2018-19 Upper School Parent/Student Handbook
Expand each section below for more details.
- Acronyms and Commonly Used Terms
- Academic Information
- Attendance and Absences
- Busing, Transportation & Parking
- Dress Code
- Residential Life
- School Closings & Weather Delays
- School Rules & Expectations
- Student Services
- Technology Guide
This list outlines acronyms and commonly used terms at Sem. Know a buzzword we should include? Contact email@example.com.
Located at 1560 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort, PA 18704. This campus includes grades Toddler through 8. All other buildings noted on this page are located at the Upper School.
Located at 201 North Sprague Avenue, Kingston, PA 18704. This campus includes grades 9 through postgraduate.
Used to describe the attendance list maintained by the Class Deans' office.
Green space and recreational field located behind Fleck Hall.
The term "bells" has two meanings at Sem. The first is to describe our classroom bell schedule. It is also used to refer to a study hall detention period.
The iconic clock tower located on Sprague Avenue, in the center of Sem's campus.
BPAC: Buckingham Performing Arts Center
Located near the center of Sprague Avenue, this facility contains an auditorium, green room, drama room, chorale room, orchestra room, offices, and practice rooms. Summer at Sem offices are located on the second floor. Maintenance and Security are located back by the parking lot.
CAC: Carpenter Athletic Center
Located on Maple Avenue and connected to the PDSC, this facility contains the "big gym," pool, athletic training room, practice rooms, locker rooms, and offices. Be careful not to confuse the CAC with Carpenter Hall, a dormitory building.
Located on the north side of Sprague Avenue, this dormitory houses boys in grades 11 through postgraduate.
Located on Sprague Avenue, this dormitory houses boys in grades 9 through 10.
The dining hall is located on the first floor, so the term "Fleck Hall" generally refers to the dining facility rather than the dormitory above (which is considered part of Swetland Hall, the girls dorm).
Located on Wyoming Avenue, this historic bank building has been converted into our wrestling training facility.
Sign-out sheet form given by a class dean to a student. Faculty sign the student's sheet to give permission in advance of a planned absence.
KCCA: Kirby Center for Creative Arts
Located at 260 Sprague Avenue, on the corner of Sprague Avenue and Hoyt Street, this facility contains an auditorium, dance practice room, music practice rooms, classrooms, offices and galleries.
Turf field located on the corner of Maple Avenue and Hoyt Street. Primarily used for field hockey and lacrosse.
Located on Market Street, this facility is an academic building that houses science and visual art classrooms. Be careful not to confuse Nesbitt Hall with Nesbitt Stadium.
Turf fields located on the corner or Chestnut Avenue and Hoyt Street.
PDSC: Pettebone-Dickson Darte Student Center
Located on Maple Avenue and connected to the CAC, this facility is a coed lounge for students. Amenities include a large-screen TV, ping-pong table, foosball table, weight room, blue gym (practice gym) and arcade games. The building also houses the Student Life and Residential Life offices.
SLRC: Stettler Learning Resource Center
Located near the center of Sprague Avenue, this facility houses the Admission and Communications offices and a conference room on the first floor. The second floor includes the Kirby Library as well as classrooms. Please note that there is an ATM for student use in the first-floor entryway.
Snook: Sem nook
The circular, outdoor classroom between the bell tower and back campus.
Located on Sprague Avenue, this is the main academic building that also includes several administrative offices such as the President's Office, Business Office, Alumni/Development, Dean of the Upper School, Vice President for Academic Affairs, College Guidance, the class deans, registrar, the mailroom, and IT.
Located on the corner of Sprague Avenue and Market Street, this dormitory houses girls and includes the Swetland parlors on the first floor (girls only) and the Wallis Room (coed lounge).
Wyoming Avenue stretches across the Wyoming Valley and is also known as Route 11. This road connects the Upper School campus to the Lower School campus, which is about three miles north.
Common coed lounge inside Swetland Hall, next to the dining area.
What is the Sem dress code?
Please view the dress code section of the handbook listed below on this page.
What is today’s schedule?
Visit our school calendar to view today's events.
What are the Kirby Library hours?
• Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-9:45 p.m.
• Friday: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
• Saturday: Closed
• Sunday: 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Do students get lockers to store belongings during the school day?
Day students are assigned a locker in Sprague Hall. Boarding students use their dormitory rooms for storage. All students may request a locker in the athletic center. Lockers are designed for the protection of the student’s possessions. It is expected that students keep their valuables locked at all times. The school is not responsible for personal property left unattended. All lockers are the property of Wyoming Seminary and are loaned to students. Wyoming Seminary reserves the right to inspect the condition of lockers or for the presence of inappropriate materials.
How do I purchase academic books for my student?
Order online from MBS Direct, our partner for providing academic textbooks.
Are campus buildings locked at all times?
All campus exterior doors are locked at all times. Students are issued access fobs. Classroom buildings are accessible by student fob primarily from 7:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each school day. Boarding student access to facilities varies. Parents wishing to enter a building will be greeted if they have an appointment or can contact the needed office by phone once they arrive at the building exterior.
How do I sign up for text and email alerts?
You can sign up to receive alerts for weather delays, cancellations and other emergencies.
What do I do if my student is sick or will be missing school?
Please view the attendance and absence procedures section of the handbook listed below on this page.
How do I contact my student’s class dean, advisor, teacher or coach?
View our directory to find contact information.
How does busing, drop-off and pick-up work?
Please view the busing, transportation and parking section of the handbook listed below on this page.
The academic program at Sem is a comprehensive and rigorous course of study that is designed to prepare students for academic success in college while exposing them to a broad based liberal arts education. Students and parents should refer to the course catalog for detailed information about graduation requirements and course descriptions.
October 1, 2018: Midterm grades and comments due for all courses
November 19, 2018: Final grades due and comments for grades of D+ or lower, efforts of "2" or lower, or incompletes.
January 14, 2019: Midterm grades due with comments for term courses, grades of D+ or lower, or incompletes.
February 25, 2019: Final grades due and comments for grades of D+ or lower, efforts of "2" or lower, or incompletes.
April 15, 2019: Midterm grades and comments due for all courses.
May 28, 2019: Final grades for spring and the year, with comments for grades of D+ or lower, efforts of "2" or lower, or incompletes.
Teaching and promoting academic honesty is a three-way partnership among the school, the family, and the student. The faculty of Wyoming Seminary believes that mutual trust is a cornerstone of its program and that any violation of this trust is a serious disciplinary matter. Parents are urged to support our unalterable position on all matters of academic honesty.
• Academic dishonesty: refers to forms of cheating and plagiarism which result in students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work which is not their own.
• Cheating: intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term “academic exercise” includes all forms of work submitted for credit.
• Facilitating academic dishonesty: intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate academic integrity.
• Plagiarism: the deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas, data, language, or statements of another person as one’s own without proper acknowledgement.
Faculty members are expected to involve the Dean of the Upper School and Honor Council Chair Jill Stretanski in each case of academic dishonesty. Although there are no automatic penalties with respect to violations of academic integrity, students are to understand that cheating in any form is considered a serious breach of conduct and will be dealt with accordingly.
THE OFFICIAL WYOMING SEMINARY HONOR CODE
Wyoming Seminary is an academic community based on trust. Honesty in the execution and presentation of graded work is vital for real learning and fair evaluation.
Cheating, facilitating cheating, or plagiarism impede learning and creativity, undermine meaningful and just grading, and subvert trust between and among students and faculty.
Each faculty member has the responsibility to delineate clearly to students which assignments should be completed without assistance and what citations are appropriate. Students are expected to sign an Honor Code Statement on tests, papers and reports: “I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this work.”
2. Each Student Agrees:
• I understand and will support and follow the Honor Code.
• I will not personally use unauthorized materials, and I will not participate with others in cheating.
• I will not facilitate cheating, and, if I become aware of violations of academic integrity, I understand that I have a responsibility to the community and should at least say something to the student involved or discuss the situation with a teacher or an Honor Code Council member.
3. The Honor Council:
The Upper School Honor Council contains six to eight students and four to six faculty members. Formal Honor Council student hearings are held with the student, the student's advisor, the Council Chair, two students, and two faculty from the council. Violations of the Code will be brought to the committee by the Chair of the Council in consultation with the Dean of Upper School, upon report of classroom teachers or members of the Council. The Council will recommend to the Dean of Upper School appropriate action which could include grade reduction, warning, censure, probation, suspension or dismissal (dismissal requires approval by the President). Actions taken by the Honor Council will be promptly reported to parents.
Subsequent repeated actions that warrant an Honor Council may be referred to a full disciplinary board. The student's parent/guardian would receive formal contact to clarify expectations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is in charge of the academic program?
The Vice President for Academic Affairs has oversight of the school’s academic calendar, courses of study and student academic records. Working in close association with the Vice President for Academic Affairs are the Director of Scheduling, and the Class Deans, who, along with faculty advisors and classroom teachers, make up a team of caring individuals who monitor and guide each student’s course of study at Wyoming Seminary.
How long is the academic day?
Sem follows an 7-day rotating schedule (class periods are called bells) starting at 8:00 a.m. each morning and concluding with the end of bell 7 classes (anywhere from 2:30 to 2:55 p.m.). Each day follows the calendar of letter days that allows Sem to incorporate a variety of meetings within the school day while preserving class times that are 50 to 90 minutes in length.
How many courses may a student take?
Students generally take either five or six core courses each day, with five being the most common class load. These must include four courses in the “core” subject areas (English, language, history/social science, mathematics and science) at any one time.
How does the grading system work?
Wyoming Seminary uses a letter grade system for reporting academic achievement and a number grade system for a subjective evaluation of student effort. A system of grade weighting for honors and AP level courses ensures that students be given appropriate transcript credit for work well beyond the normal high school expectation.
Students may receive an “I” grade for incomplete work in a course. All incompletes must be made up within ten school days of the end of the grading period. Students who are unable to make up the unfinished work in that time period run the risk of receiving a “0” for the assignment(s) in question, with a corresponding reduction of grade in that course.
International students in their first year at Wyoming Seminary may be given an “R” grade in courses where their teacher believes their adjustment to working in English is having an adverse affect on their academic average. All “R” grades signify that the school “reserves” the right to assign a credited letter grade during that time period. The “R” grade has no GPA equivalency assigned on the report card, so receiving the “R” neither helps nor hurts the student’s overall average. Teachers may use “R” grades in each report period until spring midterm, at which time all students will receive grades that bear GPA credit.
|Grade||Numerical Equivalent||Regular Courses||Honors Courses||AP Courses|
What are effort grades?
Teachers write subjective evaluations of student effort that appear on report cards (not transcripts) according to the scale below.
5 - Outstanding effort in and out of class
4 - Well above average effort noted
3 - Satisfactory and appropriate effort for this student in this class
2 - The teacher judges this student to be working below ability
1 - An unsatisfactory effort in and out of class
Are there honor rolls?
Interim grade-point averages (GPA) are calculated at each reporting period card during the school year. Two levels of academic honor are recognized:
• Dean’s List High Honors: GPA of 3.80 and above, no grade below C
• Dean’s List: GPA of 3.30 and above, no grade below C
How much homework should I expect?
Students in college prep, independent schools like Sem are exposed to an academic program that covers more material in a shorter period of time than do students in many public or independent schools. As a result your teachers will assign homework on both weeknights and weekends, and perhaps even over school breaks. Teachers are guided by the standard of 30-45 minutes of work each night. How long homework will take each student, however, varies with the abilities, energies, and organizational approaches that each student can apply to this important and routine part of a Sem education. Judicious use of time, whether in the school day, after school, and at night, is essential to be successful in a curriculum as rigorous as Sem’s.
Students who find themselves not able to keep up with the homework load should discuss this with their teacher, advisor, and/or Class Dean. Sometimes a change in overall course-load, or a lessening of extra-curricular or social commitments can be an effective solution to academic overload.
Are there study halls, and how does one get assigned?
Wyoming Seminary teachers regularly grade their students on homework and labs or through quizzes, tests, papers, projects and class presentations. Sem students are therefore engaged in academic work on a daily basis, hence the report that “I have no homework” is a rare occurrence, especially given the value of routinely reviewing class notes well in advance of upcoming tests. The school therefore believes that students need to learn how to organize their efforts for best advantage in keeping up with their academic obligations. Non-class time during the school day provides students with one important opportunity to do so.
All new Sem students and those returning students whose academic progress needs more attention are assigned to study halls during their free bells at the opening of the school year. This gives them the added structure to get their year off to the best possible start. After the first report cards are issued only students* on the D & F (at least 2 grades of D or at least 1 grade of F) will remain in study hall. Advisors will meet with students and discuss the responsibility that being released from study hall obligations necessitates. This freedom will be considered an earned privilege but one that can be revoked if not used effectively and respectfully.
Note: study hall will not meet during the first or last block of any day.
*Class Deans reserve the right to assign students who are not on D & F list to study hall if the extra structure is warranted.
When are grades reported?
Grades and/or comments will be uploaded to the Parent Portal approximately five school days after the dates listed below. If you have not received grades one week after the due date, please contact the Academic Office.
Please note that midterm grades are not official recorded grades in any course. They are intended to give students an accurate assessment of progress and achievement at the approximate mid-point of the term. End-of-term grades are likewise not official transcript grades for year-length courses, although they are important in calculating the end of the year final grade.
Can students change their schedules during the year?
Academic schedules may need to be changed during the school year, and these changes may be initiated by a classroom teacher, an advisor, the Class Dean, or the student. While such changes are sometimes for elective reasons, most happen in response to an inappropriate course or class placement. All class or course changes must be processed through the Class Dean for that student’s particular class. Please use our directory to look up contact information for your class dean.
Class of 2019: Catie Kersey
Class of 2020: CJ Kersey
Class of 2021: Lisa Mozeleski
Class of 2022: Rachel Bartron
Can students make changes anytime?
Sem gives students a limited grace period to add or drop a course according to the schedule below.
• Students may not add a full-year course later than September 7, 2018.
• Students may not add a fall term course later than August 31, 2018.
• Students may not add a winter term course later than November 30, 2018.
• Students may not add a spring term course later than March 18, 2019.
• Seniors may drop a full-year course without transcript penalty until October 9, 2018, provided that their total program fulfills curriculum requirements.
• All other students may drop a full-year course without transcript penalty until November 30, 2018 provided that their total program fulfills curriculum requirements.
• Drops without transcript penalty, for all students, may be made no later than:
Fall term course: October 9, 2018
Winter term course: January 21, 2019
Spring term course: April 22, 2019
Any requests for drops after the stated dates require consultation with the course teacher, the advisor, and the Class Dean. Drops after the no-penalty period will be noted on the student’s permanent transcript with a “W/P” for withdrew/passing or a “W/F” for withdrew/failing.
Please note that no course may be dropped within two weeks of the first day of the examination period, or within one week of mid-term deadlines.
What should students do when they need academic help?
Students are encouraged to work through academic problems with their classroom teacher who knows both the student and the curriculum. All Sem teachers are expected to be available for conferences with students during the school day and after school in the bell 9 conference time. Many faculty members live on campus and also give generously of their time during the evenings and on weekends.
Sometimes students benefit from tutorial assistance. Qualified teachers as well as peer tutors may be engaged once the need is identified, and the school maintains lists of those available for specific subject remediation. Faculty advisors, Class Deans, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs may be contacted to help assess the need and, if necessary, make referrals.
Does Sem give final examinations?
Wyoming Seminary believes that final examinations are excellent learning instruments that allow students opportunities to synthesize a significant body of work and to demonstrate understanding, interpretation and application of the work. Furthermore the taking of examinations is a necessary preparation for doing well in similar examinations that will be given in college. Exemptions for final examinations may only be granted in upper level courses when students meet the criteria set by the academic department for such exemptions. It is imperative, therefore, that students prepare well for their exams and make plans to be on campus during the exam periods. All students are expected to take their exams on the dates and times when scheduled for their particular classes. No students will be expected to take more than two exams in one day. The Academic Dean manages a process for rescheduling exams when there are conflicts. Students who miss an exam will have to make it up to prevent earning a grade of “0” for the exam and possibly failing the course.
Fall Exam Schedule:
History and English - November 13, 2018
Science and Math - November 14, 2018
Math and Language - November 15, 2018
Language and makeups - November 16, 2018
Winter Exam Schedule:
Trimester course exams only - February 22, 2019
Spring Exam Schedule:
Math and Language - May 20, 2019
History and Science - May 21, 2019
Language and English - May 22, 2019
Math and makeups - May 23, 2019
May students study abroad during their Sem career?
While most students choose to follow Seminary’s curriculum throughout their careers, students may occasionally choose to enhance their education by studying abroad. This may take place as part of a Wyomings Seminary-sponsored travel opportunity during the summer or trimester break, or in a longer (trimester or year-length), in-residence experience in another country. Students who wish to pursue a course of study in a certified educational institution in another country, and who expect to receive credit leading to a Wyoming Seminary diploma, must make their intentions known to the Dean of the Upper School at least one trimester in advance of enrolling in that program. Students may not study abroad during their senior year.
Must students have computers?
While students are not required to own a computer, they will be expected to be proficient in the use of computers for word processing, internet research and presentation software like PowerPoint. The school maintains one computer lab as well as a number of computers in the library, Nesbitt Hall, and Sprague Hall. Many boarding students bring desktop or laptop machines for their use, and most day students have access to computers for the completion of assignments and for internet and e-mail communication with the school community (for more information on the use of computers, please read the acceptable use policy).
What should the parent’s daily involvement be?
Deciding when and how to get involved in your child’s day-to-day school life can be difficult. Although Sem’s teachers and administrators respect each parent’s wish to make his/her child’s school experience the best it can be, we encourage parents to let their children take on more of the responsibility for the academic, social and athletic aspects of their lives. We believe most Sem parents adopted a common sense approach when questions arose in elementary and middle school and will agree that the following suggestions are equally reasonable, particularly for parents of day students.
We suggest that parents do not:
• do their children’s homework for them
• write or phone in excuses for student absences significantly motivated by the desire to avoid or postpone a test
• call a coach about playing time.
We suggest that parents do:
• question a student who claims to have finished all homework during free bells
• help their student set up a regular work/study schedule, away from TV, phone and “instant messaging”
• initially, let their children work out academic or social problems on their own
• call their Class Dean or advisor if problems persist
• e-mail teachers with important questions
• contact Rebecca Rosengrant at (570) 270-2140 or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer for Parents Association events
School attendance is a priority and the Class Deans keep track of attendance with students via the "Accountability List." The school expects students to attend classes and expects parents of day students to notify the school when a student will be absent. Students are encouraged to email their teachers when they are absent. The Class Dean leading the grade of the student in question can facilitate gathering assignments, if necessary, once it is clear that the family and the school approve the absence.
For every absence, parents are encouraged to call the appropriate Class Dean or Mrs. Cassetori on the morning of the absence. If there is no phone call, students must, upon return to school, present a written excuse from a parent or guardian. This documentation should be presented to his/her Class Dean or the office’s assistant, Mrs. Sherry Cassetori at (570) 270-2170, at the beginning of the school day. Documentation excusing an absence should be presented to a class dean, or a representative of the Dean’s Office within 24-hours of the date of return or the absence will be designated as unexcused.
A student knowing in advance of an absence (a family occasion, college visit, etc.) should complete a “Green Sheet” request form which may be obtained from the appropriate Class Dean. In order for approval to be given, signatures from teachers whose classes will be missed and that of his/her Class Dean are required. This indicates that the teacher and student have discussed all academic requirements and that the necessary contingency plans have been established. This form must be returned to the Class Dean’s office before the absence. The sheet is not a substitute for parental communication. Parent and student cooperation in this process is necessary to ensure proper accountability of our students.
In the event of illness or injury, boarding students are expected to report to the nurse’s office by 8:00 a.m. A residential student who is unable to report to the nurse’s office on his/her own, should contact the nurse’s office at email@example.com or (570) 270-2180, before the start of bell 1.
Students should also be aware the nurse will make every attempt to respond to all e-mail and voicemail messages as soon as possible. If a student does not get a response from the school nurse in 30 minutes or less, they must contact their class dean to report illness or injury. Any student who feels ill during the school day must see the nurse before they can be excused from class or released from campus.
Any student determined to be cutting a scheduled class, study hall, assembly or other school obligation will be penalized according to our published disciplinary code. If a student cuts a class repeatedly, the parents will be notified and may be required to participate in a conference with the Class Dean and/or the Dean of the Upper School which may result in suspension and/ or the loss of academic credit.
Students must attend at least at least three of five classes, including all classes after lunch on the day of an extracurricular contest or performance in order to be eligible for participation in that event. Exceptions to this can only be granted by the school administration.
Any student arriving late for school should report immediately to his/her Class Dean’s office to explain his/her tardiness and to get an entrance slip for class. Unexcused or repeated lateness will result in disciplinary action. Students leaving campus during the school day for appointments are required to check out in the Class Dean’s office prior to departure. Unless excused by parents and checked out, students are not permitted to leave campus during the school day. Detention may be assigned to any student leaving without permission.
Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, juniors and seniors who have standing parental permission will be permitted to walk off campus during lunch or free periods. Students MUST sign out and back in with the Class Deans Office.
It is critical that boarders make travel arrangements for vacations or long weekends in accordance with the school travel dates. Early departures and late returns must be the exception, and these must be discussed with the Director of Residential Life and the appropriate Class Dean as far in advance as possible.
EXCESSIVE ABSENCE POLICY
Class attendance is an important component of the academic program at Wyoming Seminary. Students who are absent frequently are deprived of the benefit of instruction and class discussion. Assisting students who are frequently absent creates significant additional work for our faculty.
Excused and unexcused absences totaling eight or more for a trimester or 20 for a year may result in a conference with parents and a possible reduction in grade.
Excused and unexcused absences totaling 12 or more for a trimester or 30 for a year may result in the assignment of a failing grade or loss of credit for the course. The Dean of the Upper School and appropriate Class Dean will consider and process individual situations where extenuating circumstances have contributed to or caused the absences.
PROTOCOL FOR STUDENTS RETURNING TO SCHOOL
If a student is absent from school for more than a few days as a result of emotional or medical concerns, he or she is expected to comply with the following guidelines and procedures prior to returning to school. “Medical leave” must be approved by the school administration.
• If the departure was for medical reasons, the attending physician must contact the school nurse with follow-up instructions and clearance.
• If the departure was for emotional reasons, the school will require clearance from the attending counselor or physician. The counselor or physician must contact one of the school’s counselors to arrange a program of continued care and to discuss any ongoing concerns.
The school counselors, in consultation with the Dean and the Class Dean, will determine when the conditions of continued enrollment have been met, and only then will the student in question be allowed to return to school. In most cases, a re-entry meeting will be scheduled and will be a requirement before a student resumes attendance.
PROTOCOL FOR TEACHER ABSENCE/TARDINESS
A representative of the Dean’s office will make every effort to notify students that a teacher is absent or will be late to class. However, students must wait a reasonable time for the arrival of the teacher. Students must not assume that the teacher is not going to arrive. If the teacher has not arrived after ten minutes, students should report to the Dean of Upper School’s office for instruction.
Travel dates for vacations are listed online. Students and parents should make arrangements accordingly. Requests for extensions of vacations must be made in advance through the Class Dean’s office. Such requests must be the exception to the rule. A representative of the Class Dean’s office, or the appropriate Class Dean, will make a “Green Sheet” (application for early dismissal/late return) available to a student who will be responsible for work covered during extended vacations.
Any student visiting a college and missing an academic day must get a “Green Sheet” from his/her Class Dean. Students are responsible for all work missed during the course of their absence. Day students will need a written note from parents. Boarders will need to have the Director of Residential Life sign a "Green Sheet" in case of an overnight trip. In the event that a student does not complete a “Green Sheet,” the absence will be considered unexcused.
ACCOUNTABILITY LIST/KNIGHT & DAY
Each student is expected to check either the bulletin board in the front of Sprague Hall or the bulletin board in the Class Deans' office daily. Students must also check email regularly. Of particular importance are the absence list and the detention list. The accountability list includes the names of students who must check with their Class Dean for various reasons: class absence, notes for absences, etc. (Students must clear their name from the absence list through a conversation with their Class Dean within 24 hours of publication, or they will be assigned to an afternoon detention). The detention list includes the names of students who have been assigned to detention and are expected to sit for detention on the afternoon of publication. These lists are also emailed to students daily.
Day students must register their vehicles with Mrs. Cassetori in the Dean's Suite if they intend to drive to school. Parking for students is in the municipal lot on South Sprague Avenue or the Kirby Center for Creative Arts parking lot. No student parking is permitted in the Church of Christ Uniting parking lot. If cars are not registered, they may be towed away at owner’s expense, or detention may be assigned to students driving unregistered vehicles. Day students may not use cars from the time their school day begins until the time of their dismissal without the express permission of a dean.
Pennsylvania Act 372 requires that each school district in the state provide transportation facilities to non-public school students living more than two miles but less than 10 miles from the non-public school they are attending. Each district is given flexibility as to how it implements the act.
Additional transportation details can be found by contacting the representatives below.
Berwick Area: John Young (570) 675-7160
Conyngham/Drums: Paul Smith (570) 821-1740
Crestwood Area: Sarah Smigelski (570) 474-6782
Dallas Area: H.S. Main Office (570) 675-5201, press 1
Hanover Area: Debbie Jones (570) 831-2303
Lake Lehman Area: Sandy Dobrowolski (570) 675-2164, press 7, then ext.2719
Nanticoke Area: Janet Yezefski (570) 735-5066
Northwest Area: Lori Nafus (570) 542-4126, ext. 5005
Pittston Area: James O'Brien (570) 654-2415, ext 2221
Scranton/Clarks Summit: John Young (570) 675-7160
Wilkes-Barre Area: Sylvia Decker (570) 826-7188, ext. 1115
Wyoming Area: Angelo Falzone (570) 655-3733, ext. 2346
Wyoming Valley West: Kim Alfano (570) 288-6551, ext. 5
Boarding students may not ride in a car unless their parents have given written permission to the school. Each time a situation arises that necessitates an exception to this rule, students must gain permission from the Dean of Upper School, a Class Dean or a staff duty leader. Boarding students are not permitted to drive a vehicle (car, motorcycle, etc.) while under the jurisdiction of the school. This jurisdiction begins when the student arrives on campus from home until he/she leaves the campus to go home (or elsewhere) in the company of parents. Boarding students are not permitted to have a vehicle in the Wyoming Valley. International Students: Pennsylvania laws make it very difficult for international students to obtain a driver’s license. Wyoming Seminary will not be able to help students obtain driver’s licenses. Boarding students are not permitted to have vehicles on or in the vicinity of campus.
Our directory has the most up-to-date contact information for faculty and staff. Please use the directory to find contact information for the personnel listed below.
Every teacher, administrator and Upper School student has a Sem e-mail address. Addresses have been standardized to make contact easy (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). Although faculty and staff make every effort to respond to e-mail messages promptly, class schedules do not allow for instantaneous replies. Email addresses can be found in our directory.
If you don’t know which teacher you should contact, ask the Dean’s Office administrative assistant at (570) 270-2100. If you can’t reach the teacher or are not satisfied with your discussion, email the department head, your child’s advisor, or the Class Dean. After getting in touch with these contacts, you may call Tom Morris, Dean of the Upper School at (570) 270-2175.
ADVISORS, SCHEDULES OR CURRICULAR MATTERS
1. Contact your student’s advisor via email
2. Contact the appropriate Class Dean
3. Lauren Streifer, Vice President for Academic Affairs
4. Tom Morris, Dean of the Upper School
• Tom Morris, Dean of the Upper School
• Student’s Advisor
• Student’s Dorm Head
• Class Deans
If you feel you need further clarification or help on any issue please contact the Dean of the Upper School or the President at (570) 270-2150 (or the executive assistant). Parents may call the Dean or the President if the issue concerns overarching policy or philosophy of the school, or if they feel they have gone through all other channels named above.
Please use the directory to find contact information for the personnel listed below.
President: Kevin Rea
Dean of the Upper School: Tom Morris
Vice President for Academic Affairs: Lauren Streifer
Nurse: Beth Blaum
Class Deans' Office (attendance for day students): Sherry Cassetori
Class Dean, Class of 2019: Catie Kersey
Class Dean, Class of 2020: CJ Kersey
Class Dean, Class of 2021: Lisa Mozeleski
Class Dean, Class of 2022: Rachel Bartron
Director of Residential Life: Stephanie Heerschap
Dorm Head, Carpenter Hall (grade 10-PG boys): Adam Dinsmore
Dorm Head, Darte Hall (grade 9-10 boys): Jared Lippman and Kate Mercado
Dorm Head, Swetland Hall (grade 9-12 girls): Jeni Brown
USPA President: Jeanne Giallorenzi
USPA Liason: Rebecca Rosengrant
Wyoming Seminary students are expected to uphold a standard of dress of which we can all be proud. As a college preparatory school, Wyoming Seminary prepares students for college and for life. Neatness in dress conveys a professional attitude, self-respect, and a seriousness towards academics and other aspects of school life. Our standard of dress is symbolic of what the school represents and is therefore an integral part of a Wyoming Seminary education. However, it also tries to reflect societal influences and the stage of life our students are passing through. Our dress code is in effect throughout the entire school year and in all school buildings and on campus (except in dormitories) throughout the academic day.
Shirts: collared, V-neck, and crew shirts or sweaters with no graphics. Students may wear Wyoming Seminary t-shirts on Fridays only.
Pants: khakis, colored jeans and dress pants are acceptable. Leggings are permitted but must be worn with a top, skirt or dress that is at least fingertip length. They are not a replacement for pants.
Shorts: khaki, non-denim shorts and dress shorts are acceptable but must be at least fingertip length. Shorts may be worn all year.
Dresses and skirts: should be of modest fit and at least fingertip length. Sleeveless dresses are permitted but straps must be two fingers or wider.
Shoes: must be clean and in good condition. Shower sandals or rubber/plastic flip-flops are not permitted.
Fingertip-length means length of garment must meet the end of fingertips with arms hanging straight at sides.
All clothing should cover midriffs, backs and cleavage.
Blue denim clothing is not permitted except as a jacket.
Hats must be removed when entering any school building except for the CAC, PDSC or dormitories.
Casual tank tops are not permitted as outerwear.
Underwear/undergarments should not be visible outside of clothing.
All clothing and shoes should be neat, clean, and in good condition.
Members of athletic teams and extracurricular groups may wear parts of their game uniform or special club attire with approval from the Dean of the Upper School.
Athletic clothing (excluding Sem-approved sweatshirts) is not permitted during the school day.
Students may wear Wyoming Seminary sweatshirts; no other sweatshirts are permitted.
Hair colors or highlights other than natural tones are not permitted, facial hair must be neatly trimmed, and long hair should be kept neat so that it does not fall in one’s face.
Once per month, a certain day is designated as a “Dress-Up Day.” Usually falling on special occasions, dress-up days call for more formal attire than our published standard of dress. Boys are required to wear jackets and ties, dress slacks and dress shoes; girls are required to wear either pantsuits (trousers and blazer), skirts, or dresses, and dress shoes. Athletic or athletic-style shoes are not acceptable footwear on dress-up days.
Dress-Up Day Schedule:
August 27 (Convocation)
September 20 (Class Pictures)
October 3 (Grandparents Day)
November 12 (Thanksgiving Chapel)
December 19 (Christmas Chapel)
January 21 (MLK Day)
April 17 (Easter Chapel)
May 16 (Awards Day)
ENFORCEMENT OF DRESS CODE
Faculty and staff members are empowered to warn or assign an appropriate punishment to students who are not in compliance with our expected standard of dress. Warnings are kept on record with the appropriate Class Dean, as well as the Dean of the Upper School, who will respond in an appropriate manner.
PIERCINGS AND TATTOOS
Earrings are the only visible pierced jewelry permitted during the academic day or at school functions. Unobtrusive nose studs may be permitted at the discretion of the Upper School Dean. The school reserves the right to ask that tattoos be covered up.
DORMITORY DRESS STANDARDS
Students may dress more informally during free time and cafeteria-style meals, except for lunch on school days. Family-style meal dress code is the same as it is during the school day with some seasonal modifications. When in the dormitory, students may wear casual clothes. As a sign of respect to themselves and others, students should be fully attired whenever outside their rooms.
The goal of the boarding department is to create an atmosphere in which students can grow academically and socially within a supportive structure of faculty families and peers. As with the broader school community, courtesy, respect for rights, and pleasantness are essential for a positive operation.
Although individual living units operate with different styles and with some minor variations, the information and regulations that follow apply to all boarding students except where otherwise indicated. Boarding students should be aware that they are under the school’s jurisdiction at all times during the school year except when signed out with their parent/guardian permission to visit another student, family member or friend. However, boarding students need to keep in mind that they are representatives of the school at all times.
WHAT TO BRING
Each student is furnished with a single bed and mattress (extra long), student desk with a bookshelf, a desk chair, a chest of drawers, and a mirror. Dorms have common bathroom and shower facilities. Students furnish their own washcloths and bath towels, sheets and pillowcases, mattress pads or covers, blankets, bedspreads, and wastebaskets.
We encourage all residential students to brighten their rooms in an acceptable manner according to their own tastes. Curtains (with tension rods), throw rugs, bean bag or director’s chairs, plants, pictures and posters are all items which make rooms cheerful and comfortable. Windows are of varying sizes; students should bring expandable curtain rods. In Darte, Fleck and Swetland Halls, window sizes range from 24”x60” to 38”x68”. In Carpenter Hall, the standard size is 44”x57”. Pictures and posters should be hung with special materials that do not damage paint. Nails, thumbtacks and tape are not permitted.
Students should bring their own study lamps or a bedside table with a lamp. Students may also bring stereos and their components. A storage area is provided for bicycles. A small lock box has been placed in each room for personal items of value such as wallets, jewelry and laptops. Students must provide their own locks.
Boarding students are encouraged to have personal computers (as well as printers, if desired) in their dorm rooms. Data ports with Internet access are in each room and all dormitories have wireless access. The school computer instructional format is Macintosh and all of the computers available in classrooms are Macs.
Parents and students should be aware that some courses require typed essays and that some courses require certain work to be submitted electronically. Computers are available in the library and computer rooms, but possession of a personal computer would certainly be an advantage to any boarding student.
Please note that students are advised to consult with their parents’ insurance agents to determine whether or not their personal property is covered by homeowner or other family policies. Wyoming Seminary is not responsible for personal effects in dormitories and has no insurance for theft or loss of students‘ property.
WHAT NOT TO BRING
Students are NOT permitted to have televisions larger than 31 inches, refrigerators or electrical appliances such as air conditioners, sun lamps, halogen lamps, electric blankets, room heaters, popcorn poppers, hot pots or hot plates and electric kettles. Animals and pets of any kind, including fish, are NOT permitted in dorm rooms. Irons, provided by the school, are to be used ONLY in designated places. Violations of these regulations result in confiscation of the banned item. Violations are also cause for disciplinary actions and possible monetary fines. Containers that contain (or once contained) alcoholic beverages, tobacco or drugs are expressly prohibited. Posters that depict or glamorize alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products or that are considered sexually inappropriate are forbidden.
We strongly discourage families from sending television and video game consoles with their student until after they have fully acclimated to the academic rigor of Wyoming Seminary.
Wyoming Seminary takes careful precautions to reduce the chances of fire. Student cooperation with these precautions is both important and expected. Specifically, many of the items listed above in the “What Not To Bring” section are prohibited for fire safety reasons. Absolutely no combustible materials or open flames are permitted on campus in dormitory rooms, hallways or any other portion of buildings in which students are housed – this includes candles, incense, matches, etc. Also, strong disciplinary action will be taken for unauthorized use of fire alarms or extinguishers.
Special instructions for students for fire drills will be given at the beginning of school. General guidelines are: at the sound of the alarm, all students will close all windows, and close but not lock the door. Proceed to the exit designated for their area. Wait in designated meeting area for attendance check and for further instructions. Cooperation and attention to these instructions is important and could save lives.
Mrs. Beth Blaum: (570) 270-2180 • email@example.com
Mrs. Beth Blaum is our school nurse; Ms. Maria Coons is the associate nurse. The health services suite is located on the first floor of Darte Hall near Nelson Bell Tower. Office hours are 7:45 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. every school day; Mrs. Blaum will be in the office evenings and weekends as needed. Mrs. Blaum is available at all times by cell phone. Boarding students should contact the faculty member on duty if they need to see the nurse after regular office hours. A school doctor is accessible for consultation. Information on medical procedure as it pertains to the doctor will be available from the nurse’s office as school opens.
The following procedure should be followed in reporting illness or injury: boarding students should report to Health Services between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. if they feel ill in the morning.
Excuses from class for reasons of ill health may be granted only by the nurse. In most instances, ill students excused by the nurse will be required to stay in the Health Services suite during the school day to be treated by the nurse. Meals will be brought to the students. If the boarding student is absent from classes after lunch, the nurse may require that student to remain in his/her dorm room for the remainder of the day and evening. In such cases, she will arrange for dinner to be brought to the student’s room.
Boarding students who are injured in athletic contests or practices must report injuries to the coach and the dorm leader upon return to the dorm.
Students who are ill or injured on or adjacent to campus should report to the nurse before going to a doctor. If the nurse is not on duty, the student must report to the dorm leader or other dorm faculty, the Dean’s office or (on weekends) to the staff duty person before going to a doctor. Students may go to any doctor of their parents’ choice for treatment. However, the school is not responsible for the treatment of those students who go to a doctor other than the school’s doctor. Students going to another doctor should make certain that the doctor has permission from the parents before beginning treatment. We ask that the doctor inform our nurse of treatment and condition of the student.
Students who have prescription medicine issued to them MUST report this to the nurse and arrange a schedule with her to take the dosage. Most prescription medicine must be stored in the nurse's office.
All boarding students will be provided with a quiet study environment every evening from Sunday through Thursday, 8:00 p.m.-9:45 p.m. To best ensure student success and faculty engagement, the doors will remain open during study hours. Upper classmen (juniors, senior, post graduates) can advocate to close their doors by making requests through their advisor or class dean.
Students who wish to study with other students or faculty during study hours may do so. Students who wish to study together should do so in lounges and should let their dorm parent on duty know where they are planning to study together.
The library is open Monday through Thursday evenings from 7:30 until 9:45 p.m.
From 7:30-7:59 p.m., boarders do not need permission from a dorm parent to be in the library. By 8:00, boarders who wish to remain in the library for study hall must check in with the librarian on duty to report that they will not be returning to the dorm for study hall check-in.
After 8:00 p.m., students in the dorm who wish to go to the library will need permission from the dorm parent on duty.
All students who return from the library during study hall will need to check-in with the dorm parent on duty when they return to the dorm.
Evening hours are intended to be a quiet work session where students are on task. Whether in the dormitory or the library, students are expected to remain respectful of their volume during this time.
Students are not to be excused from evening hours except by the nurse, the Dean of Upper School, the Director of Residential Life, a Class Dean or the Dorm Head. If excused by the nurse, the student must report this to the Dorm Head.
Students who indicate by their behavior that they cannot handle the responsibility of studying in their rooms may be placed in supervised study hall and/or given some form of dorm restrictions.
Students must put personal cell phones on “vibrate” during evening study hall. Families may call dorm heads in the event of an emergency.
EVENTS DURING EVENING STUDY HALL
In order to maintain an academic priority in view of the large number of evening sports events and other activities during the week, the following policy is in effect during the winter term. Students are advised to check calendars early in the week so that they may choose their events for that week. Students must sign out with the person on duty in their dormitories.
• boarding students on the Dean’s List may attend two evening school functions per week.
• boarding students not on the Dean’s List and not on the D and F list may attend one evening school function per week.
• D and F list boarding students may not attend evening events.
EVENING FREE TIME
The time between dinner and 7:59 p.m. is free time. There are lounges in both Carpenter Hall and Swetland Hall that are open for coed visiting during this period. During the period from 9:45 until 10:30 p.m., all students are permitted out of their dormitories but must remain on campus. Boarding students may not ride in cars during this period. In summary, boarding students are not permitted to leave campus after 8:00 p.m. dorm check-in Sunday through Thursday nights.
Dorm lounges are open after study hall on the evenings posted once school opens:
• Parlors and Wallis Room in Swetland Hall
• Darte Lounge (open to Darte residents only)
• Levi Lounge in Carpenter Hall
It is important that everyone adheres to the visitation schedule outlined here. While it may be fun to be with students from the other dorms, some of the people in your dorm may occasionally want a little more privacy.
Lights out in all dorms for all students will be at 11:00 p.m.
Boarding students are expected to keep their rooms neat and clean. Furniture is not to be removed from the dorm rooms in which it is originally placed. Beds are not to be modified in any way – removal of ends, placing springs/mattresses on the floor, etc.
Special adhesive or molding brackets are the only means by which wall hangings or posters may be mounted.
Dorm rooms will be inspected frequently by dorm heads and dorm parents. Students are expected to keep rooms clean, neat and orderly at all times. Beds are to be made and clothes put away. Desks are to be kept in good order. Rooms are to be swept and trash (including wastebasket) emptied in hallway containers. Dorm consequences may be assigned for violations of the above, and charges will be made for damages. Damages to common areas will be assessed to all residents of the living unit unless someone assumes responsibility.
Each dorm leader will hand out a room condition report to each boarder as the school year begins. Each student should take the time to see that these reports are complete and accurate before returning them to the dorm leader. If, for any reason, a student is approved to change rooms during the school year, they must be sure to fill out another room condition sheet and return it to either their dorm head or the Director of Residential Life.
ROOM SEARCH STATEMENT
The dormitory rooms are the property of Wyoming Seminary and are loaned to the students to use for the school year. Wyoming Seminary reserves the right to search rooms for condition and for the presence of any inappropriate materials as school officials see fit. The room may be searched without the student present but always in the presence of two adults. The school also reserves the right to engage the Kingston Police Department to assist in room searches when warranted.
ROOM SAFETY TIPS
• Students are urged to ALWAYS to keep rooms locked. It is even advisable to lock the room when going to the lavatory or just down the hall.
• Students are advised not to keep valuables in their rooms. Money, jewelry and credit cards should be kept to a minimum.
• The school strongly suggests that boarders not leave credit cards, money, checkbooks, jewelry and other valuables around in plain sight. School provided lock boxes should be used to secure such items. Parents/guardians should check bills carefully if their student has a credit card.
Please refer to our transportation section (seen above on this page) for more information regarding boarders and motor vehicles.
Except for a few closed weekends, a boarding student may be excused to visit home on weekends or may be excused for visits elsewhere with permission from home. Each boarding student planning to leave campus for a weekend MUST file an online request for permission to leave campus before noon on Thursday of that week.
A telephone or e-mail permission from the parent/guardian, as well as from the host, is required by noon on Friday in each case. Correspondence concerning weekend permissions should be directed to Stephanie Heerschap, Director of Residential Life. She can be reached at her office phone: (570) 270-2124 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If, for any reason, the student has a change in weekend plans, it is the responsibility of the parent to notify the Director of Residential Life or the administrator on duty for the weekend.
All boarding students MUST return to their dorm before 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evenings. Ample time should be allowed to cover delays en route. If unforeseen circumstances cause a student to be late, the student or parent should call the dorm parent on duty that weekend. Name and contact information for dorm parents are listed online.
The school reserves the right to cancel any weekend permission at any time or to revoke weekend privilege for students; weekend permissions are a privilege, not a right.
Parents/guardians of boarding students are urged to notify their student’s Class Dean and the Director of Residential Life when they will be away for extended periods.
WEEKEND SIGN-OUT PROCEDURE
1. Students should fill out a weekend sign out request on their Boardingware account by noon on Thursday. Requests made after noon on Thursday will likely be denied due to time limitations on receiving parent and host confirmation.
2. After the request has been submitted, an automatic email will be sent to the parent or guardian and host if applicable. Hosts and parents must e-mail or call the Director of Residential Life no later than Friday at 12:00 p.m. to confirm the sign-out. Call the director’s office at (570) 270-2124 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
3. The student will be notified when their sign-out has been approved. Students may not leave campus until the sign-out has been approved. Students must make a final sign out at the iPad kiosk in their dorm before leaving for the weekend. PASSES NOT APPROVED BY 12:00 P.M. FRIDAY ARE AUTOMATICALLY CANCELLED.
Dormitories open and close PRECISELY on the dates listed online. Students will NOT be accommodated in the dormitories before the stated arrival dates or after the departure dates. Families of students arriving early or departing after dates listed below must make alternative housing arrangements.
Travel plans must be made according to the schedule noted online.
August 31-September 2
Students may not sign out or go off-campus this weekend. The school reserves the right to add closed weekends when needed.
Please see the travel procedures page for more details regarding travel services and fees.
Any boarding student who would like to have an overnight day student guest in a dormitory must make arrangements with the appropriate dorm leader at least 48 hours in advance. The student is responsible for their guest. If meals are to be taken in the dining room, this must be cleared with a representative of the Director of Residential Life’s office at least 48 hours in advance. Guests are permitted on weekends, but not on weekdays unless special conditions exist.
DINING ROOM AND MEALS
Attendance is required at all meals (with the exception of breakfast on Saturday and Sunday) unless the student has been excused by the Director of Residential Life or appropriate Class Dean. Please note that shirts and shoes must be worn in the dining room and kitchen at all times, in keeping with health regulations.
Family-style dinners occur regularly and are a chance for students and faculty to share a meal and enjoy the company of different people at their table.
Promptness is expected at all family-style dinners. Table assignments will be posted for family-style meals and change regularly. All boarding students are expected to share in performing “waiting duties” at the family-style meals. Details on expectations and procedures for waiters will be given at the beginning of the school year.
Students are not permitted to remove dishes, silverware, glasses or other equipment without permission from the dining room supervisor.
PERSONAL SPENDING ACCOUNTS
Wyoming Seminary does not provide personal spending accounts. Students are encouraged to bring a bank card with them. To have access to spending money, Wyoming Seminary has an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) in the lobby of Stettler Learning Resources Center (SLRC). A bank representative will be available at school registration to open a bank account.
There will also be a lock box available that will be in each of the dorm rooms to secure cash, bank cards, etc. Students must provide their own locks.
Boarding students are advised against keeping large sums of money in their rooms. The school will not be responsible for the loss of money in their rooms or student use.
Coin-operated washers and dryers are in each dorm for student use.
The school mail boxes are located in Sprague Hall. Mail is distributed Monday through Friday and may be picked up Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. To facilitate delivery to boarding students, please address mail as:
201 North Sprague Avenue
Kingston, PA 18704-3593
Wyoming Seminary cannot accept responsibility for storage of students’ personal belongings during the summer months. Only students who live a great distance from school will be given permission to store items. No large items, such as couches, sofas or loveseats, will be stored.
Wyoming Seminary assumes no responsibility for stored items. Items left in storage after the opening of school will be assumed to be unwanted and may be discarded. Items with no name on them or left in the students’ rooms at the end of the school year will be discarded. Students who leave items in their rooms and do not clean their rooms before leaving campus will be subjected to a cleaning fine of $250.
Students who choose to store belongings at Sem over the summer may store four boxes (these boxes may be no larger than 3 x 3) free of charge. Additional boxes or items that are larger than a box will be charged $30 per item/box. One item, such as a lamp, that does not fit in a packing box may be permitted free of charge. All other non-standard items will cost $30 per item. Students must have their names written clearly on the outside of each box or item so that they can be identified. No student may store more than ten items.
Students will only be able to bring their items to the storage room during the designated times so that the dorm parents can keep track of the amount of items being put into storage.
In the event of a delayed start or cancellation, students and parents may rely on these methods of notification:
1.) By checking Sem’s homepage where they will see school delay information on the home page.
2.) By signing up for text or email emergency messages in My Sem.
3.) By calling the main school telephone number (570) 270-2100 and listening to a recorded message.
School delay information should be announced on local radio and television stations no later than 6:45 a.m. (and often by 6:30 a.m.), but the website should be considered the earliest and most reliable source of information.
• In the event of a delay, classes will begin at 9:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. The schedule will be listed on the website for the Upper School. Given the challenges posed by inclement weather conditions, students are permitted to dress in a manner appropriate for the weather. Regardless of the weather, a student’s dress should be seasonably appropriate, suitable for school and in good taste.
• On a day when school has been cancelled, boarding students are not permitted to ride in non-school vehicles without permission from a Class Dean, the Director of Residential Life, or the Dean of the Upper School.
• If inclement weather develops during the day, a schedule change and new bus departure times will be announced to the students, posted on the school homepage and sent out as a text message. Upper School students who will be departing early by bus must sign out in their Class Dean’s office. No other day student may leave campus without signing out and confirming that a parent has contacted his/her Class Dean or administrative assistant. The school is responsible for students during the day and must be kept informed.
• Notification of delays and closings will be conveyed contingent upon the Dean of Upper School’s decision. If a majority of businesses and offices in the Wyoming Valley are functioning, then we will be open either at the regular time or with a delay. Weather conditions can vary widely, even wildly, within 25 miles of the campus, and parents must make a personal decision about safety based upon their own local conditions.
• On days when the majority of local school districts are closed, but Wyoming Seminary is open, teachers will be sensitive in terms of testing and teaching new material. No day student will suffer academic penalty for missing class due to weather conditions as long as parents have notified the Dean’s office of the absence.
• Because Lower School students are far more dependent on local public school bus transportation, there may be times when the Lower School will be closed while the Upper School remains open. Please check the Lower School handbook in the weather delay section for more information.
The Wyoming Seminary Upper School is a large community consisting of students, faculty members, staff and constituent families. As in any functional community, an atmosphere of cooperation, respect for self and for others and good judgement are essential for healthy operation. It is expected that students who choose to enroll at Wyoming Seminary make a good faith commitment to respectful, responsible and honest standards of citizenship. Our students may be held accountable for any actions that reflect negatively upon Wyoming Seminary, regardless of time or place. These behavioral expectations apply to all Sem students unless otherwise stated. Sem students and their families are expected to understand and embrace the spirit as well as the letter of the school’s standards of conduct.
Wyoming Seminary Code of Conduct
At Sem, we hold ourselves to high standards. We understand that other people matter. We respect others at all times, in all ways, on all platforms.
We strive for the ideals of honesty in action – we do not lie, cheat or steal. We want to be constructive, not destructive. We do not use drugs, alcohol or weapons. We do not degrade ourselves, each other, or our community. We respect boundaries, and we respect the law. We hold the safety of our community above all else, and we do not disregard laws for selfish pursuits.
We are a community of Blue Knights, bonded in our mission to become better versions of ourselves. With that in mind, we at Sem show up. We show up for class, we show up on stage, we show up for competition, and we show up to serve. Each time we show up, we represent our school culture. We hold dear the privilege it is to work and live together at Wyoming Seminary, and we honor our commitment to strive for the true, the beautiful, and the good.
Each class at Wyoming Seminary is governed and advised by a Class Dean. These school leaders, in coordination with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Upper School, are responsible for managing academic affairs, programs and issues associated with students in their designated grade. On matters of student social and academic affairs, Sem’s parents and students should view the Class Dean and the student’s faculty advisor as their primary resource people. Class deans can be found in the "Contacts" section above.
A member of the Wyoming Seminary community must expect to be held accountable for his or her behavior. When students do not live up to established expectations, one of the administrators listed above will intervene. The Dean’s office endeavors to deal with behavior reasonably and fairly. Our students should grow to understand that although there are times when we cannot support their behavior, we do care about them as maturing members of this community. Violations of school rules are dealt with on a case-by-case basis with due regard for both specific circumstances and the welfare of the entire school community. The model that Sem utilizes in dealing with major rule violations is intended to serve as a teaching tool as well as an accountability plan. Our approach emphasizes consistency in process rather than in outcome. Thus, although precedent serves as a guideline, it will not always be our governing principle.
The Class Deans and the faculty, with the support of the Dean of Upper School, have the responsibility for managing the disciplinary system. A Wyoming Seminary student determined to be in violation of a major school rule will be summoned to appear before a Disciplinary Board. This committee consists of the Dean of the Upper School, the appropriate Class Dean and two at-large faculty representatives, as well as two student representatives. The Director of Residential Life will attend if a boarding student is involved. The student’s faculty advisor will be asked to attend, serving as a resource for all involved. The parents or guardian of the student involved have the option of attending the meeting. A parent or guardian may request the exclusion of student representation on the Disciplinary Board if concerns exist regarding the sensitive nature of the issue being addressed.
The Class Dean will personally direct, or delegate to others, the responsibility for making a thorough review of the facts surrounding any case(s) being brought before a Disciplinary Board. From this fact-finding effort, the Class Dean will develop a statement describing the specifics of the issue in question, citing a specific violation(s) of school rules to share with the Disciplinary Board members. A school representative will contact the parent(s) or guardian of the student(s) involved and apprise them of the situation prior to and following the Disciplinary Board meeting.
A Disciplinary Board is not an adversarial, legalistic procedure, but rather an educational, administrative process which results in a recommendation to the Dean of the Upper School. The Dean reserves the right to uphold or modify the recommendation.
When behavioral transgressions occur, our school culture expects that students will be fully cooperative and honest in their responses. Anything less will escalate the seriousness of the situation. When appearing before a Disciplinary Committee, a student is obligated to provide a full and accurate report of the event(s) in question. Failure to cooperate with fact-finding efforts concerning his/her own personal behavior will result in more serious discipline including the possibility of separation from the school.
MAJOR SCHOOL RULES
Infractions in the following areas, on the part of students enrolled at Wyoming Seminary, are considered violations of Major School Rules and will likely result in referral to a Disciplinary Board:
1. any behavior that infringes upon the safety and well being of another member of the school community. Harassment, bullying, hazing and other forms of disrespect will not be tolerated. Incidents of racial or sexual harassment are considered violations of Major School Rules. This includes the transmission of disrespectful text messages, e-mail messages, photographs and postings on social network sites.
2. dishonesty in any form: for example any act of lying, deceit or cheating, accessing computer files that are not your own, unauthorized use of another person’s credit card, telephone calling card, cell phone, forgery of any type (including improper campus sign-outs), fraudulent excuse notes, and use of false identification cards are forms of dishonesty. Students are accountable to the Academic Honor Code found in the "Academic Information" section above.
3. the willful destruction or theft of personal or school property. Students found to be in the possession of another person’s property without permission or who are caught in the act of stealing are in violation of Major School Rules. Vandalism of any type is unacceptable and will be subject to high level consequence.
4. the possession, providing, and/or use of any quantity of illegal drugs (including synthetic drugs), drug paraphernalia or alcohol. Being in the presence of illegal drugs or alcohol is a major rule violation, as is the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medication. Boarding students must report all prescription medication to the nurse. Note: Any student misusing prescription medication, will, in all likelihood, be separated from the school. Please review the Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Policies below and the Athletic Department’s Drug and Alcohol Policy that is included in the Permission Forms section of My Sem.
5. the possession or use of knives, firearms or other dangerous weapons. Additionally, the possession or use of fireworks or flammable devices of any type is prohibited.
6. sexual impropriety or sexual harassment.
7. being in an unauthorized area of the school such as locked offices, opposite gender dorm rooms, or another student’s dorm room without permission. Additionally, possession and/or use of an unauthorized school key or access fob or tampering with a school lock is prohibited.
8. creating a fire hazard of any kind. As an example, smoking in a dormitory or other school buildings is a fire hazard and constitutes a major rule violation.
9. tampering in any way with school safety/security systems.
10. boarding student possession and/or operating of a motor vehicle on campus or in the greater Kingston/Wilkes-Barre area without express administrative permission.
11. unauthorized departure from the dormitory after curfew.
12. insubordinate or disrespectful behavior.
13. the accumulation of an unacceptable number of unexcused absences from school obligations or of other less serious violations.
14. behavior which discredits Wyoming Seminary. A student who engages in a major rule violation while on probation from an earlier offense, will, in all likelihood, be separated from school.
Wyoming Seminary reserves the right to refer a student to a Disciplinary Board for any other offense, or trend of inappropriate behavior, regardless of his or her standing with the disciplinary system, if the situation is deemed serious enough by the leadership of the school. Students involved in violations of major school rules will likely be asked to relinquish school leadership positions. In addition, any student whose influence is felt to be injurious to the school or to fellow students may be required to withdraw. Wyoming Seminary will uphold its responsibilities by reporting suspensions and separations in the college application/enrollment process.
DRUG, ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO POLICIES
Each Sem student and family is accountable to the school’s Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco policy. A student who is in the presence of alcohol, illicit drugs or tobacco products is in violation of school policy. Students who find themselves in such an “at-risk” situation are expected to separate from it immediately. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.
The possession, supply, or use of alcoholic beverages by any students enrolled at Wyoming Seminary, whether on campus or off, will jeopardize his/her continued enrollment. Students must avoid or leave gatherings at which alcohol is present for underage drinkers. The school reserves the right to administer (at the family's expense) chemical tests, urinalysis or “breathalyzer” tests in dealing with any student suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.
The possession, supply, or use of any type of illegal drug (including synthetic drugs), misuse of prescription medication or other controlled substances by any student enrolled at Wyoming Seminary, whether on campus or off, will jeopardize his/her continued enrollment. Students are expected to avoid gatherings where such prohibited substances are present. The school reserves the right to administer blood tests, urinalysis or hair follicle testing in dealing with any student suspected of being under the influence of a prohibited or misused substance. Any student found to be involved in any way with the sale, supply or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia or prescription medication, will, in all likelihood, be separated from the school. The school reserves the right to require a professional evaluation, assessment, and/or professional treatment of any student, at the family’s expense, if there is concern about involvement with drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
With the strong evidence available that links the use of tobacco products to poor health, the school strongly recommends that students avoid using any type of tobacco product. Therefore, the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, while under school jurisdiction is strictly prohibited. Any violation of this expectation will warrant a response from the Dean of the Upper School. Possession of tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco or paraphernalia related to the use of tobacco products, is prohibited.
Wyoming Seminary does not tolerate harassment – physical or emotional, verbal or visual. Harassment may include not only direct suggestions or slurs, but also offensive movements or gestures, as well as drawings or pictures which may be interpreted as suggestive or demeaning. This includes posting these messages on social network sites or texting them. Sexual harassment may be considered a major rule violation dealt with through the school’s published disciplinary protocol.
Students, parents, faculty or employees who are concerned about, wish to bring charges concerning, or need to deal with possible harassment may:
1. conference with the Dean of the Upper or Lower School, the Director of Residential Life (at the Upper School), the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Business Manager, the Director of Physical Plant or the President;
2. seek the guidance of one or more school counselors, Jessica Montrella or Denny Barber.
DISCRETION AND SENSITIVITY
Students are expected to behave in a manner which exhibits respect for others. The school will not tolerate the use of foul language in public. Students are expected to show restraint and good manners in their relationship with other students. For example, students should refrain from public displays of affection throughout campus because this can make others feel uncomfortable and usurp community spaces.
In cases where a student is in violation of a rule other than those considered to be major rules, a Dean’s Meeting (also known as a "mini-board") may be convened. A Dean’s Meeting will include the Dean of the Upper School, the appropriate Class Dean, the student in question and his/her advisor. The purpose of this session would be to address an incident of non-major disciplinary significance and determine a response plan. The student would receive a formal letter clarifying expectations, a copy of which would be forwarded to the parent or guardian. Subsequent or repeated actions that warrant a Dean’s Meeting may be referred to a Disciplinary Board. The following points represent examples of non-major violations:
1. Absenteeism, including low level absenteeism or habitual lateness
2. Possession of a tobacco product
3. Failure to serve an assigned “bell” (detention)
4. Repeated minor infractions
Wyoming Seminary reserves the right to refer a minor violation of a major rule to a Dean’s Meeting, rather than convene a Disciplinary Board.
MONITORING WEEKEND ACTIVITIES/PARTIES
Parties sometimes take place in homes where parents are away, either for the weekend or just for the evening. Often the teenager invites “a few friends” to the house for what may be an innocent get-together. Unfortunately, the student grapevine is very effective, and word spreads quickly that parents are away. The “host” may then encounter as many as 40-50 teenagers at the door, many of whom he/she does not know. This poses a difficult choice for the host, who may not be able to turn the others away.
We have been extremely fortunate not to have had any serious injuries or fatalities in the aftermath of these parties. We have heard of students driving while under the influence of alcohol or riding with drivers who were, and we want to do everything we can to prevent a tragic situation.
As much as we wish we could prevent these parties from occurring, it is probably unrealistic to count on that. Nonetheless, here are some suggestions we want to make in the hope of deterring these activities.
• Have a straightforward conversation with your teenager, sharing your expectations about attendance or behavior at parties.
• Pose some situations they might face and help them rehearse ways to say “no.”
• If you plan to be away, have a responsible adult stay at your home or, if your child is staying elsewhere, ask him/her for the house key. Don’t put your student in a difficult situation by allowing access to a vacant home.
• Consider a “no guests” policy when you aren’t home.
• Notify the police that you won’t be home and ask them to check the house periodically.
We understand that these suggestions seem overzealous for kids who have been trustworthy; however, many parties have occurred in homes of reliable youngsters who were pressured into making poor choices. Wyoming Seminary takes an aggressive stance with regard to parties, and we will notify parents whenever we learn of possible occurrences. In some cases, our information will be inaccurate and we apologize in advance for calls which may be unwarranted. It is our hope, however, that the benefit which will come from our continued efforts to communicate with parents will outweigh the occasional “false alarm.”
Ultimately, hosting gatherings involving Wyoming Seminary students, at which alcohol is served or illegal drugs are being used, is a Major Rule violation. Such circumstances will, in all likelihood, result in referral of the host and guests to Disciplinary Board proceedings.
Students are permitted to have their cell phones with them while at school, but must have them set to “vibrate” during the school day. Students may use cell phones in ways that are respectful and productive to the academic nature of the school day. All cell phone numbers should be registered during the admission and/or registration process at the start of the school year.
The student and his/her family must meet all financial obligations to the school, including library fines, before final grades or transcripts are released. All seniors and postgraduates are expected to fulfill their attendance obligations by taking part in the Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises. If a student cannot attend these closing ceremonies the diploma will be mailed home at the family's expense.
Excolo is a Latin word meaning to cultivate carefully; to refine; to serve or honor. Wyoming Seminary’s Excolo program is a program designed to provide the enriching experience which comes from involvement in activities out of the classroom and the social awareness and commitment which results from community service. There are three parts to the Excolo program: community service, involvement in on-campus activities, and being physically active. The three Excolo requirements support the core values of Wyoming Seminary which are:
• Passion for learning, leading and serving
• Soundness of mind, body and spirit
More information can be found on the Excolo and Groups page.
Each building on the campus is equipped with a fire alarm system that is connected directly to the local fire company. The instructions for activating these alarms are on the individual alarm boxes. Evacuation instructions are posted in buildings.
More specific instructions will be provided at the beginning of the school year. For safety reasons, the school considers tampering with fire extinguishers or alarm boxes a serious matter. Firm disciplinary action and possible monetary fines will be imposed for violations of the above.
The possession or use of any form of fireworks, firearms, smokebombs, or explosives by any student while under school supervision is strictly forbidden and will likely lead to serious disciplinary action which may include suspension or dismissal from school.
LOST OR STOLEN ARTICLES
Any articles that are lost or missing need to be reported to the appropriate Class Dean as soon as possible.
SCHOOL SWIMMING POOL
Students must not use the swimming pool without the supervision of a qualified person designated by the school. Under no condition should anyone swim alone in the pool.
The school has a written policy regarding access to student records and procedures for challenging entries in a student’s permanent record. This policy is available from the Registrar’s Office. Student records may be examined by arrangement with the Dean of the Upper School.
CAMPUS LOCK DOWN
In the event that an emergency warrants a campus lock down, the Dean of the Upper School, or a designee, will initiate the transmission of a voice message to all Wyoming Seminary school office and classroom landlines and text messages to all Sem student and adult cell phones registered with our system, announcing the initiation of a lock down. Once students and adults on campus have been notified of the lock down a subsequent message will be transmitted to parents.
Step-by-step lock down instructions are posted in each classroom and office and will be explained to students at the start of the school year.
Contact information for class deans can be found in our directory.
Class of 2019: Catie Kersey
Class of 2020: CJ Kersey
Class of 2021: Lisa Mozeleski
Class of 2022: Rachel Bartron
Every student has a faculty/staff advisor to whom he or she is encouraged to go with any kind of problem, scholastic or personal. The keen understanding and personal interest of an adult in a student’s welfare, achievements and setbacks can give helpful and sometimes vital guidance. Advisors are uniquely connected to their advisees and offer formal letters three times a year. They can be very helpful to contact with any concerns or questions about a student’s progress. Students sit in groups with their advisors for assemblies and meet bi-weekly.
To provide continuity, returning students retain the same advisor from year to year. New students are assigned to a faculty advisor early in the school year and may request a change in May for the next school year. Students may request changes of advisor by seeing the Dean of the Upper School.
The Campus Store is in the Student Center and has a variety of school-oriented merchandise for sale. Students may purchase t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, school mugs, and various other school items. The store is open each school day according to the schedule posted.
Wyoming Seminary’s College Guidance program plays an integral role in preparing students for the next phase of their educational experience. The mission of the counselors is to guide students on individual journeys of self-knowledge to identify and gain acceptance to appropriate colleges or universities where they can grow and thrive. The counselors are available to meet with individual students and parents as often as necessary to facilitate admission to colleges appropriate for each senior and postgraduate. The College Guidance department meets with parents as a group on designated calendar dates, and parents may meet with individual counselors by appointment at any time.
The food service team can respond to special dietary needs. These needs should be communicated to the food service director by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day students requesting to stay for dinner due to evening school obligations should contact their class dean.
The school nurse, Mrs. Beth Blaum, is on duty every school day from 7:45 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in her Darte Hall office near the front entrance of the building. Mrs. Blaum can also be reached for emergencies at all times by a cell phone, through the dorm faculty or administrative staff on duty. All excuses from class for boarding students, including physical education, must be secured from the nurse’s office, in advance, by the student involved. Students taken ill during the school day must notify the nurse’s office immediately in order to be excused from classes. If the nurse is not in her office, students should report to the Dean of Upper School’s office or to their Class Dean. The Residential Life section of this handbook advises dorm students of procedure in the event of their illness. No student may leave the campus because of illness without first consulting the nurse, who will try to notify parents.
Wyoming Seminary requires all boarding and day students to be in compliance with Pennsylvania State immunization requirements. We do not accept exemptions. Questions regarding immunization requirements should be directed to Beth Blaum R.N., B.S.N. Director of Student Health Services at email@example.com.
A physical exam is required for all students yearly. Students participating in interscholastic activity will be held out of practice and competition until the physical exam form (located in the the Magnus Health section of My Sem) is completed and given to the nurse.
Kirby Library is located on the second floor of the Stettler Learning Resources Center. The library offers students both academic and recreational fiction and nonfiction materials and provides spaces conducive to studying and relaxing. Subscribing to numerous periodicals, the library is an excellent place to pursue personal interests or to find the answers to intellectual questions. Learn more >
Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and 6:00-9:45 p.m. (hours may be covered from 4:00-6:00 p.m., depending on student volunteer availability)
Friday: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
SOCIAL & PERSONAL COUNSELING
Short-term counseling services are available to all day and boarding students at Sem. Students may individually refer themselves to our counseling office, but they can also be referred by an advisor, faculty member, administrator or parent. It is the goal of our counseling staff, Jessica Montrella and Denny Barber, to provide a comfortable, safe and confidential setting for students to build a trusting relationship that enables them to explore strategies to continue to grow as individuals and as Seminary community members. Parents will be contacted if there is a significant safety concern. A student may be referred to outside sources at our counselors’ discretion. Questions regarding available services should be directed to Ms. Jessica Montrella.
Wyoming Seminary has had a relationship with the United Methodist Church since Sem’s founding in 1844. From its very beginning, however, the school has welcomed students of all faiths. Sem incorporates spiritual and ethical as well as academic education.
All students are required to take a one-trimester course, “The Bible and Western Culture.” In addition, students may elect to take “World Religions” or “A History of Judaism” to develop their knowledge in these areas. Throughout the year, students are required to attend chapel assemblies twice per month, held either in the Kirby Center for Creative Arts or at the Church of Christ Uniting. These provide an interfaith forum for the exploration of important issues that affect all of us. On special occasions they also offer an opportunity to worship together as a school community.
Those who come to Sem as boarding students may become affiliated with faith communities in our local area. A number of churches and synagogues as well as a mosque are accessible from our campus. The school chaplain, Reverend Charles Carrick, will assist interested students in locating a house of worship that suits their traditions or tastes. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The student activities program at Wyoming Seminary, headed by the Director of Student Life, balances the weekly academic load with a variety of student-oriented after-school, evening, and weekend opportunities. The scheduling is flexible with clubs and on-campus activities being student-driven rather than adult-driven. In recent years, major weekend trips included New York City, Hershey Park, Six Flags Great Adventure, King of Prussia Mall, Woodbury Commons Outlets, Killington Resort in Vermont, and several local ski resorts. Other weekend trips have included ice skating, hiking, bowling, laser tag, go-karting, as well as weekly movie and local restaurant trips.
On-campus activities have featured indoor and outdoor dances, professional hypnotists and mind readers, casino night, lip sync battle, bubble soccer, capture the faculty, open mic coffee houses, spring block party and many more.
Information about weekend events, future activities and links to athletic schedules and scores can be found in the school’s electronic daily bulletin, the Knight & Day.
ACCEPTABLE OPERATING SYSTEMS
• Microsoft Windows: 7, 8 and 10
• Apple Macintosh: OS X 10.6-10.11, macOS 10.12 and above
• Linux: All recent major versions
• Operating systems should be in English.
ACCEPTABLE MOBILE DEVICES
Apple iOS, Android, and other mobile phones/tablets are permitted for use on the wireless network after they have been properly registered.
UNACCEPTABLE NETWORK DEVICES
Personal wireless routers or access points, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, gaming consoles, and similar devices are not permitted on the school network.
COMPUTER & MOBILE DEVICE LIMIT
Each student is allowed three devices to be registered on the Sem network. This allows each student to register his or her computer, tablet, and phone, if applicable.
ANTIVIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE
Wyoming Seminary requires Sophos antivirus software to be installed on all Windows computers. It is provided to students at no charge. Previously installed security software must be removed. At present, we do not require Macintosh computers to have antivirus software installed.
All computers are screened by our network access control server and must be approved before connection with the Wyoming Seminary network. For questions or concerns, please submit a help desk ticket.
Any type of file-sharing software that allows free downloads of copyrighted material is forbidden. Examples include KaZaa, KaZaa-Light, Limewire, BiTTorrent, Edonkey, Emule, and many others. These programs must be removed from any personal computer before it will be allowed access to the Wyoming Seminary Network.
Wyoming Seminary provides data network access for each boarding student but telephones in the dorm rooms are not provided. Because most students possess personal cell phones, these are now the default method of voice contact.
Wyoming Seminary provides computers with high-speed Internet access for student use in the Kirby Library. Dormitory rooms have data ports with Internet access. Wireless access is also available in all dormitory buildings, as well as Sprague Hall, Nesbitt Hall, Kirby Library, Buckingham Performing Arts Center, Kirby Center for Creative Arts and the Student Center. As with any system, maintenance needs might require the network to be down occasionally.
Wyoming Seminary has an established code of conduct for students, and we see Internet use as a logical extension of those policies. The network does allow for monitoring of Internet use, and the school reserves the right to monitor students’ Internet browsing histories and use a minimal URL filtering system which blocks some inappropriate websites as well as some deemed harmful to the network. The Wyoming Seminary Acceptable Use Policy is available online and each student is expected to read this policy and adhere to its conditions in order to have network privileges.
Internet/Ethernet cables are not provided. Students who need one should purchase one in a nearby store.