Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
Happy New Year and welcome back to the second half of the school year! As we once again prepare ourselves for the daily routines, we are grateful for the last two weeks of family gatherings and/or touching base with old friends. We realize the blessings in our lives, which energizes us to move forward into a new year. I want to take this moment to thank our parents for remembering each of the staff through the Angel gift and Angel breakfast. We were delighted with your children’s performances in the various Pageants, their prayerful presence through the liturgies and prayer services, and their overall excitement and enthusiasm in the many activities during December, as well as their participation in the Service Projects. Thank you for sharing your gifts and your children.
Mother Nature certainly put her stamp immediately on the new year with the extreme weather conditions. Although the cold spell ended, we can always anticipate severe weather during winter. As a reminder, if the weather dictates the closing of school, you will be notified as soon as possible. Please be sure that your emergency information is updated. Generally, if the local school districts are in session, we probably will also have school on a given day. With the intense weather conditions, we experienced recently, we realize that very cold weather is more of a norm. We assure you that with extreme conditions, the children stay inside the building for recess. With a new furnace installed this past summer, we are confident that the heat will provide the building with the needed relief. However, please note that we will send the children outside weather permitting. Please be sure to dress your child/ren appropriately for the weather each day.
During the month of January, we look forward to our 8th grade celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation on 1/27. In final preparation for this wonderful day, they experience interviews with their small faith group leader which centers around the student’s faith formation and growth. How wonderful that the sacrament begins Catholic Schools Week (CSW) which we celebrate as a parish at the Saturday 5 PM mass on 1/27 and all of the Sunday liturgies on 1/28. We encourage our families to have their child/ren wear the school uniform to these masses. Certainly, we are grateful to all our parishioners for supporting Catholic education.
Following the Sunday liturgies, the school will host an Open House from 1:30-2:30 for prospective families. Please let your neighbors know of our upcoming event. If the day/time does not work for them, a new family may certainly contact Mrs. Jennifer Miller to schedule an appointment as well as a personal tour during the week.
As a school, we will celebrate with a school liturgy on Monday, 1/29 at 9:15 AM. Different events/activities will occur throughout the week. A schedule of those events will be posted later this month on the website. We conclude CSW with Spirit Day on Friday, 2/2. After beginning the day with the blessing of throats for St. Blaise’s Feast, we will host a Career Day during the morning and a list of spirit related activities that afternoon, highlighted with a student/teacher volleyball game, where students and staff exhibit their school spirit. The children look forward excitedly to this day as we come together as a school and celebrate who we are as a Catholic school.
Thank you once again to our families for your support of Catholic education, and in particular, St. John of the Cross Parish School. We enjoy our partnership and continue striving to be models for our children of the presence of Christ within our school community each and every day. Thank you for your support!
As we approach the midway point of the year, we will once again assess our students in grades 1-2 with the MAP test and grades 3-8 with the Aspire Interim test. These assessments are created as an internal measurement indicating the students’ overall growth on designated benchmarks. We will send these reports to parents when they are available.
Mrs. Sue Michalowski, our School Librarian, begins the month with two very special programs. The annual Spelling Bee takes place on Thursday, 1/18 at 3:45 PM. The winner of the bee attends the Regional event which will be announced at that time. Good luck to students!
Coming in February: on Monday, February 5th we will embark on our 4th annual One School One Book month-long reading event. Students in grades 1-6 will read the same book with their families, over the course of the month. As always, we will have daily trivia contests, prizes, and other fun book-related events. Back by popular demand, we will also have our Teacher and Staff Podcast, where teachers read chapters of the book every night. Stay tuned for the big reveal in early February where we will let the kids know this year’s book title. We look forward to reading the book along with all of you, as we create a community of lifelong readers here at SJC.
As stated in earlier communication, the tax credit program through the state of Illinois was esigned to offer scholarships on a needs basis when a family applies through a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). Recently, a letter was sent from Rev. David Dowdle, our pastor, Kathleen Gorman, our Principal, and Erin Gibbons, our School Advisory Board Chair, indicating that SJC would not participate in the program this initial year. Currently, the program is very new and many pieces need to be understood. We realize, of course, that we are blessed here at St. John of the Cross Parish School and understand that the majority of our families would not qualify for these scholarships. Therefore, we have opted out of the program until we understand exactly how the application and selection process works. We encourage our families to continue to support the school’s annual fund, the Winter Gala, Athletic Association, Scrip and other non-mandatory fundraisers that we offer.
UPCOMING JANUARY ACTIVITES/EVENTS
- Return to school on 1/8
- Athletic Board meeting on 1/8 at 7 PM.
- Parent Association meets for their monthly meeting on 1/9 at 9 AM in the
- Out of uniform for all students on 1/12
- NO SCHOOL on 1/15 for Martin Luther King’s Birthday
- School Advisory Board Meeting on 1/16 at 7 PM, PC
- 9:15 AM diversity liturgy, 1/17, grade 4 prepares and participates
- Special lunch, 1/18, pizza on the menu
- NAZ retreat for grade 7, 1/18
- Spelling Bee, 1/18 at 3:45
- Yearbook pictures, 1/19
- End of Semester, 1/19
- Progress Reports go home, grades K-2, 1/19
- Piano Recital, 1/26 at 3:45
- Confirmation rehearsal at 6:30 or 7:30 (8th grade student/sponsor) on 1/26
- Confirmation at 10 AM or 2 PM
- Catholic Schools Week celebration at all parish masses on 1/27 and 1/28
- 9:15 AM Catholic Schools liturgy, 1/29
- Scrip continues each Tuesday and Thursday. For information regarding Scrip, please check the website or contact Mrs. Tisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current Influenza outbreak has been widely publicized along with information that one component of this year’s flu vaccine is not a good match. It has also been stated repeatedly that those who receive the vaccine will have a milder illness. Getting the flu vaccine is still the best defense against influenza and very important for prevention for those with additional health concerns or those too young to receive the vaccine. It is not too late to be vaccinated- please contact your physician if you or your children have not been vaccinated against the flu this year. Please keep children home who are experiencing illness symptoms to prevent spread at school.
Although we are not aware of any current cases of head lice, Mrs. Petersen has been made aware that there have been cases among our student population. Winter is an active time for head lice outbreaks as children have more close contact – often sharing coats, scarves, and hats and headbands with one another. Effective prevention can help you be prepared as students return to the classroom- students are to keep personal clothing items in their locker at school, do not allow “piling” of coats, etc. at gatherings or as you carpool, talk with your children about not sharing any items for their head/hair with others.
Watch for signs of lice – that “Tickly” Feeling Can Be a Sign of Head Lice
Head lice symptoms include:
- A tickling feeling or a sensation of something moving in the hair
- Frequent itching
- Sores from scratching
- TIME, TALENT, TREASURE – We remind our parents to continue and include any volunteer hours online and submit them when you have reached 15 hours.
- PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN – It is imperative that any parent volunteer completes the steps of the “Protecting God’s Children Safe Schools Program” before they may volunteer in their children’s classrooms, field trips, coaching, etc. For information regarding the program, please contact Mrs. Wingert at email@example.com or 708-246-4454.
- The Father McDonnell Scholarship application, offered through the Women’s Club, will be available later this month for 8th graders attending a Catholic High. Students complete the applications electronically. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Hayes in the Parish Office
- If anyone is interested in becoming a School Advisory Board member, please contact Erin Gibbons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We continue to keep Rachael Schopp and Father David in our prayers each day.
- Please keep Mrs. Maggie Serafini, our 2nd grade teacher, in your prayers as she excitedly awaits the birth of her child
- Please keep our gym teacher, Mrs. Sue Bak, in your prayers as she faces a serious foot fusion surgery following Christmas break.