21 August Letter from Mr. Kelly

Memorial of St. Pius X, Pope

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

Alright, one week down!  Thanks for all your help in getting us through a successful week one.  It’s really amazing how adaptable kids are, how flexible they can be.  We have had very few mask issues, or any problems with the temperature checks, and while the procedures are different the kids have really taken to it all very well.  So, we have to do many things differently to stay together in school, and I appreciate all your help and support.

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.

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.

In spite of the challenges this year, I really am excited.  We have talented students, supportive parents, and gifted teachers.  I am confident that we are going to make great progress this year.  I wanted to remind everyone that we are an academically rigorous school, which means school work and homework are important and the learning process is our primary focus.  So while extra activities and athletics benefit our students, the learning of new skills and acquiring knowledge is why we are here.  I mentioned that idea often the last two years, and it has been received well.  But, it’s also good to remember that we also are an academically rigorous Catholic school.  That means all that we do should reflect the Catholic faith–our interactions, discipline, textbooks/materials, our words and actions.   Thank you for your support of our high expectations for student behavior and academics.

So 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.

Normally we would have an in-person Curriculum Night.  This year it seems best to have an online version.  So teachers will be sending you a variety of information about their classes next week.  Please make sure you read it and are 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.



William Kelly