The Rock N° 36

Principal Clay's Notes

“Be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble." (1 Peter 3:8)

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!


School Blessing


Please join us tomorrow for our School Blessing at 8:45 a.m. on the Upper Playground (or in the Multi-Purpose Room if raining). Fr. Gurnee will be our celebrant.


Core Values


During 2017-2018, our faculty and staff embarked on a mission to more fully define our core values as educators. The result of our collaboration is:


Enter to Learn. Leave to Serve.

Pray Love Excel Engage


We believe that St. Peter School students enter the red doors each morning ready to learn, beginning in Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. When students graduate St. Peter School, they leave with knowledge, integrity, and confidence to serve God and others by praying, loving, excelling, and engaging.


Our faith is our foundation. We begin and end each day with prayer reminding us of our relationship with God and God’s omnipotent presence in our lives.


It is through prayer that love of God and each other is palpable throughout our school family. Together, we animate God’s love through kindness, compassion, respect, and honesty.


Within our loving community children excel academically and holistically. We provide authentic opportunities for growth in mind, body, and spirit.


As our students flourish they engage in rigorous academics, community service, and enrichment activities in meaningful, fun ways. All of which fosters a healthy self-image and respect for others.


Launching Our New Website


To streamline our communication with you, we are excited to announce the launch of our new website powered by Rediker! It is a student information system that helps educators manage data, maximize student success, and communicate with parents and families. It also offers our password-protected area to create a seamless connection with you.


Your Rediker homepage will display a summary panel for your children’s classes linking you to their teachers’ pages with homework assignments, class announcements and alerts, and class links and files. If your child is in Grade 4-8, you will have access to their grades through PlusPortals, a Rediker system. In addition to teacher pages, the website will have school announcements, calendar events, notifications and alerts, and school files and links.


You also can download the Rediker app to your smartphone. Type “Rediker” in your app store and find the app named “ParentPlus.” Middle schoolers also will have access to Rediker through the app “StudentPlus”.


If you are new to Rediker, please be on the lookout for an activation email. If you do not receive an email by Tuesday, September 4, please contact Mrs. Ossio at Stay tuned for more details at our Back to School Nights next week.


Welcome Back to School!


Welcome back to school from your new, 2018 – 2019 HSA Co-Chairs Megan Uzzell (Eleanor, Grade 2 and Jack, Kindergarten) and Katy Wingert (Anneliese, Grade 1). We would like to give a hearty thank you to Liz Martin (Beck, Grade 3 and Gus, Kindergarten) and Christine Derwin (Casey, Grade 2 and Teddy, Kindergarten) for having served as Co-Chairs for the past two school years. We look forward to working (and having fun) alongside you!  HSA wants to hear from you, so feel free to reach out to us with questions, suggestions, or ideas at


Upcoming Events


School Blessing: Parents are welcome to join St. Peter students for the school blessing this Friday, August 31 at 8:45 a.m. on the upper school playground. If it rains we will be in the Multi-Purpose Room.


Back to School Nights: Back to School night for Grades PK-Grade 3 will occur Tuesday, September 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and for Grades 4-8 on Thursday, September 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Back to School Picnic: Eighth Grade is hosting the Back to School Picnic, which will take place on Sunday, September 9 at St. Peter School from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Each grade is asked to contribute 100 FILLED water balloons to the festivities (truly the highlight of the event for the kids), so please consider fulfilling this request on behalf of your class via a forthcoming Sign-up Genius invitation. 


Moms’ Night Out – Save the Date: The HSA’s 3rd Annual Moms’ Night Out will take place on Thursday, September 20 at 8 p.m. on the roof deck at Red Rocks at 1348 H Street NE. 


What is the Home-School Association?


A strong partnership between families and the school is an essential component of a quality education and the St. Peter School Home-School Association (HSA) was established to foster relationships between parents, students, teachers, and staff.


The HSA organizes and supports classes as they organize regular events to bring together members of our community, such as the upcoming Back to School Picnic and Moms’ Night Out.  We are fortunate to have such an active, engaged school community at St. Peter, and we welcome your involvement at these and other events throughout the year.


Please remember that parents are expected to support their child(ren)’s education with their time, talent, and treasure, including the minimum commitment of 15 hours per year for two-parent families or 7.5 hours per year for one-parent families.


While we utilize the Sign Up Genius system for most volunteer opportunities, parents are expected to monitor their own hours as well (to avoid or easily resolve any end of year discrepancies.) While many families are familiar with the Sign Up Genius system, look for future communication from the HSA and room parents about this system.


School News


The Smart Lunches Program is HERE!


We are pleased to partner with Smart Lunches this year to provide your child with delicious, reliable and convenient lunch options. Smart Lunches is enjoying a growing reputation for exceptional food and service in schools throughout the region. With Smart Lunches, quality, reliability, and value are just a click away.


More than 60 SPS students have ordered Smart Lunches for the program’s launch day, Tuesday, September 4.  If you’ve opened a Smart Lunches account but not yet ordered a lunch for September 4 (and that’s true for about 90 SPS students), here’s a reminder about deadlines:


All orders as well as changes and cancellations need to be submitted two business days in advance. 


  • Lunches for Monday: order needs to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Thursday 

  • Lunches for Tuesday: order needs to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Friday

  • Lunches for Wednesday: order needs to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Monday

  • Lunches for Thursday: order needs to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday

  • Lunches for Friday: order needs to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday 


If you haven’t yet signed up and want more information, click to see a short video, download the current menu, and learn how easy it is to get started. There is no obligation or minimum order, and you can opt out at any time.


First Student Families Project!


Our first Student Families project will benefit the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center (, a privately funded 501(c)3 charitable organization here on Capitol Hill dedicated to supporting women and men facing a crisis pregnancy through the provision of services, supplies, and counseling.


CHPC clients are given a layette bag of baby supplies at their last Center visit before the baby is born.  Student Families are going to make as many layette bags as possible, and we hope you will support our efforts by donating supplies from the following list. Donations can be placed in bins on the Multi-Purpose Room stage, starting Friday, September 7.


A receiving blanket is one of the items in the layette.  If you are a knitter or know someone who is, they LOVE hand-knitted blankets and will take them throughout the year, even if you don’t have time to knit one by September 29.


Thank you in advance for supporting the Center, located at 713 Maryland Avenue, NE!


Layettes are created for baby girls, boys, or unisex.

Following are the basic items found in each layette:


2 Onesies

1 Sleeper

1 Outfit


2 Sleepers

2 Blankets

(1 heavier blanket and 1 receiving blanket

OR 2 receiving blankets)


Miscellaneous NEW items

(stuffed animals, baby bottles, pacifiers, teething rings,

baby toys, and any other items for babies)


A sleeve of diapers from a package or case (usually 36 to 40 diapers)


Cotillion 2018


Back by popular demand:  St. Peter School Middle School (Grades 6, 7, 8) students are invited to participate in Cotillion 2018!  This fun-filled program conducted by The Manners Lab blends contemporary social training with traditional ballroom dance instruction. Do not worry if your child participated last year.  Refreshers are always good!  For more details, see Cotillion Sign-Up Sheet, Cotillion Announcement, and Reference Guide emailed directly to Middle School parents.


  • Cotillion classes will be held in the St. Peter’s Church Parish Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on four Friday evenings:  September 28, October 5, October 19, and October 26. (NOTE:  We are skipping October 12, when school is closed.)  The first hour of the evening will focus on etiquette; the second hour will focus on ballroom dance instruction.

  • The October 26 Dinner Dance will feature a sit-down catered dinner, where students can practice their etiquette and dance skills.

  • Appropriate dress is required for all four sessions:  dresses and gloves for girls and coats and ties for boys.

  • Fee:  $175 (includes dinner and girls’ gloves).  Financial assistance is available to qualifying families.  Please see Mrs. Duff.

  • Parent volunteers are needed for the October 26 Dinner Dance.  Please consider and make a note on Sign-Up Sheet.

To register, please complete the sign-up form and return to Mrs. Duff with payment ($175 check made payable to St. Peter School) by Friday, September 14, 2018.

Community News

Cross Country Registration is Open!
Cross Country season is here, and registration is open!
Students in Grades 4 to 8 are eligible to participate.  Coaches would like to begin practicing next week, 
Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Providence Park (a.k.a. X Park). Please email Maura Jeffords
at with any questions.
Cub Scout Pack 380

Cub Scout Pack 380 has another great year planned for Scouts (Kindergarten through Grade 5) and their families! Please plan to join us for our Join Scouting Night (JSN) on Wednesday, September 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Providence Park (a.k.a. X Park) to learn more about the program and decide if it is right for you! 

At Join Scouting Night you can pay dues (new and returning Scouts), complete an application (new Scouts), pick-up a handbook, buy uniforms, and get answers to your questions. Boy Scout Troop 380 also will be on hand to demonstrate and teach skills.  If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Amacio at

Health News

Food Allergies

Numerous St. Peter School students have allergies to certain foods, particularly peanuts and nuts/tree nuts. For these students, an allergic reaction can be serious and sometimes life-threatening. Please keep this in mind as you prepare your child's snack and lunch and any other food for school parties, bake sales, and aftercare, and avoid sending in food or other products containing peanuts, peanut butter, or nuts.


When shopping for food, read the product label to ensure the item does not contain peanuts or nuts. Since chocolate candy is frequently produced in facilities that also process peanuts and tree nuts, we ask that chocolate candy and bars not be sent in to the school due to the possibility of cross contamination. Also, instruct your child not to trade or share food unless permission is granted from the teacher.


Thank you for your cooperation in helping to keep the school a safe environment. Please note:  Tree nuts include, but are not limited to, walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, and Brazil nuts. These are not to be confused or grouped together with peanut, which is a legume, or seeds, such as sunflower or sesame (FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education).



If your child will be taking an extended holiday weekend, please inform the front office today. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to inform the school whenever your child will be absent, late in arrival, or will need an early dismissal. Please remember to call the front office no later than 8:45 a.m on the day of the occurrence. Give the student’s name, grade, and the reason for the absence, tardy or dismissal.


If an email is sent to the homeroom teacher regarding attendance, please also address your message to Ms. Clay, Mrs. Pawlowski, and Mrs. Ackerman and do so by 8:30 a.m. If the office is not made aware of the reason for the absence, a call will be made to the parent to ascertain where the child is. A student is considered absent if not present for 4 hours of the day. This also includes half days. If a student is late, leaves during the school day, or before the end of the school day due to a health appointment, a note from that office must be submitted to the front office to be noted as an excused absence.


If your child arrives at or after 8:30 a.m., a parent must come into the building to sign in him/her. This applies to all students – PreK through Grade 8.


       Breakfast & Water


Please make sure your children eat a substantial breakfast and drink a glass of water, milk, or 100% juice before coming to school. A healthy breakfast and fluid is important for their overall health and school performance. Send in a filled reusable water bottle so that they can drink water with snack, lunch, after recess and PE, and at dismissal.


       Head Lice and School Policy


As each school year begins, we anticipate dealing with these tiny insect infestations, which are a common occurrence in elementary school-aged children worldwide. As stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Head lice (pediculosis capitis) have been companions of the human species since antiquity".


We need the help of parents and guardians to keep head lice infestations under control.  Please carefully inspect your child’s head regularly for live head lice and nits, especially if he or she complains of an itchy scalp. This will prevent the loss of valuable school time and unnecessary treatments. We can perform a head inspection if you suspect the presence of head lice. Please refer to the Head Lice Policy on the school website under Student Life/Health Office Forms. The health office should be contacted if your child is found with head lice or nits.


Please contact Mrs. Ackerman, school nurse, for any questions or concerns by phone or email:

Counselor's Corner

Greetings, Parents!


I am so excited to start this school year as the new School Counselor here at SPS! What a wonderful first day of school I had yesterday. It was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful students and parents. This is such a welcoming school and I feel blessed to be a part of the St. Peter family.


As we begin, I leave you with a few tips to hopefully help make the transition from summer to back to school a bit less stressful.

1. Set up morning and evening routines that will help prevent rushing and/or meltdowns. Have your child begin to learn to prepare and organize their school uniform and materials the night before, allowing them that extra time in the mornings to eat a healthy breakfast.

2. Schedule and protect 5-10 minutes of one-on-one time with your son or daughter every night. This could be at bedtime, after dinner, or any other window of opportunity to connect.

3. For younger children, try not to overextend and commit to too many activities. This causes stress for all family members. One or two activities is just right.

4. For your adolescents, stay involved but give some independence.

5. Make time to relax and have fun! Too much work and focus on school could be stressful and anxiety producing.

I look forward to seeing you next week at Back to School nights. If you need any resources or have questions, please feel free to reach out. I am here for all students and families!


Mrs. Motion

Our Mission

Our Mission is to provide our students with an education that is characterized by Catholic values and academic excellence.  We are dedicated to addressing each child's unique talents and abilities.  In each student, we strive to instill an educational foundation for lifelong growth in knowledge, wisdom and spiritual maturity.

Deadline forThe Rock and Thursday folder submissions: Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. to Principal ClayThank you.



“May grace and peace be yours in abundance.”  1 Peter 1:3

“May grace and peace be yours in abundance.”  1 Peter 1:3