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Principal Bulletin- January 12, 2017

Dear St. Joseph School Families,

As Catholic school educators, we believe the values we teach are not only character development, but a call to holiness.  While the Catholic school may be like other schools in some ways … there is one essential difference.  It draws its inspiration and its strength from the Gospel in which it is rooted.  The principle that no human act is morally indifferent to one’s conscience or before God has clear application to school life:  school work accepted as a duty and done with good will; courage and perseverance when difficulties come; respect for teachers; loyalty toward and love for fellow students; sincerity, tolerance, and goodness in all relationships.

The educational process is not simply a human activity; it is a genuine Christian journey toward perfection.  Students who are sensitive to the religious dimension of life realize that the will of God is found in the work and the human relationships of each day.  A Catholic school is a place where students can most reliably come to know Christ and experience the quiet surge of His life, transforming their own.

The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School

As this new year begins, we pray that God’s presence may continue to bless our lives, our schools, and our world.

Winter Testing:  This week saw the beginning of winter testing with MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) and Aims Web. These tests help to measure academic growth throughout the school year.  They provide valuable information for teachers and allow them to provide academic intervention for students who need additional support.  Oral Reading Fluency probes were given to grades 2 – 5 on Monday and Wednesday.  Reading comprehension probes were also given to students in grades 3 – 5. 

Kindergarten completed early literacy assessments that included letter naming, letter sound, phoneme segmentation, and nonsense word fluency.  Grade 1 and 2 also gave a computation assessment.

Grade 1 student assessment included phoneme segmentation and nonsense word fluency, oral reading fluency, and math computation.

MAP assessment for students in grades 3 – 8 included Reading, Math, and Language Arts.   All assessment is scheduled to be completed by February 3.  Testing results will be shared with you as soon as they are available.

It is important that students eat and sleep well prior to assessment. Please encourage your student to do their very best on the tests.  Getting adequate sleep the night before and eating breakfast the morning of help students to stay focused.

Technology Updates.  Christmas provided some amazing gifts for children. One of those gifts may have been a Smartwatch. At the very least, a Smartwatch has apps that are fun and engaging for children.  They are toys.  They are not Wi-Fi connected, do not have text or internet capability, and do not have a child locator function with four to five phone connections.  This is a delightful toy but just as we do not allow children to bring other toys to school as part of the academic experience, i.e. Barbie dolls, remote controlled cars or trucks, Batmobiles, or drones with video capability, this type of Smartwatch aimed at the very young child, may not be worn to school.  Smartwatches beyond this level have some or all of the capabilities of a cell phone.  The policy that governs the presence of cell phones, now applies to the recent emergence and popularity of Smartwatches among students. Please refer to the Parent-Student Handbook on our web-site for further information.

A Night in NAPA. Saturday, January 28, 2017.  It’s not too late to respond to this invitation to our annual Benefit Dinner, A Night in NAPA (Napa Valley, California, sunny, warm). Winter is long in Northwest Ohio.   Escape for an evening of fun and friends.  We would love to welcome you.

Report Cards will be sent home tomorrow, Friday, January 13. 

Have a Heart Restock Drive.  This annual event sponsored by Sylvania Franciscan Village helps to restock local pantries. We support their efforts and have placed donation boxes at the middle school and elementary buildings.  Students/families are asked to “spare a square”.  The collection drive began on January 9 and ends on January 20.  The community goal is 2000 rolls of toilet paper.  Last year, SJS by itself met the community goal.  Students and families brought in donations of a two roll, four roll, six roll, or eight roll package of toilet paper. Have a Heart for this effort and help us meet the goal again this year!  Students have until Friday, January 20, to make a donation.

Kindergarten Information Night.  There will be a Kindergarten Information Night on Wednesday, January 18, at 6:30 pm in the kindergarten classrooms of the elementary building on the west campus.  If you have a child who will turn five by September 30, please join us and discover kindergarten at SJS.  Pastor, principals, teachers, parents, and alum will be present to share information about the faith and academic journey that begins in kindergarten at SJS!  All are welcome!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  This is a reminder that Monday, January16, is Martin Luther King Day.  There is no school for students.

On behalf of the staff and students of St. Joseph School, I wish you and your family a blessed and happy new year.

Sincerely,

Sally A. Koppinger, Principal