PRINCIPAL’S CORNER – FEBRUARY 28, 2019

Message from the Principal

Hello St. Al Family and Friends,

This has been a wonderful week, with a chill in the air but plenty of sunshine. We were so happy to be back to our normal schedule.  As we transition into another month and end another trimester, I wanted to share a few pieces of news.  First, I am very happy to announce we have officially hired a Development Director.  I am so pleased to welcome Kristen Ferguson to our staff here at St. Al’s.  She is the mother of two students here and brings a great deal of experience in bookkeeping, event coordination, and fundraising in the Catholic school arena.  She will start at the end of this week, continuing the fabulous work started earlier this year by Lena Anderson.

In far less happy news, it is my unfortunate duty to inform everyone that Krissy Altenhoffen will be leaving St. Al’s at the end of this school year.  Krissy loves our St. Al family but she and her husband, John, are about to start their own family.  As they move into this next phase of their lives, Krissy would like to step back to spend more time with her baby.  We are so sad to see her go but we wish her and her future little one all the best.

As we begin Lent next week, I would like to remind everyone that school mass is on Wednesday, March 6th next week.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Lent is a time of reflection, sacrifice, and preparation.  As Pope Francis said, “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” This is a time to slow down our day-to-day movement, to think longer and deeper about our God and our relationship with Him.  It is a time to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice Jesus will make on the cross.  Pope Francis encourages each of us to experience our own version of sacrifice in hopes that it will be for the ultimate good and benefit of others.  I would like to encourage every member of our community to think about what making this type of sacrifice might mean for them.  Perhaps you have already decided what your sacrifice will be this season or perhaps you are still considering a few choices.  I encourage us all to think about these decisions through the lens of Pope Francis so that we might “deny ourselves something every day to help others.”

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu

PRINCIPAL’S CORNER – February 14, 2019

 

Message from the Principal

Hello St. Al Families,

As some of you may know, I am originally from Southern California. Despite the fact that I have lived in Seattle for almost 13 years, the weather, and especially the snow storms, never cease to amaze me.  I found myself putting on my snow gear and taking a walk every day to a nearby park.  I spent time enjoying the beauty that God gave us and spent some time in prayer, as there is nothing more peaceful than the sweet stillness of a snowy Seattle morning.  Despite the disturbances in our schedule, I do hope that you too were able to enjoy some snow time.  Even if the snow was a burden, we can all thankful for the variety in our weather and the gorgeous greenery it will leave behind.

On a vastly different note, as the snow created issues with our State of the School schedule, I want to let everyone know that we will be doing a video version this year.  I will record my presentation with my slides so you can view at your leisure.  I will also set up a Coffee with the Principal event that will focus on any questions you may have about the presentation video.  Once we are back at school, I will find a date that works for that event.  In addition, I know that enrollment has always been tied to attending the State of the Schools presentation.  I am going to open enrollment before the end of this week but I want to caution everyone about checking the parent commitments and tuition rates on our website, as there have been some changes.

It has been quite a start to February.  Thank you to everyone for your patience as we all navigated the weather.  I am looking forward to seeing all of you back again for our normal scheduled times.

Thank you,
Kathleen Cifu

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 a few more announcements about some staffing changes.

First, I want to extend a warm welcome to our new Marketing and Communications Director, Sue Pierce.  Sue is a St. Al’s parent and has been a wonderful asset to our community the past few years.  She was previously volunteering as our amateur historian and has been working on prep for Jog-athon.  We are so incredibly happy to have her on board in her new official role in the Development Office.

My other staffing news is also related to the Development Office.  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 – 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 [smile.amazon.com/ch/91-0577481]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

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.

Announcements

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.

Events

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 – November 5, 2018

Hello St. Al Families,

November is in full swing and so is Saint Month.  All over the school doors are being decorated and students are learning about the specific saints for their classrooms.  November is also a very full month with events, such as our school auction just right around the corner.  Make sure to check out the school calendar on our website for more information.

Announcements

  • Accreditation Parent Survey

As some of you may know, this is our self-study year for accreditation.   This fall we have already been collecting evidence for various sections of our report.  We are now asking for the completion of a parent survey, filled out by current parents of St. Alphonsus students.  The deadline for completion of the survey is November 16.  At that time we will take the survey offline and begin sorting through responses.  Your participation in this survey is essential.  It serves as a key item for our initial analysis of the current state of our school and will be counted among other forms of data to determine next steps in our accreditation journey.

Parent Survey Link

  • Congratulations to 7th grade girls and 8th grade boys soccer.  Along with our teammates from St. John, they both won their championship games this weekend.
  • Calling all students who love to sing, the parish youth choir is looking for anyone 3rd-12th grade who would like to join.  Contact the parish office for more information. Non-parish? No problem.

Events

Friday, November 9: Parent Club Open Meeting with Special Guest 

–Join our Parent Club this Friday in the Commons/Cafeteria for their monthly meeting, featuring special guest Tom Uniack, St. Al’s parent and Executive Director at Washington Wild.

Monday, November 11: Veteran’s Day, School is closed in observance 

Saturday, November 17: School Auction 

–I would like to remind everyone to RSVP for the auction on November 17.  The date is fast approaching, and we want to make sure your space is reserved.  Feel free to drop off your RSVP cards in the main office or follow this link to register online.

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.

Announcements:

  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.

Events:

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.

Events:

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.