St. Helena Primary School

Parent Newsletter 7/30/21

Principal's Message

Dear SHPS Community,


It is such an honor to start here as your new Principal. I officially started on Wednesday, and have received such a warm welcome from all of the staff. Your children are so lucky to attend this school!


I wanted to take some time to tell you a little about myself. Having spent 22 years in education including my role as teacher, District Coordinator and Principal I have discovered that my skill set is best utilized in communities with schools that have diverse populations across race, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds. I believe schools have the responsibility to not only support the academic and social/emotional development of children but also have the opportunity to grow a strong sense of community engaging all parents and staff to build the vision and future for every single child.


Over the past five years, I have been the Principal of Cesar Chavez Language Academy (CCLA), a dual immersion program serving 460 TK through 7th-grade students in Santa Rosa. A large part of my decision to work in St. Helena was the fact that the District chose to open schools in November and serve students in person.


I live in Windsor with my husband Jose and three children - Jerry (15), Gigi (almost 13) and Mercy (11). Another part of my decision to work for SHUSD was the gift of being able to send Jerry and Mercy to school here. Two of my children have attended dual immersion schools, and I am so impressed that SHUSD is able to offer Spanish enrichment to all students. I am bilingual in Spanish & English, and look forward to forming relationships with all families here at SHPS.


My daughter Gigi has a rare genetic syndrome (diagnosed at birth) and I am a strong advocate for students with disabilities.


I look forward to getting to know you all. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns or just to stop by and say hello. I hope you can join me on Zoom next Tuesday for an informal meeting (information below).


Enjoy the last week of summer vacation with your children!

Welcome Back!

It was absolutely amazing that St. Helena was able to open five days per week last school year during the pandemic. We are thrilled to return to a full school day this year.


For those of you who had students in our school before, the schedule will be exactly as it was prior to COVID. Here is a copy of our bell schedule: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LUXjy9BR5CBKe0Ri5X3ezI0_V4S74147/view?usp=sharing

Start Time: 8:25am

Dismissal:

TK/Kinder @ 1:50pm

1st-2nd: 2:55pm

Wednesdays (minimum days): 1:30pm

Staffing Updates

It is a gift to work in a school with so much support for students! Even though your children were able to return to school in person in November, we know that there is a need to provide additional support for students. I wanted to share these staffing updates with you:

  • Ms. O'Connor will be an additional intervention teacher, working at both SHPS as well as SHES. This will provide extra intervention for our students. Her focus will be on supporting students in Math.

  • Ms. Ivanhoff will be our full time intervention teacher, focusing on Literacy and English Language Development.

  • We have an additional Instructional Aide, Ms. Flores, who will be providing academic & social emotional support for students.

  • Mr. Binder is our new music teacher and will also be working at SHES.

COVID-19 Protocols/Information

Our District will be sending out updated COVID-19 protocols soon, but I wanted to share some highlights with you.


  • Students will still need to wear masks indoors, but no longer need to mask outside.
  • We will resume our regular class sizes and no longer need to separate students by cohorts. This means that students can play on the playground before school starts and mix at recess/lunch.
  • Our specialist teachers will be able to offer their amazing enrichment classes to students (Music, PE, BSTEAM & Spanish)!
  • Parents & volunteers are unable to be on campus. Of course, you are welcome to visit the office for anything you need, at any time.
  • This year, all students will be able to get school breakfast (served at recess) and lunch without having to pay for it. Parents do not need to send a morning snack in with their child.

Drop off & Pick Up Procedures

Since parents cannot come onto campus with their child, students who do not ride the bus will still need to be dropped off.

Supervision begins in the cafeteria at 7:45am. Any student arriving between 7:45-8:10am will be dropped off in front of the office & go to the cafeteria.


8:10-8:25am:

All Kinder students (and their siblings) will be dropped in front of the office and be directed to the playground.

1st & 2nd Grade: Parents can park in the back parking lot and let their student out of their car OR you can drop off on S. Crane Ave. next to the campus walkway.

Students will be able to play on the playground during this time.

Important Upcoming Dates


  • Tuesday, August 3rd: Meet the Principal (on Zoom): 5:45-6:30pm

Topic: rrocha@sthelenaunified.org's Personal Meeting Room


Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/8499641680


Meeting ID: 849 964 1680

One tap mobile

+16699009128,,8499641680# US (San Jose)

+12532158782,,8499641680# US (Tacoma)


Dial by your location

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 849 964 1680

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adecX3edQQ



  • Friday, August 6th: Parents will receive an email with their child's teacher assignment & room number
  • Monday, August 9th: Class lists posted at 4:30pm (outside of office)
  • TK/K Sneak-a-Peek: This is an exciting time for our TK/K students to come onto campus and meet their teacher & visit their classroom before school starts


Parents will drop their child off in front of the office, park in the parking lot, then circle around again to pick them up.

1:50-2:20pm: Guerrero, Cia & Gott

2:30-3pm: Landis & Ledesma

Wednesday, August 11th: First Day of School! Minimum Day dismissal @ 1:30pm

Wednesday, August 25th: Back to School Night, 6-7:15pm (more information to follow)

Monday, September 6th: Labor Day Holiday

School District Academic Calendar

Boys & Girl's Club Information