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

St. John the Baptist School Advisory Board

The SJB Board met on May 10 to discuss recruitment of new school board members and potential room parents for the 2021-22 school year.



SJB Board Meeting 03/15/2021


  • Nothing to report


  • Proposed that parent reviews and ratings of SJB on Google, Niche, Facebook and other sources, so prospective families can hear from parents about SJB. The same reviews be placed on SJBs social media pages as well.
  • SJB website parent reviews and ratings corner with more recent photos and videos easily identifiable. Include something from pandemic too, so that prospective parents can see what has been happening during the Pandemic.
  • Virtual Career Day- more details are coming in terms of logistics.


  • Mr. Chisam provided the following report:


  • Date:                     March 15, 2021
  • February 8, 2021 Balance - $17,434.58
  • Tracking Period Expenses
  • 2/8/21 – 3/10/21 Debit (Teacher Disbursements) – ($4,600.00)
  • 2/22/21 Deposit (Amazon) - $157.80
  • 2/26/21 Deposit (Greater Giving) - $23.66
  • 2/26/21 Debit (Greater Giving) – ($1,285.00)
  • 3/4/21 Deposit - $1,000.00
  • 3/5/21 Deposit (Greater Giving) - $671.20
  • 3/12/21 Deposit (Greater Giving) - $259.93
  • March 15, 2021 Balance - $13,662.17
  • With the official non-cash flow figure at $60,810.92 (approximate), bringing the grand total of HSA Checking account to $74,473.09 (Approximate)
  • Pending Expenses
  • Teacher Disbursements – ($800.00)
  • Teacher Reimbursement (Castillo) – ($271.21)


  • Diversity Panel Update: planning meeting took place regarding the mission of the group. More details regarding the mission and responsibilities of the panel are coming. For now, the Diversity Panel discussed the following in their meeting:
    • The idea is to celebrate all the diversity/nationalities in the Catholic identify of the SJB.
    • Organization of school wide diversity activities (e.g., International Night, etc.)
    • Provide resources to teachers if they want a certain content about diverse population in the lesson plan (e.g., info about Chinese New Year or Black History Month or Women’s Month-volunteers of the diversity panel can help them find the sources/ activities/etc. for age appropriate content like 1st graders vs. 8th graders)
    • Advanced notices of certain school-wide diversity activities will be sent to parents
    • Fundraising and Room Parents:
      • Cookie Kits are selling well
      • Spirit wear is coming soon (possibly even before a spring break, but not for sure). Rocketwear will be the website used. It will have anything your soul desires. It will be awesome!
      • Community Building: Still hard with limitations of people. Consideration is made to dropping kids off by parents for extra-school activities and then picked up. Still lots of unknowns around this.

Faculty Report

  • Provided report about discretionary funds: They go to teachers and teachers buy supplies for their classes for different projects (e.g., soil project for Mrs. Dodson class or weather simulation)

Pastoral Council

  • Nothing to report

Principal Report

  • Classroom distance reduced to 4 ft per Archdiocese (see last Principal’s note and the letter from Archdiocese)

Open Forum

  • Question from the parent: Will there be all online school after Spring Break?
  • Principal Response: No. If people travel, they should know to quarantine. Read the gold folder in terms of conditions when kids can come to school and rules about in school learning.
  • Question from the parent: Are teachers vaccinated?
  • Principal response: over 90% of teachers already got the second COVID vaccine, but some of them are less than two weeks after the second shot.

Meeting Adjourned.


Meeting Minutes Monday, February 8 - Lena Maslov

Treasury Report:

·        Greater Giving


·        No update

·        Virtual Open House went well (Mr. Blomquist reported)


·        Specific Intentional Campaign for use of Amazon Smile (including instructions to the Principal’s letter) to help raise school finds

·        Food Catering: Panera Bread, Chipotle

·        Spiritwear: Multiple Options to be discussed further

Community Building:

·        Jeanine and Room parents are discussing virtual happy hours for parents

·        Kids are doing ruffles. Need to come with ideas for gifts, etc.

·        Action items: Proposals for school advertising via multiple venues including social media

·        Action items: Think of Community Events outside for no more than 25 people

Faculty Report:

·       Hallway Tour by Mrs. Irwin- 18 slides showing school hallway with kids’ drawings, projects, writings, poems, etc.

Pastoral Counsel:

·        No updates

Athletic Ministry:

·        Discussions regarding outside basketball and soccer will be upcoming

Principal’s Report

·        Discussion of the snow days. Discussion revolved around a consistent snow days policy when there are multiple snow days in a row.  Learning experience for all.

·        The school is doing well in terms of hybrid in-person and distance learning for parents. No sudden retirements or resignations, which is very significant and awesome.

·        School continues to practice safe practices related to COVID-19 related protocols.

Additional Comments from Parents:

·        Discussion of school’s Black History Month (BHM)-related activities. Mr. Blomquist followed up with a report on 02/09/2021 regarding the school’s information for BHM. Additional diversity subcommittee is in the works.

·        Action items from Communications and School Board: Proposals for school advertising via multiple venues including social media

·        Action items from the Board and Communications: Think of Community Events outside for no more than 25 people


Meeting Minutes SJB Board Meeting Jan. 11, 2021 

·      Communications/Public Relations

o  Open House is coming up on February 1. Decision is made to post about upcoming Open House on NextDoor neighbor app in addition to regular channels: website, Facebook, Instagram.

o  Parents, consider putting the following message on your social media wall to attract your friends and neighbors to attend open house and consider SJB for educational needs:

OPEN HOUSE SAVE THE DATE: 9 am February 1, 2021

 Click here to join the Open House 

Are you looking for a school for your child this coming Fall 2022? Consider Saint John the Baptist (SJB) Catholic School in Silver Spring, MD!

Join us on February 1st, 2021 from 9am-10am to meet (virtually) current SJB parents and students. Nestled on New Hampshire Avenue, this National Blue Ribbon school is an ideal place for families looking for a small close-knit community that provides a sense of belonging, community support, Christian values, leadership/personal development, and high academic standards. The school provides instruction for Pre-K (3 and 4 years) through 8th grade.  More information about the SJB community can be found on the school website here:

If you would like to speak with current parents and students, please use the Microsoft Teams link for the meeting on February 1:  Click here to join the meeting

·      Treasury

o  Report was given by Treasurer Sean Chisam

o  Decision to approve teacher continuing education reimbursement

o  Request report from Mr. Blomquist

·      Community Building/Fund Raising

o  Promote Amazon Smile among school parents-consider posting in the Principal Newsletter periodic monthly or bi-monthly reminders and Golden Folder.

o  Catholic Schools Week is Feb 1-4. Organize students/parents/teachers to write or to record a brief video (2-5 sentences) what it means to be a student/parent of a student/teacher at a Catholic School.

o  Leaning against having auction this year but continuing with Greater Giving contract for fundraising services. Auction discussion continuing.

o  Reaching out to Alumni for creation and rollout of Annual Giving Fund.

o  Bingo is being brainstormed in terms of logistics as Montgomery county wants a permit for any monetary price (e.g., even a cupcake).

o  Additional ideas for virtual community building: Virtual Talent Show, Awards and Celebrations Ceremony, Virtual Escape Room.

o  Brainstorm additional virtual events: parents your ideas are welcome! Please submit additional ideas to HSA President Jessie Fitzgerald.

·      Washington Archdiocese

·      Faculty Report

o  The entire SJB Faculty is very thankful for kind words and generous gifts during Holiday Season. Mrs. Irwin reported that teachers had tears of joy and appreciation.

·      Homework Survey

o  Results of the homework survey were shared with SJB parents.

o  Bottom line: A majority of parents would like a limited increase in meaningful homework. 

·      Guidance Counseling

o  Mrs. May to find a way to resume guidance counseling with students.

o  Parents asked if the school would facilitate student conversations about recent political events as they concern and affect students in different ways.

o  PE for distance learners: Some parents want SJB organized PE classes to include distance learners. The school will continue to look for ways to include distance learners but not if it means sacrificing physical activity

Form for Submitting Question in Advance of the Meeting

SJB School Advisory Board

Mary Lombardo (Finance) 

Roberta Gambale (Finance) 

Merianne Spencer (Communications/Marketing) 

Yelena Maslov  (Communications/Marketing) 

Sean Chisam (Treasurer) 

Jessica Fitzgerald  (Home-School Association) 

Jeanine Regan  (Home-School Association) 

Elisabeth Chakmakian-Lodge   (Home-School Association) 

Jeff Vinson  (Pastoral Council Representative) 

Anne Irwin  (Faculty Representative) 

Kathleen Morris (Faculty Representative) 

Brian Blomquist  (Principal) 

Father David Brault (Pastor) 


The Home-School Association plans and coordinates community-building and fundraising activities and events for the benefit of the school.

The School Advisory Board sets fundraising goals.


Meeting dates and times can be found on the online school calendar

Meetings are typically the second Monday of the month at 6 pm.

Online meeting invitations can be found on the calendar.

The board follows a meeting agenda. During the open forum portion of the meeting, the school addresses questions that were submitted online prior to the start of the meeting.

Does the School Board have by-laws?

The SJB school board by-laws are based on the guidelines offered by the Archdiocese. Unlike the previous H.S.A. by-laws, the school board by-laws may be amended by a vote of a majority of board members.


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