Husky Hits Newsletter for September 19, 2014
Parent Portal
Parents: In addition to today's Husky Hits, please expect a separate note from Head of School Deborah David in your inboxes a little later this afternoon.

Family Weekend is Coming!

by Vicki Carrington, Parent Volunteer, on behalf of the Parent Association Family Weekend Committee

Family Weekend at El Capitan, on October 11–13, is just around the corner! St. James' families have been enjoying this weekend event for over ten years. It is such a special time for the children and for families to get to know each other better in a relaxed and beautiful setting. During the weekend, adults gather together with our lawn chairs to chat, and kids bike everywhere (sometimes to the candy store), work on crafts, play on the playground, and swim in the pool. We hike in the hills above the campground, play games on the field or at the beach, sing songs by the campfire, and generally just bond as a community.
This special event has grown in popularity over the years. In the past, an average of 30 families attended, but as of today, we have over 140 families signed up! For the first time, St. James' was able to secure the entire campground at El Capitan. Although the cabins are sold out – they are first-come, first-served, and the school does not maintain a wait list – there are a few (very few) tents left. Please note that you can always continue to call El Capitan to see if anything has become available, as sometimes plans change, and spots become available. There are also other hotel options in the area, so families can spend their days and evenings at El Captain with the rest of the crowd and drive only a short distance to get their beauty sleep. We want everyone who would like to attend to be able to participate!
Don’t forget that El Capitan is offering a 50% discount on rooms for Friday night, so if you want to set up camp early, please take advantage of that offer. If we have enough Friday-nighters, potluck dinner may be in store...
If you plan on attending, please register on the Parent Portal. We need to know numbers and other information in order for the weekend to be successful. We also use your preferred email as registered on the portal to communicate details such as what to bring and the schedule of events. Please register before September 24!
While we do not require that families sign up for the meal plans, there are two options offered: the full plan or the dinners-only plan. Even if you decide to bring your own food, we hope that everyone will come to the main tent area to eat their grub so we can socialize and become a closer community. Often, families will bring their children’s friends at school with them – please be sure to confirm that any children you are bringing along with your family are signed up for meals! We are able to extend the deadline for meal plan signups to the end of the day next Wednesday, September 24.

Use the same form to register for the event, whether or not you're ordering a meal plan!
The success of the event depends on volunteers and we hope that if you plan to attend, you will also consider signing up to volunteer for an activity or two. Look forward to seeing you all there!
– The Family Weekend Committee Chairs: Susan Kneafsey, Vicki Carrington, Dia Kim, Kirsten Beffa, Olivia Kazanjian, Asha Hassan, and Lisa Morrison

THANK YOU to Book Fair Volunteers and Wish List Fulfillers!

from Christina Olague, Library Media Center Specialist

Because of the help of a fantastic group of parent volunteers, this week's Book Fair was a huge success, with around-the-clock visitors and well-wishers. All told, the fair sold $14,466.99 of books and related materials, of which the school will receive 20%; those proceeds will go towards funding our Author Visits program. Also happy to report that several teachers' wish lists were fulfilled! In fact, Mr. Dar was asked to add to his list because his list was completed before some parents had the chance to donate.

Finally, a special thank you goes out to 4th Grade parent Dete Meserve, who agreed to sell her novel Good Sam at the Book Fair and to donate 100% of profits to the school!


Hispanic–American Heritage Month

from Maria Casas, World Languages Department Coordinator

Hispanic-American Heritage Month honors the contributions of Hispanics to United States society in the economy, politics, science, art, and culture. This month also celebrates and recognizes the Hispanic heritage and culture passed on generation from generation. The celebration begins September 15 and ends October 15. These dates coincide with the anniversary of independence, from Spain, of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18 of the same year.

El Mes de la Herencia Hispana-Americana honra las contribuciones de los Hispanos en los Estados Unidos en los diferentes campos de la economía, política, ciencia, arte y cultura. También en este mes se celebra y reconoce la herencia y cultura de los hispanos transmitida de generación en generación.  La celebración comienza el 15 de septiembre y se extiende hasta el 15 de octubre. Estas fechas coinciden con el aniversario de la independencia de cinco países Latinoamericanos: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua.  Todos ellos declararon su independencia de España en 1821.  También México declaró su independencia el 16 de septiembre y Chile el 18 de septiembre del mismo año.


Keep up-to-date on all the happenings at St. James' Episcopal School by checking out the Online Calendar.

On the go and want your St. James' events to show on the mobile device of your choice? Subscribe to calendar updates by clicking this link on your phone or tablet.


K–6 Admission Open House


Tues., September 23
9:00 a.m.


Deadline: Choir Applications


Tues., September 23

View PDF form »


Soccer Away Game


4th–6th grades at Pilgrim


Tues., September 23
4:00–5:00 p.m.


Rosh Hashanah


Begins at sunset on
Wed., September 24


Ends after nightfall on Fri., September 26

L'shanah tovah! (For a good year!) The Jewish holiday honoring the start of a new year takes place on the first and second days of Tishri, the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar.


K–2 Author Visit


Aaron Becker


Thurs., September 25
1:30–2:30 p.m.

Mr. Becker is an award-winning author and a film and animation artist. Preorder form is due September 22. View PDF form »


Kindergarten Bake Sale


Tues., September 30
9:45–11:00 a.m.


Preschool Back-to-School Night


Tues., September 30
6:00–7:30 p.m.

Please note: the preschool will close early, at 3:00 p.m., so that teachers may prepare.


All-School Chapel


Thurs., October 2
8:45–9:30 a.m.

The Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, Bishop-in-Charge of St. James' Church, will preach about St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. Regular chapel services for October 1 and 2 have been replaced by this event.


Parent Association School Year Kickoff Party


Thurs., October 2
6:00–7:30 a.m.
St. James' Hall

Join your fellow St. James' parents for a night of wine, cheese, and fellowship. See the invitation and RSVP »


Community Gathering


Fri., October 3
8:15 a.m.


Preschool Ice Cream Social


Fri., October 3
3:30 p.m.


Yom Kippur


Begins at sunset on
Fri., October 3


Ends after nightfall on Sat., October 4

The Jewish holiday known as the Day of Atonement takes place on the tenth day of Tishri.


Korean Welcome Dinner

Sat., October 4
4:30 p.m. 

Attendance Reminders

from the Front Office

Parents should notify the office by 7:30 a.m. each day of a student's absence by emailing In the email, please state your child's name, your name, the relation to the student, and the reason for the absence. For a planned absence (e.g. a doctor's appointment), parents should notify the school and teacher ahead of time by emailing, as well. If an absence is not verified by an email from the family, the school nurse will call to confirm.

Grandparents & Special Friends Day

from Ryanne Plaisance, Associate Director of Advancement

Save the Date!
Grandparents & Special Friends Day will take place on Tuesday, November 25, 2014. More details about the day will be forthcoming, but for now, please let us know whom you'd like to invite to this year's event:

GPSF Day Contact Form

Please enter the grandparents or other family/friends you'd like us to invite and submit the form above no later than Wednesday, October 1


St. James' Kindergarten Girl Scouts

from Christina Kim, Parent Volunteer & Troop Co-leader of Second Grade Brownies

Would you like to form a Kindergarten troop of Daisy Scouts? Please contact Christina Kim if your daughter would like to participate or if you can help by being a troop leader! Once we have an idea of the interest level and how many parent volunteers we have, we can decide on a convenient schedule. We would meet once per month, usually after school at St. James', and occasionally have a weekend activity.

Some things St. James' Girl Scouts have done in the past include building a portable troop garden, visiting Descanso Gardens, ice skating in Pershing Square, making Halloween decorations for and visiting with nursing home residents, and going on an overnight adventure at the Natural History Museum.

This is a terrific way to make friends and have a lot of fun! Here a brief fact sheet about the Girl Scouts and message from First Lady Michelle Obama about the Girl Scouts.

— Christina Kim, mother of Stella Pathak (K–Vermette) and Olivia Pathak (2‐Laffen)


Enterovirus D68 – What Parents Should Know

from Kelly Basham, School Nurse

What is Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)?
A viral respiratory infection that can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and low blood levels (also know as hypoxemia).

Who’s at greatest risk?
The most recent cases have been in children ages 6 to 16 years, most between the ages of 4 and 5. Children with underlying respiratory illnesses such as asthma are more susceptible.

How is it transmitted?
The virus is much like the common cold, transmitted through close contact from nose and throat secretions. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches contaminated surfaces.

What are the symptoms?
The virus usually starts like the common cold, symptoms may include sneezing, a runny nose, coughing, fever, body and muscle aches, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A respiratory illness includes continuous coughing, shortness of breath or breathing fast, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

How is the virus diagnosed?
A doctor will take a swab from a patient’s throat or nose and send the specimen off to the lab.

How is EV-D68 treated?
There is no vaccine, anti-viral or penicillin-like treatment for the virus. There are supportive treatments to deal with the symptoms including extra oxygen and medications to counteract the wheezing, as well as plenty of rest and fluids.

Ways to protect your children…
There's not a great deal you can do, health officials say, beyond taking common-sense steps to reduce the risk. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched by different people, such as toys and doorknobs. Avoid shaking hands, kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. And stay home if you feel unwell.

For more information...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website


Admission Season

from Joan Hester, Director of Admission

Admission season has begun! If you have another child you would like to attend St. James' starting the 2015–2016 school year, please fill out our online application. Applications are due on December 12th, but it's better to get the process started early. Questions? Call the Admission Office at 213-382-2315 x 223.


Upcoming Author Visit

from Christina Olague, Library Media Center Specialist

There is still time to submit your preorder form for our upcoming author visit. Aaron Becker is the creator of the New York Times bestseller Journey, which was named a Caldecott Honor Book, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year, and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. He has worked as an artist in the film and animation industry, where he helped define the look and feel of characters, stories, and the movies they become a part of.


There's Still Time to Join the St. James' Band

from Brian Duggan, Fourth Grade Teacher

Band at St. James' is off to a great start with many of our band members having spent several weeks at the Colburn School's Jumpstart intensive. Regular band rehearsals begin on September 16th and continue most Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Band members also have the opportunity to rehearse at Colburn on Saturdays.

Good news! Even if they missed the Jumpstart intensive, all 4th, 5th, and 6th Graders who are still interested in joining band are invited to do so. Participation in the band is free, though students will have to rent or buy an instrument. In May students will have the opportunity to perform in concert. Please contact Mr. Duggan at with any questions you may have.


New School Year...Rise in Head Lice Cases

from Kelly Basham, School Nurse

As children return to the classroom for the beginning of a new school year, their risk of acquiring head lice increases dramatically. The incidence of head lice infestation peaks shortly after school starts, particularly in younger children. Children in these age groups tend to play together and have close, head-to-head contact, facilitating transmission. The good news is that lice can’t fly through the air or leap across the room, they merely crawl. Read more »


Sunday School at St. James' Parish

from the Rev. Jenifer Chatfield, Associate Priest at St. James' In-the-City

St. James' Parish is pleased to offer Sunday School from October 12th to December 21, 2014. The curriculum is designed to compliment the Church's liturgical season for children ages 5-12. Parents and guardians will sign their children in with our Sunday School teachers in the Parish Hall at 10:20 a.m. on Sundays, and the children will be returned to their parents/guardians at "The Peace" for communion and the remainder of the service. All children are welcome to come every week or as often as possible. Please contact the Rev. Jenifer Chatfield for more information.
Copyright © 2014 St. James' Episcopal School, All rights reserved.

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