SJRS Monthly Newsletter -August 2020
Saint Jerome Regional School
"Living Fearlessly Through Faith..."
Message From The Principal
 Dear St. Jerome Regional School Family,
Welcome to the New School Year! Whether you’re returning or new to our school family, we are blessed to have you here or with us virtually. We are very busy preparing for your return and very excited for the new school year to begin! As of today, we are excited to welcome 51 new students to SJRS! Our present enrollment is 264 in PreK-8th grade!  We have all worked hard to spread the good news of Saint Jerome Regional School. A healthy enrollment helps to ensure our future. There are many exciting additions and changes to our school for the 2020-2021 school year. This newsletter is full of important information, so please keep it handy for your reference. 

Classroom Teacher and Specials Teacher Announcements:
•Kindergarten has two sections (Mrs. Degler and Mrs. Dakosty)
•1st grade has two sections (Mrs. Metters and Mrs. Klein)
•2nd Grade has two sections (Mrs. Lindenmuth and Mrs. Roberts)
•3rd Grade- Mrs. Krajcirik
•4th Grade- Ms. Bachert
• 5th Grade- Mrs. Purin
• 6th Grade- Mrs. Williams
• 7th Grade- Mrs. Miller
• 8th Grade- Mrs. Confer
• Physical Education and STEM- Ms. Daukshus
• Art- Mrs. Odorizzi
• Music- Mr. Cressley

OUR SUPPORTING PARISHES AND PASTORS:
• All Saints Parish, McAdoo- Monsignor William Baker
• Immaculate Conception Parish, Jim Thorpe- Father James Ward
• St. John XXIII Parish, Tamaqua- Father John Frink
• St. Joseph of Panther Valley Parish- Father Allen Hoffa
• SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Lehighton- Father Christopher Zelonis
• St. Peter the Fisherman Parish, Lake Harmony- Monsignor John Chizmar
• St. Richard's Parish, Barnesville- Father Eric Tolentino

EDUCATIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:
• This summer, we applied for another grant through Computer Aid, Inc. We were informed that we will be awarded a $48,758 Instructional Technology Grant for the 2020-2021 School Year. A big portion of that grant will be used to install new smartboards in the classrooms. We will also use that to purchase subscriptions for K-8 in stemscopes and dreambox. We will also purchase some chromebooks for student use as well.

• Aside from spending much time on our Health and Safety Plan this summer, there were also many other things that were accomplished that we would like to highlight.

  • Our STEM teacher, Ms. Daukshus spent many hours this summer setting up school issued Google accounts for each of our students in K-8 and all of our teachers. She also created helpful family info sheets for each of our families with their information for every program that includes login and passwords for easy reference. Thank you Ms. D!

  • Classroom phones were installed in each of our classrooms this summer. Staff will be able to use them to communicate with the office rather than sending students through the halls. This will also allow for greater confidentiality in communication between the office and the teachers.

  • The school Wifi was updated in the entire building.

  • Our Middle States Team spent many hours this summer finalizing our submission for review by the Middle States Association. Thanks to Mrs. Klein for leading that team and for all of her hard work! SJRS was supposed to have our Middle States Visit last April, but due to the shut-down, we have had to reschedule that. The visit will now be done virtually in September. We will notify everyone of the results when completed.

  • New smartboards were ordered and are currently being installed.

  • Most of our important first week forms were put online, the website was updated, as well as the student/parent handbook.

  • Chromebooks were ordered for use in 2nd-8th grade. (Although, it may take a little while for these items to arrive due to most chromebooks being in high demand).

  • We will be allowing students to bring their own devices such as laptops, tablets or chromebooks this year. (No phones). They must be fully charged when they bring them to school. And, they will be able to connect to our existing system, which is on the school content filter and allows their device to use the internet safely.

  • We applied for and are hoping to receive a $10,000 safety grant. We will be using those funds to purchase items such as no touch thermometers for each classroom, motoscrubber jet pack for large area cleaning, hand sanitizer and dispensers, disenfectants, gloves, staff face shields, soap, and a temperature scanner.

  • Professional development is scheduled for our Faculty and Staff with a new program that was purchased- Boardworks and two more sessions are scheduled on the topic of Google Classroom.

  • Classrooms were reorganized to make room for social distancing. Items were removed, desks were spaced apart, micro barrier were put in place and signage was displayed.

FIRST DAY ARRIVAL PROCEDURES: 
• Please be sure that your child arrives between 7:45-8:00 AM on the first day of school. Homeroom starts at 8:00 AM. Children should not be dropped off before 7:45 AM during the school year, unless they are registered for ECP. ECP will start September 1st. The main doors will not be unlocked until 7:45 am.
• All children in grades K-8 should be dropped off and enter the exterior gym door entrance of the school building (THIS IS A CHANGE IN ROUTINE). Please do not park in front of the main doors. The large loop is for drop off only. Buses and cars will be arriving and leaving at that time. Parents should use the small loop in front of the main entrance if you are parking your car to come into the school for school business. (Although, visitors are limited this year, and must be scheduled in advance this year). We ask that all parents take their final pictures and say good-bye to their children before their children enter the building. Parents will not be walking their children into the building. Teachers and Staff will be outside directing and helping the students. Children will enter through the gym doors, and be socially distanced until they have their temperatures scanned. They will then be directed to their classroom.

DISMISSAL PROCEDURES: 
• On the first two days of school, we will dismiss students in two groups. Please be patient the first few weeks of school, as the students will be learning new procedures and dismissal will take longer than expected. Parents who are picking up their children should follow the normal dismissal routines that were established last school year. The only difference is that the children will be socially distanced as they walk to to the cars. There may also be more cars in line this year, and because of this, we may have to allow the first set of cars to move and then pull a second round of cars in to walk the kids through the line a second time. For our new families, there is also a diagram that explains the arrival and dismissal routines. Buses will be using the large loop to pick up, and the buses will be loaded and dismissed first. Parent pick up will follow the buses.  
• Group 1 – Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:00 PM at the main entrance of the school. Busing is not provided for Kindergarten students on these two days.
• Group 2 – All students in grades 1-8 will be dismissed at 2:45 PM. Buses will dismiss from the main entrance and car riders/walkers will be dismissed from main entrance. 
• Be sure that your child knows how he or she is going home from school—by bus, car, etc.  It is a good idea for kindergarten and grade one students to write the mode of transportation on a card and pin it like a nametag to your child. Your child’s safety is our greatest concern. We also want each child to feel secure and confident on the first days of school. Please plan transportation ahead of time. Last minute calls to the school office are stressful for the children and the staff. Only call in the case of an emergency change.

BUS TRANSPORTATION:
• Bus schedules vary from district to district. In the past, some districts sent information directly to the parents. Others posted stops on the district website. If the schedules are sent to us, we will forward them to you as soon as they are received. Questions concerning busing must be directed to the school district. If you are having difficulty with any busing issues and you need our assistance, we will help you as best we can.  If you have not completed and submitted a bus form and require busing you will have to contact your school district because the deadline has passed.

OTHER Announcements: 
• Important Documents: Usually, our students return home from the first few days of school with many important documents in their folders. This year, we are distributing these forms to you online in order to reduce the amount of paperwork coming back and forth to school. These important documents will need to be filled out and returned to school before the first day of school. Please fill out one set of forms for EACH child and one set of family forms. It is very important that we have all of your updated information before school starts.

Please fill out 1 set of forms for each of your children who attend SJRS.

Please fill out 1 set of forms for your family.

SCHOOL LUNCHES: The proposed date to start School lunches is September 8th. Please be sure to send your child to school with a lunch, drink and a snack until that date.
• WEBSITE: www.sjrschool.com . Please go to our website frequently to find important information on calendars, dress code, supply lists, extended care program information, etc. 
• Please be sure to set up your FACTS account if you are new to our school and haven't done so already. 

IMPORTANT DATES: 
• August 17th and 18th from 8:00 AM-3:00 PM – Meet the Teacher Event for Kindergarten and New Families . If you are a new family or have a child attending Kindergarten and would like to come to the school to meet your child's teacher and view the school please call the office to schedule a time slot for the 17th or 18th by August 7th. This will be by appointment only so that we can properly socially distance our visits. Visits will be scheduled every twenty minutes for new families who want to schedule in advance. For our returning families, our Teachers will be sharing information with you all on the 19th which will include information about their individual classes and other information about the school.
To address any concerns of what the school day routine will look like, we will be sharing a video before the start of school. Teachers for Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade will be shared via OptionC message today.

SPECIAL THANK YOU:
• We would like to say thank you to those of you who donated towards the purchase of PPE and other items for our students and staff this summer. Because of the generosity and support of these families and community members we were able to purchase items such as: micro barriers for desks, face shields, two masks for each of our students, lanyards for the masks, tripods for the teachers to use when recording their lessons for our virtual learners, cases for our ipads, signage about being socially distanced, washing hands, etc.

•I would also like to thank our Home and School Association for all of their work throughout last school year and for their continued efforts and commitment to help our school and our students. We encourage all parents to get involved with Home and School. We will need much help, especially this year with our fundraising efforts. Most of our events will have to be held virtually and we encourage everyone to share ideas with HSA.


Thank you for being a part of the SJRS Family and thank you for all the sacrifices you make to send your child to this school. We wholeheartedly believe that, as our mission statement reflects: Our base is family, our mission is faith, and our future rests in the courage to leave behind a legacy. It is truly a privilege to be part of a community where parents, teachers, and students care for each other and help each other to live fearlessly through faith. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we will see you on August 31st. Let’s make it a great year at SJRS!
If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to call our school office. We will be happy to help you!  

God bless you and your families! 
Mrs. Amy M. Hannis-Miskar, Principal