Dear Family of St. Joseph’s,
It is difficult to believe that we are nearing the end of another school year. It has been a wonderful year for us! We have many accomplishments to be proud of; the continued work to improve Literacy and Mathematics, the number of our students participating in Chess Club, Brix for Kids, Art Club, Angel for a Day and many other activities, the wonderful productions of our K-8th grade students at their Advent program, and “Suessical, the Musical” presented by our 5th 8th grade students. Our band students shared their talents at two programs this year, and the Bell Choir performed at several of our weekday masses and other special programs. We enjoyed sharing information concerning different components of literacy and having grandparents and others join us for a special day during Catholic Schools Week. Our second grade students celebrated the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. We participated in many activities throughout the year to enable us to share our faith with one another, most recently, our Lenten Retreat Day on Good Friday.
May is always a busy month for us as we wind down the current year and begin planning for the new school year. As a staff we will be examining Iowa Assessment scores and other assessment data to allow us to make sound educational decisions for next year. We will write building goals in the academic areas of Reading, Math, and Science. We will also begin preparing for the 2016-2017 school year. The last day of school is Friday, May 27th. We will have a 1:00 dismissal on our last day.
New this year with be STEAM activities on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of our last week of school. Students will be using skills in math, science, technology, engineering and art as they explore those concepts as related to the fairy tales of The Three Little Pigs and Humpty Dumpty. For example, students will be constructing the three little pigs’ houses out of the same materials as they book, and trying to see if they can build houses that can’t be blown down. Students will also be building containers for an egg drop with the goal of not breaking the egg, among many other activities. We are looking forward to an exciting week!
We will hold a parent meeting on Wednesday, May 18th for parents of incoming 5th-8th grade students. We will share information about our upcoming 1:1 Chromebook adoption that will begin in the fall, and answer questions parents may have. We will meet at 7:00 in the gym.
Kindergarten Connection will be held on Friday, May 13th from 9:00-2:00. There will be no kindergarten that day for our current kindergarten students.
Preschool students will “graduate” on Thursday, May 26th. After their celebration, we will end the year with a reception in the gym.
We say good-bye and wish much success to our graduating eighth grade students. This has been a wonderful group of young people to work with through the years and they will be missed. Eighth grade graduation will be held on Wednesday, May 25th at 7:00 PM in the church. All school and Parish members are invited to attend this ceremony. May Crowning will be presented by our 5th grade students on Monday, May 2nd at 2:00 in the church.
We will say good-bye to three of our teachers at a special reception on May 10th at 6:30 in the gym hosted by our Home and School Association. Mrs. Tammie Dixon, our kindergarten teacher, has made the decision to return to her prior job as a full-time mom. I am grateful for her year of service and excellent teaching that she has provided to our students. She was always well prepared and planned carefully for each educational day, and used every minute of instructional time. She will be missed.
We will also miss Ms. Nora Warnemunde, who will be leaving us as well. She will be teaching in the public schools. Mrs. Jones has become a teacher with the Ankeny schools which allows her to teach in the same building with her children. Finally, I extend my thanks to Mrs. Lisa Risvold, who has served our school for many years. She has made the decision to leave teaching and begin working in the public sector. I know you join me in wishing them all of the best and with gratitude for their service to our school.
I also wish to extend my gratitude to our Home and School Association for a tremendous year. I know we all enjoyed the parent gatherings/meals at the beginning of the school year, and all of the other events they planned.
I wish all of you a relaxing and fun-filled summer! The first day of school will be August 25th!
Mrs. Phyllis Konchar