New Parent Survival Packet


New Parents Survival Guide


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.


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

Mrs. Jane Mack began teaching in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1975 and at SPN in 1993. 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 and incorporates using the Ipads in her curriculum. 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.

2.4 Sister Maureen James Barr – First Grade

Sr. Maureen James Barr began teaching first grade at St. Philip Neri School in 1999. She began her teaching career in parochial schools in 1976. 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, Ipads and other computer technology into her lesson plans.

2.5 Mrs. Heather Jalosinski- First Grade

Mrs. Jalosinski graduated from Holy Family University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing/Management. She received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Drexel University. She has been a long-term substitute teacher here at SPN and looks forward to helping her students on a full-time basis.

As an educator, Mrs. Jalosinski 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 and discovery, 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!


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 funding 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 is comprised of parents, a teacher liaison, the school principal, and the SPN pastor. The Board positions include: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Early Elementary Representative, Middle Elementary Representative, Upper Elementary Representative, Children’s Programs, Publicity, Home Room Coordinator, and Fund Raising.

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.


4.1 Scrip Program

The SCRIP Program is a gift card purchase program designed as a school fundraiser and a way for parents to save on tuition. The way it works is that you use the gift cards – instead of cash, check credit card – to pay for everyday purchases. If you do, you will save money for you (in the form of tuition credits or free gift cards) AND raise money for SPN!
The best way to get started is to buy grocery gift cards. Soon you will want to buy groceries only if you have a SCRIP grocery gift card, so you will always keep a grocery gift card in your wallet. Next you will keep a gas gift card, pharmacy gift card, or favorite take-out restaurant gift card in your wallet. Eventually you will look for other opportunities to use SCRIP gift cards: business gifts, hotels, rental cars, prom dress, and furniture purchases. The best part is: YOU EARN A RATE OF RETURN ON YOUR MONEY AS YOU SPEND IT!
SPN parents, staff, parishioners, and friends may purchase SCRIP gift cards as follows:
1. from SPN stock (about 30 gift card choices are available). These gift cards are for sale during church office hours, via backpack on school-day Wednesdays (use the order form on the school web site:, or after the weekend Masses. For every $50 you spend, you receive a voucher worth $1.25 toward SPN tuition (or new gift cards). These vouchers add up quickly. A family that purchases $150 a week in SCRIP for one year will accumulate $195 in SPN tuition credits (or new gift cards) and earn $195 for SPN fundraising – all at no extra cost.
2. On-line , where there are about 1,000 gift card choices available! For the on-line orders, the retailer contribution varies from 1% to 18%. SCRIP users will receive half the retailer contribution (in tuition credits or new gift cards); the other half goes to SPN fundraising. Customers may order on line and pay by check. There are additional on-line options available: SCRIP users may sign up for Prestopay (similar to Paypal, costs just 15 cents per checkout) and order paper gift certificates instantly and plastic gift card re-loads. To sign up, go to and use SPN code 7D53E11E329L. Ordering on-line is easy and offers many more choices. Questions may be directed to
To learn more about Scrip and our participating vendors, visit the school web site at

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, Progresso, Hefty, Avery Label, Yoplait, and other 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. At the end of the school year, the homeroom with the most box tops earns a special treat.

4.3 Grocery Store Club Cards
Giant Food Stores donates thousands of dollars to SPN, thanks to your registered Giant BonusCard! It’s simple: register your BonusCard at and shop at Giant with your BonusCard! Look for the contest fliers early in the school year. SPN School code is 04096. After you register, each shopping trip earns points, then CASH for SPN (from October to March)! You can track the points you earn for SPN on your grocery receipt. Each month, track the CASH awarded to SPN on the Giant website. Our school receives a check in the summer.
New in 2012! Pathmark will donate 1% of your Pathmark purchases to SPN, if you register your Pathmark club card at Registration on is required. If you need help, please send your Pathmark club card number to This is a year-round fund-raiser.

4.3 Target Take Charge of Education

SPN will benefit from your Target charge card if you call 1-800-316-6142 and make SPN your designated school. Every year, thanks to the dozens of SPN Target credit card holders that have designated SPN as their school, Target donates hundreds of dollars to SPN.

4.5 BJ’s Club Card Fundraiser
Your BJ’s Club Membership can earn donations for SPN. Simply renew or originate your club card membership through SPN. Look for the BJ’s Club Card Sign-up drives twice per year, in the spring and fall. Questions may be directed to Linda Pizzi, SPN parent.

4.6 eSCRIP Online Mall
Here’s another easy, no-cost fundraiser at SPN! Your on-line purchases will earn donations for SPN at retailers, Barnes & Noble, Dell, LL Bean, Kohl’s and a thousand more – if you start your online shopping trips from the Online mall link, on SPN’s home web page. Pay as you normally would, with credit card, Paypal, or with SCRIP gift cards. By using the Online Mall, SPN will earn up to 16% of your purchases – at no cost to you!
· Just 5 clicks to start earning $ for SPN!
· Shop from the same websites you know and trust. Buy what you want
when you want it.
· The specific items you buy are not recorded in any way, just the total you spent from each merchant. You can earn contributions for SPN anonymously.
· Some purchases don’t count towards the SPN fundraising
· Fund-raise with SCRIP gift cards! Fund-raise with your credit card! (you get your points and SPN gets a donation)
· Example: For a $100 purchase, earn $2.40 for SPN and credit card points for you!
OR if you pay with SCRIP gift cards, earn $2.40 for SPN, add’l $2.00 for SPN for using SCRIP, and$2.00 tuition credit for you! Now multiply this by 300 families at SPN school making a few purchases per year. WOW!
The H&S educational enrichment programs described above will benefit from your purchases at the eSCRIP Online Mall. Please direct questions to


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. One of the largest school wide service project occurs during Catholic Schools Week.

5.2 Classroom Service Projects

Each grade participates in additional service projects. 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
Laurel House


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 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.

6.2 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.

6.3 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.

6.4 Christmas 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.

6.5 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.

6.6 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.

6.7 St. Philip Neri Theatre 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.

6.8 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.


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 at least a few 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. 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 the 2008 Catholic Schools week, the entire school worked 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


7.3 Assembly Program – SPN students’ classroom experience is enriched with multiple assemblies 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. A separate field day is held for kindergarten students. Lower grades (1-4) and upper grades (5-8) field days are also held on separate days.

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 begins on the last Sunday in 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.

7.7 Reading Olympics – A celebration of reading for students in fifth and sixth 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 Secret Santa Workshop – 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.

7.9 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.

7.10 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.

7.11 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.

7.12 Girls on the Run – This is a nationally recognized program that promotes positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development. At the end of the program, the girls participate in a local 5K Race. Girls are inspired to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. This program runs from February until May and is open to girls in grades 3 to 5.

7.13 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.  A dance schedule can be found on our website at: Prior written permission must be obtained from the Principal for any non-SPN guest. An admission fee is charged. Snacks are available for purchase.


8.12 What is the school uniform policy?
All students in grades Pre-K through 8th grade wear uniforms. SPN has a gym uniform, a winter uniform and optional summer uniforms. Students may wear the appropriate summer uniform between April 15th 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. Watches may be worn. No bracelets, cords. No nail polish or make-up.
Gym uniforms are to be worn to school by all students in Pre-K through 8th grade on their assigned gym day. The gym uniform includes predominately white sneakers and all white laces. All white crew socks with no visible design or insignia are required. 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, students wear the grey SPN T-shirt with a navy sweat pants and sweat shirts both bearing the SPN logo. Please see Survival Guide download for SPN logo picture.

Pre-K boys and girls wear the gray T-shirt with the SPN logo, navy sweat shirt and sweat pants with the school logo. Sneakers must be predominately white, white shoe laces and are worn all year. White socks above the ankle are worn. Summer uniforms consist of the grey T-shirt and mesh navy shorts both with the school logo.

Kindergarten boys and girls wear light blue banded golf shirt monogrammed with “St. Philip Neri”, long or short sleeve, with navy sweat shirt and sweat pants with the SPN logo. 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. Girls may also wear the navy skort as their summer uniform. Predominately white sneakers, white shoe laces 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: 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 “St. Philip Neri”. Students may select the type of navy sweater: vest, cardigan or crewneck. Required shoes are Hush Puppies Tuft Brown or Genuine Bucs (Tan or Navy Blue Buc with Red sole) by Bass. Summer uniforms consist 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, white shoe laces and white above the ankle socks without any visible insignia. Traditionally, the boy’s shorts are uncuffed.

Girls in grades 1 through 4: 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 “St. Philip Neri.” Students may select the type of navy sweater: vest, cardigan or crewneck. Required shoes are Hush Puppies Tuft Brown or Genuine Bucs (Tan or Navy Blue Buc with Red sole) by Bass, Stride Rite Black Strap for girls. Summer uniforms consist of a light blue banded-hem golf shirt monogrammed with “St. Philip Neri,” navy walking shorts, navy skort, a navy blue or black belt, predominately white sneakers, white shoe laces and white above the ankle socks without any visible insignia. Traditionally, the girls walking shorts have cuffs.

Girls in grades 5 through 8: Winter uniforms include a skirt in the SPN plaid, a light blue straight collared button up blouse, a navy blue monogrammed sweater or vest, 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 and vests must be monogrammed with “St. Philip Neri.” Required shoes are Hush Puppies Tuft Brown or Genuine Bucs (Tan or Navy Blue Buc with Red sole) by Bass. Summer uniforms are the same 1st through 4th 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. Required uniform shoe is worn with this optional summer uniform.
Required Uniform Shoe Choice: Please see Survival Guide download for pictures of acceptable shoes.

8.13 Where can I buy school uniform apparel?

Uniforms can be ordered during the summer or purchased at the following stores:

110 Fayette Street
Conshohocken, PA 19428
(610) 828-5544

Flynn & O’Hara Required Uniform Shoe:
Springhouse Plaza Flocco’s
901 North Bethlehem Pike 110 Fayette Street
Springhouse, PA 19477 Conshohocken, PA 19428
(215) 793-9436 (610) 828-5544

8.14 Is after-school care available at SPN?

After school child care is available on regular dismissal days, Monday through Friday from 6:45am to 7:45am and 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. After school care is sometimes available on early dismissal days, check school calendar for dates. 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.

8.15 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.

8.16 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.

8.17 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.

8.18 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.

8.19 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. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a message 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 School Pad. After 3 days absence, state law requires that a doctor’s note be provided.

8.20 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.

8.21 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.

8.22 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.

· Walkers will be the first to be dismissed.
· All walkers will exit from side driveway doors, and follow their regular route. Crossing guards will be present on Ridge and      Germantown Pikes to guarantee safe crossing.
· Buses and cars will enter on Ridge and exit on Chestnut Street.
· All students who travel home via bus or who will be picked up 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. Bus riders will be the second to be dismissed.
· Car riders will be last to be dismissed.

8.23 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.

8.24 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

8.25 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 by phone, e-mail and and text messaging system via our Broadcast 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.

8.26 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.  It is imperative that you have a current e-mail address for email communications and to notify the school of any changes.

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.

8.27 Is there a monthly school calendar?

At the beginning of each month, a school calendar of important events is distributed via our Wedsnesday e-communications. This calendar can also be downloaded from our website. This calendar includes all important school activities for the month.

8.28 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.

8.29 What are teacher conferences?

Conferences are the primary way that the teachers communicate with individual parents. A school-wide conference day is scheduled after the first trimester marking period 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 may add a second conference.

8.30 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.

8.31 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 and telephone numbers 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: Mrs. Doe
c/o Jane
Grade 2 Rm 3
From: M. Smith

8.32 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 12:35 pm. Recess will follow from 12:40pm to 12:55pm.

Grades 5-8 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 only from 1:00pm to 1:30pm.

8.33 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.

8.34 What is the Hot Lunch program?

The hot lunch program at St. Philip Neri, for grades K through 8, is administered by the Colonial School District 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 via our Broadcast System for families to make hot lunch choices Please keep a record of lunches purchased for your records. The daily lunches include a beverage and are priced at $3.00 a day for all students.

8.35 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.

8.36 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.

8.37 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.

8.38 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.

8.39 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.

8.40 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.

8.41 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.

8.42 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

8.43 What do I need to do to volunteer at SPN?
SPN is able to provide many 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 Safe Environment or VIRTUS Training Session, 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. Go to our website under Parent’s Corner, for a complete list withlinks to the required clearances.

8.44 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.

8.45 What athletic opportunities are available to SPN students?
Depending upon student participation and parent coaches, the following
sports are available through SPN CYO. CYO coach volunteers must obtain all the required archdiocesan clearances before the season begins.

Fall Sports
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)

Winter Sports
Boys and Girls Basketball (5th through 8th grade)
Instructional Boys and Girls Basketball League (3rd and 4th grade)

Spring Sports
Boys Baseball (6th through 8th grade)
Girls JV Softball (5th and 6th grade)
Girls Varsity Softball (7th and 8th grade)
Track (co-ed, PK through 8th grade)

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