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.

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.

Events

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.

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.

Events

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