Thornton-Donovan Handbook 2013-2014
Thornton-Donovan School, founded in 1901, is an independent, international, non-sectarian day and residential school accredited by the New York State Board of Regents. Situated on a five acre campus with four buildings, the school offers lower, middle, and upper school curricula in small group settings. Each year there is an academic theme focusing on a different country or culture. The year culminates with travel-study to sites that best reflect the theme.
Oriented to college preparation, the observance of such values as honesty, self-discipline, self-respect and respect for others provides the proper atmosphere for
academic and extra-curricular activities.
Thornton-Donovan School has many international students. Most are from the metropolitan area and commute. Others reside with T-D families or T-D faculty members during the school year.
This handbook is designed to help students and parents become familiar with T-D’s rules and procedures. Understanding and accepting these guidelines should only enhance the friendly atmosphere of the school and contribute to a successful school year.
Parents are urged to visit the school’s website, www.td.edu, regularly for timely announcements and updated information. Also, check e-mail for Constant Contact notifications from the Headmaster and his monthly letter.
The Board of Trustees of Thornton-Donovan School is comprised of nine men and women who voluntarily serve the School. Their chief responsibilities are overseeing the School’s financial affairs and setting policy. T-D is an unendowed institution, and it is imperative that all families fulfill their yearly financial obligations.
Raising supplemental funds for the school is a priority of the Board and it helps manage T-D’s yearly Loyalty Fund drive with the goal of having all families participate. A minimum gift of $2,000 per child is expected. Gifts are tax deductible and are receipted as such with grateful acknowledgement.
The Board meets once a month and holds elections at commencement each year. Trustees serve for a three year term and most have children enrolled in T-D.
The Loyalty Fund was created to allow families whose children benefit from a T-D education to become investors in the T-D of today and tomorrow. Gifts are tax deductible, are receipted as such, and gratefully received.
While the minimum suggested gift is $2,000 per child, many families have given considerably more. The donation can be prorated and be included in the monthly tuition payment plan (TPP).
T-D offers a low-cost, flexible tuition payment plan, TPP, which enables parents to pay educational expenses through regularly scheduled monthly payments. The first payment is due July 1st, the last on the following April 1st. Parents may, however, enter TPP at any time based on the date of student enrollment. The payment schedule is adjusted accordingly. An application is mailed with the first tuition bill.
T-D anticipates that all tuition payments will be made in a timely manner. Should a student be withdrawn prior to the end of the school year, the parent or guardian is responsible for the remaining tuition and any charges incurred in collection.
The Parent Teacher Partnership meets most months at the school for educational, cultural and/or social programs. All parents are members of the PTP and are strongly urged to attend the meetings and participate in PTP functions.
The PTP also helps raise funds for the school by sponsoring social events, such as an International Dinner and a Gala Dinner Dance with a raffle and silent auction. The PTP underwrites many student activities throughout the school year.
The dress code is in effect every day of the school year, regardless of weather, and applies to all students in all grades, K-12.
Boys must wear shirts with collars. Pants should be worn above the hips. Casual, imprinted or oversize tee-shirts may not be worn by any student. No hats, caps, headbands, halters, hoods or flip-flops are to be worn during the school day.
Shorts of any length, very short skirts, or any other inappropriate dress such as jeans in disrepair, sweat pants,
warm-ups, crop tops, spaghetti straps, bare midriffs, bare shoulders, and body jewelry are unacceptable. The length of dresses and skirts should extend below the fingertips with the arms extended at the side.
All students are expected to maintain good grooming habits and appropriate dress. Students who are inappropriately dressed will be disciplined with early morning and/or Saturday detention.
Students are expected to practice self-respect, respect for other students, faculty and staff, and respect for the school including its property and equipment.
Students must conduct themselves in an appropriate and acceptable manner. This does NOT include rudeness, the use of profanity, personal insults or disruptive behavior.
There is to be no eating in the classrooms or on the school grounds except in designated areas. GUM CHEWING IS NOT PERMITTED IN SCHOOL. Throwing snowballs on school grounds is prohibited.
Smoking and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on school property at any time. It is the policy of the school to report any incidents related to alcohol and drugs to the parents/guardians of the students involved. Further, a report is filed with the New Rochelle Police Department. Students involved in the use and possession of these substances are subject to severe disciplinary action, as well as possible legal proceedings.
Acceptable school behavior transcends school boundaries and is expected on school buses, field trips, public transportation, and travel to other lands.
All students are to begin the day with arrival at the main building, 100 Overlook Circle. As students are dropped off they must immediately enter the building. Students in grades 6-12, arriving before 8:30 a.m. are to remain in the library until 8:30, when they may leave for Homeroom.
Lower School students arriving before 8:30 a.m. are to report to the 4th grade classroom. Parents are asked not to go upstairs after 8:30 a.m.
Parents should use the main driveway when dropping off or picking up students. Do not leave your car in the main driveway or in Staff Parking while bringing a student into the building. If a parent must come into the building, park your car at the curb. The driveway must remain clear for school buses to drop off and pick up students.
Parking or standing in the main driveway in front of the school is strictly prohibited.
The school day begins at 8:50 a.m. No one is to congregate in the halls, bathrooms or at lockers. Before Homeroom, and before the first afternoon period, students should take from their lockers all books and materials needed for the ensuing periods.
The late bell rings at 9:00 a.m., when Homeroom officially begins. No one is to leave Homeroom without the teacher’s permission. It is expected that all students will remain in their seats and adhere to all school regulations.
During Homeroom, the Morning Memo is read, attendance is taken and late and absence notes are accepted. Homeroom is also a time for the student to organize for the school day. There is to be no eating in Homeroom at any grade level.
Students must be in their seats when the bell rings at the beginning of class. No one is to leave the room during class unless specifically permitted. Arriving late to class will be dealt with accordingly.
Students are reminded that time between classes is to be used for orderly transition. Interference with other students will not be tolerated. No one is to walk through the main office or the conference area to get to class. The Lower School schedule is not always concurrent with that of the Middle and Upper Schools. All students should be aware of this and conduct themselves in appropriate and considerate manner.
Parents must call the school if a student will be absent that day. Early morning callers may a leave voice mail message. In addition, when returning to school, the student must bring a note from the parent stating the exact cause of absence.
Students in grades 6-12 who exceed TEN (10) absences will compensate for each excessive day’s lost time with dismissal at 4:30 p.m. for one week. Exceptions may be made in highly unusual circumstances or in the case of extended illness if the student has kept up with studies.
Repeated lateness is detrimental to good personal and academic habits. Repeated lateness will result in repeated detention. Students arriving after Homeroom must report to the office before going to class.
Unauthorized absence from class will result in severe disciplinary action such as reporting to school on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and leaving at 5:00 p.m. Continued cutting may also result in dismissal.
Detention may be given as a disciplinary action at all grade levels. If after school detention is given, parents will have to make arrangements to provide transportation for their child. Failure to serve an after school detention may result in a Saturday make-up.
Extreme caution should be exercised when driving on Overlook Circle. Every courtesy should be extended to allow for a safe traffic flow.
All school buses must use the driveway at 100 Overlook Circle for drop-off and pick-up of students.
ALL POSTED PARKING REGULATIONS MUST BE ADHERED TO AT ALL TIMES BY FACULTY, PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND BUS DRIVERS.
Students may go to their lockers after 3:00 p.m. dismissal. All students must leave the school grounds as promptly as possible. Students who wait for transportation must remain in the front of the main building at 100 Overlook Circle and not engage in any physical activity at all!Students serving detention must report to the library or assigned room promptly at 3:05p.m.
If students become ill during the school day they are to report to the school nurse or the office where arrangements will be made for them to be picked up or to go home after receiving parental permission.
Should a parent be unreachable, the student will stay with the nurse, go to the library, or be sent back to class.
Medical forms furnished by the school must be returned to T-D no later than Sept. 30th. This is in compliance with the New York State Dept. of Health regulations that prohibit attendance without a completed form in the school’s file.
Parents are to advise the office in writing if their child is on prescribed medication.
Teachers and staff are not permitted to dispense drugs of any kind. This includes aspirin.
The school office is always prepared to accept any urgent message from a parent, but strongly discourages any communication that is personal and not related to an emergency. In general, parents should only phone the school to leave a message when it is vital to someone’s health, safety or welfare. Due to the heavy volume of calls, messages not related to someone’s health, safety, or welfare will not be delivered.
Lockers are assigned to Middle and Upper School students by the main office. Students provide a combination lock and must leave the combination on file in the office.
All students are required to come to school each day with pens, pencils, paper and other materials needed for each class, along with the appropriate textbooks.
It is not necessary to carry all books all day. Afternoon texts may be left in lockers and exchanged for morning texts at lunchtime. Middle and Upper School students should keep their belongings with them or in their lockers during the school day. Do not leave book bags or other items in desks or classrooms.
All misplaced or lost books must be replaced at cost if not found within a few days in order that academic work is not interrupted. Students are required to cover all textbooks. Textbooks must be returned in good condition at the end of the school year in order to sit for the final exam. Parents will be billed for damaged or lost texts.
All food must be eaten in the lunchroom (MPR) or in designated areas. Students are not permitted to eat in any building at any other time of the day, with the exception of mid-morning snack in the Lower School.
All students are required to behave properly during lunch and to make every effort to keep the MPR and designated eating areas clean. All refuse should be disposed of in the provided receptacles.
All wrappers, bottles and unconsumed food must be disposed of before leaving the designated areas. There is to be NO eating on school grounds, other than designated areas. Gum chewing is not permitted in the school buildings.
After eating lunch, Middle and Upper School students may go to the library or remain on school grounds BEHIND the main building. Depending on weather, Lower School students will participate in supervised outdoor or indoor activities. Lower School snacks may only be eaten in the classroom and all refuse must be placed in the proper receptacle. Desks in all classrooms are to be kept clean.
A full range of subjects on all grade levels is offered for students who need enrichment or remedial help. Courses for credit can also be arranged. The student need not necessarily be enrolled at Thornton-Donovan.
All instruction is tutorial and no class exceeds five students. Duration of each course is 30 hours, given during a 20 day session.
Most of the teachers in Summer School are members of the regular school faculty.
If a student takes a summer school class at another school, he/she may be required to pass Thornton-Donovan’s final in order to receive credit.
Beginning in early October SAT verbal and math instruction is offered on consecutive Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. The course is open to all T-D sophomores, juniors and seniors for an additional fee. Course dates and enrollment forms will be mailed in September. Parents may register by mail or call the main office.
Thornton-Donovan does not bus children, but does assist in arrangements. When there is a busing problem parents should call the individual carrier first and then consult with the school if necessary.
As a matter of safety and consideration, students must conduct themselves in an appropriate and acceptable manner while on buses. Inappropriate behavior is reported to the school by the carrier and disciplinary action will be taken. Suspension of service is also possible.
Some school districts will assume the cost of bus transportation. Parents should call the transportation office of the district in which they reside for accurate information.
Thornton-Donovan maintains a Link Program with Iona College which enables academically talented seniors to take courses for credit with fully matriculated college students. At the recommendation of the Headmaster and with approval from Iona, T-D students can take one or two classes at substantially reduced tuition rates. An overall average of 90% is a T-D prerequisite.
Juniors and Seniors may leave the school after their last class is completed.
Juniors and seniors may leave the school grounds during free periods and lunch. They must return to their subsequent class before the bell rings. Failure to do so will result in the loss of privileges for one month.
Juniors and seniors may not loiter in front of any of the school buildings or on Overlook Circle. Eating or drinking in cars or on adjacent property is improper and discourteous.
Juniors and seniors are reminded that there is no smoking on the school grounds and eating is permitted only in the lunchroom and designated areas.
Students who drive to school may not park on campus. ALL POSTED PARKING REGULATIONS MUST BE ADHERED TO BY ALL DRIVERS AT ALL TIMES.
All students should practice safe driving habits and not use excessive speed or endanger life or property. Drivers should not exceed 15 MPH when driving on the Circle. Students who drive to school and are reckless or impair the health or safety of others will lose their driving privileges. Any student who violates signage on the Circle or in the vicinity of the school will lose driving privileges. Caution and courtesy are vital to safe driving.
THE OVERLOOK JOURNAL — The student newspaper is produced quarterly under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The Journal reports on school activities and trips, and also includes interviews, reviews, and opinion pieces. Students at all grade levels are encouraged to participate.
The Arts Café — In the tradition of Emily Thornton Night, The Arts Café is a showcase of student talent. Students from grades K-12 are invited to play an instrument, sing, dance, do stand-up comedy, read literary pieces, or simply jam with other T-D musicians. The Arts Café is held several times during the school year on a Friday night. The entire T-D family is invited.
ASPIRATION — Thornton-Donovan students, particularly seniors, participate in the production and funding of the school yearbook, ASPIRATION. The ASPIRATION staff works with a faculty advisor and offers raffles, bake sales, car washes, and other activities throughout the school year to raise funds and enlist student support. Major costs are defrayed by ads, solicited in the spring, which are placed by parents and friends.
STUDENT AMBASSADORS — Each year Thornton-Donovan calls upon a few select students with strong social strengths to represent America abroad. Students solicited to represent T-D abroad sometimes travel at the school’s expense. In the course of the school year all students are invited to consider visiting T-D’s sister schools in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. International stays during the school year can be as short as one week or as long as one month. To enroll in any one of these schools students should speak with the Headmaster. Most academic work abroad is documented on the student’s transcript.
The Berns Memorial Library and Resource Room are used for study, research, and reading by students in all grade levels. Books, other than reference, may be borrowed for up to three weeks. A fine will be charged for overdue books that have not been renewed. Computers, available to all students, are used as scheduled, and with supervision on a discretionary basis. All students grades 6 to 12 must have their assigned password. Students in the Middle and Upper Schools must report to the Library when they have an assigned Study Hall.
Exams are administered quarterly to students in the Middle and Upper Schools. Dates are on the school calendar. All students are expected to attend and complete exams as scheduled. Any students who cheat on any quiz, test, or exam will receive an automatic “F” and be referred to the Headmaster for further disciplinary action.
Standardized tests are administered in the spring of the school year.
Quarterly report cards for students at all grade levels are mailed home. Signed report cards are to be returned promptly to the Homeroom teacher. If necessary, progress reports are mailed home during the quarter.
Students attain the Honor Roll by meeting the following requirements:
HEADMASTER’S LIST: 90 and above in major subjects with no major subject grade less than 85. If a grade of less than 85 appears for a major subject, the student is disqualified from the Headmaster’s List but receives First Honors
FIRST HONORS: 85 to less than a 90 average in major subjects with no major subject grade less than 80. If a grade of less than 80 appears for a major subject, the student is disqualified from First Honors, but receives Second Honors.
SECOND HONORS: 80 to less than 85 in major subjects with no major subjects less than 75. If a grade of less than 75 appears for a major subject, the student is disqualified from any honors.
Evening Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled in the fall. Additional conferences may be scheduled through the office and may be initiated by either the parent or teacher. Conferences enable both the teacher and the parents to better understand the student in order to meet individual needs. They also provide the opportunity to discuss progress and potential. All parents should make every effort to attend on the scheduled evenings.
Several times each week of the school year, individual students in grades 6 to 12 are invited to participate in a conference with the faculty and the Headmaster to discuss current academic progress, problems if any, and recommendations for continued improvement. Parents customarily receive a short written transcript of each teacher’s remarks.
Teachers are available for extra-help, by arrangement, during the school day. Additional tutoring for students at all grade levels, at parents’ expense, may be arranged through the Lower School Director who documents and coordinates the tutoring schedule.
Homework is part of the curriculum and is a natural extension of class work. Middle and Upper School students should expect at least 2 hours of homework each evening. The Lower School also receives homework assignments every day. All students are expected to complete all homework assignments on time. Assignments for all grade levels are posted daily on T-D’s website, www.td.edu.
After considerable discussion the T-D faculty and administration have concluded that T-D’s vacation time is most generous. T-D strongly discourages taking additional days before or after scheduled vacations, or vacations at other times during the school year. In order for parents to more fully understand how strongly we feel, T-D will not give work missed by any student who takes unscheduled vacations or leaves school prior to any scheduled vacation on the T-D calendar. Students will be personally responsible for making up work done during their absence and completing homework assignments as posted daily on T-D’s website.
In 1996 T-D created the Annemarie Licini Technology Center as a tribute to Annemarie for her 25 years of uninterrupted school service. The Center is located adjacent to the Rama Room. T-D’s Local Area Network includes workstations in the Tech Center, the Library Resource Room, and other locations in the buildings. The T-D campus has multiple Wi-Fi access points. Students in grades 6 to 12, and their parents, must sign T-D’s Acceptable Use Policy and Contract before a password is issued.
Student computers may only be connected to T-D’s wireless network with authorization of the IT manager. Use of such computers is also governed by the Acceptable Use Policy and Contract (AUC&P). Laptops and desktops may be used in class at the teacher’s discretion.
T-D provides many printers for the convenience of faculty and students. Due to high maintenance costs they are to be used for curriculum related work only. Students are not permitted to use T-D’s copy machines.
While Internet research is a valuable tool, students are required to attribute any such material used in their submitted papers. Plagiarism of any material, whether from print or Internet resources is prohibited and will result in a failing grade or dismissal.
Thornton-Donovan School is committed to Community Service. T-D students come from homes that provide the best of almost anything. It is only fitting that those who have should help and work with those who have not.
Most T-D students have a strong social conscience. Community Service helps foster it for those who need it and strengthen it for those who have it. Community Service requirements are as follows:
Seniors - 40 hours Sophomores - 20 hours
Juniors - 30 hours Freshmen - 10 hours
Middle School students—10 hours
For those students not already involved, a list of non-profit agencies and organizations needing volunteer help is available through T-D’s Community Service Director. Community Service requirements must be met by the end of the second quarter. Students who fail to complete the necessary requirement will NOT receive a midterm report card or grades until the Community Service Director approves their release.
Cell phones should not be in use during school hours. Cell phone use is restricted and limited to T-D’s luncheon period from 12:47pm – 1:30pm. All outgoing calls should be made outside of the school buildings.
No Middle or Upper School student is to use his or her cell phone in any regularly scheduled class or the Berns Memorial Library at any time during the school day.
If cell phones are observed in class they will be confiscated. If observed during a quiz or test, they will be confiscated and an "F" is automatic.
Parents trying to reach a child should do so during lunchtime. Emergency calls can always be made or received in the main office at any time through T-D's regular phone: 914-632-8836. Students can use the telephone in the Berns Memorial Library for brief personal calls during free periods or lunch time.
Cell phones may be used before 8:40am and after 3:00pm.
iPods, iPads, Kindles, and similar devices should not be in use during the school day in classrooms or the library for game playing, music, or other recreational activities.
Fireworks of any kind are not permitted on school property at any time. Any student caught selling, buying, or detonating these devices will be disciplined in school, and prosecuted, as appropriate, by the New Rochelle Police.
The Headmaster regularly communicates with the school community via e-mail. Parents should be aware of, look for, and read these messages in order to be current with the most recent news, special events, schedule changes, etc.
It is the students’ responsibility to leave desks, classrooms, the lunchroom (MPR) and other areas neat and orderly. Littering in the buildings and on school grounds is unacceptable.
Willful destruction of school and personal property results in severe disciplinary action. This includes the building’s walls and floors, classroom equipment, materials and outside equipment, shrubbery and grounds. Parents will also be held accountable for replacement or repair expenses.
Possession of any dangerous weapons, without limitation, or any article customarily used for striking or injuring others is prohibited and will result in immediate suspension.
Visitors are welcome, but must present themselves to the office upon arrival.
Student guests are welcome to visit, but prior arrangements and approval must be made through the main office. No student visitors will be allowed during any of T-D’s four scheduled exam periods.
Fire drills are held periodically during the school year in accordance with city safety regulations.
All parents and teachers must be registered with School House Alert in order to be notified of emergency conditions that may affect the school. Information on how to register is available in the office. In addition to School House Alert, closings due to inclement weather are announced on WVOX, 1460AM, WFAS, Cable News Channel 12 and CBS Channel 2. Broadcasts begin at 6:00 a.m. Closings are also posted on T-D’s website: www.td.edu
T-D is on the web @ www.td.edu. The Headmaster’s monthly message, general information, the annual and monthly calendars, homework assignments, the Handbook, summer reading lists, etc. may be accessed from home at any time.
Homeroom: 9:00 - 9:12
Period 1: 9:15 - 9:55
Period 2: 9:58 - 10:38
Period 3: 10:41 - 11:21
Period 4: 11:24 - 12:04
Period 5: 12:07 - 12:47
12:00 - 12:55 Lower School Lunch
Period 6: 12:47 - 1:30 Upper School Lunch
Period 7: 1:33 - 2:13
Period 8: 2:16 - 3:00
School Dismissal: 3:00 p.m.