Back to School Parent Newsletter
Dr. Malinda McKillip, Principal
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year. I am very excited for all of the children to return to school on Monday, August 27th. We have worked very hard over the summer to prepare for a wonderful new school year!
Annual Information Update
Below are important instructions to guide you on how to update Annual Information in Skyward and give you an update on busing information and the new SchoolPay program for lunches and fees. Thank you in advance for updating your emergency contact information and completing the updates at your earliest convenience. We hope you find this information and the new programs helpful. We are looking forward to the strong start of a great year!
To complete the Annual Information Update Process:
- Login to Skyward
- Click the Annual Information Update tab on the left
- Select a child
- Fill out the forms on the page
- When finished all steps, click Submit Annual Information Update (If the submit button is greyed out, you must go back and complete all sections.)
After the student’s Annual Information Update has been submitted successfully, you will receive an email confirming your Annual Information Update has been submitted. You will need to complete this process for each child. Can’t remember your Skyward Login information? Click the “Forgot Login/Password” link on the Skyward login screen. Only the primary guardian will have access to complete the full Annual Information Update; however, all parents will be able to update their individual contact information via the Annual Information Update tab. If you have any difficulties, please contact the school office for assistance.
The new school year will bring some exciting changes for our students and their teachers. With increased demands related to standards and academic rigor, we are finding our students are in need of additional time in their day for more socialization and physical movement. However, we still must adhere to district guidelines related to the number of instructional minutes per grade and subject area. Therefore, in order to recoup the time needed for an additional recess during the day, students will remain with their homeroom teacher for all subject areas. The instructional time lost in the hallways for switching of classes will now provide the time needed for a second recess for the children. In addition, having students remain with their homeroom teacher will allow greater flexibility for our special education and instructional specialists to push into classrooms to provide enrichment or support. Lastly, having students remain in their homeroom allows teachers flexibility within the day to foster a greater sense of community, provide more time for community building and Olweus Bullying Prevention activities, reteaching of difficult concepts, and the opportunity to integrate instructional strategies across all subject areas.
Introduction to World Language
6th grade students will also be given the opportunity to select either general music or chorus for their music special.
First Day of School Assembly
We will once again begin the year together as a school community. This is a great way to celebrate the start of another exciting year. All students in 1st through 6th grades will report to the multi-purpose room after exiting the bus or upon arrival to school. Teachers and staff will provide students with assistance. Please let your children know that they should report immediately to the multi-purpose room on the first day of school. Kindergarten students will be escorted directly to their classrooms. Don't forget to encourage your child to wear red and white on the first day of school as we will be celebrating our French Creek school spirit!
Expectations for Student Behavior
Please take some time to remind your child about appropriate behavior in school. As a reminder our building rules include:
1) Keep our school a safe place by making good choices
2) Be respectful by using kind words and actions
3) Keep hands, feet and objects to oneself
4) Act calmly and quietly at school and on the bus
5) Follow directions the first time they are given
Bussing and Transportation
2018-2019 bus assignments are now available in Skyward Family Access. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s bus schedule, please contact the OJR Transportation Department at 610-469-5187. Please note that the OJR Transportation Department does not allow younger students to exit the bus without an older sibling or parent visibly present at the bus stop. Please help by making sure your child is properly received when they exit the bus each afternoon. If a parent or older sibling is not present to receive a little one, the bus driver will return the child to school.
*It is important to note that buses may not be running exactly on schedule the first few days of school. However if there are any significant delays during the school year, the Transportation Department will send out an email FYI to parents with a revised arrival time.
Please note that bus passes to ride a different bus to or from school, other than the bus assigned to your child, will only be issued for true emergency situations. There will be no bus passes issued the first 3 weeks of school.
Ongoing Home and School Communication
It is extremely important that there are open lines of communication between home and school. Please expect to receive emails from the school and your child’s teacher on a regular basis. It is also very important for you to become familiar with our French Creek website. *The 2018-2019 Elementary Parent/Student Handbook is available under the “Quick Links” section. Please review it carefully with your children prior to the first day of school.
Email and Phone Correspondence
As a friendly reminder, please contact the main office during the day at 610-469-5104 with any time sensitive messages. The office is open from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Calling, rather than emailing, ensures that your message is immediately received by the appropriate staff member. It is important to note that we are busy instructing students during the school day, and therefore, we are unable to check email regularly. However, all of your messages are important to us. Please expect a response within approximately 24 hours. As always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
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Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures
With the start of the school year quickly approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you about student drop off and pick up procedures. Please remember that we begin welcoming students at 8:15 AM. Students should not be dropped off and left unsupervised prior to 8:15 AM.
When dropping off students in the morning, parents should enter the front drive and immediately bear right proceeding through the visitor lot and then turn sharply to the left in order to pull up along-side of the curb at Door #12. Students must exit on the passenger side of the car and then walk directly onto the sidewalk. Parents should not park in the visitor lot and allow students to cross in front of cars or walk through the parking lot without an adult present. Parents must refrain from pulling out in front of other cars without properly moving through the procession.
Students arriving after 8:30 AM should be escorted directly to the main office by a parent. There is no parking permitted in the front of the building. This area is needed for our school buses. Please park in the visitor lot and accompany your child to the office for a proper sign-in.
We must have a note if you are planning to pick-up your child at dismissal. In the case of an emergency, please call the office no later than 2:15 PM to have your child placed on the pick-up list. All students who are not on the pick-up list prior to 2:15 PM will ride the bus home.
Please note the school day ends at 3:10 PM. Parents picking up their children should plan to arrive between 3:05-3:10 and proceed to the designated pick-up area located in the rear of the multi-purpose room. Parents should park in the back of the building and enter through Door #8. Please do not linger and allow students, or younger siblings to run around the room or play on any of the equipment. Also, please refrain from bringing pets into the building at everyday pick up. I am sure you can understand that this presents a safety concern, and in addition, we need to clear the room quickly to prepare for after school activities.
We understand that many times you may be picking up children other than your own. Students will be instructed to sit with the child they are going home with to expedite the dismissal process. All students who are planning to go home with another student must have a note. (Please remember to always include your child’s first name, last name and teacher’s name on all notes.)
Students who are signed up for intramurals and/or other after school activities will only be permitted to ride the bus home if they have a note. If students are signed up for afterschool events, they are expected to stay at school until they are picked up by a parent.
Food Service and SchoolPay
Meals will be served on the first day of school. SchoolPay is our district's new electronic payment processing service. Please visit SchoolPay.com to make online payments for school related fees and registrations. The District no longer uses eFunds for acceptance of online payments. For your protection, any stored payment information was not transferred to the SchoolPay system. As per District policy and consistent with prior years, account balances from the 2017-18 school year will be carried forward to the new school year. Please direct SchoolPay questions to 888.88.MYPAY (phone) or email email@example.com. If you have an email on file with the school, an account has already been created on your behalf. Simply go to SchoolPay and click Find My Account and enter your email address. If you are in need of assistance with any food service concern, please contact the Food Service Office directly at 610-469-5701. Applications for free and reduced lunch are posted on the OJR website under the “Parent” tab.
The Owen R. Roberts School District does not allow food related treats to be distributed for birthday celebrations. If you would like to send in something special for your child’s birthday, please consider sending in a book for the class, pencils, stickers, etc. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.
Parent Involvement and PTA
Parent involvement is essential to help promote our students’ learning. All parents, guardians, and teachers are welcome to become members of the PTA regardless of the amount of time you can give to support additional programs and activities. I encourage everyone to actively participate in our PTA and join us for meetings throughout the school year.
If you have not done so already, please take a moment to visit and join our PTA webpage. This site offers parents the opportunity to sign up for email notifications, receive information related to upcoming special events, student clubs, and family togetherness activities in one convenient location. The site also offers parents the option to make online payments for PTA membership and PTA sponsored after school clubs.
Please be reminded that all volunteers, homeroom parents, and field trip chaperones must have proper clearances on file in the main office. Please visit the French Creek website to access the required forms and application under “Quick Links”.
Please note OJR Board Policy limits non-school sponsored travel to 3 school days per year. Please refer to the French Creek website and click on the “Student Travel Form” link under “QuickLinks”.
Back to School Night
The same information will be presented during each session as follows:
6:30-6:55, 7:00-7:25 and 7:30-7:55