October 14, 2016
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
I want to thank all of you who provided feedback on our school-to-home communication over these past couple months. I’ve been able to gather insights and suggestions from parents, parishioners, faculty, and staff, and I want to highlight a number of things that have been put into place or will soon be put into place as part of an increased school effort in the area of communication.
Weekly Cardinal Call - The Friday email that you’ve been receiving since the beginning of the school year will be renamed the Cardinal Call. This weekly email will include, as it has each week this year, a letter from the principal, a look at the week ahead, and a collection of news, updates, and reminders. This email will consolidate school news, PTO news, and general auction news into one message. Though this means that it will be a longer email than it has been in past years, we feel it’s the best approach to make sure you’re receiving important information in one place and at one time.
Newsflashes - We will continue to send out Newsflashes as needed in order to draw attention to individual items that may warrant an increased focus. There may be some event specific Newsflashes as well as some Auction Newsflashes as the auction draws closer.
Schoolwide Fliers & Information - For both sustainability and streamlining communication through the Cardinal Call, we will be working this year on reducing the number of paper items we copy for the whole school to send home to families. When we do send home schoolwide items, we will do so on only the final day of the school week - usually Friday. The items we’re sending home will also be referenced in the Cardinal Call so you can be on the lookout. If there’s something that needs immediate attention, we will send an email home if something is to be sent home on a day other than the final day of the week.
New Website - We are very pleased to share that we’re working on a website redesign that we intend to have completed by the beginning of December. It’s our hope that you’ll find the new website informative, useful, and easy to navigate. It’ll make better use of photos and more prominently showcase our school and its programs. Though I’ve noticed that some of the information on the current website is in need of updating, we will not be working on replacing and editing that content. Our focus will be on preparing the new site for roll out.
Online Calendar - One important feature of the new website will be an online calendar that families and friends of the school will be able to sync with their personal calendars and their personal devices. The calendar will include our academic calendar dates as well as the schoolwide events and activities we have scheduled.
School Branding - We are working to ensure that St. Joseph Catholic School published documents have a consistent look and feel that’s representative of the school. You likely already noticed this on school forms and documents that have been shared this year. We will also be working on selecting an athletic logo to complement our standard logo you’ve seen used in school communication. We’d like to share our logos in a way that they become synonymous with St. Joseph Catholic School to residents throughout Clark County. If this is an area of expertise for you or you know someone who’d be interested in helping us out in this area, please let me know.
We hope that you find the changes you’ve already seen and the upcoming additions helpful to the school-home partnership. It’s an important area of focus for me and for all of the faculty and staff as we serve this community.
Finally, unrelated to this communication plan, but still very important - the faculty and I would like to thank all the parents who worked to put together a wonderful meal Wednesday night for teachers during conferences. We appreciated the opportunity to take a little time away from the meeting schedule for the day and to break bread together. The food was delicious. We are grateful!
Stay dry, and have a good weekend!
Joe Manning, Principal
THE WEEK AHEAD
In-Person VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” Training (required before volunteering at school) - Marian Hall - 9:30 a.m.
No schoolwide events or activities
Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries - St. Ignatius Room - 8:45 am
Family Dine-out Event - Firehouse Subs (19151 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver) - All Day - be sure to share this coupon to earn money for the school
Test of the FlashAlert system - check your email to confirm you’ve received the test message
In-Person VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” Training (required before volunteering at school) - Marian Hall - 6 pm
No School for Students
Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences - 8 am to 4 pm (Grades K-1 conferences to be parent-teacher only/ Grades 2-8 students to attend with parents)
No schoolwide events or activities
Vision Retesting (for students who were absent during initial testing)
NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS
Conference details for final fall conference day - Wednesday, Oct. 19
We enjoyed meeting with many of you this week, and we continue to look forward to the meetings that have been scheduled for this coming Wednesday. Grades K-5 conferences will be held in your child’s homeroom classroom. Middle school conferences will be held all in one room. Middle school conferences for Wednesday, Oct. 19, will be in the school cafeteria. Fifth grade meetings with Mrs. Cestnik and Mrs. Hunt will also be in the cafeteria. Specialist teachers will be in the main building. If you’ll be meeting with them, check at the front of the school and you will be guided to their locations. Please remember that Grades K-1 conferences will be parent-teacher only; Grades 2-8 conferences will include students. If you have any questions about conferences, please contact your child’s teacher(s).
Wreath pre-order forms sent home today
Pre-order forms for the 2016 PTO Wreath Sale are coming home in your youngest student’s backpack today. Pre-orders are 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. Wreath pick up again this year will be during the Holiday Bazaar. Thank you for supporting PTO with your order.
Support St. Joe’s by participating in our first restaurant night of the year - Tuesday, Oct. 18
Looking for a dinner idea for Tuesday? PTO has a great idea for you, and you can help raise money for PTO at the same time! Firehouse Subs, located on 192nd and Mill Plain, is hosting our first restaurant night of the year. The coupon is good all day! Coupons came home this week; they can also be found on the PTO FB page. Please feel free to share these with your family and friends. The coupon must be presented in order for the donation to be processed.
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.
K-4 Christmas Program planned for Wednesday, Dec. 14
Mark your calendars! We’ve added a Christmas program to the 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.
St. Joe’s to test the FlashAlert notification system on Tuesday, Oct. 18
St. Joseph subscribes to a local alert system called FlashAlert to pass along news regarding school closures and delays. Our school’s annual test of the FlashAlert system will be the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 18, between 10 & 10:30 am. If you have not signed up for these notifications in the past, please go to www.FlashAlert.net before the 18th to register. If you do not get a message, please verify that you still have an active account by going to www.flashalert.net/login.html. Please note: This is the school’s best way to quickly notify you when we will be closed or delayed due to inclement weather or school emergencies.
Join us for Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries on Tuesday, Oct. 18
Mr. Manning would like to invite parents to participate in what will be the first of a recurring monthly event at our school - Principal & Parent Prayer & Pastries. Our first event will be on Tuesday, Oct. 18 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. Mr. Manning likes to share with others the tasty creations of local businesses, so if you have excellent pastry or doughnut suggestions, please don’t hesitate to pass them along to him! We hope to see many of you at our first gathering on the 18th.
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. We plan to have the posters on the wall between the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms by Nov. 10, and they will remain for two weeks.
Reminder about the drop-off in the morning - please pull forward
When the rain arrives, as it did this week, we know that fewer families choose to park and walk into school together each morning. This means that more families use the drop-off lane in front of Marian Hall and along the curb at the back of the Church building. To accommodate all of our drop-offs we ask drivers to pull all the way forward if there are no cars in place. The front spot, where drivers should head if there are no cars in front of them, is along the curb at the rear of the Church just before the final turn you make to get back into the Church’s main driveway. Our fifth grade families are out there to help guide you, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. We appreciate your help with making we have a safe and smooth drop-off.
Introduction to Eileen Sherrill, part-time administrative assistant
At the end of September, we added one more staff member to our school staff. We’re thrilled to have Eileen Sherrill serving the school as a part-time administrative assistant. Some of you know her from her first stint here at St. Joe’s a few years ago now when she served as a classroom aide. In her new role, Eileen is helping with admissions and general school support. She and Anna Raineri, vice principal, work out of the office that used to be the principal’s office (the new principal’s office is the old vice principal’s office). When you stop in at school, poke your head in and say hello!
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Student CYO Game & Tournament Attendance - parent supervision required
Over the last couple weekends, we’ve had a few students arrive at CYO games without parent supervision. It’s a school and CYO expectation that any students attending the games have a supervising adult present with them as they support our CYO athletes. We look forward to seeing students and parents together during these weekend competitions.
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” 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.
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.
Saturday, Oct. 15, at 9:30 am - St Joseph Catholic Church - Marian Hall, Vancouver
Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 6 pm – St. Joseph Catholic Church - Marian Hall, Vancouver
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.