New Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedure
As you may imagine after the tragic events of Newtown, we have spent some time reviewing our existing safety procedures. We are faced with the task of providing a secure environment when teaching Religious Education to 1100 children in a multi-use facility. In order to achieve this we have decided to make some changes to our current policies especially regarding the open access of parents & care-givers during drop off and pick up times.
We have always tried to encourage an open and welcoming atmosphere but now we have to balance this with safety and security. We hope you understand the reason behind this and will work with us to ensure a smooth transition to our new procedures. We feel that the changes we are making are no more restrictive than you find operating in most if not all schools in the area.
- Essex Street doors and parking lot doors will be locked 10 minutes after the start of class.
- Parents/care-givers will no longer be allowed to come into the building to collect their children. Children may be collected after class by utilizing the drive through system or by waiting outside the Essex Street doors where their children will be brought to them by Religious Education staff.
- Parents/care-givers will no longer be allowed to walk their children into the building. Children may be brought to class by utilizing the drive through system or by bringing the children to the Essex Street doors where the children may enter but not the adult. Religious Education staff will be present at both doors.
Please discuss these changes with your children and convey this information to all those who take responsibility for transporting your children to and from class.
The Religious Education Office of St. Augustine Parish offers a complete and comprehensive basic religious education program for students in grades one through 10. The program serves over 1300 students which reflects the involvement of nearly 800 families. The goals of the program are four-fold:
- to teach the message of Jesus
- to build up the community of Catholic believers
- to develop authentic lives of prayer and worship
- to foster a spirit of service to others within the Christian community and beyond
Over 150 volunteer catechists minister to the youth of the parish each year. They are supported by a staff which consists of a director and coordinators for grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7 & 8 and for Confirmation preparation. Catechists meet regularly to discuss curriculum, teaching strategies and enrichment. Efforts continue to offer professional development opportunities to each teacher via Archdiocesan certification programs.
Ever cognizant of the fact that parents are the first catechists, the program is designed to make connections between what is taught in the classroom and its application to living a true Christian life. Parents are urged to take full advantage of the life of the parish by attending Sunday Liturgy with their children.
For parents who are considering home schooling their children for Religious Education, please thoroughly and carefully read the Archdiocesan guidelines. If after, thoroughly reviewing these guidelines, you would like to home school your child(ren), please contact the Religious Education Office to make the appropriate arrangements.
Please note that there is absolutely NO parking in the emergency drive-through lanes next to the Center for Education and Ministry.
The United States Conference of Bishops has issued a Charter for the protection of Children and Young People. The charter mandates that all dioceses in the United States will establish “Safe Environments” programs. Besides training programs for adults in how to identify and prevent child abuse, these programs are also to include training programs for children and young people that include age appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety – including information about improper touching and when they should seek assistance from trusted adults.
The program for adults, Virtus – Protecting God’s Children, has been running in the Parish for the past seven years. For students in the Religious Education program, Talking about touching (TAT) the program for Grades 1- 3, and Keeping Children Safe (KCS) the Program for Grades 4-8 is now in its third full year of implementation.
Knowing the sensitivity of the material a meeting is being held for parents of all students on Wednesday, October 3rd at 5:30pm. The program, and how it will be taught, will be discussed and the material will be available for viewing.
2013-2014 Religious Education Calendar (see individual grades for detailed schedules)