26 August Letter from Mr. Kelly

Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

What a nice turnout last night!  Thank you to all the parents who attended our Curriculum Night.  There was a sense of anticipation in the meeting about the start of a new school year.  I am sure the time spent listening to the teacher presentations will be helpful as the year progresses.  This meeting is important to understanding how the classroom teachers run their rooms and their expectations.  If you were unable to attend, please email the teachers for the highlights.  One of the key points that was made during the teacher presentations dealt with what to do when a question arises.  If ever a question/issue arises about the classroom it is always best to start by talking to the teacher.  They have the first-hand knowledge needed to best answer your questions.  They know their procedures and expectations.  I am confident you will find our staff to be professional and friendly.

We also discussed how the partnership between home and school is so important.  If students know that the parent is behind school decisions, if the kids see the support for teachers, great progress can be made.  We also mentioned that your student is getting a topflight education at SJS, and we have the proof in our standardized test results and graduate achievements.  But, we are always looking to improve, which is why we have worked so hard this past summer with all the building and technology improvements.  But, also of note is that we are integrating a new Math program called Simple Solutions in grades 1-6 this year.  The program is designed to help student retain Math skills.  We also have new English workbooks in grades 1-6 designed to help with sentence structure, parts of speech, and composition.  Our School Improvement Plan has also been updated.  So, thank you for your continued support as we make SJS great.

One of the best parts of the job of principal is that I get to go into the classrooms often.  I enjoy seeing the progress the students are making, and all the interesting projects.  We certainly are blessed with a talented staff and students.  And as I walk around I am reminded daily that we really have an outstanding school at SJS.  We have specials classes that many schools no longer offer.  We have a school counselor and registered nurse on staff to help students.  And we have a great amount of technology available for the teachers and kids.  So the amount of technology we have, the therapy dog, and the specials classes are all unique to SJS and really help to set us apart.  And it all comes through in our test results and high school placement.  Please spread the word about SJS.

One of the best things you can do for your student is to make sure you are monitoring their cell phone and technology usage.  If your child knows you are watching, it can help them avoid poor choices.  There are a few programs that we suggest that may be a help to you and your monitoring are: SaferKid and Bark.  But there are so many apps and programs these days for parents that I suggest you do a little research to find the one that fits your needs and budget best.  The important thing is that you are doing your part to make sure students are meeting your expectations for Catholic behavior on their devices.  As part of our instruction here at SJS the students are also taught online and social media expectations.  So you aren’t alone, we are working with you to reinforce Catholic values with technology.

We are working to reinforce to the students how they can be Jesus for others and see Jesus in others.  Sometimes the simple things go a long way, small acts can have a big impact.  We are proud of how we integrate Catholic messages into the school day and encourage you to use similar language at home.

Be on the lookout for info coming home soon about our picture day on the 20th of September.  And, don’t forget to mark your calendars for our SOAR event on November 19th.  Thanks for all you do.


William Kelly