We are excited to welcome you all to the 2022-2023 school year; our team has been working hard all summer planning for the new school year.
We have made a few safety updates, including installing two Ring camera doorbells and buzzers at the Windsor Place Door/Door D and the Howard Place Door/Door. This will allow us to screen visitors before they enter the building to ensure the safety of students and faculty. We have also installed VOIP phones throughout the building. Similar to our intercom system, the phones allow us to intercom and call into all classrooms. They also allow teachers to call out should there be an emergency.
Some of you might have noticed new steps at doorway C. This new staircase was installed over the summer to ensure proper egress of the academy building due to the construction at the convent. Our early childhood classrooms were renovated this summer, and we were excited to unveil our new early childhood classrooms last week at our pre-school orientation; the students had so much fun and we cannot wait to see them again next week! We also painted our first-floor hallway a beautiful shade of light blue that really brightens up the space and updated our Technology Lab with new flooring.
Based on your feedback, we have built an enrichment schedule that meets the developmental needs of all age groups, while being topics of high interest for our students. Some of the additions are track and field, creative movement and dance, silly science for our littlest learners, and much more. We also heard you when you asked for an event calendar ahead of time. Ms. Demera has been busy making sure all known events are posted in our Google Calendar, our website, App, and in Class Dojo. Our administration team also worked closely with the Home-Academy Association (HAA) to create a tentative event and fundraising calendar so you can best prepare for the year. Attached below are copies of that calendar as well as our updated operating calendar.
This year SJWCA will be expanding our music program. Ms. Islas will be working with us full time, allowing our lower school an additional music class each week. She will also be teaching a lower school chorus for grades 1-4 and an upper school chorus for grades 5-8 once a week during their lunch periods.
SJWCA is also expanding our STEM program to include more mechanical engineering in our upper-grade classes. We have also created a dedicated Robotics Lab in room 307 and with the support of Mr. Rosado, will be extending our Robotics team down to grade 6. Mr. Arnold and Ms. Nitzsche will still be coaching grade 7 and grade 8.
I would also like to take this time to welcome our new faculty members. We have Stacey Borriello, Nkese Singh, Amanda Cruz, and Justine Maya joining our early childhood team. Collectively they have over 3 decades of experience and bring with them great energy and a true passion for the work they do.
Erin Cain is also joining our faculty this year. Erin has been teaching for 5 years and has experience in both charter schools and Catholic schools. Erin felt truly at home when she worked in Catholic Education and is excited to make SJWCA her new home. Erin will be teaching grade 2.
As I shared in the spring, all of our teachers, including all of our new faculty members spent a week together in June for Responsive Classroom training. A Responsive Classroom approach focuses on building a positive classroom/school community through a set of common principles and practices. This approach focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and social-emotional learning. In an effort to build a positive community, support consistency, and cultivate positive relationships between students and teachers, all special content area teachers have been assigned to a middle school homeroom. Homeroom teachers play a critical role in developing and supporting a positive classroom culture.
Lastly, as the first day approaches, I want to share some uniform reminders. We did adopt a new uniform last spring. This year, while you cannot purchase the old uniform, students are welcome to wear it. Families are welcome to visit the office and pick up donated uniforms free of charge to add to their uniform rotation as well. Sneakers/boots are NOT permitted. Sneakers and boots are not considered uniform. Please make sure your child has black (girls can also wear navy) uniform shoes for the start of the year. Students may wear their choice of sneakers for gym days along with the gym uniform. Please see the spirit wear shop for alternative gym uniforms and sweatshirts. Sweatshirts can always be worn over a student’s uniform.
I know our faculty are gearing up for what is sure to be a fantastic school year. Enjoy this last weekend of summer, see you all next week!
Fundraising and Event Schedule: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wWFrAsQasTGyD7iB3ToVv9AluXtKNxDq/view?usp=sharing