Student Behavior Policy
Please sit down with your student to read, sign, and submit the Student Behavior Policy after sending in registration fees for live classes or one-on-one guides courses.
"What is the 'Student Behavior Policy' we will be asked to agree to and support?"
The Student Behavior Policy that applies to the live online classes and the one-on-one guided courses is as follows. All students and teaching-parents are asked to read and confirm that they will actively promote the Student Behavior Policy in live conversations and on the STAA Student Zone.
Safety and Conduct
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy expects all students to exhibit kind, noble, uplifting behavior that is becoming of young Catholics in email, forum posts, and telephone/web meetings. Profile images on the Student Zone must be modest and exhibit a sense of personal dignity. Forum posts may not include any personal contact information, any mention of usernames or contact names on other websites or apps, and may not include links to any other websites. We ask that all students aim to be virtuous young men and women that cultivate thoughtful, jovial, and warm personas with the words they use on the website and during meetings.
Student Email Policy
1) Each student needs an email address that he or she can access regularly.
2) Most correspondence about the courses will take place through the course webpage and forums on the STAA Student Zone.
3) By affirming consent to this Student Behavior Policy, you are giving permission for your St. Thomas Aquinas Academy high school advisor to contact your student directly by email should there be a special, private concern. When email contact is initiated by the course advisor, the student's parents are included on the cc line.
4) Parents are not included in replies to emails that students initiate through email or through the SUPPORT widget on the STAA Student Zone. All email correspondence between your student and the course advisor can be viewed by logging into the email history site (https://staa.freshdesk.com/support/tickets) with your student's email address and STAA Student Zone password.
5) Your student's email address will not be shared with anyone beyond your high school/course advisor. St. Thomas Aquinas Academy never shares (and definitely never sells) contact information with any other institution or entity without express written permission from the child's parent.
6) Student email addresses will be subscribed to school-wide email notifications, such as the STAA e-newsletter. There will be an "unsubscribe" link provided at the bottom of the e-newsletters so students can control whether or not they receive future e-newsletters. At this time, STAA uses online services such as Constant Contact, Acuity Scheduling, Shopify, and Mad Mimi to send out e-newsletters and reminders about meetings and appointments.
Respecting Class Time
Start time: Each meeting will start promptly, opening with a short prayer. Students will want to be logged into the meeting through the meeting software or by telephone on time to test their sound, microphone, and connection. Plan on logging in at least five minutes early.
Broadcasting sound: Students are responsible for managing the sound in their environment so it does not interrupt the class meeting or hurt the ears of those attending. When called upon to share their thoughts, students will need to unmute their microphone, share their ideas, comments, and questions, and then mute their microphone to help keep the noise level of the meeting to a minimum, making it possible for the next speaker to be heard well.
Attending from a noisy environment: If students find they are in a noisy environment at the time of the meeting -- a car, a part of the house with playful siblings or music practice taking place, etc. -- they are welcome to connect to the meeting to listen in, but they will not be called upon to unmute the microphone and participate in the conversation. Since participation cannot be graded in such cases, the assignment points earned for the scheduled discussion will be adjusted accordingly.
Interruptions: Since the attendees are not all in the same physical location and are not able to see visual clues about the other attendees, it is likely that there will be accidental interruptions when others are speaking. Such mistakes are understandable, but we want to make an effort to keep them to a minimum. Be respectful of the person that is speaking. Wait to be called upon to share your response. Avoid blurting out responses and speaking over other people.
Patience, understanding, and kindness: The live classes are small group discussions. Students with a variety of skills, aptitudes, gifts, challenges, backgrounds, and experiences will be present in each class -- just like when you attend events or classes at your parish. Each student will be required to exhibit kindness and grace in their dispositions towards the other students. It is important that everyone is respected while they speak and respond.
Staying on topic: There are bound to be some off-topic discussions during the course of the class conversations. It is the obligation of the students and the advisor to make sure that if the conversation is derailed, it is quickly redirected to the topics that pertain to the course. Staying on topic also means that it is important to share with the class only the parts of a personal story that directly apply to the point or topic being discussed. Just as a written paragraph is supposed to stay connected to the topic sentence and all the extraneous, disconnected details edited out, we want to practice verbally sharing ideas, stories, and questions concisely and precisely.
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy does not maintain an administrative staff to deal with behavioral issues. After three documented occasions of disrespectful, inappropriate, foul, or aggressive behavior, students will be moved entirely to QUIZZES & GRADED only status and will be unable to post on the Q & A forums (in other words, the regular meetings with the advisor will no longer take place, but the student may still submit work and take the quizzes). There are no refunds given if a student's status is changed to QUIZZES & GRADED because of documented behavioral issues. The GRADED status will be canceled without refund if the student turns in inappropriate or objectionable coursework.
Parent/Advisor Meetings: Teaching-parents may schedule an appointment with the high school advisor to discuss behavioral issues or other class concerns as needed. Use your enrollment package code if your student is enrolled in STAA or pay-as-you-go when scheduling private meetings with your high school advisor.
Students must submit assignments through the STAA Student Zone so the system can document that the assignment has been submitted by the student, when it was submitted by the student, and that is it now ready for review and grading by the high school advisor. Assignments may be submitted in PDF, DOC, DOCX, and RTF format. The method for uploading and submitting assignments will be addressed in the class orientation meeting as well as in the High School Orientation resource on the STAA Student Zone. In general, the recommended software to use is Microsoft Word (or a similar, compatible word processing program).
Late Assignment Policy: There is a score reduction of 10% for assignments that are turned in after the Saturday at 11:59 p.m. deadline. The window to submit assignments closes permanently exactly one week after the original deadline. The 10% penalty is the same all week long, so students are encouraged to avoid coursework on Sundays. The Student Zone does not close down on Sundays, but it is our desire that Sundays are left entirely for worship, family time, and rest.
Quarter Grades: Quarter grades will be calculated based on the assignments that are submitted on time or no more than one week later than the due date. Assignments that are not properly submitted through the STAA Student Zone during the "on time" or "late assignment" periods are automatically marked with a zero by the computer system. Teaching-parents are welcome to supersede this zero score by grading the very late assignment on their own and recording that grade manually in the printed version of the course's gradebook. Your advisor and the computer system will not have a record of this change so the teaching-parent will need to manually recalculate the grade the advisor issues at the end of the quarter to reflect the special changes the teaching-parent authorized for his or her student.
End of Semester Due Dates: While the Late Assignment Policy allows for assignments to regularly be turned in up to one week late, it does not apply to assignments due the final week of the semester. Assignments with a "Week 16, Day 5" due date are due on the Friday of Week 16 and must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. the next day. There will be no late submission week following assignments with a Week 16 due date.
Viewing Grades: Student grades may be viewed at any time throughout the semester by signing in to the STAA Student Zone with the student's username and password, clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the student's name in the top right corner of the site, selecting "Grades" from the drop-down menu, and clicking on the name of the course you wish to view. The reviews and grades for each assignment will display. Click on the name of an individual assignment to view the assignment instructions and the "Feedback files" uploaded by the high school advisor. The "Feedback files" are typically annotated copies of the student's assignment and/or an assignment rating rubric.
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy expects all students to abide by ethical academic standards. Academic dishonesty—including plagiarism, cheating or copying the work of another, using unauthorized technology—is strictly prohibited. Plagiarism is to commit literary theft; to steal the ideas or words of someone else and pass them off as one’s own ideas or words. When you use someone else’s words, you must put quotation marks around them and give the writer or speaker credit by citing the source. Even when you revise or paraphrase the words of someone else, you must give the author credit for the ideas. All academic dishonesty will be documented and brought to the attention of the student's teaching-parents. Repeat violations will result in the cancellation, without refund, of any advisor grading services.
Course Cancellation Policy
Please reach out to us through the Contact form with any questions you may have about the Student Behavior Policy.
STAA Study GuidesPreview Study Guides
Guides for high school students that include weekly reading plans, assignments, reflection topics, and gradebooks for the semester.
Speak with an AdvisorSchedule a Call
Arrange a no-cost, no-obligation telephone meeting with our high school advisor to discuss your questions about the live classes.