May 25, 2017

My teachers and I worry about the perils of "summer slump." Students spend 10 weeks away from school over the summer and then come back in September seeming behind where they left off in June. "Summer slump" can occur in both reading and math. Therefore, this June through August, we have suggestions and/or requirements to combat this slump, as you'll see below.

We are making summer READING a strong recommendation for your children moving into grades K-5 this fall, and a REQUIREMENT for your children moving into grades 6-8. In this way, we hope to assure your kids will not just exercise their bodies with their swimming, biking, and sports camps over the summer, but they'll exercise their brains too. Did you know that a study conducted at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, based on surveys and test results for 1,600 elementary school students, concluded that children who read more books over the summer scored higher on reading comprehension tests in the fall than those who did not read over the summer?
If your child will be entering grades K-5, please go HERE to see the recommended list of summer reading, as prepared by our teachers and Mrs. McIntosh.

For those students entering grades 6-8 in the fall, your summer reading of novels is explained HERE by next year's language arts teachers - Mrs. Patterson and Mr. Gallant. The teachers have both a list of your required novels as well as written assignments to be completed after you finish reading the books. These assignments are due on the first day of grade 6-8 language arts class in September.
"Summer slump" isn't confined to reading. Ten weeks of vacation from doing any math will also cause a child to return to school forgetting a fair amount of what he/she spent the past school year learning. Thus, we really encourage parents to set up a summer plan for MATH work.

Some suggestions include
having your child complete the math packets the teacher might send home in June or complete the unfinished math workbook pages
your child brings home on the last day of school.  Some parents purchase a math workbook at an educational store such as this one, or online such as here or here, and have their child complete one workbook page every day or every-other-day. Others have their child complete the free online math lessons on the Khan Academy website.

Whatever works for your family for summer math practice, the important thing is to make it consistent, continual practice. Having your child do 20 pages in a math workbook the last week in August (e.g. "cramming") isn't the same as having your child do 10 minutes of math daily, for 5 days a week, for 10 weeks of summer. I suggest you make daily (or every-other-day) math be the "carrot" for your child's summer of fun. As one example, you tell your child on Monday morning that he/she can join the family at the beach Wednesday afternoon provided 30 minutes of math work on Khan Academy or one math workbook page is completed before then. I'm sure you can come up with a family plan that you'll stick to that keeps your child from "summer slump."

Thanks for reading,

Last week, I announced that I hired our new JH social studies teacher, Andrew Weiss, our new 1st grade teacher, Samantha Helfen, and our new kindergarten and 4th grade instructional assistant, Vicki Cam. This week, I am excited to announce the hiring of our new reading teacher, Cathy Woods. Mrs. Woods brings to St. Louise 21 years' experience teaching in the primary grades, with 17 of those in Catholic schools. She is currently teaching 1st grade in the Tacoma School District, but prior to that she was everything from a reading specialist in Idaho to a third grade homeroom teacher in Spokane. We are fortunate to have Cathy bring her Special Education degree, Masters Degree, and almost as importantly, her Gonzaga basketball fanaticism to St. Louise this fall.
School Calendar
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  • Bake Sale - the May 18th Bake Sale was postponed and moved to this date
Friday, May 26
  • Science Showcase in the parish hall; parents may visit from 9am-12pm or 1-2pm
  • Reception for Mr. O'Connor @ 3:30pm in the School Lobby; grade 7 & 8 families and alumni are welcome

Monday, May 29
  • NO SCHOOL in honor of Memorial Day - let us remember those who died while serving our country; some special ceremonies in our area that families should consider attending on Memorial Day are held this day in Seattle and Renton, and Masses & tributes are held at the four Associated Catholic Cemeteries in Seattle, Shoreline, Kent, and Federal Way.
Wednesday, May 31
  • Auction Procurement Deadline for all families returning in 2017-18; go HERE for more information
Thursday, June 1
  • Graduation of the Class of 2017: Mass at 9AM; Commencement at 7PM
Saturday, June 3
  • CYO Track Championship Meet: 10AM at Highline Stadium
Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4
  • Parish Ministry Fair after all the Masses in the Parish Hall; attend Pentecost Mass and then head to the parish hall to learn about the various ways to get involved in St. Louise Parish....say "hello" to the school's booth at the fair
Sunday, June 4
  • Mother/Son Sounders' Event; 5:30PM

Tuesday, June 6
  • Field Day; all gr. K-7 students may wear free dress that will enable them to run, jump, and throw outside - regular "non-uniform day rules" apply
  • The 7th graders will be selling Gatorade ($1) and Otter Pops(50 cents) at Field Day, with proceeds to support their Missionary Discipleship Institute participation and future related service projects.
Announcing an Optional Way to Purchase School Supplies this Summer
          We have now posted online our 2017-18 School Supplies list. On the first day of school - Passport Day/September 5 - all students are to come to school with these supplies. Families may take the traditional route to purchase supplies:
  • Take the list to your local store when the August sales hit the papers - Fred Meyer, Target, Walmart, Staples, etc.
  • Use pre-purchased CHARGER CARDS to pay for the supplies.

          However, a new way is being unveiled this summer that you may want to try out! You may now purchase school supplies by ordering online and having them shipped to your door!  Our St. Louise Parents' Club is teaming up with - an online site where a school lists their unique supplies, and parents order and pay online. The box of your child's specific grade-level supplies are shipped to your home. Our Parents' Club earns 5% commission for each ClassBundl order, and they'll be using this revenue to pay for enrichment grants, bringing future school assemblies to your kids. You may get started at the St. Louise page at anytime in June, July, or August (but don't wait too late in August to order, as we're not sure how long the delivery time will be during crunch time.)

Did We Spell Your Name Correctly?
          Coming home in today's red Family Envelope is a draft page of the 2017-18 family roster. Please proof it and if there is a mistake , contact Lola and Mindy in the school office with the corrected information. We want to make sure we have the right names and numbers for:
  • Parents' first names you go by, along with correct last names for families with multiple last names;
  • Primary email address (we only list one);
  • Correct cell phone numbers;
  • Correct grade levels for your children going into next year.

          Thank you for proofing and sending us any corrections immediately. We'll then be able to create a final A-Z roster this summer, and send to all families the official school roster by the end of August.

Parent's Checklist to Wrap-Up the Year
Whether your child is graduating on June 1, or having to hang in there all the way until the final day for the rest of the school - June 8 - there are some tasks all school parents must make sure are completed by June in order to properly wrap-up the school year in terms of fulfilling your contractual commitments to St. Louise. Please make sure the following tasks are completed in the coming days:

c   By May 31, turn in to the school office your Auction procurement form - minimum $200 donation. (Please note that the minimum requirement increases to $250 after May 31.) You may also complete your procurement online.
c  By May 31, submit your required $20 per-family Auction "Grade Project Fee" online.
c  By June 8, if you haven't done so yet, log in your final Volunteer Hours completed for this 2016-17 school year until you reach the 40 hour minimum .
c   By June 2, inform Lola or Mindy in the school office if there is an error on your family information draft page for our 2017-18 family roster. (You're receiving this draft page in the Family Envelope.)
c  By June 8, have your minimum amount of Charger Card profits/contributions completed. You may find more information on Charger Cards here .  
c  By June 8, have at least your initial pledge to the Annual School Gift Campaign (ASGC) sent in to school. You may send in a check or choose to give online .   After logging in, click on the "Give a New Gift" link and then choose "ASGC."
c  By June 19, sign-up online for your volunteer job(s) you're interested in for the upcoming 2017-18 school year .


The Yearbooks Are Arriving Soon
          Thank you to our Yearbook team and photographers - Catherine Saffel, Victoria Bermel, Rebecca Ort, and Amy Wilken - for their many hours of hard work designing our 2016-17 Yearbook, compiling and taking hundreds of photos, and coordinating and photographing 50+ athletic teams and clubs! Thanks also to Sheri Halling for her layout help, and to the parents and teachers who provided photos.
          Yearbooks will be distributed to the 8th graders prior to graduation day, and to the rest of the school on the last day of the year.
Please Sign Up Now for Your 2017-18 Volunteer Jobs
We have opened  up your access to the online link that welcomes you to sign-up for volunteer jobs for the 2017-18 school year. We are asking at this time for all returning school parents to note in which ways you'll be able to help out around school and with school events, committees, and fund raisers in the coming school year. This early sign-up helps the school staff and Parents' Club figure out if we'll have enough volunteer support to run our programs, and it helps you create your 40 hour (minimum) schedule for volunteering for next year.  You have until June 19, to note your jobs for the 2017-18 school year here at the 2017-18 volunteer jobs sign-up link.
If you have questions about the overall volunteer process, please contact the Parents' Club's Volunteer Coordinator, Marinell Zevenbergen. Remember, as we wind down this current 2016-17 year, by mid-June all parents must have  logged in online a minimum 40 hours. Thanks for giving your time!
Procurement Deadline This Coming Wednesday
          May 31st is the minimum $200 procurement deadline for the 2017 Auction. You may complete your procurement using either the Online Procurement Form or turning in a hardcopy Procurement Form to the office.  Don't delay!  The minimum required donation goes up to $250 after May 31!
          If you have procurement questions, please email To see our complete wish list and gift registries, please visit our wish list.
          The $20 family art project fee is also due on Wednesday the 31st.  Please make this payment online at by clicking on "art project fee-pay here".
Your kids will get to participate in Free Dress on June 5, if you go above and beyond the minimum and procured $300 or more by the May 31 deadline!

Please note that we are unable to accept art, clothing, shoes, software, used items, or most professional services - included but not limited to haircuts, photographers, chiropractic care, or financial services. Items with a value of less than $25 are also not able to be accepted. For more information, check out our webpage.
Sponsorship Opportunities
          Our hope and goal is to have as much as possible of the total cost of the auction underwritten through sponsorship. We need your help to make this happen!
          Sponsorship opportunities are not only for current St. Louise families, they are for any person or business who supports the value of Catholic education and who believes in securing a strong future for children on the Eastside.
          Please consider the gift of sponsorship to the 2017-18 Auction, and help spread the word to local businesses and families. Sponsorship allows more of the funds raised on auction night go directly toward helping our school. In exchange for sponsorship, you will have an excellent opportunity to build visibility and awareness of your business through verbal, visual and even social media recognition.
          Take a look at the Sponsorship Opportunities below to see the sponsorship levels available, and the various ways your business will be promoted and advertised in return for your partnership with St. Louise School. Please contact Sue Richards for additional information.

Thanks for your participation in making Auction 2017 a success!
Our St. Louise School House truly rocks!  
A Teacher, An Alumna, and a Supreme Court Justice
Our 4th grade teacher Nancy Danforth, is a proud parent shown here standing with her daughter Amanda and with Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas! Amanda graduated last week from The George Washington University Law School. Ever since her undergraduate work at the University of Portland when she first met him, Amanda has been mentored through law school by Justice Thomas. How special!

Thomas, who is Catholic and attended Catholic schools, told this story to the Danforths: "People would ask me if I felt like I got a lesser education because I went to school during segregation. My response is always, 'No, I went to parochial school.' "

Congratulations, Amanda Danforth, St. Louise School Class of 2006!

4 Office Days Left to Complete Your Charger Card Requirement!

Order Cards You Will Need for Travel Plans

Credit Card "Fee Free" Week Ends Tomorrow

With just 4 days of the Charger Cards office open until the school year ends, you need to make plans now to complete your Charger Card requirement! Here are the remaining days the Charger Card office will be open for in-person sales from 8:15-8:45AM:
  • Tomorrow, May 26;
  • Friday, June 2nd;
  • Wednesday, June 7th; 
  • Thursday, June 8th.
Please contact us if you would like help with ordering, planning, or un derstanding how to meet your commitment. We are happy to help you make a plan that will fit your family's budget and habits.
Charger Cards End-of-Year Checklist
Can you check off all of these?
c Have you met your Charger Card minimum requirement?
    * Either purchase cards which earn a combined $125 rebates -OR-
    * Buyout by making a $250 donation (Send check payable to "SLCC" to the
main office, Attn: Charger Cards)
c Have you returned all Charger Card plastic envelopes to the main office?
c Have you registered online and signed up for Presto Pay so you can
purchase cards over the summer?
c Have you used the online registration form for step-by-step instructions?
c Have you watched the video to use MyScripWallet mobile website on your phone?
c Have you planned to purchase Charger Cards for at least one of these upcoming events?
     * Memorial Day weekend
     * Teacher gifts for the end-of-year (see the "Faculty Wish List)

     * Graduation gifts
     * Father's Day gifts
     * Summer Plans - Gas, Hotels, Disney, Menchie's, restaurants, etc.
     * Uniform and school supplies
Offering No Credit Card Fee Today & Tomorrow
This week, Charger Cards has been offering ONE WEEK ONLY with no credit card convenience fee. If you order $100 or more of cards through tomorrow - Friday, May 26 - using your credit card, there is no fee charged. This is a great time to buy Charger Cards with a credit card to earn miles and:
  • Complete your auction procurement! 
  • Stock up for summer travel plans
  • Complete your Charger Card requirement - a minimum of $125 earned rebate 

Charger Card Team Looking for New Volunteers
Consider joining the team for the fall. Please email us  if you'd like to help! We need volunteers to help in these areas:
> Help sell cards at the Charger Card office on the Used Uniform Sale day - Thursday, August 3;
> Help with weekly card inventory and fulfillment on Friday mornings starting in September;
> Help sell cards on Sundays between Masses.

For more information on Charger Cards and online ordering, please visit or email
Charger Card Office hours: Fridays from 8:15-8:45am.

Soccer Registration Has Begun
           St. Louise's CYO soccer registration has opened. Go HERE to register. Soccer is open to all students who will be in grades K-8 this coming fall. The season starts at the end of August - please note this is before school begins.  If you have questions, please contact coordinators Maria Kelly-Dogget or Christie Allemand at .
Parents Needed to Help with Field Day
          Our annual Field Day will be held on Tuesday, June 6, with the 7th graders helping to run outdoor games in which the grade K-5 students participate. Mr. Evans oversees the 7th graders, but he needs parent helpers for general supervision assistance and to work the water and first aid stations. If you can work from 9:45-2:15 on June 6, please email Mr. Evans to sign up. If you can only work a half-shift (the 9:45-12:00 grade K-2 shift or the 12:00-2:15 grade 3-5 shift), let him know, but priority for the 12 Field Day volunteer positions will first go to parents who can work the entire day.

Two weeks ago, Olivia Manning (left), Kate Wilken (center), and Amara Thomas (right) competed in the CYO 8th grade Pentathlon at West Seattle Stadium. They competed against 27 other 8th grade girls from other Catholic schools around the Archdiocese in five events; the 100 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, long jump and shot put. Kate ended up in 6th place overall, which was high enough to earn a trophy. Way to go, girls!

Dear Wonderful School, Staff, and Parents,
My husband and I have been blessed by your uplifting prayers and kind thoughts during our long Lenten Journey. As you know my husband, Kent, has spent the last three months in Critical Care and Skilled Nursing Care. What was a routine bunion surgery resulted in a living nightmare! He had a blood infection due to the surgery. As a result, he has had to relearn to walk, dress himself and other occupational chores we all take for granted.
On Friday, he will go home for the first time for an assessment to see how he does at home. He is now wearing a boot and walking with a walker. This is incredible because in February he was on death's door heading to Heaven. If he does well we are hoping he can stay at home. They are looking for June 1 as his exit date. But, I am praying for this Memorial Weekend. His recovery was due to your continual thoughts and prayers. Thank you for keeping us lifted up to God in your thoughts and prayers.
This Memorial Day will be one we remember for the rest of our lives. Kent may be walking our daughter, Christina, down the aisle on July 29th, yet!
The power of prayer is awesome. God is awesome! Amen!
Love and Peace,
Mrs. LB (Terry LaRussa Banton)

Under the leadership of the Principals-Flaat - Lucy, Tagan, and Mason (below right) - the school was in good hands Monday during Mr. Fitz's absence. As Principals-for-the-Day, the Flaat kids organized a free dress day linked to donations to Smile Train, and the student body responded!  Thanks to the generosity of students and their parents, $857 was donated to Smile Train Monday - enough for 3 surgeries to repair cleft lips of children! Above, the student body was educated on Smile Train's mission at an assembly run by Lucy (below left), Tagan, and Mason.