PTF Picnic – See Old friends, Make New Ones, & Dedicate the School Year To God

By Shalom Christian Academy Administrator Angie Petersheim
Have you ever been to an event where you’ve been invited, but it feels like you’re at someone else’s family reunion? Shalom’s annual PTF picnic could feel that way, especially for new families. Our purpose for this event is providing an opportunity for families, faculty, and staff to gather, see old friends, make new friends, and be part of the back-to-school dedication. To alleviate that “I might not belong here” feeling, we are making some changes this year. We want everyone to feel welcomed.


The picnic is scheduled for 5:30 pm on Thursday, August 31. It is held on the south lawn around the pavilion. We provide the meat and ask families to bring a hot and cold dish. Paper products are also provided. You bring lawn chairs and come anticipating that you will make new connections.


When you arrive, take your food to the pavilion. There will be people who will take your dish or show you where to put it. Multiple tables are set up with the main course and hot food at one end, salads in the middle, and desserts at the other. This allows us to have 8-10 lines for food so that no one is waiting too long to eat.


This year we will have signs that will help you know where to sit. People will be seated in groupings – elementary, middle or high school. Look for women wearing white “Mentor Mom” t-shirts. These ladies have agreed to be the mentors for families in each grade. That evening, they will be in the area where you choose to sit and will help you learn to know the people around you as well as provide direction for the evening. Throughout the school year, their contact information will be available to you so that they can help answer any questions you may have.


Our plan is to begin the evening with a welcome and prayer promptly at 5:30 pm. From there you will be directed to go through a food line, return to your place, and enjoy food and fellowship. At 6:15 pm, all board members, faculty, and staff will be brought to the stage to be introduced. This will be followed by our board president, Ken Kipe, leading us in a prayer of blessing and dedication for the new school year.


At that point, teachers will be dismissed to their classrooms to finish preparations for the orientation. Families will stay a bit longer to finish eating and hear a few announcements. Direction will be given on plan and flow for the remainder of the evening. As parents are dismissed to classrooms, there will be people in hallways to give direction. Remember to look for those who can help you – teachers and staff in navy polos, Mentor Moms, and other volunteers in neon t-shirts. We want to help and make sure you know what to do!


Limited childcare is provided on the playground during the orientation. High school students will be in that area to ensure that the children are playing and interacting safely.


The schedule for the evening:
5:30 pm  Welcome, prayer, and dinner
6:15 pm   Introductions and dedication
6:35 pm  Announcements
6:45 pm  Dismissal to classroom orientation


Elementary (1st – 5th grades): Elementary classroom orientation is 30 minutes. There are two identical sessions so that families with multiple children are able to visit different classrooms.
7:00 – 7:30 pm Session I
7:35 – 8:05 pm Session II


Middle and High School: Secondary orientation is scheduled so that parents get an opportunity to sit in on 10 minutes sessions for each of their child(ren)’s major subjects. This schedule will be available in the next S’more E-Newsletter which will be emailed on the first day of school. The first session begins at 7:00 pm and the last session ends at 8:10 pm.


We hope that you will plan to join us. This is a great way to begin the year as you interact with school families and learn important information about the classrooms your child will be part of in this year. See you then!

Have any questions? Send us an email at