I hope everyone was able to enjoy the Easter break and find some time to relax and regroup. I write this letter with only six full weeks left of school. I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by for all of us. It has been a very busy year, and I could not be prouder of my staff. I need to thank them again. They were stretched this year in so many ways. Our specialists sacrificed their areas of specialty in teaching to give breaks to teachers. Due to concurrent teaching, teachers would be unable to even use the restroom during the day without those breaks.
I am thankful that we were able to operate safely and can plan to be fully in-person next year. Thank you for re-registering! Our enrollment next year is very strong. Classroom spots are filling fast due to limited seating and capacity, as we will still be operating with safe distance measures in place. I am thankful to the Department of Education and our friends at St. Francis Hospital for allowing all of our teachers to be fully vaccinated.
Behavior Expectations: I started this week off with reminders to the entire student body about what behavior is expected here at St. Anthony’s. We have very high expectations for student behavior and expect respect and cooperation at all times. Spring has sprung, and with that comes a testing of boundaries. I reminded students that we have zero tolerance for disrespect, defiance, and hands-on behavior. Teachers have been very patient and forgiving, and they have been giving multiple reminders of these things. Teachers will now begin strictly following the discipline policy as stated in the handbook. We still have a lot to accomplish and want to close any academic gaps caused by COVID.
Field Day has returned! We have several fun things planned for the remainder of our school year. We will thankfully be able to have Field Day. In the past, parents were able to attend. Due to COVID restrictions and limited numbers of people allowed for gatherings, this year Field Day will be for students only. The exception will be for Eighth Grade parents who are invited to join us in the field at 2pm for the rescheduled Students Versus Parents Volleyball Game from Catholic Schools Week. We are excited to host this once again. It will be held on Thursday, May 13th
A few notes for Field Day:
* This event will be rain or shine, as we have outdoor equipment ordered.
* For simplicity, rather than our typical hot dog lunch that day, we will have students pack lunch or order in advance from the cafeteria menu as always.
* Please pack a change of clothes, a water bottle, and a beach towel that day.
* Please apply sunscreen to your child first thing in the morning, before coming to school. We will be outside from 8:30-12.
* The Kona Ice truck will return. If you do not want your child to eat the flavored shaved ice, please send a note to your child’s teacher and provide an alternate snack that day.
Attention 8th Grade Parents: Graduation will be on Wednesday, June 2nd at 6:30pm. Graduation will be held in our beautiful church once again. We are very excited about that. It will be by parent invitation only, so that our numbers will remain under 200. Each family should plan on having one full pew in church. These pews seat 9-10 and that number should include your child (no more than 10 total). This will not be a full Mass as it has been in years past. It will be a brief prayer service, and diplomas will be distributed on the altar as always, with one student approaching at a time. There will be the opportunity to take photos after the ceremony inside (on the altar) and outside the church. We are hoping for nice weather to be able to have a little celebration outside in the Kindergarten Courtyard. More details will follow.
Late Arrivals to school: This is a gentle reminder to please arrive promptly to school. Our doors open at 7:15 and do not close until 8am. Late arrivals cause classroom disruption at a very busy time preparing to start the school day. Please arrive on time for school. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Parent Involvement Workshop: Join Gina Castelli and Learn It! Academic Services on Wednesday, April 21st from 6:00-7:00pm. This workshop will take place using Zoom. The topic will be Supporting Your Family’s Social and Emotional Needs During A Pandemic: Tools & Strategies for the Present and the Future. More information containing the Zoom link will follow.
Attention 7th Grade Parents of Girls: Padua Academy would like to do an informal mentoring program with our girls. It will be an after school snack and chat session. I asked our girls if they were interested in this. Half of the girls replied yes, so we will have our first icebreaker and chat session on Thursday, April 29th at 3:15pm here at school. You will not need to do anything, other than pick the girls up late from school that day (4pm pick up time). As a Padua grad myself (Class of 1988) I will monitor this. A Padua staff member, Coordinator of Student Culture, Tori Clossan (Class of 1994) will also be present.
Spring Picture Day: Friday, April 30th will be Spring Picture Day. This is a dress up day. All students will have their pictures taken. Please have students dress up for this day (no t-shirts or sweatpants). Sneakers should still be worn for safety, as we will have outside breaks and recess. Parents will be provided a link to pre-order. I recommend pre-ordering, as there will only be a brief time afterward to order. Virtual students may come to school and remain in their cars. Virtual Parents should call the main office at 421-3743 when they arrive between 9am and 10:30am, and someone will come to get you when there is a time in between classes. No class group photos will be taken.
Planning for Summer School/Tutoring: We are very aware that there may be a few students who have not mastered the current grade’s curriculum. Please understand that if your child earns a D or F in a major subject, he/she will be expected to attend summer school or 20 hours of 1:1 tutoring with a licensed/certified teacher. That will be a condition for promotion. Our wish is to not retain a student; however they will not be promoted to the next grade unless that tutoring takes place. For example, the final report card will say “Promoted to Fourth Grade” if your Fourth Grader has failed a major subject. Once he/she completes the required hours of instruction and that paperwork is submitted to me (or Mr. Shields) a second revised report card will be issued stating the child is promoted to Fifth Grade. I explain this now so there is no confusion or disappointment. Should you chose to attend a different school next year, the report card will still reflect that the child has not been promoted until that work has been done. We pride ourselves on a rigorous curriculum and want to be sure all students promoted are both socially and academically ready to be in the next grade.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you see Blue Pinwheels or ribbons around our building, this is the reason. As a former school counselor for many years, this is a very important cause to me. My goal every year is for all of our students to feel safe and loved. All children should feel safe and know that our school is a safe place with adults who can be trusted.
Panera Fundraiser: Thank you to all of the families that dined in and ordered take out from Panera. The Beals family won a $100 gift card to RUSH Uniform. Congratulations, and thank you for supporting our school! Join us for our next event on May 20th for frozen yogurt at Frazzberry in Pike Creek. We will offer a gift card for one lucky family that night as well.
Shout out to Caitlyn, Cate, Celeste, Eryn, Hayden, Neela, and Rachel from Fourth Grade for creating their own business of selling Aqua Bottles. They were able to see these bottles in the staff lounge to the school staff. These girls donated all of the money to charity! Thank you to Student Council for matching their profits to donate as well!
I hope you have all had time to enjoy this beautiful Spring weather as a family. Students love getting to go outside for breaks as our weather gets warmer.
Have a wonderful weekend. Stay well and be safe.
“Easter gives hope for tomorrow, as after the winter comes spring. Our hearts can be filled with gladness as hearts rejoice and sing. ~ Pope Francis