Greetings From the PTO to All New and Returning Parents,

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer break. Your PTO is busy planning and working for the upcoming school year.

As you are aware, parent involvement in our school is crucial to the success of our children and our school. With a school of our size and tuition level, we need every family to volunteer their time and talents. Without the help of you (our families) our events and services - like our lunch program - cannot happen. What’s more, your children will be so happy to see their family participating in the life of their school! Here’s some important information you need to know as part of our school family this year:

1 - PTO Support Hours – the PTO requires 20 support hours per family throughout the school year, of which at least 8 hours must be performed before Christmas. These hours can be fulfilled by serving as a classroom room representative, working at the upcoming Saint Benedict Oktoberfest, soliciting items for our Spring Gala, attending PTO meetings, helping with lunch service, and plenty of other ways! Here are a few very important things about volunteering this year:

  • In order to volunteer with anything that involves contact with children you must be Virtus trained and have a background check. Pam Autry, in the front office, must process your background check and confirm your Virtus attendance before you volunteer with children. Your attendance counts to your volunteer hours. To help with this process, our school will host a Virtus training session on August 16 at 9:00 am at St. Benedict Church . Your attendance counts to your volunteer hours. If you have already received training you do not need to do it again. There are a number of different times and locations offered for training sessions. Register for a training session, including the session at Saint Benedict, by clicking here .
  • Because we rely on the volunteer support of our families, we assess a fee at the end of the year for any hours that go unfulfilled at a rate of $40 per hour. So please be sure to complete, track and report your hours volunteered!
  • Buyout Option – While we want the participation of every family, we know for some this is just not feasible. On Book Day , those families can pay a fee of $500 to cover 15 of the 20 hours. Even if you choose this option, you must still volunteer a minimum of 5 hours or be assessed the $40 per hour fee at the end of the year.
  • Sign up on SignUp Genius! Volunteer opportunities to fulfill your required PTO Support Hours will be promoted in the Weekly Newsletter (distributed via email on Tuesday’s) via the PTO’s Sign Up Genius and other direct links provided (ex. www.stbenedictoktoberfest.com). Please give thoughtful consideration as to how you can best help our school and sign up for those hours by Back to School Night on September 5th. PLEASE NOTE: Because the need for help is so great, all families are asked to work at least 1 shift ( 4 hours) at the Saint Benedict Oktoberfest Sept 21-23 and 4 hours for our PTO’s Spring Gala.

2 – Class dues – All families are required to pay $35 classroom dues on Book Day to cover costs for:
  • Feed the Homeless
  • Student Art Projects for the Spring Gala Auction
  • Spring Gala Auction Baskets

3 – No Fundraising Obligation! – Instead of requiring our families to sell items (cookie dough, gift wrap, etc.) where only a portion of the proceeds come back to support our school, we eliminated your $150 fundraising requirement to encourage your family to do what it can to directly support the financial needs of our school through a voluntary donation to our annual campaign – The Comet Campaign. Our goal is 100% participation from our families and we appreciate you pledging to do what you can on Book Day this year at our Comet Campaign table.

Here are a few last important dates to start the school year off right!

AUGUST 20th . Book Day is Monday, August 20 and we look forward to seeing your family then! Make the excitement of returning to school less stressful by taking the time now so you can arrive at Book Day prepared with your student’s school supplies and all required forms as found on http://www.saintbenedictschool.org/parents/summer/ . If you have any questions regarding those or any
other forms, you can contact Pam Autry in our front office at 804-254-8850.
AUGUST 23rd . Stay active in the life of our school! Parents are encouraged to attend our monthly PTO
meetings. We meet the third Thursday of the month from 6 to 7 pm in the Dining Hall. Our FIRST PTO
meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 23rd. Please join us and get engaged in the life of our
school! Everyone is welcome!
SEPTEMBER 11th . Mark your calendar for the Back to School Night and our Parent- Teacher Social on Tuesday, September 11 from 6:30-9pm. After you visit with your child’s teacher, please join us in St. Anselm Hall for our social. This is a great time to reconnect with old teachers and friends and meet our new families. You’ll also be hearing from a few guest speakers about important information and events for
the school year. This is an adults only event, so plan now to leave the children at home.

Thank you so much in advance for helping to make Saint Benedict Catholic School an amazing place for our children to grow, learn and thrive! Your involvement and care for our children’s home-away-from-home makes that possible. If you have any suggestions to help the PTO, please feel free to contact me at 804-306-4906 or via
email at jmeschbach0314@comcast.net. As I mentioned before, we are a small, close-knit community – and that’s probably one of the reasons you love this wonderful school. But being the size we are means that EVERYONE’S HANDS are needed to make light work. Thank you again in advance for doing what you can to make our school the very special place it is for the children whom God has entrusted to our care.

We are looking forward to a GREAT year!

Sincerely yours,

Jennifer Eschbach
PTO President

The mission of the Parent-Teachers Organization is to support our school, its teachers and staff. As a parent of a student at the school, and a member of our organization, be as active as you can. Every parent makes a difference.
3100 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221