We are on the cusp of an exciting new school year, one that will be filled with new faces and countless blessings. Soon these quiet and empty halls will be full of energetic children ready to delve into their studies. We're aware that you have many practical questions surrounding the first day of school, which we trust will be joyful and exciting. In order to answer some of these questions proactively, I would like to offer a few words describing what will occur and what is required of you.
The doors of the school will open at 7:45 AM next Tuesday the 7th of September. When you and your family arrive, you will be directed to the Large Hall for the check-in session. Please be mindful to keep your child with you until the check-in process is complete. This process should take no more than five to ten minutes. To assure that the process runs smoothly, please bring the following:
1. Your child in uniform. This is very important. We presume you won't forget your child - but don't let him or her forget our uniform now that 'summer casuals' are over!
2. School supplies as listed on the school website.
3. Combination locks and their instructions for each child in grades 2 – 12. Please write the combination and instructions for the lock on a sheet of paper and label the paper with your child’s name. We highly suggest that you do not purchase locks that allow for the combination to be changed. Such locks have proved a great temptation for the children and a big headache for the teachers.
4. Emergency Kits for children newly joining St. John’s. Returning students already have emergency kits on site. They are designed to last a minimum of two years.
5. Payments for lunches and the monthly donation as well as any past-due fees or charges. Checks are preferred. However, we will accept cash payments as long as you provide correct change. If you bring cash, you will receive a receipt from the administration. Please note that we cannot accept credit card payments.
When you enter the Large Hall please proceed to the check-in tables per the posted instructions. Again, keep your child with you as your proceed through the check-in process.
Your child’s books will already be placed in his or her locker. In the past the children received a box of books on the first day of school -- sometimes that box was bigger than the child, and a challenge to tote around! We have decided this year to distribute the books directly into lockers, to avoid the annual logjam of children, backpacks, boxes and books in the locker area.
Mrs. Nowak will be selling the P.E. uniforms during the check-in session and after school. If you’d like, you may e-mail Mrs. Nowak in advance to let her know of your uniform needs. Please send any such messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have finished the check-in process, your child will be given his or her assignment book in which will be a copy of their weekly schedule. Once the assignment book is received, you may escort your child to his or her homeroom. Directions to these classrooms will be provided.
When the students have been given time to quiet down in their homerooms, the 'historic' St. John’s Academy bell will be rung throughout the halls. Teachers will lead their students to the Large Hall. His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill, will then offer a Moleben (prayer service) to bless the start of the new academic year. This is a very special moment in the life of the Academy. The administration requests that parents remain at the school and participate in the Moleben. At the completion of the short service, the children and all those present will receive a blessing, and our students will then proceed to their first class of the school year.
Children in Kindergarten through fifth grade will be released following the afternoon prayers which commence at 2:25 PM. Parents who arrive in time are welcomed to join the children as they pray before the relics our patron saint. This first group of children should be picked up by 2:45 PM. The sixth through twelfth grade classes are dismissed at 3:15 PM. These students should be picked up no later than 3:30 PM.
I hope I have covered everything and have given you a comprehensive overview of the first day of school. If you have any questions before Tuesday, feel free to e-mail me at rthompson@stjohnsacademy.
Please enjoy this holiday weekend, and we all look forward to seeing each of you on Tuesday morning!
Mr. Tikhon Thompson