St. Thomas More Cathedral School

PTO Newsletter - Volume 126 - September 4, 2015


I hope everyone had a great first week of school! On behalf of the PTO Board, we are VERY much looking forward to hosting another Welcome Back to School picnic on September 7th at 4 p.m. A HUGE thanks to Jill Fahey, Michelle Williamson and Christy Gunville for planning to make this a 2nd Annual success! See below for more event details!!

We truly appreciate the number of parents who have already signed up for volunteer slots for the school year. I just found this quote: "Volunteers don't necessarily have the time - they have the HEART!" It's true. Thank you for lending your heart and hands to STM.

The Welcome Committee has already hosted two "Boo-Hoo Coffees" - and I just want to thank the wonderful Ann MacPhail for her graciousness and organizational skills in putting these events together. Our next (and last) welcome coffee is for our Pre-K parents on Tuesday the 8th. Be sure to join us in the cafeteria!!

It's an 11:30 a.m. dismissal today!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! See you Monday afternoon!

Kassie Stewart

PTO President

STM Back to School Family Picnic

Monday, Sep. 7th, 4pm

Barcroft Park Community Field

The STM PTO invites you to the 2nd Annual Back to School Family Picnic! Please join us to welcome new families and catch up with friends you've missed over the summer! We'll be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and enjoying some fun games and activities such as a football toss, limbo, corn hole, and arts and crafts.

Please RSVP if you are able to join so we can plan accordingly! We also ask that families contribute the following based on your last name:

A-F Individual servings of water or juice
G-P Side Dishes or Salads
Q-Z Desserts

St. Thomas More PTO

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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International Festival is October 3rd!

Please join us at the 2015 STM International Festival, October 3, 3:00-6:30 PM, Celebrating World Cuisine: Food Festivals Around the World. Enjoy a great afternoon filled with fabulous Raffles, outdoor games, the traditional Cake Walk, face-painting, the STM international food buffet, and much more!

Please DONATE internationally themed gift baskets and/or cakes for Cake Walk.

VOLUNTEER to contribute to the success of the event.

ENTRY FEE: Dish or dessert to serve 8-10 from your US state, country, or continent of origin.


After-School Enrichment Registration Opens September 14!!

The St. Thomas More PTO is excited to offer after school enrichment program for its students! We have three exciting sessions planned - Fall, Winter, and Spring - with lots of great classes to choose from in each one. Click the red button below to find all the information about program procedures, class descriptions and details that you need to participate. Whether you are looking for sports, drama, arts and crafts, technology, science or hobbies, there's something here for everyone. So go exploring and see what you want to learn!

Registration - September 14 at 8:00 a.m.

Classes Begin - October 5 at 3:20 p.m.

Want to see the schedule? Click on the button below or use this link:

Questions? Contact the After School Enrichment Chairperson, Ellen Walsh at

Important Dates

September 7 - Back to School Picnic

September 8 - Back to School Night for Grades 2-4

September 8 - PTO Board Meeting

September 14 - After School Enrichment Registration OPEN

September 14 - Back to School Night for Grades 5-8

September 15 - Back to School Night for Grades PK, K and 1st

September 16 - 1:00 p.m. Dismissal

September 17 - Room Parents Meeting (6:30 p.m.)

September 25 - 12:00 p.m. Dismissal

September 30 - 1:00 p.m. Dismissal

September 30 - (awaiting confirmation) California Pizza Kitchen Fundraiser


AH, the joys of Drop-Off and Pick-Up!!

The first two weeks of school can be a little frustrating during drop-off and pick-up. Not only do we have close to 50 new families, we have a new set of 6th grade safeties-in-training, children (and maybe some parents?) in tears, school supplies to unload - and - quite frankly, just overall confusion. The number one piece of advice for parents during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up is to be patient! The number TWO piece of advice is to follow the procedures. We understand that everyone needs to be somewhere by a certain time, and sometimes following procedures does not fit into that schedule. Please understand that the administration puts these rules and procedures in effect for the sole purpose of keeping our children safe. To help facilitate, here are some tips for surviving the drop-off and pick-up process:

Morning Drop-Off:

1. Enter through the driveway on N. Thomas Street by way of Cathedral Lane, N. Pershing, or N. Trenton to 2nd Rd. North. See PHOTO 1.

2. If you are coming via Rt. 50 West, you must not do an illegal U-turn going the wrong way on a one-way road in order to turn left onto N. Thomas Street. Take the George Mason exit and turn right onto N. Trenton to 2nd Rd. North and then right onto N. Thomas St. (trust us!)

3. Parents alternately turn right or left into N. Thomas Street driveway. Use your blinker, as some commuters who live on N. Thomas sometimes speed through on their way to 50.

4. Arrive early. Gates open at 7:40 a.m. and close at 8:00 a.m.

5. Don't pull into the Cathedral lot and allow your child to get out of the car and walk into the line. Not only is it against the rules, it is unfair to the families following the proper procedures and it is unsafe for you and your child. Please get in line with everyone else.

6. Parents who have already dropped off their child exit the line via the gates separating the school and Cathedral lot, and exit onto Cathedral lane. (TIP: there is plenty of space to create a right turn/left turn option out of the lot. If you are turning left, please allow enough space for a car to be able to turn right.)

7. This is not a rule, but is a great tip: if you need to head North on Glebe Rd, please circle back around to N. Pershing and turn left at the light. Trying to turn left onto N. Glebe from Cathedral Lane (no light or traffic cop) creates a back-up and does not allow enough space for cars wishing to turn right onto S. Glebe towards Rt. 50.

8. Drive Slowly and Be Patient!

9. Be kind to the 6th grade safeties and our faculty/staff.

Afternoon Pick-Up:

1. Enter the school via Cathedral Lane at the entrance behind the KFC. If you are first person in line, follow the instructions on the first parking lot gate (the same one you exited at drop-off). Typically, you are allowed to open the gates 30 minutes prior to dismissal.

2. See PHOTO 2 for a map of where to start the line. Stop at the fence line at the exact spot marked with a dot on the map.

3. Do not park where the star on the map is unless you bid on the first parking space during the Spring Auction. Do not park behind them either. The Auction winner is dismissed first and then each row files out in order.

4. Please fill the rows one by one. Some people choose to be the first in the row, but if you're that person, PLEASE park within the lines. See PHOTO 3.

5. Park within the lines directly behind the car in front of you.

6. Pull up to the person in front of you providing about 1-2 feet of space for children to walk through. See PHOTO 3.

7. There are two pick-ups. Pick Up #1 is for cars who arrive at 2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Pick up #1 is for all cars who are able to fit into the lot prior to the dismissal time of 3:15. As soon as there is movement of children on the lot, the gates are closed. Pick Up #2 is for cars who arrive at 3:15 p.m. (or post- dismissal whistle) - about 3:25 p.m. This is the perfect solution for those families who don't want to sit in their car for 30+ minutes. Pick Up #2 parents wait until all children from PU#1 are in their cars and the first two rows from PU#1 have been dismissed. At this point, PU#2 cars are filed in to the lot and fill in the rows vacated before them. Once the last car from PU#1 dismisses the lot, PU#2 parents exit their cars and collect their children. Please follow instruction from Mrs. Bauer and the 6th Grade Safeties.

8. Please teach your children that PU#2 is not a scary option. Children who are not picked up at PU#1 are taken down the stairs and wait in the courtyard (or in the school during inclement weather) with their friends and faculty. If you arrive after the gates are closed, there is no need (and it is against the rules) to park in the Cathedral lot and walk into the first pick-up to grab your child. Your children are in excellent hands.

9. Keep in mind, your child will be sent to extended day should you arrive at the school AFTER the PU#2 gates are closed (approx. 3:25-3:30). This too is NOT a scary option! In any case, a safety plan should be discussed with your child in the event that you are unable to make it to your child in time due to traffic, a flat tire, etc. They should know that both options are a possibility and that they are safe at school.

10. Exit the school via N. Thomas St. in two lanes. Right lane turns right on N. Thomas. Left lane turns left on N. Thomas.

11. If you must take your child out of school for an appointment, you must do so before 2:40 p.m. After 2:40 p.m. the office will not dismiss your child. Gates exiting the Cathedral Parking lot will be closed off until 3:15 p.m.

12. Don't be a Jack Butler! :) Enjoy the video below, and thanks for your consideration this year!

Mr. Mom Carpool