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St. John the Baptist
Catholic School
12319 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20904 | 301-622-3076

Principal's Note 3/20/20


March 20, 2020


Dear SJB Families,

Over the past several days, many of you have called or written with very good questions that I have been unable to answer. My aim is to provide you with a little more certainty each day as this period of uncertainty goes on. Today you are getting answers to questions about the school play, the gala, After Care, daily hot lunch, and Thursday Hot Lunch. I will provide you with information about the calendar for the remainder of the school year as soon as I know it. 

How We Are Trying to Support You

You are receiving a survey about your experience guiding your child’s learning over the past week. We want to support you and the work you are doing with your child each day. Your response will help us as we adjust to this new method of teaching and learning. Please complete the survey for each child you have in the school.

Learning As We Go

Please understand that our teachers are working very hard each day to develop learning plans for your children and make adjustments to meet your needs. We’ve had two online meetings in the past two days, and we have four more meetings scheduled over the next four days. This period of time has been difficult for everyone including our staff members with their own small children at home. We realize that the initial flood of lessons by email was overwhelming to you, our school parents. We’ve been making an effort to improve in this area. We hope you’ve seen some improvement. We are developing a list of technology tools (including video meetings, document submissions) that all teachers will use to make life simpler for parents. Teachers have been told to post learning plans and assignments on the Portal with automatic email notifications rather than send assignments by email. However, each teacher is checking emails in the morning and afternoon and is expected to respond to parent questions by email.

Report Cards

We are planning to complete 3rd quarter report cards over the next week. Our plan is to post report cards on the portal. We will update you when we get there.

Aladdin Jr. Cancelled

We are closing down the production of the spring musical, Aladdin Jr., and cancelling the performances, which were scheduled for April 29, 30 and May 1. We know that this news is disappointing to our cast members, who worked hard in rehearsals and showed courage in auditioning for the play. We are proud of the students. Our production staff is discussing possible creative alternatives and ways to celebrate with the. We decided to cancel for health and safety reasons. It would be irresponsible to have a large gathering in just over a month from now.

An Update from SJB Health

Here is a message from Dr. Karen Lanni, a physician and parent (Andrew Ionata 7th) and member of the school’s Infection Prevention and Response Committee. Dr. Lannis has updates about what is going on in the medical community with the understanding that new information comes out every day.

  • Community spread has begun.
  • Fed government recommends no gatherings more than 10 people, this may change and will likely get more restrictive at some point.
  • Social distancing is essential.
  • COVID 19 has not been shown to be transmitted from a pregnant mother to baby
  • Most common symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose.  May include difficulty breathing. Also children may present with vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Severe illness in pediatrics is extremely rare, but when it occurs, more likely to occur in infants.
  • Thus far it seems that most pediatric cases of COVID 19 were exposed to an infected adult.
  • It remains unclear if children are an important vector.
  • It remains unclear if the virus infects children more or less than adults.
  • If your child is an asthmatic, there is some evidence to suggest that using a nebulizer when infected may cause the virus to becomes aerosilized in air and may expose the people around them.  It may be better to use an inhaler.  Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about asthma symptoms in your child.
  • Always call your doctor first with questions and concerns.  Telemedicine is ramping up in many offices and you may be able to consult with your physician online and avoid a visit to the office.

The School Gala

Dear SJB Families,

Due to the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19 we have made the unfortunate, but necessary decision to cancel the SJB Gala 2020 – “A Night at the Races” originally scheduled for March 28. This was a very hard decision since this is our main fundraiser for the entire school year, but in this wonderful age of technology, you can still help us hit our fundraising goal for the year through our online auction!

On Saturday March 21st you will receive a special invitation email from the SJB Gala Committee with an online auction link and instructions on how to participate. The auction will run for 2 weeks and give you all the time you need to bid on some amazing items. The best part of the online auction is anyone can participate! Send the link to family, grandparents, friends, co-workers, and neighbors – anyone who wants to help support these kids while making a fully tax-deductible gift to SJB.

The SJB Gala is the largest fundraiser for our school community. Last year we raised approximately $24,000. Support from our community is essential to reaching this fundraising goal which has helped us pay for scholarships, curriculum, playground equipment, and tech upgrades. This year we will be putting money towards refurbishing our gym and scholarships.

So please take some time over the next two weeks to look through some very cool auction items (sport gear, camps, fun themed baskets, principal for the day, and so much more) and place your bid. Winners will be notified after the auction ends on April 4th. There will be select "Buy It Now" items available. These are first-come, first-served.

We appreciate your understanding as we cope with this ever-changing and difficult situation, and for your continued support of our wonderful school and church community. 

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing and look for the “invitation to bid” link from the committee tomorrow.

SJB Gala Committee

Archbishop Gregory Has a Message for Our Families

A message to our families from Archbishop Gregory.

After Care

End of month charges are being reduced by 50 percent for families with After Care plans. Monthly charges from April to May will be prorated by the week if After Care is cancelled for an extended period.

Hot Lunch and Hot Lunch Thursday

Credits will be given for meals missed. If school is closed for the year, refunds will be given for hot lunch Thursday and credits will be given for pre-purchased daily lunches. Refunds will be given for 8th grade students leaving the school.

See the letter below from Main & Market:

Everyone at Main & Market hopes you and your entire school community are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time period. I wanted to bring you up-to-date on where the Main & Market Lunch Program stands at this time. We have issued MASS Credits to the Boonli Accounts of all participating families and faculty through Friday, 3/27. If Governor Larry Hogan announces public schools will be closing past 3/27… we will issue MASS Credits to the Boonli Accounts of all your participating families and faculty as any further closure dates are announced for any dates between 3/30-4/30.

In the past, when schools have pop-up field trips or closings on inclement weather days, we have issued MASS Credits back to Boonli Accounts. The Boonli Program automatically applies any credits on file to the next lunch order placed. We realize the next lunch order placed could very well be for May, June, or possibly September lunches… If a student is graduating from your school or a student or faculty member is leaving your school for any reason, they can request a refund check after the official end of this school year by emailing their request to

Everyone at Main & Market sincerely appreciates your patience and support during this national pandemic. We look forward to serving you and your school community once local, state and federal officials deem it safe for everyone to go back to school.

Thank you,

Diane Prout

Main & Market

Our Gratitude

Thank you for your patience, good grace, and compassion in this trying period of time. Everyone on our school staff understands the burden being placed on our school parents. We are praying for you and your families, foremost for your health.




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