Our Mission, Core Values and Philosophy
With God as our foundation, we educate and equip for service, for Christ, the mind, heart, and spirit of the 21st century learner.
This vision statement also serves as our mission statement as we strive daily to share our Christian faith and love toward one another through Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I AM with you always, to the end of the age.”
St. James Lutheran School is dedicated to fostering respect, faith, character, and compassion among our students. By prioritizing these Christian values, we seek to create a transformative educational experience that equips students with the skills and values necessary to navigate the complexities of the world with integrity and grace. We strive to empower our students to become compassionate leaders, faithful disciples of Christ, and individuals of strong character who make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.
At St. James Lutheran School, we embrace a distinctive philosophy rooted in our Lutheran faith, which guides our approach to education and shapes the experiences we provide for our students. We believe in the transformative power of faith, the importance of strong family connections, the boundless possibilities of the future, and the significance of a solid foundation. Together, we strive to empower our students to become compassionate, courageous, and Christ-centered leaders who positively impact their communities and shape a better world. Our philosophy statement is built upon these pillars: Faith, Family, Future, and Foundation.
Faith: Our Lutheran school is dedicated to nurturing and deepening the faith of our students. We believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of a purposeful life. Through prayer, biblical teachings, and worship, we foster a personal and authentic relationship with God. We strive to instill in our students the values of love, compassion, forgiveness, and service, enabling them to live out their faith in their daily lives and make a positive impact on the world around them.
Family: We recognize the importance of strong family partnerships in the development of our students. We strive to create a supportive and welcoming community that embraces and values the involvement of families. By nurturing open lines of communication, fostering collaboration, and promoting mutual respect, we build a bridge between home and school. Together, we work as a unified team, celebrating achievements, navigating challenges, and providing a nurturing environment for the growth and flourishing of our students.
Future: As a Lutheran school, we embrace a forward-looking perspective that recognizes the infinite possibilities and potential of each student’s future. We strive to empower our students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to pursue their dreams and make a meaningful impact in their chosen paths. By fostering a love of learning, promoting innovation, and nurturing resilience, we prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We encourage them to embrace their unique gifts and talents, to explore new horizons, and to live with a sense of purpose and hope for the future.
Foundation: We believe that a solid foundation is essential for a lifetime of learning and personal growth. Academically, we provide a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that challenges students to reach their full potential. We emphasize critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, equipping students with the tools they need to excel in a rapidly changing world. Moreover, we cultivate a foundation of moral values, ethical behavior, and character development, ensuring that our students become responsible and principled leaders who contribute positively to society.
School begins at 8:00 AM and dismisses at 3:00 PM for grades Kindergarten-Grade 8. STUDENTS MUST BE IN THEIR HOME ROOM BY 8:00 AM. It is the responsibility of the parent to see that their child is not tardy for class. Students who are not in the classroom at 8:00 AM are considered tardy.
Children will not be permitted to leave the school grounds without permission from the parent.
Drop-off / Pick-up Procedures
1. Early Room – 7:30-7:45 am
- Enter through the paved alley alongside the gymnasium. Stop at the stop sign, take a slight right turn and follow the route along the Safety Zone stopping by the cafeteria.
- Children will exit the car themselves on the passenger side only and enter the Safety Zone area.
- Children will enter door 12 to the cafeteria where staff members will greet them.
2. Drop & Go – 7:45-8:00 am
- From Cincinnati Street only, turn north onto 8th street and park on the east side of the street between the gymnasium and door 2. A school leader will be there to greet you.
- Children will exit the car themselves on the passenger side only.
- Children in grades K, 1 and 5 will enter door 2 of the 1964 building and proceed to their classrooms.
- Children in grades 2-4 and 6-8 will enter door 1 of the historic building and proceed to their classrooms.
3. Park and Walk – 7:30-8:00 am
- Enter through the paved alley alongside the gymnasium. Stop at the stop sign, take a slight left turn and pull through the parking spots.
- Parents will walk their children down one of the alleys to door 2 (grades K, 1 and 5) or door 1 (grades 2-4, 6-8)
- Parents may enter the building with their student but are expected to check in at the office if staying beyond the 8:00 am bell.
- Parents will then exit the parking lot by pulling forward from their parking spot and merging with traffic toward the ramp to 9th street. This ramp is exit and right turn only from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm.
- All parents/guardians will enter the back parking lot through the paved alley alongside the gymnasium, stop at the stop line, take a slight right turn and park their car in any available spot.
- Each K-8 teacher will dismiss their classes from the safety zone at 3:00 pm.
- Teachers will dismiss individual students once their parent/guardian comes to get their child from the Safety Zone.
- Alternatively, using caution, students in grades 6-8 may walk out to their parent/guardian’s car. 6th-8th grade teachers must be notified by the student that they are leaving.
- Two 8th grade crossing guards will be present in the parking lot to assist families.
- Parents will then exit the parking lot and make a right turn only onto 9th Street.
Special Instructions for Early Childhood
Nursery-Toddlers-2 Year Olds:
- Parents will follow Park and Walk (see K-8 procedures)
- AM staff will be stationed at Door 11 to do health screenings and then walk the child to their classroom.
3’s (McQuinn) – Parents will park on 8th street and walk their child to the Indigo Classroom exterior door. A health check will be performed before the parent leaves and the staff walks the child into the classroom.
PK (Kurtz/Caylor) – Parents will follow Park and Walk (see K-8 procedures) and meet staff at Door 12.
*After 8:00 am, please ring the buzzer at door 2 on 8th street. An aide will meet you at the door.
- For 12:30 pm pick-up, parents will be met at door indicated by their teacher (typically Cincinnati Street Door #3 or 8th Street Door #2).
- For pick-ups after 3:00 pm, unless otherwise indicated by the classroom lead teacher, parents will buzz at door 2 on 8th street and the teacher or aide will be notified. Parents will then walk to the designated pick up door.
In order to receive the maximum benefits of a Christian education, regular school attendance is vital. Regular attendance develops dependability and responsibility in the student and significantly contributes to his or her academic achievement. We strongly encourage families not to schedule vacations or extended trips during the school year. These policies and procedures have been established to promote regular school attendance on the part of each student, provide the continuity necessary for students to be successful, and ensure that students receive the full educational experience at St. James.
- Parents are to call the school office by 8:30 am if a child is absent/tardy.
- Teachers will report absences to the school office upon the start of school.
- If the school has not been notified of the child’s absence, the secretary will contact the parent’s home/work to verify the child’s absence.
- Students arriving after or leaving before 11 am will be counted as half-day absences.
- Student(s) arriving at school after 8:30 am must have an excused absence to be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities that school day.
Excused Absence(s)/Tardy include illness requiring doctor’s care, doctor/dental appointments, a death in the family, a family emergency, and unique educational opportunities as approved by the principal prior to the absence. Excused absence(s)/tardy must include appropriate documentation provided to the school.
Vacations during school days are discouraged. Parents should consider the current number of absences and understand that if a student exceeds the number of days absent permitted as outlined below under Absences/Truancy. These absences may be approved as excused or unexcused.
Under certain circumstances, the law requires the school to authorize the absence and excuse of a student. According to the Indiana Department of Education these are as follows: Under the following circumstances a student will be marked as exempt from school: serving as a page or honoree of the General Assembly (IC 20-33-2-14 ); serving on the precinct election board or as a helper to a political candidate or party on the day of a municipal, primary or general election (IC 20-33-2-15); when subpoenaed to testify in court (IC 20-33-2-16); serving with the National Guard for no more than 10 days (IC 20-33-2-17); or serving with the Civil Air Patrol for up to 5 days (IC 20-33-2-17.2), the student is approved for an educationally related non-classroom activity (I.C. 20-33-2-17.5); the student or a member of the student’s household exhibits or participates in the Indiana State Fair for educational purposes (IC 20-33-2-17.7). In each of these circumstances, the student is excused from school and is not to be recorded as absent, and is not to be penalized in any way by the school.
Unexcused absences include any absence that does not fit into the above circumstances. Family vacations are not considered excused absences and may count toward your unexcused days.
- Student/Parent are responsible to contact the teacher for makeup work.
- Students will have an equal number of days as absent to make up work.
- Student/Parent and teacher may agree to an extension of days or revision of assignments for makeup schoolwork.
- 1 day of school work requested in the morning usually can be ready by the end of the day.
- Homework requested for a longer period must be given at least 72-hour notice prior to the start of the absence.
- After 4 total unexcused absences, parent(s) will be notified by e-mail and mail of the dates of the unexcused absences.
- After 6 total unexcused absences, a formal conference will be held with student, parent(s), classroom teacher, and principal
- After 8 total unexcused absences, a family group making decision conference will be held with student, parent(s), classroom teacher, and principal
- After 10 or more total unexcused absences, the student is determined to be truant.
- Truancy means being absent from school without being excused or notification to school by the parent.
- Students with excessive absences (10 or more unexcused days) can be referred to the intake officer of the juvenile court or Department of child services.
- The St. James Board of Education will be notified for possible further action taken
- Students who have attended less than 90% of the school year (i.e. missed 18 per year / 9 per semester or more school days combined excused and unexcused) could face possible retention in the current grade, and will be required to meet for a formal conference with student, parent(s), classroom teacher, principal and a member of the Board of Education
- Excessive excused or unexcused absences, defined as 11 or more absences per semester, will result in a required conference with parent(s), classroom teacher, principal and a member of the Board of Education. The principal will decide on a case by case basis on the type of excused absences.
- Students are expected to be in the classroom ready to start the day at 8:00 am.
- Students arriving at the classroom after 8:00 am will be marked as tardy by the teacher.
- Students who arrive after the doors are locked at 8:00 must visit the school office for a late slip.
Unexcused Tardy Intervention Tiers
Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten
Students may be dressed in neat and clean play clothes to allow for participation in developmentally appropriate activities (i.e. painting, play dough, outdoor play). For the students’ safety, jelly shoes, sandals without a heel strap, and cowboy boots are not appropriate. Sandals may be worn with a heel strap. Students in infant/toddler, preschool 2s, preschool 3s, and pre-kindergarten are allowed to wear denim.
Kindergarten – Eighth Grades – Revised April 16, 2023
Purpose and Guidelines:
St. James Lutheran School seeks to achieve several purposes with our student standard of dress. While we realize there are likely different opinions regarding dress, we have determined to be mission-minded in our dress code. There are certain preferences and guidelines we have chosen to follow, and it is our hope that our dress code helps provide a modest and positive school environment. We believe our dress code can help students learn and understand the importance of presenting themselves neatly, professionally, and appropriately both at school events and in preparing for real world experiences.
Accordingly, the following guidelines will provide a basis for the dress code:
- Solid-colored, striped or plaid polo shirts or button-down dress shirts are permissible.
- Dresses in the color of your choice, including those with floral prints, are permissible.
- No other objects or images are permissible on dresses.
- Dresses must have at least a cap sleeve.
- Tops must not be too revealing.
- Solid-colored, striped or plaid sweaters or sweatshirts may be worn.
- No hooded sweatshirts are permitted.
- Full-zip, half-zip, quarter-zip or button-up styles are permitted as long as they do not have a hood or side pockets.
- Solid-colored pants, shorts, skirts, or jumpers that are school uniform in style and khaki, navy, gray, black, or plaid in color are permissible.
- Skirts may have a floral print, but contain no other objects or images.
- Solid-colored leggings or shorts are required under skirts and dresses.
- Skirts, dresses, jumpers and shorts need to be mid-thigh or longer.
- Shoes must include a heel or heel strap.
- No flip-flops, slippers, or slides are permitted.
- K-5 students should wear shoes that are suitable for playing.
4. Friday Dress:
Jeans without holes, rips and/or tears may be worn on Fridays with St. James Lutheran School spirit-wear, St. James Lutheran School t-shirt, or other approved tops listed above in Section 1.
All student dress should follow Christian modesty. If you have any questions, speak with a teacher or the principal before purchasing or wearing to school.
Consequences and Enforcement:
- Upon entry into the classroom, teachers will conduct an initial observation of compliance and report any potential violation(s) to the principal. The principal will determine if the student is in compliance.
- A written warning will be issued to parents if a student does not follow the dress code. On the third warning, the parent will be contacted to bring a change of clothes or pick up the student for the remainder of the day.
- A dress code slip will be completed by the teacher and the offense recorded in Harmony.
- Further offenses may lead to detentions, suspensions, and possible expulsion.
Frequently asked questions:
Do dresses have to be collared?
● No, dresses do not have to be collared.
Are other patterns allowed for dresses and skirts?
● In addition to solid, striped, and plaid patterns, floral patterns only are permissible. No other patterns, objects, or images are permitted.
What is considered “too revealing”?
● Please use the width of the student’s hand from the pit of the neck as a guideline. Anything lower than the width of the student’s hand is too low.
How do you define “mid-thigh”?
● Mid-thigh is defined as the point of the leg beyond the fingertip with the arms and fingers fully extended at the sides.
Closing and Delays
Cancellations: K-8 and Early Childhood operate on the same schedule. If a delay or cancellation is implemented, it will apply to both programs.
Two Hour Delays
• School will start at 10:00 am
• Early Childhood and K-8 Early Room open at 9:30 am
Please check the following stations for delays or cancellations:
St. James School Website
Please give yourself plenty of time in case of snow and ice. Do not drive in a hurry to beat the school bell when the roads are slick. Tardy slips will be waived on days when road conditions are perilous.