PRINCIPAL’S CORNER – January 24, 2019


Message from the Principal

Hello St. Al Families,

While this was a short week, it was definitely packed with fun and learning. This week I have an announcements about a staffing change.

After working as our Development Director for the past two years, Lena Anderson has accepted a new role in the Business Office at Holy Names.  This is a dream come true for Lena as she has been wanting to return to her high school roots for quite some time.  While we are so very sad to see her go, we know this new role is a perfect fit for her talents and treasure. Lena has been an incredible member of our team, working on the auction, handling the Annual Fund accounting and tracking, assisting with the start of our endowment, and so much more.  I want to send a personal heartfelt thank you to Lena for everything she has done for the school and we all look forward to continuing a partnership with her as a St. Al’s parent.

The Development Director position will be posted on the Archdiocese Catholic schools job site.  Feel free to contact me or the front office for more information.

Thank you to everyone for a great week.  Stay tuned for a direct email from me about a few further items and details about Catholic Schools Week.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – December 3, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a fantastic start to Advent.  For information about upcoming school events please reference the school website and calendar.  December has some exciting events taking place and I want to make sure everyone has all of the details.

Today, we celebrated Advent with prayer, scripture reading, and the lighting of the first candle on our Advent wreath.  We will have similar ceremonies every Monday and an activity every Wednesday.  As we celebrate this time of anticipation and waiting, I decided to share the lyrics of Christ Be Our Light with the students.

Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

This song is one of my favorites, addressing the symbolism of light and how the world longs for the arrival of the Savior.

Finally, remember to purchase Scrip and use the amazon Smile code when you are buying gifts this holiday season.  As you give gifts to loved ones you can also give the gift of rebate rewards to the school.

I wish you all a joyous kick off to Advent and a happy holiday season.

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – Thanksgiving Message

Hello St. Al Families,

As we sit down to our meals this Thursday, let us all remember how the Lord has blessed us.  Let us remember the gifts we have been given and the gifts we have to share.  Let us remember to reach out to others with love, kindness, and compassion so we may serve as the Lord has called us to serve.   St. Gianna Beretta Molla said, “the secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.” May we remember to take a moment, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day, to thank God for the gift of His son, Jesus Christ, and the many other daily blessings He has given each of us.

I also want to share my own words of thanks for our school community.  I know I have said this before, but I just can’t say enough about how thankful I am for the ongoing support of staff, students, families, and the parish here at St. Al’s.   This is a close-knit community dedicated to our students and our purpose as a Catholic institution.  This was evident through the incredible generosity shown at our auction on Saturday, as well as the daily contributions from those who volunteer in various capacities in and around campus.  Thank you to each and every one of you for your continued service to our students, our staff, and our school families.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – November 9, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope everyone had a wonderful week.  Since we do not have school on Monday, I am sending out my typical Monday email a bit early.  The following includes items that are a mix of group specific announcements/events and general info for everyone.


Middle School Study Hall: middle school students now have the option of staying inside during lunch recess for study hall.  It is a silent, independent, and voluntary option for those who want to work on homework or classwork.  Extra teacher support is not offered during this time, so homework center is still recommended for those who may need teacher assistance with their work.  Thank you to Mrs. Foisy for hosting this in her math room.

Eighth Grade High School Applications: It is about that time.   Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need me to fill out an administrator recommendation form or you need a letter from the principal.  I am happy to work with all 8th grade families however I can with this process.

Auction Volunteer Hours:  Remember to get your auction volunteer hours in.  Opportunities for hours begin this week on Wednesday evening.   Additional opportunities include Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, and more.  Contact Lena Anderson for more information. Thank you to everyone who has already signed up to volunteer.  It takes a village to put on an event like this.  Our entire community benefits greatly from everyone’s hard work and we are so thankful for the efforts of everyone involved.


Monday, November 12: No school in observance of Veteran’s Day

Tuesday, November 13: Picture Retakes & Mass as Normal

–picture forms are available in the office

–we will follow our normal Tuesday schedule with mass

Wednesday, November 14: Veteran’s Day Assembly & Non-uniform Day

–Students are allowed to wear red, white, and blue or military related clothing items for our November non-uniform day, celebrating our nation’s veterans

–At 1:45pm we will have a Veteran’s Day assembly in the gym

Thursday, November 15: Earthquake Drill

Saturday, November 17: AUCTION!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We look forward to seeing all of our students back on Tuesday.

“God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with Him in the building of the civilization of love.

–Pope John Paul II

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – October 29, 2018

Hello St. Al’s Families,

Thank you all for a wonderful Family Fun Night on Friday and a special thank you to everyone who helped us run games, serve food, set up, and clean up.  Also, I would like to extend a special thank you to the Parent Club Board. This community is truly one of support and service.


  1. Middle school instrumental music is staring November 1.  I have only received a small handful of music forms so far.  Please submit your music forms to the school office ASAP.  Also,
  2. I am looking to start an elementary guitar group.   The school currently owns several guitars that are begging to be used.  I would love to offer elementary school this instrumental option, but I need a teacher.   If you know anyone who would be interested in teaching guitar to K-4th, please let me know.


Tuesday, Oct 30: NO SCHOOL MASS (It will be on Nov 1 for All Saints Day)

Wednesday, Oct 31: Non-uniform day (no costumes)

–students can wear black, orange, and pumpkins

Thursday, Nov 1: Saints Month begins with mass for All Saints Day!

Thursday, Nov 1: Middle School Band from 7:30-8:20am

–Make sure you have a signed registration form turned in prior to this first meeting

–Bring your own instrument and remember to get the music books described in the info letter that went out last week.

In anticipation of our Saints Month festivities, I would like to share a quote by St. Therese of Lisieux:  “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”  May we all remember to live the example of St. Therese of Lisieux as we look for ways to serve, to sacrifice, and to spread joy.

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – October 23, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

It is hard to believe that the month of October is almost over and with that our SCRIP Presto Pay drive. Remember to sign up for SCRIP Presto Pay by the end of the day October 31 so your student can get credit for their class and you can reap the benefits of online SCRIP access.

As I mentioned in my email last week, November will be dedicated to saints.  Each has chosen a saint and will participate in a series of activities throughout the month that revolve around the information they learn about these holy men, women, and children. Saints will be announced to families on November 1.  Feel free to join in the fun by sharing info related to the saints you know or contributing to classroom projects along the way.


Tuesday, October 23: Middle School Open House 6-7:30pm

–Prospective middle school families are welcome to visit and learn more about the program we offer.

Wednesday, October 24: Prayer Assembly led by 7/8 Boys at 1:45pm

Friday, October 26: Family Fun Night

–Costumes allowed a.) no weapons b.) no blood & gore c.) no witchcraft/wizardry d.) no masks e.) Catholic school appropriate

–More info available on the school website

–6-8th grade dance in Wilson Room

Non-uniform Days for October

Since we did not have an official non-uniform day in September, we will be having two non-uniform days this month:

Friday, October 26:  In celebration of the fall season and in preparation for Family Fun Night, students are welcome to wear fall colors (yellow, red, orange, brown, etc…).

Wednesday, October 31: Students may wear orange, black, and pumpkin related items.

On any non-uniform day students are welcome to wear jeans.  Leggings are allowed if the shirt, skirt, etc…covering them is long enough to meet our current skirt length requirements.  Yoga pants and basketball shorts may not be worn.   

Please keep in mind that the spirit of these days is to allow us to celebrate something together as a community. Students are not obligated to participate through clothing and are welcome to wear their uniforms if they choose. With each non-uniform day I will be working with student council to come up with days that will allow every student to be included.

Welcome Breakfast 

The 5/6 Boys and Girls are teaming up this Sunday, October 28 to attend mass and the monthly Welcome Breakfast at St. Al’s.  Please dress in full uniform for the 10am mass on Sunday and then stay for the breakfast in the Family Center after.  Check with Mary Johnson for more information.

Policies & Procedures: 

We will be having a lockdown drill this week.  A lockdown occurs when there is immediate danger on or around campus that requires school activity to stop while we remain silent behind locked doors.  In the event of a real lockdown students will be quickly ushered into classrooms (if out in the halls, lunchroom, or playground) by school staff. Students and staff should go to or stay in the closest room.  Staff will make sure doors are locked, blinds are drawn, and lights are off. The principal and office staff will send out an email via RenWeb to notify parents of what is taking place and we will keep in direct contact with the local authorities to monitor the situation.  A summary of what occurred would then be sent to all families after we have been given the all clear to return to business as usual.


Thank you to all of the families who have signed up for the Chili Cook-off and those who purchased items from the prize wish list for Family Fun Night.  Also, a big thank you in advance to everyone who will be volunteering this Friday night.  Remember, the work doesn’t stop on Friday, as we will need to clean up the gym and Wilson Room on Saturday.  If you are willing and able please join us on Saturday morning.

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – October 8, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

October is the month traditionally dedicated to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For many, praying the Rosary is a source of peace and contemplation. For me, praying the Rosary has always been a way to fully embrace the connection of my faith and its practice.  I would encourage all to take a few moments out of the day to contemplate the mysteries of the rosary and make a connection of your own.


Month of October: SCRIP Presto Pay Contest

–Sign-up for Presto Pay through SCRIP.  It only takes a few minutes and gives you instant access to the same rebates you know and love from the physical cards.  Check out this link to sign-up.

–The class with the highest percentage of parents to sign-up for SCRIP Presto Pay will win a non-uniform day.

Tuesday, October 9: School Commission Meeting

Wednesday & Thursday, October 10-11: 8th Grade at Camp Huston

Friday, October 12: Auction Procurement Item Descriptions Due & No School (Teacher Excellence Day)

Policy & Procedure Reminder

Just a reminder that students who do not arrive in time to join their class for line-up should check in at the office.  In addition, if a student is going to be late or absent, please notify Lisa Macomber via email or through the main office phone as soon as possible. You may also want to connect with the student’s teacher for class work and other news from the day.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Parent Club meeting and first Coffee with the Principal event last week.  It is such a wonderful part of my week, getting to spend time with our parents and share some of the reasons why I love this school community.   Also, a big thank you to Sr. Mary Elizabeth Albers who shared her story and inspiration with everyone at the Parent Club meeting.

I wish you all a wonderful second week of October.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – October 4, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

Happy October to everyone!  I can’t believe we have been in school for a month already.  I wanted to remind everyone of some great items we have happening this month: Scrip Presto Pay contest, conferences, and Family Fun Night.  Remember to check your email for updates about these events and more.  I would also like to remind everyone that the cold weather is setting in.  Please make sure students come to school with a warm coat so they can continue to enjoy playing outside for as long as the weather holds.

In other news, you may have noticed our very large and very fabulous new planters in the courtyard area where students line up.  These planters will help keep this area clear of cars and provide some color.  This last weekend the planters were placed and this week rocks and soil were added in preparation for plants that will be coming soon.  We are so thankful to not only have something beautiful for our courtyard/outside meeting area but also a safe place for our students to gather before, during, and after school.

I hope everyone has a wonderful end to this first week of October.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – September 24, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Below you will find this week’s event info and policy/procedure reminders.


Wednesday: Conference Info Sheets 

Info and sign-up sheets for October conferences go out via email to all parents/guardians for K-8 students.  Please read the form carefully and fill out your choices for conference times.

Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Friday: SCRIP is on sale!

Check the SCRIP page on our website for more details about purchasing SCRIP and look for our new signs on school sale days. You can also purchase at the parish office.


Uniforms: Our school sets ourselves apart from other institutions in many ways—our knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith, our academic programs, etc.. One important way we stand out is through our uniforms.  Our uniform policy exists to assist students and parents on how to appropriately dress for a day at St. Alphonsus.  It is such a nice sight to see students looking their best in our uniform each morning, ready to start the day together.  I would like to encourage each family to take a moment and review our uniform guidelines as we have been noticing a few issues with socks, skirts, and other clothing items.  Teachers will be assisting me in addressing dress code concerns and we may contact you if a situation arises.   If you have any questions about our uniforms please contact our school office or your student’s teacher.

Remember that navy blue shirts are now allowed for Pre-K through 4th grade, in addition to the white shirts previously worn.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to all of the individuals who helped at Bingo on Friday night and the Welcome Breakfast on Sunday.  Bingo was a wonderful event to behold and I am so thankful for the parent volunteers who help make it possible.  On Sunday, our Student Council members were on hand to welcome parishioners, hand out bulletins, and bring up the gifts at the 10am mass.   Thank you to the volunteers and students who assisted with the Welcome Breakfast after mass.  Parents and volunteers served the parish community as the students represented our school.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu
Principal, St. Alphonsus Parish School

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner – September 19, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week #3 of our school year together.  Below you will find some policy and procedure items as well as event news for the rest of this week.


Pre-K & Elementary Curriculum Night: This event is tonight from 7-8:30pm.  The book fair will be open starting at 6:30pm.

Bingo: Our first Bingo night is this Friday in the lunch room, 7-8pm with kitchen opening at 6:30pm.

Policies and Procedures

Playground After School: Playground time is a favorite for some of our students. For the safety of all our children we need to have non-Extended Care students supervised directly by parents when on the playground after school.  This means that parents need to be on the playground with their students to directly supervise their playground activity.  Our Extended Care staff need to be the support for our Extended Care students.  Tracking who is and is not in Extended Care can be difficult for our staff when children without adult supervision join them on the playground.  Also, families who are not paying for Extended Care supervision are receiving services for free that others have paid for if their students are unsupervised with our Extended Care group.

Please note that when K-8 Extended Care students are on the playground they use both play areas, so smaller children will come in contact with older elementary children on the smaller playground.  My hope is that we can all use the playground area after school.

Extended Care: Once you sign students out from Extended Care we are releasing them to you.  I know that there may be times when you need them to stay longer or you may need to take care of something in the office.  If this is the case, we ask that you sign your student back in or simply wait to sign them out.  This let’s our Extended Care staff know exactly who is still under their supervision and who should be going home with their trusted adult.

Thank you to all of our school volunteers, parents, students, and staff.  It has been a wonderful start to the school year and I can’t wait to see what the rest of September has in store.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu
Principal, St. Alphonsus Parish School