Principal's Messa...

August 18, 2014

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

- Oprah Winfrey

Dear parents and guardians,

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! I certainly hope all of our new and returning Santa Teresa students had a fantastic first day. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of the start of a new school year.

Here at Santa Teresa it is our goal to cultivate socially and academically resilient students that reach their potential daily, and understand that with hard work and unwavering support, they can achieve a future that is beyond what they can imagine today. Our tremendous staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of all students, and continuously collaborate to improve their practice. We value the support we receive from the Santa Teresa community, and thank you for any time you have to volunteer during your busy lives.

Beyond welcoming you to the new school year, the purpose of this letter is to give you important information that will be useful in understanding a bit more about Santa Teresa. If you have any questions regarding the following topics, feel free to call the school or contact me directly.

CLASSES: Please understand that there is a real possibility that the teacher your child had today may not end up being a permanent placement. Class placements and configurations may change due to official enrollment numbers. We appreciate your support and understanding of potential change during these first few weeks.

THE PAW PRINT: The Paw Print is our newsletter. I send it out every 2 weeks. It is an excellent resource to highlight recently recognized students, discuss upcoming events, and deliver important information. Most importantly, it contains an updated calendar that lets you know about important dates and times for the next 4 weeks. The first issue, in English and Spanish, is scheduled to come out on Tuesday, September 2 nd .

CRITICAL PAPERWORK: Today you received lots of critical paperwork. Please read the Student Behavior and Parent Information Handbook. The forms in the book that require signatures are now separate from the book itself. You’ve received them in a stand-alone packet. The packet includes a Notice of Receipt of Student Behavior and Parent Information Handbook, Consent for Video/Photography/DVD,  Acceptable Use Agreement for use of Internet, and A Pledge for Student Success. Please sign and return these forms to your child’s teacher. You’ve also received 2 separate emergency cards, a free and reduced lunch application, and a request for information from our Home and School Association. Thanks so much for your efforts in getting all of this paperwork back to Santa Teresa.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT: Our Back to School Night is scheduled for Tuesday, September 9 th at 6:30 PM. The evening will begin in the cafeteria with staff introductions and a brief presentation followed by classroom presentations at 7:00PM and 7:30PM. We hope to see you there.

ADJUSTED DAYS AND CALENDAR INFORMATION: The rest of this week students will continue to be on an adjusted day schedule, with a 2:15PM dismissal for all grade levels. Please note that all Tuesdays are adjusted days, again with a 2:15PM dismissal time. We will not be having any upper grade early dismissal days this year, which we hope will please those families with children in both primary and upper grade. Please note that our regular weekly schedule will begin on Monday, August 25 th , with a 2:30PM dismissal for grades TK and K and a 3:15PM dismissal for grades 1-6. Also, please note that Friday, August 29 th is an AB Day and Monday September 1 st is Labor Day. Students are not in school on either of these days. Refer to the school schedule and district calendar, sent home today, for additional details.

TRAFFIC : Santa Teresa’s schedule will remain the same as last year. Because of the number of parents coming at the same time, we will need to be extra cautious with our driving habits before and after school. Please remember that the red lines (front of school) are not for drop offs or pick-ups, these are fire lanes. Thus, we have tried to put up cones for visual reminders. Traffic officers will enforce from time to time. We do appreciate everyone following the safety rules. Please let your friends and family know of these rules, as well. Additionally, the side parking lot, near our CDC is our bus drop off location with approximately 10-12 busses dropping off students each morning. This parking lot is for CDC early morning day care and bus loading only. This is not a parking lot for parents or a drop off area. For those that have been coming to ST, you know this is the procedure. The rest of the school will need to use the church parking lot or street parking, should you need a parking spot to walk your child in for line up. Thank you to everyone in advance, for helping maintain safety in the neighborhood at drop off time. Please watch for students in both the front and back parking areas, slow down, and error with caution.

Again, red lines are not for parking or drops off/pick-ups. White lines on the street are for drop offs/pick-ups and early signing out.

POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS (PBIS): This year we will be implementing our PBIS plan. PBIS focuses on rewarding students for demonstrating positive behavior. Students will also receive explicit instruction and modeling on behavioral expectations in 9 key locations throughout Santa Teresa. Our mantra, which you’ll see throughout the school is: Santa Teresa Panthers – Always Respectful, Always Safe, and Always Responsible.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to another fantastic year!


Mark Lepori

Santa Teresa Elementary School Principal

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