December 6th Letter from Mr. Kelly

Friday of the First Week of Advent

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

We have made our way into the Church season of Advent.  Advent is a time to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming is recalled, and also a time to direct our mind and heart to await Christ’s second coming.  One of the great Catholic traditions is the Advent wreath.  It is made of various evergreens to symbolize continuous life.  The circle has no beginning or end to symbolize the everlasting life found in Christ.  And the four candles represent the four weeks.  The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming and the anticipation of His second.  We have worked to make Advent a time of prayer and reflection at school, and encourage you to do the same at home.  And we have Advent  opportunities for giving this week with the sock drive, and next week with the food drive.

Thank you to all who came to our 3rd and 4th grade Christmas program yesterday.  And what a great show!  There is nothing like an elementary school Christmas program to get one into the Christmas spirit and focused on the true meaning.  A production like that takes time and effort.  Thanks to all the students who clearly spent time practicing to be ready, and all the parents who helped and listened to that preparation.  Thanks also to our 3rd and 4th grade teachers for their flexibility and assistance in show preparation.  And of course, thanks to Ms. Pohlmann for the many hours spent on making the show a success.

It is that time of year for cold and the flu.  The following are a few basic guidelines to use when deciding to keep your child home: they have a fever or have had one in the last 24 hours, they have vomited within the last 24 hours, they are too tired to focus, red eyes- with or without drainage, or have the chills or are nauseous.  Thank you for your support and understanding.  Tardiness can also be an issue for students.  From an educator’s perspective, starting the day off right cannot be emphasized enough.  If you find yourself running late in the morning more than just occasionally, this can have an impact on your student’s performance at school.

SOAR 2019 was a tremendous success!  Thanks to all the parents, volunteers, and supporters who helped make the night so smooth.  A record crowd attended, and the positive vibes and love of SJS was very clear.  More details will be coming soon, but we recognize and appreciate all your support.

We recently received our Terra Nova standardized test results for the school, and they were very  good.  The results were as high, or higher, than they had been in recent history.  The results showed that the students were largely testing above their current grade.  This clearly illustrates the hard work of the students and the dedication of the teaching staff.  Thank you for your efforts.  As a staff we’ll examine the results, find our weaknesses and make a plan to address them.  This will help us on our continual goal to be academically solid.  The teachers and I are also continuing our work with the Power Walk Through program.  I’ve shared about this before; this program helps us to gather data about the instruction at our school that we can then use to help us drive the instruction for the betterment of the students.  Don’t forget to pick up your parent Terra Nova results in the office, grades 3-8.  Thanks for all you do.


William Kelly