As we enter Holy Week, may we recall the words of Pope Francis, “Holy Week is a privileged time when we are called to draw near to Jesus: friendship with him is shown in times of difficulty.” On Good Friday, our kindergarten through 8th grade students will participate in Stations of the Cross led by our 7th grade students. During this turbulent time, may we stop and be still so we may move closer to God our Father through Jesus. For more information on Holy Week services, check the parish website.
Service Opportunities: Our hearts and minds are with the people of the Ukraine. We pray for peace in our world and for those harmed by war. We will have a one week service project to benefit the Jesuit Relief Services for Ukraine. Students may bring in coins, bills, or checks payable to Jesuit Relief Services, Monday through Friday of next week’s Holy Week. Participating in this service during Holy Week helps us to build a just and compassionate world as a school community. Each student that participates in this service project will receive a sunflower sticker. The sunflower is the national flower for Ukraine and has become a symbol of resistance, unity, and hope. Ukraine is the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil.
Another fun way to support Ukraine as a family is to dine at the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sellwood on Saturdays from 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM. In the church’s basement on Saturdays, they sell pierogies, vegan cabbage rolls, meat cabbage rolls, and Ukrainian garlic sausages. You can enjoy them there or take them home. They only take cash for sales, but proceeds directly benefit the Ukrainian relief effort.
We are in need of more families to sign-up to volunteer to make sandwiches for Transition Projects.
Afterschool Programs: There’s still room in our Saturday Academy spring session of Digital Photography for students in grades 5-8. A minimum of six students per class is required to host the class for the spring term. If you are interested in this opportunity for your student, please sign up by Monday, April 11th!
Safety Drills: In addition to monthly fire drills, it is important to practice drills for earthquakes or other emergencies impacting the safety of our students. In April we anticipate practicing an earthquake drill and a ‘shelter in place’ drill. Today we had a ‘shelter in place’ drill. Shelter in place is when a police activity is happening close to the school or there is someone suspicious outside on the school campus. For ‘shelter in place’ students may not go outside and remain in their classrooms. Students are allowed to use the restroom. Support staff help monitor the hallways and larger groups of students that may have moved to the gym or cafeteria.
STAR Testing: Students are taking Renaissance Star Testing for the spring testing window this week and into next week. Please send your students to school with a good breakfast and encour- age good sleep habits. Star tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests. An adaptive test means the questions increase in difficulty until the student begins to answer incorrectly, at which point, the questions become easier. As a result, your student takes a test specifically created for his or her learning level. The test is designed to find the student’s academic level in reading and math. We will examine whole school Star testing results to guide teachers in planning for the re- mainder of the year. Star testing results are one data point our school uses to determine eligibility for Title I tutoring services and for placement in advanced math in middle school. Some students participate in progress monitoring Star testing between the official testing windows to gain more information on their progress. Star tests are standardized tests given in many school districts nationwide and are periodically nationally normed.
SAC Recruitment: We are in need of new members for the School Advisory Council next year. Please consider volunteering for this important committee. We are accepting applications until April 22nd. If you have any questions or would like to nominate someone for SAC, please contact our SAC Co-Chair, Mike Moore.
Enrollment: The best way to welcome other wonderful families into our community is through ‘word of mouth’. Please spread the word by following our school on social media including LinkedIn and writing Google reviews for our school. We have room for additional students in nearly all classes from preschool through 5th grade. Tell your friends!
Volunteer Opportunities: We’d love to welcome parents back as volunteers! Currently we are seeking Art Literacy volunteers for kindergarten through fifth grade classes. Please let Mrs. Frangi- pani know if you are interested in Art Literacy volunteering. We will need jog-a-thon volunteers for May 19th and will ask for those in the coming weeks. And we can always use more outdoor recess monitors. Volunteers must be up-to-date with C.A.S.E. training and show proof of vaccination. Please consider sharing your time and talents with us!
Summer Camps: Summer camp flyers are now available for St. Mary’s Academy, Central Catho- lic, LaSalle and Camp Howard. If you have teenagers 15-16 looking for a summer job, consider encouraging them to apply to be a camp counselor this summer! For the first time, Camp Howard is also looking for Camp Parent volunteers. Summer jobs allow our youth to become involved in their community and possibly inspired into future career possibilities.
Uniform: Land’s End is having a uniform sale beginning on April 14. We are working as a school to be in uniform every day, so we may celebrate with themed dress days. Some of the uniform challenges across grade levels right now are skirts and shorts being long enough and not wearing hoop earrings. Please help your student to be in uniform each day. Our next themed dress day will be a class color day on Thursday, April 21st. For class color day, we ask that students wear school appropriate t-shirts or sweatshirts showing their class color with jeans or joggers. We ask students please refrain from wearing costume clothing or leggings for class color day.
As we prepare to celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend and enter Holy Week, may we remember “For God so loved the world that he gave* his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to con- demn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17