October 21, 2016
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
My grandmother, who passed this past year, would be turning 100 tomorrow if she were still with us. I think of her every day I arrive at St. Joe’s. For years and years “Nanny” as we called her, lived just down the street, and I spent part of every week of my young life in this neighborhood playing at Fr. Blanchet Park and in her backyard and on the narrow side street that led from her house to Dairy Queen. Every day I open my office door, I see the photograph of her son, my uncle, who was part of one of the first graduating classes at St. Joe’s. And, on this final day before the day she would’ve turned 100, I can’t help but think of the strong Catholic example she provided me and all those who knew her.
At our first Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries gathering of the year this past Tuesday, we prayed over and reflected upon some words of Pope Francis that, I feel, so perfectly capture one of faith’s greatest gifts to us and one of my grandmother’s most beautiful strengths. When Pope Francis visited the United States in September 2015, he spoke at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. In his words offered during his homily at the meeting’s final Mass, he shared:
Faith opens a "window" to the presence and working of the Spirit. It shows us that, like happiness, holiness is always tied to little gestures...These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children. They are little signs of tenderness, affection, and compassion. Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day's work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith.
The Pope concluded his reflection on these small gestures by saying that we must encourage them and to spread them as signs of Jesus’ living and active presence in our world. My grandmother modeled what it looked like to be committed to these small things - always offering a warm meal, sharing a hearty smile, joining us for Mass, attending so many of my track meets and soccer games, remembering important dates, quizzing me about things I had learned, making applesauce with us each year, reaching out to me by phone as I grew older just to check in, and the list really does go on and on. She shared these gestures with my mother, too, who continues to provide them for my sister, brother, and me. And now we continue in both their examples, sharing them with our families, and truly recognizing that the small things, shared within families, do indeed show Jesus’ presence in our world.
I share these personal memories and these words from our Pope so you might see the influence and power of love in the small things. What a gift for each of you to be able to provide these for your children. I’m confident that you’re already doing these things in your families, but I want to do my part to do as Pope Francis shared - to spread and encourage them as much as I can. It truly is in the family - the domestic church - that faith becomes life and life becomes faith.
I’d like to thank those of you who attended our first Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries gathering. I enjoyed praying together and chatting with all of you. Our next monthly gathering will be Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8:45 am in the St. Ignatius room of Marian Hall. We hope to see many of you there!
Christ’s peace be with you,
Joe Manning, Principal
THE WEEK AHEAD
No schoolwide events or activities
No schoolwide events or activities
Regular Wednesday Start Time - 7:55 am
Mass - 8:10 am
Regular Wednesday Dismissal - 2:10 pm
No schoolwide events or activities
No schoolwide events or activities
NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS
Conference thank you to all parents
The faculty and staff would like to thank all our parents for joining us for parent-teacher conferences over the past two weeks. We enjoyed having the chance to talk with you and to discuss the first month and a half of school and to begin looking to the future days, weeks, and months. A special thank you goes out to all the parents who provided food for meals. The faculty really appreciated you thinking of us on the busy conference days!
Halloween plans set for Monday, Oct. 31
It’s almost time for Halloween! Students, just as they have in past years, will be able to wear costumes at school on Halloween - Monday, Oct. 31. In order to ensure safety and order as part of our day, please follow these guidelines:
-Kindergarten and first grade students should wear their costumes to school. All other students who will be dressing up should bring their costumes to change into later in the day.
-Students will not be able to wear or bring masks for their costumes or use face paint.
-Please do not send in the “props” that go with a costume (light sabers, swords, wands, weapons, etc.) Wigs and hats are okay. No hair coloring.
-No scary, gory, or clown costumes.
We will be having a schoolwide parade as part of the day. Classroom parties will follow.
School to begin using new visitor badges on Monday, Oct. 24
In order for us to better understand who’s in the building, we’ll be putting in place a new visitor badge system on Monday, Oct. 24. Up until now, parents and other visitors during the school day have signed in and put on a sticker indicating they had checked in. The sticker wasn’t all that sticky, and we know many parents and visitors who have had challenges with keeping it attached. The other challenge is that many of our visitors have left the school without returning to the front desk to sign out so that we know that they’re no longer with us. To help with both of these concerns, we will now have our visitor badges attached to a lanyard that visitors will wear. They will need to be returned to the front desk before departing the school. When visitors sign in, our office staff will hand them a visitor lanyard, and the attached badge will have a number on it. This badge number will be something visitors write down on the sign-in sheet before entering the school. When visitors leave, they will return the lanyard and badge to the office staff and sign out. We appreciate your help and understanding as we put this safety check into place beginning next week.
Searching for information on our student participants in the Scholastic Summer Reading Program
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are unable to access the Scholastic Summer Reading website to retrieve our Summer Reading Program data. If your child participated in the Summer Reading Program this year, please send his/her name, current grade, current teacher’s name and if you know it, the number of minutes he/she read this summer to Peggy DiPrima at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Oct. 31. If you don’t have the number of minutes, please send the other info without it. All Summer Reading rewards will be distributed to students in November. We apologize for the inconvenience and are grateful for your help.
All Parish Work Day to be held on Saturday, Nov. 5
Join the parish and school community to spruce things up on the St. Joe’s campus on Saturday, Nov. 5. We’ll need help spreading bark, raking leaves, cleaning, painting, hauling, washing windows, and cleaning up the parish garden. Volunteers will meet in front of Marian Hall at 9 am and are encouraged to bring work clothes, gloves, wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels. Older children are welcome to work with parents. Lunch will be provided. This opportunity is eligible for parish share hours. To volunteer, contact Stephen Brown by calling (360)823-2846 or emailing email@example.com. If you’re not able to be there at 9 am, let Stephen know when you can arrive.
Fulcrum Foundation tuition assistance application now available
The Fulcrum Foundation has opened up the application process for tuition assistance. This is for families who have a financial need in order for their children to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle. For more information on applying or determining whether you should apply, please visit this link.
K-4 Christmas Program planned for Wednesday, Dec. 14
Mark your calendars! We’ve added a Christmas program to the school calendar for our final week before we break for Christmas. All students in our kindergarten through fourth grade classes will participate. The program is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 14 in the Church. Doors will open at 6:30 pm, and the program will get started at 7 pm. We look forward to a great evening! More details to come as the program gets closer.
Share with us the names of Veterans for our annual wall of honor
As we approach Veterans Day, our “Wall of Veterans” will once again be on display in the main building’s hallway to honor our family members and friends who have served in the military. If your family is new this year and you wish to honor a family member or friend who has served in the military, let us add them to our wall. If you have given us this information in the past, we still have it and will continue to use it this year. If you have Veterans to add to our list or if you wish to make any changes to information you’ve shared in the past, please contact Anne McDonagh at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send names, rank, years of service, where they served, and their relationship to your family. We strive to recognize, honor, and pray for all our St. Joseph Veterans, both living and deceased. Please submit names or changes by Wednesday, Oct. 26. We plan to have the posters on the wall between the first and second grade classrooms by Nov. 10, and they will remain for two weeks.
Make sure your child is up to date with immunization requirements by Nov. 1
Each year schools in the state of Washington are required to complete and submit a report on student immunizations. This report is due on Nov. 1. All students need to be in compliance with state immunization requirements in order to continue school attendance. The requirements and other resources can be found here. If your child is in kindergarten or new to us this year, we need to have the appropriate documentation to show your child’s immunizations or exemption status. For families of students who have already provided this information, no action is necessary, with one exception. All of our students in sixth grade need to provide evidence of one dose of Tdap. If you have any questions, please contact Sheri Keller at (360)696-2586 or email@example.com. To help us complete our report on time, for families not yet in compliance, please share this immunization information with us no later than Friday, Oct. 28.
Bingo co-chair & procurement needs
Our current Bingo chair, Kim Puyleart, is looking for a co-chair to help her with this event. The event is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2, in Marian Hall. If you are able to help her out, please email Laura Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will connect you with Kim.
We are also working on procuring prize items for our Bingo event. Prize items can be anything small, for example, Dutch Bros. gift cards which are conveniently sold by Scrip or other prize items that both students or parents would enjoy selecting from the prize table. You can drop your procured item off at the school office or in the PTO box. For more information, email Laura at email@example.com. Thank you!
Wreath pre-order forms due Friday, Nov. 4
Wreath pre-orders will be due with payment by Friday, Nov. 4. You may also order and pay for your wreath online. The link can be found on the landing page of the school website. The form will also be in the Parish bulletin and on the PTO facebook page. Pick up again this year will be during the Holiday Bazaar. There are no deliveries. Thank you for supporting PTO with your order.
St. Joe’s Holiday Bazaar - limited space still available & search for entertainment performers
There is still space available at our holiday bazaar, which will be held Nov. 19-20. If you are interested in reserving a space, please email the chair at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t delay - spaces are filling up fast!
Holiday Bazaar Entertainment – Sat, Nov. 19 – Do you know of a dance studio, karate dojo, or musician who would like to perform during the Holiday Bazaar? This is a great opportunity for them to advertise their services plus provide entertainment for the shoppers and vendors on Saturday, Nov. 19 during the bazaar. Please contact the bazaar chair at email@example.com if you have an entertainment performer who would like to participate.
Special Mass to be offered for baby loss and infertility
You are invited in sorrow and hope to pray as a community for families suffering from baby loss or infertility. The Memorial Mass will be held the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 25 in the Church and will be followed by a reception with support resources available. Please check-in before Mass to have your child (known or unknown) honored by name. Friends and families are welcome.
5:30-6 pm: Check-in
6-7 pm: Mass
7-8 pm: Reception
Please contact Caitlin Elder with questions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scrip news and reminders
Here’s a list of upcoming area classes. 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 holidays are just around the corner. Get a jump on your shopping now. Scrip is a great way to budget and buy for those hard to shop for people on your list. Don’t forget to order SCRIP for Airlines and Hotels when you travel for the holidays.
Did you know that any Scrip purchased over your $200 commitment goes towards your next year school fees? You “pay” yourself when purchasing Scrip.
Have you tried buying virtual Scrip? You can print Scrip from home, or buy while in the store. There are hundreds of retailers you can instantly access. It’s fast, easy and a great way to fulfill your commitment effortlessly.
We have new retailers currently in stock. Visa Cash Gift Cards 1.25% rebate and L.L. Bean 18% rebate. We are always looking for new retailers to carry in stock. If you have a favorite and we don’t carry it, please let us know. We try and update our retailers monthly to keep your favorites on hand. We can also special order items or large quantities for you. Please plan on a 10-14 day turn-around time for special order items.
Not sure how to setup an online account or access your account? Contact Kim LaValley with any questions, suggestions or special orders at email@example.com or 991-4193.
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.
Monday, Nov. 14, at 6:15 pm - St Joseph Catholic Church - Marian Hall, Vancouver
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.