Principal’s News: March

Dear Parents and/or Guardians:

With the beginning of March, programs, activities and events begin to increase. One special program which just concluded was the school play, Shrek the Musical Junior. We are proud of our children who rose to the occasion, sang and danced with a high energy, enjoyment, and successfully portrayed the DreamWorks Theatrical Production. Mrs. Jennifer Miller brought out the best in the children’s talents. We thank Mrs. Miller for her wonderful rendition of Shrek and sharing her talents with the children. The performance exemplified the “big, bright, beautiful world!” of SJC.

LENT, LITURGY, SERVICE
As we are aware, Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent begins this week, 3/6. The children celebrate the liturgy together and receive ashes. 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. Our Rice Bowls are part of the parish giving through Lent. SJC will do its part in preparing for Easter through the Lenten season through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

To embrace prayer during Lent, Mrs. Connelly has invited students to Mass who would like to attend all Fridays in Lent at the 7:45 AM liturgies. Parents may drop off your child at church, and she will be there with them and bring them back to school for the start of the school day. Teachers also continue Lenten prayer in the classroom.

During Lent, we celebrate the feasts of St. Patrick and Joseph with a liturgy on 3/18. The children may wear a touch of green and/or red in commemoration of these two special patron saints. On 4/8, we will celebrate the liturgy with a Lenten theme.

Periodically throughout the year, our different grade levels work on a Service Project. Some of the work they do is part of our expectations, i.e., our 7th grade helping change the music selection in church prior to the start of a new liturgical year. Our 4th grade helps the Welcome Committee by thoughtfully decorating bags for new families. Each year, grade 5 attends Northern Illinois Food Bank, which they plan for Friday, 3/8, while 6th grade attends Feed My Starving Children on the same date. We feel that service is a part of who we are and attempt to convey that to the children each time they complete a project. Of course, the Port Sandwich Making is ongoing. We thank you, our parents, for your continued support of these important lessons which will be invaluable to the children as they grow older and realize that we must give back to others.

SCHOOL SCHEDULE CHANGE
During the winter Parish Advisory Council Meeting, a recommendation was made to change the daily mass time to 9 AM. After much discussion, the Council supported the change in time. Father Reszel will take it under consideration. Its change will have an impact on the start of the school day next year. In all probability, the school day will begin and end fifteen minutes earlier. We need to take a closer look at its impact on our morning and after school programs.

The advantage to an earlier starting time is the daily mass time gives the school and grade levels more opportunity to celebrate liturgy during the school year. We will send more details about it to school families as the calendar unfolds.

Thank you parents for your continued support of Catholic education and entrusting your children to our care.

Sincerely,
Kathleen Gorman
Principal

CURRICULAR PROGRAMS
We were thrilled with the attendance at our Optional Parent Teacher Conferences during February. Thank you for your continued partnership with your child/ren’s teachers.

Many important programs occur during March. On the 1st of March, Dr. Clodagh Ryan met with our 5th grade for her annual presentation of Tar Wars. The focus of this program demonstrated the dangers of tobacco. Dr. Ryan also included a segment of the newest fad with children, vaping. We are deeply grateful for the time that Dr. Ryan gives to this segment of the children’s education. We cannot stress enough the importance of all of us being proactive in protecting our children from the dangers of tobacco and vaping. Thank you Dr. Ryan.

Mrs. Michalowski, our energetic school librarian, once again brings a popular, award winning author to SJC. Karina Yana Glaser meets with the children in grades 2-6 on Wednesday, following the liturgy. She addresses not only her books, but also discusses her career as an author.

Mrs. Michalowski also runs the Spring Safety Presentations during the week of March 25th through 29th. Topics include Stranger Danger, summer safety, sun safety, traffic and railroad crossing, bike safety, internet safety and substance awareness. Our presenters include Sheila Hallinan from the Secretary of State Bureau, Dr. Podjasek, and Western Springs Police Officer Sarah Magnuson. Topics are age appropriate per grade level.

Our 8th grade meets with Mr. John Grossman on 3/8 who will present a holistic view of how healthy Christian love progresses. Following his presentation, he then will meet with students for their 8th grade retreat, where he challenges students to nourish the gifts received through Confirmation and continue service to others beyond 8th grade.

As part of our Fine Arts Curriculum, the 8th grade also puts together a Talent Show to present to the entire student body. It becomes a culmination of those special talents which they have developed over the years. We look forward to the assembly on 3/22 at 2:15 PM.

Nurse Petersen will offer the Always Changing Puberty and Hygiene Education Program during March. She will meet with the 5th grade girls and their moms or an adult family member on 3/14 in Room 119 at 7 PM. The 5th grade boys program will be presented by Mr. Eric Kittlaus from Nazareth Academy on 3/22 during the school day. Program information will be sent to parents of 5th graders.

Our 4th grade presents their different state research projects at the Regional Fair here at SJC throughout the day on 3/21. Parents are invited to view their presentations on 3/21 at 2:15 PM in the gym.

Aspire Assessment
Finally, the children in grades 3-8 prepare to take the Aspire testing during the first week in April. We begin on Monday, 4/1 and throughout the week. ACT Aspire is aligned to the rigorous curriculum standards that inform classroom instruction. The ACT Aspire assesses students’ academic proficiency in five academic areas: English, Reading, Math, Science and Writing. We will send more information to you as it becomes available.

WINTER GALA
If you have not yet purchased your tickets for the Winter Gala, you have this week to do so. The event takes place on Saturday, 3/9, with “A Night in the Hamptons”. The Hampton Social in Burr Ridge welcomes our SJC family at 7 PM. Many individuals are responsible for the success of this evening. A special thank you to Jayne Griswold and Jeannine Sur, our Co-Chairs for this year’s event. Proceeds from the event are split between the school to offset the school operations and the Teacher’s Recognition Trust. We appreciate the time and energy that went into planning and look forward to a fun filled evening with parents and teachers together, celebrating SJC.

REGISTRATION
By now, you registered your children for 2019-2020 school year. Registration assists us in planning the budget and tuition for next school year, which the School Advisory Board and school administration are in the process of completing. If you are not planning to return to SJC, please open the registration form and complete the needed information so that we have an accurate picture of what the enrollment will be. 

NURSE’S UPDATE
We are experiencing greater numbers of students coming to school with complaints of sore throat, sinus congestion, and headaches. Influenza is still breaking out with two cases reported on Thursday and Friday. Please continue to keep those with congestion, fever and overall not feeling well home and see the doctor to be tested for influenza. Keep students with symptoms of illness home. Please do not give Tylenol or Ibuprofen and send them to school- it does not prevent the spread of symptoms.

SCHOOL ADVISORY BOARD
Thank you parents for completing the survey which was sent by the school and Advisory Board. We will review the findings at our upcoming meetings and utilize the information to assist us with a financial plan moving forward. Results will be reported at a later date. We appreciate your input.

PARENT ASSOCIATION
Earlier this school year, our Parent Association sent home a letter to parents describing an activity to raise money for the PA and our children. They are sponsoring a Fun Run, which is in conjunction with our PE and Health Curriculum. They have begun to send home information through the Parent Newsletter each week. Please read it for complete information. The run takes place here at school in the gym on Thursday, 4/11. We will provide more details to you through the PA newsletters. Help support this worthwhile cause.

Spring book fair takes place on 3/19 and 3/20.

REMINDERS
2nd Trimester concluded on 3/1/19. Report cards go home 3/8/19.

 Staff Retreat on Friday, 4/5/19. NO SCHOOL.

VBS COORDINATOR NEEDED
Summer Vacation Bible School at SJC is looking for one or two Coordinators to plan and offer an amazing VBS for our K-4 youth on Monday to Thursday, June 24 – 27, 9 AM to noon. If you are interested in taking on the Vacation Bible School, please contact Mrs. Janet Caschetta at jcaschetta@stjohnofthecross.org.

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. You must log your hours before 5/15/19 to qualify for the 2019-2020 parish subsidy. If you plan on volunteering for Celebrate SJC Day, you may add that to the form on the website since you will not have access to the form after 5/15/19. The portal will shut down at that time and will not open again until mid-June.

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 wingert@sjc.pvt.k12.il.us or 708-246-4454.