Principal’s Letter

Dear Families,

It was such a delight to hear children’s voices in the building – and yours also. Welcome back!

Thank you for your patience at check-in and for bringing proof of vaccination. Thank you to those of you who told us you are eager to volunteer. You are living Fair Share. We are delighted to report all staff and faculty are fully vaccinated, as are almost all of our eligible students. I heard from many of you that you are, like us, eagerly awaiting news of when the vaccine will be available for the younger children. Until then, together we will take all the precautions necessary to keep us all healthy.

Again, it is going to take a community-wide effort to keep our school open to in-person learning. If you have not taken the time to review our updated Re-Opening Plan, I ask you to utilize the resource. Many of the questions I have been fielding are answered in the manual. Familiarize yourself with our updated travel quarantine options, vaccination requirements for volunteers, and guidance for large gatherings. I urge you to keep your children home when they are not feeling well. When a child is symptom-free for 24 hours they may return to school. When in doubt, have them tested. If your child is experiencing seasonal allergies, please provide administration with documentation from your pediatrician. Otherwise, the school may be moved to send your child home.

As we begin the school year, and the weather is nice, students will be eating outside, along with small groups in our cafeteria. Once masks are removed in all meal/snack settings, six feet of distancing is recommended by DOH. When the rain arrives, our contingency plans call for students to space out in classrooms, the portables, and the cafeteria. And on the topic of food; our Crispin’s Kitchen staff is preparing for another year of high quality, healthy lunch service. If you haven’t submitted your orders for September, please order now.  Please be sure to send your child with a filled water bottle this year as I’m happy to report we will be discontinuing the use of plastic water bottles in the lunchroom. Thank you to all the students who have been reminding us to do our part to protect all God’s creation by eliminating excess plastic consumption from our lunch program.

We can also be good stewards of the environment by exploring alternative means of transportation to and from school. With a large-scale construction project to break ground on the corner of 79th and Greenwood soon, I’m asking you to consider walking, biking, or starting a carpool this year. Together you must act to reduce traffic congestion in the neighborhood. I’d love to see a team of parents create a “walking school bus.” Meet somewhere nearby and utilize the new Stay Healthy Street on 1st Ave. to access our campus on foot or by bike. I respectfully ask you to review our updated traffic map and please share the document with the grandparents, friends, or nannies who are collecting some of your children each day. Drivers—please mind the queue on Greenwood Ave. and commit to memory the prescribed traffic pattern, particularly for afternoon pick-up. Enterprising neighbors and parent photographers are looking for ways to highlight your, at times, poor driving and parking choices. Be warned.

Extended Daycare Directors, Rachelle Overby and Kathryn Chandler, are looking forward to welcoming those children registered for care. Extended Daycare will be open at 7am on Tuesday morning. Afternoon (PM) daycare will begin at noon to accommodate the kindergarten early dismissal during the week of September 7-10. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate the After School Study Hall for grades 6, 7 and 8 at the moment.

I want to commend the teachers and specialists for their hard work and preparations over the course of the last two weeks. It has taken tremendous courage on their part to face another year of teaching during this pandemic. Thank you parents for the many ways you support their vocation during the academic year. Together We Can.

We look forward to seeing your children on Tuesday. School starts at 8:15am.

Bernadette O’Leary