Volume 15| December 15, 2017
St. Joseph Weekly
December 15, 2017
Weekly SLE (Student Learning Expectation) :
St. Joseph students accept responsibility for actions.
Principal's Letter
Dear Families of Saint Joseph Elementary,

I would like to focus on a parent concern that was brought to my attention. The concern is around Faith Families. First and foremost, I want to assure you that I recognize that Faith Families are an integral part of our school identity.

The Faith Family program was created to foster a spirit of welcoming and acceptance among the students of Saint Joseph Elementary School. Each Faith Family is lead by an eighth grader and is comprised of a member of each grade. This “buddy program” allows for personal, one-on-one attention to support our youngest students and to integrate them more fully into our vibrant school community. 

Approximately once a month, we have a Faith Family activity. In September, we participated in a “getting to know you” activity in which each “family” raced to find random items in their backpacks. In October, our Faith Families participated in our “Jump Rope for Heart” program to highlight healthy lifestyle choices. In November, our focus was on our veterans. Each Faith Family wrote and decorated a card that was them sent to our veterans in the armed forces. In December, the focus will be community building as each Faith Family will play games together. Throughout the rest of the year, our Faith Families will concentrate on service projects for our “Welcome the Stranger” program which welcomes refugee families fleeing from political or religious persecution.

I know how beautiful it is to see our Faith Families gathered for our Weekly Liturgies. It brings out the best in all of our students. However, I discovered while sitting in the back, behind the last row of students, that our most youngest, the kindergarten, first and second could only see the backs of our older students through the entire Liturgy. They also received a blessing or Eucharist only from the back of the church. I felt they were missing out due to not being able to see and never getting to be at the front of the church.

We are now structured where I believe, the younger children are more able to engage with Father and to participate in a more conscious way. There will be other opportunities for Faith Families moving forward to experience our church family together. 

On another note, during this Advent season our classes have been reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. I would like to share their thoughts:

Some reflections on Christmas from our seventh graders:
Love, Peace, Cherish, Family, Warmth, Friends, Joy, Hope, Jesus, Hot Chocolate

One sixth grade student quoted Calvin Coolidge: "Christmas is not a time nor a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."

Finally, our sixth grade class reflected on Psalm 23 and created their own translation:

O God, you are the gift - giver to us all.
You give us faith, hope and unite everyone.
You protect us and grant us our needs.
Those who do wrong are taught otherwise by you.

You are the ultimate savior. You can do no wrong.
We give praise and thanks to you for helping us.
We shall be forever in your debt.
In the debt of the Holy One.

God’s Blessings On Each of Us

Dr. Marquita Yriarte
Upcoming Events
  • Sat. Dec 16- Volleyball & Basketball Games
  • Sun. Dec 17- Volleyball Games
  • Tues. Dec 19- 1:00pm & 7:00pm Christmas Program
  • Tues. Dec 19- Ext. Care closes at 4:30pm.
  • Wed. Dec 20- 11:00am Class Christmas Parties
  • Wed. Dec 20- 12:00pm Dismissal No Extended Care
  • Thurs. Dec 21- Tues. Jan. 2- Christmas Break
  • Wed. January 3- Classes Resume
What's Happening at SJES?
Congratulations to all our SUPER KIDS this week!

Kindergarten: Matthew Manabat
1st Grade: Lily Huerta
3rd Grade: Nico Irving
4th Grade: Dylan Mann
5th Grade: Kevin Nguyen
6th Grade: Hailey Browning
7th Grade: Camille Dawson
LAST CHANCE... at the Christmas Program!

Look for the Yearbook table at this year's Christmas Program and purchase your student's yearbook. Make it part to their Christmas presents.
This is your last chance to purchase your yearbook at the early bird pricing of $30.00.
Yearbooks are to be
pre-purchased before the year end distribution. Pricing will increase after Christmas.
Shop with Scrip this Christmas
Do all your holiday shopping with gift cards! Shop for all your Christmas gifts with gift cards. Buy the gift cards from SJES and then use the to purchase gifts. We have Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, Old Navy/Gap- and so much more!
You can give gift cards as gifts too! Download your order form here .

For our SJES teachers and staff, we have our SJES gift cards . Buy a $5, $10 or $25 SJES card. Give it as a gift and then the receiver can come and redeem it for the gift card of their choice! It the gift that lets them choose!
Here They Come a Caroling...
The Fifth Grade students and First Grade students went to the South Shore Convalescent Home to spreads some Christmas cheer. The children met with the residents and sang songs.
The residents loved hearing the children as they sang traditional Christmas carols.
This past Wednesday, the 4th Grade Class had their goodies for good bake sale to support the "Welcome the Stranger" program in collaboration with the Parish. "Welcome the Stranger" is a ministry of the Alameda Deanery (the Catholic parishes in Alameda) which accompanies a refugee family from their entry into the U.S. into self sufficiency as legal residents in their new home. We work closely with Catholic Charities of the East Bay. Help can be short-term (setting up an apartment) or ongoing (helping to learn English, negotiate public transit, enrolling in school, etc.). Occasionally donations of particular items or services are needed.  To learn more contact Anna Rossi at  amrossi1238@aol.com .
Annual Christmas Program
Tuesday, December 19 is our annual Christmas Program put on by our music teacher, Mr. Meyer and the students of St. Joseph. There will be two programs: 1:00pm and 7:00pm both in the Basilica.
Students should be in full uniform for the 1:00pm show. (Navy blue sweatshirts or cardigans are mandatory for the performance.)
For the 7:00pm show children should be wearing their "Sunday best." Please click for the "Free Dress" regulations on page 57.
During the evening, the doors for the students to enter school will be open at 6:45 pm. Until the students are in their classrooms, they should remain with a parent or guardian. After the program all students should be picked up from the classrooms. Please do not take children from the church.
As per the handbook (Page 19), lack of attendance at either performance may affect the student's music grade.
Girls Volleyball for Saturday, December 16
6th Grade: 11:00am at Alameda Point Gym vs. SPN

Boys Basketball for Saturday, December 16
3rd Grade: 9:00am at Alameda Point Gym vs. SPN
4th Grade: 1:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Anthony
5th Grade: 2:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. SPN
6th Grade: 3:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Leo
7th Grade: 4:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Leo
8th Grade: 5:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Leo

Girls Volleyball for Sunday, December 17
5th Grade: 1:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Theresa
6th Grade: 2:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Theresa
7th Grade: 3:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. Corpus Christi
8th Grade Red: 4:00pm at St. Joseph Gym vs. St. Joseph-Blue
Boys come support the girls in your class. Girls come support the boys! For our younger students, come support your faith family members and cheer them on!

Don't forget to purchase your Royal Wear to use at the games! Come support the Royals!
Christmas Toy Drive
All students who bring a toy in for the toy drive will receive free dress on 
Wednesday, December 20.
Chinese Acrobats- Dec. 18
Thank you PTG! On Monday, Dec 18 at 1:05 pm the Chinese Acrobats will be in the Learning Center performing for the students.
The Fabulous Chinese Acrobats are comprised of 3-4 individuals who perform dazzling acrobatic stunts and feats of balance, flexibility, coordination and strength. These talented athletes tumble and flip, twist and bend in mesmerizing ways, demonstrating how practice, concentration and hard work turn their bodies into moving works of art. They skillfully balance or juggle items such as porcelain jars, silk umbrellas, tables or each other as they share this ancient and colorful art form. The Fabulous Chinese Acrobats give audiences an unforgettable, breathtaking experience.
News on the Block
Parish Christmas Pageant

Dear families: We’re trying something new for Christmas Eve this year. There will be only ONE Family Mass, at 4pm in the Basilica. After the Gospel, there will be a pageant depicting an original version of the Christmas story, created by SJES student Miranda Massie. The sign-up sheet below can be used  if your child is interested in participating in the pageant and can commit to both of the two rehearsals  (Saturdays Dec 16 and 23, from 9:30 to 11am.)    Please be explicit about type of role desired; final decision regarding who is in which role will be made at the first rehearsal. Please let Anne Marie know if any questions, at  afourre@sjbalameda.org .  Thank you!
Parent To Do List:
  • Donate a toy to the toy drive
  • Buy your Yearbook
  • Order your Scrip Gift Cards
  • Collect and turn in BoxTops
  • Order your Royal Wear
Frequently Used Links:
St. Joseph Elementary School
510 522 4456
St. Joseph Elementary School Mission Statement
Serving Alameda and neighboring cities since 1881, St. Joseph Elementary School embraces the principles of learning, loving and living God's word as Jesus taught us. We are dedicated to educating and nurturing the whole child by offering a time-honored and challenging Catholic education. Inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church and driven by the spirit of effective collaboration, we join together as a diverse community to know Jesus and to make Him known.