20 August Letter from Mr. Kelly

August 20, 2021

Memorial of St. Bernard

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

Yes, one week down!  Thanks for all your help in getting us through a successful week one.  It is great to be back with the kids in a relatively normal routine.  We are blessed at SJS with outstanding teachers and students, and when you put them together, with the resources we have at SJS, great progress can occur.  I look forward to seeing the progress and successes we will have this year.  Thank you for your continued support.

Right now we are mask encouraged at SJS.  And we have about half of the kids that wear a mask most days.  We strongly encourage you to send one with your students, and anytime they are within three feet of another, to put that mask on.  If there are COVID positive cases throughout the school we will move on to a mask mandatory approach.  We will do what is prudent in these situations and I know we can count on your support.  If we go to mask mandatory it will be non-negotiable.  So, one of the best ways to keep your kids from getting sick is to make sure you do what you can to keep everyone at home healthy.  If kids had COVID last school year at SJS it largely was due to someone at home being sick, which makes perfect sense.  So, social distancing, masking, and hand cleanliness, are encouraged.  And the COVID vaccine has proven to be an effective tool as well.  Pope Francis this week said, “Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love.”  So, I present that as food for serious thought.

Our weekly virtual backpack is emailed to all families.  This saves the school time, paper, and money.  But if it isn’t read it is simply useless.  Please make the reading of the weekly virtual backpack an important part of your weekly routine.  This is an easy way to know of all that is going on at school. And we likely will need to send you many emails this year to keep you informed of all that is going on.  I apologize if it becomes burdensome, but the info and communication will be vital.  And, we are excited to have this week’s Virtual Backpack be presented in its new and fun format.  Thank you to Mrs. Howard and Mrs. Franson for all their hard work with the VBP.

One of the topics I have mentioned to the students is that it’s especially important to start the year off right with appropriate goals.  Are expectations and goals being reached?  What is standing in the way of higher scores?  Has homework and studying been a priority?  Has test preparation been thorough enough?  One of my favorite parts about being in education is that there are so many opportunities for fresh starts.  Every quarter, week, and day gives us a chance to improve performance.  I hope you spend some time with your student assessing the start of the quarter and setting future goals.

There is much that we will do this year to make sure the students know our expectations for Catholic behavior.  We will also be continuing the Positive Office Referrals.  As a Catholic school we want our students to be good and kind to each other, and this program recognizes and encourages exceptionally kind actions.  We will also have the student sign the SJS pledge for Catholic Kindness.  We have the SJS School Pledge that the students memorize as it will be said weekly.  The teachers have been covering this topic of Catholic behavior thoroughly as the year begins.  Clearly, once again, there are solid expectations for students as we work to make our school the best Catholic school in town.

We look forward to seeing you at Curriculum Night next Thursday.  It will begin in the church at 6:30.  We encourage you to use social distancing and wear a mask if unvaccinated.  The night just makes you more aware of all that is going on.  I am confident the time spent viewing the teacher presentations and info will be helpful as the year progresses.  Thanks for all you do.


William Kelly