-state kindergarten program and who does not meet the Indiana state age eligibility requirement, should be admitted to a kindergarten program, unless it can be determined that enrollment in such a program was intended to circumvent Indiana law.
Registration for Kindergarten is held during the month of February. All interested parents are invited to a special “Kindergarten Parents Night” where they will be presented with information concerning the philosophy of the Kindergarten program as it pertains to admission and curriculum. There will be an opportunity to visit the classroom and ask questions of the Kindergarten teachers as well as the principal of the school. Those parents who have children of kindergarten age must follow the age guidelines set by the Diocese/ Saint Joseph School in accordance with state guidelines.
V. First Grade Entrance Requirements
Indiana compulsory education begins when a child is officially enrolled in school or the school year of the child’s 7th birthday, whichever is earlier. Students enrolling in a diocesan school after successfully attending kindergarten in another accredited school that has different age requirements shall be allowed to continue in school without interruption because of chronological age.
VI. Children with Exceptional Educational Needs
Children with exceptional educational needs requiring special class placement are accepted if their needs can be reasonably accommodated in the school. Initial enrollment should be on a tentative basis with the understanding that in the event the exceptional needs of the child cannot be reasonably accommodated by the school, the custodial parents or guardians will agree to enroll their child in another school system which can accommodate the special needs of exceptional children.
Ordinarily when a diocesan school cannot reasonably accommodate the exceptional needs of a child, a recommendation for special class placement should be made to the custodial parent or guardian by the principal, after consultation with the child’s teacher(s). This recommendation will be either for special class placement within the Catholic school or referral to a public school for evaluation or placement. If the custodial parent or guardian does not accept the school’s recommendation, it is expected that he/she will place the decision in writing. In some instances the custodial parent or guardian will be required to withdraw the child if the child’s continued presence, in the opinion of school personnel, would pose an undue hardship on the operation of the school, or poses a threat of harm to the student, other students or school personnel.
VII. Student Transfers
Students transferring from another school, public or private, must make arrangements with the other school to forward records to Saint Joseph School. State law dictates that parents must sign a release form for a student’s records at the school from which the student is transferring. When registering from another public or private school, a copy of the latest report card is required before application is accepted in this school.Any student transferring from another Catholic school in this Diocese must have fulfilled all financial duties owed to that school and/or parish before the transfer can be completed. Families owing tuition at another Catholic school will be refused admission to this school until those obligations are met.