Parent Handbook

Welcome to St. Clement

Parish Religious Education Program! 

We are blessed to have the opportunity to share with you the privilege of teaching our faith to your children! What an awesome responsibility! As we embark on this journey, we pray that Jesus will strengthen us and that the Holy Spirit will guide us in this important ministry. Let us strive to be an inspiration to our children by modeling Gospel values, attending Mass regularly and enriching our lives with prayer and peace.

Parental Role: As parents, you are the primary educator in your child’s life. It is very important for parents to take an active role in the Religious Education of their children. Ask questions about what they are learning each week, impart your own knowledge and experiences, help with homework, and support the PREP program by becoming a proactive member of our faith community. Pray with your children and teach them to pray. The Catechists and Staff are a great resource for you in this role – please know that we are a team! As such, also know that the rules instituted are made with the safety and concern for the students and your cooperation is expected and greatly appreciated.

Catechists and Staff are volunteers that dedicate themselves and their time to our children. All are required comply with Diocesan standards which include having a Criminal Background Check and Sexual Abuse Awareness (Virtus) Training, as well as attending Catechist Training Certification classes. Parents needing to contact a teacher may do so by calling or e-mailing the PREP office.

Registration:  Eligibility for the St. Clement PREP program requires families to be registered parishioners of the parish. New students need to present proper documentation which includes Baptismal and Communion Certificates. Re-registration takes place in the spring and summer for children currently enrolled that will be returning in the fall. Forms need to be submitted in a timely manner in order to secure class day/time preference, since classes fill up quickly. Every effort will be made to accommodate the needs of each family, however space is limited. (Please see the webpage for further specific information regarding Registration requirements.)

Tuition Fee is noted on Registration forms. A textbook is included in the fee. If it needs to be replaced, there will be a charge for a new book.

Supplies such as pencils, pens, notebooks and folders are the responsibility of each child. Students are expected to come to class each week with the textbook and other learning tools needed to complete assignments.

Arrival/Dismissal: There will be a Drop-off Zone on the side of the school by the Reception Center. (See Parking Lot diagram). Children will arrive through the side door and wait quietly outside the classroom until teachers arrive. Please be punctual. For safety reasons, parents will be asked to refrain from entering the school building. Please set an appointment or phone conference with the teacher to discuss concerns about your child.

Leaving the Building: Due to safety concerns, children must remain in the school building at all times, with the exception of a teacher taking the class to the church. The doors will remain locked while children are in class.

Dismissal: All classes will be dismissed through the main door by the office, since incoming classes will be arriving through the side door. Parents must park cars and walk to the door to pick-up their children. Students will be released only to those listed on the registration form.  Punctuality is a must!

For the safety of everyone involved in the Religious Ed program, kindly abide by the parking lot procedures as explained on the Parking Lot diagrams for drop-off and pick-up. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Late Arrival/Early Dismissal: Arriving more than 15 minutes late or leaving more than 15 minutes early will be counted as an absence.

Dress Code:  Appropriate clothing is required in class – good taste and reasonable judgment is necessary. Midriff tops, halter tops, excessively short shorts, and T-shirts with unacceptable messages some examples of clothing that will not permitted in class.

Portable Electronic Devices are a distraction that will not be permitted in the classroom. This includes, but is not limited to, cell phones.  Failure to comply will result in confiscation of the device.

Discipline: Appropriate behavior is necessary to ensure a proper learning environment. Disrespect, fighting, offensive language are just a few examples of behavior that will not be tolerated.  Catechists are encouraged to solve minor issues; however chronic problems will be referred to the Office. These offenders will be sent home and marked absent. Continued problems will result in the child being removed from the program, as noted in the Attendance Policy tab above.

Bathroom: Encourage children to use the facilities at home directly before leaving for class. This will keep this need down to a minimum for the one hour they are in the building.  Although we never refuse a child that needs to be excused, we must be aware of those few that may find this to be an amusing distraction!

Homework is given at the discretion of each teacher. Parents are expected to review lessons and assist with assignments.

Attendance: Students are responsible to make up any work that is missed due to absence. Parents may contact the teacher via the PREP office telephone or e-mail to request assignments or to report extended absences. A child’s excessive absence/tardiness will be reported to the office. More than 3 absences will require the child to repeat the grade the following year. A doctor’s note is required for excessive absences for valid medical reasons. Please see the Attendance Policy tab to the left.

Testing: There will be 4 Unit tests given in class after the completion of each unit in grades 6, 7,8.  Students are expected to maintain a 70% or higher average in order to move on to the next grade. Special needs students will be given appropriate consideration.

Child Abuse/Safe Environment Program is required by the Diocese for faculty, staff and children. The objective is to provide education in the area of recognizing abuse and protecting God’s children.  Information about Family Life, the curriculum mandated by the diocese, is posted on the website.

Sacraments: Preparation for receiving the Sacraments is an integral component of the R.E. program. Parental involvement is vital and parents are expected to become actively involved in their child’s faith journey. There are special meetings scheduled for which parental attendance is mandatory. It is the parents’ responsibility to be aware of notices, dates, practices, etc. – all of which are posted on the webpage. Additional fees are assessed for children receiving Sacraments to cover the cost of the Church, musicians, flowers, programs, Confirmation gowns, etc.

Parties/Food in the Classroom- No food or drink is permitted in the classroomsNo exceptions! Many children have very serious food allergies, diabetes, or other health issues.

Medication will not be administered by any Catechist or staff member during PREP for any reason. If a child is on medication, please notify the teacher about possible side effects that may impact behavior. If it is essential that a child be given medication, the parent must come to the school office to do so.

Special circumstances: Please notify the office and the teacher about any special circumstances regarding your child. This includes, but is not limited to, court orders, custody, food allergies, medical issues, learning disabilities, etc.

Holy Innocents: Children with special needs/learning disabilities will be referred to the Holy Innocents program. There are two local schools – St. Mary, New Monmouth and CBA.

Subs and Hall Monitors are always needed. Please give prayerful consideration to signing up for one of these very important components of the program.

Inclement Weather: Closings will posted on the webpage. If the weather outside is frightful(!), please check the webpage for school closing notices.

Webpage and E-mail are your primary sources of information regarding Religious Ed. Please check both often.


As we begin another school year in a spirit of anticipation and cooperation, let us be mindful that we share one goal – educating God’s greatest gift – our children. Together we can provide an enriching experience and a loving environment to achieve this goal!