The Rock N° 40

Enter to Learn. Leave to Serve.

Pray Love Excel Engage


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

Principal Clay's Notes

Rediker PlusPortals Tutorial


Still have questions about how to access your child’s grades, attendance, homework, teachers’ newsletter… Mrs. Ossio has created a PlusPortals tutorial just for you! You may click here to access it.


Blessing Your Family Pets, October 4


Please bring your pets to school on Thursday, October 4 at 8:45 a.m. for a Blessing of Your Family Pets! We will gather on the upper playground for a special blessing on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. RSVP to HSA ( by Tuesday, October 2. We hope to see you and meet your other family members!


Aftercare Dismissal


Aftercare enrichments are off to a great start this semester! We are thrilled to be offering many new and exciting programs for our students. With so many kids joining aftercare for enrichment classes, we ask you for your patience during the check-out process. Please wait for a verbal confirmation from Mrs. Baskin that she has checked out your student for the day before leaving with your child. The safety of all our SPS students is paramount and we appreciate your support and assistance in making the dismissal process a smooth one. We are looking forward to a wonderful semester. Please reach out to Mrs. Atherton with any questions or concerns.


Back to School Picnic This Sunday


Due to last weekend’s rain, the annual Back to School Picnic has been rescheduled for Sunday, September 30 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


First Gallery Walk/Coffee Talk, October 5


Dr. Kaplan, with the Washington Anxiety Center, will present a 4-part parenting series on addressing anxiety and behavioral problems in your child. This will include being able to recognize when your child may have clinical anxiety, depression, or a behavioral issue and how you can design/implement a very specific, individualized approach to parenting these concerns.


Each coffee talk will build on the other, so it is recommended you attend all or as many as you can. If you miss any session, please contact Mrs. Motion for the missed materials. The first part will be the coffee talk presented on Friday, October 5. 


National Walk & Bike to School Day, October 10, 7:30 a.m.


St. Peter School will join other local schools at Lincoln Park in celebration of National Walk & Bike to School Day –  Participants are encouraged to arrive at Lincoln Park by 7:45 a.m. to join the St. Peter School group as we walk/bike to school. We want to ensure on-time arrival to school so join in another celebration… our 150th Anniversary Mass. 


150th Anniversary Mass, Wednesday, October 10, 8:45 a.m.


Parents: Following the Walk/Bike to School, please join us for our 150th Anniversary Mass at St. Peter’s Church on October 10 at 8:45 a.m. Immediately following Mass will be a brief reception in the school’s multi-purpose room. We hope to see you there!


Grocery Rewards

Link your Harris Teeter card by October 9 to help St. Peter’s earn an extra $100!

Harris Teeter: HT rewards cards must be re-linked to St. Peter School each year.  The school code is 4753.  Parents can link their card by clicking the "Link Your School" button and signing into the Harris Teeter site: Together in Education - Harris Teeter LLC.    Also, if SPS increases the number of parents who link their cards by 25% as compared to October 9 last year the school will get an extra 100 dollars!  

Giant: Giant reward cards do not need to be re-linked each year, but you can check to ensure that you already selected St. Peter School as your grocery rewards beneficiary (or link a card for the first time) on the Giant website by clicking here. Our school ID is 40368.

If you have questions about the grocery rewards program, please contact Nick Tabori, at

School News

Yearbook Club for Grades 6, 7, and 8


Sign-up deadline has been extended to next Friday, October 5 and Mrs. Ossio and Mrs. Duff, Yearbook advisors, will be promoting Yearbook Club to Middle School students during lunch next Tuesday.  If you have a budding writer, designer, photographer or editor in your house, please encourage them to consider this fun extracurricular opportunity!


5th Annual St. Peter School Golf Classic


Head to the school website for a link to sign up or sponsor or go directly to  Early Bird rates in effect through October 4.  We want to see YOU on the links, October 25 at the Country Club at Woodmore.  This event is a co-ed golfing opportunity for Moms, Dads, and SPS friends.  You do not have to golf to attend the after-party at the Tune Inn.


Annual Fund Kick-Off Party, October 4


As we begin a new school year, please join the St. Peter School Community on October 4 for the Annual Giving Campaign Kick-Off.  A reception will be held in the St. Peter Church rectory starting at 6pm.  The Annual Giving Campaign is essential in allowing the school to obtain the resources we need to provide a top-quality curriculum, up-to-date technology, and a safe and secure facility for our children. 


Each year, we kick off our Annual Giving Campaign with a special event at St. Peter’s rectory which includes refreshments and heavy hors d’oeuvres, student, alumni and parent speakers, and a chance to chat with members of the St. Peter School community about the wonderful things happening at our school!  Please RSVP today to Mrs. Debbie Duff at


School Picture Day COMING SOON


Just a reminder school picture day is October 9 with Victor O'Neill Studios.  Order forms are going home today, and their information is on our website. For your convenience, you can now order online, click here, or copy and paste the link:


Victor O'Neill Studios has been a great fundraiser for our school, let's keep the tradition going!

Haiti Stewardship Committee

Haiti Stewardship Committee to Meet, October 2


St. Peter’s Church and School participates in a twinning partnership with Notre Dame D'Altagrace Parish and School in Cap Haitien, Haiti to offer our friendship and provide financial assistance. To support this partnership, the Haiti Stewardship Committee, made up of parents, faculty, and staff, was established at St. Peter School a few years ago.  We work together to raise awareness, cultivate empathy, and raise funds for our sister school, Notre Dame D'Altagrace.


The HSC is ready to get started this school year and needs your support!  If you would like to join the Haiti Stewardship Committee, our first meeting will be Tuesday, October 2 at 3:30 p.m. in the 4th grade classroom.  We look forward to seeing you there as we continue this important work for our sister school and parish in Haiti.


Flag Design Contest for Haiti


To honor our relationship with our sister school in Cap Haitien, Haiti, St. Peter School and the Haiti Stewardship Committee are sponsoring a flag design contest.  All students are invited to enter a submission by Friday, October 12.


The design of one lucky winner will be made into a flag that will be shared with our sister school and parish, Notre Dame D'Altagrace.  The flag will be presented to Father Delva at Notre Dame D'Altagrace when Archangel Airborne and St. Peter School visit Haiti on a mission trip in November.


The winner will be announced in The Rock on October 18 and will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card.  Good luck and happy designing!


Registration for the 2018-19 St. Peter’s CYO basketball season is now open.  Practices will be Mondays and Wednesdays (TBD) starting early November at St. Coletta’s (1901 Independence Avenue SE, Washington DC).  Games for tournament teams will begin in December and other teams in January 2019.


Registration fee is $220 per player with discounts for additional siblings. All registrations must be completed through Sports Pilot, click here, or copy and paste the link -

Registration will close October 25, 2018; late registrations will be subject to approval by the Athletic Director.


For the 2018-2019 basketball season, we will offer boys and girls teams in U10, U12, and U14 divisions. Players on the U14 teams must be 14 and under by November 30, 2018. For basketball teams, priority for rosters will be given to U14 teams first and then to grades/participant age groups. Players on U12 teams should be 12 and under as of November 30, 2018. Players on the U10 teams should be minimum Grade 3 and 10 and under by November 30, 2018.


We need coaches for the U10, 12, and 14 girls’ teams! Coaches must be 18 and over and are required to have VIRTUS training.


Students and parents are expected to abide by the St. Peter’s Code of Conduct and the Archdiocese of Washington DC League rules.


Please email Maura Jeffords at if you have any questions.

Community News

Calling All Volunteers!

If you are a new SPS family or returning family and want to volunteer, plan to attend the Archdiocese of Washington class, “Protecting God’s Children for Adults”, at St Peter’s Church on October 14 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. To register, click here or copy and paste this link, then go to 'First time registrant', next click 'Archdiocese of Washington', and finally scroll down the list to find the St. Peter's option. Thank you for your support of SPS activities.

Health News: Important Reminders


  • Students are marked Tardy if they arrive to school at or after 8:30 a.m. They must report to the front office with a parent and sign in.

  • Students arriving Tardy, leaving during school hours, or dismissing before the end of the school day for health appointments must submit an excuse note or health form to the front office from the health provider's office upon return. Proper documentation is required for an excused absence from school.

  • A parent or guardian is responsible for contacting the school if their child(ren) will be tardy or absent. A call to the front office must be placed by 8:45 a.m. on the day of occurrence (except during morning prayer and announcements, 8:30 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.). If sending an email, include the teacher, Ms. Clay, Mrs. Pawlowski, and Mrs. Ackerman in your message by 8:45 a.m.

  • If a student needs to leave during the school day a written note from the parent/guardian must be sent to the front office by 8:45 a.m.

  • A student is considered absent if not present for at least four hours during a school day. This includes 12:30 dismissal days.

Health Forms


  • All students must have a current DC Universal Health Certificate with immunization record on file each school year. This certificate is valid for 365 days. This is an official document and it is mandatory that a parent/guardian complete Part 1 (Child’s Personal Information) and Part 5 (Required Parent/Guardian Signatures). Please make sure all areas are fully completed before submitting to the school.

  • A DC Oral Health Assessment Form is required once each school year. It is mandatory that Part 1 & 2 are completed by the parent/guardian.

Required Immunizations for Students 11 Years & Older


Updated immunization reports documenting Tdap booster vaccine, Meningococcal vaccine, and the HPV vaccine administration must be submitted to the front office as soon as available. Please contact Mrs. Ackerman or discuss the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) with your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions. If you wish to opt-out from your child receiving the vaccine at this time, you must complete the DC HPV Annual Vaccination Opt-Out Certificate each year you opt-out and submit it to the front office as soon as possible.


FDA Recalls


Harris Teeter Low Fat Cookies & Cream Frozen Yogurt for Undeclared Peanut, distributed in H.T. stores including DC, MD, VA


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

Counselor’s Corner



One of the most frequent questions I get from parents is, “Is this normal for my child’s age”?  I thought I would kick off a series, starting with Grade 8 of understanding common cognitive, social, and emotional behaviors of your child.


Developmental Behaviors of 8th Graders                                                           



  • The teenage brain is revved to learn. Only in early childhood are people as receptive to new information as they are during their adolescent years.  This “use it or lose it” stage, which began in 6th grade, continues to ramp up. Neural pathways that are being used will be fortified, and others that aren’t will be dumped.   This apparently helps the brain to take on and master new challenges. 

  • The prefrontal cortex (the impulse control and predicting future events center) continues to develop and is the last part of the brain to mature in adolescence.  An 8th grader’s ability to judge risk or to make long-tern plans is lagging, suggesting an increased need for guidance from trusted adults, not a decrease.

  • Complains about the volume of homework but often secretly enjoys the challenge and their ability to meet teacher demands.

  • May be afraid of journal writing and revealing too much; or at the opposite extreme, may pour out their hearts to the teacher.

  • Does not do as well in cooperative groups as 7th graders or older teens – tends to argue and complain about fairness.

  • Needs short, regular, predictable homework assignments to build good study habits.

  • Thinks globally, but often can’t act locally.  For example, concerned about social justice issues, but often is still mean to others.

  • Can be difficult at home and a star at school, or vice-versa.

Social/Emotional Behaviors

  • More outwardly focused than at 12; compares and matches their “identity” with others.  Attempting to discover who they are, identifying strengths, and what kinds of roles they are best suited to play in their lives.

  • Continues to be fascinated by group dynamics, hierarchy, how leaders emerge and the code of behavior required to be part of a group. At this time of shaky identity, cliques offer comfort and affirmation. During this time teenagers gravitate toward, and find security and pleasure in, people who are like them. 

  • Girls tend to focus on close relationships; boys tend to travel in small groups and engage in a lot of horseplay and practical jokes. 

  • Very concerned about personal appearance but unconcerned about the neatness of their personal environment (rooms, home, lockers and desks at school).

  • Nowhere on the developmental continuum is there greater physical and emotional separation between the genders than between girls and boys at thirteen.

  • Feels tension between wanting grown-ups to simultaneously notice them, and yet to leave them alone. Wants to be independent and appear grown up; however, still very much depends on parents.  Looking self-assured and confident might mask this inner confusion.

Communication Style

  • Interested in the meaning of words; develops a broader vocabulary

  • More willing to engage in group discussion

  • Increasingly punctuates humor with sarcasm

I look forward to sharing the needs of our Grade 7 students next week.

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 for The Rock, Thursday folder submissions: Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. to Principal ClayThank you.


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