Country Day School Head's Page

August 2017 (part two)

Dear families,
It has been such a pleasure seeing so many of you who have visited while dropping off school forms, checking uniform items, or to give a greeting, as we prepare for the opening days of the school year.
You may recall, from my previous letter, a wish for a magic wand to wave over Country Day which would complete the construction projects. I am so happy to report that the magic wand has been in the hands of Paul Francione and Mr. Mark and the crews who have dedicated so much time to completing the classroom renovations. At this moment, they are returning the desks and furniture to the first grade, second grade and art classrooms. The heating and air ventilation work is almost complete. Crews are working on the floors and carpeting throughout the school. Mr. Zimmerman is completing work on the playground. Believe it or not, the school will be ready to welcome our students on Aug. 28! I am so grateful to all who have made this possible.
You and your children should have received letters from the teachers welcoming them to the new year with information about the first days of school. I also hope you received the information from the Parents' Association for the Back-to-School Family Picnic. I will add a few notes for your planning:
Sunday, August 27, at 5 p.m. - Back-to-School Family Picnic
Monday, August 28, at 9:30 a.m. - New Parent Meeting
10-11 a.m. - Open House for all students - an informal time to visit classrooms and greet teachers. This is planned as an opportunity to all to bring children to the school in order to become familiar with the classrooms and teachers. Core classroom teachers will be in their classrooms. Lisa Tweardy, school nurse, and the specialist teachers will greet in the library.
Tuesday, August 29, at 8 a.m. - First Day of School  
Parents of SPK students, please note: the SPK students will begin school in two groups for the first two days of school, one-half class on Tuesday and one-half on Wednesday.  The whole class will begin together on Thursday. You will receive notice of the day on which your children will begin. Please contact me if this plan causes an inconvenience in your schedule. 
As mentioned in an earlier message, we have revised the plans for the “Popsicle Playdates on the Playground” and will now hold them during the first week of school.  Students begin the year with full days this year, therefore, we will add the time for popsicles on the playground during their afternoon activities. Parents are invited to join for playground time, which has been scheduled toward the end of the day allowing you to take your children home after the event if desired. However, parents are not required to attend. Please refer to the following schedule:
Tuesday, August 29, from 11-11:45 a.m. - JPK with one-half SPK class
Wednesday, August 30, from 11-11:45 a.m. - kindergarten with one-half SPK class
2-3 p.m. - first and second grade 
Thursday, August 31, from 2-3 p.m. - third and fourth grade
Friday, September 1, from 2-3 p.m. - fifth grade 
Thursday, September 14 - Parent teacher conferences to discuss “hopes and dreams” – an opportunity to meet with your children’s teachers to become familiar with routines and expectations, and to discuss plans for the year. Brenda Hafner will schedule the conferences through the office. Children do not attend school on this day.
Other notes:

  • As you have heard, the 2016-2017 yearbooks have arrived. They will be distributed during our family picnic on August 27.
  • If you have not already received information from your home school district or Shady Side Academy regarding your children’s busing schedules, you within the next few days.
  • Students arriving by bus or by car who enter via the front entrance will be greeted by teachers from 8 until 8:15 a.m. Pre-K and kindergarten students and/or any student entering via the courtyard entrance will be greeted by teachers from 8:00 until 8:15 a.m. Fifth grade greeters will begin their duties during the second week of classes. All students who arrive after 8:15 a.m. must enter via the front entrance; all parents who arrive after 8:15 a.m, must enter via the front entrance and register at the office.
  • Cars may not be left unattended at the driveways. For those who accompany children into the school building, parking is permitted in the playground and church parking lots only.
  • We now offer early arrival supervision. If your schedule requires you to bring your children to school prior to 8 a.m., we will provide supervision in the library beginning at 7:30 a.m. Please contact Brenda Hafner if your children are to arrive early. 
  • We are in process of revising the Parent Handbook which outlines routine information and various policies. I am hopeful it will be ready for distribution on August 28. 
  • As mentioned previously, uniforms and gym clothes have been organized and are available for your selection in the conference room. If you would like to bring in your clean, gently used items, please bring them to the office.  

We are all looking forward to seeing everyone very soon!
As always, please contact me with any questions and concerns.

Sharon Smith 
Head of Country Day School 

Sharon Smith

Sharon SmithSharon Smith has been head of Country Day School since 2012. She joined Country Day in 1999 as a pre-kindergarten teacher and continued teaching while taking on the roles of director of admission in 2007 and associate head of school in 2010.

A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Marian University and spent the first seven years of her career with the Indiana State Department of Welfare as a social worker with Child Welfare and Family Services and a supervisor in adoption and foster care placements.

After living in Louisville, Ky., and Kansas City, Mo., she and her family moved to Pittsburgh in 1983. While taking time away from the professional world to raise her two children, she pursued a master’s degree in counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. She then spent eight years as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Good Shepherd Preschool of Fox Chapel, where she discovered a passion for teaching and working with young children.

Latest Posts


Date Range
Powered by Finalsite