11 September Letter from Mr. Kelly

September 11, 2020

Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Dear SJS Catholic School Community,

One of the best parts about SJS I think is that parents care so much about the school and making progress.  We also take great pride as a staff in moving forward and advancing the students academically and spiritually.  That is evidenced clearly this year that in spite of all the challenges COVID presents, we found a way to make in-person school work safely, and we offered a remote option.  Our students are learning from their teachers and making good progress.  But we can only get so far if students do not follow school rules.  Those of us who have been in education a bit know that the key to changing student performance or behavior is support from home.  If home and school are working together significant progress can be made.  If students sense that parents do not buy into school decisions there simply will be little progress.  So, with midterms coming out next week that may be something to consider for the rest of the quarter.  Thank you for your continued support.

We are going to continue with Terra Nova testing the first week in October.  This data helps us to monitor student progress, and helps us know if our School Improvement Plan is effective.  Please make sure your students are present, rested, and ready to test in grades 3-8.  This is not anything we want the students to be worried about, but we do use the results for school planning.  It’s simply a tool for us.  So an accurate measure of the abilities of our students can only occur if students are present and ready to test.  Thank you for your help.

As we reach the midpoint of the first quarter the following are some tips, based upon experience and best practice, to help students become successful in school:

  1. Make clear to your child that disobedience is not an option. Not even the best teacher can discipline a child who comes from a home not already respectful of adult authority.
  2. Assign your child a fair amount of day-to-day housework. The more responsible the child is within the family, the more responsibility the child will demonstrate at school.
  3. If and when your child’s teacher reports a problem, give the teacher, not the child, the benefit of the doubt. As a general rule teachers are more committed to bettering the welfare of children than any other class of professionals. 

-I just find this to be good food for thought as we advance into the rest of the school year.  And as you plan for next month, just a reminder that parent/teacher conferences are planned for October 29th.  More details to come.

Monday is School Picture Day.  This is a dress up opportunity for our students. It is not a spirit or “dress down” day. We want to present a respectful and positive image for our school pictures. We encourage students to dress as they would for a special church event.

A few specifics about picture day: No jeans will be allowed. No leggings are allowed unless they are underneath a skirt or dress of appropriate length. Dress shorts are allowed as long as they are appropriate in length.  On future out of uniform days, the only shorts that will be allowed will be uniform shorts. Any student that comes to school in jeans, or in shorts or skirts/dresses not appropriate in length (3 inches from the top of knee), will be given a school uniform to change into. If a uniform is not available, parents will be requested to bring something to school before the student can return to class. It is in the students’ best interest that, before they come to school picture day, parents have made sure the outfit is appropriate in length, and meets these guidelines.  Thanks for all you do.


William Kelly