Dear Saint Helena Families,
“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 2019-2020 school year!
We are happy to present our dynamic faculty for the 2019-2020 academic year:
- Pre K 3 – Mrs. Heidi Krebs
- Pre K 3 Aide – Mrs. Julie Richer
- Pre K 4F – Mrs. Barbara FitzPatrick
- Pre K 4 Aide – Mrs. June McLaughlin
- Pre K 4 S – Mr. Steve Smith
- Pre K 4 S Aide – Mrs. Bernice Darr
- Kindergarten – Mrs. Janet Gallo
- KG Aide – Mrs. Katie Williams
- Kindergarten – Mrs. Edie Woods
- KW Aide – Mrs. Janet Esposito
- Grade 1 – Miss Denise Britt
- Grade 1 – Miss Maura Gifford
- Grade 2 – Miss Allison Montgomery
- Grade 2 – Mrs. Robin Melvin
- Grade 3 – Miss Christine Sirianni
- Grade 3 – Mrs. Joanne Owsiany
- Grade 4 – Mrs. Lori Venezia
- Grade 4 – Mrs. Leslie Calabro
- Grade 5 – Miss Megan Gifford
- Grade 5 – Mrs. Susan Clark
- Grade 6 – Mrs. Candace Praetzel (Math: 6, 7, 8; Social Studies 6; Science 6)
- Grade 6 – Mrs. Becky Wagner (ELA: 6, 7 & 8)
- Grade 7 – Mrs. Denise R. Britt ( Social Studies7, 8; Science 7, 8)
- Grade 7 – Mrs. Kerri Sepich (Religion: 7; ELA: 6, 7)
- Grade 8 – Mrs. Colette Dougherty (Math: 6, 7, 8; ELA: 8; Religion: 6)
- Grade 8 – Miss Emily Roman (Science: 6, 8; Religion 6, 8)
- Mrs. Karen Holder- (Honors Math 4-8)
- Mrs. Jackie Hoy – Voice and Piano Lessons
- Mrs. Danielle James- Computer-Media Center (K-8)
- Mrs. Mayra Sanchez- Spanish (5-8)
- Mrs. Lisa Jackson – Physical Education
- TBD – Library
- O’Shea – Percussion Lessons
- Mr. Andrew Hoy – Strings Lessons
- Mr. Ed Stimson – Instrumental Music Lessons: Brass, Woodwinds
- Mrs. Rene Ryan– Secretary
- Mrs. Jennifer Laub– FACTS SIS Coordinator
- Mrs. Tricia Powell- Nurse
- Mr. Carl Jankowski – Principal
2019-2020 School Security Funds:
First, we would like to thank Sergeant Joseph Fenerty and Chief Kenneth Lawson of the Whitpain Police Department for their continual consultation as we reviewed the needs assessment for our security plan on campus. We are very proud that all protocol in place are those that put the safety and security of our students, faculty, and families as a primary focus in our day-to-day operations. Next, we would like to thank you, our school families for your continual support. Without your generous continual support and contributions we would not be able to provide the up-grades to our present protocol to support the ever evolving best-practices in school security. Through your continued support of many of our Home and School events we have obtained these funds to begin Phase I implementation of our security up-grades.
As we prepare for the 2019-2020 school year, we are happy to report that we have begun Phase I of the recommendations made to Vince Thompson, Msgr. Nicolo, and myself. The following up-grades should be completed before we return to school.
- New Audio/Video Surveillance at the Main Entrance of the School, Pre-School, and Rec. Center.
- A key-less fob system at the Main, Pre-School, and Rec. Center Entrances. The fob systems offer us the ability to account for any individual or group that enters the building.
- Protective Film (Shatter Proofing of glass) of Entrance Doors (various locations).
- Security doors were installed in the Pre-K building between the meeting rooms and the Pre-K.
In addition, we will implement new protocol based on best practices of all visitors to Saint Helena School. Moving forward, the only entrance to be used during normal school operating hours will be the Main Entrance of both the School and Pre-School. The Rec. Center Entrance will only be used during our new Early Bird extended day and CARES (after-school extended day), and for special event days. No other doors will be used as entrances for visitors to the school.
We also have added to our procedure that requires all families to call the school before they come. For example, if your child or children need to be picked up for an emergency or any other reason, you must call the main office before you come to pick them up. Yes, that means if little Jonny or Jane forgot his/her lunch at home and you need to drop it off at school, you will need to call and let us know you are coming prior to arriving. If the person coming is not the custodial parent or guardian, they will need to present a valid ID before entrance to the building will be permitted.
With your continued support, we can implement these adjustments in procedure effectively from the beginning of the year.
The FASTS SIS ParentWeb will be opened at the close of business today, Friday, August 16, 2019. Please note that the class placement of your child was done in concert with the teachers to support the academic, social, and spiritual growth of the child.
Opening School Information
On their first day of school, children in Grades 1-4 or 5-8 will meet in the school-yard at 8:15 AM and line-up with their assigned Home Room teacher before entering the building.
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 4
Students in Grades 1 – 4 Report: Full day regular 3:00 P.M. Dismissal
In-service for Teachers of Grades 5 – 8
Afterschool CARES begins
Kindergarten Orientation *
The CARES Program, (our extended day program), will begin this afternoon, September 4, from 3:00 – 6:00. If anyone needs to register for CARES, please contact the school office for registration paperwork.
Thursday – September 5
Students in Grades 5 – 8 Report: Full day regular 3:00 P.M. Dismissal
In-service for Teachers of Grades Pre K – 4
Grades 1 – 8 Report to School: Full day regular 3:00 PM Dismissal
Kindergarten Orientation *
Grades K – 8 Report: Full day regular 3:00 PM Dismissal – Early Birds Begins at 7:00 AM in Dining Hall
Pre K 3 and 4 Orientation *
*Pre K and Kindergarten students come for orientation – Parents and Students attend these sessions. As there are several sessions, you will be given your day and time to arrive via email by August 17, 2019 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.
Thursday, September 19, 7:00 PM or Friday, September 20, 9:00 AM
**Meeting for all school volunteers 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 23, 6:30 PM
Our “Back to School Night” will be held this evening. We ask that everyone arrive at 6:15 PM 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
Tuesday, September 24
9:00 – Opening liturgy and celebration of the new school year!
This is our annual “Blessing of the School Bags Liturgy” for K through 8th and their families and friends, as well as our celebration of Mercy Day. 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.
Children in Grades K through 8 are expected in the front schoolyard each day no later than 8:15 AM 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 in 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 throughout the week and will be posted to our website. 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.
This year the school directory is available on-line through your parent portal in FACTS SIS. The School Handbook is also available on-line, on our school website. Policies in the Handbook need to be thoroughly reviewed by each family, as the expectations of the school are clearly voiced in this instrument. By enrolling your child at Saint Helena School, you agree to uphold the policies and expectations set forth in the School 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? Please inform your child that if he/she needs to carry a cell phone to school it MUST be turned off and in their school bag during school operating hours.
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. 4; Winter Uniforms begin on Monday, October 7. Summer uniforms are then worn again from April 14 to the end of school. Children do need to be in complete uniform each day (other than out of uniform 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).
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!
Carl P. Jankowski, Principal