Dear St. John Families,
WELCOME TO AUGUST!! I am delighted to officially welcome our new families and welcome back our returning families to a unique and special year at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School. Challenges continue to present themselves daily in this time of uncertainty but I am grateful we are able to provide in-person instruction to our students in our 32nd year in our current building and 60th year of Catholic education here at SJES. We are deeply indebted to the Benedictine Sisters and the Sisters of Notre Dame for building a strong foundation for the first 37 years of our school’s history.
Although various restrictions and limitations will be put in place in accordance with CDC, state, and local guidelines, our faculty and staff cannot wait to see our wonderful students and families in-person.
St. John Preschool has fully implemented uniforms this year, what a sight that will be. A special note of gratitude goes to Ms. Copeland, Mrs. Chapman, and the preschool staff for all they are doing to safely bring our preschool families back to our beautiful preschool building once again.
Our Meet the Teacher is rapidly approaching and will be held on Friday, August 21st from 12:00-3:00 p.m. For new families, it is a great opportunity to drop off supplies and meet the teachers. It is always exciting to see how the children have grown over the summer. To limit the number of individuals inside the building at one time, families have been grouped alphabetically in 20-minute increments to drop off supplies. Please see your drop off time listed below:
12:00-12:20 p.m. A-Cab
12:20-12:40 p.m. Cas-D
12:40-1:00 p.m. F-G
1:00-1:20 p.m. H-Ked
1:20-1:40 p.m. Ker-Lom
1:40-2:00 p..m. Lon-McG
2:00-2:20 p.m McN- Pe
2:20-2:40 p.m Po-Sha
2:40-3:00 p.m. She-Z
*We are asking that anyone wanting to enter the building wear a mask or a shield (for young children) that goes below the chin and covers both sides of your face.
For planning purposes, please note that the first three days of school (August 26,27,28) have been designated as Early Dismissals. Carpool will begin just before 11:30 a.m. and continue until roughly 11:50 a.m. Please note that Extended Day will not be offered for the first three days as we aim to acclimate our students and staff to our new procedures slowly. Although the county has moved back their start date, we will begin as planned, easing our students and staff into the mask/face covering with three half days to start. I would ask that you please begin “training” your child(ren) by gradually beginning to increase the time that they are wearing their mask or face covering. As previously mentioned, face coverings must go below the chin and cover the side of the face. We have capped our class size, but please remember that students are 4.5 feet apart (not six feet). Staff working directly with students and 4-8th grade students are required to wear a mask/face covering, and students in K-3rd are strongly encouraged to wear a mask/face covering at this time. Should regulations change, we will mandate masks/face covering at the younger grades (K-3) as well. Students will be able to remove their masks/face coverings for snack time (if applicable, lunch, outdoor PE, outdoor recess, and outdoor “mental health” breaks our staff will provide that either in the morning or afternoon. Please find additional Health News here:
Shifting to academics, we are pleased to offer once again Honors Literature/Creative Writing and our advanced math track for students entering fifth grade and beyond. For those students needing some additional support in their academic development, we will continue to offer reading and math resource, and a full-time special educator this year. Kudos to all of our students that participated in our virtual Summer Learning Program with Mrs. Gould. In addition, hopefully, all K-4th grade students have been working diligently on their Think Stretch booklets and all 5th -8th Grade students are enjoying their required summer reading.
Should the need arise for a class or the school to move online regardless of the circumstance, please note that the following online behavior expectations will be implemented:
- Students will receive links and instructions for how to submit work
- Students will be provided dress code requirements
- Students will have a table/workspace
- Students will be sitting up
- Students will be visible on camera or use audible if internet connection is lacking
- Students will stay online as long as the synchronous or asynchronous lesson occurs
Should online learning be necessary due to a class or school quarantine, it will look very different from trimester three. Live or pre-recorded classes will occur so that true online instruction will occur, and assignment deadlines will be similar to the regular in-person classroom. A sample schedule for e-learning will be shared before the end of next week.
New Staff Members- I would like to formally welcome Mrs. Novecosky (fourth-grade teacher) to our school community. I regret to inform you that Mrs. Konsin (school nurse) has decided to step down from the full-time position. She will continue in the position until I can find a suitable replacement that will guide and lead our health department. If you have a child in fourth grade, please make sure to stop in and help Mrs. Novecosky feel welcome at Meet the Teacher once again on Friday, August 21st from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Congratulations to the following teachers on reaching benchmark years of service to Catholic education.
Mrs. Evans, 10 years
Mr. Stohlman, 10 years
Mrs. Fine, 25 years
Mrs. Dickson, 30 years
Well done indeed!
Upgrades/Improvements– I am happy to share that we have replaced teacher laptops. We added another iPad cart two years ago and as you know, we are moving to a 1 to 1 device at the 5-8th grade level. The Chromebooks are slightly delayed but we are expecting them by the end of August. We plan to replace the seven remaining Promethean Boards over the next two years, they have served us well over the past 10-12 years. A wireless mounted projector was recently installed in the gym, renovations were done to multiple areas that needed to be addressed, and we recently added some additional security/health upgrades to the main/rear entrance of the school building, and the front office through the government-assisted CARES Act.
Standardized Testing- Our primary students (K-2 students) will continue to assess through the PALS standardized testing program. The first assessment will be complete before the end of October in the fall, and the second evaluation will occur once again in the spring to measure growth. We will remain online in terms of standardized testing at the third through the eighth-grade level. Students in third through seventh grade will be assessed three times a year in Math, Reading, and Language Arts with the assessment tool, Performance Series by Scantron. The results of this assessment are the first criteria that we use to determine eligibility for our Advanced Math Track and Honors Lit/Creative Writing classes.
Morning Care/Extended Day Program is looking for additional staff members for the morning and afternoon care programs. We are also looking for potential substitute staff program employees. If interested in working and supporting our school’s child care program, the morning care shifts run Monday-Friday from 6:15 am-8:00 am. The afternoon care shifts run Monday from 2:45 pm-4:45 pm and then Tuesday-Friday from 2:45 pm until 6:00 pm. Applicants must be at least 18yrs of age, complete VIRTUS training, and receive a fingerprint and background check. Hired staff will train in CPR and First Aid. Our program is a great way to get to know the wonderful students and amazing staff. If interested, please contact Jacqueline Smith (SJES Extended Day Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (571) 334-1056. Please find additional Morning Care/Extended Day news here:
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Mr. Temple W. Macdonald