Dear Parents,

“How can I repay, the kindness of our God?

What song can I sing, to honor the Name of God?

… I vow to love and serve you the rest of my days.”


These words appropriately reflect the many blessings poured on the Saint Helena School Community!  God has graciously drenched us with favor … children filled with wonder and awe; supportive families who graciously share their time and talents; a faculty so very willing to freely love and inspire the children placed in their keeping; priests who welcome all and model God’s mercy which endures forever! 

As a community we support those among us who suffer and struggle in any way:  Through sickness, adversity, loss, trials, hardships and feelings of hopelessness.  For no one goes through life without these times.  This is what Community is … rejoicing together in times of immense joy and standing with one another in times of anguish… 

And so, in the spirit of gratitude, the Saint Helena School Community will be Faith, Hope and Love … to one another; to our school community and to our World …

Together, as we grow in love and service to our God, we are “One Family, One Heart and One Faith”, we will begin the 2017 – 2018 school year!

I am happy to present our faculty for the 2017 – 2018 academic year:

Pre K 3 – Mrs. Heidi Krebs

Pre K 3 Aid  – Mrs. Helen Davidson

Pre K 4F – Mrs. Barbara FitzPatrick 

Pre K 4 Aid – Mrs. Julie Richer

Pre K 4 S – Mr. Steve Smith

Pre K 4 S Aid – Mrs. Becky Bushner

Kindergarten – Mrs. Janet Gallo

KG Aid – Mrs. Katie Williams

Kindergarten – Mrs. Edie Woods

KW Aid – Mrs. Janet Esposito

Grade 1 – Miss Denise Britt

Grade 1 – Miss Maura Gifford

Grade 2 – Mrs. Sharon Halferty

Grade 2 – Mrs. Maria McLaughlin

Grade 3 – Mrs. Patti Mack

Grade 3 – Mrs. Joanne Owsiany

Grade 4 – Mrs. Lori Venezia

Grade 4 – Mrs. Leslie Calabro

Grade 5 – Miss Megan Gifford

Grade 5 – Mrs. Janet Smith

Grade 6 – Mrs. Candace Praetzel (Math: 6, 7, 8; Social Studies 6; Science 6) Grade 6 – Mrs. Becky Wagner (ELA: 6, 7; Religion: 6, 8)
Grade 7 – Mrs. Denise R. Britt ( Social Studies7, 8; Science 7. 8) Grade 7 – Mrs. Kerri Sepich (Religion: 7; ELA: 6th 7th)
Grade 8 – Mrs. Colette Dougherty (Math: 6, 7, 8; ELA: 8; Religion: 6) Grade 8 – Mrs. Rene Ryan (Science:  6, 8; ELA 8)
Mrs. Karen Holder- (Honors Math 4-8; Study Skills 6-8;) Mrs. Jackie Hoy – Voice and Piano Lessons
Mrs. Robin Melvin – Computer (K-8); Current

      Events (7, 8)

Mrs. Jennifer Carr- Spanish (5-8)
Mr. Alex Pachella – Physical Education Mrs. Nancy Manno – Library
Mrs. Jennifer Lau – General Music, Chorus,


Mrs. Dana Leeds – Dance


Mr. Pat O’Shea – Percussion Lessons

Mr. Andrew Hoy – Strings Lessons

Mr. Ed Stimson – Instrumental Music Lessons:   Brass, Woodwinds
Mrs. Phyllis Cissone – Secretary

Mrs. Jen Gesek – MSP Coordinator


Sister Cathe Shoulberg, RSM – Principal


We are so happy to inform you that Mr. and Mrs. Melvin are joyously awaiting the birth of their first baby at the end of August.  Mrs. Melvin will be taking Maternity leave at the beginning of the school year.  When we conclude our search for her substitute, we will let you know.

Again this year, our academic priority will be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  This is the second year for our STEM incentive.  To help us with this process at our August Faculty In-service, to be held on Monday, August 24, 2017, we are fortunate to have as our presenter, Ms. Stephanie Schwab, who works with Montgomery County IU.  Stephanie presented to us last year and continued to work with our teachers throughout this past year to implement STEM.  This year, she will take us to the NEXT LEVEL of STEM involvement! 

We are also implementing a new K – 6 Reading Program and a 7 – 8 Social Studies Program.  The combined cost of these two programs is $65,000.00.  We are grateful for Acts 90 and 195 which allows us to receive state funds for textbooks, otherwise these new programs would be an impossibility for our non-public schools.

The money earned from our May Fair will provide on-going education and materials for STEM.  The May Fair is sponsored and executed through our Home and School Association.   Our Home and School is active, generous and ever so viable!  They create events to fulfill our dreams to make SHS the leading educational institution that it is.  To our Home and School Board, we offer our profound thanks!

We will continue to work with My Student’s Progress, a web based software service that allows parents online access to their student’s grades from any computer with a connection to the internet.  We will begin to put this in full use no later than October 1, 2017.  It is important that once you are notified that the system upload is completed, parents must access and implement your “log in” immediately.  This will insure smooth entry into school information.  Please, don’t wait until “report card time” to begin to use the system!

Opening School Information

On their first day of school, children in Grades 1 through 8 will meet in the school-yard at 8:15 AM with last year’s teacher.  They will then proceed with that teacher to their former classroom.  Once assembled in the classroom, they will be directed to their new teacher. 

 New children to our school (Grades 1 – 8) need to come inside to the office and will be directed to their respective homerooms.

The following is our opening schedule:   

Wednesday – September 6

Students in Grades 1 – 4  Report:  Full day regular 3:00 P.M. Dismissal

In-service for Teachers of Grades 5 – 8; CARES begins

Kindergarten Orientation *


The CARES Program, (our extended day program), will begin this afternoon, September 6, from 3:00 – 6:00.  If anyone needs to register for CARES, please do so by calling Sister Cathe at the school office.


Thursday – September 7

Students in Grades 5 – 8 Report:   Full day regular 3:00 P.M. Dismissal 

In-service for Teachers of Grades Pre K – 4


Friday—September 9

Grades 1 – 8 Report to School:  Full day regular 3:00 PM Dismissal

Kindergarten Orientation *


Monday—September 12

Grades K – 8 Report:  Full day regular 3:00 PM Dismissal

Pre K 3 and 4 Orientation *

*Pre K and Kindergarten students come for orientation – Parents and Students attend these sessions.  As there are more than one session you will be given your day and time to arrive via email by August 18, 2017 from your child’s teacher. 


Children in PRE K, KINDERGARTEN and FIRST GRADE need to wear a name tag with their NAMES, MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION and ADDRESS for the first two weeks of school.  This is a huge help for everyone.

Wednesday, September 13, 6:30 PM

Workshop:  Protecting God’s Children at 6:30 – in the Social and Recreation Center (This is a required workshop for anyone who would like to volunteer in ANY school or CYO capacity)

Monday, September 18, 6:30 PM

Our “Back to School Night” will be held this evening.   We ask that everyone arrive so we can begin promptly at 6:30 PM.  This is a very full evening, we don’t want you to miss important information.  Please mark your calendar now so each child will be represented at this important meeting.  There will be three sessions for each classroom meeting to allow parents with multiple children to attend a session for each child.

Wednesday, September 20, 9:00 AM

**Meeting for all school volunteers:    9:15 AM in the School Library


Thursday, September 21

9:00 – Opening liturgy and celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy

This is our annual “Blessing of the School Bags Liturgy” for K through 8th and their families and friends.  We will also celebrate “Mercy Day” at this Liturgy.  It will also be an opportunity for our school children to have a special birthday celebration for Msgr. Nicolo.  Please plan to join us for this liturgy as we will place our dreams and desires before God and ask God’s favor on our school year and parish community.

**Meeting for all school volunteers:    7:00 PM in the School Library

** Due to the importance of this meeting, this year we are having two sessions with the expectation that you can choose, according to your schedules, to attend a session.


Monday, September 25, 7:00 PM  Library

Eighth Grade Parents’ meeting at 7:00 PM to review the High School process.  It is important that each child needs to be represented.

Miscellaneous Reminders

Children in Grades K through 8 are expected in the front schoolyard each day no later than 8:15 A.M when we gather for the Pledge of Allegiance.  Pre K children need to be here at 9:00 AM.  Drop-off may begin at 8:45!  For K to 8 children, if you are bringing your child to school by private car, please take into consideration the amount of morning traffic when making plans.  If a child, K-8 is not with their class when we say the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:15 he/she will be marked late for school.  We certainly understand unavoidable emergencies surface, however, when the same children are late each day it doesn’t seem to be due to emergency circumstances.

Our yearly calendar is on the web-site:  It is important that you review the calendar frequently so you are aware of any updates, bussing information for early dismissal days, and school happenings. Continuing our commitment to “go green” we will communicate via email throughout the year.  Individual teachers will also communicate via email as well. 

It is important that each family check email regularly so everyone is aware of school happenings.  This is the responsibility of each family.   The weekly “E-mail Blast” will be sent every Wednesday morning.   If you do not receive a “Wednesday Blast” let the school office know ASAP so that we can investigate and remedy that situation.  This email will be used to communicate pertinent school/parish information.  We are unable to send information that does not involve our school and parish.

At “Back to School Night” a hard copy of the Parent Handbook will be distributed.  This is combined with the school directory.  The Handbook is also available on-line. Policies in the Handbook need to be thoroughly reviewed by each family, as the expectations of the school are clearly voiced in this instrument.  In October, you will be asked to sign a form indicating that you have read and will uphold school policies as described in the Parent Handbook.

For each child’s protection and safety, STUDENT CELL PHONES are not permitted in school.   We ask everyone to comply with this regulation.  May I ask for your support in making sure your child/children follow all school directives?

Pre-school children will wear play clothes to school each day.  All children (grades K-8) may wear summer school uniforms on their first day of school.  Summer uniform may be worn until Oct. 6; Winter Uniforms begin on Monday, October 9.  Summer uniforms are then worn again from April 16 to the end of school.  Children do need to be in complete uniform each day (other than dress down days).  Uniforms need to be purchased from Flynn and O’Hara Uniform Company.  You may order online or go to their retail store in Springhouse.

Please make sure that all items of clothing are clearly marked with the child’s name.

If you have any questions, or if I can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me at the School Office, (610-279-3345) or the Convent, (610-272-1383).

As members of the St. Helena Community who believe and live the Gospel mandate to be followers of Jesus, we each have a serious obligation to do all in our power to be People of Peace.  We will strive to actively work to provide justice, equality and mercy, not only to one another here in Blue Bell, but to our world.  Remembering that we are indeed human and not perfect, we will do our utmost to merge our efforts on God’s behalf to give our children the tools to make the dream of a compassionate, caring planet a reality for all Humankind.  

 Your prayers will be greatly appreciated as we work together to be the best we can be for our most important gift, your children!

Enjoy these remaining summer days.  Be assured that every day I ask God, our Creator; Jesus, our Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, who energizes and empowers us with love; to bless and protect you and your family.  God’s abundant blessings!

Sister Cathe Shoulberg, RSM