Happy Friday! 

Week at a Glance
September 23-27

Click Here to download a copy to print for the front of the fridge!

A New Day Off from School!

Having seen your sad faces and heard your many carefully worded concerns about not having the Friday of Columbus Day weekend off from school as you did last year, we have made the decision to give the children that day off after all.  So, Friday, October 11th will now be an official day off from school.  The kids are free to go with you on a four-day weekend adventure except for the 6th graders who won’t return from Astrocamp till the end of the day on Friday!  Many of you will tack that day onto your Fall Family Weekend at El Cap and we wish you lots of fun there.  In fact, we’re more than a little jealous and wish we could join you!  If this poses any difficulty for you in terms of childcare, we are truly sorry…but sometimes the better part of valor (not to mention good customer service,) is to swallow your pride and make the decision you should have made four months ago.  We’ll still have plenty of days of instruction left, and you’ll have that much more quality family time together.  Go and enjoy it… with our blessing.

Family Camp Weekend

For those attending Family Camp Weekend October 12-14, please complete your registration process with the school by clicking here. Remember, even if you are not purchasing a meal plan, you still need to register online. 

Preschool Back to School Night
September 23, 6 pm

All preschool parents are invited to meet their child's teacher and see their classroom at Back to School night. The students have been working hard already and there is so much to tell and show you. 

Secondary School Fall Fair
Wednesday, October 2, 6:30-8:00pm

Calling all 5th and 6th Grade parents! Join CSSAD at Center for Early Education to learn about educational opportunities available for your child in middle school. Click here for more information.

Free Money for St. James'!


1 vote = $1.00 and you can vote every week!
Vote now!


Ralphs Contribution Program

It's Easy... just shop, swipe your card & earn!
When you register your Ralph's card, St. James' earns money for every dollar you spend through their Community Contribution Program. You will get a bar code in backpack express that you can scan next time you check out at Ralph's to enroll.  

Shop At Vons
Vons offers fundraising all year long, and it doesn't cost you a thing! Register your Vons card now to start saving for St. James'. 

St.James' Cafe is Open!
Wednesday, September 25, 5:00

Everyone is invited to St. James' Cafe open Wednesdays at 5:00 in Parish Hall, conveniently right after Wizard of Oz practice! Dinner is a $5 suggested donation per person, and you are welcome to bring your own beverages. This is a great way to feed the whole family at the end of a long day, spend time with the St. James' community, and support St. James' Church.
Upcoming Used Uniform Closet
October 4 and October 17

The Uniform Closet is open every Community Gathering from 8:15-10:00 am and the 3rd Thursday of every month from 3:00-4:30 pm. Make sure to stop by and stock up on uniforms! 
Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept 15-Oct 15

Hispanic Heritage Month honors the contributions of Hispanics to United States society in the economy, politics, science, art, and culture.  This month also celebrates and recognizes the Hispanic heritage and culture passed on generation from generation.  The celebration begins September 15 and ends October 15.  These dates coincide with the anniversary of independence, from Spain, of five Latin-American countries:

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which all declared independence in 1821.  In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18 of the same year.

We started practicing the Spanish performances for our fifth annual Hispanic Heritage Assembly. We will keep you posted! 

iNos vemos amigos!

Study Hall
Begins September 23

Sh-h-h-h-h!  Can you keep a secret?  Study Hall at St. James’ begins on Monday, September 23! Ms. Laffen will be running the Study Hall Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Library.

Ms. Laffen, a fully credentialed teacher, is an assistant in Mrs. Leonard’s first grade class and is new to St. James’. She is very excited to meet and work with all of the students at St. James’. If your child needs a quiet place to focus and get that homework done, Study Hall is the place to be! No need to sign up, just come get your homework done!  One gentle reminder: only quiet, studious behavior is acceptable in study hall.  Rough-housing and talking with friends belong outside on the playground; and that’s where you will go if you begin to disturb the serious work of others!  So, if you want to get down to business and get that homework done before dinner, please join Ms. Laffen in study hall starting this Monday. 3:30-4:30 p.m.

From the St. James' Vestry

Do you wish to participate in the search process for the next rector of St. James' Church and School? The school is the largest mission of the church and our next Rector will play a key role in the future of our school. You can still fill out the Saint James Rector Search survey by clicking here. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Please mark your calendars:

Story Day, Saturday, Sept 21st

9:00 AM to 3:00 PM  Lunch will be served.

The best way to move forward is with an understanding of our past.  Come and share your stories about the memorable events in your life and the lives of your children that have taken place at St. James' Church and School.  Add the dates of your personal events to the banner that represents the tapestry of our communal lives.  In sharing we will grow deeper together.

"Be part of the process. Share your stories, your opinions, and your hopes for the future of the St. James' community."

Parent Association Volunteer Opportunities

We would love your help! Visit the Parent Portal to view and sign up for any of our many volunteer opportunities. 

Dance Program in Full Swing!

I had no idea when I began working here a year ago that it would be such an exciting experience. As Debbi David took our arts program to the next level, I was thrilled to hear that dance was on the list of blossoming programs.

I have shared with some of you that growing up, I was an extremely shy child who questioned absolutely everything. Even our wonderful Mrs. Vodrey and Mrs. Vermette would have had their hands full with me since I cried every single day of Kindergarten. In a last ditch effort to help me gain some backbone, my mom started me in dance classes. This was a wise move on her part since through dance, I gained confidence. Dance was something that I could do and feel sure of myself.  As I grew as a dancer, I grew as a person. However, I wasn’t seeing this in my school. We went to math and science, learned about music and basketball, but no one was incorporating this vast art form into any of the classes.
Therefore, I am abundantly pleased to see dance in the lives of every student at St. James’. As you stand in front of the mirrors moving through the steps, students gain confidence in themselves. As they move across the floor, students improve their coordination and flexibility. Dancing through choreography improves teamwork and rythmn. So much can be learned from a single dance class that they carry on through their lives.
With over 20 years of extensive training in tap, classical ballet and pointe, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and tumbling, dance has always been my passion and an overwhelmingly large part who I am.  Moreover, teaching dance is a completely different kind of passion. When a child finally nails their pirouette or finishes their solo in a flawless performance, there is a feeling that warms me knowing that I helped them accomplish this. My pride in the student comes from the glowing sense of pride and accomplishment they see in themselves. What looks and seems impossible the first day of class gets better and better with each trip across the floor and each run of the music. In dance, children are able to see measurable improvement in themselves which is exciting for any student!
And so, it is with a leap and a kick in my step that I proudly say that the new St. James’ Dance Program is in full swing! Fourth and Fifth Grades are in dance classes through November followed by Second and Third Grade into the new year. Sixth grade will dance from February to March and Kindergarten and First Grade will round out the school year with dance classes. The goal is for students to not only get accustomed to taking a dance class as it is very different than a traditional classroom experience, but to also learn and practice various styles of dance. Each grade has a specific set of styles that will be covered to give them a holistic view of the art form. It has been sensational to already see the boundless creativity, enthusiasm and respect our Fourth and Fifth Grade students are showing in this pilot program. They blew me away in these first few classes!

I am looking forward to having each of the St. James’ students in class, and being continually amazed by their appreciation and motivation. 

Emily Tuel
Communications Manager and Dance Teacher

Welcome, Don!

We have found an extraordinary person to teach 5th Grade math and serve as assistant in the 4th Grade classrooms.His name is Don Miller; and he is a beloved veteran of Saint James’ from seasons past. 
Don Miller’s energy and good humor simply filled the room when he walked in this morning.  He reminded me of a line from Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory”  …and he glittered when he walked.  Mr. Miller has an amazing presence and an enormous capacity for joy.  He endeared himself to this community as the 6th grade teacher preceding Miss Munro, a role he filled with style and grace for 16 happy years.  Mr. Miller also taught at St. Michael and All Angels for several years before founding their middle school, now known as the Wesley School.  He has taught at Immaculate Heart, been a professional tutor, and has returned twice before to Saint James’ to teach among his many friends and fans.  Trained as an actor, Don left the industry to become a teacher, but he never lost that sparkle and shine from his early days in the theater. 
Here at Saint James’ Mr. Miller was one of our all-time most successful teachers.  Held in high esteem by parents as well as the students themselves, Don’s colleagues here have never forgotten him.  In fact, it was one of our own teachers who recommended him for this unexpected opening.  Yesterday I invited Don to interview for the 5th Grade math and 4th Grade assistant position…and ten minutes ago he signed a contract.  His work with us begins on Monday.  Shared between Mr. Duggan and Miss Taylor, the children in Grade 4 can expect to see Don Miller in the afternoons. 
Please give Mr. Miller the warm welcome he so deserves.  And tell the children how very fortunate they are to be in the hands of this true master teacher if only a few hours a day. They’re going to love him, and so will you.

Singapore Math

After a year of Singapore Math, our students and teachers are thriving in its implementation. Click here to see pictures of Mrs. Leonard's 1st Grade class working through number stories. This hands on approach to math helps students to really learn, rather than to simply memorize. 

Congratulations, Madison!

Our very own 6th Grader, Madison Huggins won the All-Around Championship for her age group at the 2013 YMCA National Gymnastics Championship! Madison competed with more than 2,000 gymnasts from across the country at this year's event in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to winning the All-around competition, she eared the top score in all four gymnastics events: floor, bar, vault, and beam. 

Madison has been taking gymnastics for six years and just completed her second year of competitive gymnastics. She currently trains at the Lakewood YMCA Gymnastics Center. 

We're off to see the Wizard...

Wizard of Oz practices started this week and everyone was eager to start singing, dancing, and acting. Click here to see photos from their first rehearsal. We can't wait to see everything come together for the November performance. 

Service Learning Update

While it may not be new to many of you, Twitter is a whole unexplored frontier for me.  This year, I am finally giving it a try and will be sending out reminders and other info using Twitter.  If you are interested in following these updates, they can be found out @service_sjs.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those facing major challenges after the floods in Colorado.  I’m sure that you have seen the photos and heard the stories of individuals facing huge loss.  You can help through the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund and choosing to donate to the US Disaster relief fund. Visit their You might want to check back periodically over the coming weeks as more info about what is needed will be coming in as the situation progresses.  

Locally, AIDS Walk 2013 is coming up October 13!  Registration is now open for fundraising walkers and volunteers.  There are many ways to get involved which can be found on their website

Don’t forget that September is juice box month.  We are collecting juice boxes for the St.  James’ Food Pantry.  As of Friday, September 13, we’ve collected 196.  Be sure to bring/send yours to your student’s classroom by Friday, October 4.

Rob Krueger
Service Learning Director

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