Dear School Families,
What an excellent first week of school! We started our year off as a school family in the Kindergarten courtyard doing staff introductions, prayer, and the first flag raising of the school year. It was wonderful to hear the voices of our students praying and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. After, students and staff snacked on soft pretzels and lemon water ice. It was a great way to start the year!
I was able to meet with all classes this week to discuss our new mission statement, review the Diocesan theme for the year, and go over the discipline policy. I explained that earning a referral was a written reminder to correct an inappropriate behavior. It was a tool for communicating with families and not something to be feared. I explained that my job was to be sure all students felt happy, safe, and comfortable here at school and I do that by maintaining order and enforcing rules. I reminded them that we are blessed to be in a Catholic school where we practice forgiveness and give second chances for wrongdoings.
Communication between teachers and parents is very important. If any issues arise, please contact the teacher involved first so they are able to help with the issue. I will always check with teachers when issues are brought to me. Teachers may reach out during the next few weeks with phone calls, emails, or even a quick dismissal meeting to check in with you and see how the year is going. Some students and families may even start finding special orange postcards in the mail to share good news! Keep an eye out for them!
Diocesan Theme – This year’s Diocesan theme is “One Body in Christ.” Each month, we will focus on one of the Catholic Social Teachings. September’s social teaching is “Life and Dignity of the Human Person.” To make this simpler for our littlest students, this is explained as every person being sacred and special to God. The Diocesan prayer we will start and end our day with is the Act of Love.
O my God,
I love You above all things
with my whole heart and soul,
because You are all good and worthy of all love.
I love my neighbor as myself for love of You.
I forgive all who have injured me,
and I ask pardon for all whom I have injured.
Reminder – If you have not already done so, please return the bright yellow emergency card and the signature page of the Family Handbook. There are extra copies of these in the main office if you need one. Please stop in to fill this out as soon as possible.
Early Dismissals – For safety reasons, please refrain from entering the main lobby between
2:45 PM and 3:10 PM to ensure dismissal can occur in a timely manner. Early dismissals should be scheduled prior to 2:30 PM (2:15 PM for preschool) as a courtesy to students and staff. The last period of the day is academic time. Calling into classrooms for a student is disruptive to the entire learning environment and will be reserved for emergencies.
- Identification – Any person coming to the main office to sign a child out must bring a form of identification. Please do not be offended if the office staff asks to see identification. That is my safety rule. This is for your child’s protection, and I would rather err on the side of caution.
- Drop-off – Please pull as far up as you can in front of the school when dropping your children off in the morning. If you need to walk your children to school, please park in the parking lot and cross at the crosswalk with the crossing guard.
- Pick-up – Please be sure to use the crosswalk when crossing the street. We need to be sure everyone, both students and adults, are safe while crossing the street. This is a safety issue that we need to make sure is taken seriously. We have had too many near misses in the past when both pedestrians and drivers are not being careful.
- Please do not park in the bus zone across from school. We have buses coming through at dismissal and this causes unnecessary issues. The parking lot is available for all parents/guardians to park in.
Monthly School Masses – Beginning Friday, October 7th, we will be starting our first Friday Masses. Father Rich Jasper from St. Ann’s will be leading these Masses for us. Mass will begin at 1:50 PM.
Attention Parents of Grades 4 – 8 – School-purchased iPads and Chromebooks will be distributed next week. Please know that your child must sign an Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement that our iPads will be used solely for schoolwork and homework. Students will not be able to use/receive their device unless this form is signed. All apps are school approved and sent directly through our filters to each device. It is not to be used for games and no apps may be downloaded without school approval. Families are responsible for keeping the iPad and charger in good condition throughout the year. If the iPad is broken, it is the family’s responsibility to pay to replace it. The students in 6th – 8th grade will bring their devices home. Students in 4th and 5 th grade will keep their iPads in school for the beginning part of the year and their teacher will make the decision if students are able to bring them home. iPads/Chromebooks must always be safely stored inside bookbags, not carried in their hands, if they are taken home. If an iPad or Chromebook is used inappropriately, it may be taken away. The middle school relies heavily on their devices for Google Classroom, so it is important to have them charged overnight. Students are responsible for charging their devices and bringing them to school. Students may receive a referral if they forget their device or bring their device in not charged. We are excited to pilot Chromebook use with our 8th graders. Students will use varied devices as they move through high school and college and we wanted to give them an opportunity to use a different device than the iPads they have used for the last four years.
Student Birthdays – We provide a birthday treat for every student on their birthday. They get a free snack or ice cream treat in the cafeteria. We discourage sending in group food items for the classrooms, because we have several children with food allergies, and we then have to find a snack alternative for those one or two children who would otherwise be left out. A tiny toy is a nice alternative. If you wish to send in a birthday treat, it must be individually wrapped and store-bought. This will typically be distributed during lunchtime. Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions about birthday treats.
School Messenger – We are asking all parents/guardians to check their emails to be sure they have signed up for School Messenger. This is a main source of communication in the event of bad weather or emergencies. Please check to make sure these emails are not going into spam folders and that you have opted-in to receive messages from us. If you are having trouble, please contact Ms. Abby in the main office.
Child Abuse Reporting – This is just a reminder that we (all school staff) are mandatory reporters for any suspicion of child abuse and/or neglect. We are trained in this area. This refers to, but is not limited to, physical/ emotional/sexual abuse, lack of supervision, and access to drugs/weapons. We encourage all of our families to also be a hero for children and report any signs of abuse to the Delaware Division of Family Services hotline at 1-800-292-9582.
- Preschool 3 was filled with learning about classroom rules, sharing with new friends, and reading The Kissing Hand and Our Class is a Family.. They did several crafts to showcase their amazing and talented artwork as well as getting to know each of their friends!
- Preschool 4 has been getting to know the school with tours, learning how to walk in the hallway, and writing their names.
- Kindergarten has been doing various “getting to know you” activities, introducing centers, and learning how to use different materials in the classroom (i.e. scissors, glue, pencils, etc.). They have talked about God, worked with the letters of the alphabet, and numbers.
- 1st Grade reviewed letter sounds with a song about the alphabet. They learned how to spell the letters of the alphabet using sign language. They have been enjoying lots of learning songs and movement breaks.
- 2nd Grade did a puzzle activity with the book All Are Welcome. They focused on how they are all different but make a classroom family. Each student designed their own puzzle piece to fit into one.
- 3rd Grade students enjoyed doing math on their whiteboards! They are working hard and getting new routines.
- 4th Grade has been learning the 4th grade routine and discussing Creation in Religion, as well as their hopes for this school year.
- 5th Grade is learning about properties of matter and how observations can help identify items in Science class and even did an experiment to see if they could figure out what item was inside the box using their senses of touch and sound.
- 6th Grade is learning how different middle school is from what they are used to. They are doing a great job adjusting to class changes and having multiple teachers during the day.
- 7th Grade Religion class has students making a timeline with illustrations and dates of New Testament events. This year they will be studying the Story of Jesus.
- 8th Grade is working on a project in Social Studies based on the country their Summer Reading book was set in.
Emergency Drills: We practice three types of emergency drills throughout the school year. We practice a Code Green (Go) for a fire drill. We do that monthly. We held our first one, and the students did a fantastic job. The building was empty in 1 minute and 26 seconds. We will practice a Code Yellow (Yield) to just keep hallways clear and a Code Red (Stop) to lock down.
Yay Lunch! – We are still using Yay Lunch! this year. If you haven’t looked yet, we have some new local restaurants that will be providing lunch now. Please be sure that your order is submitted by noon on Sunday.
Save the Dates
- Tuesday, Sept. 13 – School Picture Day – Children must wear their full school uniforms for this photo opportunity. All children will be photographed. We will have an opportunity in the Spring for pictures to be taken in regular clothing. The first picture day is for the formal yearbook photo and school ID.
- Friday, Sept. 23 – School Mass – We will be having our first school Mass of the year with Father Wrightson presiding. Grades 3 – 8 will be in attendance.
I realize there is a lot of information in today’s Tiger Talk. Going forward they will generally be shorter than this, but we have a lot of important things we want to make sure that families are aware of. I thank you for taking the time to read through this. I hope you have an enjoyable Labor Day weekend!
Mrs. White, Principal
“The mission of schools is to develop a sense of truth, of what is good and beautiful. And this occurs through a rich path made up of many ingredients. This is why there are so many subjects – because development is the result of different elements that act together and stimulate intelligence, knowledge, the emotions, the body, and so on.” ~ Pope Francis