New Families FAQ

New families, welcome to St. Gabriel!  We know you have many questions as you prepare to join our school family.  Below, you'll find answers to frequently asked questions on school arrival and pick-up, uniforms, school lunch, items for kindergarteners, and more.  All of this information is also found elsewhere on our school website.  If you need more information on any of these topics or have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our school office at 704-366-2409.  

School Arrival and Pick-up Questions

What time should I drop off my child in the morning?
Students may be dropped off each morning beginning at 7:00 a.m. Those arriving before 7:35 a.m. will sit with their class in the gym. Students are expected to bring a book to read during this time. Teachers are on duty in the gym to supervise the students.

When are students considered “late” for school? What should I do if this happens?
Our school day begins each morning with an uplifting song at 7:50 a.m. At that time, the school’s front door is locked. Any child arriving after 7:50 a.m. is considered late and must be accompanied by a parent to the school office to sign in. If you arrive during morning prayers (broadcast over the PA system), please wait outside until prayers are finished. You may then ring the doorbell and proceed to the office with your child.

What time do I pick up my child at the end of the school day?
Children in grades K-2 (who have no older siblings or carpoolers in grades 3-5) are picked up in first carpool at 2:20. You should arrive by 2:15 to get in line for first carpool. Most parents arrive by 2:10.

All children in grades 3-5 and those children in grades K-2 who have an older sibling or carpooler in grades 3-5 will use second carpool, which dismisses at 2:40. (Children in grades K-2 who go to second carpool remain in their classroom until second carpool dismissal.) You should arrive by 2:35 to get in line for second carpool. Most parents arrive between 2:20 and 2:35.

What happens if I am late to carpool?
If you are late for first carpool, please get in the second carpool line. Your child will be taken back to class and dismissed with second carpool.

If you are late to second carpool and arrive around 2:40, teachers on duty in the parking lot will direct you to wait in your car in the Ministry Center parking lot until second carpool clears. You will then be allowed to pull into the school parking lot and pick up your child.

Children who are not picked up in either carpool will be sent to Afterschool care, and the parents or emergency contact will be phoned. There is a charge for Afterschool supervision.

Are children allowed to ride home with friends?
If you want to bring another child home with you, or allow your child to go home with a friend, you must send a handwritten note to your child’s teacher prior to carpool.

School Uniform Questions

What is considered a “full dress uniform”?
A full dress uniform is required on Mass days (which occur about twice a month) and some other occasions, such as certain field trips or assemblies. A full dress uniform is:

Girls K-4  The school jumper, a white blouse with a collar and sleeves.*
Girls 5th grade The plaid kilt with a white or navy blue collared shirt with a sleeve.*
All boys  Long navy blue pants with white or gray collared shirt, tucked in. Boys in grades 2-5 must wear a belt.*
*All students

Tennis shoes are fine. 

School logo hoodies and sweatshirts may be worn, but other non-logo jackets must be removed in the Church or classroom.

What do the students wear on gym days?
Students have gym class twice a week. (Your child’s teacher will inform you which days this will be.) On these days, students are to wear their gym clothes all day and will not be expected to change into a regular uniform after gym class.

The P.E. uniform is gender neutral and consists of navy mesh shorts or navy sweat pants and a gray t-shirt – all with the school logo, purchased from Flynn & O’Hara. Students must wear tennis shoes and may also wear the navy or gray school emblem sweatshirts.

What are some other uniform rules? 

Shoes and socks Girls must wear socks, tights or other solid color hosiery with their shoes. Girls may not wear boots, sandals, heels or light-up sneakers. Boys may not wear boots or light-up sneakers. 
Hair  Hair accessories and jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Boys’ hair length should be off the collar, out of the eyes and off the ears.
Backpacks  Rolling back packs are not allowed. 
Shorts length Boys’ shorts must be knee length (not mid-calf) and should sit at the waist.
Logos Uniform pieces do not have to include the school logo but may not include any other logo.
Navy blue shorts and pants  They may be purchased anywhere, as long as they meet the standard style, length and color.

What is appropriate dress for a dress down day?
A “Dress-Down Day” is scheduled every second Tuesday of the month and on other occasions, as announced. On these days, students may wear regular (non-uniform) clothes that are tasteful and in keeping with the spirit of a conservative dress code (no miniskirts, jeans with holes, objectionable words on t-shirts, no hats).

On most “dress-down days”, the purpose is to recognize a charity or raise a small amount of money for an organization in need. Each student is asked to bring $1.00 (or a can of food, etc) to donate. The donation is optional. Any amount is appreciated.

How do I use the Uniform Exchange?
When students out-grow their gently worn uniforms, most parents donate them to the “Uniform Exchange.” You may check the Uniform Exchange any time to see if there are items you might be able to use. There is no charge for taking an item, however we ask that you please leave the hanger. The Uniform Exchange rack is brought out at various school functions.

You may also ask the front office for the key to the PTO closet so you can check the rack at your convenience. The PTO closet is located on the lower floor beside the elevator. To donate items, put them in the bin labeled “Uniform Exchange” located on the lower floor at the bottom of the staircase.

What if my child loses a coat/sweater/sweatshirt or other item brought to school?
It is important to label your child’s clothing since uniforms all look the same. If you find that your child is missing an item, please check the “lost and found” rack located in the hall outside of the gymnasium on the main floor of the school.

What are those “Spirit T-shirts”, and why would I need to buy one?
At the beginning of the school year, the PTO sells red or blue Charlotte Catholic Spirit t-shirts. The proceeds for this sale are used to offset the cost of the St. Gabriel School Family Tailgate hosted by our PTO. During football season, students are often allowed to wear blue or red t-shirts with their uniform on Fridays when the Charlotte Catholic High School football team has a home game. A regular blue or red shirt may also be worn if you choose not to purchase the Spirit t-shirt.


School Lunch Questions

How do I order hot lunch for my child? When are orders due?
Children may bring a bagged lunch (no sodas are allowed) or order hot lunch from the cafeteria. Hot lunch is catered by various local vendors, like Chick-fil-A. School lunch orders must be submitted no later than Monday one week prior to the week for which you are ordering. (For example, orders for the week of September 17th are due by Monday, September 10th.)  Please note that kindergarteners and first graders may only purchase ice cream on Fridays.

Orders for hot lunch must be placed using the on-line school lunch order form (also included in the weekly packet e-mailed to parents). When using the on-line order form, FIRST choose the tab indicating the number of children for which you are ordering. The total amount due will then be calculated for you. If you calculate by hand, be sure to check your math. Mistakes will slow down or cancel your order. Print the order(s) after completing them.

You may write one check for all children for the whole week, which should be paper clipped (not stapled) to the order form(s). Send the order in with your oldest child, no later than Monday one week prior to the week which you are ordering.

If my child brings a bagged lunch, what other items can be purchased?
Students may purchase milk (plain or chocolate), juice, bottled water, fruit cups, chips, popcorn, and ice cream. These items may be paid for in cash – they do not need to be ordered in advance. They can also be included and paid for through the school lunch order form. Costs range from $.15 for milk to $1 for bottled juice and water. Please check the school lunch order form for prices.

What if my child forgets his bagged lunch?
If your child forgets his/her bagged lunch, you may bring it to the school and leave it on the table to the right of the entrance to the cafeteria. Your child can pick up his/her lunch as he/she goes into the cafeteria.

What if I forget to send a lunch for my child?
If you forget to send or order lunch, your child will be offered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (or jelly only), with milk. A note will be sent home to inform you, in case you inadvertently thought you had ordered lunch for the week.

What if my child has a peanut or other food allergy?
The cafeteria provides a “peanut-free” table for students who have a nut or other food allergy. Teachers take precautions to assist these students in protecting themselves from contact with food allergens. If your child has a food-related allergy, please discuss it with his/her teacher and the school nurse.

Should I provide a snack for my child?
Students are allowed to bring a “healthy” snack each day in the classroom. Kindergarteners eat lunch early (10:45 – 11:30), so they usually have their snack later in the day. Upperclassmen often have their snack in the morning. No refrigeration is available. Candy and sodas are not allowed.

Kindergarten Questions

Will my kindergartener be given a rest during the day?
Kindergarteners are asked to bring a towel to leave in their cubby for use during a brief, daily rest time. During the first semester, the rest break is about 20-30 minutes. After first semester, the rest breaks become shorter and less necessary as children get used to the school day.

What else do I need to know for my kindergartener?
Kindergartners should keep a full change of clothes (top, shorts, underwear and socks) in their cubby in case of accidents or spills. The uniform exchange will be used, if necessary. Please be sure to have your child dress appropriately for the weather (e.g., hats and coats), as the children go outside almost every day.

Other Questions

How do I join the PTO?
Information and forms on joining the PTO can be found on the PTO webpage, or your may join at the PTO Open House held the day before school begins. During the Open House, you’ll have an opportunity to talk to various PTO members who head the PTO committees and events. They can help you decide how you’d like to volunteer your time. You may also check volunteer opportunities online.

What is the school’s inclement weather policy?
St. Gabriel School is part of the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools (MACS) System. The MACS office makes decisions concerning inclement weather for our school. We do not automatically follow cancellation and delay decisions made by the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. In the event of a school closing or delay, you will receive an automated phone message. Local television stations also publish the MACS decision on school closings and delays.