Principal’s News

Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
Halloween, a true staple of autumn, has come and gone.  In fact, 11/9 marks the end of the first trimester, with report cards going home on 11/16.  We have completed one third of the school year.  We enjoyed meeting with parents during Parent Teacher Conferences, keeping with our desire to maintain a partnership with home/school. Hopefully, we are confident that your child/ren will continue to soar with their class work or make improvements to better their grades.  We appreciate our work with families!

We want the children to begin the new trimester with success.  As we look at the first part of the year, tardies have increased these last two weeks.  Children deserve the same opportunity as every student in the classroom, ready to settle into a new day.   When the children begin their day late, it often causes upset or anxiety. The second bell rings at 8:55 AM, indicating that the children should be in the building, finished at their lockers, sitting in their seats, and  ready to begin at that time. Prayer begins immediately, then classes. If students are walking into the building at the bell, they are already late. If you find that the children are slow in moving and you need more time in order to be punctual, wake your child five to ten minutes earlier.  I assure you that their overall day will improve greatly.

Being November, Winter is right around the corner.  With cold weather and snow both lingering on the horizon,  please remember to dress your children in the appropriate outdoor garments.  We have recess everyday, so we want the children to be comfortable in any kind of weather.  

November is the month of Thanksgiving.  Our Parent Association has always planned a school-wide Service Project at all grade levels,  K-8, with community groups. Again, both Helping Hands and Beds Plus are the organizations with whom we have developed a strong relationship.  The activities are geared toward helping those individuals.  Service Projects take place on the afternoon of 11/29.  More information to follow.

As we periodically do throughout the school year, Student Council sponsors an occasional out of uniform day for organizations that affect our students in some way.  On Thursday, 10/25, during Red Ribbon Week, they raised $1000.00 for Breast Cancer Awareness and Down Syndrome Awareness month. The donations went toward “Breast Intentions,” an organization that assists  families with a loved one who has breast cancer to help with expenses related or unrelated to the person’s medical condition as expenses can be exorbitant. Donations also went to UPS for DownS, a parent-directed organization that offers support, education, and encouragement for parents, families, and others who love and care about people with Down Syndrome. The children wore pink in support of Breast Cancer and/or blue in support of Down Syndrome.

In the same vein with service to others less fortunate, we  want to feed our own spirituality during this wonderful season.  Youth Catechesis (YC) has planned a parish wide event with Mike Patin on 11/18.  They have graciously booked his stay one more day for the school children to hear his message.  He brings his energy, humor and stories to affirm the goodness of God’s presence among us while inviting others to take the “next step” in our journey with God on 11/19  during a morning assembly. Mike has worked with teenagers and adults in a variety of settings since 1984. He worked as a high school teacher, coach and youth minister at local and Diocesan levels since 1990. He speaks around the country to children, young people and adults on issues of Catholic faith, positive attitude, using your gifts and living life fully. Mike has had the privilege of speaking to more than 1000 groups in over 115 dioceses in diocesan, regional, national and international settings. He has led retreats, parish missions, leadership institutes, and in-services.  We look forward to his presentation on the 19th.

The very next day, 11/20, we celebrate the Thanksgiving liturgy as a school in the church.  Thanksgiving break begins on Wednesday, 11/21 and the children return to school on Monday, 11/26.  We wish our school families a blessed and holy Thanksgiving with family surrounding your table.  

God Bless you all!

Sincerely,
Kathleen Gorman
Principal

SACRAMENTAL/LITURGIES/PRAYER SERVICES
Our children in grades 3-5 meet in the church on 11/12 for Reconciliation. Our teachers work with the students in preparation for this sacrament.  They reflect upon how they may better themselves due to mistakes they may have made. The children receive the blessings from partaking in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Our students within the sacramental program continue to ready themselves for the sacrament. Our 7th grade recently participated in the Commitment Ceremony, where they pronounced their readiness in preparation of the sacrament of Confirmation and look toward learning more about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and the wonderful saints who are their role models in achieving those gifts.  They also have an opportunity for service through parish/community events. Students attended an Archdiocesan retreat with other children across the diocese who are preparing for Confirmation as well. Our 8th grade celebrated the Day of the Spirit Retreat last Saturday with other 8th graders from the parish.  They continue to meet in small faith groups to prepare for Confirmation.  On 11/8 and 11/9, they have an opportunity to meet with their sponsors to discuss their faith life.  

CURRICULAR PROGRAM

One School One Book
Many thanks to Mrs. Michalowski who has once again has engaged our children in reading with the The Indian in the Cupboard.  She elicits an excitement each day as we read clues over the PA about the story.  The podcasts allow for families to participate in the program together. This year, Mrs. Michalowski plans a Movie Night on 11/16 at 6 PM in the MPR for any family who would like to join us for an evening of entertainment as we watch the movie together.  Popcorn will be provided. Come one, come all, but please RSVP to the invite blast next week so that Mrs. Michalowski is adequately prepared for everyone who attends.   

Speech Club
Our Speech Club was organized many years ago by a parent who wanted her child and the other SJC children to  benefit from speaking in front of groups. Acquiring this life skill can take us through many difficult or trying moments in life.  We are extremely grateful for our parent volunteers who come religiously Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings to work with the children in grades 6-8 on speeches.  The children will participate in a Speech Contest here at school on 11/7 in five different speech areas: declamation, original oratory, prose, poetry and dramatic for this annual event. The evening is the culmination of their hard work throughout the 1st trimester.  Good luck to our students!  Students’ scores and ribbons will be awarded to them during a Pizza Lunch at 12:30 on 11/12 in the Parish Center.

Academic Bowls
At this time of the year, and again in spring, many high schools offer the students opportunities to participate in Academic Bowls.  Our students have regularly attended over the years. This past month, a group of ten 8th graders competed in the Nazareth Academy annual math competition.  There were seventeen schools in total that attended and our students had a great time and worked hard in both individual and team contests.  Great job to all those who represented SJC and a special shout-out to one 7th grader who placed in the individual competition! We are very proud of our students accomplishments.

UPCOMING IMPORTANT CALENDAR DATES
Parish Event – “Navigating Senior Care – A Caregiver’s Journey.”  this parish sponsored event explores the continuum of care for Seniors on 11/9 from 9-11 AM or 11/12 from 7-9 PM. .  Please contact Elizabeth Russell-Jones for more information at 708-246-4404.

8th grade graduation pictures occur on 11/28.  Also, the 8th grade take their high school entrance exam at the Catholic High School of their choice on 12/1.  Be sure to check the website of the high school for pertinent information

On Saturday, 12/1, the 2nd graders celebrate First Reconciliation.  The children are very excited, as they should be, to celebrate a wonderful opportunity for the blessings from one of the seven sacraments.

Christmas Pageant
Each year, our music department sponsors a beautiful rendition of the birth of Christ with two half hour plays in grades 1-4.  Once again, the students have begun to prepare for this event.  Grades 1 and 2 prepare for “Guess Who’s Coming to Bethlehem”.  This musical tells the story of the animals that live near the manger. They are curious about what kind of baby the Lamb of God will be. The children will be singing fun and engaging songs that help tell the story, with some traditional Christmas carols as well.  Our 3rd and 4th grade perform in “Sing a Song of Christmas”.  The story shares Jesus’s birth and teaches why we should sing joyfully in praise of God.  It features traditional Christmas carols and new carols that were written for this play. We  look forward to our traditional Christmas celebration on 12/20.  Please mark your calendars to assure that you witness our wonderful children in action and song.

NURSE’S UPDATE
Some area schools are experiencing outbreaks of head lice. Please remind your children not to share any items worn on or around their head- hats, scarves, headbands, barrettes, helmets, etc. Please be noticing if your child is scratching his/her head or complaining of itching so that you can check for head lice and treat accordingly. If you do find head lice please let Mrs. Petersen know so that she can be on the alert here at school as well. Please review the Head Lice information in the the Parent/Student Handbook.

Please monitor the the Nurses News on the website for timely updates of health information.

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 this class if you want to volunteer in the school.

For information regarding the program, please contact Mrs. Wingert at wingert@sjc.pvt.k12.il.us or 708-246-4454.

TIME, TALENT, TREASURE
Any time you volunteer in the school for any event, please take the time to complete the Time Talent and Treasure form on the website in the Parent Portal.  It will save you time at the end of the year when we notify parents that we are closing it down.

THANK YOU
Thank you to our Parent Association who so thoughtfully thinks of our teachers with monthly treats, and most recently, by providing a light dinner during Parent Teacher Conferences.  We are grateful for our parents!