St. Joan of Arc School News

May 7, 2020

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Mark Your Calendar for These Important Changes

May 21 - Last day for 8th grade students.

May 22 - There will be no online teaching, classes, or activities for students in grades K-8.

May 26 - Virtual Field Day - details below

May 28 - 8th Grade Graduation - details below (@ 4:00)

May 29 - Last day of student/ teacher interaction for grades K-7

June 1 - Material Return and Pick Up Day - details below

June 2 & 3 - No school activities

June 9 - Report Cards e-mailed home

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SJA/ Diocese of Cleveland Field Day

Tuesday, May 26th, 9am-12pm

This is an online event.

Mrs. Lund and Physical Education teachers throughout the Diocese of Cleveland are busy planning a day of fun, games, school spirit, and more! The details are just coming together, but it will be a blast! More details and information will be in the next school newsletter!

8th Grade Graduation Update

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Following the guidance of the Diocese of Cleveland Office of Catholic Schools and the Ohio Department of Education's recommendations and suggestions, it has been determined that the most appropriate way to approach graduation for the SJA Class of 2020 will be through a primarily virtual ceremony. The date and time of the event have been selected as May 26 @ 4:00, so be sure to mark your calendars. The details and specifics of what the event will look like are still coming together, and more information will be provided as it is available.

A quick note on the Class of 2020: the Corona Virus has caused so much havoc and harm to people, and the smaller, residual ripple effects just seem to keep proving to be such a shame. The case in point here is that this class of students, SJA's 2020 graduates, won't get the recognition, applause, and celebration that they truly deserve in widely attended physical graduation ceremony.

They have been exemplary leaders and role models for the rest of the St. Joan of Arc School student body; this is not just meant to be kind words, as it is just plain true. They carry themselves with class, kindness, and empathy towards their underclassmen - they are the embodiment of what the eldest class in a school should be. The students in this class give of their of time for the betterment of their school; they lead by example by being diligent in their studies, committing themselves to excellence in their work, athletics, and academic clubs, and volunteer themselves without complaint or hesitation.

In my 20 years in education, I have a small handful of classes in my mind that stick with me as truly extraordinary classes. I have a framed picture of one of them (the St. Paul School North Canton Class of 2005) hanging in my office. The St. Joan of Arc Class of 2020 is just as exceptional as that class, not necessarily because of their stellar grades or great athletic achievements (although this class has both). It has more to do with class togetherness, camaraderie, kindness, and Christian living. The intangible facets of a class are often what makes one stand out above the others. I know that I will never forget this special class of leaders, and I thank God for having them as the head of the school for my first year at St. Joan of Arc School.

Material Drop Off and Pick Up

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There are still many student belongings in the school, and students have many school belongings, including computers, books, et c. The teachers will be heading in to school on May 21 to gather all of the student belongings, which will be placed into individual reusable grocery bags (vinyl w/ fabric straps); we will wear masks and gloves when collecting the belongings. Each bag will have the student's name on a tag, which will be transported to the gym.

On June 1, parents will come to the school to pick up their student belongings and drop off the school's books and computers (don't forget the chargers). Each family will have a designated time to come to avoid a rush and to keep with the restrictions on gatherings of no more than 10 people in a group. We will have stations set up that we will place the books by grade and where computers will be immediately disinfected.

Specific details and instructions will be forthcoming, and your family's time to arrive will be e-mailed to you early next week for the sake of pre-planning.

Jessica Toohig Wins PTO Scholarship

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SJA 8th Grader Jessica Toohig was selected by the PTO as their 2019-2020 Scholarship recipient. Jessica was selected for her achievements in and out of school, her GPA,

community service, and for the quality of essay submission to the PTO scholarship selection committee. Jessica will receive $1,000 to go towards tuition. She was also the recipient of a scholarship awarded from Beaumont School.

SJA Uniform Updates Coming

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There will be some updates and clarifications coming to the SJA school dress code in the coming weeks. Based on some conversations that I have had, it sounds as if many people were thinking that there would be vast and expansive (and expensive) changes. Please rest assured that this will not be the case. Any and all changes enacted will be meant to address some areas that currently create disunity in the uniform. Additionally, the alterations in the dress code will:

  • not change the school plaid colors.
  • establish one plaid (the Land's End and Schoolbelles differ).
  • reflect teacher and parent wishes and desires
  • result in a more unified appearance throughout the school.
  • be phased in over time (to allow time for students to grow out of recently purchased items that may clash with the code alterations).

Stay tuned for the updated code!

PTO Selected for 2020-2021 School Year

Thank you to all who submitted nominations for the 2020/2021 SJA PTO School Board. We were blessed with many wonderful volunteers for next year! Thank you also to Barb Aquilla for transferring the hard copy of the nomination form to an electronic format so that parents could still submit their nominations from home.

The Nomination Committee worked diligently at reviewing all submissions that were received, and the following is the slate of 2020/2021 SJA PTO Board Nominees for all open positions:

Vice President - Brian & Sarah Janus

Secretary - Yvonne Pecka

Ways & Means - Donatella Beatrice

Needs & Assessments - Tiffany Fenner

Student Services - Natalie Brooks

Hospitality - Rachel Krueger

Marketing & Communications - Bethany Yurt

Due to the uncertainty of the school schedule in March because of the pandemic, the PTO missed a monthly meeting. Therefore, we are scheduling a separate PTO meeting on Wednesday, May 13th at 7pm dedicated to finalizing board member selections for the 2020/2021 school year. If you would like additional individuals considered for the above referenced positions, you must attend the meeting with the nominated person who is accepting the nomination. That person needs to be nominated from the floor and a vote will then be conducted for that position via anonymous ballot. By the end of this meeting, we will have the finalized 2020/2021 PTO board member selections.

If you would like to go through this process and attend this meeting on Wednesday, May 13th at 7pm, please contact Katie Bittner ( for meeting details which will be conducted via Zoom.

Installation of the new PTO Board members for the 2020/2021 school year will then happen at the the final PTO meeting of the year. That meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 22nd.

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Important Information on Kenston Local Bus Transportation to SJA

Good afternoon!

Just a little reminder to let you know the website for requesting transportation is now open! All information must be completed by June 15, 2020, otherwise you will be routed to the closest stop. Please understand that these routes can change drastically by the addition or subtraction of a stop. That is why we ask you to apply by our cut off date. This helps families in your school to plan for daycare should they need to. So please let your fellow parents know the portal is now open.

Keep in mind that this is for the following:

- Kenston Residents only - No Bus Passes are given for these routes.

- Cut off date is June 15, 2020, we need time to plan the routes and process mailers.

- You must register each of your children that will be riding.

- You will get a confirmation email letting you know your request went through. If you don't get an email you will not have a seat on the bus.

In closing, if you need to communicate with the transportation department during these uncertain times, please use the following email address: We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Request for Transportation Link:


Thank you,

Melody C. Coniglio, CSNT/CDPT

Director of Transportation

Kenston Local Schools

9421 Bainbridge Rd

Chagrin Falls, Oh 44023

Phone Number: 440-543-9567

Recent Good News!

Be Well Bingo Game from Dr. Poklar

Dr. Poklar, an SJA parent and School Psychologist at Hawken School, created this virtual "Be Well Bingo" game for her students as a way to break up the monotony of being at home all of the time. She said that it had been well received by her students at Hawken, and she created a younger elementary version just for SJA students in K-3!

Once your student has completed the entire card, take a picture of the completed card and e-mail it to or text it to 330-605-6323. Be sure to include your mailing address. as a prize will be mailed to your student by Mr. Mitchell (safely prepared and sanitized)!

Dr. Poklar has created many videos geared towards both parents and students, all of them available at her YouTube channel. We are thankful for her many contributions to the well being of our students!

Help Promote SJA and Catholic Schools

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During a recent principals' meeting, Superintendent of Diocese of Cleveland Schools Frank O'Linn encouraged principals to reach out to our school families to help promote our Catholic schools. If you use social media and would like to spread the good news of St. Joan of Arc School, what follows are some images and documents that you are welcome to share with your friends who have school aged children.