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SJB School has reached full enrollment for 2023-24.

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

Principal's Note 3/3/20


SJB Infection Prevention & Response Plan 


The SJB Infection Prevention and Response Committee recommended a three-step coronavirus plan.

  1. SJB is currently following step one, a prevention plan. The school continues to follow good-hygiene practices recommended by SJB health professionals.
  2. If the virus spreads into our area, SJB will take additional preventative measures under step two. The school will begin to seek parent support and cooperation for stronger anti-infection measures.
  3. If confirmed COVID-19 cases occur in our community, the school may close voluntarily for a week or more. A decision to close could come at the request of the state or county health department to prevent the spread of the virus. Step Three focuses mostly on ensuring that student learning occurs throughout a closure.

 Prevention Practices in Place Now

  • Wiping down classroom surfaces in the morning and before lunch 

  • Wiping down all school surfaces, including handles, each night
  • Reminding children to wash hands frequently and thoroughly 

  • Explaining to children that they may not touch or physically contact each other 

  • Reminding children that, if they must cough or sneeze, to aim into the crook of their arm (inside of the elbow) 

  • Redirecting students when they touch their own faces

  • Informing the school office if a child has symptoms or signs of illness (cough, fever, trouble breathing)

  • Requesting that parents retrieve children with symptoms or signs of illness
  • Informing school office of low supply of disinfectant wipes 

Next Steps in Prevention 

  • Asking parents to send in a table napkin or place mat (disposable or take-home) for their child's lunch
  • Spreading desks so that there is more space between children
  • Seeking parent cooperation in keeping children home from school when they are showing signs or symptoms of illness
  • Seeking parent cooperation in retrieving children who show signs or symptoms of illness at school
  • Seeking parent cooperation in notifying the school when their child has been in contact with anyone with the coronavirus illness or with anyone who has traveled to any of the following countries: China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy

Step Three Contingency Preparations

  • Teachers select standards that would be best suited to distant learning plans.
  • Teachers plan and prepare four weeks of learning for students in the event of an extended closure. All teachers have received e-learning expectations. 
  • Students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade would be assigned reading and would work mostly in packets provided by the teacher.
  • Students in grades 3 and 4 would have a combination of packet work, readings and responses in their Wonders textbooks, and online assignments and practice.
  • Students in grades 5-8 would have assigned readings in textbooks and online assignments, which would be submitted digitally and assessed.
  • In preparation, parents would check their access to the Parent Portal, which would become the primary avenue of communication during a closure. 
  • The school would communicate its decision by email and text and would, if possible, give parents time to retrieve notebooks, folders and textbooks from the school.
  • The school would provide parents with a plan for consistent communication throughout the closure.
  • The school would explain the ramifications of a closure decision. The facility would be off limits to extracurricular activities, and parents would be discouraged from assembling groups of students.

The prevention and response plan could change with developments. Our parish pastor, Father David, and the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Washington have been consulted and continue to monitor the situation and advise the school on next steps in  prevention and response. A letter from Archdiocese Education Secretary William Ryan was sent to parents last week. A resource packet was provided by the Catholic Schools Office, which has its own central committee for addressing coronavirus.

At school, the students have heard a calm, consistent message from teachers and administrators. Details of the contingency plan will be discussed with the children when the school is on step 2 of the plan and step 3 seems imminent.

Here are the committee's three essential resources:

Committee Members:

Father Cezary -- associate pastor

Anna Damiano -- school delegating nurse, parent 

Karen Lanni – parent, physician 

Anne Irwin -- technology director, middle-school teacher, parent

Jeanine Regan -- pre-K teacher, parent, room-parent coordinator,  

Georgine Baugher -- school secretary 

Kathleen Morris – vice principal, middle-school teacher 

Doreen May -- guidance counselor, 3rd grade teacher 


SJB To Celebrate 25th Annual Arts & Academics

For two days each year, SJB students bring an assortment of Arts & Academic projects into the gym for a celebration of learning at SJB. 

This will be the 25th year of Arts & Academics at SJB. Students will present projects on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 10 and 11.

Arts & Academics Highlights

Highlights AA.JPG

Students in grades 5-8 give oral presentations to go with written reports and projects: 

  • 5th grade state reports
  • 6th grade artists or arts/architecture
  • 7th grade science experiments
  • 8th grade social-political essays

Scientists from the Food & Drug Administration come to SJB to help our volunteer judges and provide feedback to the 7th grade students after their science reports. Volunteers, including many parents, judge and provide feedback to the 6th grade students after their presentations on arts and architecture. 

On Wednesday, students in all grades view projects throughout the day. 

At different times, students present to each other: 

  • 6th grade students present to 5th graders
  • 5th grade students present to 4th graders
  • 7th grade students present to 6th graders

The presentations give the lower-grade students an understanding of what they'll be expected to do next year.

The culmination is the Gallery Walk from 7 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday when families and friends view all of the projects, including the work of students in Kindergarten through 4th grade. 


Check the Gold Folder Page

Please go to the Gold Folder Page to find out about SJB events and activities.

Father-Daughter Dance Thank You -- This week's Gold Folder includes pictures from the very successful Father-Daughter Dance and a thank-you from the coordinators to their volunteer helpers. 

We would like to say "thank you" to the Father-Daughter Dance planners and coordinators, Karen Schnell (Grace 4th) and Caitlin Morse (Farrah 4th), for the time and hard work they dedicated to create another terrific dance for the dads and daughters.

In addition to the Gold Folder page...

Check the summer camp page for SJB Camp information.

Check the spring play page for updates on rehearsals and the spring play.

Applications for Maryland BOOST To Open Soon

Check the Maryland BOOST Website 

That is where the announcement will be made that applications are open. 

Applications were open in April last year.

Archdiocese To Notify of Financial Aid on March 13

The Archdiocese of Washington, through the Catholic Schools Office and TADS (the enrollment and tuition management system), plans to notify families of their tuition assistance awards on March 13. Notices will be sent by email through TADS.

Enroll By Friday for 2020-21

We hope that all of our wonderful families will remain at St. John the Baptist.  To ensure each student's spot in the classroom for 2020-21, we ask parents to complete enrollment by Friday, March 6. An accurate enrollment projection improves planning for the next school year. Enrollment is done each year on TADS.

 SJB Enrollment Steps.png

Parents must complete the parish-verification form and send it to the school office to request the lower Catholic tuition rate and/or parish tuition assistance. Please complete the form, which you'll find in your Gold Folder, or print the parish-verification form, complete it, and send it to the school office.

Learning in First and Second Grades

Learning is fun at SJB in 1st and 2nd grade. Our 1st grade students have been learning about timelines in social studies. Students worked with timelines to connect important dates to events that happened in the past. After learning about how a timeline is created, the class practiced by drawing a mini-timeline based on their life and filling in dates that went with important events.

The 2nd grade also did some digging into the past by working on biographies. Learning about prominent African Americans during Black History Month has been a wonderful learning experience. Each student gathered facts about a historical figure. Over the morning announcements, students took turns giving clues to the student body about who they researched. Next up is another round of "Who Am I?" with iconic women in honor of Women's History Month.

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