Welcome back to the opening of what promises to be another great school year! I hope you enjoyed the summer and relaxing
with your families. It sure did seem to speed by this year and even though we hate to see it end, I hope you are excited about the 2015-2016 school year!
School improvements - We are starting the year off with more books in the classrooms for student use at different levels. The gym floor has been refinished to give it a really good base coat. The back doors will soon be replaced at the gym as well. The doors in the school now have a smoke seal on them to protect the stairwells in the event of a fire. The final plans for the sprinkler system are being approved.
The classrooms have been washed, scrubbed and floors have been washed and waxed. The office has been painted a nice sunny yellow to welcome people. The tower was dismantled on the playground and we have an Eagle Scout that will be making minor repairs to the shed and painting the playground and the shed this fall.
Staff Changes - We are really sorry to say goodbye to Karen Morris and Julie Noble. We wish to thank them for their service to Saint James School and we wish them both well in the next phase of their careers.
We welcome Mrs McDonald to our staff. She is a retired guidance counselor and will be working two half days doing guidance lessons for students in areas such as friendship, anti-bullying, etc. She will also be able to assist the eighth graders with their transition to high school. She will not be here to work 1:1 with students.
Mrs. Coombs will be the new first grade teacher. This will be an easy switch for her as she has worked in the primary grades for most of her career. She will be able to take those first graders where they are and as far as they can go.
Mrs. Brouillette will be switching to fifth grade which was her original first choice. She will be out on maternity leave in the fall and Mrs. Huot is already scheduled to be her long term sub. Mrs. Huot has completed all the course work for her teaching certification and will be working closely with Miss Belanger to make sure that this is a good experience for all fifth graders.
Mrs. Anglin will continue on as our eighth grade teacher. She had a wonderful year last year and taught the sixth and eighth graders in English Language Arts and Social Studies. She can always speak with Mrs. Brouillette about questions that she may have.
Mrs. Lafrance is a new hire. Mrs. Lafrance has worked in the scientific field and has just completed her student teaching at Cape Elizabeth High School. She will be working with our middle schoolers in science. She comes with glowing recommendations.
Mrs. Jolin has decided to semi retire. She will only be here on Fridays. Mrs. Fournier will be taking over her duties.
Enrollment - We are very happy to welcome twenty new families to Saint James School this year. Our enrollment is at about 140. We have a couple of families that we are still waiting to confirm but everything looks great!
Thank you - Mike Gornick and Guerlin Jean-Paul have been doing a great job getting the school ready. They have supervised the cleaning. Please be sure to thank them when you see them. They have done a terrific job! There are a few room changes. The music room has been moved to Cheryl Anglin's last year classroom. This keeps music and band on the same side of the school. Rita Gervais has moved into the old music room. This allows her to be closer to first grade. And all the teachers are making their way in to set up their classrooms!
We also want to thank our tech crew that works all summer long and every Wednesday night to keep our computers up and running. Thank you Peter Laverriere and crew!
Communication – All communication will be done through FastDirect. This online program was used for the whole school last year for grades and report cards. We will also be sending out the weekly blasts on Fast Direct so please be sure that your email is correct on here. If you have forgotten your login or password, please call the school.
Teachers will post assignments on their bulletin board and report cards will also be sent through this system. We will not be sending out progress reports because you will be able to see your child's grades online. If you want to be informed if your child falls below a certain grade, just let your homeroom teacher know.
Safety –Nobody will be able to help in the classroom or with students unless they attend a Protecting God’s Children class and fill out the needed paperwork. Please see Helen in the office for that information.
Also, please use the crossing guard for crossing the streets. He is there to ensure you and your children’s safety.
Dates to Remember – The open house barbecue will be Thursday, August 27th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. School will begin on Tuesday, September 1st at 8:15 a.m. for grades one through eight. Please join us in the school yard for opening prayer. Kindergarten will start on Wednesday, September 2nd and the Prekindergarten will begin on Tuesday, September 8th. Our first school mass will be Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at Saint Joseph’s Church. Students will be more involved in these masses, we hope you can join us. There will be a Parent Teacher Orientation Night on September 9th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. There will be some general information and then you can visit your child’s classroom to learn more about classroom rules and expectations.
Before School Care and After School Care are available for working families. Please call the office for more information. This will also be available for the Early Release Wednesdays this year.
NEASC Accreditation Saint James School will be
working on a self study for NEASC accreditation for the next
two years. This is a voluntary accredit
ion that will make our school even better. Staff will be working on this
self study during the early release Wednesdays. If any parents would like to be on a committee, please let Nancy know.
School Lunch begins on the first day. This will also be done using the Fast Direct system this year. You will be able to see online how many lunches your student has at any time. We are an gold award winning school, the first in York County, for our healthy lunches.
Fundraising Saint James School has a fundraising schedule for the school year where we try to spread fundraising out throughout the year. A lot of this is done through the PFTA. Every parent is a part of the PFTA when you enroll your child in the school. Please let either me or your classroom teacher know if you would be willing to be the classroom representative to the PFTA. Two parents can share this role and it involves attending the PFTA meeting which occurs on the third Wednesday of each month and sending the minutes to the remainder of the class.
This is the year that we will have an auction. Lynn Roy has graciously offered to be the chair of this event. Please let her know if you can help her out as she will need a lot of help to make this successful. The proceeds from the auction will help to pay for laptop carts so that our students can have 1:1 computing in their classrooms.
We do fundraising to keep tuition low and to provide the extras to the school. We do not require each family to do a certain amount of fundraising, as other Catholic schools do. Instead, we feel that Saint James School is a family and as a family, we help each other out, so we ask that you volunteer for the school wherever you can. It is very much appreciated and it comes back to help you out.
We are honored that you believe in Catholic education and we want to thank you for sharing your students with us. We have so much to be proud of as a staff, family and a community. It is my great privilege to be a part of this wonderful school. My door is always open to you so I can hear your suggestions or concerns. I look forward to working with you for the best interest of your child! We are partners in education! Thank you!
Nancy Naimey, Principal