December 9, 2016
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
What an interesting end to our school week! Though I know the “no school” days for weather can sometimes be difficult to manage with family work schedules, we appreciate your understanding when we make these calls. Please understand that we make them out of concern for the safety and well-being of our students, families, and staff. This morning was an example of when we made our closure decision before Vancouver Public Schools made theirs. This may happen at times, especially because we have staff who live in other area districts that have closed. We have nearly 20 staff members who live outside of Vancouver Public Schools’ boundaries. If they’re unable to make it to school safely, it won’t be possible for us to provide a valuable school day for our students. This is one reason why we may sometimes make a St. Joseph specific decision. Another scenario in which we might close and Vancouver schools might remain open is if the conditions at St. Joe’s and near the school are worse than other areas of Vancouver.
With that information shared, I hope that you and the children were able to enjoy the snow that fell yesterday. I know, from the many conversations I had with students on Wednesday - they nearly all started with “Mr. Manning, do you think we’ll have school tomorrow?” - they had been hoping to see some sticking snow ever since Mother Nature teased us mid-day Monday with some really wet snowflakes.
We’re running our final tests on the school’s new website, and it’ll go live either later today or this weekend. We are excited to finally be able to share with you the redesign of stjoevanschool.org. As you begin visiting this weekend and into the new week, we want to share a few things with you.
I’d like to offer my special thanks to informational technology director Laura Atkins and administrative assistant Eileen Sherrill. They have been key players in helping us move from our old site to our new site over these past couple months.
- Our goal in the redesign was to create easy navigation both from desktop and mobile devices so anything you’re looking for is no more than two clicks away. Please explore the menus to see where the items you’ve been most frequently accessing now reside. You’ll want to use the top menu as your starting point for exploring.
- We’ve added our academic and important dates for the school-year to a Google Calendar accessible on the website’s Calendar page. You can sync this calendar with your phones and personal calendars so that you no longer need to input each of these items onto your personal calendars individually, as you may have done in the past. To sync the calendar, there’s a link at the bottom of the Calendar that says “+ Google Calendar.” You’ll want to click on it and then allow it to sync to your device.
- At the bottom of the website’s landing page, on the left side, we have a link to all of the Cardinal Call messages for the school year. Rather than digging through your email inbox to look for the information you know you saw somewhere, you can now visit this page to find each of the messages there.
- Links to featured news, like upcoming PTO events, will be at the bottom of the page, next to the email message archives. This is where you’ll want to look for information on events like our annual Sock Hop, Family Bingo Night, and wreath sale.
- Our Faculty & Staff directory will be up to date with photos and brief biographies for each of our St. Joe’s team members. Please take a look and get to know all those who help provide support to our students.
Throughout these coming weeks, we’ll likely be changing a few things to help with functionality and improve user experience. If you have any suggestions or feedback you’d like us to consider, please let us know.
We look forward to a busy but joyful final week before we break for Christmas. We’ll see you soon!
Joe Manning, Principal
THE WEEK AHEAD
Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries - St. Ignatius Room - 8:45 am
Report Cards Go Home with Students
PTO Meeting - St. Ignatius Room - 8:45 am
Regular Wednesday Start Time - 7:55 am
Mass - 8:10 am
Preschool Advent Program – 1 pm
Regular Wednesday Dismissal - 2:10 pm
K-4 Christmas Program – Church (Program) & Marian Hall (Reception) - 7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm / students to be dropped off at classrooms between 6:30 and 6:40 pm)
Nathan’s Toy Story Ends (last day to bring in new, unwrapped toys)
Early Dismissal - 12 pm
NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS
K-4 Christmas Program to be held Wednesday, Dec. 14
We’ll have our K-4 Christmas Program for this year on Wednesday, Dec. 14th. Students will be performing Christmas songs which will complement the narration of the nativity story. Following the program, there will be a reception with cookies and punch in Marian Hall. Church doors will open at 6:30 pm for seating. Students should be dropped off at their classrooms between 6:30-6:40 pm. Each classroom teacher will welcome their students in the classrooms then parents and guests can go find a seat in the church. Teachers will walk the classes over shortly before the performance and the students will sit with their class. After our final song, students will be dismissed by grade back to their parents. Start planning now! Students are to wear dress clothes to the program. No jeans, please. Ideas include Christmas dresses, sweaters, or button-up shirts with dress pants. Questions: Please contact Sara Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us for Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries on Monday, Dec. 12
Mr. Manning would like to invite parents to participate in what will be the third meeting of a recurring monthly event at our school - Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries. Our December gathering will be on Monday, Dec. 12th 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.
Final week of Nathan’s Toy Story Toy Drive is here
The St. Joseph Catholic School students, families, and staff are all invited to participate in the 2016 Nathan's Toy Story that will wrap up next Thursday, Dec. 15th. This toy drive collects new toys and games for children hospitalized at Legacy Randall Children's Hospital, many of whom will spend this Advent season and the Christmas holiday in the hospital. Please bring new (in original packaging) unwrapped toys to the school office or your child’s classroom. The donations will be collected each day and these gifts will be delivered to Randall Children's Hospital before Christmas. The St. Joseph Catholic School community participates in this toy drive in honor of Nathan Senko, Mrs. Senko's son, who was hospitalized at Legacy Randall Children's Hospital nearly 15 years ago and died as the result of a brain tumor. The toy drive’s name, “Nathan’s Toy Story” is named after Nathan’s favorite movie. Please consider participating in this toy drive and help "Be A Light to Others" during this joyous season.
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 after Masses on Sunday, Jan. 29th. The Open House will run from 10 am to 1:30 pm. 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. Our full faculty will be here, ready to share about St. Joe’s and answer your questions. We look forward to seeing all of you and our prospective families too.
Grandparents & Special Friends Day to be held Tuesday, Jan. 31
Start spreading the news: 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 that day. The day will include a morning performance by the Vancouver Pops and lunch in Marian Hall. More details will be available soon, but we want to make sure our guests know now that the day is coming up. A flyer will be sent home at the end of next week for students to share with grandparents and special friends to give them information about saving the date.
Half day added to the school calendar in January
To be able to provide time for preparation for Open House and Catholic Schools Week, we’ve decided to add a 12 pm early dismissal to the school calendar on Friday, Jan. 27. Please mark your calendars. We’ll offer reminders in the Cardinal Call as we approach this date.
December PTO meeting is next week
Join us Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8:45 am in the St. Ignatius Room of Marian Hall for our next PTO meeting. All St. Joseph parents are invited to attend. For any questions, please contact PTO President Laura Ashton at email@example.com.
Thank you to all our parents who have helped with recent PTO events
In this past month, we’ve had a wonderful Holiday Bazaar, wreath sale, and Family Bingo Night. Thanks to all parents who helped to host these events and to all the parents who volunteered. Special thanks to Caitlin Elder (Holiday Bazaar chair), Laura Ashton (coordinator of the PTO wreath sale), and Kim Puyleart (Family Bingo Night chair)! We are grateful for all the parent support that makes our community the special place it is.
Reminder from the handbook regarding early drop-off & late pick-ups
Students who are not registered for Extended Care should not be at school, without being with a parent or supervising adult, prior to the arrival of crossing guards at 8:15 am (7:40 am on Wednesdays). If students are dropped off prior to 8:15 (7:40 on Wednesdays), their families will be charged a fee of $5. Students who have not been picked up by 3:15 pm (2:25 pm on Wednesdays) will be taken to Extended Care and an emergency fee will be charged in the amount of $10 for the first 15 minutes; later than 15 minutes will be billed at an hourly rate of $25. Please help to make sure that students are always supervised when they’re here on campus.
Celebrate Christmas at St. Joseph Catholic Church
To help you all with finding a Christmas Mass, we want to pass along the St. Joseph Mass schedule. Here are the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass times:
Local Scout troop selling Christmas trees
- Christmas Eve, 12/24: 5 pm (Children’s Mass), 7:30 pm, 10 pm
- Christmas Day, 12/25: 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm
Local Boys Scout Troop 554 is hosting a Christmas tree lot that is selling nobles, grands, and doug fir trees ranging from 3-10 ft. They are are also selling wreaths and Christmas baskets. The lot is located on the corner of 136th and Mill Plain and is open from 9 am to 9 pm on the weekends and from 4 to 8 pm on weekdays. Stop by, pick-up a tree, wreath, or basket, and support local scouting!
Fulcrum Foundation application for 2017-2018 available to families in need
The Fulcrum Foundation offers assistance each year to families in need of financial support to provide Catholic education to their children. For more information on applying or determining whether you should apply, please check the Financial Aid section of the new website. The Fulcrum application deadline is Jan. 6, 2017. In January, we will share information on applying for aid provided directly from St. Joseph Catholic School.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
WA State Catholic bishops pen pastoral letter on homelessness
The Catholic Bishops of Washington state have written a pastoral letter on homelessness released this past month. The pastoral letter “Who is My Neighbor? The Face of Poverty in Washington State” reviews the stories of people in poverty, recounts Christian teaching on the need to help the poor, and considers the role of individuals, private institutions, and government in fighting poverty. The bishops have created study materials for parishes, schools, and individual Catholics to help them confront poverty in Washington state and to explore “ways we can act as a community of faith to alleviate suffering and advocate for change.” To access the letter and other resources please visit this site.
Seton Catholic to host middle school dance for 7th & 8th grade students
Seton Catholic will be welcoming area 7th and 8th graders to a middle school dance at their new building on Friday, Dec. 16 from 7 to 10 pm. There is a cost for attendance, and it includes pizza and water. For more information and to access the permission waiver, please click here.
Upcoming VIRTUS Safe Environments in-person trainings - needed to volunteer at school
All parent volunteers need to be up to date with the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Safe Environments requirements before volunteering this year. This means that you’ve attended an in-person VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” class and have a current background check on file. Background checks are required in the first year of volunteering and then each three years after the initial in-person training. An online refresher class is also required each three years after the initial training is completed.
If you are not yet up to date with training requirements, please plan to attend a class so you will be able to volunteer, help out in the classroom, and drive on field trips. The next area class is scheduled as follows:
Sunday, Dec. 11, at 1 pm – Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Battle Ground
You will need to pre-register for the trainings 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 Sheri in the school office at (360)696-2586.