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

February 24, 2017
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
It’s been wonderful to reconnect with the students, the staff, and all of you this week! I was surprised by all the hugs and kind words from our kids on Wednesday and Thursday when they saw me for the first time. With that shared, I also should mention that two of our youngest students, with no hesitation at all, had to ask the following question: “What’s your name again?” When I answered, one of them responded, “Oh yeah...that sounds familiar.” Glad to hear it, young friend! I guess that’s what being away for a few weeks does. I have a few more months to make a positive impact on him so that perhaps he’ll remember me when we come back from summer vacation!
I was able to sneak back to school a day earlier than I thought I would and, as a result, I had the opportunity to see the great work of our sixth grade students at the annual science fair. You can read more about our winning projects in the NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS section of the Cardinal Call. Congratulations to all of our students on a job well done!
Earlier this week, I shared with our teachers a beautiful reflection I recently discovered on the hidden joys of teaching. I heard back from a number of teachers after it was shared, and so many of the responses indicated things like “That’s exactly what I needed!” or “What a wonderful start to my day!” I thought I’d share the reflection with you all as well so that you can get a feel for why Catholic educators do the work we do. The reflection, written by a second-year teacher out of the University of Notre Dame, can be found here.
By now, I hope you’ve heard or read about our Family & Friends Night at McMenamins for Fat Tuesday & Mardi Gras. We have the opportunity to raise quite a bit of money for our school on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Please spread the word to all your family, friends, and co-workers that they can join us, as 50 percent of the profit generated that evening from all customers (not just our families) will come back to the St. Joseph Catholic School community! Since the event will be held from 5 pm to close, we encourage you to visit throughout that entire time. My guess is that it could get pretty busy from 5 to 6:30 or so, so please be patient if there's a wait. The folks at McMenamins are very gracious to be offering this evening to us!
Finally, as I sign off this week, I invite you to join me in wishing our Speech Club well this weekend. They’ll be competing in Valley Catholic Middle School’s annual speech tournament in Beaverton tomorrow - Saturday. Our Speech Club members have met after school throughout the last couple months to prepare for tomorrow’s event, and they’re ready! Special thanks to Mrs. Mentele for coordinating the efforts for this group!
We’ll look forward to seeing you at the auction tomorrow!
God’s blessings,
Joe Manning, Principal
Monday, 2/27
No schoolwide events or activities
Tuesday, 2/28
PTO Restaurant Dine-out Event - Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Friends and Family Night
McMenamins on the Columbia - 5 pm to close - No flyer required
1801 S.E. Columbia River Drive, Vancouver
Wednesday, 3/1
Ash Wednesday
---Late Wednesday Start - 8:30 am
---All School Ash Wednesday Mass - 10:00 am
Regular Wednesday Dismissal - 2:10 pm
Thursday, 3/2
No schoolwide events or activities
Friday, 3/3
Stations of the Cross - Gym - 2:25 pm
Saturday, 3/4
VIRTUS Safe Environments Training - 10:00 am
Our Lady of Lourdes, 4701 NW Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA
National Essay Contest Winner essay available to read - link to essay updated
Last week we shared the exciting news that seventh grader Lauren Stemple won third place in the 2016 National Veterans of Foreign Wars essay contest. Unfortunately the link shared last week to view her essay didn’t consistently work. Please click here to read her essay. Lauren earned awards at the local, district, and state level before being sent on to compete with essays written by middle school students across the nation. We are very proud of her and want to share her essay with the St. Joseph community.
St. Joseph PTO restaurant fundraiser on Tuesday, Feb. 28
Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 28 for Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Family & Friends Night at McMenamins on the Columbia. From 5 pm until close, 50% of all the night’s proceeds on food and drinks will be donated back to the school. Share with everyone you know. No flyer is required. McMenamins is located at 1801 S.E. Columbia River Drive in Vancouver. See more about our event on the McMenamins website.
6th Grade Science Fair Results
Our 6th graders presented their Science Fair projects this past Wednesday, Feb. 22. Student judges from St. Mary’s Academy evaluated their projects on how well they followed the scientific method, how knowledgeable they were about their subject, and how well they presented the material on their display boards.
Our winning projects this year are:
1st place: Katy Kutch with "Energizing Drinks"
2nd place: John Paul Gorger with "Now You See It, Now You Don't"
3rd place: Keleb Mwaala with "Time To Rot"
Honorable mention: Cameron Hahn with "Will It Grow"
Honorable mention: Madeline Chase with "Growing Bacteria"
The winning projects are on display in the main entry of the school. Congratulations to all of the students for a job well done.
Children’s Author CW Trisef to Visit St. Joseph in March - Book Order Form Now Available
CW Trisef, the author of the Oracle book series, will visit St. Joseph grades 3-8 students on Tuesday, March 14. Oracle is a wholesome, fact-based, fiction/adventure series for all ages, but especially students in grades 3-8. For more about the “Oracle” series, view the “Oracle” assembly flyer and book order form. Order forms are due back to school by the day of the assembly - Tuesday, March 14.
Middle School Math Assistance
Mrs. Puyleart is offering middle school math students an opportunity to receive extra support with math skills or assistance with their assignments. Students may come to her classroom, Room 12, after school on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 3:15–4 pm. If you have questions, please contact her at
Support the Fund-an-Item for this year’s auction: keyless access & door monitoring
Final preparations are being made for the auction tomorrow and we’re looking forward to a fun evening with our school community. As we mentioned last week, the paddle raise this year is to bring in the funding for an exterior door keyless access system. This would help us to better secure the building and eliminate the need for exterior keys. There are both security and convenience benefits. Once the keyless access is installed and used we will be able to:
  • eliminate the use of keys that can go missing and potentially end up in the wrong hands
  • better monitor who is accessing the building at what times
  • monitor from the office if there are any open doors that could provide unwelcome access to the school and allow us to immediately correct the problem
  • lock or unlock all doors quickly in the case of an emergency
  • provide students and families easier accessibility as they move from building to building throughout the school day (currently doors remain locked and students knock on classroom windows so that someone can come out to let them in)
Once the keyless access system is installed, access to the school’s exterior doors will be granted by using an identification card or a special fob, and the breezeway doors enclosed within the school’s fencing will likely be accessed by a PIN so students and families no longer risk getting “stuck” between the two main buildings.
We have already received a $10,000 grant from the Fulcrum Foundation out of Seattle to help with this important safety project, but this money will not be able to be used for this project if we are not able to secure the remaining funding of approximately $40,000. We’re hopeful that you’ll consider supporting this effort as St. Joe’s continues to take important steps to ensure the safety of our building for the sake of the security of all students entrusted to our care. If you’re unable to attend the auction, you can still support our efforts. We are appreciative of any contributions you can make. Donations are now being accepted on our Fund-an-Item webpage. Please share it with others who may be interested in offering their support.
Important note re: Wednesday chess pick-up
Please note that the doorbell at the school’s east entry near Marian Hall should not be used for picking up students from chess. The doorbell is only for Extended Care. Parents can pick up their students from chess class at the west end of the Middle School wing or by entering through the front of the school.

Catholic Relief Services rice bowls sent home this week
Rice bowls were sent home this week in advance of the beginning of Lent next week. Lent is a wonderful time to live out our school theme to Be A Light To Others. We encourage families to visit the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl website to learn about the purpose of the rice bowl program as part our lenten journeys. The program calls us to pray, fast, learn, and give.
In regard to your giving, 75 percent of your gift supports Catholic Relief Service programs around the world. Some examples include:
  • Agriculture projects help farmers improve harvests
  • Water and sanitation projects bring clean water to communities
  • Microfinance projects support small businesses
  • Mother and child health projects offer health and nutrition services
  • Education projects provide resources and training 
25 percent of the donations go to hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in our own community.
Rice Bowls will be collected after Easter.
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 and will not be available to serve next year. 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  
Junior Achievement BizTown Summer Camp
Junior Achievement offers summer camp for students ages 10-14 to learn the “economics of life!” JA Biztown Summer Camp is an extension of our 4th/5th grade Biztown program - it's a dynamic, hands-on learning simulation that engages students in the American free-enterprise system, exposing them to running a business, entreprenuership and financial planning.
Camp Dates: June 26-30, July 10-14, July 31 - Aug 4, Aug 14-18, from 9 am to 4 pm. Cost is $299 per student; there is an extended care option offered from 8 am to 5 pm for $319 per student.
Biztown is located at 7830 SE Foster Road in Portland. For more information or to register, go to
Upcoming VIRTUS Safe Environments in-person training next Saturday
All parent volunteers need to be up to date with the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Safe Environment requirements before volunteering. This means that you’ve attended an in-person VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” class and have a current background check on file. An online Safe Environment refresher class is required each three years after the initial training is completed. Background checks are required in the first year of volunteering and then every three years after.
We have a local VIRTUS training scheduled in March. This is the only class scheduled in the area at this time, so if you are not yet up to date with training requirements, please plan to attend this class so you will be able to volunteer, help out in the classroom, and drive on field trips.
VIRTUS Safe Environment Training: Saturday, March 4, 10:00 am - Our Lady of Lourdes, 4701 NW Franklin Street, Vancouver
You will need to pre-register for the training at VIRTUS Online. Begin the registration process by clicking on the “First-Time Registrant” button on the left side of the page. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Keller in the school office at (360)696-2586.

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