Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
Our first eight days of school are completed. You had a wonderful opportunity to meet withyour child/ren’s teachers before school began, then heard from the grade level teams on Curriculum Night. We look forward to another year of living our faith and learning and guiding our children in making good decisions. We are committed to their spiritual, academic, behavioral, and social growth and look forward to our partnership once again this school year.
Since the last newsletter, we are pleased to announce Mrs. Tiffany White as our new Advancement Director. Mrs. White believes in SJC and the mission since she attended the school as a young person and now her children attend SJC. She brings enthusiasm, energy and creative ideas to our school fundraising. As the year unfolds, Mrs. White will begin to put her own stamp on the position of Advancement Director. I look forward to working with Mrs. White.
The School Advisory Board and Principal conducted a parent survey last year to determine a financial strategic plan. We would like to meet with parents and review each area of the survey – Catholic Identity, Governance, Financial Health/Fundraising, Facilities, Extracurricular, and Academics. At that time, we will discuss the primary parent concerns as stated in the comment section of the survey and again through the follow up focus meetings. The presentation takes place on Tuesday, 9/10/19 in the Parish Center from 7-8 PM. We hope to see you there!
Sacramental Programs/Liturgies/Prayer Opportunities
At the start of each school year, we provide information regarding our sacramental program. The school works in conjunction with the Parish Youth Catechesis (YC) in offering sacraments and sacramental preparation meetings. Those key dates are as follows:
- Grade 8 Parent Confirmation Meeting, Tuesday, 9/17, at 6:30 PM in the church
- Grade 2 Parent Sacramental Meeting, Tuesday, 9/24 at 6:30 PM in the Parish Center
Although we meet to discuss the sacraments with parents of all parish grade level students, the actual catechesis for each sacrament with our school children takes place in the classroom. With the Confirmation Program, YC meets in home groups with the parish children. At school, we designate four to six days of small faith groups where the students meet with a teacher leader. They take the opportunity to discuss their faith development. The first small faith group occurs on Wednesday, 9/25 during the Religion class.
Our school children in grades 5, 6, 7 will celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation on 9/30 at1:30 PM in the church. Each week, a different classroom will once again meet either in the Mary Garden or the school chapel to recite the rosary. A school parent, Mrs. Pinto, approached the school about making this happen several years ago and it has been successful.
During the month of September, grade 7 celebrates the liturgy on 9/6 as a grade level. As a school, we celebrate liturgy on 9/13, with grade 8 planning and preparing it and 9/27, with grade 6 planning and preparing.
At our Curriculum Night on 8/29, I introduced our new staff, updated parents on the second year of our technology plan, highlighted changes in programming and mentioned key calendar dates. For those parents who missed the presentation, we have improved upon the following areas of curriculum:
- We are in year two of our Technology Strategic Plan. You are familiar with our newly designed website, which allows us to use the main website as a Marketing tool. Mrs. Mary Beth Drafz, our new Website Coordinator, will work closely with Mrs. Tiffany White moving forward. You may access our Technology vision and goals under academics.
- As part of the digital citizenship goal, a program required by the Office of Catholic Schools, students are learning basic social etiquette with the use of emails. Grades 4-8 received an in-house email address last May. Teachers will build upon the proper etiquette and use of social media platforms.
- We have partnered with TinkR Works, located in Hinsdale. They work directly with Mr. Reynolds, our Tech Coach, in developing the 8th grade curriculum and through our after school Technology Club.
- Grades K-2 utilize MAP formative assessment. We feel that the information we receive from the MAP testing is richer than the Aspire Interim formative assessment. Therefore, all grades K-8 will utilize the MAP formative assessment once a trimester.
- We created a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum in grades 5 and 6 with Mrs. Brabham, School Counselor. We found that the intermediate grades are a transitional time for children. We want them to learn important social skills, understand how to manage their feelings, solve social problems, and learn to be a friend. In grade 5, it becomes part of the Study Skills Program and in grade 6, it replaces the LRC. The students meet with Mrs. Brabham once a week.
- Mrs. Baldacci teaches two Preschool Enrichment classes beginning 9/10/19 with Science Enrichment and 9/12/19 with LA Enrichment. Registration can be accessed through Smart Tuition. Mrs. Moore offers an enrichment for her 5th grade LA students during lunch once a week. Please contact Mrs. Moore if interested.
- As stated in our Parent/Student Handbook, Alternative/E-learning will be implemented on days when school is cancelled due to inclement weather or other unexpected closures. When implementing an Alternative/E-learning day, SJC will utilize only up to 4 days of Alternative/E-learning during the school year. Students in grades PreK-3 will have some planned academic requirements on these days but may be limited in scope. Students in grades 4-8 will complete assignments posted on Google Classroom. All assignments will be posted by 9:00am. Teachers will be available to answer questions via email from 9 AM until 3:00pm. If Internet access is limited on E-Learning days, teachers will be flexible with those situations. However, the expectation is that students will complete the work in a timely manner as developed between student and teacher.
- As mentioned in the August Newsletter, Mr. Portillo will be returning to SJC and offering both band and piano. Mr. Portillo, after several years as a band instructor, now operates his own company, UP Music. Grades 4 and 5 will hear a band demonstration on Tuesday, 9/3, and have the opportunity to try different instruments on Wednesday, 9/4. Mr. Portillo will provide information for students to register in the program.
- We have four late starts designated this school year for professional development. Students start the day at 10 AM and may begin arriving at 9:40. Those dates are:10/10/19, 11/14/19, 3/12/20 and 5/7/20. In this way, we may provide our teachers with professional development to better serve your children.
Please remember parents to maintain safety when dropping off or picking up in the parking lot at all times. We must always be concerned for the safety of our children. Another area of safety concerns the use of cell phones in a school zone. Please remember, according to the
Illinois Vehicle code 625 ILCS 5/12-610.1: No cell phone use is permitted in a school zone.Please abide by this law.
If your child rides a bicycle to school, please inform him/her to lock it.
Parents, please report student absences on the Absence Hotline, 708-292-1162. Thank you. I look forward to our continued work together. God bless our school families.
Sincerely, Kathleen Gorman Principal
KEY SEPTEMBER CALENDAR DATES (More information to follow)
- Fall Pictures, grades PK-7, 9/17
- Special Lunch, 9/19
- Grandparents Day for Preschool/Kindergarten, 9/23 – see calendar
- Grandparents Day for grades 1-3 and Pre 3 (T, Th) – see calendar
- Math Parent Night, grades K-8, 9/25
- Progress Reports for 1st trimester, K-2, 9/27
All school physicals for any New Students, PK 3 year olds, Kindergartners, 6th Graders and all SJC athletes should be turned in at this time. Please review all emails/messages sent by the nurse if your child’s medical information/forms/medication has not been completed. School physicals must be completed according to state requirements to avoid the student’s exclusion from school.
Athletic physical forms are required in 5th, 7th, and 8th grades for participation. The 6th grade school physical form covers 6th grade athletes. All medications and forms are to be turned in immediately if not yet completed. No student may attend a field trip if the required medical forms and medication is incomplete. If you have questions please email or call Mrs. Petersen RN.
PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN
Volunteers must complete each step of the “Protecting God’s Children Safe Schools Program”before one is 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. Several Virtus sessions are scheduled at the start of the year for new parents or parents who have never taken the
class. It is crucial that you complete this class if you want to volunteer in the school.
For information regarding the program, please contact Mrs. Wingert at email@example.com 708-246-4454.
TIME, TALENT, TREASURE
We remind our parents to include any volunteer hours online since the start of the summer for the 2020-2021 school year.
Please keep Mr. Matt McCreary, husband of our 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Erin McCreary, in your prayers as he recovers from serious injuries from an automobile accident.
Please keep the Kirk/Payleitner/Spokas families in your prayers at the passing of Mrs. Payleitner’s aunt, Marsha Spokas.
We continue to remember Rachael Schopp, daughter of Deacon Schopp and SJC graduate in our prayers daily.
Please remember the sick parents, children, grandparents of our families who are sick or recovering from illness.