Friday, 30 October 2015 00:00

November blog

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Dear Parents, I enjoyed seeing many of you at conferences and sharing in your child’s progress. Your involvement in your child’s education lets them know that their education is important to you. On November 1st we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. This holy day for honoring all hallowed or holy ones had its first beginnings in the early seventh century and by the early ninth century was celebrated on May 13. The idea of holding one feast to celebrate all holy women and men seems to have been born in the early centuries of Christianity. It was transferred to November 1 in 840 A.D. by Pope Gregory IV and became a universal holy day by 1484. Graves were once decorated with flowers and lighted candles, and large processions of visitors went to cemeteries; throughout the day the church bells would ring. All Saint’s Day is a celebration perfectly suited to autumn. We celebrate God’s great harvest of all people throughout history who have shown love, joy and service to others. That’s why All Saints and its holy eve, Halloween, are bright with the fruits and flowers of autumn. That’s why it’s customary to celebrate with apple-bobbing and pumpkin carving and other harvest games. That is also why the eve of All Saints begins with a night of trick-or-treating. People give and receive hospitality, the hallmark virtue of the saints. Part of the beauty of this day is that it is an occasion to honor the unnamed heroes and heroines of our families, our personal saints. Thank you to Ms. Horihan and our fourth grade students who will share a prayer service with us on November 2nd for All Saint’s Day. We also celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The people who first “invented” the observance of Thanksgiving Day were seventeenth-century Puritans. The Puritans made use of customs that European Catholics would have associated with St. Martin’s Day. We Americans really can rejoice in several long-standing aspects of the holiday: the emphasis on unity and reconciliation between Native Americans and settlers, and the bounty we share in our country. Lets also all remember those members of our parish family who are serving our country in foreign lands again this year, as well as the sacrifices their family members make by the absence of their loved ones. Please keep them in your prayers. The end of the first trimester is Friday, November 13th. Parents will able to access their child/ren’s progress report on Friday, November 20th through Power School. All students in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade will be benchmarked for reading during the first week of November. Teachers will send a paper copy home to parents that will detail progress made in comprehension, fluency and accuracy with a comparison from the initial benchmarking at the end of the school year last year in May. November will be another busy month. Our Brix for Kids Club is up and running and is held on Tuesdays after school in the library. The second session for our school year will begin November 11th. Each club session lasts four weeks and has a specific theme. The club is restricted to a class size of 20 students. Art Club is held after school each Wednesday. Third through fifth grade students will be traveling to the Civic Center November 4th for a presentation of “Soweto Gospel Choir”. Our middle school students will travel to the Civic Center November 5th for the presentation of “Soweto Gospel Choir.” The Angel for A Day program for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade girls will meet November 18th. Dowling student ambassadors will visit with our fifth grade students on Monday, November 10th. Our students will participate in a Buddy Activity which will be held on November 24th. This activity will be planned by our second and sixth grade teachers. Our next Home and School meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 10th at 6:30 pm in the gym. Please come to show your support for our parents who so tirelessly support our school with their time and talents! School will dismiss for the Thanksgiving holiday on Tuesday, November 24th at our regular dismissal time of 3:15. School will not be in session November 25th , 26th and November 27th. Classes will resume on Monday, November 30th. I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is filled with the love of family and friends. Fondly, Mrs. Phyllis Konchar Notes from the Principal  The next Home and School meeting will be Tuesday, November 10th at 6:30 in the gym. This group continues to work hard to build community. Their latest activity was the Halloween Party on October 25th which involved the Parish and the school community. It was very well attended. We are very fortunate to have so many parents who so willingly share of their time and talents. Thank you to all of you!  Project HOPE has been determined and received. If you applied for an award you should receive notification from our business manager, Jim Hart, to let you know the amount of the award you received.  October 30th was the last day for our students to wear shorts this fall as part of their uniform. Students may resume wearing shorts April 1st.  Our fourth grade students will share a prayer service with us on Monday, November 2nd at 2:30 in the church for All Saint’s Day, which is celebrated this year on Sunday. You are very welcome to join us!  School will not be in session for the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday, November 25th, Thursday, November 26th or Friday, November 27th. School will resume on Monday, November 30th.  We are very fortunate to be a part of the “Applause” series through the Civic Center and the Temple for the Performing Arts. Our teachers and students are offered the opportunity to attend performances throughout the school year for a $1.00 ticket price. We are attending a number of performances; “Soweto Gospel Choir, Goodnight Moon & the Runaway Bunny, Room on the Broom, The Cat in the Hat, Egg, Live Wire! The Electricity Tour, among many others. In addition to the obvious academic purpose, these experiences provide our students lessons in the theatre and performing arts, music exposure and life skills of etiquette in a theatre.  The end of the first trimester is Friday, November 13th. Progress reports will be available on Friday, November 20th on Power School.  Benchmarking for all of our students will be held the first week of November. As in prior years, letters will be MAILED home to share this educational data with you.  The diocese has formed a Risk Management Committee. Its purpose is to cut down risks of liability. The Safety/Culture Committee is a sub-committee of the Risk Management Committee. This group will be giving out information on how to keep everyone in our buildings safe. Their goal is to instill a culture of safety in all our institutions. Every parish/institution needs a Safety/Culture Committee. This is the responsibility of the parish/institution to create this committee. Someone from the school needs to be on this committee. It does NOT have to be the principal/administrator. We want to make our institutions safe and reduce the number of liability claims.  All diocesan schools will be participating in “Faith Formation” this year. Cohorts have been formed for the “Faith Formation” sessions. The suggestion made was that schools who already spend PD time together may want to do these sessions together as well. Individual schools will be a part of the decision making process with regard to cohorts, timing of sessions, frequency of sessions, etc. We have had three faith formation opportunities to date this year. Our next one will be held in December.  Congratulations to our Mock Trial team led by coach Aaron Siebrecht. Our students competed on Monday, October 26th. They did a great job preparing for presenting a case from the standpoint of both prosecution and defense. I was very proud of them!  We will be asking parents to anonymously participate in a survey monkey to provide us with feedback for our lunch program. We also are seeking information about the need for a breakfast program.
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