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Welcome to School Year 2022-23- Principal Letter to Families

Dear Como Park Elementary families:

Welcome to the 2022-23 school year! All of us at Como look forward to seeing students in grades 1-5 on Tuesday, September 6, and Pre-K and kindergarten students on Thursday, September 8.

At Saint Paul Public Schools, our mission is to inspire students to think critically, pursue their dreams and change the world. This means providing challenging and engaging instruction in welcoming classroom environments that represent and respect the diverse backgrounds of our students. This way, every student can feel seen, empowered and ready to find joy in learning.

The first day of school is exciting for students, families and staff alike. It can also be overwhelming. Here are a few things to know so you can help your students be ready for the first day.

Open House

Please join us at our open house to welcome students and families to a new year on Thursday, September 1st, between 3 and 6 pm.

School Hours

School begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. 

Transportation

Students will receive a postcard in the mail with transportation information at the end of August. The postcard lists details about where and when to get on and off the bus. Please arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the bus is scheduled to pick up your child. Track the status of your child’s bus on our school’s website or the Bus Status app.

If you believe your student is taking the bus but did not receive a postcard, please call Transportation at 651-696-9600 as soon as possible. 

  • School Drop-off and Pick-up

Use the parking lot on Grotto to drop your child off near the sidewalk in order for them to enter the main doors.

  • Picking up your child in the afternoon

Students will be released to parents as they line up in the parking lot at 2:00 dismissal.

  • Walking to School

Contact the school if your child will be walking to school.

Application for Educational Benefits/Free or Reduced Price Meals

All families are strongly encouraged to complete an Application for Educational Benefits. These applications determine how much educational funding our school receives, and there are many other benefits for families who qualify for free or reduced meal eligibility. The application can be completed online at schoolcafe.com/spps as part of iUpdate. Paper applications are available at school.

 

Meal Information

  • Breakfast

All students receive a free breakfast at school. As students arrive at school, they can grab their breakfast and eat in class. Hot and cold breakfast options are available.

 

Lunch

COVID-19 Guidelines

Families should familiarize themselves with SPPS’s COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines, which cover prevention strategies, health screening and monitoring, and isolation guidelines. 

Face masks are optional in all SPPS buildings and on school transportation when community levels of COVID-19 are low or medium in Ramsey County. Masks are required when community levels are high. This applies to all staff, students and visitors (ages 2 and older), regardless of a person’s vaccine status, unless a student has a qualifying exemption. SPPS will notify families and staff if COVID-19 levels are high and masks become required.

If your child is exhibiting any symptoms, do not send them to school, even if they are fully vaccinated. Report the absence to the school’s front office and submit a report to the COVID-19 Reporting System the same day for next steps.

Find more information on COVID-19 guidelines for the 2022-23 school year, including vaccines, COVID-19 tests available to students, field trips and more at spps.org/covid.

Immunizations

Please check in with your health care provider to make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date before school starts in the fall. Visit spps.org/immunizations or call our school nurse for more information.

Before and After School Child Care

Discovery Club is a fun and nurturing child care program for grades PreK-5 that supports learning and development before school*, after school, on non-school days and during the summer. Space is limited. For a list of fees, more information, and to register or join the waitlist, visit spps.org/discoveryclub or call 651-632-3793. *Before school care is unavailable for schools with a 7:30 a.m. start time.

Extracurriculars

EDL for students in grades 3 - 5 and Lego League in grades 4-5 will be available in the fall. Programs will be held on Monday and Wednesdays, from 2:00 - 3:45.  

Student Rights & Responsibilities and School Safety

SPPS strives to create welcoming schools where each and every student is seen, known and valued. There are rights students are guaranteed when they are at school as well as responsibilities that accompany those rights. Read the Rights & Responsibilities Handbook.

Attendance is an important part of student success. We realize there are many reasons that a student may be absent from school. If your child will be absent from school, please notify the school at your earliest convenience. Communication between home and school is a vital component to a positive school experience.

Safety is of the utmost importance at our school and district. Families, students and staff can use the MySPPS app to “Send a Tip” and confidentially report unsafe behaviors in school to SPPS Security and Emergency Management. 

Contact Information 

Please check our school website regularly,  spps.org/comoel, for information and updates. If you have questions the website doesn’t answer, please call the front office at 651-293-8820.

Attached to this letter you’ll find the following important documents:

I’m looking forward to welcoming you and your child to a new school year. I’m so proud to be part of this wonderful school community. 

Sincerely,

Barbara Evangelist,  Principal

Como Park Elementary