August 28, 2020

Dear St. John's Parish Day School Families,

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of August and are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2020-21 school year. Thank you to all who submitted the Student Learning Option Form and attended our Reopening Information Sessions this week. It was truly wonderful to virtually connect with everyone and provide more information about our campus reopening and new learning formats. The results of our Student Learning Options show that 75% of our students will be engaging with in-person learning, 22% will engage in virtual learning, and 3% will engage in our hybrid learning. We understand that some families may wish to switch learning options during the school year, and we ask that you send us a notice two weeks prior or more. As we look forward to this school year, we remain committed to our mission of "educating the whole person to excellence, nurturing each child’s full potential."

Our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to prepare for our students' return to school. Our campus has undergone a thorough cleaning and disinfecting and our teachers are currently organizing and decorating their classrooms. Next week, we will have our annual In-Service Faculty and Staff Professional Development Workshops. We will also have our Visit Day on Thursday, September 3rd in a modified format to allow for contact tracing and cleaning between sessions.

Early Childhood, Kindergarten, virtual learners, and new families will receive more detailed information about Visit Day sessions from your teacher soon. Students are to come accompanied by one adult and all visitors must wear face masks to participate. Virtual learners will also receive their devices and the necessary learning materials during their visit. We ask that all returning in-person learners in Grades 1-5 come on the first day of school instead of the typical Visit Day, as they are familiar with our campus and will have had a virtual tour of their classroom. This will assist us with limiting the number of visitors in the building and help facilitate our contact tracing on Visit Day. On Opening Day, we will have strategically positioned staff members in all hallways to direct students to their classrooms. We appreciate your support as we work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community!

To serve our extensive waitlist in Kindergarten, we have now added a third Kindergarten class! Robyn Bates and Kerri Miller-Mercer will move from the 4's to Kindergarten and Mary Pearce and Vicky Baldwin will move from Early Childhood partial day 4's to full day 4's. We thank our faculty members for their flexibility during these ever-evolving times. We have a few spots left in Kindergarten, Third, and Fifth Grades and kindly ask that you please spread the word to your friends and family!

We are thrilled to announce that we have hired our new Spanish teacher! Profesor Manuel Caceres comes to us from a Spanish Immersion School in Baltimore and has extensive experience teaching Spanish. He is a native of El Salvador, Central America and was educated in Christian schools during his primary through high school education. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and has taught in both public and private schools. His degree was a basis for later study in Education at the Pan-American University where he also studied Theology. "I love to teach and educate children since they are the future of our country. I strongly believe in a can-do attitude. I am committed to doing my best to achieve the goals of St. John Parish Day School, our parents, and our students." Additionally, we are working closely with our new candidate for the Lower School Art position and will announce this new educator next week as all official documentation is complete. 

Once again, it was delightful to see you all virtually this week. We are very much looking forward to Tuesday, September 8th and our new school year!

Warm regards,

Lori Dembo
Head of School
Peek Into our New Classroom Set Up!
Mrs. Moulding's 1st Grade Classroom
Ms. Baldwin's 3's Classroom
We have modified the layout of our classrooms to support social distancing while maintaining our warm and welcoming environment. Instead of seating in groups, students will be spread out throughout the classroom space where they can safely interact with their teachers and peers. We extend a HUGE THANK YOU to our faculty who have worked tirelessly to get their classrooms ready for the 2020-21 school year. They are so excited to be back in the classroom and to see their students both in-person and virtually soon!
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