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Let’s Get the 2017-18 School Year Started!

Dear Saint John’s Prep Students and Parents, 

I hope you have enjoyed a restful and relaxing summer. For me, the summer was busy, exciting and extremely sad. I marked my one-year anniversary as the Principal of Saint John’s Prep on July 11; made some great hires including my new Administrative Assistant, Julie Lund; and worked on some strategic initiatives from our Strategic Plan, which you will hear more about in the upcoming weeks and months.  Personally, my husband, Adam and I are experiencing wonder and awe with the swelling of my belly – we are expecting a baby girl in early October.

Unfortunately, as you may already know, we also lost one of our precious students this summer. Ian Lo ’19 passed away in his sleep on July 12. Everyone in the Saint John’s Prep community feels this dreadful loss and I know Ian will continue to be missed by his classmates, teachers and coaches. Despite the grief and heartache that we’ve experienced and continue to experience with Ian’s passing, I’ve found great comfort as we come together to honor Ian’s life. Let’s continue to support each other and our young people in our bereavement. My door is open for anyone who needs assistance. I am hopeful that our community can continue to honor Ian’s legacy and memory in the years ahead.

2017-2018 School Year
As we move forward toward the start of the new school year, there are a few things I wanted to be sure that you were aware of. Please take some time to review this material and let me know if you have any questions or concerns

You can also find more information at about bus schedules, lunch account information, volunteer forms, and much more.

We are pleased to offer an Orientation Program to welcome our new students and families to the Saint John’s Prep community. The goal of our Orientation Program is to help our new students have a smooth transition, provide necessary information and answer any questions you may have.

All new and returning Middle School (Grades 6-7-8) students need to attend the Middle School Orientation on Monday, August 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the library. After the group gathering in the library, homeroom teachers will hold brief meetings in their classrooms.

ALL 9th grade students (new and returning), as well as new students in grades 10-12 are required to attend the orientation activities, Orientation is Monday, August 21 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, August 22 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

To help us plan the best orientation possible, all 9th grade students and new 10-12th grade students should register for orientation by using this link.

All new resident students should plan to arrive no later than Friday, August 18 for move-in. Special activities are planned from Saturday, August 19 through Tuesday, August 22 to help you settle in to your new school home. There is a special Headmaster’s Brunch for you and your family on Sunday, August 20 at 11:30 a.m. Please use this link to register for the Headmaster’s Brunch

More information can be found at: If you have questions about orientation programs, please contact Laura Hartog.

All School Community Service Day Tuesday, August 22 at 9:00 a.m. All students and families are welcome to participate in our Welcome Week Service Activity. A community breakfast and transportation will be provided. Click here to register

All-School Picnic
On Monday, August 21, at 5:30 p.m. we will hold our all-school community picnic. All students and their families are encouraged to attend this fun, free event! This will be a time to meet new members of our community, reconnect with friends and teachers, make final arrangements for the school year, and learn more about opportunities for the coming year. Please RSVP to help us plan for this fun night!

Opening Week of School and Convocation
August 23 The first day of school begins at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23. There will be no regular classes on this day as we will spend time bonding and gearing up for the school year! Lunch will be provided for students. Everyone is encouraged to wear clothing and shoes they can comfortably move around in- sneakers are recommended!

August 24 The festivities continue on Thursday, August 24, which is our formal academic convocation. Saint John’s Prep students, faculty, staff and Board of Regents will gather in the Abbey Church to officially open the school year. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Please note that this is a dress-up event for students (khakis, collared-shirts, skirts and dresses). All parents, siblings and families are welcome to attend convocation!
School pictures will also take place on Thursday, August 24. Order forms will be available at the picnic. A pizza lunch for faculty, staff and students will be served on Aug. 24. Students will attend classes in the afternoon.

August 25 On Friday, August 25, students will have classes in the morning followed by special events in the afternoon. Again, students are encouraged to wear clothing and shoes they can comfortably move around in-sneakers are recommended!

Handbooks and policies
An updated version of the Student-Parent Handbook will be posted on our school website after August 15. There will be a number of changes to the handbook so please take time review it and contact me with any questions.  We will share the link to the handbook when it is available.

Fall Athletics/Activities
The majority of our Fall athletic practices begin on Monday, August 14. Athletes must have all participation forms completed and returned to begin practice. Forms can be found and submitted under the ‘Files and Forms’ page within Connect2Prep. Also, the Minnesota State High School League requires athletes to have a sports physical when entering 7th grade and, again, when entering 10th grade. These physicals must be completed by August 14.

Mandatory Athletics and Theatre Meeting Additionally, there is a mandatory meeting for all students and parents who are participating in a fall sport and/or the Upper School fall play on Tuesday, August 15 from 5:30-6:30pm in the Weber Center. If you have questions about forms, our athletic programs, activities, clubs, or the mandatory meeting, please contact Bryan Backes.

2017-18 Academic Calendar
one-page at-a-glance school year calendar is now available.  Because it is imperative for students to attend school when it is in session, I am asking that you carefully review the schedule and plan appointments and family trips accordingly. Click here to see the detailed, month-to-month academic calendar.

Safe Environment Program and Volunteer Process
The safety of our students is our primary responsibility. To ensure a safe learning environment, we have instituted several policies and programs for the protection of minors and all members of our school community. A link to these polices can be found here.
In accordance with these policies, if you would like to serve as a volunteer, you must complete a volunteer information form as well as the appropriate background check form. These forms must be received and processed before you are eligible to volunteer. These forms can be found here.

Missing Forms
Some of you may have received an addition e-mail about missing forms. If you did not receive this message, this means you have all of the required forms in. If you have received this message, please be sure to take care of this before the start of school. To check your form status, go to Connect2Prep.

Get your Prep gear to wear on “Spirit Fridays!” Each Friday we wear red and Columbia blue to celebrate our school. Wear your Prep clothing to show your spirit! To see the latest shirts, sweatshirts and other logo items, please go to our online store.

Upcoming events
Join us for the Prep Classic at Madden’s on Gull Lake on Monday, September 18, 2017.  This event is open to golfers of all abilities and is a great way to spend a fall afternoon!  Your participation supports student scholarships and programming.  Sign up as a player, coordinate a foursome, or just join us for dinner!  If you would like to be an event sponsor or sponsor a hole on the course, please contact Aaron Miller at 320-363-2098 for details.

Grand Tour of Nations is our largest fundraiser of the year. This year’s event will be held on April 28, 2018. This fun-filled night for parents, grandparents, alumni/ae and friends includes a live and silent auction, great food, and entertainment. Proceeds from the event benefit student scholarships and programming. To make this event a success, we ask Prep families to find a way to participate by attending the event, donating an item for the live or silent auction, or volunteering your time. Contact Jill Pauly for details or to learn how you can get involved!

Thank you, in advance, for a great school year!

Pamela McCarthy
Saint John’s Preparatory School
Phone: (320) 363-3319
Instagram: sjpprincipalpam