Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – November 26, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  As we begin this last week before Advent, we will spend a few more days with our saints to round out Saints Month.  Stay tuned in the next few weeks for a special video of saint door decorations throughout the school.

In this last week of November, we are back and ready for a brand new trimester.  With the new term, comes some new information and I wanted to take a moment to make everyone aware of the following:

New preschool teacher

  • Edal Fernandez joins our team today. We are incredibly excited to have her joining the St. Al community.

Middle School Study Hall

  • A new trimester means a new start and a new chance to develop some new habits.  Study hall during lunch recess has been going strong and we still have room for more individuals to join. If you are looking for a quiet place to work on homework or would like to have just a little extra time to study before that afternoon test, this is the place for you.  Join others in Mrs. Foisy’s math room for a silent and independent work time before lunch.   A big thank you to Luke Uniack for proposing this idea and getting it started.

Change in Communication

  • I will no longer be publishing specific event information in my weekly emails but will instead announce general or one-time items of note.  For all other information I will be linking the school website.  The reason for this change is that we are trying to streamline our communication, creating a simpler way to receive electronic communication about our community.  The goal is fewer items to look through and more information shared.  Season Evans has done a wonderful job on the website and if you haven’t already done so, I encourage each of you to take a few moments to explore what is posted there.  The calendar will be updated with more events each month to incorporate my previous email information. The Angle will still be sent out as usual with no significant format changes.

Inclement Weather and Other Important Communication 

  • Heading into ice and snow season, we need updated information from everyone in case of school closures or late starts due to inclement.  We are continuing to receive a lot of bounced emails when sending out communication.  Incorrect information means you will not receive timely updates or information.  Please take a moment to check your email information on Renweb and your junk mail folder to make sure you are properly updated and informed.

Holiday Shopping and Giving 

  • It is cyber Monday.  For anyone looking to purchase items online, remember you can also help St. Al’s as you shop.  Use our []Amazon Smile code as well as Scrip through Presto Pay.  Scrip has a variety of businesses available and you can even receive email updates for special rebate promotions.  Traveling for the holidays?  Scrip has you covered with that too.  Get Scrip for airlines, hotels/house rentals, cruises, vacation packages, gas stations, and more.  Of course, you can also give directly to St. Al’s and even match with a corporate gift.

Finally, I encourage everyone to stop by our new display table outside the main office.  We have moved all school handouts and other items to this table to create more space on the counter for individuals signing-in/out.   The table also features items for those with questions about the Catholic faith or current Catholics simply wanting to learn more.  Pamphlets, books, pencils, and even rosaries are there for anyone to take home.

In our last week of Saint Month I would like to leave you with the words of St. Catherine of Sienna, “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze.”  I pray that we each hear the call of God and in answering it, use the talents and gifts God has given us to truly set the world ablaze with His love.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu

P-4 OH

Preschool – 4th Grade Open House

Join us on Wednesday, November 7 to learn more about our Preschool and Kindergarten through 4th Grade Elementary program. Meet our principal and current families, greet teachers, and observe our classrooms in action to see if our strong community, caring and effective teachers, and small class size are the right fit for your child.

RSVP here:

St. Alphonsus Parish School is an accredited Catholic School that welcomes families of all backgrounds. For over 100 years St. Als has been offering the families of Ballard and the surrounding community an excellent Catholic education for Preschool through 8th Grade by developing the whole student in a caring environment enriched by the faith of the Church and commitment of families. Our deep sense of community is fostered by our dedicated staff along with committed parents resulting in a safe, nurturing environment for our students.

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – October 15, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and you found a moment to enjoy some of the fabulous sunshine we have been having.  This week, I wanted to send out a school wide announcement that Ms. Brain is no longer an employee at St. Alphonsus. We are currently looking for her replacement and would encourage anyone who is interested, to apply through the Archdiocese by clicking here or by visiting the Office for Catholic Schools website for open positions.  We have also placed ads on three other job sites, two specifically geared toward Montessori education. Feel free to spread the word and I will keep you posted on our progress.


Tuesday, October 16: Middle School Instrumental Music Open House

–Middle school students can join us at lunch recess to get information about a new instrumental music group starting at St. Al’s.  Students can take a flyer and stay for a demonstration of several instruments.  The group will be run by Michael White, former music teacher at Bishop Blanchet.

Wednesday, October 17: GRACE Teacher Leader Conference

–St. Al’s will be hosting our regional GRACE leadership conference.   All events will be in the Wilson Room and should not impact the students as they go about the normal school day.  The one change you will notice will be the orange cones on the playground.  We will need to move those in to accommodate parking for our guests.

Thursday & Friday: Conferences for K-8 Parents

–The schedule is ready and you will receive your time(s) soon.  Teachers will be notifying families and Charleen Sweet has the master list in the office.  If you are not able to meet during our typical conference days, please contact your student’s teacher.

–Preschool: due to the recent changes in personnel, we will not be able to schedule conferences in time for the end of the week.  However, we will be sending out progress reports for each student by the end of next week.  Feel free to reach out to Ms. Beard and Mrs. Wittbold if you have specific questions or concerns.

Friday, October 19: St. Anne’s Dance for 7th/8th grade students

–Permission slips available from Mrs. Pollack or through the office

Tuesday, October 23: Middle School Open House for prospective families

–We are having an open house event for prospective middle school families.  Invite your friends and reach out to families in your neighborhood.  If you refer a family for a tour of our school you will get 2 volunteer hours and if they officially sign-up you will get 4 volunteer hours.

Thank you to everyone who donated time and items to the auction thus far.  We have been working hard on our end to make it a truly fantastic evening for all.  If you have not already done so, please RSVP.  Remember, you can reserve a table of ten as well as individual seats.  Contact Lena Anderson if you have any questions.

Welcome New Preschool Teachers!

Nicola Beard will be partnering with Donna Brain in our Montessori based preschool room.  Nicola has a degree in early childhood development from the University of New Hampshire.  She comes to us from a preschool in Kirkland where she created and implemented unit plans, developed daily schedules, and provided consistent two-way communication for families.  Nicola is a wonderful fit for our school family and we are so happy to have her on board this year.

We are very happy to welcome Maureen Wittbold as our exploratory preschool teacher.  Maureen has worked for many years in early childhood and elementary education.  Maureen is a children’s book author and has even taught at the university level.  She is familiar with the archdiocese having worked in area Catholic schools and is very happy to be returning to Catholic education this year as a new member of the St. Al’s community.

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Beard and Ms. Wittbold to our school community!