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Summer Letter From Principal, Ms. Julie Pickhaver

July 30, 2018

Summer Letter Link 2018-2019

Dear St. Frances Cabrini Parents/Guardians and Community,

I hope this letter finds you well and that you are enjoying your summer. I would like to welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year. During my time as Assistant Principal last year, it became very evident that St. Frances is a special community. I feel lucky to work alongside our dedicated staff, the hard working and respectful students, and the wonderful and welcoming parents here at St. Frances. I am very excited to be your new Principal and consider myself extremely fortunate to be a part of this team and community and I look forward to a fantastic school year.

More than a century ago, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini urged her teachers to “educate the hearts of their students.” With that in mind our mission is “To know, Love, and Live, the life of Christ, by providing a value centered education based on the philosophy of Mother Cabrini.” We spent a lot of time as a staff last year identifying what this looks. As a staff, we believe that education of the heart is achieved through our staff core values of: Constant Improvement, Support, Compassion, Student Achievement, Positivity, and Professionalism. We work to live out these values every day in our interaction with each other, students, and families.

We cannot wait to see the students in September and have been doing a lot of preparation for the new school year. We have been planning support for new as well as existing school-wide initiatives. We spent time looking at student data in order to plan our instruction and inform our curricula decisions. We are very excited about our new Math curriculum, Eureka Math, and have done careful planning around our roll out to ensure that students are successful! Make sure you mark your calendars for our first Eureka Math night on September 25!

We are committed to best teaching practices across all grades, such as active student learning, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, effective communication, and collaboration. We support these practices through professional development, observation, and reflection. We will continue to use the Character Counts program which we use to teach students to “Have a Heart and Do What’s Smart” through the six-character counts pillars. Be sure you ask your child what character counts pillar we are focusing on each month!

Last but not least, I am very excited to announce our new Assistant Principal, Thomas Whittle. Mr. Whittle comes to us from another IMS school, St. Helena Incarnation, and we are very lucky to have him! We also have a few new hires to the faculty: Ms. Katherine McMahon will be teaching one of our kindergarten classes and Mr. Thomas Finley will be our middle school science teacher. Our staff is committed to supporting your child’s academic, social and personal development in a supportive, safe and challenging learning environment. We appreciate your active participation in your child’s education, and we welcome you to be proactive in communicating with our administration, counselors and teachers. By working together, we will ensure success for your child.


Julie Pickhaver


Saint Frances Cabrini Regional Catholic School


New Programs and Policies

Eureka Math

This year we will be switching to a new math curriculum called Eureka. Eureka Math Curriculum was created by Great Minds, a nonprofit that brought together teachers and experts to develop a program based on the world’s most successful math programs. Eureka was built around the core principal that students need to know more than just what works when solving a problem. They need to understand WHY it works. There are free parent resources such a homework helpers and parent tip sheets available at Please follow the steps below to sign up for your free parent account.

  • Go to
  • Enter your name, email address, and select “Parent” as your role
  • Click the “CREATE” button
  • Once you have an account, you will have access to your personalized dashboard
  • Visit the shop and add parents’ resources to your dashboard (All resources are free with an account)


There is a new CARES payment policy for the 2018-2019 school year. Please refer to the updated policy on our website. Registration packets and the completed CARES policy Handbook will be available closer to the start of the school year. All cares payments must go to Ms. Jessica McCrary, the director of Cares or be handed in to the main office in an envelope with the students’ name and payment enclosed to the attention of Ms. McCrary. Only Ms. McCrary will be able to distribute receipts.


This school year (2018-2019) will be the last year the school district of Philadelphia will be providing busses for 7th and 8th grade students. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, 7th and 8th graders will receive transpasses. If you would like your child to receive a transpass this year instead of taking the school bus to prepare for the change please contact the office and we can arrange that for you.


School Policy Reminders and Updates

School Wide Behavior System

St. Frances Cabrini has high expectations for behavior, character, and habits of study. We work to establish an environment that fosters maximum learning and respect. Students are expected to be respectful of the educational process and to take responsibility for their own learning. We have systems in placed to monitor, celebrate positive behavior, and in some cases, help correct disciplinary issues. We implement restorative practices, color charts (early childhood) and document positive behavior points and demerits through our communication tools (ClassDojo and Liveschool).  All lower school parents will be required to sign up for a ClassDojo account and all middle school parents will be required to sign up for a LiveSchool account. More information on how to set up your account and join your child’s class will be sent home the first week of school.

Additionally, this year all students will have to sign the St. Frances Cabrini Code of Conduct that can be found in the handbook under the School Wide Behavior system as the start of the year. Please see the School Wide Behavior System in the Student-Parent handbook for more detail on our tiered behavior system. All parents must return the signature page found on page 31 of the handbook stating they have read and agree to comply with the policies as stated in the handbook.

Attendance and Lateness

Students who arrive after 8:00 am will be marked late. Middle School Homeroom is from 8:00-8:10 am. First begins at 8:10 am.  Students who are late to homeroom are considered late. If a valid excuse note is not provided within FIVE days of the absence the absence will not be considered excused. Students who misses 20 or more unexcused school days will be required to go to summer school or repeat their current grade. Please refer to the Attendance Policy in the Student Parent Handbook to review the Intervention and Family Support for attendance.


  • Students registered for CARES may arrive as early as 7am. Morning CARES goes from 7:00-7:30 and is 5 dollars per family. Breakfast begins for all students at 7:35 and ends at 7:55. Students who are not in the CARES program may not be dropped off before 7:30.


  • Students in Pre-K and K get picked-up at 2:30 in front of the school on 65th street. Pick-up ends at 2:45 for Pre-K and K. Students who have siblings can be picked up in the cafeteria by the sibling at 3:00 pm when the rest of the school dismisses.
  • Dismissal on M, T, W, F is at 3:00 pm for grades 1-8 and 2:30 for pre-k and kindergarten
  • Dismissal on Thursday is 2pm for grades 1-8 and 1:45 for pre-k and kindergarten
  • Students in grades 1-8 who take the bus/day care vans will be picked-up in front of the school on 65th street between 3:00-3:15
  • Students in grades 1-8 who get picked-up by a car or parent will be dismissed onto Callowhill Street. Students should not be picked up in front of the school.
  • Students who walk will be dismissed onto Callowhill Street.
  • Students must be picked up by 3:20. Students who are not registered for CARES cannot be sent to CARES if parents are running late.
  • Parents may NOT come into the school building at dismissal.  Children are dismissed in their assigned areas and parents are asked to meet their children accordingly.
  • A note must be provided if a student is being picked up early. Students may not be picked up early with siblings that are dismissed at 2:30. Parents must wait until 3:00 pm to pick up students in grades 1-8.
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