ST. LOUISE SCHOOL PARENT BULLETIN

May 24, 2018
Dan's Blog
I wanted to share some great insights provided in a parenting article: "Why are our children so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no real friends?" This article was written by Victoria Prooday, a registered occupational therapist, psychotherapist, and clinical director of a multidisciplinary clinic for children and parents. She is an internationally-known educator and speaker on modern-day parenting and our high-tech lifestyle's impact on a child's nervous system.

We are approaching summer vacation, and with it will come a tendency for many parents to allow their children even more time on the computer, device, video game, and/or smart phone than they're already allowing during the school year. With the busy world today's parents have, they are often too tired at the end of the day to do much more than hand their kids a phone to play with at dinner, or to give in and say "yes" when the child pleads to stay up late to keep playing a video game. The exhausted or annoyed parent often settles for the small victory that the kids are quiet in the next room, even though in that next room the little ones could be watching something on the screen or are engaging in communication via online-game-playing that would make Charlie Sheen blush. 
 
Victoria Prooday says the way that many of today's parents use computers, tablets, and smart phones as devices to keep their children "occupied" causes much concern:
                                                                                                    
" Using technology as a 'free babysitting service' is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner.  We pay with our kids' nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification. Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child's brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient."

Prooday continues:

" We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting."

I like how she goes on in her article to give advice and encouragement to parents to not be afraid to set limits and to create more structure. Just as there is a set time for dinner and bedtime, there needs to be a set time for screen-time (AKA technology-time). As Prooday urges:
  
" Parenting is a hard job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them because, most of the time, that is the exact opposite of what they want. ...Kids need to spend time outdoors. ...Teach your child to do monotonous work from early years as it is the foundation for future 'workability.' This work includes folding their own laundry, tidying up toys, hanging up their clothes, unpacking the groceries, setting the table, etc."

So this summer, as you are exhausted from the combination of your job outside your home and your jobs at home (cooking/cleaning/washing/etc.), please fight the urge to simply let your children:
  • vegetate in front of the TV;
  • act zombie-like for hours-on-end playing video games;
  • text and post like crazy in their virtual world of "friends."
Instead, I'd encourage you to set up a daily and weekly schedule this summer that your children adhere to which establishes maximum amounts of screen-time (technology) allowed, and minimum amounts of outdoor-time where they need to get outside and do some imaginative and athletic play.

Don't forget to include the daily (or at least weekly) times that your child needs to work on his/her summer assignments from school. We are sending home hard copies of these assignments today in the red family envelopes. You'll find that some summer assignments are highly recommended and others are required. You may also find them on our WEBSITE.
 
Parenting today's tech-savvy child is tougher than my wife and I had it when our kids were elementary school-age. For us, we were parenting just during the advent of cell phones, when perhaps no more than 25% of kids in our children's junior high classrooms had a phone of their own. Today, some polls show that figure of preteen-age kids owning a phone is 85%. So, I realize there is peer-pressure on you, the adult, when you find out "all the other kids' parents" are buying smart phones for their children and/or being the "cool" moms and dads who allow any kids who visit their homes to have video game marathons and unsupervised computer access. Then there is the fact that once connected via a phone, tablet, or even an online video game, your child can get into more adult sites than you even knew existed. Plus, they can get into crude and mean online-conversing via their Xbox-type gaming or apps they're using.  Add to all this stress if the fact that most preteens know more than their parents about getting around parent-filters and kid-blocks that well-meaning parents attempted to set up on their homes' technology.

Now, I can't help you with the peer-pressure you may feel from fellow parents. That's on you to fight through. And please, do try to fight through it. Parents aren't supposed to be their children's "friends," allowing their kids to not have to do things they don't like and giving in when their kids push for more things that we adults know aren't healthy.

As for the fear of your youngster getting into adult-sites, seeing the most crude and vulgar things that will negatively affect your child understanding that human sexuality is to be viewed as God's gift to husbands and wives, this problem can be addressed in two ways:
  • Only allow your child to go online when you are home and keeping an eye on their screen;
  • No not cave into giving your child a smart phone until high school. If your child needs a phone for emergency-communication-purposes, there are basic phones you can purchase that are marketed simply for calling 9-1-1 or mom & dad;
  • If you have given your child a smart phone already, set up your calling plans so your kid's phone can't use advanced features other than emergency calls.

Regarding your child being a participant in or receiver of mean, obscene online-conversing and texting in their video gaming or social media/app use, how about these simple family rules:

  1. As the parent, I get to listen in to or read all conversations;
  2. As the child, I promise to block or end all conversations that become crude or rude before they escalate.

As for your child being smarter than you in knowing how to get around any restrictions you've set up on your household technology, you just have to keep updated on technology and what kids are up to these days. Here are two great SITES / SITES that can help you set up a safe use of technology in your home.
 
So if you agree with Victoria Prooday's article and are willing to take in my suggestions of keeping your kids away from screens as much as possible this June-July-August, here are some ideas to help you make riding their bicycles, playing in their back yards, and lying in the shade reading books a part of your children's summer schedules:

  • Create an incentive where for every 30 minutes of reading each summer day, your child can earn 30 minutes of screen time later that day;
  • Set the rule that no video game can be turned on each summer day until the daily summer math practice is completed;
  • Model the importance of not letting the cell phone "take over one's life" by having your kids observe you yourself physically turning off and putting down your phone for at least two straight hours, three days each week. Then, you and the kids use those two hours to play a board game as a family one night, taking a family walk through the neighborhood the second day, and trying that latest recipe for cookies the third night. Oh...and lest I forget the audience to whom I'm writing...how about turning off the phone for FOUR days and instead tending to THIS as a family on that fourth day, on a weekly basis?

Thank you for checking out the five links above and for taking time to read this lengthy blog about my concerns for your children's growth and development. The teachers and I are seeing these negative outcomes of too many minutes of video gaming or too much mean behavior with texting and social media posting, and it spills over into school with students falling behind in assignments or having friendship issues. Anything parents can do to keep their kids from too much screen time and/or unsupervised screen time would be appreciated ...and will pay off in the long run!


* * * * * * * *
 
Last Thursday morning, I emailed each school family a link to our online Parent Survey. That survey closes today. I'll share the results with you at a future date.
 
Thanks for reading, 
Mr. Fitz
p.s.
Please check out two articles down below which need your attention. They are both colored "red" - one asks you to please immediately volunteer to be a New Family Mentor, and one asks you to please sign-up now for the volunteer jobs you'd like to take on next school year.

For the former, we need two dozen current school parents willing to immediately be assigned a newly enrolled school family and contact your "mentee" to welcome them to St. Louise and answer their questions. They are unsure which uniform pieces to buy this summer, how volunteering works, and how to get started procuring an auction item and purchasing Charger Cards. YOU KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO BE A ROOKIE! Unfortunately, our mentor co-chairs, Daisy and Laura, are falling short of getting current parents to step forward and be mentors. Please read the red article below and consider stepping up to the task by contacting them immediately. Thank you.
Upcoming Calendar of Events  
Tomorrow
  • StL Hats allowed to be worn indoors today
  • Charger Cards fee-free week ends today
  • Flavorful Friday Treats on sale at lunchtime
  • Last day to sign-up for the Mother/Son event at the regular rate; see details in the article below
      
Monday, May 28 - Memorial Day
  • NO SCHOOL DAY; School Office and Kids' Club are closed
  • Consider helping your children understand the significance of Memorial Day, and how brave men and women fought and died for our country, by attending a Memorial Day Service today at one of the local cemeteries, such as Sunset Hills in Bellevue (1215 - 145th Place S.E., 425-746-1400) or here.  

Wednesday, May 30
  • Grade 5 & 6 Spring Concert - performing at 1:30 for a student audience; the School Band will also be performing only at this daytime concert, so parents of Band members should attend this daytime concert in the parish hall
  • Grade 5 & 6 Evening Concert - performing at 6:30 in the parish hall for parents and guests; performers are to report to their homerooms between 6:05-6:20

Thursday, May 31
  • Auction Procurement deadline - thanks for turning in your minimum $225-value donation-form(s) by today; the minimum value increases to $275 if donation/procurement comes in after the 31st

Friday, June 1
  • Science Showcase in the parish hall - parents invited to view gr. K-7 science projects from 9am-12pm and 1-2pm.
  • Used Uniform Sale in the St. Louise Room (central wing of original school) from 2-4pm.

Saturday, June 2
  • CYO Track Championship Meet at Highline Stadium, Burien
  • Skyward closes down its parent-portal today to enable teachers to privately start inputting 3rd trimester grades and comments for upcoming report cards

Thursday, June 7
  • Graduation Day for our 8th Graders, the Class of 2018 - Mass at 9am; Commencement at 7pm

Sunday, June 10
  • Mother/Son Event at Waterhouse Center in Snohomish; last day to register for this unique bonding-experience is tomorrow, May 25! (see flyer below)
Come Join the Mentor Team

  
         While we are busy ensuring all of this school year's commitments are completed, let's take a moment to think of new families preparing to join St. Louise School this coming Fall. You surely remember back when you were newly enrolling in our school and needed to make all the preparations to transition to this wonderful community - and with it came many questions!
          Join the Mentor Team and support new families with comforting basic information. Be that familiar face and easy-to-turn-to online support to assist as needed during their integration from May through the Fall, and beyond.
           Mentor hours count towards your volunteer commitment (for this school year or next), and it is a great way to meet and welcome new friends. For more information on how you can mentor a family - preferably with a child in the same grade level as your own - please reach out to one of our Mentor Coordinators right away: Daisy Mendes  or Laura Bonner

 OFFER ENDS TOMORROW
Time to Sign-Up for Your Volunteer Jobs for NEXT Year

            Parents of current PreK through 7th graders can get a jump on choosing which volunteer jobs they'd like to perform next year. We have opened up our online sign-up form for the various jobs, committees, and programs that need your help.
           By June 18, please sign-up for your volunteer job(s) you're interested in for the upcoming school year - noting that we'd like both mom and dad to sign-up separately. If you don't find the "perfect" job of the dozens listed, remember that the teachers will explain at September's Curriculum Night how they will need volunteers in their classrooms during the year. Plus, this Parent Bulletin will list newly developing volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Please go HERE to get started signing up.
Each parent is asked to complete his/her own unique form by June 18.
 
          You will be notified in the coming months by the faculty member or volunteer chair heading up the committees/programs for which you checked the boxes, of when you''ll be needed and/or of which specific work days/times/jobs you'd prefer.
          Thanks in advance for all the time and talent you'll be giving to the children and faculty!  If you have any questions about this sign-up form or other volunteer questions, please contact the Parents' Club's new coordinator of volunteering, Jen Sharp.
 Open Gym for Men's Basketball
 
          The St. Louise Gym is open for men's basketball on Monday nights from 7:30-9:00pm.  This is a great way to get some exercise and meet other dads and men from St Louise School and Parish.  If interested, please contact Chris Hoffman for more information.
Our Students Are Talented

          Our own 8th grader Frances (right) and 6th grader Jack (below) are both performing in the cast of Hello Mrs. Piggle Wiggle at Studio East in Kirkland. Their show opened last week and runs through mid-June. This would be a good show for families with children ages five and older. Both Frances and Jack, who have great parts, are in "Cast A" when you're choosing which show to see.

        Frances will be busy, as next Wednesday, May 30, she will be at Bellevue City Hall at the 28th annual Community Leadership Awards event, receiving the "Outstanding Youth in Arts" award. Each year, Bellevue Youth Link hosts this awards event where young people attending Bellevue public and private schools are nominated by their peers, teachers, school staff, and other caring adults. A total of 21 awards are given to young people ranging from academics to community service. Congratulations, Frances, on being recognized for your artistic talents! 
 
Hello, St. Louise Families!

WOW!
What a Deck Party we had! It was so much fun to hang out with 80 of our St. Louise parents this past Saturday night to relax and enjoy desserts. Plus we heard fabulous music from the Elijah Baradi Quintet! If you click here, you'll be able to see the student-written, produced and directed video we showed at the Deck Party. Thank you to 6th grader, Jack Sharp, and 8th grader, Ellie Read, for putting this special video tribute together of It's a Wonderful Life at St. Louise !
 
 

3 Things You Need To Know about It's a Wonderful Life
1. Our final procurement contest, Sponsorship and Underwriting, ends tomorrow. Make a Sponsorship or Underwriting donation no later than tomorrow morning, and your child(ren) will receive a candy treat! You can make your donation via check, or by clicking here.

2. Get your Tuition Raffle tickets now! We are only selling them for 2 1/2 more weeks, or until they run out. There are just 60 left, so be sure to purchase on Friday from 8:15-8:45am outside of the Charger Cards office, or email auction@stlouiseschool.org to order yours now.

3. The procurement deadline is May 31st. That is in 7 days. Please click here to fill out your online form and submit your donation, purchase or procured items valued at $225 or more. After 5/31,  the donation requirement goes up to $275. If you wish to make a cash donation, please click here.
 


Sponsors
We are grateful for all of our sponsors, and this week, the Zevenbergen Family stepped forward and generously supported St. Louise at the Golden Charger level. Thank you!
 
Please see this week's Red Envelope for more detailed auction info, and a page of gratitude for all of the people who are volunteering and donating to support It's a Wonderful Life at St. Louise !

Sincerely,
 
Julianne Read
St. Louise Parent & Auction Director
425.214.5441
julianner@stlouiseschool.org
Sign Up for Soccer Now

Registration is now open for CYO Soccer to any St. Louise children who will be entering Kindergarten through 8th grade in September.
 
It's not too early to begin planning for soccer, since teams must be registered before school starts! Soccer practices and games for all grades will begin on or before the first week in September.
 
You may sign up your upcoming grade K-8 (current grade PK-7) student-athletes HERE.
 
Parents who are interested in coaching soccer at any grade level, please contact St. Louise Soccer Coordinators, Christie Allemand and Maria Kelly-Doggett at soccer@stlouise.org and register as a coach HERE.
 
Please reach out to Christie and Maria if you have any questions.

 

Mrs. Salmon, Mrs. McAllister,and Ms. Cantu help the PreK students feel the snake brought by The Reptile Man for a recent preschool assembly. How fun!

 Volunteer Opportunities
   
Thank you for logging in a minimum of 40 volunteer hours by the end of the school year (June 15) by going HERE and clicking on the "Submit Hours" link. Still need hours? Check out these opportunities...
 
  • We can always use more "Adopt a Garden" volunteers, as the east end of the school building and school lawn near 156th is in dire need of upkeep with weeding. The good thing about this volunteer job is you can come on evenings or weekends to do the work, and you don't have to check in with anyone. Just bring your yard tools and put the weeds in the green yardwaste cans.

 

  • We need a full day's help on June 12th for field day supervision. You would contact Chris Evans to sign up to help.

 

  • Used Uniform chair Marisa Riffe needs people to set up and sell at the June 1st Uniform Sale. 
     

     
 We Love our Volunteers!
   
Mrs. Reynolds would like to thank Maggie Samson, Isabella Becker, Carolyn McHugh, Aila Olayao, and Meghan Green for helping out in the nurse's room throughout this school year.
 
 
The following parents were fantastic helpers to Mrs. McIntosh this year in the school library: Jennie Li, Carolyn Yepez, Gabriella Schmidt, Sharon Victor, Diane Smith, Veronique Tano, Jacintha Vimal, Alice Shaw, Verene Woelfl, Marinell Zevenbergen, John Perreault, Anna Jung, Angela Fernandez, Lillibeth Tiotuico, and former St. Louise teacher Jeannie Vahlsing.
 

Volunteering in the computer lab, assisting Mrs. McIntosh's students, have been  John Perreault, Sharon Victor, Anu Vincent. Thank you for your help!


The following parents served as our 3:00 Traffic Directors, keeping your kids safe and helping you find a parking space. We cherished their help all year! Ann Marie Sweeney, Veronique Tano, Rayme Teders, Andrea Matt, Farah Wiesen, Brian Piercy, Cheryl Sutton, Sheldon Sequiera, Hiram Kehdy, and Holly Bange.


We appreciated these parents coming in regularly to laminate items for teachers: Rebecca Nightingale, Amy Yeung, Van Trinh, Sheldon Sequiera, and Silvia Macias.

    
Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Bazan want to applaud their Office Assistants for answering phones, greeting visitors, and doing computer work at the front desk all year: Katie Barrows-Rempe, Edith Rodriguez Hall, Jen Curran, Kristina Abueg, Kelly Miller, Amy Wilken, Holly Bange, Taryn Reed, Jackie Munson, Lisa Westby, Zandra Navarro-Galindo, Rebecca Nightingale, Isabella Becker, Meghan Green.

St. Louise parents Rick Perreault, Tyler Wilken, Jim Goett, and Genevieve Bekkerus all work for PACCAR, one of the world leaders in the design, manufacture and customer support of Kenworth and Peterbilt light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks. These four were able to drive a Kenworth truck onto our parking lot last week to allow most of the student body to climb inside the cab and get a feel for driving a big rig.
 
Our 7th graders (including the girls shown at right and Will) were excited to take their turns at "drivers." ...so was our 5th grade teacher, Mary Talevich (bottom right). 
 
Rick, Tyler, and Jim (below) also went into some classrooms to teach the students about the variety of careers associated with trucks - from engineers to manufacturers to drivers.
 
 
 


 8th Grade Track Stars Shine

          Joaquin Galindo-Navarro, Colin Shaules, Ellie Pierce, Elsa Kammereck, Ellie Read, Sophie Yuen & Erin Tylutki competed in the CYO 8th Grade Pentathlon at West Seattle Stadium.  They competed against 38 other 8th grade boys and 35 8th grade girls from other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle in the following 5 events: the 100 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, long jump and the shot put.  
 
        
          The top six winners for both the Boys and Girls Pentathlon will be awarded trophies at the Championship Track meet on Saturday, June 2nd.  Colin Shaules finished in 3rd place and Joaquin Galindo-Navarro finished in 5th place in the boys' division.  Our top girl finisher was Ellie Pierce in 7th place - just one place away from being awarded a trophy. Way to go, Chargers!
See what's happening on our St. Louise Facebook page