Parents and Teachers Helping Students (PATHS) is our school’s parent group. PATHS volunteers and fund raising efforts support the school’s Faith formation, academic and extracurricular programs. Examples include planning school-family events, paying for field trips, and providing funds for school technology. Each family is asked to pay yearly dues and will receive a copy of the “Buzz Book”, which contains useful school and student information. We hope you will consider joining our PATHS group and share your talents.
President Laura Kowalski
Vice President Amy Bolas
Treasurer Ann Marie Johnson
Assistant Treasurer Sarah Warren
Secretary Kristen LaPorte
Here are some PATHS helpful hints for our school:
Below you will find information related to home communication, uniforms, gym and spirit wear, transportation, tuition, and much more! However, please feel free to contact the school office, at 440.331.3075, if you have any questions.
What resources will answer questions about SAINT Christopher School and the PATHS?
The most important resource is the Parent/Student Handbook, which can be accessed electronically on Gradelink, the schools learning management system. The handbook contains important information about school policies. Many of your questions will likely be answered by referring to the appropriate section of the Handbook. Periodically, a section in the handbook may be updated. At the start of the year, you will asked to sign an acknowledgement that you have reviewed the school handbook. For additional information on all the topics addressed below, please consult the following resources, including Gradelink.com, the monthly PATHS’ meeting, the Buzz Book, and the weekly Parish bulletin. And don’t forget…your child’s backpack!
What is the Buzz Book?
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 PATHS dues paying family.
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, classroom calendars, lunch menus, Parish athletics information, in addition to new items that are being added all of the time. At the start of the year, you will receive an activation code for you and each student in your family. 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 accessed from any computer with an internet connection.
At what grade level do students begin wearing uniforms?
Uniforms are required in grades K – 8. An email will be sent home for any dress down day or shared in the weekly reminder. Uniforms do not have to be worn on picture day. Uniform shorts with uniform shirts may be worn until October 1. After October 1, boys in grades 6-8 must wear ties. St. Christopher School sweatshirts and/or 1/4 zips are permitted to be worn by all students. Spirit wear can be purchased from Hometown Threads in North Olmsted https://hometownthreadscleveland.com/product-category/st-christopher/.
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 the school for details regarding uniform specifics.
How do I purchase a gym uniform or Spirit wear?
Gym uniforms and Spirit Wear can be purchased from Hometown Threads in North Olmsted. Both can also be ordered online at: https://hometownthreadscleveland.com/product-category/st-christopher/ Students from K through 8th grade must begin wearing gym uniforms immediately. 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 in May. It is held in the parking lot and playground area and the children compete in a variety of team activities, including an obstacle course challenge. Many parent volunteers are needed to ensure the success and smooth operation of this event.
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.
How do I know which bus my child takes?
Rocky River, Westlake, Fairview Park, and Bay Village 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, for Fairview Park (440) 331-5500, ext. 1128, and for Bay Village (440) 617-1659. 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.
Rocky River 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.
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 and can be used on a drop-in basis. 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.
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. 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?
Christmas Shoppe is held in Mary’s Room during the month of December. Students in grades K-8 are may purchase small Christmas presents for their relatives. Information and order envelopes will be sent home prior to the event.
What are the concerts at school?
There is a winter and spring concert that is put on through our music program. Information is sent home at the beginning of the year with the dates of the concerts and what grades are involved. The school Band also 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 from Detroit Road, drive 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 Gradelink under the PATHS section, as well as in the school's office.
What is the Art Show?
Selected thematic pieces by all students are displayed throughout the school. The art show is held in conjunction with our annual Open House event during Catholic Schools Week; typically during the last week of January.
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. This followed by a social for the 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/emailed 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 8:30 mass on last Sunday in January. Parents are welcome to attend many of the events that take place during the week. These include the school talent show, musical performances, and having lunch with your children. The school also hosts a Grandparents' day during this week. Grandparents attend a breakfast reception and musical performance and are then welcome to visit and spend time in their grandchildren’s classrooms.
What is ORIENTATION / Parent-Teacher Conferences?
There is a family orientation morning the day before the first full day of school. Students and their families meet their new teachers and drop-off supplies. 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 are the fundraisers at SAINT Christopher School?
The major fundraiser is the annual school auction. The auction is held in February and theme varies each school year. This year it will be a Night at the Races. Auction funds provide critical support for virtually every school function. Please consider attending and/or volunteering your support for this fun and worthwhile event.
There are other ways to help raise money for SAINT Christopher School:
Journey to Success Raffle - In the late fall, 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, Giant Eagle, Amazon, and GFS - 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 / Book Fair – You can order books through fliers that come home and there is a book fair in the October. Our school earns books based on what is spent.
What are the lunch and recess schedules?
NEW FOR 2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR
11:30 – 11:50 Kindergarten, 1st & 6th at lunch - 7th & 8th grade at recess
11:50 – 12:10 7th & 8th at lunch – K , 1st & 6th at recess
12:10 – 12:30 2nd & 3rd at lunch – 4th & 5th at recess
12:30 – 12:50 4th & 5th at lunch – 2nd & 3rd at recess
Children have 20 minutes for lunch. This includes having to get through the hot lunch line. 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. 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 inside for recess.
What are some ways I can help in my child’s classroom?
All school volunteers must be Virtus compliant. You can volunteer to become a Room Parent, or for various events and field trips throughout the year. Parents of students in Kindergarten and 1st grade can also volunteer to in the library during their child(ren)'s 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 during the day. 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.