Parents and Teachers Helping Students (PATHS) is our parent group that supports our school spiritually, financially, and physically.
The committee plans family outings, pays for field trips, raises money with the yearly auction, and coordinates volunteers for the school. Each family is asked to pay dues each year and receives a Buzz Book with all the students information. We hope you will consider joining our PATHS group and share your talents.
- President Robin Carlin
- Vice President Laura Kowalski
- Treasurer Ann Marie Johnson
- Assistant Treasurer Jackie Wojnar
- Secretary Kristen LaPorte
Here are PATHS Helpful Hints for our school:
What resources will answer questions about SAINT Christopher School and the PATHS?
The most important resource is the Parent/Student Handbook, which is given to each family when their child enters Saint Christopher School. The handbook contains important information about school policies. Many of your questions will be answered by referring to the appropriate section of the Handbook. Please look here before calling the office. Periodically, a section may be updated with new sheets sent home from school. The Handbook should be kept as a reference as long as you have a child at St. Christopher. For further information on all the topics addressed below, please consult the following resources, including ASCENDS.com, the PATHS’ meeting, the monthly calendar, the Buzz Book, the weekly Parish bulletin, and the Parish Handbook. And don’t forget…your child’s backpack!
What are the Buzz Book and monthly calendar?
The Buzz Book is a directory of parents, students, and teachers at Saint Christopher School. It shows class lists, gives information about PATHS Executive Board and Council members and committees, lists addresses and phone numbers of families, and gives important dates throughout the year. A Buzz Book is sent home in September to each family who pays their PATHS’ yearly dues. The monthly calendar gives you a quick look at what is going on at the school for the entire month. It lists programs, field trips, etc. for all grades.
What is gradelink?
Gradelink (https://secure.gradelink.com) is the website where grades are posted and much, much, more! It is also a valuable resource for school calendar, spelling words lists, accelerated reader list, email to teachers, lunch menu, Parish athletics, and new things are being added all the time. You will receive an activation code for you and each student. The students can access their grades and parents can view all their children’s grades. Please contact Mrs. Fuerst at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Gradelink is a web-based program that can be assessed from any computer with an internet connection.
What is early dismissal?
This means that on such days ALL CHILDREN get out at 1:30 p.m. and need to be picked up at that time or will be coming home on the bus soon after that time. Children do not have recess on early dismissal days, but still have a lunch period.
At what grade level do students begin wearing uniforms?
Uniforms are required in grades K – 8. There will be a note sent home for any dress down day or posted on Gradelink. Uniforms do not have to be worn on picture day. Uniform shorts with uniform shirts may be worn when the weather is warm. St. Christopher School sweatshirts and/or 1/4 zips are permitted to be worn by all students. The link for spirit wear can be found on ASCENDS.
How do I purchase a uniform?
You will receive a School Belle’s catalog. They have the approved styles. You can order from the catalog, online, or in their store. You may purchase clothing anywhere as long as it complies with uniform standard. Please see the Parent/Student Handbook or the School Belle’s catalog you receive from school for details regarding uniform specifics.
How do I purchase a gym uniform?
Gym uniforms can be purchased on the Spirit Wear website, which can be found on Gradelink. Students from K through 8th grade must begin wearing gym uniforms as soon as their order arrives. Remember, even on dress down days, students are required to bring a change of gym shoes. Kindergarten students do not change into their gym uniform, but instead wear them to school, instead of their school uniform, on gym day. They must bring an extra pair of gym shoes for gym class. These shoes must be designated for gym class ONLY. They cannot wear street shoes or black-soled shoes as they may leave marks on the floor or cause damage.
What is Gym Day?
Gym Day takes place at the end of May. It is held in the parking lot where the children compete in many different kinds of team activities. Children should wear their gym uniform, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle. Many parents are needed to volunteer for this day. Watch the newsletter for details.
What is the uniform exchange?
A uniform exchange is held to give all parents an opportunity to get gently worn shirts, blouses, pants, shorts, skirts, jumpers, and gym uniforms for the size they will need in the coming year. No money is paid. If you are not in need of anything but would like to donate, we will gladly accept items for the exchange.
Is there a reduction in tuition when my second child enters Kindergarten?
Yes, when you have 2 children in the school at any grade level (full-day K – 8th grade) there is a reduction in tuition. See current tuition schedule for details.
If I sign my child up for full-day Kindergarten, can I switch to half-day Kindergarten?
Yes. If you feel that full-day Kindergarten is not working out, you can switch to half-day Kindergarten. Please contact the Kindergarten teacher to discuss some options.
How do I know which bus my child takes?
Rocky River, Westlake, and Fairview Park Schools Transportation Department send postcards to all eligible bus riders in August regarding where the bus stop is located, what bus your child will be taking, and the time of pickup and drop-off. If you have questions about busing or if your child has a problem on the bus, please contact the school transportation departments directly. For Rocky River, contact (440) 356-6042, for Westlake (440) 835-6313, and for Fairview Park (440) 331-5500, ext. 1128 . Bus safety lessons are given to students K – 8th in the fall.
Remember, the bus WILL NOT drop off Kindergartners unless a parent or caregiver is there to receive them.
Standard bus guidelines by grade:
- K – 2nd All students are bused to school.
- 3rd – 5th Students who live 1 mile away from school are bused.
- 6th – 8th Students who live 2 miles away from school are bused.
What happens if my child gets sick or hurt at school?
If your child is sick, they will go to the office and you will be called to pick them up. If you are not home, the alternate contact person on your child’s medical card will be called. A nurse/aid will be on duty Monday through Friday from 8:30 -1:30. The nurse will handle illnesses and minor injuries. If your child is badly hurt, you will be called and your child may be taken to the emergency medical facility indicated on your child’s medical card. It is important to update the office with any change in your address, phone number, cell phone, or emergency contact information. Contact information is to be included on the medication forms. NOTE: Please do not send your child to school if they have vomiting, fever, or diarrhea.
What is Before/After Care? Can I use it on a drop-in basis?
Morning & After Care is a school day care program available to students. Morning Care operates from 7:00 am in the morning until 8:00 am. After Care operates from 2:45 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the afternoon on school days. You must register and pay for this service in order to have your child attend. Additional details can be found in the Campus Life section on the website.
Do I have to come to Kindergarten Registration Day if I already have a child at SAINT Christopher?
No, but you must fill out the pre-registration form which is sent home from the office indicating your intention to send your child to Kindergarten in the coming year.
What if my child doesn’t have their packed lunch?
The child may call home. Lunches may be left in the office and the student will be called to pick it up. Please write the child’s name and room number on the lunch. Please get a visitor’s pass in the office before entering the cafeteria. Another option is for your child to purchase a lunch through the Automated Lunch System. Each child has an account that a parent deposits money into that is used for lunch. As the child purchases lunch, the amount is deducted from the balance in the account. More information will come on setting up and using this system.
What is the Christmas Shoppe?
Students in grades Kindergarten – 8th are taken over to Mary’s Room where they may purchase small Christmas goodies for their relatives. An envelope for money will be sent home. Parents write on the front of the envelope who the child is to buy gifts for, specify dollar amounts, change expected back, and whether it is okay for the student to buy for themselves. This is another great opportunity to help! Many parents are needed to help the week of the Christmas Shoppe.
What are the concerts at school?
There are 2 winter concerts and a spring concert. There will be a note in the beginning of the year with the dates of the concerts and what grades are involved. Seats for these concerts fill up fast…consider purchasing front row seats at the auction! The school Band has a winter and spring concert each year.
What procedures for dismissal of walkers, bus riders, and car riders?
At the beginning of each year, every family will receive an updated letter regarding the specifics. Please familiarize yourself and go over the information with your children. All children are dismissed over the PA system and will be allowed to leave when their group is called. The children are called in the following order: Bus riders, bike riders, car riders and walkers.
The drop-off and pick-up procedure is “Enter from Detroit Rd. and Exit out onto Northview”.
- In the morning, all cars are to enter on Northview Ave. Drive through the parking lot to the school doors and drop off students. Faculty members are there to greet students as they are dropped-off. All cars must exit through the parking lot to Northview Ave.
- In the afternoon, please park your car and come up to the school doors to pick up your child. Kindergartners must be signed out by a parent or guardian. Please be aware of traffic as you are walking through the parking lot. A teacher will be present in the parking lot to help direct traffic and maintain safety.
- If you come at lunchtime, use Detroit Road to enter and exit and avoid parking near the playground. Children may be at recess and both the Lakeview and Northview exits will be blocked.
Please drive slowly when entering the parking lot. For the safety of all our children, refrain from using cell phones while driving in the parking lot. Never park or drop-off at the rectory.
What is VIRTUS and VIRTUS compliance?
Any and all parents or volunteers that work or are in the school or coaching any sport with children must have a finger print report on file along with an application. Volunteers are also asked to partake in the national VIRTUS program, an awareness program for identifying sexual abuse in children. This includes room mothers, art helpers, lunch room, field trips supervision, library aides, and any other help given to our school. Please contact the Religious Education Office for VIRTUS training. There is also an ongoing computer program with VIRTUS updates as well as a manual and guidelines to follow. You must be in full compliance to volunteer or coach. There must be two forms signed and on file in the office. You must be up to date on your computer bulletins.
How do I join Parents and Teachers Helping Students (PATHS)?
All parents with students at our school are automatically members of PATHS. However, to become a voting member, families must pay yearly dues. There is a form sent home at the beginning of the year and it is also a checklist of areas to volunteer. This form can also be found on Ascends under the PATHS section, as well as in the school's office.
What is the Art Show?
Every year there is a different theme for the art classes. Each year the artwork is displayed for the families to come and see what their children have been producing all year. It is held in conjunction with our annual Open House event on the last Sunday in January. Great opportunity for parents to volunteer—many are needed to help. Please contact the art show chair in the front of the Buzz Book.
What is Kindergarten promotion?
The Kindergartners have a ceremony from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Older siblings are allowed to attend, please make arrangements with the school. IMPORTANT: This is the last day of school for the kindergartners. They do not come back to school the next day, which is the last day for all other students.
When is First Communion?
Second graders receive First Communion in the spring. Parents of 2nd graders will receive information about classes and meetings for parents in preparation for this from the St. Chris Religious Education Office. The second graders also have a First Communion picnic. Parents organize a fun day for both classes to get together and celebrate.
When is Confirmation?
Confirmation is made in 9th grade.
What is 8th graduation?
The eighth graders celebrate their graduation from elementary school with a prayer service, followed by a social for graduates and their guests. This event is held in the evening on the last day of school for eighth graders, which is usually the first Friday in June.
What is the procedure for birthday parties?
Please contact your child’s teacher. Due to the wellness policy, non-edible treats are permitted. No food should be brought to school. Any invitations for parties must be mailed directly to the classmates’ home. No invitations or thank you notes can be passed out at school.
What is Catholic Schools Week?
It is the end of January and there is a whole week of activities to celebrate catholic education. It begins with our annual Open House / Art Show after mass on last Sunday in January. Parents are welcome to attend many of the events, including classroom observations. There also is a student talent show and parents are welcome to attend.
What is ORIENTATION / Parent-Teacher Conferences?
There is a family orientation at the beginning of the school year. Parent-teacher conferences are in November and provide another opportunity to discuss how your child is doing. You will receive a note home to schedule a conference. You may also request to meet with the other teachers your child has at any time during the school year.
What types of gifted classes are available at SAINT Christopher?
St. Christopher School does not have a specific curriculum for advanced (gifted) students. However, we have weekly enrichment science and math as well as language arts classes for qualified students in grades 4-8. Our reading and math books were chosen because they provide teachers with options for advanced students as well as students who need remediation.
What are the fundraisers at SAINT Christopher School?
Our major fundraiser is our annual Auction, which is a dinner and auction with a different theme each year. In years past it has been a Knight in Vegas, a Knight in the Wild, Wild West, The Roaring 20's, and many others. This year our fundraiser will be held in November. This is our main source of funds and it has helped us to purchase various items, big and small, for our school. This is a big operation that relies on parent volunteers to make this evening a success.
There are other ways to help raise money for SAINT Christopher School:
- Journey to Success Raffle - In the late winter, families are asked to sell raffle tickets to raise funds for the school. Cash prizes are awarded and there are incentives for the students.
- Heinen’s and Giant Eagle - Register at Heinen’s and Giant Eagle each year to help our school. We receive a portion of the sales each year.
- Box Tops for Education – Cut out the small coupons on General Mills items and send them into the committee chairperson. You can also shop through www/boxtops4education.com and our school will get a percentage of what you spent.
- Campbell’s Soup Labels – Cut out these coupons on various Campbell’s products and send them into the committee chairperson.
- Scholastic Books – You can order books through fliers that come home and there is a book fair in the fall. Our school earns books based on what is spent.
- Book Fair - Held in October each year to benefit our school library.
What are the lunch and recess schedules?
Period: NEW FOR 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR
- 11:10 – 11:30 Kindergarten, 1st & 6th (Eat) -7th & 8th grade at recess
- 11:30 – 11:50 7th & 8th (Eat) – K , 1st & 6th at recess
- 11:50 – 12:10 2nd & 3rd (Eat) – 4th & 5th at recess
- 12:10 – 12:30 4th & 5th(Eat) – 2nd & 3rd at recess
Children have 20 minutes for lunch. This includes having to get through the hot lunch line. There is a late table for students who need extra time. Any parent who wishes to enter the lunchroom must first go to the office and get a visitor’s pass. For the first few weeks of school the Kindergarten students have an “angel” from the 6th grade who sits with them and helps them get adjusted to the lunch routine. Every child will receive a lunch menu every month. Any additional items sold at lunch will be announced during lunch the day before. The lunch menu is also posted on line. A teacher and 1-2 parents monitor recess. WE ARE ALWAYS IN NEED OF OUTDOOR HELP. Volunteers must be VIRTUS compliant!
Parent volunteers are needed for inside and outside supervision each day. Please contact the office if you are interested in helping with outdoor recess. It is very important to dress children for the weather. Only when it is raining or EXTREMELY cold will the children be kept for indoor recess where they go back to their rooms.
What are some ways I can help in my child’s classroom?
All people must be Virtus compliant. You can volunteer to become a Room Parent, Art Aid or K-4 Aid. Parents of students in Kindergarten and 1st grade can also volunteer to read to the students during their library time. In the fall, your child’s room parents will send out a notice asking for volunteers for class events. Each class has a retreat and parents are needed to help for the day. It is a full-day retreat for 2nd– 8th grade and for First & Kindergartners it is over at 11:30. A pizza lunch is provided for all grades with parents providing drinks and snacks.
How can I go on field trips with my child’s class? Do we pay for field trips?
A permission slip will come home for each field trip. You may contact the child’s teacher about the need for chaperones. Currently, PATHS sponsors a few trips per year for each class including the busing expense. Any parent chaperones will have to pay their own admission and drive separately.
Can I attend masses and prayer services held at school?
Yes! In fact, we encourage parents to attend these religious events so that they can appreciate and share in the spiritual education their child receives here at St. Christopher School. Check the monthly calendar for dates, locations, and times. Please ask the teachers preference about sitting with your child. NOTE: Kindergartners DO NOT attend mass until the 2nd semester, even if it is listed as an “all school” mass.