August 20, 2020
Important updates in this weeks Tidbits:

Statement of Understanding and Release of Liability in Regard to Covid-19

Mustang Sports Update

Mask requirements update

Back to School Message from the Bishop

Birthday Treat Form

Alter Server Training

Amazon Wish List


Principal Points
Good Afternoon St. Stephen families,

The first day of school is almost here. I hope everyone is as excited as we are to be getting back into a routine of growing and learning. We are very blessed with our faculty and staff who have been here working hard to make sure the return to school will be safe and welcoming for the students.

Here are some very important reminders:

  • Car line begins at 7:30 am. Please do not drop students off by Angel's Wing prior to the arrival of school staff. If you must drop off earlier, please take advantage of our Before School Program in the Art Room which runs from 6:30 to 7:30 am. This year it is important that you drop off your children through car line. Please do not park and walk them across. You will not be able to walk them past the curb and pedestrian crossing slows down the cars. Anyone who does park and walk will not be able to go any further than the curb with their child. Priority will be given to cars and walkers will be asked to wait.

  • PreK drop-off is from 7:50 to 8:00 am by the playground gate. Parents will walk their children to the gate.

  • If your child is a kindergarten student or new student, please let us know when we open the car door and we will have a staff member walk them to their assigned classroom.

  • Please remember to send your child with a lunch, water bottle, and personal supplies. School supplies (pencils, markers, etc.) will not be shared or provided.

  • Remember to sign up for PikmyKid, complete the survey each morning on the App, and announce yourself when you arrive in the parking lot for pick-up.

  • Most important, please be patient with us with our morning drop-off and pickup. These are new procedures for everyone and it always takes a week or two to get into the routine.

I would also like to give an update on enrollment and clear some confusion about our actual enrollment numbers. A couple of parents have expressed concerns that we are continuing to enroll students. First, here is how enrollment progressed this year since January. After our re-enrollment and new enrollment period, the enrollment was at 259. We did not see the usual new enrollment in the spring and summer as in past years due to Covid19 and families making difficult decisions regarding the education of their children. When we announced our Reopening plan and gave deadlines, families needed to make a choice about the new school year and many decided to home school for a year. A number of families also moved out of the area over the summer. On August 1, our enrollment was at 230 and it became our goal to maintain that.

On Aug. 6, I shared in person and virtual learning numbers and on that date the enrollment had dropped to 227. Since then we lost 1 other student and enrolled 5 students (2 enrolled today). Today, our enrollment is at 231 and we will make every effort to stay close to our goal of 230. We are careful to only take students in grades where there is room for social distancing. As you will see in the chart below, many in-person classes are still very small. For some classes in grades 1-8, the total enrollment is under 20 and we will consider additional students in those grades to reduce how much we take from savings.

On another note, all students will be in the main building when we start school. The Angel's Wing is having some work done and middle school students will be in the main building temporarily. We expect they will move to Angel's Wing in 1-2 weeks. We have room for them since we are not using the Encore class rooms (art room, music room, Maker space, and media center) at this time.

Finally, one or our recent purchases has arrived will be installed on Wednesday. We purchased an outdoor sink with 4 washing stations for the playground. This will allow students the opportunity to wash their hands before entering the building. We anxiously and patiently await all the technology purchases we made through the CARES act as all of the items are on back order. We have been told approximately 8 weeks for most items. In the meantime, we are prepared to utilize what we have and adjust as needed.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me. Please read through all of Tidbits as there are many important items for you to review.

Peace and Blessings,

Linda Umoh
Back to School Message from Bishop Gregory Parkes
Birthday Treat Ice Cream Order Form
Birthdays are a special event for your child and we want to help you celebrate this day. This year a few changes have been made to this program, in order to ensure the safety of our students. In order to make accommodations for these circumstances, the following form is required and must be submitted to the homeroom teacher. Teachers will notify parents of approval. Pre-packaged ice cream sundaes may be purchased for the class by completing the information below and sending in payment. No other treats will be allowed. ALL REQUESTS MUST BE RECEIVED 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO THE REQUESTED DATE SO ICE CREAM CAN BE PURCHASED IN TIME.
Please download this form, so that you can send it into your teachers 2 weeks prior to your students birthday. Birthday Sunday Ice Cream Treat form
Altar Server Training for new Applicants
Saint Stephen Catholic Church will be conducting Altar Server Training for new Applicants on Saturday, 29 August, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM in the Main Church.   This Training is ONLY for those applying for Altar Service for the first time and includes students attending Saint Stephen Catholic School.  At a minimum, those applying to the Ministry must be in 5th Grade and have received the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Parents must complete an application for each child attending the training which needs to be brought to the Training Session. These are available online on our Parish Website at ALTAR SERVER APPLICATION.  We will be adhering to our Parish Safe Distancing protocols throughout the training and ask that all those attending to please review those requirements.

Please reference our our Saint Stephen Altar Server Guide for additional Ministry Information; however, please feel free call, text or email Julio Alvarez at: (813) 401-7683 | if you have any additional questions regarding this training.
Mustang Sports
Hello Mustangs! Iā€™m sure there are many students and families wondering about the status of school sports. To start the 2020-21 school year all Catholic athletic league activities are on hold. Please read the following statement from the school administrators and league coaches.

As coaches and administrators, we recognize the impact and positive influence that sports and competition have on children. We also value the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, parents, and officials, as well as the people to whom they go home. At this time, the Hillsborough County Youth Sports League (HCYSL) has decided to put interscholastic athletics on pause. The HCYSL will reevaluate the conditions in September. We intend to begin our interscholastic programs as soon as the data from our community allows. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we hopefully move towards the resumption of school sports in the near future.

Coach Green
Statement of Understanding and Release of Liability in Regard to Covid-19
Below is the link to the Statement of Understanding and Release of Liability in Regard to Covid-19. We must have a signed copy for each child submitted to us no later than Aug 24, 2020. Your student will not be allowed to return to school without this signed and submitted to our office. Please sign and send a PDF copy to Debra Watkins or drop by the office Monday- Thursday between 8 am-12 pm until Aug 20.

Amazon Wish List: Please donate to help keep our students safe!
Thanks to the generosity of many of our school families, we have already met the need in several of our grades! We still have some books left to be purchased in the grades below. Thank you for being awesome, Mustang Families!

If you use Amazon Smile, the school will get a percentage of the cost of the book as a donation.
Mask Requirement Update
Based on guidance from the CDC and our local task force, we are updating which types of masks will be allowed at school. For the safety of everyone, the following types masks are no longer acceptable:
o Masks with valves
o Bandanas
o Neck Gators
These have not been found to sufficiently protect against the spread of germs. Please remember that masks with inappropriate words, pictures, or masks that are political in nature are not allowed at school.
Don't forget to get your PIK My Kid app set up!
PikMyKid is the new system that we are using for dismissal this school year. It will be used not only for school dismissal but for extended day as well. This system allows us to create a socially distant and organized dismissal. Please set up your Pikmykid account today! If you are new to our school and have not yet received your car line number or if you have have lost your tag or have forgotten your number please contact Mrs. Gallagher at
The new awning is going up!
Update Alert! 2020-2021 School Supplies: Changes and Instructions
In addition to the supplies on each grade's list, all students in grades K-8 will need the following:
  • Masks or face coverings
  • Tupperware (plastic sealable) container for the mask
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Small, personal hand sanitizer to keep in their pencil case/box

St. Stephen Catholic School Reopening Plan 2020-21
If you missed the email, here is a copy of our Reopening Plan and video that was sent on July 15. Please be sure to read it and email if you have any questions.

Mask Tutorial
Wondering why we are asking you to send in a plastic container for your child's mask? Mrs. Higginbottom and her daughters explain in their video!

Start helping your child learn to put on, take off, and properly store their mask. Thank you to the Higginbottom girls for helping us learn mask protocol!

Great Family Resources
Click Here for: Free Audible books for children and teens.

Click Here for: Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense.

Click Here for: The ultimate list of resources for families with children!
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