St. Joseph Catholic School - faith, academics and service.
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The Cardinal Call

January 20, 2017
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
As I shared yesterday, it’s been wonderful to have the community back together again after all these snow days. There’s a great feeling we at school all experience after not seeing our students and families, and we enjoyed joking around with you at arrival on Wednesday morning. Quite a few folks told Mrs. O’Connell and I, as we greeted you in the morning, that you didn’t recognize us after the week of snow days or that you had forgotten how to get to the school due to all of the time away. We’re right there with you! It’s been an interesting winter to say the least, and we sure are grateful that the snow and ice are gone and things today - on Friday- are beginning to seem back to normal.
You likely noticed from reading yesterday’s Newsflash that we practiced safety drills this week. I have to commend our students on a job well done, especially with our lockdown drill. The objective of the lockdown drill is to get out of sight and quiet, and our students were incredibly successful. I walked the entire school, looking into windows and listening for voices, and I couldn’t detect a single student in the five minutes I spent working my way from classroom to classroom. The other success is that we were able to make good, effective use of our newly purchased safety radios as part of the drills. Beginning next week, we will have them fully in place - administrators, office staff, recess supervisors, and teachers with groups outdoors will all carry radios in order to stay in close communication with each other should safety or emergency situations arise. These radios are tools we’re glad to be putting in place.
As we prepare for Catholic Schools Week and our Open House, I think it’s really important for me to emphasize that Open House isn’t just an event for prospective families. We really encourage our current families to be part of this special day. We have a couple things planned for those students who attend Mass and the Open House, so read below to see what’s in store. If you have a family that may be interested in attending with you, that’s great. Please invite them to come learn what St. Joe’s is all about. We want to share our school with as many people as possible so that they, too, might be recipients of the great gift that is Catholic education.
As a reminder, while I’m away on parental leave beginning midweek next week, vice principal Anna Raineri will be your administrator contact. She can be reached at (360)823-2837 or at The Cardinal Call will look a little different while I’m away - there will be no principal’s letter and it’ll get straight to THE WEEK AHEAD and the NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS. Some of you asked about photos when our little guy arrives - I’ll be sure we get at least a couple posted to the St. Joseph Catholic School facebook page for all the baby lovers! And, just one last thing, though I’m really going to try to step away and be present to my family during the leave, don’t be surprised if you see me at Grandparents & Special Friends Day. Those in my previous school community know that it is my favorite day of the school year, so if I’m able to be there, I’m going to do my best to stop in to see all of you and to meet our students’ grandparents and special friends.
Blessings as we begin this weekend,
Joe Manning, Principal
Monday, 1/23
Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries  - School Staff Room (this is a change in location) - 8:45 am
Tuesday, 1/24
PTO Restaurant Dine-out Event - Juliano’s Pizza (15606 SE Mill Plain Blvd.) - 11:30 am to 9 pm
Wednesday, 1/25
Regular Wednesday Start Time - 7:55 am
Mass - 8:10 am
Regular Wednesday Dismissal - 2:10 pm
Thursday, 1/26
Project Homeless Connect Day - Marian Hall (parent volunteers who are signed up will receive email directions by early next week)
Friday, 1/27
Spirit Wear Day
Full School Day (this is a change announced earlier this week)
Saturday, 1/28
PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner - Marian Hall - 5:45 pm
Night of Entertainment Talent Show - Marian Hall - 7 pm
Sunday, 1/29
St. Joseph Catholic School Open House - 10 am to 1:30 pm
School Masses - 9 am and 11:30 pm (students to wear school uniforms)
Catholic Schools Week 2017 plans are set
Our Catholic Schools Week plans are set! For more information on the special activities and fun dress days we have planned, see our Catholic Schools Week Calendar. This year we’ll be participating in the Great Kindness Challenge (more about that below) as a special part of our week. We look forward to a great week of celebrating the gift of Catholic schools, and of St. Joe’s in particular, beginning at the end of the month when Catholic Schools Week arrives.
Participate in the Great Kindness Challenge as part of Catholic Schools Week
St. Joe’s encourages our community to come together and participate in the Great Kindness Challenge. The Great Kindness Challenge is a positive, proactive bullying prevention initiative, reaching millions of students. This participation will coincide with our annual Catholic Schools Week.
In order to create a consistent, positive message throughout our school and community, we will be focusing throughout the week on additional ways that our students can be kind to each other. We will promote a couple of acts of kindness each day and will incorporate these suggestions into our prayer services and morning announcements. We’d also like provide a couple of checklists of acts of kindness for students to use at school and at home.
Great Kindness Challenge - The Challenges (School Edition)
Great Kindness Challenge - Acts of Kindness Checklist
This free program teaches so much value to students of all ages — in fact, to adults as well. In addition to random acts of kindness, participants actively seek out purposeful acts of kindness. We hope their efforts have an enduring effect.
The Great Kindness Challenge School Edition was created by Kids for Peace to provide schools a tool for creating a positive school environment.
Poster Contest Leading up to Catholic Schools Week
We invite all K-8 students to participate in this year’s poster contest. The theme for our poster contest this year is Catholic Schools: “Be A Light To Others.” Winning posters will be used for the yearbook cover and other spots in the yearbook. For more details, see our overview sheet. Entries are due by Monday, Jan. 30 - the first class day of Catholic Schools Week.
Parent Prayer & Pastries on Monday, Jan. 23 (note: location change)
Mr. Manning would like to invite parents to participate in what will be the fourth of a recurring monthly event at our school - Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries. Our January gathering will be on Monday, Jan. 23 at 8:45 am in the school Staff Room (new location). As part of each monthly gathering, Mr. Manning will share a parent-focused prayer and provide opportunity for reflection and then there will be a social time for you to chat with other school parents in attendance and with Mr. Manning. Coffee and pastries will be provided.
St. Joseph PTO restaurant fundraiser on Tuesday, Jan. 24
Join us on Tuesday, Jan. 24 - that’s the date of our PTO restaurant fundraiser at Juliano’s Pizza. If you buy pizza from Juliano’s at any time during their business hours that day (11:30 am to 9 pm), 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to our school. Juliano’s is located at 15606 SE Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. You'll need to present this flyer at the time of purchase for St. Joe's to receive the proceeds from your order.
Friday, January 27 to return to a regular school day
Earlier in the school-year, we shared that Friday, Jan. 27, would become a noon dismissal day. With the loss of class time we’ve experienced in the past two months, we’ve now decided to return Friday, Jan. 27, to a full day of school. We will dismiss at our normal dismissal time of 3 p.m. We will be looking at the calendar these next two weeks and will likely have additional changes to the school calendar to share with you at the end of January or beginning of February. We’re sorry for any inconvenience the changes bring, and we appreciate your understanding of the changes to accommodate this unusual winter.
Got Spirit? Spirit Wear Day set for Friday, Jan. 27
Attention all students, parents, extended St. Joe’s family members and Faculty! Friday, Jan. 27 is the first Spirit Wear Day for 2017! Join us in sporting any St. Joseph spirit wear shirt with your regular uniform bottoms – this includes any shirt you have acquired from PTO, Jog-a-thon, Sausage Fest, or CYO, including your St. Joseph team jersey. If you can’t find the spirit wear shirt you were hoping for in your closet or you're new to St. Joe’s this year, please check out the latest and greatest spirit wear on the website under Parents, then Forms and Publications, Spirit Wear and finally Spirit Wear Items and Order Form. Here’s a shortcut to the link. Don’t have any spirit wear - wearing your uniform is fine. You can also try to get some spirit wear before our future spirit wear dates. We’ve added them to the online school calendar, but here’s a list of dates for reference:
Friday, Feb 24
Friday, March 31
Friday, April 28
Friday, May 26
Friday, June 9
PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner and Night of Entertainment - Saturday, Jan. 28
Join us on Saturday, Jan. 28th for a fun family tradition - the PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner and SJCS Night of Entertainment. Dinner will be served beginning at 5:45 pm (doors will open at 5:30 pm). A gluten free pasta will be offered. Entertainment will be provided by the students of St. Joseph at 7 pm. This event is open to everyone! Cost is $5/person or $20/family.
PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner - we need your help!
PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner chair Tony Ashton is calling all dads! Volunteers are needed at the Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 28. Please go to and sign up for a shift to help. We need volunteers for set-up, pre-dinner cooking, serving, clean-up - and being all around dads-in-the-kitchen! Special note from Tony: “It has been shared that if not enough volunteers sign up, your wives will be asked to volunteer you. You don’t want that to happen! Your help is needed to pull this off. It’s a fun event and it’s spaghetti…how hard can this be?”
Open House for prospective & current families to be held Sunday, Jan. 29
We will be kicking off Catholic Schools Week with our Open House on Sunday, Jan. 29. This is an event for both prospective and current families. We want to encourage our current families to be part of our day as well. First, we invite current families to attend one of our morning Masses that day - either the 9 am or 11:30 am Mass. Students should wear their uniforms. At the end of Mass, students will receive a special blessing from our priests. Then we invite you all over to the gym for hospitality. Students and families will then be able to tour the school, talk with our teachers, and students can complete a special passport activity in order to earn free dress. Passports can be picked up in the gym and returned for a free dress pass once they’ve received all the necessary stamps. We look forward to a great community day at both Mass and school! Spread the word to all of your friends and families who may be interested in Catholic education! We’ll have our admissions materials and school information ready to share with prospective families.
Catholic Schools Week After Mass Hospitality
During Catholic Schools Week, St. Joseph PTO will be hosting hospitality after the 9 am and 11:30 am Masses on Sunday, Jan 29th in the school gym during the school Open House. Please sign up to help with this hospitality event:
Grandparents & Special Friends Day reminder
We look forward to a great Grandparents & Special Friends Day on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Remember this year that we’re asking all parents to RSVP for the students’ guests so we can welcome them with nametags and some school information. Our RSVP and Lunch Order due date is Monday, Jan. 23. Please don’t forget to RSVP by submitting this form or by emailing Anne McDonagh with guest info and lunch order information. Don’t forget to identify the students who the guests will be accompanying as part of the day.
Grandparents & Special Friends Day lunch volunteers needed
Help cafeteria director Suzy Knight with serving cake, drinks, and checking in Grandparents & Special Friends inside Marian Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Sign up here:
Re-enrollment & financial aid application information to be shared next week
Be on the lookout next Friday for your family’s re-enrollment packet for 2017-2018. So we can forecast for the future, we’ll be asking you all if you plan on returning and, if so, to submit your annual re-enrollment fee of $125. When we share re-enrollment materials, we will also be offering directions on how to apply for financial aid for the 2017-2018 school-year and when our financial aid application period will begin.
Ignite the Light - help to enroll and support new families for 2017-2018
Help introduce new families to St. Joe’s and guide them in their first year, and you can earn $750 in tuition credit. Read more about our referral program here.
After-school chess program start delayed until Jan. 25
Due to this week’s weather and low enrollment, the American Chess Institute after-school chess program has been rescheduled to begin Wednesday, Jan. 25. The class is open to any St. Joe’s students who register. The weekly after-school activity will be an eight-week session that’ll conclude on March 22. If your child will be registering, please turn in a form on Monday, Jan. 23. For more information and to register, see the registration form. Registration forms are also available at the school office. If you have questions about the program, please contact Alan at American Chess Institute.
Room Parent coordinator needed
PTO is in need of a Room Parent coordinator. Responsibilities include securing a Room Parent for each class in K-5 in coordination with the homeroom teacher and principal, communicating responsibilities of the Room Parent, and collecting and distributing information to Room Parents about their homeroom teacher (i.e. birthday, favorite items, etc). If you are interested in filling this volunteer role, please contact Laura Ashton at
PTO President-Elect Needed for the 2017-2018 school-year
The position of PTO President is a two-year term, and Laura Ashton is approaching the end of her term. Therefore, we are searching for a President-Elect that can shadow Laura for the remainder of the year in order to hit the ground running next year. If you are interested, please contact Laura at
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