With a little less than one week to go before kicking off this next school year, we wanted to say hello and introduce ourselves. We are this year’s PTO Co-Presidents, serving in our second term. My name is Jorge Highland, (dad to 5th and 3rd graders) and my name is Lucie Leblois, (mom to 5th and 2nd graders). For those returning, we want to welcome you back and thank you — for all that you did last year as parents and as members of this community. As schools closed throughout the country — the world, really — we were in awe of how our community stepped up and with that, firmly believe that what we have built so far – our foundation – will help carry us strong as we enter into this new year.
As a PTO, we have committed to make this year special for our kids, for the staff and teachers and for us all — for our community. In the midst of distance learning, we will do our best to keep this year fun, come up with unique ideas to make us all feel connected & make sure everyone feels informed.
This is going to be a different year for all of us, and we are going to need your help. To meet the needs of the moment, your PTO will need your time as a volunteer, your engagement so we understand our evolving needs, and your financial support. Some of the traditional ways we fundraise, such as PTO Dues paid through the Extended Day Program or our Annual Auction Event, will not be possible this year. As a result, we are asking all families to please give what they can to support Stoddert during this time, so that we continue to excel as one of the most special schools in the District – distance learning or not. Our suggested donation remains $400 per family, but we know the pandemic has impacted each of us in different ways, so rather than the amount, what we are focused on is getting as many families to contribute as we can. As a reminder, you are all members of the PTO by virtue of being a Stoddert parent or staff member. Whether you give or not does not change that, but we hope you give what you can because you see value in the work your PTO does to support teachers and students at Stoddert. You can donate here today – we thank you all in advance.
We’ve got a lot to cover, so please take the time to read the information below — we’ve got parades, yard signs, pizza nights and more — and some useful tips to help you start this year!
To kick things off, we want to invite all of you to our Welcome Back to School Parade! After the success and excitement of our end-of-year parade in May, we are excited to invite you to a socially distanced parade to mark the beginning of the school year at Stoddert in the afternoon of Sunday, August 30! The parade is completely optional for students, teachers, and staff, and we have organized this with certain safeguards in place.
Families will once again parade around the school perimeter in cars decorated with balloons and signs, while any teachers who are willing and able to participate, will be lined up on the north sidewalk of Calvert street at proper distance. Students with parents on foot will be allowed to walk, but they will parade on the south sidewalk and maintain proper distance between parties. Click here to see a map that shows the parade route and designated starting points for cars and pedestrians respectively.
To avoid too much crowding and congestion, we will parade in two “shifts” on August 30:
1. PreK, K, 1st Grade: From 3:00PM – 3:30PM, students in pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade can line up in designated areas by 2:50 PM.
2. 2nd – 5th Grades: From 4:00PM – 4:30PM, students in grades 2,3,4, and 5th can line up in designated areas no earlier than 3:50 PM.
All families, whether driving or walking, will circle the perimeter of the school TWICE.
“Together or Apart We Are Stoddert at Heart” Yard Signs! To promote our Stoddert Wolfpack pride, The PTO has purchased yard & window signs to help celebrate the start to the 2020-2021 school year. If you are interested in getting a sign for your family, please sign up here to reserve your sign. You will receive an email regarding pick up within a few days. (One per household please. Signs come with a stake but can be used in windows as well.)
Back to School and Pizza Night! Please join us from 630PM-8PM on September 10th for Back to School Night and our first PTO Meeting of the year. But before you settle into your favorite Zoom location, give Arcuri a call because the restaurant will be donating 15% of all delivery, takeout or eat-in order proceeds from, 5-8PM to Stoddert! Supporting our neighborhood businesses while supporting our school — with pizza — a great way to start off the school year.
Extended Day Programming Unfortunately we are unable to offer in-person after-care options at Stoddert until further notice, but we are working on making virtual after-school enrichment programming available to all Stoddert families. Stay tuned!
We also thought a quick check-list might be helpful to you all!
- Our School website: www.stoddert.org – check back often for updates, check/download the calendar and more.
- Chalkboard: Make sure ALL adult members in your household are signed up! You can sign up here
- Technology devices: If you were not able to receive a device, there are more coming. Please stay tuned for updates.
- Packets, Books and More pick-up: Remember to head to the school lobby to pick these up for your kid(s) from Tuesday – Thursday, 9AM – 3PM.. You will find these organized by grade. Wear your masks please.
- Sprout Boxes if pre-ordered: These are also in the school lobby. You must have pre-ordered one to receive one. Parent volunteers will be on-hand to help you retrieve your box(es) from Tuesday – Thursday, 9AM – 3PM.
- Gentle reminder that this Friday teachers will be hosting our annual Sneak Peek which provides an opportunity for students to meet their teachers and classmates. There will be two Sneak Peek sessions at 1:45PM and 2:15PM
- Set your alarms on Monday! School starts at 8:45!
In the next few weeks, you will be getting emails from your respective Room Parents who will be as helpful as ever ensuring your classes feel connected and can support each other. Room Parents serve as a great resource throughout the year. If you would like to volunteer as a Room Parent for your child’s classroom, please let our Room Parent Coordinator know by filling out this quick form.
In the meantime, our PTO Board Members and Committee Chairs have been working hard throughout the past few months and are ready to make this year feel as “normal” as possible — events might look different, getting together may be via a computer screen at times. But that’s ok! Our Gear Team is setting up an online shop, our Teacher & Staff Appreciation Team is already hard at work, our Restaurant Night Committee is teaming up with various restaurants and businesses – the list goes on.
We have much more to announce in the coming weeks, including our Back to School Night, which is taking place on Thursday, September 10th, PTO meetings, virtual coffees with Principal Bryant and more.
We are an intensely strong community. Stoddert is special not because of the building, but because of the people inside — and that has not changed.
We hope to see many of you soon, whether in the neighborhood, by zoom or a quick wave on a trail in the woods!
Together or Apart We Are Stoddert at Heart!
With all of our Stoddert Pride,
Jorge and Lucie