27 August Letter from Mr. Kelly

August 27, 2021

Memorial of Saint Monica

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

We continue to make good progress this 1st quarter at SJS.  Thank you to all the parents who attended our “Curriculum Night” last night.  There was a sense of excitement in the meeting about the start of a new school year.  I am confident the time spent listening to the teacher presentations will be helpful as the year progresses.  This meeting is vital to understanding how the classroom teachers run their rooms and the expectations that are present.  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.  Support for teacher decisions is also very important.  If students know that parents will stand behind the decision of the teacher, great progress can be made in changing habits or behaviors.

We also discussed COVID and the need to monitor for symptoms very closely.  Again, if ever in doubt you should keep your student home and consult your pediatrician.  It is best to err on the side of caution.  If we can keep sick kids out of school it simply keeps everyone healthy.  And, we strongly encourage mask use.  Please send your student with a mask so they can put it on whenever in close contact with another.  And, if anyone in the household is positive, your student will need to stay home.  We appreciate all your help and support as we work to make this year as smooth as possible.

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, the specials classes, and the Genius Hour 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, and thanks for all you do as well.

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.

Goal setting is a great way to start the school year.  I would encourage that conversation quarterly with your student.  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.  If you need help with goals for your student feel free to talk to our fine teachers.

Be on the lookout for info coming home soon about our picture day on the 8th of September.  And, don’t forget to mark your calendars for our SOAR event on November 20th.  Thanks for all you do.


William Kelly