- Arrival Time
- Carpool: Whitehaven Campus
- Carpool: MacArthur Campus
- Classroom Placement
- Directory and Handbook
- Dress Code
- Emergency Closing
- Health Policies
- Health Policies: Illness
- Home Bags
- Home Visits and Initial Conferences
- Keeping In Touch
- Labeling/Lost & Found
- Lunch Bunch (Nursery School Lunch)
- Lunch (Kindergarten - Grade 8)
- Morning Meeting
- New Student Information
- Outdoor Clothing
- Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Play Dates
- Reading Parents
- Room Parents
- Starting Slowly
- Summer Mailings
- Useful Materials
- Vegetable Soup and Trail Mix
- Extra Clothing
- Yearly Calendar
- Zippers, Belts, Etc.
Students in Grades 3 and 4 may participate in after-school developmental athletics in the fall, winter, and spring.
Students in Grades 5 and 6 may choose to participate in those activities or play on junior varsity sports teams.
Students in Grades 7 and 8 are required to participate in after-school athletics in lieu of physical education classes during the school day. St. Patrick’s offers soccer, cross country, basketball, track and field, and lacrosse. More details about the athletics program can be found in the Athletics Handbook, which is available on our website at www.stpatsdc.org/programs/athleticspe.
If your Nursery School student will be absent from school, please call Head of Nursery School Paul Giguere at 202-342-2806 to let us know the reason for the absence. Parents of Lower School students (Kindergarten to Grade 5) should call the Whitehaven Campus Receptionist at 202-342-2805. Parents of Middle School students (Grades 6 to 8) should call the MacArthur Campus Receptionist at 202-650-5324.
Cars must approach Whitehaven Parkway from Foxhall Road and turn left into the St. Patrick’s driveway at its west end. Please DO NOT get out of your car to bring your child into the building except during the first few days of school, if necessary. During regular morning arrival times, a supervising administrator or faculty member will help your child out of the car. Similarly, in the afternoon, stay in your car, forming an eastbound line in the driveway (queuing toward Foxhall Road) and westbound along Whitehaven Parkway. Always pull up the driveway as far as possible. Your child will be brought to your car and assisted in getting settled in his/her car seat, if necessary. For safety reasons, our carpool line is a No Cellphone Zone.
The MacArthur Campus is surrounded by residential properties and national parkland. St. Patrick’s has made assurances to our neighbors about our presence and impact on the neighborhood, and we need your help to fulfill them. Your adherence to these guidelines is important.
Students in Grades 6 to 8 arrive each morning directly at the MacArthur Campus, beginning at 7:30 am, according to these guidelines:
Parents and other caregivers dropping off students must approach the campus from the west along MacArthur Boulevard. Drivers should drive past the building, turn right into the public alley adjacent to it, and then turn right again into the parking lot behind the building. There is an entrance to the building in the parking lot. If a queue has formed, please join it, and do not block Elliott Place.
Once you have dropped off a student, please continue through the parking lot toward Elliott Place and turn right on Elliott toward MacArthur Boulevard. Vehicles may not depart from the MacArthur Campus through the neighborhood. Vehicles departing the MacArthur Campus during carpool must turn right on MacArthur Boulevard from Elliott Place unless a police officer there can facilitate a safe left-hand turn. To reverse direction, turn left onto Q Street toward Foxhall Road.
Please follow the directions of St. Patrick’s personnel who are supervising the carpool process.
Parents and other caregivers must also follow these procedures at pick-up beginning at 3:15 pm or following the optional study hall, which ends at 3:45 pm.
On Thursdays, all students should be picked up at the MacArthur Campus between 3:15 and 3:30 pm.
All parents and other visitors to the MacArthur Campus must park in one of the building’s two parking lots: The front parking lot, accessible from MacArthur Boulevard, or the rear parking lot, accessible from Elliott Place. Even if all parking spaces are filled, please pull all the way into the lot and let the MacArthur Campus Receptionist know that you have blocked someone in. We have pledged to contain our parking in these parking lots.
Do not park on MacArthur Boulevard, Elliott Place, Greene Place, Clark Place, Q Street, or Potomac Avenue, whether a space is legal or not.
All students attend weekly chapel. Parents and friends are always welcome to attend. The week of your child’s birthday is an especially good time to visit, as your child will receive a birthday blessing during the service. During certain weeks, when there are special Kindergarten to Grade 8 Chapels, the regular chapels do not take place. (You will receive those dates in HoundsTruth.)
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church holds services on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am. Please check the Church website—www.stpatrickschurchdc.org—for summer hours and additional information. The Parish Administrator can be reached in the Church Office at 202-342-2800.
Each year, we publish a Parent Directory and Handbook that contains contact information for members of the St. Patrick’s community as well as important information about our policies and procedures. Your digital Directory and Handbook can be found in your Parent Portal.Please ensure that your profile information is up-to-date in Veracross.
There are three divisions at St. Patrick’s—Nursery School (Nursery and PK), Lower School (Kindergarten to Grade 5), and Middle School (Grades 6 to 8). The Nursery School and Lower School are located on the Whitehaven Campus at 4700 Whitehaven Parkway, NW. The Middle School is located on the MacArthur Campus at 4590 MacArthur Boulevard, NW.
The school relies on guidelines for dress, rather than adopting a student uniform, consistent with the Day School’s philosophy of emphasizing individual growth and development. We intend to provide opportunities for children to make appropriate decisions for themselves. Specific guidelines for dress in each division—Nursery School, Lower School, and Middle School—can be found in the Parent Directory and Handbook
All school employees have email accounts, which you can find on the school website under “Who We Are: Meet Our Faculty and Staff.” You can also access the Faculty and Staff Directory in the Veracross Parent Portal under “School Directories.” All St. Patrick’s email addresses follow the format: Recipient’s last name and first initial, followed by @stpatsdc.org.
Parent email addresses can be found in the Veracross Parent Portal under “School Directories.”
If any of your contact information changes during the year, please login to the Veracross Parent Portal to update that information.
Help ensure our compliance with District of Columbia health regulations by filling out all required health forms (available for online submission) on or before the date they are due! You can find the link for the Magnus Health Portal, our electronic medical record service, in the Veracross Parent Portal. All health forms must be filed directly with Magnus. Children without proper medical forms on file will not be permitted to attend school, so please schedule your child’s required annual physical as soon as possible. All necessary forms must be on file before a student can attend school.
Children must be free from temperatures 100 degrees or above, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before returning to school following an illness. A positive diagnosis of strep throat requires 48 hours on medication before returning to school. In the 2020–2021 school year, there will be additional requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic. Always notify the Health Office (202-342-2820) if your child contracts a contagious illness so that we can monitor clusters of cases
If your child becomes ill during the school day, the School Nurse will inform you that your child is not feeling well. Children who need to be picked up will wait in the Health Office. It is important that we have your current contact information. If you have a new number due to a move, job change, etc., please login to the Veracross Parent Portal to make your changes online. This is the only way to ensure your information is updated across all of the Day School systems.
Canvas bags containing Nursery, PK, and Kindergarten treasures and other important information will be sent home with your child every week in Nursery and PK and daily in Kindergarten. Enjoy reviewing what’s inside and send the empty bag back to school the next school day so that we can refill it. Children in those grades do not need to bring backpacks.
Prior to the beginning of school, Nursery and PK teachers schedule brief home visits to all students in their classes. These 15- to 20-minute visits enable children to meet their teachers in a familiar, comfortable setting and ease the transition into new classrooms at St. Patrick’s. Teachers in Kindergarten to Grade 5 have short, afternoon, back-to-school conferences with all parents during the first two weeks of school so that parents can share information about their child(ren).
It is important that you let us know of significant events at home—trips, illnesses, family emergencies, etc. Teachers welcome phone calls, emails, and notes to keep them apprised of what is happening in your child’s life. In addition, please be sure that all of your parent information, including email addresses and work phone numbers, is up-to-date in Veracross.
No matter how old your child may be, you can never label too much! Anything and everything that is worn or brought to school should be labeled. Teachers stress responsibility, but things always manage to get left behind. Lost items will be collected in Lost & Found bins (in the Nursery School and outside the Whitehaven Campus Lunch Room, the MacArthur Campus Dining Room, and the Gymnasium & Performance Center) and also displayed on Parent-Teacher Conference Days. Each month, unclaimed items are donated to a charitable organization.
Nursery students (age 3) who enroll in the full-day Lunch Bunch program remain until 2:50 pm on two or four afternoons: Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday or Monday through Thursday. All PK students, and those Nursery children enrolled in Lunch Bunch, bring their own lunches. We recommend small portions that provide a healthy, balanced meal. Nursery School children enjoy lunch together in their classrooms and have a rest time. Weather permitting, they spend time playing outdoors. With the full day-only PK schedule, the regular program for those students continues in the afternoon. All Nursery and PK students are dismissed at noon on Fridays unless they are enrolled in the Nursery School Pals After Class group, called Pups PAC, which is available until 6:00 pm five days per week.
Children in Kindergarten to Grade 8 participate in the school’s hot lunch program. Each day, students go to the Lunch Room on either campus, where they have the choice of hot entrees (including soup), a salad bar, and sandwich makings. There is also fresh fruit and milk every day. The lunch provider works closely with the school to ensure that lunches are healthy and tasty. Upon consultation with the school, students with allergies are generally able to participate in the lunch program, and the lunch provider works with the School Nurses to ensure that there are always meals available for all students. Kindergarten students are served family-style, with assistance from their teachers. Menus are available in the Veracross Parent Portal or at www.stpatsdc.org.
Each Nursery School and Lower School classroom schedules a daily, age-appropriate meeting time to orient students to the day, explore current topics and themes, and build community. It is especially important that children arrive on time in the morning to participate in greetings, activities, instructions, and discussions held at this time.
All PK students and children enrolled in the optional Nursery student Lunch Bunch have a “Rest Time” in the form of 30 minutes of quiet resting or sleeping. Cots and blankets are provided. Children who fall asleep are allowed to continue sleeping until carpool. Kindergarten students rest after lunch for about 20 minutes on mats in their classrooms.
Wolfhound Grade Reps
The Parents Association Wolfhound Grade Reps connect current families with new families to help acclimate students and parents to all things St. Patrick’s.
Welcome New Wolfhounds Day
In the spring, students new to Grade 1 and above are invited to return for a visit to St. Patrick’s. Students spend time in the homerooms they visited in the winter and usually have an opportunity to join recess and attend special classes like science, music, or physical education.
Nursery, PK, Kindergarten Playground Breakfast
On a Saturday morning in June, students new to Nursery, PK, and Kindergarten are invited to come and play on the Nursery School Playground. A light breakfast is served. Siblings are welcome.
Kindergarten and New Student Open House
Just before the start of the school year, there are opportunities for new students and parents to visit their classrooms and teachers. New students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 are invited to attend the New Student Open House in late August. Younger children are invited to the New Nursery School Student Orientation in early September.
When the weather turns cold, we still spend time outside. Warm layers of clothing, mittens, hats, boots and, in the event of snow, snow pants are essential. Dress your children for the coldest part of the day. Again, don’t forget to label your child’s clothing!
Please invest in mitten clips or mittens that are strung together so that little hands stay warm when it turns cold. Mittens, not gloves, are preferred, since most young children find it much easier to manage mittens independently!
Parents of students in Lower School and Middle School meet with teachers twice a year to discuss student progress. (In Middle School, we conduct Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences.) Parents of Nursery School students meet with teachers three times per year. Parents receive instructions for electronic conference sign-ups several weeks ahead of time.
While we schedule these formal conferences, we also encourage parents and teachers to be in contact with each other on a regular basis throughout the year.
Over the course of the school year, St. Patrick’s students invite parents to enjoy class- or grade-level productions on both large and small scales. The Nursery and PK Music Programs, Kindergarten Circus, class plays and curriculum presentations (Grades 1-6), and MacArthur Campus Performing & Studio Arts Night are all highlights of the school year. Also, be sure to celebrate the musical achievements of Grades 5 to 8 students at both the Holiday Concert and Spring Concert.
The best play dates for young children are brief (an hour or two) and include a snack or lunch and free play. Parents sometimes wonder how to arrange play dates for friends who live far apart or who are enrolled on differing schedules. One suggestion for Nursery students is to arrange for the children to have a play date between noon and 2:50 pm at a local eatery and park or in the host’s home. You can then return the visitor in time for afternoon carpool or PAC/Extended Day. Emails or written notes are required for play dates or any other changes that affect carpool.
Room Parents act as classroom ambassadors, nurturing connections among parents and teachers during the school year. Room Parents communicate regularly with parents and the classroom teacher to coordinate activities like field trips, class parties, and special projects and to facilitate parent volunteer sign-ups. The Parents Association manages Room Parents, and the Room Parent Handbook details specific responsibilities.
Remember that the shoes your child wears to school need to be safe for the playground, stairs, and physical education (PE) classes. We discourage flip-flops, sandals, clogs, Crocs, and other slip-on shoes that present a safety hazard for children engaged in climbing, sliding, jumping, and running. Close-toed shoes that tie or Velcro are ideal, especially on PE days.
For our youngest students, we take special steps to ease the transition back to school. Nursery and PK students begin school in half-groups, and dismissal on those staggered-opening days is earlier than normal for those enrolled in Lunch Bunch. Kindergarten students have a half-day schedule during the opening week of school. PAC/Extended Day is available for Kindergarten students from noon to 6:00 pm.
During the spring and summer, you will receive emails designed to prepare you and your child for the upcoming school year. Emails will provide information about summer reading expectations, required health forms, Extended Day, carpool forms and requirements, and other important items.
In August, we will inform you of your child’s class placement and share other helpful information to get the year off to a great start. Later in the month, you will receive information about After-School Clubs (open to students in Kindergarten to Grade 8) and parent volunteer opportunities. If you are concerned that you have not received these emails, be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we don’t want to lose small objects or prized possessions, we discourage children from bringing toys to school. However, we do make exceptions on special sharing days and for younger children who may need an object with them. Nursery children who stay for lunch and PK students often bring a soft nap toy. When in doubt, please check in with your child’s teacher.
Recycle your “junk” at St. Patrick’s! We are always looking for interesting recyclables to use in our classrooms, design labs, and art studios. If you have any clean yogurt or frozen concentrated juice containers, corks, paper towel rolls, oatmeal boxes, beautiful ribbon, yarn, interesting wrapping paper, or the like, please speak with your child’s teacher about bringing in your contributions.
Beginning in October, Nursery School and Kindergarten students prepare soup and trail mix for the Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol. This program is the first of a variety of service activities our children undertake at St. Patrick’s. Reminders about soup- and trail mix-making days, when children should bring washed vegetables, cans of broth, or other fixings to school, are included in HoundsTruth.
Zippers, belts, shoelaces, and small buttons are difficult for many young children to manage. In the Nursery School, we just love Velcro shoes, elastic waistbands, and large buttons! As you choose clothes for young children, please think about how readily the closures can be managed alone. We like to spend our time working, playing, and exploring with your child. We also appreciate the value of permitting a child to develop a sense of independence.