Dear Holy Spirit High School Students and Parents,
Hopefully you have had a productive and restful summer and are looking forward to beginning a new school year! We, too, have been busy this summer. The school has been cleaned and polished, painting has taken place and we will soon be ready to welcome everyone back! All of our students will have the opportunity to use their iPads this year which will continue to make a huge difference to both teaching and learning during this upcoming school year! I am sure you are finishing your summer reading as well as your math assignments which will be assessed by your teachers when you return to school.
We are installing solar panels in our parking lot. The work on the canopies will begin during the week of August 7th. This will impact driving and parking in the lot for the month of August and we anticipate it will also affect the first two weeks of school. The areas being worked on will be set off by fencing and there will be limited access to the parking lot while work is being done. We ask that you (and your students) be particularly careful as you come onto the property during this month. We do anticipate making specific drop off and pick up plans but are waiting until we are closer to the opening of school to know exactly what areas will still be affected in September. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and patience during this time!
We open our school year with our Freshman coming to school on September 5 & 6th for Freshmen Orientation and iPad Training Day. Our Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors will return on Thursday, September 7 (on a staggered schedule – please check the website.) All students will return for a full day of school on Friday, September 8. ID pictures will be taken on Monday, September 11 and we will welcome Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan as Principal Celebrant of our Opening Liturgy on Monday, September 25 at 11:30 am.
One of the most important responsibilities of the summer is to create the Master Schedule from which each student is provided his or her individual schedule. In March of this past school year, we met with the students and spoke to them about their individual course selections. Their teachers took time out of their teaching day to speak with the students about their course choices for the coming year. Students had the opportunity to speak with their Guidance Counselors and ultimately parents signed off on the course selection choices. The information your student (and you) provided at that time was vitally important as we set our budget and planned for the teaching staff needed for the current school year.
We stressed to the students the importance of the course selection process and asked them to choose two additional elective choices which could be used in the event a student was closed out of another chosen elective course. Students were able to make changes to their course selections until the beginning of July. After that, the scheduling process was in full swing. Your student’s schedule has been created based on his or her choices so I would ask you to be aware there will be few, if any, course changes. There will be a Course Change fee of $25.00 should a course change be able to be accommodated and no changes will be accommodated to change a lunch period. Students will have until Friday, September 22 to determine if a change may be needed due to wrong placement in a course – a course change request form may be requested from the Guidance Office and that request form will need to be signed by a parent and returned with the Course Change fee for the change to be accomplished.
We will again partner with Follett Virtual Bookstores (more information may be found on our website.) All books which need to be purchased will be obtained online. There are several advantages to both the school and you in using Follett. You will be able to purchase new or used books or even choose to rent a book for the school year. If you choose to rent a book, the student is responsible for its return at the end of the school year – the books cannot be returned to Holy Spirit. Students will also receive “State” textbooks (which include codes to download texts to their iPads.) Those books – whether hard copies or digital books are purchased by the State of New Jersey and loaned to the students. The books are issued on the first day of school and must be returned at the end of the year in good condition. Students will be financially responsible for any “State” book not returned at the end of the year.
Students will purchase workbooks through Follett since their textbooks will need to be downloaded onto their iPads. More information regarding textbooks will be provided to the Freshmen at the iPad Distribution Day on August 30th.
It is important that you check our website to see the opening week schedule which begins on Tuesday, September 5 as well as other information you need to help with a smooth transition as we begin our new year.
I wish you all a most successful and growth filled year!
There is a list of acceptable Apps which will need to be downloaded onto your iPad. Very few of these Apps have an associated cost but in some cases, teachers will ask students to download an App needed for class which may have a nominal fee. The teachers will provide that information to the students during the first days of class. For more information see the iPad Policy and Program.
iPads are a wonderful learning tool and we anticipate a great year of enhanced learning. Your teachers have been working hard to discover new ways to present the curriculum to you. Your patience and full cooperation will be needed as we navigate this new experience!