Welcome Back, GVES!
August 23, 2019
Please note that our homeroom start time each day has moved back to 8:40AM. The school day is now from 8:40-3:15. Students must be in the homerooms by 8:55 or they will be marked absent. Car line for morning drop off will start at 8:25. After 8:50, please park in front of the school and walk the children in. Dismissal at the end of the day will begin at 3:05. We recommend using the school bus whenever possible.
We look forward to seeing you at the Open House on Wednesday, August 28th!
HSA Information - Be sure to complete by September 13th!
It's as easy as ABC to be a part of our HSA this year! A - Complete your back to school forms, order a field trip t-shirt, and volunteer. B - Express interest in being a homeroom parent. C - Opt-in to support the HSA this year. We are looking forward to a great year!
A. GVES HSA Forms - http://bit.ly/GVEHSAForm2019 - contact info, HSA membership, t-shirts orders, and volunteer preferences
B. Concord/GVE Homeroom Parent Interest Form - http://bit.ly/ConcordGVEHRPForm2019
C. Opt-In Campaign - http://www.myschoolbucks.com
Summer Mailing Information
- HSA Information
- Upcoming events
- Link to Alma for class assignment
- Transportation & Bus Information
- Emergency medical card information
- Link to Elementary Handbook & Procedural Manual
- Open House invitation
- Drop off & Pick up map
- Letter from our nurse
- Link to cafeteria menus and accounts
- Back to School Night dates and times
- Communication procedures
- GVES Calendar
- School Supply lists
- Summer Reading
- Band, Orchestra, & Chorus
- Voluntary Foreign Language
We are excited to welcome everyone to a new school year and hope to see you at our Open House!
Dr. Jason Kotch, Outgoing Principal
Mrs. Caitlin Jones, Incoming Principal
8/18: Back to School Information Released on Alma
8/28: Elementary Open House (Grades 1-5) 12:30PM-2:30PM
8/31: Foreign Language Early Registration Deadline
9/3: First Day of School
Class Assignments - ALMA
There are many factors that go into our placement including any information that we received from you through our requests in the spring. Our placement team has worked diligently through the summer to find the best class for each student while balancing our classes. Each year is a new and valuable experience for your child and we have high expectations for the class in which s/he has been assigned.
Parent Summer Checklist
We know our parents are extremely busy over the summer and want to focus on family, fun, and enjoying the best of what summer has to offer. We also know that many of our parents want to be ready for the next school year well in advance of Labor Day. The goal of the site below is to make getting ready for next school year a bit easier for our parents by providing a detailed timeline and checklist of items that need to be completed before the start of the school.
NEW Parent Health Portal
Last school year the district used the FamilyID system for all emergency cards and forms to help streamline the summer process for our parent community. While the feedback from our parents was positive, FamilyID did not meet the needs of our school nurses. Starting this coming school year (2019-2020), Garnet Valley will give our parents and guardians direct access to our district’s health portal (SNAP) which will provide the most secure, convenient, and real-time view of your child’s school health record.
(The FamilyID system is not going away entirely as it will still be used by our athletic department to collect sports physicals.)
Benefits of the SNAP Parent Health Portal
With a secure login and encrypted data transfer, parents can safely access their child’s health information from any computer or mobile device to:
Update Critical Health Information
Electronically Sign & Submit Forms
Review Screening Results
Upload Medical Forms
Authorize OTC Orders
Monitor Health Clinic Visits
Additionally, automatic email notifications immediately alert parents when new information is available, medication refills are needed, immunization status becomes non-compliant, or forms need to be signed. Through a built-in messaging system, parents can communicate directly with the school nursing staff.
From within the SNAP Health Center, our school nurses are immediately notified when any changes are made by parents. New information is flagged to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed and critical changes must be acknowledged. Nurses also can view a log of recent parent activity.
All parents and legal guardians that have an email address in Alma should have received their secured login credentials. The email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails for students moving into new schools will be out next week.
Transportation Information & Bus Assignments - InfoFinder
InfoFinder-i provides online access to assist in finding your child’s bus number, pick-up/drop-off locations and times. An email with the InfoFinder link will be sent directly to you.
InfoFinder-i allows you to:
- Find your child’s designated bus stop;
- Find the estimated pick-up/drop-off times for your child’s bus stop;
- Locate which school your child would attend if you are planning to move.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to check InfoFinder-i periodically between August 19th and the start of school as pick-up and drop-off times may be slightly altered due to daily enrollment changes.
Students are only be able to ride their assigned buses. Daily changes will be permitted through the Transportation Department for emergencies only.
Elementary Open House Invitation
School Day Times for 2019-2020
Arrival Times8:25AM - Car line drop off begins, breakfast begins
8:40AM - Students report to homerooms (was 8:45 last year)
8:50AM - Car line ends
8:55AM - Students not in homeroom will be marked absent
2:50 - Office pick up ends
3:05 - Announcements start, students dismissed to car line, buses begin being called
3:15 - Dismissal ends
Car Line Map
School Lunch Information
Children need healthy meals to learn. Garnet Valley SD offers healthy meals every school day. Costs are as follows: Breakfast at all schools is $1.70; lunch is $2.75 in the Elementary Schools, $2.95 at the Middle School and $3.10 at the HS. Your child(ren) may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is .30 for breakfast and .40 for lunch. You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application.
Visit www.schoolcafe.com for an online free and reduced application or use the link below.
Link to paper application (If you do not have a printer and need a paper application, please call our office.)
Link to breakfast and lunch menus
Link to MySchoolBucks for account information
Link to GV Food Service's website with pricing and MySchoolBucks directions
Free & Reduced Lunch Application
Letter from Our Nurse
The school nurse’s office maintains a file of emergency and other pertinent health information on each student. It is very important that this information be updated each year to better implement health care services for your child.
Please complete the online EMERGENCY CARD. I cannot stress enough how crucial this information may be during the course of the school year, so please be very thorough in completing this card. EMERGENCY CARDS SHOULD BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS: Required by law prior to admission to school. If your child has had any recent immunizations, please submit written documentation from your physician’ office to the nurse’s office so we may update your child’s health records.
DENTAL EXAMINATIONS: Required by law on all THIRD grade students (and students recently registered). Dental forms were enclosed with the report cards sent home in June. If you did not receive a form, they are available on our website or you may pick one up in the main office. Please return the completed form to the nurse’s office by the end of September. If this form is not received by the deadline, your child will be scheduled to see the school dentist.
MEDICATIONS ARE NOT TO BE CARRIED BY STUDENTS!!! This includes all prescription and over the counter medications as well as vitamins. Metered dose inhalers for the treatment of asthma OR epi-pens for use with severe allergies, are the only exceptions to this rule and ONLY after written parent consent has been secured and is on file in the nurse’s office.
If it is necessary for a student to take medication during the school day, it must be kept and dispensed in the nurse’s office. All medications must be clearly labeled with the student’s name, medication name and dosage instructions. Prescription medication MUST be in its original pharmacy container. Your pharmacy can provide you with a duplicate container for school use upon request. WRITTEN PARENTAL PERMISSION MUST ACCOMPANY ALL MEDICATIONS!
If your child is on a long-term daily medication, please contact the nurse’s office to make these arrangements. Please be reminded that a current physician’s order and a parental consent form will be needed to dispense these medications. Please feel free to call the nurse’s office at 610-579-4146 with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s health. My best to you and your family for a safe and healthy school year.
Lin Wesolowski, RN, CSN
Turn in your "50 Days of Summer Reading" form and you will be entered into the drawing for the prize basket shown in the picture below. The basket contains:
- A Kindle Fire 10 with headphones
- a $50 Amazon gift card
- Big Boggle
- Chess and Checkers Travel Set
- Rubik's Cube
All summer reading entries must be returned by September 12th. The raffle will be held on September 13th.
Back to School Nights
Save these dates for our Back to School Nights. The schedule and times have been adjusted to better accommodate parents/guardians based on the survey feedback we received last year. We look forward to connecting with you!
Wednesday, September 11
- 3rd Grade, 6PM
- 5th Grade, 7:15PM
Thursday, September 12
- 4th Grade, 7PM
School Supply Lists for 2019-2020
Elementary Handbook & GVSD Procedural Manual
Band & Orchestra for the 2019-2020 School Year
Band and Orchestra sign ups for the 2019-2020 school year have begun! 3rd graders are completing the instrument interview process and will come home with a form reflecting their instrument recommendations. To sign up for band or orchestra for next year, please click this link:
Sign Up for Chorus
Every student is invited to join chorus. Singing in chorus gives your child a wonderful opportunity to perform in an ensemble while building upon concepts generated in the general music classroom. We perform two concerts a year, one in the winter and one in the spring.
At the beginning of the school year, parents may go to the online sign up form which will need to be filled out with contact information, student home room and grade level. The information provided will help me communicate with parents regarding rehearsal attendance, performances and other announcements. Students may join in January if they did not join in September.
Morning chorus rehearsal begins after the buses arrive and runs from 8:30 to 8:55 a.m.; students are then dismissed to their homerooms. Chorus rehearsals will not conflict with morning language classes. Students who participate in language class will be dismissed from their class to attend chorus at 8:30 a.m.
PLEASE NOTE: There is absolutely no conflict with orchestra/band lessons and chorus. Instrumental lessons run during the day with ensemble rehearsals after school. More than half of our chorus students also perform in an instrumental ensemble.
Use this link to sign up for chorus.
Early Dismissals - Early dismissals due to weather or unforeseen circumstances will be announced through the phone number you provide in Alma, email, district-level social media, and websites. Please keep your Alma contact information current. You can update this information in your account.
Absence Reporting - Launched at the end of the last school year, the new School Messenger (Safe Arrival) Absence Reporting System makes it easy for parents/guardians to report their child's absence, reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance and will allow our staff to respond to unexplained student absences more efficiently. Please click here for directions on how to use your phone, app, or computer to report an absence.
Social Media - GVES is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Our handle is @GarnetValleyES on all three platforms. We also podcast on iTunes. Just search iTunes for "Jaguarmax."
State law establishes conditions under which any child may be excused from attendance at school. In keeping with these statues and recommendations of the State Department of Education, pupils in the Garnet Valley Schools may be excused temporarily from school attendance for the following reasons:
Death in the immediate family
Weather so inclement so as to endanger the health of the child or make roads impassable
For observance of a major religious holiday
College visits, pre-approved educational trips
In order for an absence to be excused, a parent/guardian must respond to the Safe Arrival phone call, use the Safe Arrival app to report the absence ahead of time, or submit a written note to the office within three days after return from an absence. The absence of any student failing to comply with this time period will automatically become unexcused and illegal, and the school laws of Pennsylvania shall be applied accordingly.
The Raptor system is used to enhance our ability to monitor who enters our buildings by screening visitors, contractors, and volunteers. Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school campuses without our knowledge. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit.
Please adhere to the following regulations:
1. Enter the building at the main office door.
2. Go directly to the office, sign in through Raptor and inform the school secretary of your
3. PLEASE DO NOT GO to any area of the building without receiving permission from the office.
4. Do not attempt to go to a classroom to pick up a child. Students who are being dismissed early
will be sent to the office.
5. Return the visitor badge at the conclusion of your visit to sign out.
Volunteer Clearance Information
Legislation in Pennsylvania requires community members and parents to obtain clearances in order to volunteer in our schools. If you have previously submitted your clearances to the Human Resources office, they are good for five (5) years from the date of the clearance.
Governor Wolf has waived the fees associated with the Pennsylvania State Police—Criminal Background Check and the Child Abuse History Clearance. Since the FBI clearance is a federal program, those costs still remain; however, the district has decided to permit individuals who have resided in Pennsylvania continuously for ten years or more to sign a certification form that saves the volunteer the expense of the fee, ensures compliance with the law, and allows the district to maximize student safety.
Understanding that many community members will want to begin the process of securing clearances so that they are prepared for the start of the school year, we have provided several links and directions to assist you. Once you have obtained the requisite clearances, please bring them to the Human Resources office in the Garnet Valley Education Center at 80 Station Road. Please be prepared to present a valid driver’s license or other photo identification. Our Human Resources Department will then add your name to the district list so that our educators can readily ensure that volunteers have the proper clearances.
After School Activity Dismissal Procedures - Dismissal Locations
VEFLS - Foreign Language Contact Person, email@example.com or 610-717-2755
Cafeteria Information - Menus and Payments
GVES Yearly Calendar - Important Dates
Safe Arrival - Attendance Reporting App
GVSD App - Download app here
MySchoolBucks - Online Payments
District Text Messaging Opt-In - Registration Info
Handbooks & Manuals - GVSD Resources