7 January Letter from Mr. Kelly

Friday after Epiphany

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

Welcome back to school and happy New Year.  I hope the holiday season was a time of many blessings for you and your family.  It was nice to have a break to get refreshed and focus on the true meaning of the holidays.  But it’s also nice to get back to the business of Catholic education and making a difference for our students.  The teachers and I are excited to be back to school and continuing the learning process.  I have to admit, it is hard to believe the school year is half over as the second semester started on Monday.  The first semester went by very quickly, and I remain impressed with the great effort of the staff and students.  The new semester provides us the chance to evaluate the school year thus far.  Has there been enough time made for homework?  Has test preparation been thorough enough?  Have you, as a parent, been available to help with schoolwork?  Have you been supportive of the teachers and school?  The new semester provides a fresh start and new opportunities.

Please keep an eye out for report cards that will come out today, January 7th.  Report cards provide an opportunity to examine the progress that has been made so far this school year, and then make goals for the remainder of the year.  Areas that I always encourage parents to discuss: test preparation, focus in class, in-class behaviors, homework quality, attendance, and avoiding late work.
Here are a few points to remember when setting a goal for your student:

-Ask your student to think of the one thing he or she would like to accomplish this  year- a goal must be something your student believes in and wants.  Then write it down!
-A goal must say exactly what the student wants to accomplish.
-Be sure the goal will stretch the child, but also be attainable.
-Set a reasonable time frame for achieving the goal.

Be sure the goal is really the student’s goal.  Allow for effort and satisfaction, and sometimes even disappointment and frustration.  This is all part of the learning and growing process.  If you need help in setting a goal please visit with our fine teachers.

As I have shared we want the students to know the stories of St. James and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  So, in the first semester we learned about St. James, and now we are learning about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  We want the students to be inspired by these great saints and be able to pull meaning from their lives.  Below are the facts we are asking each student to know about St. Elizabeth Ann, feel free to reinforce at home.

-First American born saint.
-Was a wife and mother and converted after the death of her husband.
-Started the Sisters of Charity-dedicated to the care of the poor and children.
-Started first Catholic school in America.
-Set the example that no extraordinary gifts are needed for an extraordinary Christian life.
-Had a deep devotion to Eucharist, Scripture, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
-Feast is January 4th

Just to help our parents plan- in early February we will begin the registration process for next school year.  We appreciate your support and a timely return of materials.  We open registration to current families first as a courtesy to you and encourage you to take advantage of that opportunity.  Some classes fill quickly, and you want to return the forms to secure your place.  And, we want to add as many new families as possible so please spread the word about SJS.  This year, in particular, there is much that you can share with others about the great work being done at SJS. We are planning our Preschool and Kindergarten Roundup for February 18th.  Please spread the word.  Thanks for your continued support.

We also appreciate the good work you are doing in keeping sick students out of school.  As I have shared, that really is the key to success.  So, if ever a student displays a COVID symptom, it is best to keep them home as you evaluate their progress.  If a student has been exposed to COVID, it is best to contact the office for further directions.  The quarantining guidelines for vaccinated students are different than unvaccinated, so it is suggested you consider a vaccine for your student.  And, it is indeed wise to send your student to school with a mask that they can wear when close to another.  By working together I’m confident we can continue to make great progress.

William Kelly