Dear SJA Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying your summer. 2020 has brought many interesting changes to life as we know it, and I hope that you are finding your way through it with some peace. It’s hard to believe, but another school year is fast approaching and while some of our beloved traditions will be put on hold, we are still busy planning and doing what we can to make this school year special.

As your PTG President, I am looking forward to doing all that I can to make this a great year. This organization has long played a vital role in supporting our school by offering assistance through festive, engaging, community building activities and events. While there will be fewer in-person gatherings, we believe that there are still ways to show our school spirit and come together as a community. It’s time for us to get creative!

Every year we ask that each SJA family contribute their time throughout the school year by volunteering in some capacity. In the past, each family was required to volunteer a minimum of 10 hours throughout the school year. This has always been a great way to utilize the many talents that our SJA parent body possesses and was also a great way to nurture new and existing friendships. While we are still in need of volunteer help from our parents, we feel that because of the impact of COVID19 we are just not able to provide enough opportunities to request “hands on” help in quite the same way. We will not be requiring a volunteer hour minimum in the 2020-21 school year for this reason.

In addition to our Volunteer Hours, we’ve always asked that each family pay a PTG Family Fee and a Fundraising Fee. As many of you know, SJA relies heavily on the support of our families. Tuition only covers 75% of the total cost of teacher’s salaries and general operating budget, and would increase significantly if it weren’t for the many fundraising efforts by our PTG.

Due to the unusual circumstances this year with limited volunteer and fundraising opportunities and after examining both national best practices as well as trends among local Catholic schools, the PTG has elected to vastly simplify our annual requirements for each family. We’ve replaced all Family Fees, Fundraising Minimums, and Volunteer Requirements/Buyouts with a single and simple Annual PTG Dues Fee.

Please keep in mind that this new PTG Dues model will serve to replace previous expenses throughout the year into a single fee. We will no longer require fees and expenses such as Volunteer hour buyouts, Fundraising Minimums, Family Fees, Gala donations, or in-class party contributions. Also note that this will serve to help offset lost event ticket revenue from traditional events unlikely to occur in 2020, such as The Fall Festival, Trunk or Treat, and Santa Brunch.

For the 2020/21 school year, PTG dues will be $500 per family payable in the following options:

  1. One total payment of $500 per family due by 10/15/20
  2. Two payments of $250 each per family due by 10/15/20 and 2/15/21
  3. One payment of $300 per family due by 10/15/20, and a commitment to earn $200 via SCRIPS by the end of the school year with any balance deficiency due by 5/31/21.

Please note, when selecting the commitment to the SCRIPS option, you will be required to purchase enough gift cards to raise your $200 fundraising requirement. This is a way to meet your share of fundraising while purchasing things your family needs. Please also note that in the event of another school closure, SCRIPS cards will be mailed directly to our SCRIPS Chair’s home. Cards will not be delivered to individuals and will need to be picked up from a private residence in Westwood. Online cards will still be available for use via the SCRIPS NOW program. Visit our Fundraising page for more SCRIPS information.

Payments for your family’s annual PTG dues can be made by Paypal or personal check mailed to the school (not sent in with your child). Please visit the PTG Dues page to choose your option and make payment. This is required no later than October 15, 2020.

Please note: The Archdiocese of Newark Schools Office Tuition Policy requires families to be current on all tuition obligations including fees, buyouts, and fundraising. Unpaid balances will be referred to our Business Manager for collection.

We welcome any and all questions and look forward to making this another fantastic school year for our SJA students and families.

Warmly,

Katie Barra
President, St. John’s Academy PTG
PTG@sja-hillsdale.org

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