As we approach the halfway mark of the 2012-13 school year, I am often reminded of how far we have come in the last twenty-four years. If you are fairly new to St. Joseph you may not remember where we were at one time, and as those “old” families graduate their last child from our school I, too, forget because for every great family there was when we began this journey, there are many great families right behind them. I have many memories and look forward to the many memories to come. I think that is why the logo for Catholic Schools Week seems so fitting for our school. As many generations built what we have today there are many who are beginning the journey who will carry on and help build something even better. It is with sincere thanks to all of you for all you have done to “Raise the Standards” for Catholic Education.
Congratulations to our 7th and 8th grade students who, thanks to the leadership of Mrs. Sweazy, were recognized for their contributions in the Scholastic Art Competition. Watch the South Bend Tribune for opportunities to view student artwork downtown at the Museum of Art.
Regan Cast – Mixed Media Art – Gold Key
Mike Ferlic – Drawing – Silver Key
Rose Kelly – Mixed Media Art – Gold Key
Bella Lawton – Photography – Gold Key
Bella Lawton – Mixed Media Art – Honorable Mention
Julie Miller – Painting – Honorable Mention
Erin Pinter – Jewelry – Honorable Mention
Erin Pinter – Photography – Honorable Mention
Safety: Prior to Christmas we were all saddened by the tragedy in Connecticut and the needless deaths of many children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Every time there is a tragedy such as this we are called to revisit the safety of our school. For those who are not aware, we do have a Crisis Plan in place with clear directives on what to do in case of an emergency such as this as well as procedures for tornados, fires, evacuation procedures, and much more. While we feel that we have procedures in place, it was felt that we should have a serious conversation about areas that could be improved upon. The Monday after the tragedy Father John DeRiso called a meeting that included the following: Mrs. Hamel, Father John Patrick, Deacon Brian, Gary Mason, Mark Friese and myself. At this time we discussed the areas of the building that we felt could be made safer and went over some of the procedures that are in place. At present we are making changes to doors, locked areas, and we are rewriting some areas of our Crisis Plan. Once we have everything in place we will make all families aware of the changes that have taken place. In the meantime I want to stress to everyone the importance of checking in at the office when you are let into the building and making sure that you sign in and take a visitor’s badge. I also want to stress the importance of taking time to discuss the importance of being respectful to others, using language that is not threatening, and working on respecting the personal space of others. There are times when we as adults forget how observant children are and how easily they pick up on adult conversations, the media, and the “print” that is easily accessed via the internet, through video games, and much more. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Calendar Changes: Please note some of the changes on the Google calendar on our website. Originally we were to have a teacher in-service day on May 6th and the whole school was not going to be in session. This fall we determined that grades 3-8 would be taking the multiple-choice portions of ISTEP online. We will need the complete ISTEP testing window in order to schedule classes in the computer lab. Please note that because this date is the day after First Eucharist for our second graders they will still have that day off. Teacher in-service days are part of the teacher contract and are figured in the contracted calendar year for teachers, thus, we do have to reschedule the May 6th date. We will now be off April 8th, which is an additional day that will be added to spring break. Teachers will be at school on the 8th and all pupils will return on the 9th. You will see on the Google calendar that we will have a pizza day May 6th and the April pizza day will be moved to April 9th. Again, this is all on the website calendar.
End of the day: Just a gentle reminder that it is very helpful to the teachers at dismissal if you have your family name sign in your car window so that they can see who is picking up who at the end of the day.