New Parent Tips
Welcome to the start of a very exciting journey!
This page will be a central tool for you to come back to throughout the year, however, when looking for schedules, handbooks, forms, links, archived weekly emails, and just about anything else you might need, check the resource board in your Blackbaud account.
Resource boards are specific to parents, students, or staff and are accessed by signing into your Blackbaud account and clicking on the word “RESOURCE” in the white ribbon at the top of the page. The clearly labeled icons will lead you to many of the answers you seek!
Welcome to the Family! Together, we will have a terrific year.
Things to know from the start:
- Drop your child off at the bus lobby doors on the north end of the building. As your child enters the bus lobby doors, lockers for grades 9-10 are to the left in B-wing, and lockers for grades 11-12 are to the right in A-wing.
- School doors open at 7:00 a.m. Students can arrive any time after 7:00 a.m.
- The school day ends at 2:45 p.m. After school, the cafeteria is supervised until 5 p.m., but students are welcome to stay until their rides arrive.
- Help your child find something to get involved in the first few days and weeks of school. Students engaged in extracurricular activities typically adjust to a new school more favorably.
- If your child ever gets sick at school and texts you, please send them to the nurse. Her office is in the main hallway of the school office. Do not head to the school to pick them up without contacting the school first.
- Even if you forgot to put lunch money in his/her account, we will still let your child eat. You will receive a low-balance email when it is time to add funds to the family account. Prompt attention helps avoid an awkward situation.
- Students are not allowed to use their cell phones during class. Phone use is permitted at lunch and in the hallways.
- Encourage your child to look for announcements and event information on the display screens in the cafeteria and school office, as well as listen for announcements at Convocation.
- Holy Family Honor Society is something all students can be a part of if they achieve the required GPA, complete 20 hours of community service each semester, and uphold school policies. Students in HF Honor Society are recognized in a special way each year.
Holy Family is proud to offer an in-house lunch program directed by Chef Nate Ottum. Students will have access to full-service morning, lunch, and after-school offerings.
Once you are registered in Wordware, you can make lunch payments, check balances, see payment history, and view the details of your child's purchases. You can also add money to your lunch account or by dropping a clearly marked check or cash in the school office. If you have not yet set up your lunch account in Wordware, please contact accountant Jodi Smith.
Families should sign up for low-balance reminders and can do so under User Management within Wordware. Holy Family will provide a reminder email of negative balances. Negative balances will be evaluated by the 20th of each month. After your lunch account reaches -$100, the balance will be cleared and added to your next month's TADS invoice for payment. There will be a fee of $25 for each lunch balance added to TADS.
Our lunch program is very reasonable as long as students are responsible with their purchases. The daily chef special includes a main dish and side dish for $4.50-$6.50. Students can quickly go through their lunch funds when they start buying many of the a la carte items.
Students at Holy Family frequently eat hot lunch, supplement their cold lunch with items from the cafe or Nook, or use their funds for breakfast and after school snacks. Your family may want to create a plan for how frequently and when your child should be eating at school vs. packing food items. We recommend discussing expectations with your child in advance.
Four water bottle filling stations are located throughout the building. We encourage students to bring a refillable water bottle.
Classes start at 8:00 a.m. each day, except for Flex-time Wednesdays when classes begin at 8:45 a.m. Watch the weekly email for notifications and reminders for the following Wednesday. The school office will also update the school online calendar with Wednesday schedules.
|Start Time||End Time|
|8:00 AM||8:44 AM|
|B||8:48 AM||9:32 AM|
|Convocation||9:38 AM||9:49 AM|
|D||9:54 AM||10:38 AM|
|E||10:42 AM||11:26 AM|
|One Lunch||11:26 AM||12:21 PM|
|FGHI||12:25 PM||1:09 PM|
|J||1:13 PM||1:57 PM|
|K||2:01 PM||2:45 PM|
Classes will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Flex-time Wednesdays. Students are not required to be at school before then unless they are planning to meet with a teacher. Bus schedules are not altered on these days and will pick up at the same time as any other weekday. Flex-time teacher availability is shared in the weekly email one week before the available Wednesday.
|Start Time||End Time|
|8:00 AM||8:40 AM|
|A||8:45 AM||9:25 AM|
|B||9:29 AM||10:09 AM|
|D||10:15 AM||10:55 AM|
|E||10:59 AM||11:39 AM|
|One Lunch||11:43 AM||12:33 PM|
|FGHI||12:37 PM||1:17 PM|
|J||1:21 PM||2:01 PM|
|K||2:05 PM||2:45 PM|
First Wednesday of the Month
On the first Wednesday of each month, classes will begin at 8:00 a.m.
|Start Time||End Time|
|8:00 AM||8:40 AM|
|B||8:44 AM||9:24 AM|
|Fire Way||9:28 AM||10:09 AM|
|D||10:13 AM||10:53 AM|
|E||10:57 AM||11:37 AM|
|One Lunch||11:37 AM||12:33 PM|
|FGHI||12:37 PM||1:17 PM|
|J||1:21 PM||2:01 PM|
|K||2:05 PM||2:45 PM|
Cell Phone Policy:
We value students building relationships with each other, their teachers, and other adults in the building. The use of cell phones gets in the way of building relationships, increases opportunities for cheating and plagiarism, and contributes to the loss of focus in the classroom. Therefore, during the school day, cell phones are only allowed in hallways between classes, in cafeteria study halls, and during OneLunch. Earbuds, headphones, and other listening devices are only allowed in the cafeteria study hall or during OneLunch.
Confiscation of any of these devices will result in a $5 fine for first time offenders. The fine doubles for each additional violation. Students who consistently abuse this policy may be referred to the AP for Student Life for additional consequences.
How Blackbaud (the Student Information System) is used:
- Scheduling of classes
- Managing family contact information (email, address, phone numbers, etc.)
- Updating and completing annual back-to-school forms by parents
- Checking final grades, report cards, progress reports, and attendance
- Accessing the Parent/Student Directory and Resource Board
- Weekly communications and periodical newsletters
The Blackbaud Resource Board contains many quick links to important parent resources.
How Schoology (the Learning Management System) is used:
- This is an interactive faculty/student-focused program.
- Faculty manage their classes through this system.
- Students use this system to access assignments, quizzes, projects, upcoming work, rubrics, and more.
- Parents use Schoology for progress grades and upcoming work.
How Google Workspace for Education is used:
- All work will be completed using the Google Suite (docs, sheets, slides, forms, school email, etc.).
Game-One.com is Holy Family's official uniform and spiritwear provider. The online uniform store is open multiple times throughout the year. The online spiritwear shop is available all year.
A frequent question pertains to uniform bottoms. You do not need to purchase your uniform pants from Game One. Also, "joggers" are allowed, as long as they are the stretch woven material similar to golf pant/travel pants, not the cotton sweatpant material. Skirts and shorts are not allowed. Please refer to the Parent/Student Handbook in your Blackbaud resource board for Holy Family's current uniform policy.
We end the week with "spirit wear" days. Students may wear HF t-shirts, sweatshirts, and "Fire Attire" with uniform bottoms. There will be other dress down days throughout the year for special events. Those who participate in co-op sports may wear that spirit wear on spirit wear days.
S.A.D. (Student Assistance Day)
This is a day for students who are struggling or missing work to come in for extra help or to catch up. Some students will be required to come into school; some will want to come in for extra help. All are welcome, and their presence is encouraged. A light lunch is available in the cafeteria. Students are required to come to school in uniform.
2023-24 S.A.D. dates can be found on the school calendar.
I.S. (Integrated Studies for 9th-grade students)
Integrated Studies is a combination of World History, Sacred Scripture, and World Literature classes. The class meets together on Fridays, giving 9th-grade students a study hall to end the week. Integrated Studies has its own curriculum and grade. I.S. helps students understand the intersection of multiple disciplines which build on and support the other classes they take every day.
B.T.C. (Beyond the Classroom)
All students eat lunch and enjoy flexible BTC time during the same 55-minute period, OneLunch. During OneLunch, students have an opportunity to make daily decisions between three lunch-serving locations along with several BTC options.
The following BTC (Beyond the Classroom) options are available:
Intramural Sports: Students may choose to participate in the intramural program in the gym. Sports will be rotated at the supervisor’s discretion.
Academic Support: Students may choose to do homework, study for a test, complete group work, or meet with a teacher for extra help in a particular subject area.
Counselors: Students may request appointments with their counselors through email for a period they do not have scheduled classes.
Peer Tutoring: Tutoring areas will be assigned as needed.
Clubs and Activities: Various clubs and organizations will also meet on assigned days.
Students falling behind academically may be assigned a specific classroom during BTC time.
- What do I need to know about high school?
- Who do I contact with questions or concerns?
- How does communication work at Holy Family?
- What should I know about Holy Family?
- Early involvement is key. Participation helps students feel connected and establishes a strong foundation for a successful high school experience. Encourage your child to get involved.
Changing friend groups is not uncommon throughout the ninth-grade year...and that is normal and okay; it can be difficult, but it is okay. The early years of high school bring growth and change, and, at times, that can include friendships.
Ninth-grade boys often stay home on weekends, especially when they are not involved in an activity. Encourage your son to invite friends over and let them know you will take them to events but understand if those things don't happen (some prefer a break from the heavy social activity of the school day). They will think everybody else is doing something. This is not true.
Study time should be done without distractions. We encourage a central location where you can see there are no distractions. Every time a student looks at a cell phone, it takes 15 minutes to regain complete focus.
There may be more homework than there was in middle school. Our teachers help students develop skills in organization, note-taking, test preparation, and more. For many ninth-grade students, the first semester is about learning how to learn; it takes time.
If something doesn't sound true, do some fact-checking (email/call the appropriate person at school).
We are on this journey together. Welcome to the Family!
From the school's point of view and that of Minnesota state law, there are few reasons that are acceptable for missing school - illnesses, medical appointments, court dates, and funerals.
When a student must leave school for an appointment of any kind, he/she should be excused with a note, an email, or by a phone call from the parent to the main office. The parent should identify the date, release time for the student, reason for the absence, and the anticipated return time. No student will be released without a specific reason. Students must sign out in the office and sign in upon return.
Please consult the Parent/Student Handbook found in your Blackbaud resource board for procedures and policies.
When a family trip cannot be scheduled without interfering with a student's attendance or education, the Assistant Principal for Student Life, Matt Thuli, must be contacted at least one week in advance. The request must be made in writing and include the destination and dates of the trip.
The time out of school will apply to the absences per semester that could jeopardize successful completion of courses. In this case, however, the family and the school have the opportunity to be proactive about addressing what needs to be done for a student to maintain his/her class standing. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements for class work with each teacher prior to the absence. Responses will vary among teachers depending upon the type of class and/or work missed. Some work may be sent along with the student. A test announced before the student leaves may have to be taken upon the student's return.
Alternative assignments may be designed. The teachers will make responsible decisions based upon the many variables of each situation as it is impossible to replicate missed learning experiences.
Learn more about Holy Family leadership.
Concerns regarding a specific class or grade should be approached in the following manner:
Step 1: Discuss the class with your student. Make sure assignments are completed in a distraction-free environment.
Step 2: Have your child talk to the teacher and take advantage of opportunities for extra one-on-one help during office hours after school or during One Lunch.
Step 3: Contact the teacher. See if there are things that you can be doing at home to help your child in that class.
Step 4: Contact your child's counselor and have the counselor meet with your child to find out why he/she is struggling. Then follow the counselor's advice. If you think there is a learning issue or your son/daughter is struggling in multiple classes, feel free to contact his/her counselor to discuss options.
Visit our Counseling page for contact information and other resources.
Participation in activities is an important part of the Holy Family experience, and an area where a lot of passion and energy are invested and expended. Our activities department is staffed with coaches who are caring adults who want to see your child grow and experience success.
In the interest of maintaining a healthy culture around activities at Holy Family, please follow these steps if your child has questions or concerns:
- First the player talks to the coach.
- If still unresolved, parents then contact the coach.
- If still unresolved, parents or coaches will involve Activities Director Rory Oster.
- If still unresolved, parents or coaches will involve Principal John Dols.
Friendly reminder, please do not contact or approach a coach after a game with concerns. Wait until the next day, after you have had a chance to talk to your son/daughter and to think about what you want to say.
Request a time to discuss a concern rather than write an angry email/text or catch a coach off guard.
Learn more about Holy Family leadership.
Resource Board on Blackbaud
Inside your parent Blackbaud account is a resource board with quick links to many of the most needed parent resources. Once signed into your account, look for the words "resource board" on the top bar or "resources" on the drop-down menu of your cellular device. The resource board is updated with forms, links, and access points throughout the school year. Information on the resource board includes:
- The Parent/Student Handbook (filled with answers, not just policies)
- Schoology Help Center
- Daily Schedules
- School Calendars
- Downloadable Forms (like the Alternate Transportation Form)
- The weekly email
- Additional resources
Weekly Email (sent on Thursdays)
- Information regarding what is happening in the school in the coming 1-2 weeks and general announcements. The emails are archived on the Blackbaud Resource Board.
- Grade-specific information like upcoming retreats or counselor messages
Additional All-School Emails
On occasion, topics or messages warrant additional communication or lengthier messages than the weekly email communications allow. Please help ensure communications make it safely to your email inbox by adding these email addresses to your safe sender list: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Instructions for creating safe sending lists can be found with a quick Google Search.
Holy Family's social media accounts are a terrific way to celebrate our students and community. However, they are not official communication channels for emergency information. We encourage you to like, follow, and share on the following channels:
Teacher Communication to Parents
Teachers will email and/or call when they are concerned about your child. Teachers will respond within 24 business hours to your email.
Traditions create bonds at home and school. Holy Family has many special traditions centered around our faith, community, and of course, student experiences. From all-school Masses to Thanksgiving dinner to meeting on the hill or in the performance center to cheer on our students, being present for the traditions of Holy Family creates lifetime memories. Leaving early on a holiday weekend may mean missing some of our favorite traditions.
Ninth-grade students have a special Homecoming tradition of dinner as a class before the dance on Saturday night. While some students choose to bring a date to Homecoming, the majority of ninth-grade students will attend as part of a group or part of the class as they make their way from dinner to the dance. Parents will have the change to get to know each other better as well.
Holy Family is a Catholic, Lasallian school. We believe Mass, prayer, reconciliation, and theology classes are the essential elements of our mission, and we ask you knot to schedule any appointments during these sacred times.
You might not be as familiar with what it means to be Lasallian. We are affiliated with the Christian Brothers, and our teaching methodology is based on the vision and spirituality of St. John Baptist de La Salle. We believe learning evolves from establishing positive relationships with students in order to understand how each student learns best.
St. John Baptist de La Salle gave away his fortune to start an order of teachers dedicated to educating the poor. Today, the Lasallian charism is still concerned about the poor and vulnerable. At Holy Family, we are committed to serving others and do so with a spirit of hospitality.
We pray together daily. Convocation includes student-led prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, regular announcements, and special announcements. It is where we share important information and remind ourselves that we are a community of fiath0filled learners. Senior campus ministry students lead convocation, and it is an important part of who we are and what we do.
Before we end the day, we will pray once again during the end of day announcements.
Father Ben Attobrah not only offers regular all-school Mass, but also offers reconciliation and morning Mass in the chapel. All are welcome to attend.
We are a family! We care about your son/daughter for who they are and where they are in the development process, and that means we care too much about them to let them stay put. High School is about growth and development! We are here to help them along the journey in partnership with their parents.
95% of Holy Family students are involved in at least one extracurricular activity. Encourage your child to participate. Involvement is vital to the student experience and helps students feel connected.
The parent handbook will answer many of your questions and provide added insight to Holy Family's policies. It can be found in your Blackbaud Resource Board.