Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
We want to congratulate our 8th grade on celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation last Saturday. Bishop Manz took time to speak individually with each student, supporting the growth of their faith through the sacramental experience. We are very proud of our students!
This past week, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week, which is done across this nation every year at this time for the last 30 years. It becomes a time to pause and realize the gifts that emerge from the education provided through Catholic Schools. Our mission allows for children to receive gifts of faith formation, knowledge, and service to others, which ultimately leads to the individual success of all our children. We as a school and as part of the larger Archdiocese of Chicago, thank our parents for realizing these gifts and sharing a partnership with SJC. We also extend thanks to the parish, who has supported Catholic education over the years and continues to do so. In this time of decreased enrollment in our schools, we pray that SJC remains the Christ-centered place for all to come and know that each child matters.
With the month of February comes the beginning of Lent. Our Ash Wednesday liturgy takes place on 2/14. We begin six weeks of prayer, fast, and almsgiving. As is church tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time of preparation where Catholics pray, fast, and give alms. The children pray in various ways each day and through the liturgy of prayer. Fasting does not necessarily mean to fast from food, but to turn away from bad habits or things that do not allow us to be whole. We practice the almsgiving in our homerooms with the presence of the Rice Bowls. The children may bring loose change throughout the season and place it in the bowls as a means of giving to those who are in need. The Rice Bowls collection is part of the parish giving throughout Lent. Almsgiving also refers to service to others. As a school, we will collect new or gently used books for Chicago Collegiate. They are a newly opened Charter school who is in need of books. Whatever your child or you as a family decide to accomplish during Lent, I invite you to visit the following website to read and reflect on different practices that might bring your family closer together. http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/lent/ We here at SJC will keep our families in our prayers as you approach the Lenten season.
During the month of February, we also celebrate love, traditionally on Valentine’s Day. Since that is on Ash Wednesday, we will celebrate in a liturgy on Monday, 2/26 at 9:15 AM. This year, we are able to bring Jesse Manibusan, a composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist catechist, evangelizer and encourager to our children in a concert that same afternoon, 2/26 at 2:15 PM. We teamed with our YC Program to bring this amazing young man to SJC and share his talents and spirit-filled energy. If you would like to attend, please feel free to join us.
Finally, during February, we offer our parents another opportunity to visit their child/ren’s classroom teacher during our Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences, scheduled on Thursday, 2/8, from 1-4 PM and again at 5-8 PM. All children will be dismissed from school at noon on that day. You should have received notification of this change on the calendar and also through the registration for conferences process. We will not have school on Friday, 2/9 as it is a scheduled Staff Development Day.
Thank you for your continued support of Catholic education. Stay warm!
Curricular Programs Update
At this time, our K-2 children finished their MAP tests and our students in 3-8 completed the second Aspire Interim assessment. These tests are designed to test where each student is in relationship to the individual benchmarks within the different grade levels and disciplines. We take that information and adjust our curriculum and the students learning in order to close the gap. We will send that information to you next week.
Mrs. Sue Michalowski, our School Librarian, embarks upon the 4th annual One School One Book month-long reading event on 2/5. 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 next Monday 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.
UPCOMING FEBRUARY ACTIVITES/EVENTS:
- Blessing of throats for Blaise Day at 10:55 AM in the school gym, 2/2
- Conclusion of Catholic Schools Week activities with Career Day and Spirit Day, 2/2
- Parent Association meets for their monthly meeting on 2/6 at 9 AM in the PC
- Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences on 2/8 from 1-4 and 5-8 PM
- Dismissal of all students on 2/8 at noon
- NO SCHOOL 2/9 – Staff Development Day
- Athletic Board Meeting, 2/12 at 7 PM
- Valentine’s Day Parties, 2:15 PM, on 2/13, grades K-3
- Ash Wednesday liturgy, 9:15 AM, 2/14
- President’s Day – NO SCHOOL, 2/19
- School Advisory Board Meeting on 2/20 at 7 PM, PC
- Special lunch, 2/22, hot dogs on the menu
- Feed My Starving Children Service Project, grade 6 on 2/23 from 11 AM – 3 PM
- 2nd Trimester ends, 2/23
- 8th Grade Fortnightly, 2/23 at 7 PM
- 2/26, Love Liturgy, 9:15 AM at church
- 2/26 – Jesse Manibusan Concert, 2:15 PM in gym
- Scrip continues each Tuesday and Thursday. For information regarding Scrip, please check the website or contact Mrs. Tisa at email@example.com.
We are continuing to experience Influenza A & B, strep throat, stomach virus and other respiratory viruses in our student population. Thank you for keeping your children home when they are having symptoms of not being well. Keeping those with symptoms of illness at home is the best way to prevent the spread of all of these illnesses. It is not possible to differentiate which illness may be present in the first few days without getting tested. Please contact your physician’s office when you need help deciding if a child should be brought in for testing of Influenza or Strep throat so treatment can be initiated promptly if indicated.
The Influenza has not shown signs of slowing down and, according to the latest (1-26-18) information from the CDC, may continue for several more weeks before peaking. It is not too late to get vaccinated against the influenza. If your child has had any illness please keep them home until they are feeling up to full participation in the school day, eating well and rested. They must also be fever free for 24 hours without any fever-reducing medication to return. If students are still tired and run-down it is more likely they will catch the next illness going around- please give them time to recover. Please keep the school nurse informed of findings of Influenza or Strep infections, so that she may more accurately observe for symptoms and advise others. Thank you for picking up ill students promptly when called. We are doing all we can to keep waiting children separate from each other. Thank you for your support as we go through this season.
- Parents must contact our Attendance Hotline by 9 AM when your child is sick and unable to attend school that day. 708-292-1162
- As part of the 7th grade Confirmation requirements, all students must sign up for one of the liturgies during the Archdiocesan Catholic Appeal. Please contact Marybeth Drafz. (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the Parish Office if you did not sign up
- CALLING ALL PARENTS of TEENAGERS! Join us Sunday February 11th 10:15-11:30 AM, in Room 119. A panel of experienced parents will share their wisdom to support and encourage you! Theme: Teens become adults in our Catholic Church at confirmation. Ways parents guide teens through continued service, prayer & faith formation as an adult! Registration helps us prepare: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f49abab22aaf58-catholic Questions? Contact Katie Hayes email@example.com
- The Father McDonnell Scholarship application, offered through the Women’s Club, is now available on the Parish website and must be submitted by 2/8 for 8th grade students. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Hayes in the Parish Office
- We will also offer a scholarship entitled Donahue Catholic Education Excellence Award for a graduating 8th grade student who will be attending a Catholic High School. The scholarship will be posted on our website on 2/15 and must be submitted no later than 3/1.
- TIME, TALENT, TREASURE – We remind our parents to continue and include any volunteer hours online and submit them when you have reached 15 hours. Those hours are due 4/15/2018.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-246-4454.
- We continue to keep Rachael Schopp and Father David in our prayers each day.
- Mrs. Sue Bak is recuperating from her recent surgery. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.