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NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER WELCOME Welcome to the flu jitters

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NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER WELCOME Welcome to the  flu jitters Powered By Docstoc
					NEWSLETTER                                                   Community is basic to the trust students need as
SEPTEMBER 2009                                               they move from one stage of moral development to
                                                             another. Community enables an environment that
                                                             helps academic learning and flows outward to
WELCOME                                                      service projects, a sharing of faith, a joy in
Welcome to the 2009-2010 school year! It’s hard to           celebration, and a willingness to accept others who
believe that school is in session and summer is over.        are different.
I pray that your children had a well deserved rest
and are as excited to return to the routine of school        God dwells in a trusting community, and the
days as I am. Summer has been so busy at Aquinas             individuals who feel accepted in that community
Academy and I hope you see the fruits of your                find strength from God’s grace to grow, to be open
volunteer efforts as you visit us in the next few            to change, to be alert to the needs of others, and to
weeks.                                                       be generous in service.

We are honored that you have chosen Aquinas                  It is the aim of our whole school life, of our total
Academy as the school for your child and have                curriculum, to help each child feel ―at home‖ in this
graciously bestowed your trust in us for your child’s        community and grow into a true personal
education. The entire faculty and staff of Aquinas           commitment to the community. It is vital that the
Academy look forward to serving you in the days              faith community of Aquinas Academy be strong. It
and months to come.                                          is a major goal of our school to make the school
                                                             setting a true faith community, to prepare the
This monthly newsletter is one of the ways we will           students for active involvement in their parish faith
communicate with you throughout the year. It will            community, and to help our students realize their
contain important news about our many programs               duty to their civic community. We cannot do this
as well as articles of interest that teachers may want       alone. We need your help. We can teach
to share with you.                                           community by living it.

Know that we pray for you each day as we                     BUILDING UPDATE
remember all those who asked for our prayers and             There were two major building projects completed
our many benefactors. We thank God for you and               this summer. The first was the replacement of the
ask God to bless you with abundant grace to meet             return condensation line for the boiler system in the
the challenges of this new school year.                      gym. Over the years the old condensation pipe line
                                                             was pitting and threatening to burst or leak at any
Our Gospel value for the year is once again                  given time, and the need to replace it was now
community. This is the third and final year we will          before any damage could be done to the new gym
focus on this Gospel value. We have really                   floor.
impacted the Greensburg community through our
dedication to service. There are still many ways for         Our second project this summer was the redesigning
Aquinas Academy to serve others and fully realize            of the school’s library. This project included new
our importance in the church and surrounding                 carpeting and paint, new shelving, and a new
community. Community, as a Gospel value, is a                circulation desk is being built as I type this article.
union of people because of their unique relationship         The dedication of Mrs. Finoli and her group of
with God in Jesus and in the desire to share their           volunteers helping with the past four book fairs has
beliefs, values, and lives with some degree of
oneness.
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paid off for our children. I thank them for all of           GARDEN OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
their efforts.                                               The Garden of the Good Shepherd is an ongoing
                                                             project chaired by Mrs. Jennifer Kettering. New
More painting was completed in the Red Brick                 updates to the garden include a safety fence
Building but I’m hoping to organize a mass                   surrounding the main walkway, replacing of
volunteer effort to paint most of the remaining              vegetation to keep the garden flourishing and a
rooms in our school next summer. Mrs. Dana                   drain system to be installed at the entrance of the
Marcinko has agreed to help organize this massive            school. This project has transformed the appearance
project.                                                     of the school. This was a project that was slated to
                                                             be complete after five to seven years. It has only
SPRING GALA                                                  been two years into the project, and we are only 50
Aquinas Academy is hosting its fifth annual Gala,            bricks shy of completion. Please contact Jen
"A Night in Nantucket" on Saturday, March 6,                 Kettering at 724-853-7235 or pick up a brick order
2010 at Four Points Sheraton in Greensburg. The              from in the school office to honor or remember
evening will include silent, ticket, and live auctions       someone special today. Thank you for your
including Kids Creations - treasures crafted by our          continued support of this worthwhile endeavor.
students. The proceeds from the Gala are considered
a vital source of support for the school and this past       FACULTY
year's event raised $58,429.00 (an increase of over          The Aquinas Academy faculty realizes the
$8,000.00 from the previous year) for our school.            importance of communication with our parents. It
We hope that with your support, the 2010                     is through an open and supportive relationship
Nantucket Gala will be an even bigger success.               between the teacher and the family that a successful
                                                             child emerges. The faculty and staff appreciate the
Mrs. Holly Coghill, the creative force and                   time and effort of each parent or guardian in
chairperson behind our first four Galas, has passed          preparing each child for school.
the torch to new co-chairs Mrs. Wendi Leonida and
Mrs. Erin DeCaro. The overwhelming success of                All of our teachers exemplify dedication to the
our previous Galas is due in large part to the               teaching mission of the Church and excel
dedication and commitment of Mrs. Coghill and her            professionally. We appreciate the many sacrifices
supportive committee members. Our sincere                    they make to teach in a Catholic school. We have
gratitude for creating such memorable evenings is            only one new teacher this year. Let us pray for one
extended to Mrs. Coghill.                                    another that our Aquinas family will grow daily in
                                                             Christian living and nurture our children with true
Although many of the previous chairpersons have              Catholic values and virtues so important to us.
committed to helping again this year, the committee
is seeking new volunteers to get involved and help           We welcome one new teacher to Aquinas Academy:
with this important fundraiser. For more
information, contact Gala Co-Chairs, Wendi                   Ms. Jessica Brecht – will be a seventh grade
Leonida at 724-837-1822 or Erin DeCaro at 724-               homeroom teacher and will teach seventh grade
374-5854. Additional details are forthcoming with            English, spelling, literature, and sixth grade
tickets on sale beginning January, 2010.                     Spanish.

We look forward to seeing you at this wonderful              HOMEWORK HABIT
fundraiser!                                                  If your child hasn’t kept regular homework routines
                                                             in the past, now’s the time to start. Here’s how:
                                                              Find a place for your child to do homework.
                                                                 Have the child put the book bag there and work

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    there every day. It’s good for a parent to be in         use a little guided encouragement to learn how to
    the same vicinity so the child sees you working          talk to God about their anxieties and fears. Spend
    also. Read the paper, pay bills, sew, or                 some time at bedtime talking to God with your child
    whatever you need to do.                                 and asking God for guidance and care. Something
                                                             as simple as, ―God, please be with me tomorrow as
   Provide a tool kit. A child who has to get up            I meet new friends,‖ can help calm nerves.
    every five minutes to look for a pencil or a piece
    of paper can’t properly focus on homework.               STANDARDIZED TESTING
    Have her or him put together a box with                  Students in grades three through eight will take
    homework supplies. Include pens, pencils,                Stanford standardized tests October 13-15.
    erasers, a ruler, and glue. Add other supplies as        Students in grades three, five and seven will also
    your child needs them. Have your child get it            take an ability tests October 6, 7, and 8. Each
    out when it’s time to start homework and put             ability test is only about half an hour. Please do not
    everything away at the end of study time.                schedule appointments during school hours these
                                                             days. It is difficult to make these tests up. The only
   Set a regular homework time. Kids thrive on              tests that we will attempt to make up are reading
    routines. If your child does homework at the             and math.
    same time every day, s/he will probably argue
    less. There is no best time. Some kids need to           SCHOOL PICTURES
    let off energy after school. Others want to get
                                                             Inter-State Studio will be here on Tuesday,
    right to work. Find the time that works for you.
                                                             September 22, to take pictures. This year students
                                                             will be permitted to wear dress up clothes. There
   Set homework goals. At the start of each study           will be no jeans, hoodies, or t-shirts but a nice dress
    period, ask your child to make a list of what s/he       shirt and casual shorts or skirts are permitted. Each
    needs to do. S/he can check them off as s/he             child in the family must have his or her own
    finishes each one.                                       prepaid-picture envelope with them on September
                                                             22. Please do not send one envelope per family.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL JITTERS                                       Even if you do not plan to buy pictures, your child
Three Ways to Help Kids Deal                                 will have his or her picture taken so that we have it
                                                             for the class picture in the yearbook. In the case of a
Focus on the Positive. If your child(ren) is nervous         non-custodial parent, the child must have a separate
about starting a new grade level, new sport or after-        envelope for that parent as well as one for the
school activity, help guide his/her thoughts to the          custodial parent. If you need another form, please
positive aspects of the experience. Have them focus          call the school office.
on a friend they know who will be there on the first
day. Throw themselves into a subject they really             OPEN HOUSE
enjoy – that is, science, music, reading.                    This year our open house date is WEDNESDAY,
                                                             SEPTEMBER 23, for Kindergarten through eighth
Think Outward. Kids love to be ―in the know.‖                grade. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the
Help your child to recognize ways in which he/she            gym on Pennsylvania Avenue. This Open House
can help other kids at school who might need some            is for parents / guardians only.
guidance or encouragement. Show a new student
where their homeroom is. Ask a teacher if they               The teachers will be in their rooms after the general
need any help in the classroom.                              meeting to present academic procedures and
                                                             expectations for the year.
Pray Together. Traditional Catholic prayers are
wonderful and familiar, but sometimes kids could             Refreshments will be served in the cafeteria.

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ARAMARK LUNCH PROGRAM                                        MINOR PROTECTION POLICY
The price of lunch is as follows:                            Each school employee or volunteer must submit a
       $2.35 per lunch                                       PA State Criminal Record Check and a PA Child
       $11.75 per strip of five tickets                      Abuse History Clearance form before starting to
The cost of milk remains at 50 cents.                        work. The forms are available in the office. All
                                                             clearances must be submitted by Thanksgiving this
If you purchase lunch tickets, please put the money          year. However, anyone without clearances after
in an envelope, and write your child’s name and              Thanksgiving may not work with the children or in
homeroom # on the outside of the envelope as                 the school during school hours or during any school
well as the words lunch money and the amount                 athletic activity.
enclosed. Do not include lunch money with any
other check. The check should be made out to                 These forms are good for as long as your child is
ARAMARK not Aquinas Academy.                                 in the school.

TUITION CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES                                 DRESS- DOWN COUPONS
Aquinas Academy offers on-going tuition credit               The students will be able to purchase one or two
opportunities throughout the school year—Scrip,              sets of five coupons this year. The coupons are a
fall fundraiser, and Market Day. These are                   dollar each and may be used at the student’s
simple ways to help reduce your tuition. It is to            discretion to dress-down as long as his or her class
your advantage to participate in these programs.             is not attending a Church service. A flyer is
Information is sent home in this month’s family              enclosed with this newsletter.
envelope. If you need additional information,
please call the office.                                      MARKET DAY
                                                             Market Day is a project where your family can
FALL FUNDRAISER                                              purchase frozen food items that are both delicious
This year’s fundraiser will again be a rub-off ticket        and convenient. The added bonus to this particular
that has the potential to raise over $40,000.00 for          project is that a percentage of the money you raise
our school. Last year was the first time we tried this       is applied directly to your tuition balance. The first
fundraiser. We raised $32,507.00. This was more              Market Day order is due in the office on Thursday,
than double the amount raised in the previous year’s         September 10. The first pick-up day is Saturday,
efforts and helped us meet our set fundraising goal          September 19, from 10:00 until 11:00 AM at St.
of $140,000.                                                 Paul parish hall on Carbon Road. If you would like
                                                             to help with this fundraiser, please call Julie
More details will follow in a special envelope sent          Tinney at 724-834-2646. Thanks Julie chairing this
home later this month. This is a fundraiser where            fundraiser.
every family of Aquinas Academy is required to
participate by selling one book of tickets with the          FAMILY ENVELOPE SYSTEM
option of selling more if they are able. The only            Each family receives a large manila envelope
way for this fundraiser to be more successful than           monthly. The envelope will contain the calendar
last year is if everyone is supportive and is willing        and newsletter as well as other important papers.
to meet their obligation.                                    The family envelope is given to the youngest or
                                                             only child in each school family on or near the first
Thank you for believing in your Volunteer Core               of each month. After you remove the contents of
Team and their efforts to help Aquinas be the best it        the envelope, sign and date the outside of the
can be. The chairperson for this event is Mrs.               envelope, and have your child return it to school
Tammy Liprando and the co-chair is Mrs. Anne                 the next day. This method assures the school that
Stunja.                                                      you received the papers sent home. If your family

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envelope does not arrive home the first week of               treatment of injury caused by a covered accident.
every month, please call the school office and let us         Written notice of a claim must be given to the
know. Do not assume that an envelope was not sent             insurance company within 30 days of the accident.
home for that month.                                          The first expense must be incurred within 90 days
                                                              following the accident. To be payable, other
SAVE - SAVE - SAVE                                            expenses must be incurred within 5 years after the
Yes, save Campbell Soup labels, Tyson Chicken                 accident. This plan covers the first $100 of covered
labels, General Mills Box Tops, Shop N Save                   expenses. Additional expenses will be paid only
receipts and used ink cartridges. These items                 when they are in excess of benefits paid under
benefit our school. There are so many programs                another plan. This includes HMO plans.
that benefit schools. If you shop at Target and use
your Target charge card you can designate Aquinas             We strive to provide a safe environment for our
Academy to receive cash benefits for education.               students; but, unfortunately accidents do occur. If
Please ask for details at the customer service desk.          you need to file request reimbursement through this
If you are an internet shopper, you can name our              program, please follow the steps below:
school to receive cash benefits. One of these
internet companies is the onecause.com. These are                   In the event of an accident, notify the school
all simple but easy ways to contribute with little to                immediately.
no effort.
                                                                    The school will complete and sign Part 1 of
SCRIP                                                                the ―Notification of Injury‖ form, and then
Many of our families take advantage of our SCRIP                     forward this form to the parents of the
program and earn money toward their own tuition                      injured student.     The ―Notification of
bill. This is one of our most worthwhile yet                         Injury‖ form provides additional detailed
misunderstood projects geared to helping reduce the                  claim instructions.
cost of your own child’s tuition. If you have ever
wondered how the SCRIP program works, wanted                        The parents will complete and sign Part 2 of
to give it a try, or are in need of speaking personally              the ―Notification of Injury‖ form in full
with someone regarding the benefits of the SCRIP                     remembering to include the name and
program, please call the office to be connected with                 mailing address of both parents’ employers,
a SCRIP volunteer. This volunteer will walk you                      as well as other information regarding the
through the process of this simple yet sensational                   parents’ insurance.
way of helping you to help yourself. A Scrip
Calendar and order forms are enclosed in this                       The claim form must be submitted within 30
month’s family envelope.                                             days from the date of the injury. It is not
                                                                     necessary to wait for bills to be received to
STUDENT ACCIDENT INSURANCE                                           send in a claim form on a particular
―One of the benefits for our students and families is                accident.
the student accident insurance which supplements
parents’ insurance for certain covered expenses               24-Hour Wrap-Around Coverage
related to an accident. This insurance is in effect           This accident insurance coverage may be extended
during the hours and days when school is in session,          to provide 24-Hour Wrap-Around Coverage. This
and while attending school sponsored and                      is not automatic – you must complete an application
supervised activities.                                        and pay $55.00, if you would like to purchase this
                                                              insurance. Benefits are payable for expenses
This insurance provides payment of covered,                   incurred up to 730 days after the accident, to
medically necessary expenses, incurred for                    $500,000 maximum. An Extended Dental Benefit

                                                          5
is available for an additional $10.00 charge. If you       child’s transportation home in the s office. Aquinas
are interested in extending the school-time                Academy will follow this information for all
coverage, please contact the school to request an          emergency dismissals. We will not call parents in
application.‖                                              case of emergency dismissal. Please be accurate
                                                           when filling out both sides of this emergency card
CAR RIDERS                                                 and return the forms immediately.
At PM dismissal, car riders will go to the cafeteria
with teacher monitors. They will wait there until          USED UNIFORM SALE
their cars arrive. Each family receives a car number       During the summer, the Used uniform Sale raised
for the year in the first family envelope. Please          $546. Special thanks to Debbie and Regan
keep it in your car so you have it when you pick up        Kanner, Donna Fantini and Alyssa Pollack,
your child at school. That way when we call                Tammy and Emily Giallonardo, Terri and
numbers, your child will know your car is here.            Christine McCullough, Andrea Haaz, Marissa
Please post the car number on the window facing            Pellis and Anna D’Onofrio for making this year’s
the cafeteria. This way the teachers can read the          summer sale a huge success.
numbers easily, and the cars can move quickly. It is
also vital that you make certain that your child           The uniforms are also much more organized now
knows his/her car number. Perhaps you could                thanks to Beth and Makenzie Kallock for helping
practice having your child say and hear their car          Carla Pellis with this task.
number until you are certain they know it. If they
are having trouble remembering their car number,           We would like to have another Used Uniform Sale
please list it clearly on a card pinned or connected       during Open House on Wednesday, September 23.
to their backpack. Surprisingly, however, it is            Please contact Carla Pellis at carlapellis@aol.com
frequently the older students who do not know their        or 724-433-7618 (c) or 724-853-6610 (h) if you
car number so be sure to inform them and                   would like to volunteer.
occasionally ask them to repeat their car number
back to them. You wouldn’t believe how knowing             If you have gently used uniforms to donate, please
your car number can reduce the time spent in the car       deliver them to the school office by Friday,
pick-up line.                                              September 18.

Preschool AM and PM dismissal is conducted in the          MEDICATION POLICY
parking lot on Main Street. Separate directions are        Medication should be given at home, and physicians
explained in the preschool brochure.                       should be asked to change the schedule for the
                                                           administration of medication so that it can be given
STUDENT EMERGENCY CARDS                                    before and/or after school hours. However, when
Each student needs his or her own emergency form.          medication must be administered during school
A card for each child in your family is enclosed in        hours, in an emergency situation, the following
the family envelope this month. Please fill out one        policy must be followed:
card for each student in your family. The school
will maintain this card for each student at Aquinas              The medication must be delivered to the
Academy. It asks for the names of all students                    school by a parent, guardian or other
and their homeroom # within the family enrolled                   responsible adult along with a physician’s
at Aquinas Academy.                                               written request for distribution by school
                                                                  personnel.
On the back of the card is the Emergency
Dismissal Information. It is absolutely necessary                Medication brought to school must be in a
that we have accurate information regarding your                  container labeled by a pharmacist or

                                                       6
       doctor.   The label must include the                  Children in grades Kindergarten through five may
       student’s name, the name of the                       wear their PE uniforms to school on PE days.
       physician, date of the prescription, the              Students must tuck in their PE shirts. Students in
       dosage     and    the   frequency     of              grades six through eight must bring their PE clothes
       administration.                                       on PE day and change into them.

Parents must sign an Indemnity Agreement that has            SCHOOL SUPPLIES
been prepared by the Diocesan Legal Office and               Please do not purchase adhesive book covers.
distributed through our school office. This form is          These book covers stick to the inside of the books
being sent home in the first family envelope. Please         when students take off the covers. They also leave
save incase your child will need medication during           a sticky residue on the outside of the books. Use
school hours.                                                only paper book covers or ―book sox‖ sold in our
                                                             school store.
A record book will be maintained indicating the
student’s name, the name of the medication, the              No students are permitted Spiral Notebooks. Only
date and time of distribution, and the identity of the       students in grades 6-8 are permitted to use three
person dispensing the medication. This record will           ring binders.
be made each time medication is dispensed. Please
refer to the Parent/Student Handbook for further             VOLUNTEER FORMS
information on this topic.                                   Each family is expected to volunteer for at least one
                                                             event at Aquinas Academy. A Volunteer Handbook
UNIFORMS                                                     with a list of opportunities for you to help is
All students should be in uniform beginning the first        enclosed with this month’s family envelope.
day of school. Please have your child abide by the
uniform regulations. This makes it easier on your            CHECK PROCEDURES
child and the teacher. Refer to the uniform code.            We realize that you may have to write many checks
Remember uniform shorts may be worn until                    to Aquinas Academy, but PLEASE, send separate
October 31st. Also, girls’ skirts are to be mid-             checks for each fundraiser or items you want to
knee in the front and back. Neither boys nor                 purchase. Mark in the memo section of your check
girls are to have dyed hair. Please help us by               what it is for, i.e. raffle tickets, sweatshirts, dress
having your child/ren keep the dress code and other          down tickets, etc.
regulations in the handbook. If your child’s
uniform did not arrive yet, please notify Mrs. Rullo.        When you send money or checks to school with
                                                             your child, please be sure to place it in an envelope
PE UNIFORMS                                                  with your child’s name, homeroom number, and
If you did not order a PE uniform, please send a             what the money is for on the outside of the
note to the office with your child requesting a form.        envelope. Thank you for your cooperation.
We will send it home with your child. The PE
uniform is the only attire permitted for PE class            KID’S CORNER
unless your child does not wish to change clothes.           Kristin Hickey, a sixth grader, was the center
In that case the child may wear his or her regular           fielder of the West Point Little League 11 year old
uniform. Sneakers must be worn for all PE classes.           All Star Team which competed in the PA State Title
                                                             matches during the first weeks of August. Having
If your child does not have a PE uniform yet, s/he           finished first in the Western PA division, West
may wear a plain white tee shirt and solid navy              Point was able to defeat Everett for the PA State
blue shorts only until the uniform arrives.                  Title in the finals held in Mifflin County, PA on
                                                             August 10th.

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ENCLOSED WITH NEWSLETTER
Bike Ride
Birthday Book Club
Buy a Brick for the Garden of the Good Shepherd
Calendars, Aug & Sept/Staff Mail box numbers (2)
Car Number
Dress Down Coupons
Faculty and Staff List
Family Directory
Family Illness/Emergency Dismissal Card(s)
Family Survey
Flu Prevention Flyer
Free and Reduced Lunch Form
Homeroom Parent Form
Loan of Textbook Card
Lunch Monitor
Market Day
Medication Permission Form
Memorial Book Form
Menus Aug and Sept (2)
Partners in Faith
Scrip Sept/Oct/Nov Calendar
Scrip Order Forms (2)
Used Uniform Sale
Volunteer Handbook
                                                       THE ARCHANGELS




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Description: NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER WELCOME Welcome to the flu jitters