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Saint Joseph Grade School
216 North Hill Street
South Bend, Indiana 46617
(574) 234-0451

Principal's Newsletter


August 7, 2014 - Back to School

Dear Parents

Welcome back to school! The staff and I are so happy to be back, and are working hard to prepare for the children’s arrival on August 20, 2014. A special welcome to all of our new families; we are so happy to have you as members of the St. Joseph Grade School Community. I am looking forward to getting to know all of the children and parents during this school year. 

I would like to take time to welcome a new staff member: Mrs. Allison Howard. Mrs. Howard will work full-time in the computer lab with grades K-8 and will also work with teachers and classroom integration of technology. She and her husband have two children, their daughter Jessa will be in Kindergarten this year; we are very excited to welcome Mrs. Howard to the parish and school community.

This will be the first of two communications you will receive before school starts. The following information will come to all of you via email and can also be found on our website. Next week you will receive a packet via “snail mail,” which will have class lists, information on ordering milk, etc.

The office is buzzing with the excitement of families stopping by to say hello, and teachers are already busy getting their rooms in order. The building has never looked better as our maintenance staff has worked hard all summer. Your help on August 16th is greatly appreciated, as your goal will be to give the classroom spaces a final “polish” before the children arrive.

Safe Environment: All parents must go through the safe environment procedures in order to work in classrooms, attend filed trips, coach, and do any other activity that places you in contact with children. The procedure has changed and I urge new families, or families who have not gone through the safe environment background check, to make note of the following information. 

As required by diocesan policy, all employees and all volunteers who will have regular contact with young people must have a criminal background check prior to beginning their service. The procedure for completing this process was changed this past July. If you have not completed the required Safe Environment Education and would like to, please email Lisa Slott at the Ackles Parish Center at or call Lisa at 574-234-3134 ext. 13. You will be sent an email with the information and web link you will need to complete the process. If you have already completed the Safe Environment Education process, you will be contacted when it is time for your five-year renewal.

Arrival and Dismissal/Map: Please take note of the map that indicates drop off and pick up procedures. It is important that everyone reads the notes on the side bar as this information helps in making sure drop off and pick up are safe as well as efficient. If you are carpooling with another family, it would be helpful if you could place a cardboard poster in your window with the names of the families you are picking up written in large black letters. It will help teachers get your child/ren and those you are picking up in the car more efficiently. 

  •  “I would like to park my car and bring my child into school.” This is perfectly fine, but may I suggest that you park in the former car wash parking lot across from the church on LaSalle Street and walk them to the playground entrance on Hill Street. 
  • Dropping off/picking up on Hill Street: This is fine, but please note that you should not park out front and leave your car as this keeps the flow of traffic backed up around the corner on Colfax and this can be dangerous.  

Attending Mass and Prayer Services: It is also important to note that we love having parents attend Mass and/or Prayer Services throughout the year, and I want to encourage you to do so, but parking in the large lot on LaSalle helps keep the traffic flowing at arrival and dismissal. 

Hot Lunch: All orders for hot lunch should be returned in an envelope marked “hot lunch”. Checks should be made payable to St. Joseph Grade School. Please be observant of the deadline that is listed at the top of the menu. Parent volunteers and some of the vendors give us deadlines for ordering, and late orders are not possible. Please note that the menu for September is attached as well as general directions for ordering that all parents should read. Please note: If you have multiple children, they each need an order form – one check for all is fine. 

Calendar: Attached are calendars for August and September. Please keep these handy for quick reference, or use the “Google” calendar on our website, which is always kept current for easy viewing. 

Scrip: Please continue to purchase Scrip, as the profits we receive are a tremendous help in keeping our budget in line with the rising expenses of supporting our school.

Home and School/HASA: Where would we be without all of the many parent volunteers we have here at St. Joseph! I am so grateful for the hard work that our parents are responsible for in making this a great place and environment for all of our children. So many of you support what we do in so many different ways, and I am more grateful each year when I reflect on where we have been and where we are now.  It is because of all of you! Please take time to read the HASA news as it will give you more information about Parent Nights, Cleanup Day, the Used Uniform Sale, and much more! I urge parents to get involved, and while many of our parents work, there are jobs that you can do right from your home.

May God bless all of our families and may this new year bring joy to all.

Mrs. Wiwi





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