New Parent FAQ
Welcome to Mary Queen of Peace Parish School! This bulletin board answers questions frequently asked by new parents at MQP. Much of this information is presented in more detail on the school website and in the Parent and Student Handbook found under Resources / Policies & Handbooks.
Important Telephone Numbers And Websites
Things To Do Before School Starts
Turn in Your Registration Paperwork
Please turn in your registration paperwork, a form completed by your child’s doctor and an immunization record (the doctor appointment must be within the past 12 months). Doctor forms may be downloaded from the school website under Resources / Downloadable Forms. You will not receive communication about your paperwork unless additional information is required.
Learn How to Use FastDirect
FastDirect is MQP's web-based school information system. Use it to communicate with teachers, school staff and parents, view your child's grades, check weekly assignments and learn about upcoming school and parish events. Many use this system as their primary method of communication. You can have FastDirect notifications emailed to you. To select this option, login to FastDirect, click View/Edit Parent Information and make your selection in the FDmail Notification Preferences section. You will need to log into FastDirect to actually read the messages. Click the link to FastDirect on the school website or go to www.fastdir.com/mqp. Access codes are given to new families before the school year starts. Please sign up as soon as you receive your access code.
Some school and parish messages are shared through flocknote www.flocknote.com. Sign up on the parish website under Resources / FlockNote.
Like Use on Facebook!
Please visit our FaceBook page www.facebook.com/MQPWG.
You can buy used uniforms at a fraction of new cost in the school lobby or through the MQP Uniform Resale group on Facebook. Just Me Apparel (636-391-9551; www.justmeapparel.com) sells MQP girls' jumpers and skirts as well as all other uniform apparel. Just Me Apparel has a tax free sale held in the spring in MQP library. Items ordered at the sale are available for pick-up during the summer at Laurie's Shoes in Glendale, at the Ice Cream Social in August, or at the school office after the Ice Cream Social. Skirts and jumpers MUST have been originally purchased from Just Me Apparel due to the unique plaid. You may purchase other uniform items from other vendors (Target, Lands' End, etc.) as long as they meet MQP’s uniform code found on the school website under Resources / Policies & Handbooks.
Sign Up for T-Ball, Baseball or Softball
In April, you may sign up for t-ball, baseball or softball. Pre-K teams are available. For more information, go to www.mqpsports.org.
You may set up an account with SMART TUITION (www.smarttuition.com) to pay tuition monthly. Please set up your account in May or June. Rather than paying monthly, you may pay your tuition in full by July 1 before school starts.
Buy School Supplies
You may order supplies through a service provided by MQP's Home & School Association. An order form is provided to new families during the summer or through communication on FastDirect for existing families. Packaged supplies can be picked up at the Ice Cream Social in August. Alternatively, you may purchase supplies on your own. A list of supplies needed by grade is found on the school website under Resources / Class Supply List. Your K - 8 child will also need to bring a full size backpack each day. Preschoolers are provided with a tote bag.
Attend the New Families Pizza Party
This party is for new families and is held the Friday prior to the start of school on the MQP parking lot.
Meet Your Buddy Family
Each new family is assigned a buddy family. You should be contacted by your buddy family a week or two before school starts. This family will help answer questions about school routines, upcoming events, etc. Feel free to contact your buddy family if you have questions throughout the year.
Sign-Up for Volunteer Activities
Because MQP is a stewardship parish, all school families are required to share their time and talent by signing up for a certain number of activities that occur throughout the year. These activities include planning holiday parties for your child's classroom, volunteering as field trip chaperons, helping at school events, etc. Sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis. Look for communication on FastDirect with a link to the sign-up on SignUpGenius.
Create a SignUpGenius Account
Many volunteer sign-ups are managed through the SignUpGenius website. Create an account on www.signupgenius.com.
Attend a Protecting God’s Children Workshop
Look for communication on FastDirect or visit www.mqpwg.org/Formation/Protecting-Gods-Children to find an upcoming workshop at MQP or nearby. To work with our children, you must attend a workshop, submit a background check, and submit code of ethics forms to MQP.
Welcome Back To School
Attend the Ice Cream Social
The Ice Cream Social is MQP's welcome back-to-school day for students and their families to meet their teachers, tour the school, visit new classrooms, and drop off school supplies in classrooms. It is held the Sunday before school starts. Many key events occur during the Ice Cream Social: pick up pre-ordered school supplies and uniforms, view class assignments, sign up for cafeteria and traffic duty, sign up for auction parties, sign up for scouts, etc. Class lists are posted on FastDirect the morning of the Ice Cream Social and in the school lobby.
Look for a Sign in Your Front Yard
On the eve of the first day of school, a sign will be placed in your yard welcoming your child to MQP. The signs are generally placed after dark and will remain in your yard for a week before being picked up. You make keep the balloon that's attached to the sign. We will reuse the sign next year.
Preschooler's and Kindergartener’s First Day
On the first day of preschool or kindergarten, many parents walk their child to his/her classroom. You may take pictures in the classroom but please say your goodbyes quickly.
Back to School Night
Back to School Night is held on two evenings at the beginning of the school year (one for Pre-K - 3rd another for 4th-8th). Parents are welcomed to MQP, the school year is blessed and parents are provided with an opportunity to briefly meet their child's teacher, see their child's classroom and hear what the school year will entail. This is a parent’s only event. TIP! Many parents leave a note and a piece of candy on their child’s desk/cubby to surprise them the next day.
Drop-off And Pick-up
Use the driveway between the church and school. Follow the orange cones to the right and proceed to the farthest cone as possible before letting your child out of the car. To keep the flow of traffic going, make sure your child is ready to unbuckle and exit the vehicle after you stop. Please do not allow your child to exit the car before you get to the drop off area. Your child should exit your car on the passenger side. Parents and students may not walk in between cars. If your child needs assistance, please park your car in an open space behind the church and walk your child to the school building by proceeding along the fence (not between the cars). Once the students are clear of traffic, proceed along the cones and out of the parking lot. You will exit along the east side of the rectory. You may drop-off your child as early as 7:30 a.m. Students may enter the school building at 7:40 a.m. If you arrive after 8:00 a.m., students should go to the office for a late slip.
Half day preschoolers may be picked up in front of the school at 11:30 a.m. Full day preschoolers line up against the wall in between the two southwest doors. If the school has noon dismissal, half day preschoolers follow the full day pick-up procedure at noon.
Use the entrance closest to Berry Road, turn right, drive through the yellow gates and park behind the school. Cars park in lines the full length of the parking lot. Please do not park behind the blue line indicating the end of each parking line; this blocks a door where students exit the building. The first line of cars starts closest to the church and school. Each new line gets closer to the fence. The yellow gates open 15 - 20 minutes before school ends and are closed two minutes before students are dismissed. If the gates are open after school has been dismissed, please stop your car; do not drive in the parking lot while children are exiting the building. If you arrive after the gates have been closed for dismissal, you must wait behind the gates until the parking lot clears. When the gates re-open, you may enter the back lot to pick-up your child. Please check with your child’s teacher to find the door he/she will exit. After all students are dismissed, students and parents are in their vehicles and the parking lot is free of children, cars will be allowed to proceed out of the parking lot one row at a time. Please follow the direction of the staff. You will exit along the east side of the rectory where there will be two traffic duty volunteers guiding cars onto Lockwood Ave. Afternoon parking on Lockwood Court is strongly discouraged and cars may not park on Lockwood Avenue. Half day kindergarteners may be picked up in front of the school at noon.
Inclement Weather Schedule
Occasionally, school is canceled or will open late due to inclement weather. Our automated phone system alert will call your home and mobile phones by 10:30 p.m. the night before or after 6:00 a.m. the morning of a late start. The message will indicate the start time of school. In addition to the automated phone call, you may check the school website or refer to the Buzz Book for a list of radio and TV stations to check for school closing information.
Each morning, students watch a student and faculty produced morning show called "Wake-Up MQP!" The show is broadcast to each classroom. Students take turns serving as anchors, leading morning prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. Community and school items of interest are also featured. Parents are welcome to view the show in the school Boardroom. The show starts at 7:55 a.m. and lasts five to ten minutes.
There are four 20-minute lunch sessions, each serving two or three grades. Some grades eat lunch before recess while others have recess first and then eat lunch. Students sit with their class. Students may purchase a lunch or bring a packed lunch. If your child’s lunch should be kept cold, please send a cold pack in the lunch box; refrigerators are not available. Lunches, milk, water and other beverages are available for purchase as well as fruit, snacks and desserts. You may send money or purchase a debit card for food purchases. As your preschooler or kindergartener gets acclimated to the lunchroom routine, please send money in an envelope marked with what your child would like to purchase or send a note regarding what to buy with your child’s debit card. To make things easier, preschoolers and kindergarteners enter the lunchroom a few minutes before the older grades in their assigned lunch period. During the first couple of weeks of school, there are additional parents on duty to assist the children. The lunch menu is available on the school website under Resources / Cafeteria Menus. The cafeteria link on FastDirect does not work.
FastDirect is regularly used by parents, teachers and the Principal to communicate important information. Teachers and staff also utilize flocknote, email and send out a weekly newsletter called “MQP Weekly”. General school and organization information is sent home in the "Friday" folder. This folder is sent home by your child's homeroom teacher every Friday and contains important weekly communication from the school and school organizations. Please go through the folder every Friday, as it may contain time sensitive material, and return the appropriate forms with your child on Monday.
Homework and Tests
Daily homework assignments and test dates for grades 1-8 are generally posted on FastDirect in class planners/bulletin boards.
When your child is unavoidably absent, please call the main school number and follow the prompt (press 1) and leave a message by 9:00 a.m. to report the absence (or in advance for known absences). Please keep your child at home if he/she had a fever or vomited within the past 24 hours.
Dress Out Days
On a designated Thursday each month, students are allowed to dress out of uniform for a dollar donation. Students bring their dollar to school and give it to their teacher. The money raised is used to buy lunch food for St. Patrick's Center; upper grade students assemble sandwiches and the food is delivered to St. Patrick's Center. The dress code for out of uniform days is found in the uniform code found on the school website under Resources / Policies & Handbooks. In short, attire should meet uniform length and condition requirements.
Attire for Field Trips
Unless otherwise specified, all students must dress in school uniform for field trips, even if the field trip occurs on an out of uniform day. Uniforms make it easier for teachers and chaperons to supervise children on the field trip.
If you enter the school building you must first sign in at the school office, state the nature of the visit and wear a visitor badge. When you leave the building, please sign out in the school office and return your badge.
Students attend an All School Mass once a week at 9:15 a.m. Mass is typically on Wednesdays, but may be celebrated other days depending on the weeks’ feast days. Each class takes a turn planning the liturgy. Parents can sit in the back of church or fill in wherever seating is available after the students are seated.
First Reconciliation is celebrated during first semester of second grade by both full-time and Parish School Religion (PSR) students.
First Communion is celebrated during the Easter Season by second grade students in both the full-time and PSR programs. We provide First Communion Preparation prior to First Communion.
Confirmation is celebrated for eighth grade students during the first semester on a date selected by the Archbishop. Additional information is provided once the date is determined.
Special Full-time School Activities
Eighth Grade Angels
Each kindergarten student is assigned an eighth grade student to be his/her "Eighth Grade Angel". These angels welcome kindergarteners to MQP, escort them to All School Masses and communicate with them throughout the year. They also escort them through the Halloween parade and kindergarten graduation. Shortly after school starts, each kindergartener will meet his/her angel.
Grades Pre-K-2 participate in a Halloween parade held either on Halloween day or the school day closest to October 31st in the afternoon. That day, children bring their costumes to school and parade through the MQP parking lot and through the Webster Hills neighborhood for the rest of the student body and any parents/grandparents who wish to attend. Bring your camera!
Each fall, we offer an optional outdoor educational opportunity for the sixth grade students. Camp Lakewood provides a four-day, three night program consisting of team building and exploration activities lead by camp counselors with 24-hour parent supervision. Sixth grade parents will receive communication regarding Camp Lakewood, as well as details on the cost to participate, soon after school starts.
Catholic Schools Week
This is an annual celebration of Catholic Schools. Each day of the week features a special activity. A family brown bag lunch is planned on one of the days. Parents and siblings are invited to bring lunch to school to enjoy with their children. You may pack a lunch or treat your child to carry-out food that day. On another day, a musical program is presented by the lower grades for the rest of the school. It is open to all parents and siblings.
Annually, the Student Activities Council sponsors a fun carnival for all students. Students attend the carnival in the gym with their class in one-hour shifts. Each class hosts a booth with a different game for the children to play; the booths are run by students. Treats and raffle tickets may be purchased to win small prizes (please send money for both). All proceeds from the Mission Carnival are donated to various charities and missions. Additional details will be provided closer to carnival time.
Kindergarteners finish school a few days earlier than the rest of the student body and a special graduation ceremony is held on their last day of school. The graduation consists of a prayer service in the church, followed by a musical performance and a cookie and punch reception in the school gym. Kindergarteners wear their dad’s white, heavily starched shirt backwards over church attire. A hat, tassel, and bow are provided. Additional details will be provided in May. Your kindergartener will sit with his/her class and eighth grade angel. Family is welcome to attend. Bring your cameras. TIP! It is customary for kindergarteners and eighth grade angels to exchange gifts after the ceremony.
Eighth Grade Graduation
Eighth grade students also end school a few days earlier than the rest of the student body. Generally, eighth grade students have a graduation practice after kindergarten graduation and then are dismissed. Special ceremonies and gatherings are held to celebrate the end of the students' time at MQP School.
Our Parish Council sponsors two school nights a year where no parish activities are scheduled and no homework is assigned, providing families a break from their usual schedules and a chance to reconnect with quality family time.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an important part of the core curriculum. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori based religion program that includes a hands-on space where children hear, ponder and celebrate the word of God. As part of this religious formation, the children gather in an “atrium,” a room which contains simple yet beautiful materials including things such as sculpted apostles around the Last Supper Table and a small altar that helps them learn about the Eucharist. This program is currently for Pre-K - 3rd grade and will be expanded.
MQP students are actively involved in our school Stewardship Program from K-8. The program strives to teach our students that service is indeed a way of life! It emphasizes sharing our gifts from God to serve those in need. Students, teachers, staff and parent volunteers work together by grade to serve the following areas of need: needy, environment, elderly, hunger, disabled, military/veterans, homelessness, babies/children/adolescents, and social justice. For more information, visit the school website under Stewardship.
Fund Raisers And Other Activities
A comprehensive list and description of all MQP Parish organizations can be found in the Parish Membership/Directory and Resource Book sent annually to all parishioners. The following list is designed to highlight the activities that involve the school and its families.
This is an on-going fund raiser where you buy gift cards for businesses from MQP and use them to buy your groceries/products instead of your regular form of payment. Gift cards may be obtained by completing a form in the Friday folder or on the school website under Resources / Downloadable Forms. MQP earns a percentage of the sales. Please buy these gift cards for stores you frequent. They also make great gifts!
For the current school year, MQP will NOT have a formal magazine drive. However, you can still get magazines and gifts at great prices, earn money for our school (typically 40% of proceeds), and your student can receive college tuition credit when you order or renew through Great American. Order at www.gaschoolstore.com, school #2684116.
A family "fun-raiser" featuring brats, beverages other traditional German fare. It is held on a Sunday in September or early October in the parking lot. Free children's activities are also part of the mix.
This parish-wide celebration is usually held on the last Saturday of April. Spring Festival kicks-off on Friday night with a "Parent's Night Out" party featuring a Silent Auction made up of class projects and auction party sign-ups. In addition to the Silent Auction, $100 raffle tickets are sold as part of the Spring Festival (parishioners may purchase tickets jointly with another family); the winner receives a large cash prize. Saturday's events begin with a mass followed by a special launch event prior to opening carnival rides and games, food and family entertainment. Kindergarten dads are responsible for clean-up duty after the Carnival closes. You may purchase tickets or wristbands for rides. Wristbands are a deal if your child likes rides. You may purchase also tickets for food and games; your child will use these tickets quickly. Box dinners are available and must be ordered in advance; pizza, burgers and hot dogs are available for purchase at the event. Wristbands and tickets are available at discount prices before the festival. T-shirts are also sold each year with the Spring Festival's theme and design. An order form will be sent home in the Friday folder.
At the Silent Auction on Friday before Spring Festival, you can sign up to attend auction parties the following school year. These parties are hosted and paid for by MQP parents. Look for an email with a list of party descriptions and dates so you can decide which ones you want to attend ahead of time. You pay to attend these parties and your payment is donated to the school. Don’t worry if you miss the sign-up. Many of the parties do not have a limit on the number of people that may attend and you can bring a check with you to the party. Look for evites or ask your buddy family about these parties. They are fun and a great way to mingle with other parents and support our school.
Box Tops for Education
Please cut "Box Tops for Education" coupons and send them to school with your child. MQP earns cash for the coupons. Parties are earned each month by classrooms that submit the largest number of coupons.
Scholastic Book Fair
Held in November, the book fair is the primary "book raiser" for our library and classroom libraries. There are a wide variety of Scholastic books for all ages available for sale. Profits from the book fair go to the school library and books for teachers. The book fair starts after masses on Sunday and continues during the school week. Parents are invited to attend the book fair with their child's class, on Sunday after mass, or you may choose to send money in with guidelines for purchases. Each homeroom teacher fills out a wish list of books they would like to have purchased for their classroom and students/parents may purchase one of those books for their classroom. Siblings are welcome to attend.
This major fund raising event takes place in the gym and is held every other year. Volunteers and donations are always needed for all aspects of this event.
This fun evening is held on a Saturday in January/February prior to Lent. This event alternates years with Trivia Night. It is one of the best ways to meet and get to know other parishioners.
This fun event is held in the gym on a Saturday evening in the spring every other year. Trivia night alternates years with the progressive dinner. Profits go to the Home and School Association.
Each homeroom has a room parent that assists with sign-ups, class activities and service projects. You can sign-up to be a room parent in your child’s classroom at the Ice Cream Social. Room parents have first dibs on the volunteer sign-up.
Parent volunteers are needed to patrol three locations in the morning and four locations in the afternoon. It requires a 20 minute commitment once a month either in the morning or afternoon (children may wait for parents in the school lobby) and does not count toward your class volunteer commitment. You may sign up for traffic duty at the Ice Cream Social or on SignUpGenius.
Four parent volunteers are needed to work in the cafeteria each day. It requires about a 90 minute commitment once a month and does not count toward your class volunteer commitment. You may sign up for cafeteria duty at the Ice Cream Social or on SignUpGenius.
Staff Gift Fund
A special fund is collected twice a year at Christmas and the end of the year. Contributions are voluntary but are very much appreciated. The fund is dispersed equally to all school faculty and staff members. You can download special note cards to write notes to teachers and staff members from the school website under Resources / Downloadable Forms. This fund was created to replace usual Christmas gifts and year-end gifts. You may make a contribution any time in the school office where the Staff Gift Fund box is located.Please donate cash; cash donations are not taxable for faculty and staff. Please consider giving generously to the teachers and staff that teach and care for our children!
Breakfast with Santa
This is a fun parish event generally held the first Sunday in December. It is a morning full of activity with many craft stations and games, breakfast and a visit with Santa Claus. Pictures are available for purchase.
Boys in grades 1-5 may participate in Cub Scouts. Boys are placed in dens with boys of similar age and meet once or twice a month. Cub Scouts also have a pack meeting once a month where all the dens meet together. Parents and boys participate in community service activities, an annual pizza fund raiser, camp outs, Scout Sunday, Mother-Cub Breakfast and many other fun activities. Dens are led by parent volunteers called Den Leaders. See the Buzz Book for Cubmaster contacts.
Young men in grades 6-12 may participate in Boy Scouts. Boys are not required to have been involved in Cub Scouts to join Boy Scouts. Scouts meet once or twice a month and participate in community service projects, camping and hiking trips, and many other activities to earn badges. In Boy Scouts, boys take a more active role in leadership under the guidance of parent/leader volunteers.See the Buzz Book for Scoutmaster contacts.
Girls K–8 may participate in Girl Scouts. Girls are placed in troops with other girls of similar age and usually meet once or twice a month. The girls participate in many activities such as camping, field trips, community service projects, Scout Sunday, Father-Daughter Dance, crafts, games and songs. The girls also earn badges and participate in annual Girl Scout Cookie sales. Troops are organized and lead by parent volunteers.
MQP Athletic Association
The MQP Athletic Association offers many sports opportunities to the parish youth. The athletic program is not school sponsored and is open to all youth of the parish, no matter where they attend school. Visit www.mqpsports.org. To register, look for communication on FastDirect, MQP Weekly, email or flocknote.
Basketball is a winter sport offered in grades 3-8. Children participate in CYC Leagues. Registration begins in October.
These are spring/summer sports offered for Pre-K - 8. Pre-K children are in T-ball with the St. Peters Parish located in Kirkwood. Grades K-2 participate in Coach Pitch CYC Leagues. Grades 3-8 participate in CYC Leagues. Registration begins in January.
Soccer is a summer/fall sport offered for Pre-K - 8. Registration begins in April.
Volleyball is a fall sport offered for grades 3 - 8. Registration is in May.
MQP participates in the CYC Tri-County Golf League. It is an instructional program for boys and girls of all levels of experience in grades 2–8 and is organized in two leagues. The Training League, grades 2- 4, is noncompetitive and focuses on instruction, rules and play. The Junior League is for grades 5–8, although more experienced 4th grade golfers may play in this league
Track is a spring sport offered for grades K-8. Registration begins in January.
Girls on the Run / Girls on Track
Girls on the Run is a non-profit program encouraging preteen girls (grades 3-5) to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Girls on Track follows the same philosophy with the curriculum geared toward grades 6–8.
Uniform and Team Selection
Pre-K T-ball and soccer players wear shirts distributed at a practice before the first game; the cost is included in the registration fee. Children ages K-4 wear an "all-sports" jersey for soccer, volleyball and baseball/softball. Contact the Athletic Association Uniforms Coordinator listed in the MQP Buzz Book to purchase a jersey and reserve a number for your child. Your child will use that number until fourth grade when sports specific jerseys are issued. Jerseys may be passed from sibling to sibling in a family if there aren't number conflicts on the team. Teams for children in grades K – 2 are randomly drawn. In grades 3-4, teams are formed with input from the child's previous coaches to ensure teams are equally balanced in abilities. In grades 5-8, team try-outs are held, if necessary, and "A," "B," and "C" teams are formed. Also, grades 5-8 teams may play in "open" or "closed" leagues. Teams that play in "closed" leagues may not have athletes who play the same sport on another "select” team during the same season on them. Athletes are required to have CYC cards to play on a team. Obtain a card at www.cycstl.net or by calling 314-792-7606. You will need one of the following for verification of birth date: birth certificate, baptismal certificate, current or expired CYC card, passport or valid driver's license. Look for information regarding sign-ups for sports in the church bulletin or in your child's Friday folder.