January 12, 2017
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
Without doubt, this will be a winter our students, families, and staff remember. It seems like each Tuesday or Wednesday of the last two months has ended with at least a few students asking, like I’ve shared with you in my letters of the past weeks, “Do you think we’ll have school tomorrow?” Opposed to our first few closure days of the year, the days this week have provided our students and children the chance to get out and play in the snow and to truly explore this wonderful beauty of God’s creation. It’s been fun to see the photos shared with us at school and to see how families are trying to make the most of these days. If you’re not following St. Joe’s on Facebook, you might want to take a look. We’ve been sharing some fun photos throughout this past week. You can find our school’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stjoevanschool.
With school closed for tomorrow, we are looking at our eighth closure day of this school year. We understand the challenges delays and closures cause for all of you, and we’re grateful for your understanding when your neighborhood is fine but Vancouver Public Schools or St. Joe’s makes the decision to delay or close. These decisions are made for the safety of students, families, faculty, and staff, including the maintenance and custodial folks who work to keep parking lots, sidewalks, and walkways safe and clear. As we consider our school calendar now with eight closure days, I’ll be working with Archdiocese to determine the best way to proceed with ensuring that we meet the instructional hour requirement that’s in place for schools. We should have news to share on this front with families by the end of January or beginning of February.
As you’ve likely ready in past weeks, our Open House is coming up. Open House on Sunday, January 29, will kick off our schoolwide Catholic Schools Week celebration and is for both prospective and current families. We hope you’ll plan to attend Mass at St. Joe’s in the morning and then stop in over at the school to visit our classrooms and talk with our teachers. We’ll have a few things planned for current families to do while they’re with us, and we’ll share those next week when we share our Catholic Schools Week plans. As Open House approaches, we would also like to reintroduce our “Ignite the Light” program. Though there are a few changes to this program for this coming school year, its purpose remains the same: reward families who share the news of St. Joe’s with others, help other families enroll, and then support them in their first year at St. Joe’s. More information can be found in our “Ignite the Light” overview available here.
Lastly, many of you know that my wife and I are expecting our second child quite soon. Though it’s hard for the two of us to believe, his arrival date is now just two weeks away. Beginning January 26, I’ll be taking a leave of absence for four weeks to support my family at home. Anna Raineri, vice principal, will be your main administrator contact during that time. I’ll be in close contact with her while I’m away, but she will be your “go-to” contact with any administrator questions or concerns.
Stay warm and safe if you’re in neighborhoods still covered in snow and now ice, and we’ll all look forward to seeing you all soon.
Joe Manning, Principal
THE WEEK AHEAD
No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries - St. Ignatius Room - 8:45 am
Regular Wednesday Start Time - 7:55 am
Mass - 8:10 am
Regular Wednesday Dismissal - 2:10 pm
Talent Show Auditions: Dance & Instrument - Marian Hall - 3:15 to 4:30 pm
Talent Show Auditions: Voice, Voice with Dance, & Other Talents/Acts - Marian Hall - 3:15 to 4:30 pm
NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS
Open House for prospective & current families to be held Sunday, Jan. 29
We’ll kick-off Catholic Schools Week and our new family admissions cycle for the 2017-2018 school-year with our Open House. We invite current and prospective families to join us at Mass and then after Masses in the school on Sunday, Jan. 29th. The Open House will run from 10 am to 1:30 pm. On Open House day, our full faculty will be here at school, ready to share about St. Joe’s and answer questions. Please spread the word - let your family, colleagues, and neighbors know about the strong Catholic education your child is receiving and encourage them to come see for themselves the community we’ve built at St. Joe’s. Last week we sent home postcards with the youngest or only child from each family so that you can share it with a prospective family. So many families hear about our school through word of mouth, so your help in sharing information about the Open House is very much appreciated. If you need additional postcards, please stop by the school and pick a few more up. We look forward to seeing all of you and our prospective families, too, on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Invites for Grandparents & Special Friends Day sent home last week
We’ll have our annual Grandparents & Special Friends Day on Tuesday, Jan. 31. We hold this day each year to welcome our grandparents and special friends of our students and to allow our students to show their guests our school. We know that some of our students don’t have grandparents who are able to make it to the event, so we encourage them to invite a special friend - an aunt, uncle, or good family friend - who has been influential in their lives. It’s also okay for students not to have a visitor this day. They will be able to participate in an activity in their classrooms. The day will include a morning performance by the Vancouver Pops and lunch in Marian Hall.
Sent home last Friday with the youngest or only child from each family were two invitations on green paper. Please share these with guests your family would like to attend. We also sent home on white paper a RSVP form and a lunch order form. New this year, we’d like all guests to be registered in advance, and we’d like parents to be the ones who register them. Parents do not need to register themselves but should count themselves in their family’s lunch count if they plan to join us for lunch. Additional invites and RSVP/Lunch Order forms are available at the school’s front office. You can also register by emailing Anne McDonagh at email@example.com and sharing the names of your child(ren)’s guests and how many lunches your family would like to purchase for guests or parents that day. We look forward to having a great day with all our guests.
VFW essay contest winners celebrated earlier this week
We celebrated this week the great work of our St. Joe’s students who participated in the local Veterans of Foreign Wars essay contest. In the intermediate age division, Maya Vora in fourth grade earned third place, Brady Angelo in fourth grade was second, and fifth-grader Tony Angelo took top honors - earning first place! For the middle school age division, eighth grader Luke McCabe took third place and Lauren Stemple, seventh grader, not only fared well in our local contest but she also won the state level competition! Lauren has been invited to the state Veteran of Foreign Wars Scholarship Awards Banquet later this month and her essay will be considered for a national award. The essay contest chairperson shared with the school that he was impressed not only by our winners’ essays but all of our students’ submissions, citing both their freshness and enthusiasm. Great job, St. Joe’s students!
Talent show coming to St. Joe’s during Catholic Schools Week - update to plans
Students in Grades K-8 who have a practiced gift or talent are invited to audition for our annual Talent Show, taking place during Catholic Schools Week. We will have an evening performance on Saturday, Jan. 28 (this is a corrected date) at 7 pm, and an afternoon performance during the school day on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 1 pm in Marian Hall. UPDATE: Auditions will take place on Thursday, Jan. 19 and Friday, Jan. 20 following dismissal. If your child will be participating in auditions, please print and fill out this audition form. Despite what the audition form says (we’re unable to update it without being at school), there are no auditions for Tuesday, Jan. 17. Those auditions will be moved to Friday, Jan. 20. We also have a new due date for forms - all forms are now due to the school office by Tuesday, Jan. 17. Please contact Mrs. Yarne at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Help still needed - consider serving as a volunteer for Project Homeless Connect
St. Joseph Parish will host Project Homeless Connect on Thursday, Jan. 26. This is a national day of care for the homeless that provides services for individuals and families who live in poverty. Our parish has hosted this event for the last several years as a way to answer our Catholic call to help those in need. As part of the day, service providers will gather in the Parish Hall to provide opportunities for dental and health care, haircuts, meetings with social service providers, and other services that people who live in poverty cannot typically afford. We need parent help - there are still 12 spots open as of this writing - to make the day run smoothly. If you’re interested in helping, please visit our volunteer sign-up page here. All volunteers need to be up to date with their VIRTUS training and have a background check on file with the school. If you have questions about volunteering, please contact Mr. Manning.
Safety lockdown drill postponed until next week
Next week we will have our first lockdown drill of the year. As we always do with these drills, we will make it clear to students that it’s a drill. Please recall that a lockdown is for when we believe there’s a threat or a potential threat to safety inside the building. A lockout, on the other hand, is for a potential threat outside the building. During a lockdown or lockdown drill, the announcement is “Lock. Lights. Out of sight.” So once the announcement is made, staff and students work to make sure that they are behind locked doors, the lights are off, and that they’re out of sight. We do ask that parents who are in the building during a drill also participate.
Parent Prayer & Pastries on Tuesday, Jan. 17
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 Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 8:45 am in Marian Hall’s St. Ignatius room. 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.
After-school chess program has low enrollment; needs more students to begin next week
On Jan. 18, the American Chess Institute plans to begin offering after-school chess on Wednesdays to any St. Joe’s students who register. The weekly after-school activity will be an eight-week session that’ll conclude on March 15. The program is need of a few more students in order to begin as planned. If your child will be registering, please turn in a form on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 17. 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. If the program doesn’t have high enough enrollment and will be postponed or canceled, Alan from American Chess Institute or the school office will be in touch with families that have registered students early next week.
Recess volunteer training set for Tuesday, Jan. 17
In the first part of the school year, we shared a new volunteer opportunity with families. We’re having parents serve as lunch recess volunteers at our Grades 1-8 lunch recesses. If you’re interested in volunteering, we ask that you attend a training. We’ll have one final training for this school year for any new parents interested in helping. The training will be on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 3:30 pm. If you’re able to attend, please email Eileen Sherrill at email@example.com. All volunteers need to be up to date with VIRTUS trainings and have a background check on file.
St. Joseph PTO restaurant fundraiser coming up
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 24th - that’s 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), a 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to our school. Juliano’s is located at 15606 SE Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. We’ll share the flyer next week that will need to be presented for the funds to be donated to St. Joe’s.
Search for a chair or co-chairs for the PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner
The PTO Dad’s Spaghetti Dinner is coming up on Saturday, Jan. 28, and we’re still in need of a chair or co-chair for this wonderful community event. Duties include planning the dinner, managing volunteers, set-up, and clean up. If you’re interested in helping coordinate this event, please contact PTO president Laura Ashton at PTO@stjoevan.org.
Seton Catholic extends its application deadline due to winter weather
Due to the closures this week, Seton Catholic has chosen to extend its application deadline for eighth graders applying for admission. The new application deadline will be Wednesday, Jan. 18.
CYO regional baseball & lacrosse teams forming now
In addition to our local CYO offerings of volleyball, swimming, basketball, and track & field, CYO also has a few different regional offerings - football, baseball, lacrosse, and cheer. Sign-ups for baseball and lacrosse are underway now. Regional offerings have teams that include students from a variety of different schools. Here is the information on both baseball and lacrosse registration.
SCRIP accounts online are available and up to date as of Jan. 3
Our school provides an online tool for Scrip management that allows you to purchase Scrip and monitor your past orders. Family accounts registered with St. Joseph are up to date as of Jan. 3. For directions on how to set up your shopwithscrip.com account, please see the Scrip page on the school website. If your account has already been established, once you login, you’ll click on the Dashboard tab, scroll to find the Order History. This should give you the most up-to-date picture of your account. If you have questions, please contact Kim LaValley at (360)991-4193 or firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Joseph Parish to host an annulment information night
What is an annulment? Why would I need one? How do I go about getting one? If I wasn’t married in the church, do I still need one? Helping to answer these questions is why the parish is hosting an information night on Jan. 18th from 7 to 9 pm in the St Ignatius Room in the Parish Hall. Fully grasping the Church’s teaching about marriage and divorce is complicated business. Understanding the Catholic Church’s teaching on the why’s and how’s of the annulment process can be even more so! Add to this rich but complex teaching the pain of divorce, and it can seem downright overwhelming. We are here to help. If you have ever been divorced and have not yet pursued an annulment, even if you were not married in the Church, this session can answer your questions and clear up common misunderstandings. You will be introduced to our parish team of trained annulment representatives who will talk about the process in general. After the evening, a private meeting can be arranged for a more in-depth discussion about your circumstances. If you know someone who might benefit from attendance at this information night, please pass along the details. Feel free to call Diane Boggs, in the parish office, at (360)823-2828 or email at email@example.com for more information.