Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
As I gaze outside at the beautiful warm, sunny day, I find it difficult to believe that school begins in three weeks. Hopefully, the vacation rejuvenated the children, parents and staff as we begin the new school year with the promise that it holds. Take advantage of the beautiful weather before it slips away.
This year, we celebrate our school theme, “Angels Among Us” together with the 3 Rs, Ready, Respectful, Responsible, and Catholic Schools Week theme “Catholic School Matters: Lead, Learn, Proclaim”.
NEW TEACHERS/STAFF CHANGES
Since school ended, we said farewell to Mrs. Jennifer Miller, our Advancement Director, who accepted a position as Principal at St. Damian School in Oak Forest. Mrs. Miller received her Leadership degree last year and worked with our teachers on some of the professional development. She will not be a stranger to us since she returns as a parent. However, we will miss her expertise these last few years in development. We wish Mrs. Miller the best as she begins her maiden voyage in administration. We will announce her replacement once the position is filled.
We welcome new staff members to our school family. Miss Hayley Jensen accepted the position as 5th grade Science teacher/Science Lab Curriculum Coordinator/Manager. Miss Jensen received her schooling from St. Louis University and taught there for a couple of years following her education. Her knowledge of the NGSS standards and their application to STEM programming sets the table for exciting Science experiences. Also new this upcoming year is Mrs. Pat Fointno, who will teach music to grades PK-8. Mrs. Fointno has worked parish music ministry programs for many years. She brings ten years of teaching experience to SJC. We look forward to the expertise and passion for education and children that both of these individuals brings to SJC. Welcome!
We also begin the year with Mrs. Jenny Hounihan subbing for Mrs. Maggie Serafini, currently on Maternity Leave. Mrs. Hounihan has been quite reliable for several years as a day to day substitute here at SJC. I feel complete confidence in the gifts that she brings to SJC.
For those of you who have been involved in our Band Program over the years, Mr. Uriel Portillo will be returning to SJC and offering both band and piano. Mr. Portillo, after several years as a band instructor, now operates his own company, UP Music. When the year begins, we will have a link on our website which will connect you to the band/piano information. We will still follow our band/piano schedule as we have in the past. We are very excited to welcome the talented Mr. Portillo back to SJC.
We informed our families last spring of a new schedule change this year. Basically, the school day starts and ends fifteen minutes earlier. It is outlined in our Parent/Student Handbook, which is posted on the website and which you will be asked to sign a document indicating that you have read it. Those hours are as follows:
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 7:45 AM – 3:45 PM (except for days off/summer hours)
|Full Day K – 8 Grades||8:25 AM||Enter Building|
|8:35 AM||Must be in building|
|8:40 AM||Tardy Bell (Students must be seated prior to 8:40)|
|11:31||Lunches begin – four lunch periods|
*Parking lot and street corners will be supervised from 8:20 – 8:35 am and from 3:10 – 3:25 pm.
|Preschool||8:40 – 11:30||AM Schedule|
|Extended School Day||7:30 – 8:25||Drop-off|
|3:15 – 5:30||Pickup at LRC|
ORIENTATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD
We meet with new parents of children in all grade levels and returning parents of the Early Childhood on Monday, August 19th. Parents will receive their children’s classroom assignment on 8/15/19 via email blast. The schedule for the parent meetings is as follows:
|Monday, 8/19/19||6:30 – 7:15 PM – New Parent Meeting in the MPR|
|7:15 – 8:00 PM – Preschool Parent Meeting in Room 119|
|Kindergarten Parent Meeting in MPR|
We give the children an opportunity to acclimate themselves to the space where they will spend time over the course of the year. Parents are asked to attend with their child/ren on the following days/times:
|KINDERGARTEN:||Kindergarten Open House|
|Thursday, 8/22/19||9:00-10:00 – Parents stay with the children for the hour; children do not need to wear uniforms|
|Friday, 8/23/19||8:40 AM – Kindergarten begins|
|PRESCHOOL:||Preschool Open House
Monday, 8/26/19 (3-year T-TH classes only)
9:30-10:15, last names A-M
10:30-11:15, last names N-Z
|Tuesday, 8/27/19||(3-year M-W-F and 4 year AM classes)
9:30-10:15, last names A-M
10:30-11:15, last names N-Z
|Wednesday, 8/28/19||Preschool begins with the M-W-F students|
|Thursday, 8/29/19||Preschool begins with the T-TH students|
CLASS ASSIGNMENTS, MEET THE TEACHER AND CURRICULUM NIGHT
Meet the Teacher occurs the evening before school begins. On Tuesday, 8/20, from 7-8 PM, parents may bring their child/ren into school in grades 1-8 and meet with their teacher. School begins at 8:40 AM on Wednesday, 8/21. You will receive your child/ren’s room assignment on 8/15 via an email blast.
Our Curriculum Night for grades 1-8 occurs on Thursday, 8/29/19, beginning at 6 PM with the Principal’s Presentation in the gym, where we present the new staff, our school goals, Aspire test scores, new programming and scheduling. Then, parents will be invited to attend different sessions with their child/ren’s classroom teacher to learn about the policies, procedures and curriculum of the grade level, beginning at 6:30 PM. The schedule for the evening will be sent to you once school begins.
Please note, Grade 4 parents meet for a mandatory iPad meeting during Curriculum Night before rolling out the one to one iPad usage in grade 4. That meeting takes place at any one of the designated sessions for grade 4. Please enter through the main door and we will post the location of the meetings. More information to follow.
As you are aware, the School Advisory Board and Principal conducted a parent survey last year to determine a financial strategic plan. We would like to meet with parents and review each area of the survey – Catholic Identity, Governance, Financial Health/Fundraising, Facilities, Extracurricular, and Academics. At that time, we will discuss the primary parent concerns as stated in the comment section of the survey and again through the follow up focus meetings. Then, we will present our plan moving forward.
We will send the children’s Aspire test scores home to you after the school year begins. We will send an email blast to you indicating how you can access the results through PowerSchool, once they are available.
Please remember to turn in all medical forms, which were due by 8/1/19. We must be able to process the information prior to the start of school. The Health Form requirements information is on the website. See Summer Information.
You may drop the information in the mailbox outside the main entrance until the school office opens – see Summer Information on the website.
Medication with forms can be dropped off during the office hours – see Summer Information on the website – if you want to see the nurse, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708-246-4454.
PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN
As we do at the start of each school year, we remind our parents that you must complete each step of the “Protecting God’s Children Safe Schools Program” before you are allowed to volunteer in the building. This procedure is mandated by the Archdiocese of Chicago and keeps our children safe. All parents must complete a new CANTS form each year. Please return the completed form to the school office. Several Virtus sessions are scheduled at the start of the year for new parents or parents who have never taken the class. It is crucial that you complete this class if you want to volunteer in the school.
For information regarding the program, please contact Mrs. Wingert at email@example.com or 708-246-4454.
TIME, TALENT, TREASURE
We remind our parents to include any volunteer hours online since the start of the summer.
Please enjoy the final days of summer. Be safe. We look forward to seeing everyone soon. God’s Blessings to all our SJC families!