Our newsletter got a makeover!

“Sharing when we can. Appreciating what we have.”

This has become the theme of our new Service Learning Program at St. James’.  

Any student that has been in one of my classes has heard countless lectures on appreciation.  We talk about the fact that sometimes we are too focused on wanting more, when we have so much already.  The main goal for this inaugural year of the program was, obviously, to give back to our community.  A very important secondary goal has been about appreciation for, not only what we have as far as money and possessions, but also for what we have in one another.  It has been awesome to see us work together as a community.  Take a look back at what we have accomplished so far: I

  • Our all school food drive for the St. James’ Food Pantry started off the year collecting over 650 cans of “pop-tuna.”  We then collected snack crackers (around 956 packages) and snack size bags of cookies (592 total).  When I visit my friends at the pantry, it is such an amazing sight to see what we gave being put into bags to be distributed on Thursdays.  Classes also made holiday cards to put in the packages given out right before Christmas. Cathy Helm, coordinator at the pantry, said that our cards made more than 250 people happy, especially those that live alone and are lonely during the holiday season.  On our return from the break, we kicked off January Juice Box Month.  
  • Kindergarten began with their traditional Save the Children Project.  With the help of Kindergarten parents, bake sales were conducted to help sponsor two children in rural Whitley County, Kentucky.  I also had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Vermette and Mrs. Vodrey, talking to the kindergartners about where these children lived and why we were helping them.  
  • First grade sponsored a book drive for the library at the school that is a part of the  Good Shepherd Shelter. On January 4, I had the honor of delivering 239 new and gently used books to our friends at the shelter.  They were overjoyed to receive such a wonderful gift.   
  • Second grade put together items (clothing, food, and toys) to help out two small families that we found through our contacts at the Soup Kitchen.  When the items were ready to deliver, we gave each family gifts totaling $750-$1,000!  These amazingly generous gifts from our second grade families helped both of these families have a very nice Christmas.  Many, many thanks to Olivia Kazanjian for being the inspiration and the energy behind this project!
  • Third grade is preparing for their annual field trip to the Pasadena Humane Society.  They will begin collecting pet food and toys, along with cash donations, next week.  The money and items collected will be delivered before their visit.  Third graders are looking forward to their tour of the Humane Society coming up on February 12. 
  • Sixth graders were encouraged to seek out service opportunities off campus and then write about their experiences. I have had the pleasure of taking two groups of volunteers to work at the St. James’ Soup Kitchen.  More are already asking for their turn to go!  Sixth graders are also a part of an ongoing project to help out our sister school in Haiti.
  • It was a pleasure to be invited by Karen and Roxy Cowan (6th grade), along with a few volunteers, to be a part of their annual holiday food drive for the St. James’ Pantry.  You saw them working during drop-off in the days before Christmas break, collecting your generous donations. 

With such a fantastic start, I am looking forward to seeing our program continue to grow. I would like to get interested parents more involved, forming a service learning committee/task force, building even closer connections between home and school.  Please contact me if you are interested in being part of this. As students begin to understand the needs in our community and what they can do to help, my hope is that what we are doing now will create a foundation for their future.  That foundation can be the beginning of lives that are dedicated to true service and not just charity.  

The response to these service projects has been amazing. Thank you to my co-workers, the most excellent faculty and staff here at St. James’ for all of your support and encouragement, and to you and your families for your support, positive energy and willingness to give.  All of us working together have accomplished great things.

Here’s to the start that we brought to the Fall of 2012,  and here’s to the possibilities of what we will see in 2013 and beyond.

Rob Krueger
Director of Service Learning
“Sharing when we can.
Appreciating what we have.”

Jan 28-Feb 1

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

February 8, 8:15 am

In accordance with our safety measures at St. James', we are moving to an ID Card system. Please plan to attend the community gathering on February 8 to get your photo taken for your ID Card. NOTE: As of Tuesday, February 19 no one will be allowed on campus without a lanyard ID so please make every effort to attend photo day. One make up day will be offered on February 13 during Ash Wednesday All School Chapel (8:45 am) and the Arts In Motion Assembly (1:30). If these times do not work for you, stop by the office at any time and Jennifer Sohn will take your picture. 

Book Fair
January 25-31

See you in St. James' Hall Mon-Wed 7:45-4:00 pm or Thursday from 7:45-1:30. 

Juice Box Month
Now-February 11

January is juice box month.  We have collected about 100 boxes so far to share with the St. James’ Food Pantry.  Bring yours by February 11 so that we can share our gifts at All School Chapel on February 13. 

Family Pancake Breakfast
February 24, 9:00-10:30 am
Organized, Cooked and Served by the Dads of St. James'

Join us for a gourmet breakfast from the kitchen of Chef Fraser's BLD Restaurant and is accompanied by hot coffee provided by LAMILL Coffee.  Watch for more information on how to reserve your breakfast in the coming weeks via Friday newsletter and backpack express....

Adults: $15       Children: $10

Skate Party!
February 27, 5-8 pm

Mark your calendar for the 2nd Annual African-American Heritage Committee Skate Party Fundraiser! The event takes place at World on Wheels and sign up forms are due to St. James' School by Friday, February 1, 2013. Tickets must be purchased in advance, so fill out yours now!

Click here to download & print the Sign Up form. 


New Newsletter! 

The newsletter got a makeover this week! We hope you like the new look and find it helpful. If you have thoughts, feel free to respond directly to this email. 

Click here to see the anatomy of the new look. 

Letter from the Board of Trustees

Dear Members of the St. James’ Community,

For those of you who may have missed the announcement at the State of the School meeting last Thursday night, we want to take a moment to inform you of some very exciting news. We are pleased to announce that our Head of School, Deborah David, has agreed to remain with us at St. James’ School at least until the end of the school year in 2018.  In addition to her extraordinary accomplishments as an educator and an administrator, Mrs. David’s incredible leadership skills have brought together the many diverse constituencies that make up the St. James’ Community. Her commitment to our core values of strong academics, inclusivity for all, diversity, fairness, and the development of the whole child have been felt throughout the school at every level.

In the short time Mrs. David has been at the helm of St. James’, she has overseen the opening of our wonderful new Preschool campus, launched a Junior Kindergarten, brought financial stability, encouraged community participation, provided differentiated instruction to address the different learning styles of our diverse student body, and cemented the curriculum with academic rigor, including vibrant new language, math, science, writing, and performing arts programs.

But perhaps most importantly, in our view, Mrs. David’s administration has been overseen with sensitivity, respect, and compassion for the entire St. James’ community. Examples include the reinstitution of community service programs, the extraordinary support of students, faculty and parents through some difficult transitions including James Lee’s prolonged illness and passing, the sudden passing of a beloved parent, Claudia Rogers, and most recently the retirement of Father Paul. Mrs. David has shown true courage and profound heart in a world that too often seems devoid of these qualities.

We, the Board of Trustees of St. James’ Episcopal School, applaud Mrs. David. We are 100% behind her and her administration of the School. We are thrilled that she will continue to lead our community through at least 2018.

Please join us in congratulating her. Debbi, you make St. James’ Shine. Thank you for all you do for St. James’.

Our very best wishes,

The Board of Trustees of St. James’ Episcopal School.
Heidi McLean, Chair

Book Fair is Here! Click here for set up photos. 

Our annual BOOK FAIR is here! San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe has again provided a stunning selection of quality hardcover and soft cover books, including picture books, fiction, non-fiction, reference books, biographies, poetry, new titles, award books, and holiday books – something for everyone!  The Book Fair is held in St. James’ Hall from January 25 (today!), through Thursday morning, January 31. We still need volunteers to make this event run smoothly. If you are interested in volunteering to help during the book fair (Monday -Thursday), please contact Snow Kahn to schedule a time, Your help is greatly appreciated! 

A letter with specific information about the book fair including your child's class viewing and buying schedule went home Tuesday 1/22. You are encouraged to attend the book fair during your child's class buying time, as well as before or after school.  The book fair is open Monday - Wednesday 7:45am-4:00pm.  The fair will close on Thursday, January 31 at 1:30pm.   We look forward to seeing you there!

State of the School Recap

Thank you to all who attended State of the School last Thursday evening. St. James' Hall was packed with parents eager to hear about the new and exciting future of St. James'. If you were not able to attend, you can download a pdf of the presentation here.

Service Learning Update 

We have another service learning project ready to kick off here at St. James’.  Our third graders are preparing for their annual field trip to the Pasadena Humane Society.  Students will visit the facility and learn about what they do and how they care for the animals.  Our third graders are also collecting dog and cat food, toys, and blankets or money to donate to the society.  If you would like to donate, you can drop your donation in any classroom on campus.  This drive will run January 28-February 8.  I will collect and deliver the donations before third grade visits on February 12.  

On February 15th, Ms. Brown will be traveling to Haiti to deliver the Sixth Grade service projects to our sister school, St. Jacques.   Accompanying her will be Paul Mayne, a professional cinematographer, who will be documenting the experience and developing a short film for our community.  They will be spending a week visiting St. Jacques, various other Episcopal churches/schools, and Port-au-Prince.  We will be able to see what progress the country has made after the devastating earthquake three years ago.  In the next few weeks we will be having a few activities to raise money for the teachers' salaries.  Information will be coming soon!

Rob Krueger

Director of Service Learning

“Sharing when we can. Appreciating what we have.” 

St. James' "Parent-Artist Talk" A smash success 

Mr. Danenberg would like to thank Saint James' parent and sculptor, Joe Davidson for speaking to the Second Grade art classes this past Wednesday about his art and plaster casting techniques.  Second graders were truly inspired by Mr. Davidson's dramatic sculptures, which are found in collections across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

See pictures from Mr. Davidson's art class with the 2nd grade here!

MLK Freedom Tea

The past few weeks have been filled with celebrations of the life of Dr. King. Mrs. Leonard's 1st Grade created peace prizes and awarded them to classmates in front of their parents. Students told in their own words why their classmate deserved the award, we heard that students help one another tie their shoes, walk each other to the nurse, and play family together at recess.

See pictures from the Tea here! 

Kindergarten Egg Crack

An important lesson from Dr. King, was that while we all have different outsides, inside we are the same. St. James' Kindergarteners learned this lesson through breaking eggs of different colors and sizes. 

See pictures from the egg crack here! 

New 1st Grade art display in the Front Office

1st Grade “Marker Flower Still-life Drawings” are now on display in St. James’ front office.  Last year’s 1st Graders explored how line, shape, color and texture can help create moods and ideas in art.  Students were inspired by the floral still-life work of Raoul Dufy, Marc Chagall and artists from earlier centuries. Special appreciation to Mr. Sanchez for matting these pieces, & parent volunteer Jenny Hager for hanging this beautiful exhibit.

Preschool PE
The Preschool has started coming to the Big School for PE! Check the newsletter next week for class videos.

See pictures from one of their recent classes with Mrs. Brown and Mr. DiPasquale here!

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