Fast Facts 2019-20
Welcome! This document is intended to help answer some FAQs and point you in the right direction to find more information on popular subjects. Should you have further questions, please reach out to the board members listed on the accompanying CASPA welcome sheet. CASPA is here to help! Here’s to a great school year!
The School Day runs from 7:55am to 2:50pm. Are you wondering how drop off and pick up works? The doors to school open at 7:30am. Drop off happens in the circle in front of school. Cars drive through the upper level of the parking lot, then turn right to go around the circle to school in a counter-clockwise direction. Student safety volunteers stand out front to open car doors for you, so please keep your kiddos in the car until you are in front of school. Mr. Gerard directs traffic in and out of the circle to keep us all from getting in an accident. The first bell rings at 7:50am, telling students to head to classrooms, about to be marked tardy. The second bell rings at 7:55am, signaling that students are late. Attendance is taken in classrooms at 7:55am and the school day begins.
What do you do if you arrive late? Don’t stress – we’ve all been there at some point! When you are late, you must park and walk your child into school. The doors will be locked, so you will need to buzz the intercom to be let in the front door. Stop by the reception desk to sign the late sheet. After that the kids can head down to class. It’s a similar protocol if you have an early doctor’s appointment – for instances when your child leaves early you sign him/her out in the sign out book at the reception desk. If you arrive late on a Thursday and the children are at Mass, you will need to take your child up to the Cathedral and walk him/her in to join their class.
If you have a sick child, you must call in and report the absence by 8:15am that morning. Call the main number at 410-464-4400 and follow the prompts. You can request that homework be ready at the end of the day or be sent home with a sibling.
Pick Up – Pick up from school is at 2:50pm. Cars back into parking spaces in the upper lot before 2:50pm to make pick up easier. The first several spots are assigned, but the rest are first come, first served. All cars must remain in their spots until dismissal by the Safety Patrol, after all children have safely made their way to the vehicles that are taking them home. Cars will be sent out single file, starting with the cars closest to the school. Cars that arrive late are held on the middle row (teacher parking), and children are escorted to these cars by the Safety Patrol. Any remaining children are brought to the top of the lot near the playground to wait for pickup with the teacher on duty. Children must be picked up no later than 3pm.
Visiting the school? Cathedral has a visitor entry protocol for all individuals entering the school who are not students or parish/school employees. When entering the school, all visitors must stop at the reception desk in the lobby. Mrs. Elbourne, the receptionist, will scan your driver’s license and print an identification sticker before you can enter the school. If you only need to drop off lunch or a forgotten item, you can just hand them to the receptionist. This system (called Raptor) is widely used in both public and private schools throughout the country and was recommended by a consultant hired to assess our security systems. Thank you for helping us maintain a safe and secure school environment, and don’t forget to bring your license!
Are you panicking about uniforms? Cathedral has a Uniform Bank that sells gently used uniform pieces that are donated as kids outgrow them. The Uniform Bank is located on the top floor of the convent wing, which is accessed by the stairs that are directly opposite the Health Suite. The Uniform Bank is open anytime school is open. You select your items and bring them down to the school office where you can make cash or check payments. You may also pay online here. There is a price list at the school office for your reference. The prices are reasonable and all proceeds go to the school! Didn’t find what you need? Check again later as inventory is always changing.
New uniforms can be purchased from Lands’ End. Keep an eye out for sales by signing up for email or Facebook alerts. Lands’ End runs sales all the time and it’s worth the wait! Under the School Uniforms Tab on the Lands End website, you can register your school and it should pull up the options that are preloaded for Cathedral. More information on uniforms can be found here on the school website. Reach out to CASPA with any questions!
Every now and then the kids can dress down and have an out-of-uniform day at school. There are two types of these days: Birthday Dress Down Days and Tag Days. Birthday Dress Down Days allow children born during that month to dress out-of-uniform. Each month’s Birthday Dress Down Day will be listed on the school calendar. Tag Days usually happen as a lead up to a special event (Haiti Carnavale, Cathedral Ball, St. Patrick’s Day) and often have a theme. The rules for a particular Tag Day will be published in the Wednesday Bulletin (emailed to parents by the school) before the Tag Day and on the School Calendar.
Speaking of the School Calendar, it’s a great resource for information about school and parish events. Did you know you can download the calendar to your phone or tablet? The great news is if you do this it will automatically update every time the Administration makes a change, so you will always be in-the-know. When using the calendar, click on events of interest to find out more details about those events. To subscribe to the calendar, visit the school website for a tutorial.
Let’s tackle the lunchroom. Students can bring their own lunches or order a hot lunch. The Lunch Box is Cathedral’s prepared meals service, and you deal with them directly to order lunches. Visit www.lunchboxprogram.com to set up an account and see the monthly menu. Note: you have to place your order no later than midnight the night before to get a hot lunch! Once a month, generally on the second Monday, CASPA offers a Chick-Fil-A fundraiser where parents can order a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, chips and cookie for $6 per student. Check your email for a link to sign up. This year there will only be two sign ups—one in the fall and one in the spring. Don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle for your child. New to school this year are filtered water fountains with a bottle-filler spout so those bottles will be a snap to refill!
Did you know you can order regular or chocolate milk for your child to drink at lunch time? Fill out the online form here. The cost is $5 per child for the entire year. Complete this form ASAP to receive milk on the first full day of school.
Cathedral has a Health Suite with our own registered nurse, Cathy Lobo, on site each day from 7:45am to 3:15pm. Mrs. Lobo keeps a number of over-the-counter medications on hand for illness or injury, but requires permission from parents before she can administer them to a child. Fill out the Medication Permission Form found here online to avoid a phone call when your child needs Advil! These forms must be completed annually. If you have questions for Mrs. Lobo about Allergy Management or other Health Suite policies, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-464-4113.
VIRTUS – This is a screening process for all parents, grandparents, and other volunteers that want to come in and volunteer at school. All parishes and Archdiocesan Catholic schools require it. You will not be allowed to coach, volunteer at lunch, attend a field trip, or help out at a holiday party without it. This process was formerly known as “STAND” certification, but the Archdiocese has moved to VIRTUS as their new system. To start the VIRTUS process, click here.
Your child brought home a Mustang Ticket – what’s that? Mustang Tickets are an award that teachers and administrators hand out to students for displaying behavior that is peaceful, respectful, accepting, and representative of a best effort. All winners are announced weekly at school during morning announcements and are entered into a monthly drawing for a dress down pass, a homework pass, or a chance to make the morning announcements. To learn more about Cathedral’s positive behavior program (or PBIS - Positive Behavior Interventions and Support), visit https://www.schoolofthecathedral.org/resources/positive-school-environment.
Classroom Parent is CASPA’s online directory and our primary method of communication with parents. You can find it online at https://cathedral.classroomparent.com. Messages include important notices about upcoming events that you won’t want to miss, so be sure to sign up and include at least one email address! If you click under the “Classrooms” tab, you will see messages that have been sent specifically to a particular class regarding classroom events or volunteer opportunities. Volunteer opportunities for all your children can be viewed under the “Volunteering” tab. Please note that homeroom volunteer opportunities have not been posted yet, but will be announced via Classroom Parent when available. Homeroom and grade lists are available under the “Classroom” and “Grades” tabs.
The school also sends out a Weekly Bulletin by email every Wednesday. If you haven’t received it, please check your spam folder. If it isn’t there, email Beth Mayr at email@example.com to be added to the list. Also, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to receive updates on school activities.
Athletics, Clubs and After-School Activities – Cathedral offers a variety of sports and other afterschool programs. Sports programs include soccer (fall), basketball (winter), lacrosse (spring) and running (spring). Some programs are clinics, while others are archdiocesan league play. Sports signups are sent home in Wednesday folders and announced via Classroom Parent. Check out the Athletics webpage for more info. Other clubs and activities include Band, Chess Club, Newspaper Club/Mustang Messenger, and the middle school play. Learn more about these activities here.
Need childcare after school? The Cathedral Extended Day (CED) program provides various enrichment and academic activities led by experienced faculty and skilled care providers for an additional fee. Care options include five and three-programs as well as drop-in care for those previously registered. CED closes promptly at 6pm; pick up is in the cafeteria. Learn more about the program and register here.
If you have any other questions about the school, a good place to look for answers is the school handbook, which can be found on the parent resources page of the website.