Parent Bulletin
October 8, 2020

MR. FITZ'S BLOG
I’ve had a few parents ask me questions about how the upcoming election is handled by St. Louise teachers. I’d like to answer that and make it clear about what is and isn’t part of a Catholic school curriculum.

Every four years the presidential election raises tensions all around - at workplaces, at family gatherings, and yes, even at elementary schools. With the hope of not creating any political friction or causing competitive-like reactions, in teaching about the election, our teachers focus solely on bringing in the historical and civic-related importance of teaching students about our republic system of government. Discussions and instruction about elections have to be age-applicable, civic lessons on subjects such as voting and the democratic process, that are appropriate for a specific grade level’s social studies curriculum.

For example, in the coming weeks, our junior high students will learn about both major political parties’ platforms and then debate classmates in a structured, respectful manner, as we stress the importance of discussing politics courteously and intelligently, without turning into a yelling match. Meanwhile, in our primary grades, teachers won’t get immersed in the election season, but as an example, may merely have your children vote on the better flavor of ice cream - strawberry or rocky road - so they can learn about how the balloting and majority-vote system works.

Your children’s teachers and I appreciate you making sure you keep any high emotions you may have about a candidate or political party away from their kids’ ears, as in the past we’ve had these emotions carry over from home to the classroom. We would rather not have to deal with hurtful arguments among our students. Our teachers know they are not to endorse any candidate or party, but to only discuss elections and politicians in social studies lessons as it pertains to civics education and to only discuss politics in religion lessons as it pertains to issues the Church supports or rejects. (And again, in an age-appropriate fashion; with mainly the older students being the only ones who truly get into the topic.)
 
This “Civilize It!” campaign from the United States Bishops on the topic of civility when discussing politics is something all our teachers have read. Our Bishops also remind all Catholics – whether you are a teacher, a parent, or a principal – how to prayerfully and prudently participate in the electoral process in their document - Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Although too cerebral for any of your children to read, this document is well worth every adult to study.

The Catholic Church does not endorse a political party. For one reason, we know that no party is perfectly aligned with Catholic teaching on every issue. However, not endorsing a party or candidates does not mean the Church simply tells Catholics to heedlessly vote for any party or any candidate. We are told that, after examining the parties’ and candidates’ positions and examining our consciences, we should be able to discern which policies are most in line with Catholic teaching and which ones are not. You will notice there are two maxims the Bishops stress in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship:

1.   Form your conscience;
2.   Do not support a political party’s platform or a candidate’s position if it is “intrinsically evil.”

Forming one’s conscience does not simply mean for a person to do what he/she “feels” is right. Intrinsically evil actions are those which are 100% incompatible with love of God, are deeply flawed, must always be rejected by faithful Catholics, and must never be condoned. The Church explains these two maxims further:

“Conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil… It is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions… The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.

One Bishop added this to further explain the idea of a preeminent priority:

There are other extremely important rights that we must defend, to be sure; but these additional rights flow from and are rooted in the fundamental right to life itself. Although there are many causes our Church stands for and is vocal about, the right to life itself must be given our paramount consideration so that people can have the chance to secure all the other benefits that life can afford.

Similar to the Bishops wanting to form Catholics, the main purpose of the St. Louise School Faculty is to form students in Catholic faith and Christian social values. Our school was established, along with the hundreds of thousands of other Catholic schools worldwide, so there would be an educational system that teaches youth the fundamentals – how to know God, how to love God, and how to serve God.

Our teachers rightly pride themselves in the academic excellence of our school, as we have established a strong, well-rounded academic curriculum to help create mature, responsible, moral citizens who will go on in the future to contribute positively to the community. Our teachers realize that their responsibility as Catholic school teachers is to partner with their students’ parents in forming your kids to develop in four fundamental areas – as active Christians, as life-long learners, as well-balanced individuals, and as community members. (Hmmmm…. where have we heard those four areas before?)

So, during the coming weeks when many will be constantly talking about the election, our teachers will keep to the basics in what they do at school (as age-appropriate and applicable to their curriculum):

1. Promote citizenship.
2. Avoid partisanship.
3. Increase prayer for wise, moral political leaders and for wisdom of the voters.
4. Teach how Christians can do more than just vote – we can get educated on issues, get involved in service efforts to help those in need, and make a positive difference in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns about any current event or political discussion that may occur in your child’s classroom, please immediately talk to your child’s teacher, and talk to me, too. We appreciate your support and partnership.


* * * * *


Please remember that next Friday the 16th is a NO-SCHOOL DAY. That means that all classes will be canceled - whether in-person or distance learning. Kids' Club will also be closed, as will our school office. Next Friday, teachers will be taking the day to hold optional parent-teacher conferences and to participate in their own faith formation by taking an online theology course.

Regarding the optional conferences, if a teacher sees a need to meet with a particular parent, the teacher will contact that parent directly to set up a virtual conference time for the 16th. If you haven't heard from your child's teacher but YOU desire a conference, please email the teacher this week and suggest a time next Friday for a meeting via Microsoft Teams. (By the way, please note that November 23-24 are required conference days, so all teachers will be contacting all parents prior to that week to set up individual parent-student-teacher conferences.)

Blessings on your day,

MR. FITZ

p.s.
Congratulations to parent Tiffany Neuman, who last week was the winner of our contest of naming in order our new faculty members, AKA "The Sensational Seven." Tiffany wins a Charger Card.

This week's contest will give a Charger Card to the 1st parent who - after 6:59:59AM this morning - answers the following correctly:

When is the date of our rescheduled school Auction?

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS

Today
  • Parents' Club meeting on Microsoft Teams at 7PM; email Parents' Club President Karen Reed for your Teams link to the meeting; all parents are welcome to log in and join the disussions.

Saturday, October 10
  • Saturday Spruce-Up from 8-11AM; please meet outside the north wing of the original school with your work gloves and your own yard tools (see the article below).
  • Bartell Drugs will be on our campus to give Flu shots to school families - parents, students, siblings, extended family (see the article below).

Thursday, October 15
  • School Mass on the Feast of St. Theresa of Avila at 9AM; grades 1-5 will attend in-person; Mass will be live-streamed for grades K, 6, 7, 8 to watch; parents who wish to attend in-person, please sign-in at the front of the church by 8:45.

Friday, October 16 - NO-SCHOOL DAY
  • No in-person or online school today; all PreK-8th grade classes canceled; Kids' Club is closed.
  • Teachers available to meet for optional Parent-Teacher Conferences; contact your child's teacher(s) in advance if you would like to set up a conference for this day - which may be held virtually over Microsoft Teams.
  • Teachers are also participating in theology classes today for their professional education and faith formation.

Thursday, October 29
  • Open House from 6:30-7:30PM for prospective new school families; please encourage your neighbors, co-workers, and friends with school-age children or toddlers to attend; better yet, accompany them!; teachers will be in their rooms to answer questions this evening, and they will have Halloween candy for all the kiddos!

Friday, October 30
  • Fun Dress Day - Halloween Costumes! Grade PK-5 students may wear costumes today; please see the article below for restrictions.


CHECK OUT OUR COMPLETE SCHOOL CALENDAR HERE
Saturday Spruce-Up Is 48 Hours Away - Come Join Us!
If you would like to earn volunteer hours by helping with our next Saturday Spruce-Ups, note the dates of this coming Saturday, October 10, and a subsequent Saturday, October 24.

We ask parents (and able-bodied children) to simply show up on one or both of those upcoming Saturdays with your gardening gloves and yard tools. We recommend you bring weed-digging tools, rakes, and shovels. For those of you who can bring wheelbarrows, please do so! We gather in the central parking lot outside the north wing of the original school at 8:00AM, and we clean up at 11:00.

If you have questions, please email Mr. Fitz. Thanks in advance for joining this opportunity to help spruce up the grounds on campus while earning volunteer hours! Rain or shine, we'd love to have your help!
Our 2020 version of the St. Louise Speech Team kicked off this week! Here is a snapshot of 26 of the 36 speech team members. Thanks to Rebecca Nightingale for coordinating this year's team, with the help of Mr. Gallant, Mrs. Patterson, and these parents: Teresa Estrada; Kristy Charles; Vimal Stephen; Paul McCulloch; Margie Clinton; Carolyn McHugh; Sangeeth Kanick Dass; John D'Costa. Also assisting our alumni Ellie Charles, Katie Goett, Ellie Read, and Alice Vimal. t's going to be a great season!
Volunteer to Help at Our Upcoming School Masses
We are excited to be able to have some of our classes attend our next school Mass - on Thursday, October 15, at 9AM - the Mass on the Feast Day of St. Theresa of Avila. (See the article below about this special Mass and special Sant.) Then in November, we will have two more school Masses - November 2 (All Souls Day) and November 11 (Veterans' Day), both at 9AM.

Because of the restrictions of how many people can be in the church at one time, and needing to have 6-feet of distance between all attendees, we will only be having a select number of classes attend each school Mass, rotating classes so all get to attend on a sporadic basis. Grades 1-5 have been selected to attend next week's Mass. For those classes who are not attending a school Mass (and for those students doing distance learning from home), the Mass will be live-streamed. Teachers will show the Mass live in their classrooms.

In order to welcome approximately 100 of our students to church to attend each school Mass, we need to have volunteers help with greeting people at the door and then leading them to their unique seats in the church. We are looking for at least 4 volunteers to assist at each school Mass. Thank you to parents Maria, Claudia, Carmen, and Jacintha for volunteering for the upcoming Mass next Thursday.

We need parent volunteers for the Masses on November 2, and November 11. You will be trained for this simple but important task; no experience is necessary. We'd ask our volunteers to arrive at 8:30AM and remain until 10:00. You will be able to participate in Mass yourself! If you can help us with this vital volunteer position on November 2nd and/or 11th, please email our parish's liturgy coordinator, Lynette Basta. Thanks!
We Might Not Hold Parties...but Yes...We Will Celebrate Halloween
All grade PK-5th grade students are allowed to come to school on Friday, October 30, wearing a Halloween costume. When helping your child decide what his/her costume will be, please take into account these guidelines:
 
  1. Costumes must be appropriate for an elementary school and as importantly, a Catholic elementary school; therefore, themes or dress that are disrespectful, impious, and/or too “adult” need to stay home.
  2. Violent themes are not allowed; this includes no weapons, no bloody makeup, and no costumes depicting devils, vampires, “Scream”, “Freddy Krueger”, “Dementor”, etc.  
  3. Mr. Fitz and Mr. Fuerte have the final decision on which costumes are inappropriate. If you wonder if your child’s costume will be considered appropriate or not, you may ask an administrator, or better yet — if you have to wonder, then the answer probably is you should choose another costume.
;-)
Thanks for keeping the “Happy” in “Happy Halloween” by making this a fun day with no hassles.

Please note that due to our COVID-precautions, students still have to wear a cloth mask with their costume. We recommend the costume not be so cumbersome that it creates difficulty for your child to safely keep the mask on or easily maneuver around the classroom and at recess.

Also due to COVID-precautions, we will not hold Halloween class parties this year. Instead, teachers will work with their room parents to have some treats and perhaps a game to play or video to watch at the end of the day that Friday as we celebrate All Hallows Eve.

Thanks for your cooperation, parents, as we try to get things as "normal" as possible for your kids, so they can ....be kids!


BONUS:
Any student whose costume on October 30th depicts a holy Saint is to come up to Mr. Fitz in morning carpool to show him the costume and name the Saint. Mr. Fitz will then have a theater-sized box of candy to give the student for being so creative and so "Catholic" on this "All Hallows Eve." Here are some ideas for Saint costumes.
Any
Upload October Photos for the School Yearbook
St. Louise's School Yearbook looks different this year! Like every other part of school, this year we've thrown out the rule book for the yearbook. We're going to work in monthly themes and ask you to upload your photos. 
 
Here is the list of themes of photos we'd love to receive from you. Don't let this structure prevent you from uploading any pictures about anything at any time. These themes are a guide of what we plan to include in the 2020-21 St. Louise School Yearbook.
  • October – Happy Haunted Halloween
  • November – Terrific Thanksgiving Traditions
  • December – Colorful Christmas Children
  • January – Winter or Wet Wonderland?
  • February - Very Very Valentine
  • March - Practically Prefect (Saint) Patrick
  • April – Spinning Skyball in the Spring
  • May - Fantastic Flipping Flowers
  • All year – Other Remote Learning
 
Here is how to upload photos:
1.     If you don't already have a TreeRing account, click HERE to create one (and see the purchase information below).
2.     Load them into the Shared Photos section of Treering. Select Shared Photo Folders. All folders are there for the year. We encourage everyone to load throughout the year.
3.     You must have a Treering account in order to contribute photos.
4.     TreeRing has made it even easier for users to submit photos through their mobile phone! Check out the capabilities here: Capabilities on Mobile Devices (Android, iOS/Apple, Mobile Browsers)
 
To purchase & customize your school yearbook:
 
Returning users who do not remember the email/password used last year for their TreeRing account can request a password reset here: https://tr5.treering.com/forgot-password
 
2) Enter St Louise passcode: 101439484318388
 
The yearbook will be published and distributed in June, 2021. If you have questions, please contact our School Yearbook Co-Editors, Janey Rabon and Penny Williams
StL Families Can Get their Flu Shots at St. Louise School this Saturday
Bartell Drugs will bring their mobile flu shot clinic here for our St. Louise School families - this Saturday, October 10, from 9:00-12:00. The clinic will be set up in the St. Louise Room of the original school building. Click here to reserve your appointment time(s). Your whole family can receive their influenza immunizations! Sign up today because spaces are limited! If you have questions, reach out to Jane Reynolds or Julianne Read.
Check Out the St. Louise Instagram Page for CYO Sports
Do you know the St. Louise CYO program has its own Instagram page? Go to instagram.com/stlouiseathletics/ to see the latest news and photos for our Charger sports programs. Cross Country coach Amy Wilken has posted a message on Instagram about the progress of the Chargers' Cross Country (virtual) season.

And while you're following Charger Athletics on Instagram, don't forget to also follow St. Louise School on Instagram. You'll find us at instagram.com/stlouiseschool/.
Use Charger Cards for Your Weekly Groceries & Gas
Charger Cards is selling cards out of their sales window in the central hallway of the original school each school Friday. You'll find the sales window open on Fridays from 8:15-9:00 AM. Families may pick up preordered cards on a weekly basis or buy on the spot.

Families who children are still learning remotely and who wish to purchase Charger Cards remotely can still do so by following our interim process. Orders placed before 9am on Monday are guaranteed to be processed and filled on Thursday for pickup. All other orders will be filled depending on the availability of inventory at hand. 
 
Please email Marsha at chargercards@stlouiseschool.org if you have questions or if you'd like to join her sales team.
 
Mass on the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila Is Next Thursday
St. Teresa of Avila, who was born over 500 years ago in Spain, is considered one of the greatest religious women of the Catholic Church, was an author of spiritual classics, was the originator of the Carmelite Reform, and was elevated to doctor of the church in 1970 - the first woman to be so honored! It is for all these reasons that the school will be having an all-school Mass on the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila next Thursday, October 15.

Our students will be learning about St. Teresa next week, and grades 1-5 will be attending the all-school Mass next Thursday at 9AM. We will be following the Archdiocesan procedures for seating everyone 6' apart, and the church's attendance is capped at 200 people (counting students, teachers, parents, and parishioners). School parents interested in attending Mass in-person with the 1st through 5th graders are asked to please arrive at the front of church by 8:45 to check-in.

Students and teachers in grades K, 6, 7, 8 will be viewing the Mass via live-stream. Parents who cannot attend Mass in-person are encouraged to also view the live-stream on the 15th.

You can read more about St. Teresa's life HERE. It you are looking for a great book to help you increase your faith and expand your prayer life, St. Teresa's Interior Castle offers profound and inspiring reflections on such subjects as self-knowledge, humility, and suffering. With her writing, St. Teresa of Avila is known for many famous quotes that Catholics might remember reading. One of them is:

“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things are passing away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

Perhaps her most famous quote - which is framed and hanging on the wall of the St. Louise faculty-room for all teachers to see daily - is below...
Thursday's Theology: St. Teresa of Avila, the 1st Woman 'Doctor of the Church'
FOLLOW US