St. Peter's Postings
Little Things...Great Love! - End of Year 2019
So Many Little Moments...Such Big Love!
St. Peter School will finish the 2018-2019 school year on Thursday, June 6th. Without a doubt it has been a wonderful year! As the hallway grows quiet for a much-needed rest, we bid farewell to each other and a year that was full of blessings, learning, smiles and some tears. We look back to how we challenged each other in our learning, grew strong in faith, extended our love to a friend learning from home and held each other up during the loss of our dear friend, Fr. O'Neill. We lent a warm welcome to our new friend and pastor, Fr. Patti and celebrated 60 years of love and service with Monsignor Tomaselli. God placed all of us here together in this place, at this moment, for this school year and we hope we have made Him proud in all we have done and tried to do. On behalf of the school, I thank all of our amazing students for their hard work and spirit, the families at home, our dedicated and awesome teachers and staff, our parish family, the Rectory and Maintenance Staff (past and present) and all of our benefactors and volunteers for their ongoing support and hard work this year. Together, each of our small acts, each little moment of giving, learning and understanding have loved our school through another school year in a really big way! God bless you all with a safe, restful and beautiful summer! Well done all! See you in August!
To close out the school year, students will attend a final closing Mass at 9:15 am on June 6th. (Please note the earlier start time!) Dismissal will begin at 10:40 am with regular transportation, followed by our school picnic at Pioneer Park beginning at 11am that day. All families should have received information about the school picnic. Hope to see you there! Let's celebrate!
DARE Graduation Rounds up School Year
The fifth grade class had their DARE Graduation on Tuesday, May 28th in the Parish Hall. Students completed the DARE course in the month of May and submitted an essay about what they learned and what DARE means to them for an essay contest. Sergeant Richard Appel of the Somerset Borough Police led our DARE program again this year and we are so grateful to him and his department for their continued commitment to this program for our students. This year's essay winner is Arabella Renna and the "Heart of the Lion" award was given to Cruz Santoyo. Special thanks to Sergeant Appel for his continued dedication to our school's DARE program and to Chief Cox and the entire Somerset Borough Police department for their service and work to keep children safe.
Fr. O'Neill Jersey and Memorabilia Sale
The family of our dear late pastor, Fr. Dan O'Neill, has donated all of Father's jerseys and some memorabilia to the parish, and the items will be on sale this weekend, Saturday (6/1) from 1-6pm and Sunday (6/2) from 9am to 2pm in the Parish Hall. There are hundreds of jerseys, shirts and jackets - all new or next to new and many are "official" brands from the NHL, NFL, MLB and college teams as well. Most are size Large or XL. There are also books and some other items. All proceeds benefit St. Peter School. This sale has been extensively publicized both here and at Father's previous parishes and in the local newspaper so anyone interested in these items is encouraged to stop by this weekend. Many of our students would love to have something of his for a keepsake!
Monsignor Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Ordination
During our 2019 Sports Day, St. Peter School gathered under the trees in front of the Blessed Mother statue to celebrate Monsignor Tomaselli's 60th Anniversary of his ordination by praying a rosary together. Led by Pastor Fr. Angelo Patti, the students, teachers and staff as well as rectory staff and some parent volunteers bowed their heads to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary with and for our shepherd, Monsignor, in thanksgiving for the light he has been to our school and parish and to generations of families in the church over his 60 years. God bless you, Monsignor and "thank you" for saying "yes" to God 60 years ago and all the days in between!
More pictures and a nice write-up can be found on the Diocesan Proclaim page at the following link: https://proclaim.dioceseaj.org/saint-peter-school-family-honors-its-pastor-emeritus/
A Fond Farewell to Mrs. Greene...in true Librarian Style!
On Wednesday, May 29th, the students and faculty of St. Peter School gave a fond farewell to Mrs. Penny Greene, the school's recently retired Librarian. Mrs. Greene retired last summer but was still instrumental in getting the library organized at the beginning of the school year and when she was ready to leave we had just experienced Father O'Neill's passing so we decided to wait for spring and have a literature celebration with her as the guest of honor! The school purchased each student in the school a brand new book and a special sticker was put inside for Mrs. Greene to sign. Each student had the opportunity to say good-bye to Mrs. Greene face to face and students offered beautiful good-bye cards to her. She shared funny stories with all and ended each student's moment with, "Keep reading! God Loves you!" to which students replied, "God loves you too!" as this was their greeting every time they had library. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful and talented Mrs. Greene whom we will never forget. "God loves you, Mrs. Greene!"
PTA Announces Changes and Special Thanks to Officers
The St. Peter's PTA held its final meeting on Tuesday, May 14th. Many topics were discussed and more details can be found in the PTA Minutes. Those in attendance nominated and elected new leadership for the 2019-2020 school year while some positions remained the same. New Co-Presidents are Mr. David Sube and Mrs. Mandie Acey. The new Treasurer is Mrs. Lindsey Swearman. Mrs. Jennifer McKelvey and Mrs. Karen Menser will remain as Co-Vice Presidents and Mrs. Ann Stoy will remain as Secretary. Much thanks is given to our outgoing President, Mr. Joe Dirienzo, and outgoing Treasurer, Mrs. Danielle Petrosky, for their time and service to our PTA. Their commitment and hard work have been a blessing to our PTA and school and their leadership was key to many events and the continued success of the PTA. We look forward to working with the PTA and the new officers in the 2019-2020 school year. The first event will be the Welcome Back Picnic in August. Information will be in the bulletin and in the August mailing. Thank you PTA for a wonderful and successful year!
A Few Tidbits & Reminders
- Yearbooks will be distributed to students this week in Family Folders. We have a limited number of extra copies available for purchase for $20 from the school office. Books cannot be replaced so please encourage students to put their names on their yearbooks and take good care of them.
- Summer Reading folders will be sent home this week to students in grades K-5. Please keep in a safe place for students to record their reading over the summer. All projects will be due the first week of school. The reading requirements and lists will be on the school website on the "Class Notes" page of the grade students will enter in the Fall of 2019.
- Summer Office Hours & Supply Lists The school office will open for summer hours on Tuesday, June 11th. Summer office hours will be 8am - Noon Monday - Thursday through June. By appointment only in July and 8am - 2pm Monday - Friday beginning Monday, August 5th. Please always leave a message on the school phone if you need to reach us during non-office hours and we will be sure to call you back. Class supply lists for the 2019-2020 school year will be sent home in this week's Family Folder and will also be found on Class Notes pages of the school website (Be sure to look at the grade your child will enter this Fall!)
- FACTS Applications Due to some changes in the administration of the tuition scholarship program that is managed by FACTS, the scholarship award letters will be sent via email and should be sent by the middle of June. We apologize for the delay. Thank you for your patience!
- August Mailing & Uniform Exchange Families should receive all necessary paperwork for the 2019-2020 school year in a mailing during the first full week of August. Milk orders, transportation information and other important documents will need completed and returned by the middle of August. Please be prompt in filling these out for a smooth start of the year. The Uniform Exchange will be up and available during office hours in June and August. Please turn in any items that are clean and in good shape or feel free to take what you need before doing any back to school shopping.
Background Checks Renewal Time for Some
Many of our seasoned volunteers who have been around for a while will soon be notified that they need to update or renew some of their clearances and background checks to continue to volunteer at our school. It has been almost five years since many of us completed these and the state extended the three year expiration to five years in 2017. So if any of the required clearances are older than 2014, they will need renewed. Since 2014 there have been many changes to the requirements including the addition of Act 126 Mandated Reporter Training and the return to the "Virtus" diocesan format. If you are notified that any of your clearances or trainings need to renewed or completed, please try and do so before the beginning of August. There are many new people trying to get clearances completed in August before school starts which can cause delays in getting the needed paperwork which then results in parents or family members not being allowed into school events. We also ask that if you are renewing clearances of any kind, to please submit any and all paperwork or certificates to the school office or at least copies to the office. We will then submit them to the diocese after making copies for our records. Very often throughout the school year, parents will call and ask for a copy of a clearance for volunteer coaching or other activity then we have copies here. It is also a good idea to keep copies for yourself when and if possible. The new Act 126 Mandated Reporter Training is now required for all volunteers (only when it is time to renew clearances.) The free video course is quite lengthy but can be paused and completed at different times. Again, volunteers will be notified by email or other means when and if clearances and trainings require updating or renewal. As always, we thank our volunteers for their efforts in acquiring all the needed clearances and for their valuable time and commitment to our school. Feel free to always call the school with any questions or concerns.
"Safe 2 Say Something" PA Schools Commit to Stopping School Violence
In 2018, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 44 mandating the establishment and use of the "Safe2Say Something" (S2SS) anonymous reporting system by every PA school entity. This was rolled out in all schools on January 14th. S2SS is a life-saving and changing school safety program that teaches students, educators, and administrators how: 1) to recognize the signs and signals of individuals who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others and 2) to anonymously report this information through the S2SS app, website, or 24/7 Crisis Center. Submitted tips are triaged by the Crisis Center then delivered to the impacted school via a diocesan S2SS Team. School authorities as well as emergency personnel are dispatched as needed to intervene with the at-risk individual and his or her family. Schools close out tips with any resulting actions. During the 2019-2020 school year, each diocesan school will activate their own team for interventions as needed. St. Peter School students in grades 5 & 6 received training on many topics from recognizing behaviors and communications that could indicate someone is at risk to hurting themselves or others (especially using social media platforms) and what to do if they suspect this kind of situation. S2SS strongly recommends that students relay this information to a trusted adult, or call 911 if there is a sense of imminent danger and use the S2SS tipline when they don't have access to or can't talk to a trusted adult. Tips can be submitted using the S2SS website (www.safe2saypa.org) or call the tipline at 1-844-SAF2SAY or use the mobile app available as a free install for both ios and android phones.
St. Peter School Mission Statement
The mission of St. Peter School is to first spread the Good News. By providing an educational and spiritual environment rich in knowledge and experiences, students will be empowered to achieve academic, social, physical and spiritual excellence. Our mission is to create lifelong learners that are guided by their faith and commitment to “be the good” and “do good” throughout their lives. We model the Master Teacher, Jesus, by encouraging students to challenge themselves academically and to follow their faith in all of their life’s decisions.