Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
As you are quite aware, our return from Easter break brought with it very sad news of Rev. David Dowdle, our former pastor, and his passing on Holy Thursday. We are so grateful for his years of service and ministry to St. John of the Cross Parish. Over the last few years, Father David’s health had diminished, but not his positive attitude, sense of humor and model of courage and dignity. We celebrate the years we were blessed with his leadership, his steady calm and his friendship. May he rest in peace!
As we enter the final weeks of the school year, faculty and staff are offered contracts and future employment. We usually are informed if someone decides not to return. In the same way, the parish also makes their moves in June/July. Father Bill leaves as associate for another assignment yet to be announced and Father Peter just received his assignment to St. Richard’s Parish as Pastor. We will say good bye to them as part of a current assembly – Father Bill on 5/21 at the morning assembly and Father Peter on 5/28 following the Award Ceremony at 11 AM. We thank them both for their ministry and dedication to the parishioners and the school children of St. John of the Cross Parish.
School Advisory Board
Thank you to the School Advisory Board and its leadership over the last few months in preparing the school survey. The results of the comments on the survey were reported yesterday at the Focus sessions. All parents were invited to attend these listening sessions if you wanted to participate and delve deeper into any particular issues. We are grateful for your honesty and will take the finance information and both the administration and School Advisory Board will formulate a strategic plan moving forward. It will be shared with you upon returning next school year. As we review our programming this summer, we will review our academics as we always do, look at parent input and share it with you at the start of the school year. At that time, I will also address the other areas: Catholic Identity, Governance, Extracurricular, and Facilities.
More information to follow about that evening in my August newsletter.
I also thank the Parent Association for their many contributions to SJC every day. I am most grateful for their recent planning of the Fun Run where students participated by running in the gym on 4/11, raising money for technology. Many parents were present to cheer the children on! Although I do not have the final figure yet, we did raise over our $40,000.00 goal. Thank you very much for your generosity!
I do want to share a few key calendar items that we will incorporate into our new school year. First of all, with the new daily mass schedule occurring at 9 AM, the school tardy bell will ring at 8:40 AM and the day ends at 3:15 PM. This will allow for a smooth flow of traffic, but more importantly, will offer us an opportunity to celebrate liturgy more often. We will continue with our all school masses, but will look at grade level celebrations as well.
A new segment to our calendar will include 4-6 days of late arrival in order to offer greater professional development to our teachers so that they are able to better serve our students. We will be offering Preschool Enrichment classes and will lay out our plan for our Preschool parents at their first Curriculum Night. These are a few anticipated positive changes at this time. Our full school calendar will be posted on the website on 8/1/19, although the key monthly dates will be posted before the end of this month.
SACRAMENTAL PROGRAM/LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS
Our 2nd graders are very excited about celebrating First Communion either 5/4 or 5/11. They are ready as they prepared all year for this moment. Please keep our children in your prayers as they approach this sacrament.
Our 6th grade begins preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation. We ask that the child along with at least one parent attends one of four meetings set aside to explain the process. Meetings take place on Wednesday, 5/1 at 4 PM and 6 PM in the Parish Center. They occur once again on Monday, 5/6 at the same times in Room 119. The YC Program sent information for parents to sign up for a particular session last week. If you have not yet done it, please do so at your earliest convenience.
As a school, we celebrate the Easter season at a liturgy on 5/20 with grade 4 planning and participating in it. Our 8th grade participates in crowning our Blessed Mother in a beautiful May Crowning on 5/13. The 8th graders participate as the court, with the 2nd grade in their Communion outfits forming an honor guard for the 8th grade. Our 8th grade receives their diplomas on Thursday evening, 5/30, with Graduation after their Graduation liturgy. We are so proud of our 8th grade class as they plan for these year-end liturgical moments.
Spotlight on STREAM
We are very excited about inviting our families to the first ever Spotlight on STREAM, taking place here at SJC on Wednesday, 5/8 throughout the school from 7-8 PM. Each teacher highlights the different projects that they accomplished in their classrooms throughout the year. The acronym STREAM means Science, technology, reading/religion, engineering, art and math. Come and see the wonderful work that your child/ren completed. In the Science Lab, students will walk you through four or five different STREAM activities. Following the evening, the Parent Association invites you for ice cream outside the main door.
Week of the Young Child
Our Early Childhood Program celebrates the “Week of the Young Child” this week. It is an opportunity for Early Childhood Programs throughout the country to focus on the needs of young children and their families. There are countless ways in which we have celebrated over the years. The important message we wish to convey to our children is their uniqueness. We thank our Early Childhood parents for supporting these events.
During May, so much occurs within our curricular program as we come to an end of the school year. Grade 1 highlights the writing program of their young students with Author’s Day, 5/24 from 10 until 11 AM in the gym. Come and see what aspiring writers are developing in our early grades. The many books the children wrote throughout the year will be on display. It is a must attend event!
Grade 7 completed an architectural project earlier this school year as part of STREAM. Now, they go downtown Chicago and learn more about the many architectural facades within our great city on 5/14. All our grade levels attend educational field trips throughout the year as part of our curriculum, reinforcing many of the concepts learned throughout the year.
A segment of our Fine Arts Program celebrates with the Band/Choir Concert on Wednesday, 5/1 at 7-8 PM in the gym. The children do a great job!
Please refer to the school calendar for any other programs offered at the end of this year.
Students in grades K-2 will complete the last session of MAP testing next week. Results will be shared with parents.
Just before break, our children in grades 3-8 completed the ASPIRE TESTING. We do not receive the results of this assessment until late summer, then review it with faculty upon their return to school in August, and finally send the results to you within the first two weeks of school. Because testing is so late in the year, results are not completed until late summer. We do our best to send them to parents in a timely fashion after assuring that our teachers have first received the results and are able to answer your questions.
8th GRADE EVENTS
Your children will probably come home excited about the different activities planned for our 8th grade class in the month of May. Certainly, the May Crowning /Ribbon Ceremony celebrates an important event in their lives. Then, our students plan for Memorial Games which take place on Friday, 5/17. This event began years ago and finds the different 8th grade homerooms competing in song, cheer and basketball. Ultimately, the event brings our students together as a class. The parents have raffle items available during the week of 5/13 in the lunchroom. Students may purchase raffle tickets. Winners will be drawn during the halftime of the last Memorial game, around 8 PM on the 17th.
Our School Awards Assembly occurs on 5/28 at 9:15 AM in the gym. The 8th grade Award Ceremony takes place that evening. These two assemblies are a culmination of the year’s academics where students are recognized in different areas.
Once again, we thank you, our families, for your continued support of Catholic education. Enjoy the remaining school days.
Please watch for the Nurse’s health information letter for 2019-2020 through email blast. It will come out in the next day or two.
TIME, TALENT, TREASURE
The last day to complete the Time Talent Treasure Form on the website is 5/15/19 to qualify for the 2019-2020 parish subsidy. Thank you for giving of your time, talent and treasure to SJC
PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN
We remind our parents that you must complete each step of the “Protecting God’s Children Safe Schools Program” before you are allowed to volunteer in the building. This procedure is mandated by the Archdiocese of Chicago and keeps our children safe. All parents must complete a new CANTS form each year. Please return the completed form to the school office. It is crucial that you complete these requirements if you want to volunteer in the school or coach any of the sports teams.
For information regarding the program, please contact Mrs. Wingert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-246-4404.