18 September Letter from Mr. Kelly

Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

Here we are, over a month since the first day of school.  Way to go, SJS!  There were those who told me over the summer that we wouldn’t be in school even a week, and would have to close down.  I can’t tell you how proud I am of our SJS teachers and staff and all they have taken on to make in-person learning possible.  This is a challenging situation and our teachers have taken it all on like true professionals and are making their classrooms fun and safe.  And, great job also to our SJS students.  There are so many changes and our kids have taken it all in stride and are doing a good job with the masks and social distancing.  The pandemic brings out the best (and worst) in people, and it has shown what an outstanding school/teachers we have here at SJS.

I am proud that we started school on time.  I am proud that we offered full days for all the students from the start.  I am proud we were able to offer a remote option.  And, I am proud that we have been able to keep our students and staff safe.  I hope you feel the same way.  If you do, you may be looking for a way to show your support of the school.  One option is the upcoming SOAR Dinner.  For those new to SJS, the SOAR Dinner is our annual fundraising dinner, the most important one of the year.  It normally is held off site and is a fancy dinner with a large silent and live auction and live music.  Well, COVID continues to give us chances to show our ingenuity.  So, we are going to hold an online SOAR event with auction items, and also a takeout meal event in the gym on Nov. 21st.  We still need funds raised by the event to keep tuition costs low and help to purchase new materials for the school.  The cafeteria tables and much of the technology the students use is from our previous successful SOAR Dinners.  So, while this year is sure to be different, we are hopeful for a successful event.  SOAR helps us all.  You can help in many ways: we are always looking for new sponsors, you can contribute to the silent auction, you can make a gift card or cash donation, attendance at the takeout event is win/win, and you sell raffle tickets.  More information and the event website will be coming soon.  But, we want to get this on your radar so you can do what you can for the school.  Thanks for your support.

And, speaking of SOAR, our raffle incentive last year was “The Wheel of Misfortune.”  The plan was that a wheel would spin and whatever it landed on would be dumped on our staff volunteers.  Well, we didn’t forget.  And pandemic or not, the mess must go on!  We can’t get all the kids together at one time to watch it this year.  So, the next best thing is a livestreamed event that can be watched from home.  The Wheel of Misfortune will take place on September 25th starting at approximately 11:00.  More details to come.  Thanks to all the staff who have volunteered.

There was a change made last year to the Safe Environment policy that Catholic schools follow.  Essentially, all adults who have contact with students are to be Safe Environment trained.  No matter how small that contact may seem.  We just have to make sure we are following the expectations given to us by the Archdiocese.  You can find a listing of Safe Environment trainings at https://archomaha.org/safe-environment/ .  Thank you for your support.

I also wanted to comment on our school uniform policy.  The uniform policy is a tool to make our school look consistent and respectful, and help alleviate social issues.  Thank you for your parental support and involvement.   Reminders: socks are to be visible, hair out of the eyes, belts in 5-8, and skirts no shorter than 3 inches from the knee.  All uniform items are to be purchased at a uniform store or uniform section of a department store.  A uniform policy silently teaches the lesson of equality while allowing individuality to shine through via words, actions, and personality.

Mark your calendars for Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 29th.  We will have to tweak our approach a bit this year, but the interaction and communication between home and school is vital.  Thanks for your participation.  Be on the lookout for an online sign up coming soon.


William Kelly