1.0 WELCOME FROM PRINCIPAL ELIZABETH VENEZIALE Download the Survival Guide here...
I am very excited to welcome you to the Saint Philip Neri School community. You have given careful thought to where you wanted your child to attend school; and I am very grateful that you choose us. I will do my best to provide your child with a safe, faith-filled and loving school environment. We share a unique partnership and a common goal: to provide for your children an education devoted to academic excellence and committed to Catholic values.
As a parent of three children, I know how important it is to have confidence in your child’s educational environment. We spend many hours with your children; and you want to feel that your children are in the best hands possible. I want to assure you that we celebrate each student as a gift from God to be nurtured to achieve their God-given potential.
You are always welcome to contact us regarding the ways we can help each other in educating your child. Please, if you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to contact me. My email address is
We are happy to have you as a part of our school family.
2.0 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM
Your child will be in a traditional classroom setting for strong, well-rounded academic instruction in subjects including Religion, Mathematics, Beginning Reading, Penmanship, and Science. It is very important that parents and teachers work together to share in the learning process.
We have included biographies of our teachers to provide you with an introduction to our talented and dedicated early education faculty.
2.1 Ms. Lori Tomczak – Pre-Kindergarten
Ms. Lori Tomczak began teaching pre-kindergarten in 1998. Before joining SPN in 2001, she taught in Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She takes numerous continuing education courses.
During the school year, Ms. Tomczak focuses on strengthening fine motor skills, listening skills, and social interaction skills. She enjoys helping build each student’s self-confidence to prepare for success in kindergarten. Her classroom offers a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences. These experiences contribute to the pre-kindergarten child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.
Ms. Tomczak believes play is a child’s work! During play time, centers challenge and encourage students to work at their own pace, make and correct their own mistakes, and learn by doing. She believes that by developing these basic skills, the pre-kindergarten child will be prepared to face new challenges. Ultimately, these skills will contribute to a successful academic future.
2.2 Mrs. Jane Mack – Kindergarten
In 2008, Mrs. Jane Mack will begin her 27th year of teaching in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and her 16th year of teaching kindergarten at SPN. Before coming to SPN, Mrs. Mack taught at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy and Epiphany of Our Lord School. She graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She updates her teaching skills by completing courses earning Pennsylvania Act 48 continuing education credits.
Mrs. Mack loves teaching kindergarten because “5 and 6 year old children love coming to school to learn.” Over the years, Mrs. Mack has adapted her teaching style to include the advanced technology available at SPN. She regularly uses the interactive SmartBoard in her lessons. One of her primary goals is to foster a love of books. Mrs. Mack loves reading to the children and exposing them to many age appropriate books and authors.
2.3 Mrs. Mary Jo Spinelli – Kindergarten
Mrs. Mary Jo Spinelli began teaching pre-kindergarten at SPN in 1999. In 2001, she found her niche teaching kindergarten. Mrs. Spinelli earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Cabrini College. She takes a variety of continuing education courses to stay abreast of educational trends.
Mrs. Spinelli believes in the Archdiocesan philosophy that “kindergarten is not a race, but a journey.” Children need to learn through a variety of activities and experiences that benefit them socially and academically. Mrs. Spinelli uses a variety of teaching methods. She engages the children with her “sports math” program. The Letter People Program strengthens letter recognition, sound recognition, and word recognition in a fun way. To expand the children’s reading readiness, Mrs. Spinelli uses poetry, song charts, and Big Books. Portfolios are kept to assess each child’s development. The portfolios include a writing section, a listening section, and a math section. Parents are always welcome to visit Mrs. Spinelli’s classroom.
2.4 Sister Maureen James Barr – First Grade
Sr. Maureen James Barr began teaching first grade at St. Philip Neri School in 1999. In June 2006, she began her 30th year teaching in parochial schools. She has taught first and second grade in the Archdioceses of Harrisburg, Wilmington and Philadelphia. Sr. Maureen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Masters of Elementary Education from Chestnut Hill College. Throughout the year, Sr. Maureen takes continuing education courses addressing various academic trends.
One of the cornerstones of Sr. Maureen’s classroom is respect. Her students begin learning to respect themselves, others and our Catholic faith and traditions. During her teaching career, Sr. Maureen has embraced many new teaching methods while maintaining focus on fundamental Math and Language Arts skills. She enjoys incorporating the SmartBoard and other computer technology into her lesson plans.
2.5 Mrs. Catherine Glatz – First Grade
Mrs. Glatz graduated from La Salle University in 2000 with a degree in Communication and received her teaching certification through Gwynedd-Mercy College’s Master Teacher program. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Reading with Reading Specialist certification at Gwynedd-Mercy College. She looks forward to applying the skills and strategies she is learning to help her students strengthen their developing reading skills, as well as learn of the joy reading can bring!
As an educator, Mrs. Glatz believes that it is her responsibility to inspire and positively influence every child that enters her classroom. By creating a faith-filled environment that encourages creativity, discovery, and exploration, respects originality, and offers support for all efforts, she hopes to facilitate a love of learning from her students. Throughout daily classroom activities, she strives to reach all learning styles and tries to incorporate things such as technology, music, art and movement into each subject. She believes that education is not an end result, but a life-long journey!
3.0 SAINT PHILIP NERI HOME & SCHOOL BOARD
SPN Home and School Board was created to enrich our students’ faith and educational experience by developing a meaningful and lasting partnership between home and school. Its mission is to bring parish families together through active participation in special events and profitable fund raising programs thereby fostering community spirit and improving the school environment.
SPN students have benefited greatly from the Home and School Board’s actions. Through its fundraising efforts, the Home and School Board provides the school with money to sustain and improve the educational environment. Each year, the Board provides at least $10,000 to the SPN Technology Committee to keep the school on the cutting edge of educational technology. The SPN library receives money each year from the Board to purchase new books. The Home and School Board also provides our second and third grade students the opportunity to participate in the First Move Chess Program.
The Home and School Board is comprised of parents, a teacher liaison, the school principal, and the SPN pastor. The Board positions include: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Children’s Programs, Parent’s Programs, Publicity, Home Room Coordinator, Auxiliary, Fund Raising and Teachers’ Representative.
All parents are encouraged to become an active part of the Home and School Board. We need everyone’s expertise if we are to continue to provide our children with a quality, faith-filled education. If you are interested in becoming more involved in your school, please email the current Home and School Board President, Beth Morris (email@example.com
4.0 ADDITIONAL FUNDRAISING
4.1 Scrip Program
The Scrip Program is a gift card purchase program designed as a fundraising tool for the school as well as a way for parents to save on tuition. This program provides an opportunity to purchase gift certificates for approximately thirty local vendors including supermarkets, restaurants and department stores. For every $50 you spend, you receive a voucher worth $1.50 toward SPN tuition. These vouchers add up quickly. A family that purchases $150 a week in Scrip for one year will accumulate $234 in SPN tuition credit and contribute $156 directly to SPN.
Gift cards may be purchased directly through school, in the Church Office, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. or after Masses on Sunday. To learn more about Scrip and our participating vendors, visit the school web site at www.saintphilipnerischool.com
4.2 Box Tops For Education
The “Box Tops for Education” Program is a rebate program sponsored by General Mills Corporation. SPN receives 10 cents for every Box Top up to $20,000 per school year. By clipping Box Top for Education point certificates located on hundreds of General Mills, Betty Crocker, and Yoplait products and sending the coupons to SPN, you can help the school earn additional money. The coupons can be sent into school through your child’s teacher or placed in collection bins located in the back of church.
4.3 ACME / Shoprite Receipts
Similar to the “Box Top for Education” Program, ACME has a rebate program that provides easy ways to raise funds for SPN. Please save all ACME and ShopRite receipts and submit them to school. You can turn the receipts into your child’s teacher or place them in the bin in the back of SPN Church.
4.4 Target Take Charge of Education
You can also earn money for SPN by simply using your Target charge card and designating SPN as your school of choice.
4.5 Tyson Project A+
Through this national fundraising program sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc., SPN can raise up to $12,000 per year. Just clip and save the entire Project A+ label from participating Tyson products. Each label collected by SPN earns 24 cents. Return your Tyson A+ labels to Michelle Abiuso c/ Brandon Abiuso Grade 1 Room 4. If you have any questions, contact Michelle at AbiusoPHL@aol.com
5.0 COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENTS
Character development and community service have been a part of the SPN curriculum since the first student entered its hallways in 1951. From pre-K through 8th grade, our students are involved in a variety of community service projects.
Our Gospel Values teaching immerses all students in the ideals of Justice, Truth, Faith, Service, Forgiveness, Compassion and Hope. Through a variety of projects, SPN students recognize the value of service and learn firsthand the meaning of the brotherhood of Christ. Through our own initiatives and in partnership with existing programs, SPN students, parents, faculty and staff work to promote civic pride and responsibility, learn to live the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and meet the challenges of a changing world with open hearts and minds.
Community Service helps prepare SPN students to be faithful, loving family members and responsible adults who stand ready to be the leaders of their communities and of the world. We strive to instill in each of our students the belief that it is incumbent on us to “give back” to our communities and to make a positive difference for the public good.
5.1 School Wide Service Projects
Several times per year, the entire SPN student body participates in a service project. Student Council hosts several tag days each year to raise money for a variety of charitable causes. The largest school wide service project occurs during Catholic Schools Week. SPN students donated items that were incorporated into snack bags that were handed out at local shelters.
5.2 Classroom Service Projects
Each grade participates in additional service project. Through hands on participation, students are able to devote time, effort, love, good cheer, books, food, etc. The students learn to spread goodwill to the lives of the less fortunate. Some of the teachers have developed special ties with specific service organizations and work with that organization each year. Other teachers develop new service projects each year. Some of the organizations with which our teachers work are:
Hugs from Home- letters to our soldiers
6.0 FAMILY EVENTS
At SPN, we develop a strong community by creating rituals and traditions that are passed on from year to year. These rituals and traditions are unique to SPN and help us feel connected to each other. These programs are generally held during non-school hours and are a great way to bring parents into the school and to connect them with other school families. Please come see what a great time you entire family can have at our school family events.
6.1 Family Bingo Night – On at least one night per year, the SPN auditorium is
transformed into a bingo hall. Bingo games are played by children for non-cash prizes. Dinner items, drinks and snacks are available for purchase. A small admission fee is charged and bingo cards are sold throughout the night.
6.2 Fall Festival – one Friday evening in the early fall, SPN turns into a fall
fun-fest. Play games, win prizes, enjoy treats, and ride the hayride. Fun for the entire family. An admission fee is charged and games, rides and treats are pay as you go.
6.3 Holiday Show – Each December, SPN hosts a Christmas Show. Each
grade goes on stage to perform a special holiday song for the SPN community. Afternoon and evening performances accommodate friends and family.
6.4 Father Daughter Dance – On a Friday night near Valentines Day, fathers
and daughters are invited to SPN for dinner and a night of fun and dancing. A local D.J. provides the entertainment. A per family price is charged to cover the cost of the D.J., buffet dinner and decorations.
6.5 Mother Son Event – SPN mothers and sons are invited to spend time
together at an outing just for them. The location and theme of the activities have varied from year-to-year.
6.6 St. Philip Neri Drama Club Presentation – One spring weekend, SPN’s
Auditorium is transformed into a theatre and shows are performed all weekend. SPN students are treated to a special in-school performance, but the weekend shows are fun for the entire family.
6.7 Children’s Advent Celebration – One evening in early December, a mass
is held in SPN Church to help the children understand the true spirit of giving. Children are asked to bring a gift for a less fortunate child and are given the opportunity to place their gifts on the altar during the mass. Monsignor interacts with the children throughout the mass. Following mass, a social is held to continue the “spirit of giving” by making cards that will accompany the gifts.
6.8 Family Liturgy – During the school year, each grade has the opportunity
to assist in a specific Sunday mass. Students for the respective grade are assigned parts and the entire class is recognized by the priest at the conclusion of the mass. For first through eighth grades, the students read the scripture passages, penitential rites, present the gifts to the priest and offer the sign of peace to the parish. For kindergarten, the students stand with their parent as the parent reads the scripture passage. In pre-K, the students perform a special song on the altar.
7.0 SPECIAL EVENTS
In addition to our Family Programs, SPN also has a number of programs that are directed to our students. Many of these programs occur as part of the regular school day. Some of these student focused traditions at SPN include:
7.1 Grade Partners - This is a school wide program that partners students in
the upper grades with students in the lower grades. Actual partners are assigned by the teachers in the grades involved. The children get together several times a year to engage in a variety of activities together. At times, the older children read to the younger children. Sometimes, the children do seasonal art projects with the older children helping the younger children. Classes have also worked together to perform service projects. In the spring of 2007, a kindergarten class and a 5th grade class worked together (with the help of parents) to make fleece blankets for the soldiers in Iraq. During Catholic Schools week, the entire school works with their grade partners to put together snack bags for children living in Philadelphia shelters.
The teachers generally plan the activities for the students to perform with their grade partners. It is wonderful to see the older children eager to help the younger children. It is also wonderful to see the younger children gain social confidence and begin feeling comfortable in a large school when they have a special friend in an upper grade.
7.2 Field Trips – Students participate in age-appropriate educational field trips
to enhance the classroom experience. Field trips provide students with educational opportunities outside of the normal classroom setting that enhance each student’s learning and life experiences. Field trips are arranged through the individual grades as opportunities arise throughout the school year. Some of the prior field trips that our students have taken part in include:
Pre-K: Merrymeade Farm, Keswick Theater
Kindergarten: Pennsbury Manor, Adventure Aquarium, and the Helicopter Museum
1st Grade: Baby Jesus Celebration at Kennedy Kenrick HS, Family Picnic for All First Grade Parents
2nd Grade: Kimmel Center, Rittenhouse Town Village, Philadelphia Zoo
3rd Grade: Kimmel Center, Ride the Ducks Tour of Philadelphia, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Morris Arboretum
4th Grade: Kimmel Center, Valley Forge, Walking Tour of Historical
Philadelphia including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’ House, Franklin Court, U.S. Mint and the Constitution Center
5th Grade: Renaissance Faire, Kimmel Center, Franklin Institute,
Archbishop Carroll High School Productions, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler at the Keswick Theater
6th Grade: Kimmel Center, Crystal Cave, Education Day at the Reading
7th Grade: Constitution Center and Graeme Park
8th Grade: Team Building Experience and New York City including a Broadway Show
7.3 Assembly Program – SPN students’ classroom experience is enriched with
three or more assembly programs each year. Outside professionals present programs that help bring to life the lessons that the students read about in their classrooms. Past assemblies have included visits from the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Walnut Street Theatre, an inflatable planetarium, and others. The pre-K and kindergarten students participate in additional assemblies focusing on music, dental health, reading and more. Money raised by the Home and School Board helps fund the assembly program.
7.4 Art Goes To School – SPN students participate in art appreciation classes
that a nonprofit volunteer organization brings to elementary school children. Through this, SPN students learn about pieces of art from a variety of cultures around the world.
7.5 Field Day – During the last week of school, each grade has the opportunity
to participate in a half day filled with fun activities. Separate field days are held for the pre-k and kindergarten students. A lower and upper school field day are also held.
7.6 Catholic Schools Week – This annual celebration of the pride and
Spirit demonstrated by our students teachers, and staff members throughout the school year generally occurs in mid to late January. Our celebration always opens with a liturgy that expresses our theme for the week. Themes focus on faith, service, academics and leadership. Catholic Schools Week is filled with activities and events which exhibit our students’ academic strengths. It is also a time when we undertake a school-wide service project that reveals our students’ enthusiasm to work together to achieve a goal that will help those less fortunate in our community. Other events include assemblies, spelling bees and individual classroom service projects.
7.7 Reading Olympics – A celebration of reading for students in fifth through
eighth grade. Team members are asked to read at least 5 books from the list provided by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. In mid-April, teams of twelve students compete with teams from other schools to answer questions about the books they have been reading during the year. Ribbons are awarded to every participant based upon the number of questions answered correctly by the team as a whole.
7.8 First Move Chess Program – This is a complete curriculum and training
program developed by America’s Foundation for Chess to build math problem solving skills, reading comprehension and self-esteem in 2nd and 3rd graders through the game of chess. Chess is used as a tool to support the existing academic, social and emotional goals of the 2nd and 3rd grade classroom teachers.
7.9 Pi Day – As many of you may remember from your geometry classes, the
numerical value of pi is 3.14. On March 14th, SPN students celebrate Pi Day. Each class engages in a different activity connected with the geometrical concept of pi. Students also sing pi songs to familiar tunes and enjoy circular treats.
7.10 Secret Santa – Each December, SPN students from pre-k through 6th grade
have an opportunity to buy presents for their families and loved ones. Volunteers purchase a variety of items and create a shop where the children can purchase their Christmas gifts. If your child is permitted to shop, parents are asked to send money into school in an envelope marked with your child’s name and form whom they can purchase presents.
7.11 R.E.A.C.H. Program – SPN fifth grade students participate in a program
sponsored by the Whitemarsh Police Department designed to educate students
on dangerous behaviors. This program covers the harmful effects of tobacco, drugs,
and alcohol. Students also learn how to make responsible and safe decisions and how to
handle the different kinds of peer pressure they will encounter in the future. Students compose an
essay at the end of the program and celebrate their achievements at a graduation ceremony
and reception in June.
7.12 Eighth Grade Activities – To celebrate their final year at SPN, eighth
grade students participate in a number of special activities and events. Some of these include Team Building Day, Parent Social, Eighth Grade Dinner Dance and Graduation.
7.13 May Procession – On the first Thursday following First Holy Communion,
the SPN student body honors the Virgin Mary with a special mass. The first communicants wear their first communion dresses and suits during a procession and mass to celebrate Our Lady.
7.14 Middle School Dances – Students in grades 6 through 8 are welcome to
join their classmates for school dances from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. From October through May provided there are sufficient parent volunteers to chaperone the dances. Each fall, a dance schedule is publicized in the school newsletter and church bulletin. The first and last dances of the school year are open to SPN students only. For the other dances, prior written permission must be obtained from the Principal for any non-SPN guest. An admission fee is charged. Snacks are available for purchase.
8.0 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
8.1 What is the school uniform policy?
All students in grades Pre- Kindergarten through eighth grade wear uniforms. Pre-School students should wear the summer and winter gym uniform all year. SPN has a gym uniform, a winter uniform and an optional summer uniform. Students may wear the appropriate summer uniform between April 16th and October 31st. From November 1st to April 15th, all students are expected to wear the appropriate winter uniform.
Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. The only necklaces permissible are those of a religious nature. For girls, small, post-style earrings are permitted. Dangling earrings pose a risk and are not permitted. School policy bans all earrings on male students.
Gym uniforms are to be worn to school by all students in Kindergarten through 8th grade on their assigned gym day. The gym uniform includes predominately white sneakers and all white socks that reach the ankle with no visible design or insignia. During the summer uniform period, students wear a grey t-shirt with the SPN logo and navy mesh shorts with the SPN logo. During winter uniform, students wear the grey SPN t-shirt with a navy sweat pants and sweat shirts both bearing the SPN logo. The only acceptable SPN logos are the words “St. Philip Neri” or the SPN logo.
Kindergarten boys and girls wear the same summer and winter uniforms. The summer uniform consists of a light blue banded-hem golf shirt monogrammed with “St. Philip Neri” and navy walking shorts. The girls’ shorts are cuffed while the boys’ shorts are uncuffed. The kindergarten winter uniform for boys and girls is a navy sweat suit bearing the SPN logo and an embroidered long or short sleeved golf shirt. Predominately white sneakers and white above the ankle socks are worn ALL YEAR. The visible portion of the socks should be all white and free of any insignia or design. Belts are not mandatory in kindergarten. If a belt is worn, it must be navy blue or black.
Boys in grades 1 through 8 may during the appropriate periods wear summer uniforms consisting of a light blue banded-hem golf shirt monogrammed with “St. Philip Neri,” navy walking shorts, a navy blue or black belt, predominately white sneakers and white above the ankle socks without any visible insignia. Traditionally, the boy’s shorts are uncuffed. Winter uniforms include navy blue slacks, a light blue button up dress shirt, the SPN plaid tie, a navy blue monogrammed sweater, navy or black dress socks and a belt. The sweaters must be monogrammed with the school name. Students may select the type of navy sweater: vest, cardigan or crewneck. Any dark, sturdy dress shoe may be worn.
Girls in grades 1 through 4 may during the appropriate periods wear summer uniforms consisting of a light blue banded-hem golf shirt monogrammed with “St. Philip Neri,” navy walking shorts, a navy blue or black belt, predominately white sneakers and white above the ankle socks without any visible insignia. Traditionally, the girls walking shorts have cuffs. Girls may wear navy skorts in place of shorts when summer uniforms are acceptable. Winter uniforms include a jumper in the SPN plaid, a light blue peter pan collared blouse, a navy blue monogrammed sweater, and navy or black knee socks or tights. The sweaters must be monogrammed with the school name. Students may select the type of navy sweater: vest, cardigan or crewneck. Any dark, sturdy dress shoe may be worn.
Girls in grades 5 through 8 may during appropriate periods wear the same summer uniform as the first through fourth grade girls. Optionally during the summer uniform period, they may wear the light blue monogrammed banded-hem polo shirt with the SPN plaid skirt and navy or black knee socks or tights. A sturdy dark colored shoe is worn with this optional summer uniform. Winter uniforms include a skirt in the SPN plaid, a light blue straight collared button up blouse, a navy blue monogrammed sweater, and navy or black knee socks or tights. The skirts may be no shorter than 2” above the knee and may not be rolled up at the waist. The sweaters must be monogrammed with the school name. Students may select the type of navy sweater: vest, cardigan or crewneck. Any dark, sturdy dress shoe may be worn.
8.2 Where can I buy school uniform apparel?
Uniforms can be ordered during the summer or purchased at the following stores:
10 Shurs Lane NORTHTOWNE PLAZA
Philadelphia, PA 19128 2868 Dekalb Pike
(215)483-9601 East Norriton, PA
Springhouse Plaza 110-114 Fayette Street
901 North Bethlehem Pike Conshohocken, PA
Springhouse, PA 19477 (610) 828-5544
8.3 Is before and after-school care available at SPN?
Before school child care is available on an as needed basis Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until the beginning bell. There is a fee per child per hour.
After school child care is available on regular dismissal days, Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. No after school care is available on early dismissal days. There is a registration fee, a fee per child per hour, and a fee for late pick-up. Please request a copy of the C.A.R.E.S. (Children Are Receiving Extended Services) manual if you are interested in this program.
8.4 How do we communicate between home and school?
Effective communication is the single most important factor that assures a positive relationship between the home and school. All of our teachers have email addresses and review their messages daily. If you have any questions or concerns or need to provide the teacher with additional information, please email or send a note into school on the Blue Note to School Pad.
8.5 What is the Blue Note to School Pad?
SPN provides each family with one blue Note to School pad in the initial communication envelope of the year. This pad is designed to ensure that communications to school are not overlooked. All communications sent into school should be written on this memo pad. Additional notepads are available in the school office for a small fee.
8.6 What time does school start at SPN?
The school day begins at 8:10 a.m. Before this time, students should be lined up by their teachers. Once the bell rings, students recite the pledge of allegiance before moving into their individual classrooms, under the supervision of the teachers.
8.7 What are the procedures for morning drop-off?
Sending your child to school is often like flying – take offs and landings cause the most stress. These daily events are just as important to everyone here at SPN. After years of practice and improvement, we believe our system is both safe and efficient.
· Morning drop-off is conducted with a moving car line entering from Ridge Pike only. Cars enter the Church parking lot, staying to the left of the orange safety cones eventually exiting at Ridge Pike. Once your vehicle enters the student drop-off area, please move as far up the island as possible.
· It is imperative that the car line continues moving.
· Before entering the property, please have child ready with their belongings to exit your car. DO NOT get out of your car. Encourage your children not to linger but to move to his/her designated area.
· Busses also enter at Ridge Pike, but travel to the right of the orange safety cones. They have a drop-off area along back driveway before convent. School buses are the only vehicles permitted to exit onto Chestnut Street at this time.
8.8 What if my child is absent?
When your child will not be in school, please call the office at 610-828-3082 before 9:00 a.m. Leave a message on our automated telephone system with the following information:
· Date of absence
· Child’s Name
· Child’s Homeroom Teacher’s Name
· Nature of absence
When the student returns to school, a written, dated note explaining the reason for the absence must be sent. This note should be on the blue Note To School Pad. After 3 days absence, state law requires that a doctor’s note be provided.
8.9 What if my child is late for school?
Students will be listed as late if they are not in line at 8:10 a.m. This does not apply to those students who are on a school bus that is late for morning drop-off.
Any student taking private transportation who arrives late for school must:
· Report to the school office for an admission slip
· Present the admission slip to the teacher in the class.
8.10 When do I pick up my child?
Children will begin exiting the building at 2:55 p.m. on a normal dismissal school day and at 12:15 p.m. on an early dismissal day unless otherwise advised.
8.11 What are the procedures for afternoon dismissal?
At the beginning of the school year, you will instruct the school as to how your child will be dismissed each day: e.g. walker, bus or car line. If there is any change in this dismissal pattern, the school must be advised in writing on the blue Note To School Pad.
· All walkers exit from side driveway doors, and follow their regular route. Crossing guards will be present on Ridge and Germantown Pikes to guarantee safe crossing.
· Bus students will be dismissed from the Main Entrance door as busses arrive.
· Busses and cars will enter on Ridge and exit on Chestnut Street or Germantown Pike.
· Students who travel home in car line exit SPN on the Ridge Pike side of the building.
· Cars will line up between islands in rows parallel to the school building. Teachers direct students to their cars and once cars are loaded the car line moves.
· Teachers are on duty to help students at dismissal.
8.12 What if I need to alter my child’s usual dismissal pattern?
You must advise the school in writing that your child will not be following their usual dismissal pattern. The note must be signed by a parent/guardian and should be written on the blue Note To School Pad. If an emergency develops while your child is at school necessitating a change to the usual dismissal pattern, you must contact the main office.
8.13 How should I send my child’s medicine to school?
You must first properly complete and return a signed Medication Authorization Form. School personnel are not permitted to administer and students are not permitted to possess or consume any prescription or non-prescription medication unless a completed School Medication Authorization Form is on file in the school office.
The Medication Authorization form must be completed and signed by the students’ parents/guardian and physician. This form should include detailed dosage and dispensing directions. All such medication will be clearly marked with the student’s name, doctor’s name, content and dosage in the original labeled pharmacy container. A record shall be kept of all medications dispensed to students specifying the time of dispensation, dosage and supervising personnel. A copy of this form can be downloaded from the school website www.saintphilipnerischool.com
8.14 What if the weather is bad?
Information regarding school closing or delayed openings is available on our web site, on KYW Radio Station 1060 and WPVI channel 6 TV. Our school numbers are:
St. Philip Neri #343
Colonial School District #305
Please DO NOT call the school office. For any weather-related closings, parents will be notified through the school and classroom email distribution and the Emergency Alert System.
When a weather emergency arises during the school day, our Emergency Closing Policy goes into effect. The students will be released from the classroom according to the information indicated on their Emergency Form. If your child is a car rider, please go directly to your child’s homeroom for pick-up.
8.15 How will I hear about news and events at SPN?
Each Wednesday during the school year, an e-mail will be sent containing a link to keep you informed of events and activities around SPN. Every other week a newsletter is included. It is imperative that you sign up for email communications on our web site.
Some materials will be sent home with your youngest child in an envelope called the Communication Envelope. Please review the material and return the envelope via your child, the following morning. Do not place any correspondence that you wish delivered to school in this envelope. These envelopes are not emptied.
The stuffing of these envelopes is a great volunteer opportunity. Each Wednesday at 8:30 am for about a half hour, a small group of parents gather to stuff and chat. Consider joining the group every week to meet other St. Philip parents!
8.16 Is there a monthly school calendar?
At the beginning of each month, a school calendar of important events is distributed via the communication envelope. This calendar can also be downloaded from our website. This calendar includes class trips, an abbreviated lunch menu and any and all important school activities for the month. The monthly calendar is also available on the school website.
8.17 How often do students receive report cards?
SPN operates on a trimester basis. Students in grades 1 through 8 receive report cards three
times per year. Kindergarten students receive 2 report cards per year.
8.18 What are teacher conferences?
Conferences are the primary way that the teachers communicate with individual parents. A school-wide conference day is scheduled in November to give parents and teachers an opportunity to discuss each individual student so that both may develop a better understanding of the student and the school program. Pre K through 2nd grade add a second conference at the end of the second trimester.
8.19 How and when are teacher conferences scheduled?
Conferences are encouraged whenever the parent or teacher deems it necessary. Feel free to make an appointment with a teacher any time you are concerned. Parents may leave a message by telephone, email or a note sent into school. The teacher will then schedule a time to discuss your concern with you.
8.20 Is there a way for parents to communicate with other parents?
Sometimes there is reason to communicate with another parent either in your child’s class or in another grade or class in school. At the beginning of the year, SPN provides each family with a School Directory. This contains the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of our school families. We expect that all SPN families respect the sensitive nature of this directory and refrain from any commercial uses of the information.
Since it is not always easy to communicate by phone, notes can be sent in to another parent through your child. Place the note in an envelope, addressing it to the parent, c/o the student, including grade and room. It will then be delivered to that student and brought home to you.
i.e To: Nancy Pease
c/o Marilyn Pease
Grade 2 Rm 3
From: Deanna Marrone
8.21 When and where do the students have lunch?
As a general rule, lunches are eaten in the cafeteria facility, under the supervision of a lunch monitor and parent volunteers. There are no facilities for heating or cooling the lunch you send with your child. Lunch volunteers monitor both the indoor lunch period and the outdoor lunch recess.
Grades 1-4 will eat lunch from 12:20pm to 12:35pm. Recess will follow from 12:40pm – 12:55pm.
Grades 5-8 lunch will have recess from 12:20pm to 12:35pm. Lunch will follow from 12:40pm to 12:55pm.
Pre-K and kindergarten will have lunch in the cafeteria from 1:00pm to 1:30pm.
8.22 What is expected if I volunteer for lunch duty?
As a lunch volunteer, your primary responsibility is to show up at your assigned days and times. The entire school community is counting on you to provide supervision for our children. If an emergency arises and you are unable to report at your scheduled time, it is your responsibility to find a substitute. A list of substitute lunch parents is available on the SPN website. Once you report for your assigned lunch, you supervise the students in the cafeteria, monitor bathroom use and supervise the students during recess.
8.23 What is the hot lunch program?
The hot lunch program at St. Philip Neri is administered by the Nutritional Development Service of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which is funded by the Federal Child Nutrition Program. All meals are balanced and follow strict standards in order to meet the nutritional needs of our growing children and teens. The menu choices offer nutritional meal options for our students and are reasonably priced. On a monthly basis, calendars will be sent home for families to make hot lunch choices.
At that time, you will receive a calendar with the upcoming month’s menu items listed and payment envelope(s). Review the choices and then indicate on the envelope the days your child will be ordering the hot lunch selection. Be sure to keep a copy of the dates that your child purchases hot lunch as no additional confirmation will be sent home. Total the cost of the lunches that you wish to purchase for your child and return a check (payable to St. Philip Neri School) with the envelope clearly marked with your child’s lunch selections, name, grade and room number. You may keep the calendar for your records. The daily lunches include a beverage were priced at $1.90 a day for grades 1 to 6 and $2.00 for grades 7 and 8 during the 2009–2010 school year.
8.24 What are pretzel orders?
A program designed to provide your child with a snack for morning recess. The first notice about purchasing pretzels will come out in September and delivery will begin in October. The cost for pretzels will be announced in the school newsletter.
Families are given the option of paying yearly or every 2 months. There are no pretzels provided in September or June. Once again if your choose to get pretzels, the money must be sent in on the designated day and placed in an envelope with your child’s name, grade, room and pretzel money on the outside.
8.25 What emergency procedures are in place at SPN?
It is our mission at SPN to provide your children with a safe school environment. We have developed procedures and preparations in the event of an emergency while students are at school. Supplies have been acquired to care for our students in an emergency situation and students practice different drills. We regularly have drills for fire but also for sheltering and lockdown. The ones for fire are for obvious reasons and similar to the ones that you had in school. Sheltering prepares students for events that are caused by severe weather, such as tornado warnings or a release of a chemical substance in the air. Lockdowns are relatively new but are becoming more common. These practices are held in the event of an unwelcome entry into our building by someone intending harm or by some outside event that poses a potential danger to our students. These drills are practiced not to scare the children but to prepare them to react to an emergency situation in an orderly, calm manner.
8.26 How is spiritual development fostered?
As a Catholic School, St. Philip places great emphasis on the prayer life and spiritual development of all members of the school community. The school day begins and ends with prayers over the public address system. All students receive religious instruction in the Catholic faith. Students in first through eighth grade attend mass weekly. On special seasonal holidays, the entire student body celebrates Mass together.
8.27 What is the wellness policy?
To promote healthy eating and exercise habits among young Americans, a new Federal policy requires all schools to develop a wellness policy. The policy must address nutrition education, physical activity, physical education and nutrition guidelines for all foods served, sold or brought into the school with goals projected over the next three years.
SPN is committed to providing a school environment that promotes children’s health, well being, and ability to learn by supporting nutritional standards, nutritional education, and sufficient physical activity. The most recent, relevant changes in the school nutrition program are: only water, 1% milk, and juice are served at lunch; sodas are prohibited and fast food lunch deliveries by parents are strongly discouraged. To insure proper compliance with the wellness policy, the SPN School website contains a Wellness link to the entire three-year Wellness policy, as well as numerous resources for homeroom celebrations, lunch suggestions and educational links.
8.28 How does the wellness policy affect classroom parties?
SPN can help promote a positive learning environment by providing healthy celebrations that shift the focus from the food to the child. Choose a variety of activities, games and crafts that children enjoy. When food is served, make it count with healthy choices! The Wellness Committee has created a list of Healthy Snack Ideas for Every Party and Activities to Celebrate the Child and Birthday Ideas. These ideas can be located through the Wellness link of the school's website.
8.29 What is the school policy on birthday celebrations?
The individual classroom teachers set the policy on birthday treats. As a courtesy to all, we would ask that you not distribute party invitations at school unless you are inviting the entire class.
8.30 What are homeroom parents?
Mothers or fathers can volunteer to assist their child’s classroom teacher. Some of the homeroom parents’ duties may involve organizing class parties and projects with the help of other classroom parents, as well as school functions and class trips. Homeroom parents also work as a liaison between classroom parents and the Home and School Association. The duties of a homeroom parent vary depending upon the individual needs of the classroom teacher.
8.31 Is there an honors program?
At this time, SPN offers an Honors Math course to eligible students beginning in fifth grade. Students admitted to the Elementary Honors Math Program must meet the criteria set forth in the SPN Student Handbook which is available on our website www.saintphilipnerischool.com.
8.32 What do I need to do to volunteer at SPN?
SPN is able to provide many gifts of its programs because of the countless SPN parents, family and friends who volunteer their time and talents to the school. The Archdioceses of Philadelphia requires that all church and school volunteers who regularly interact with children: attend a “Protecting God’s Children” Workshop, Complete a State Police Criminal Background check, complete a Child Abuse Clearance check, and complete an FBI Fingerprint Card (for those who have moved to PA within the past two years. You can contact the SPN school office or download the necessary forms from the diocesan website:
What is “tag” day?
Tag days are otherwise known as “dress down” or out of uniform days. These are scheduled periodically during the school year as a way to support various charities. The term “tag day” was coined years ago when the students paid for this privilege ahead of time and received a tag as a receipt of payment. The Student Council schedules these days about once a month. To participate in a Tag Day, students are requested to make a charitable donation of $1.00 or more. Some of the charities supported have been Relay for Life (cancer), Catholic Charities, Stairclimb for Diabetes or for families in the community who need financial help because of fire or some other tragedy.
8.33 What athletic opportunities are available to SPN students?
Depending upon student participation and parent coaches, the following sports are available
through SPN CYO.
Soccer (co-ed, 6th through 8th grade)
Girls Volleyball (6th through 8th grade)
Varsity Girls Field Hockey (7th and 8th grade)
JV Girls Field Hockey (5th and 6th grade)
Cross Country (co-ed, 4th through 8th)
Boys Football (regional with St. Genevieve, Varsity and JV, 5th through 8th grade)
Boys and Girls Basketball (5th through 8th grade)
Instructional Boys and Girls Basketball League (3rd and 4th grade)
Boys Baseball (6th through 8th grade)
Girls JV Softball (5th and 6th grade)
Girls Varsity Softball (7th and 8th grade)
Track (co-ed, 4th through 8th grade)