Message from Dr. Higgins, School Begins August 31

Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 8/23/2020

Dear St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School Families,
Our August skies are a deeper blue, the afternoon shadows lengthen, and earlier sunsets with cooler evenings signal the end of summer. With that said, we are looking forward to a new and exciting school year filled with learning and friendship! We have worked very hard to ensure that our school will open safely five days per week with a perspective toward best health and safety protocols and practices. If you haven’t already seen our school health and safety protocols video or simply need a “refresher,” please find the following link:
We have had such a busy summer, and we are happy that many new families are joining us, and we welcome you to our school community. We also wish to welcome the following new teachers to our school: Ms. Nicole Welge will teach our new Pre-K 3 class, and Mrs. Margherita Magnano will teach our Pre-K 4/5 students along with Mrs. Kacy Caterson who will serve as our Physical Education teacher. We also now have a second Kindergarten class! Upon superintendent’s approval, we will introduce our new Kindergarten teacher shortly.
Our first week of school:
Busing will begin on August 31st.
Monday, August 31: Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4/5, and Kindergarten will begin with an 11:10 early dismissal.
[Tuesday – Friday will be full days with 2:10 normal dismissal]
Tuesday, September 1: Grades 1 & 2 first day. PK and K also attend. 
Wednesday, September 2: Grades 3 & 4 first day. PK, K, 1, 2 also attend.
Thursday, September 3: Grades 5 & 6 first day. PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4 also attend.
Friday, September 4: Grades 7 & 8 first day. PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 also attend.
This gradual daily increase in our student population will permit our teachers and students time to prepare as well as adjust to our new health and safety protocols shared by Dr. Higgins. Additionally, our hot lunch program will begin starting Tuesday, September 8.
New health and safety protocols, please note the following:
·        All PK-8 students must wear a mask when in school.
·        Students may wear their summer uniforms. Until further notice boys will not wear neckties.
·        Designated faculty and staff will scan student temperatures before they enter school. Students who have a temperature of 100.4 or higher will see our school nurse for further evaluation.
·        School starting and ending times will remain the same, as well as our morning drop-off procedures. However please note the following: 
Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4/5 students will enter school through the Pre-K4/5 entrance;
Kindergarten through Grade 5 our Main Entrance, and
Grades 6, 7 and 8 through the Parish Gymnasium Entrance. These separate entry points help to expedite the process of student temperature checks.
·        Grades 6-8 students are requested to bring a backpack to school as lockers will not be available at this time.
·        After School Care is available, however this year reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.
·        Until further notice, Beyond the Bell enrichment, clubs and activities will not be held.
·        During school hours we will have a designated drop-off station outside our school main entrance for items that parents and guardians wish to send to their students, i.e. a forgotten lunch.
·        Due to recent new students joining our school and its effect on class lists, we are working to release the lists to families this upcoming week. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.
Welcome Back to School Parent and Guardian Zoom Meetings
As with any new school year, parents and guardians will have various questions and we are happy to answer them. With this in mind, we wish to have a series of Welcome Back to School Parent and Guardian Zoom Meetings each afternoon from 4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. starting Thursday, August 27 and resuming Monday, August 31 through Thursday, September 3.
Pre-K 3 and 4/5, Kindergarten: Thursday, August 27: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. 
Grades 1-3: Monday, August 31: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Grades 4-5: Tuesday, September 1: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Grades 6-8: Wednesday, September 2: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. 
Additional informational e-mails will be sent this upcoming week. Again my appreciation for your time and attention, and may God bless you and your families. 
Patrick D. Higgins, Ed.D.