SWS News - August

As of August 11th...


Well, Aug 30th is right around the corner!

Another summer is fading away. Families are trying to squeeze in some late minute things, or trying hard to avoid some last minute things...either way, SCHOOL is almost here!

Mr. Jason Moore and his custodial team are doing an awesome job with repairing, assembling, cleaning, painting and waxing. The inside is starting to sparkle. Soon, the outside will be re-mulched and ready for the kids, too.

Mrs. Pitt and I have been here all summer and we are excited to get the kids back! Though we had Summer Academy classes and ACP camp here this summer, it just isn't the same--we need the energy and excitement of over 570 kids and all our staff members to really make this place feel alive again.

Dr. Sokolowski announced that all students and staff will be wearing masks. The exceptions will be for outdoor activities/lessons and while eating. We will also be spacing students at 3' feet whenever possible. Buses will also be at a higher capacity than last year, with masks worn on buses. Dr. Sokolowski's letter to families can be found HERE.

I am confident that we will make the best of this situation! When one considers where we were last year at this time, I think that we need to focus on the fact that kids will be in the building 5 days a week--an overwhelmingly positive fact that I don't think should be overlooked.

Parents will be able to access PARENT PORTAL as of Thursday, August 12th to check for Classroom Teacher Assignments and tentative bus schedules. There are also several back-to-school forms parents are asked to fill out, and they are all found via the portal.

If you have any issues getting into parent portal, please email Mrs. Pitt or call our main office number. mpitt@wcasd.net 484-266-2202

Our student schedule will return to normal...please see drop off & pick up times below...

Staffing Update

At this point, here is where we are with Staffing Changes for this school year. Keep in mind that staffing is fluid and sometimes needs to adjust at the last minute...

Ms. Kristine Bengel will be joining our Kindergarten team all year while Mrs. Saraceni is on maternity leave. Ms. Bengel has Kindergarten experience and worked with our 2nd grade team last year; this will be a great team.

Ms. Kelsey Harding will be joining our 1st Gr team as we opened a 5th classroom section. Ms. Harding worked with our 1st gr team a couple years ago and then taught in Florida for a couple years. We are glad to have her return.

Ms. Amber Keys will be joining our 3rd grade team--Ms. Keys taught 1st grade a couple years ago with this same cohort of students, so she will be a familiar and friendly face for the kids.

Ms. Jordan Brown will be joining our 3rd Gr team as we also opened a 5th classroom section in this grade. Ms. Brown worked with our 4th graders last year and this will be a great fit.

Mrs. Carolyn McGaughey will be coming to us from Exton Elementary, where she taught 4th grade. This is a homecoming of sorts as Mrs. McGaughey began her career here at SWS.

Ms. Abby Buckley will be in 4th grade as a Long Term Sub for Mrs. Barbato who will be on maternity leave until about mid-year. Ms. Buckley did a great job at East Bradford Elem last year and will fit in nicely with this team.

In our Special Ed department, I am in the process of wrapping up interviews for our Learning Support Long Term Sub for Mrs. Jess Hutton who will be on maternity leave until about mid-year. And, Ms. Carly Wasson is becoming a permanent member of our MDS team after filling in las year for Mrs. Megan Loper.

This is an awesome group of educators, and I am THRILLED to have them join our team!!

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Exciting news--SWS will now partner with PickUp Patrol to help manage our arrival and dismissal!!

PickUp Patrol is:

  • Convenient: Make changes days, weeks, or months in advance.
  • Automated: Reduces classroom interruptions and accurately tracks who’s going where.
  • Safe and Secure: Student information is protected and the program is administered by our own school staff.

Starkweather will be using these PickUp Patrol features:

  • PLAN CHANGES: Previously you may have written a note or made a phone call to the office to let us know about a dismissal change. For example, Katie is getting picked up instead of taking the bus. Now, you’ll use the PickUp Patrol App from your phone or computer to submit changes.

ALL plan changes should be submitted through PickUp Patrol. Please do not send notes, emails or call the school for changes, except in an emergency.

  • ATTENDANCE: Report absences, late arrivals and early dismissals.

We are just about ready to send an email with all the information you need to get set up. I will let all families know when that goes out...

As we finalize our subscription with PickUp Patrol, you will receive further information from the office as to your next steps as a parent / household. The PickUp Patrol app will work on any smart phone or computer/tablet and is NOT available in the app store.

(General notes about picking up and dropping off are towards the bottom of this newsletter.)

Tours for Kindergarten & New Families

Instead of sneak a peek, this year we are excited to offer building tours to our incoming K students and our new students in 1st - 5th grades!

Our PTO Welcoming Committee will have two dates in August where new students will be able to check out the classrooms, tour the building, meet other students, and meet the principal, too!

As a new option this year, incoming families will be able to be matched up with 'experienced' SWS families to help them with the ins-and-outs of SWS and make sure they feel welcomed and supported.

We have communicated directly with new families about these tours.

While some may miss the tradition of sneak a peek, we are excited for this new tradition to take root. Thanks!

First Week of School & Open House Dates:

First Week of School:

  • This is a full week of school.

Open House Dates:
  • Kindergarten Tuesday, August 31st 6:30
  • First Grade Tuesday, August 31st 7:00

  • Second Grade Wednesday, Sept 1st 6:30
  • Third Grade Wednesday, Sept 1st 7:00

  • Fourth Grade Thursday, Sept 2nd 6:30
  • Fifth Grade Thursday, Sept 2nd 7:00

Second Week of School:

  • Monday, Sept 6th--No School--Labor Day
  • Tuesday, Sept 7th--No School--Rosh Hashanah
  • Wed, Th, Fri--School for all Students

PTO News

School Tool Box Orders

You can still order boxes, but they won't be guaranteed to arrive on time. Orders will be sent directly to homes.

Simply click SWSToolBox to view the grade box of supplies!

PTO Open Positions

Get involved and make a difference! We have open committee chair positions up for grabs!

Open committee positions for the 2021-2022 school year:

  • Square 1 Art
  • Blue Rocks
  • Bingo Night

If you are interested in getting involved in the Starkweather PTO, please email swspto.communication@gmail.com. We are happy to explain each position! It takes a village! Thank you for your interest!

School News

iPads over the Summer

  • Your child should have his or her iPad at home this summer.
  • Please use the charger that was already issued during first iPad distribution.
  • District Tech Support is available over the summer. If you have any questions, please click this link https://www.wcasd.net/Page/13033 to locate the correct support email address.
  • You will be required to bring your iPad and charger back on the first day school for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Rising 6th grade students will trade their iPads in for their 6th gr Laptops at Stetson.
  • If you are transferring to another district, please coordinate with the building to return both the iPad and the iPad charger.
  • Incoming Kindergarten students and new students in 1st - 5th will get their iPads during the first week of school.

Breakfast & Lunch-- UPDATES

  • We are pleased to announce that we will continue to provide a week of meals for each child in the household up to age 18. The meals will be distributed behind Fugett Middle School (near the Café) 11:00-1:00 each Wednesday June 16th- August 25th .
  • As of this July update, it appears that breakfast and lunch will still be provided for free for all children during the upcoming school year. As we get closer to the start of the school year, we will be more specific with this information.


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DROP OFF Details

Things to keep in mind...

  • DROP OFF is from 8:30 - 9:00.
  • Please notice the green line on the map to use the CAR LOOP to drop off kids for regular arrival.
  • Parents who are using ACP for Before School Care should notice the RED dashes on the map and drive around the side of the building. ACP uses the cafeteria and the back playground. If you are later than 8:30 for ACP drop off, use the regular CAR LOOP with the rest of the parents, please.
  • Buses are able to transport more kids than last year, so that should help alleviate our large car line from last year (hopefully).
  • If you are later than 9:00, please park your car and walk your child to the door to be let in. If it is after 9:10, you will need to sign them in, too. If it is later than 9:00 but the buses are also still emptying, you are able to drop them off on the curb as we will still have staff out front.

PICK UP Details

  • We begin our afternoon dismissal at about 3:35 and it is typically over before 3:50.
  • Students being picked up in the car line will be called out as their parent pulls in. With nice weather, the kids will be waiting outside on the front playground. (see above)
  • We will have a staff member out front making note of the cars as they arrive into the CAR LOOP (notice the green line on the map above)
  • If you are in the Car Line, be aware that buses will pass you on the way up the hill. It is ok, we have done this for years...LOOK BOTH WAYS as you enter and exit the Car Loop.

Playground Fundraisers??

  • Playground equipment (& installation) is VERY expensive
  • It is a process we have to be ready to act on quickly
  • Still looking into some options
  • Will be in touch about this topic!

KINDERGARTEN Registration for '21-'22

It is not too late to register for this school year! For general info about our full day program, click Kindergarten Info.

To register for K, or any other grade next year, click Registration Info.



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