ST. LOUISE SCHOOL PARENT BULLETIN
Your child is bringing home today an important red Family Envelope - it contains vital admissions forms for you to re-register your child in St. Louise School for the 2019-20 school year.
You know from the news and from reading my past blogs, that teacher compensation in our state is the big story, with public school teachers seeing dramatic salary increases in 2018. So, I know we're all aware we must increase our teachers' salaries, and thus, we cannot avoid tuition increases, as your tuition payments are our biggest revenue source.
But that being the case, the school's Finance Committee and School Commission, comprised of fellow school parents who help advise Father Gary and me in setting our annual budget, are in agreement that our 2019-20 tuition rates are reasonable and palatable, and our 2019-20 teacher salary scheduled is competitive and an improvement from recent years.
The reasonable, palatable tuition increases for next year are only slightly higher than increases in the past... and are still less expensive than any other Catholic or private school in the greater Bellevue/Eastside area! You'll find the new rates in the Parent Contract enclosed in today's red envelope. And for families who still may find it difficult to pay the full cost of tuition, we continue to offer Tuition Assistance Grants. The application to apply for a Grant may be found here on our website.
(Please note that the deadline to apply for tuition assistance and submit all applicable tax records is April 15.)
With the tuition revenue the school will draw from our moderate tuition rate increases, we'll accomplish three big improvements in 2019-20:
- We'll increase teacher compensation at a higher rate than in recent years.
- We'll be able to purchase new science curriculum materials throughout the grade levels, as our science teachers have been evaluating new programs and coming up with exciting additions to the curriculum for next fall.
- We'll be able to roll-out our new, annual technology plan which will be to place a new laptop in every 7th grader's hands each fall.
First, the need for increased teacher compensation was explained to you a few weeks ago when I wrote about the massively growing disparity between what public school teachers are paid and what Catholic school teachers are paid. For the upcoming school year, our teachers will be receiving higher raises than they've received in recent memory.
Secondly, our budget for 2019-20 includes the purchase this coming summer of new science materials, teacher resources, and student texts, as we update our science curriculum for the first time since 2009. The teachers are very excited to bring in updated equipment and lessons which will better match what we teach to the national standards for science.
Finally, I'd like to explain our new student laptop plan. For the past number of years, we've had rolling carts full of class sets of used laptops (generously donated to us by Ste. Michelle Winery), and teachers in various grades have rolled the carts into their classrooms for students to use for social studies research, science-related projects, term-paper writing, etc. The back-and-forth of laptop carts, though workable, is not desirable. Teachers may find that no carts are available, and/or the amount of time it takes for students to check out a device from the cart and set it up is wasteful, and/or the laptops are older models that are slow and often develop glitches mid-class-time. By moving to having our two oldest grade-level students retain their own, new laptops 24/7, it eliminates the unavailability and inoperative laptop issues we currently have, as well as reduces wasted class time. The plan is to give each 7th grade student each September a new laptop. He/she is in control of this school-owned device for both 7th and 8th grade year. After 8th grade graduation, the now two-year-old device - still in good working order - is returned for us to incorporate in the laptop carts that will be shared among the grade 6 and lower teachers. (Ste. Michelle Winery will unfortunately be ending their donation program to us after this year, so the timing for this new plan of ours is perfect.)
Studies have found that 1-to-1 laptop programs - such as this one we'll begin with 7th graders in 2019, and will move up with them as 8th graders in 2020 - have a statistically significant, positive impact on student test scores in math, language arts, writing, and science. Furthermore, other studies show evidence of other positive benefits associated with giving laptops to students, including increased student technology use, more student-centered and project-based instruction created by the teachers, and greater student engagement in class.
Obviously, beginning a 1-to-1 laptop program to St. Louise will be expensive, as each laptop (after costs for the device, educational software, monitoring/filtering software, increased wi-fi access added to the school, etc.) could cost around $1,000 annually. But we think the benefits are worth it, and we know that takes only minor increases to tuition for all families to cover this new line item in our budget. I'll share more about our new 1-to-1 laptop program in the spring, as we are still in the development and pre-purchasing stages with the teachers and our technology committee. If you have any input, please contact our IT support person, Dan Kirby.
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Getting back to the admissions re-enrollment forms you are receiving in today's red Family Envelope. The cover letter you're receiving explains the simple process of completing the enclosed Parent Contract, going online to pay the moderate application fee (you won't find a less expensive application fee in any of the other Catholic schools!), and going online to fill out a Student Emergency Information form for each child. (This is where you type in each child's birthdate, address, etc.) It's important that you complete these steps in the re-enrollment process by February 14 - that's two weeks from today. (It doesn't pay to procrastinate, as the application fee increases from $95 to $220 if a returning family applies after February 14th!)
If you have any questions about the admissions/re-enrollment process, you may contact secretaries Lola Bazan or Mindy Morgan in the school office. Lola and Mindy are also whom you contact if you will be applying for the first time for one of your children, such as a newly-applying preschooler or kindergartener. There are additional forms needed for these kids, and Lola/Mindy can help you with these. In addition, all children enrolling in kindergarten for the fall - regardless of if they are currently in our St. Louise PreK class or not - must choose a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment date. Please sign-up for this assessment through the school office if you have a child enrolling in kindergarten for 2019-20.
Thanks for continuing to invest in your child's future by re-registering them for a Catholic school education. Although we still have a half-year to go in this current school year, it's exciting to think ahead to next year - which will be our 59th year of providing an excellent education with a Catholic foundation!
Finally, if you haven't yet had a chance to read the Annual Report you were mailed three weeks ago, please take a look at it now. Read both Fr. Gary's and my letters in the Annual Report, which discuss the commendable accomplishments of our students in 2018 and the reason why Catholic schools are vitally important. Then pat yourself of the back for choosing a Catholic school education for your children!
Pax et bonum,
I hope to see your family tonight at our Open House - it begins at 6:30pm and the entire campus will be open for an hour with teachers in all the rooms in the main building and north wing, as well as at the gym. If you're able to accompany a prospective school family around to meet the teachers tonight, first stop by the lobby and introduce them to our development director, Cindy Wagner, and to me. Cindy will make note of your name and then the next day send you a Starbucks Charger Card. You can then take your friend out for coffee and "close the deal" next week on convincing them to enroll with us.
Thanks for your support!
Upcoming Calendar of Events
- Open House from 6:30-7:30PM will be for all families, with all homeroom and specialist teachers opening up their classrooms. Please invite your neighbor/co-worker/friend with upcoming school-age children to accompany you.
- Admissions begins for re-enrolling your children in the 2019-20 school year. Re-enrollment paperwork is coming home today, and is due back by February 14. If you will have a child newly enrolling at St. Louise for the first time in 2019-20, please contact Lola/Mindy in the school office now for additional paperwork.
Sunday, February 3
- Our Chorale choir sings at the 11:30 Mass at Mary, Queen of Peace Church in Sammamish
Monday, February 4
- Confirmation at St. Louise, 7PM; congratulations to many of our alumni from the St. Louise Class of 2017 who will be getting confirmed!
Thursday, February 7
- Bake Sale - proceeds benefit junior high activities
- Parents' Club Meeting, 6:30PM - all parents are invited
Saturday, February 9
- Speech Team competes at Archbishop Murphy HS Tournament
Wednesday, February 13
- Winter Concert performed by grades 3-4 and the school band, 6:30PM, parish hall; all are invited!
Thursday, February 14
- Early-admissions period for 2019-20 school year ends; last day for current families to pay the reduced $95 re-enrollment application fee (fee increases to regular $220 rate on the 15th)
Friday, February 15
- CROWD Social for grades 6-8, 7-9PM
Monday & Tuesday, February 18 & 19 - NO SCHOOL
- School and Kids' Club closed for George Washington's Birthday holiday
Save the Dates:
- Friday, February 22 - 9:00 Mass with students' grandparents as special guests, followed by reception in the school
- Wednesday & Thursday, April 3 & 4 - School musical, Dear Edwina, performs in parish hall at 6:30 for two nights only; tickets go on sale to the general public in March
- Thursday, May 16 - Donor Appreciation Event; contact Cindy Wagner to find out how to receive an invitation to this special night
Thanks for Your Help During Catholic Schools' Week
The students and staff (and hopefully you parents) have been having a fabulous time these past few days celebrating National Catholic Schools' Week! We want to thank all of the parents who have helped in a variety of ways to make this week special:
- from serving coffee & donuts last Sunday to serving lunch to the teachers yesterday;
- from participating in the Faculty Bake Sale earlier this week to attending the Open House this evening;
- from supervising the students during the teachers' rare 1-hour lunchtime yesterday to sending in personal thanks and gifts on Teachers' Appreciation Day.
Our school choir - Chorale - will close our the week this Sunday by singing at the 11:30 Mass at Mary, Queen of Peace Church in Sammamish. Thank you to the choir students, and their director Dr. Cole and assistant director Mrs. LB, for leading the congregation in song both last Sunday at St. Louise and this Sunday at Mary, Queen of Peace!
Your Child's Grandparents Are Invited
We would love to have your child's grandparents join us for a special, annual event - our Grandparents' Mass on Friday, February 22, at 9:00 a.m. This special morning will include an all-school Mass, in which we will bless grandparents for their special roles in their grandkids' lives, and then immediately following Mass, grandparents and grandchildren enjoy a reception in their classrooms. The morning ends at 10:30.
If you would like your child's grandparents to be mailed directly from the school a special invitation to this event, please complete the form provided in last week's Family Envelope and return the form to the school by February 6. If the grandparents are not available, another relative or special friend (e.g. an Aunt or Uncle) would be welcome to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Wagner in the development office.
Please Send In Your ASGC Donation
Every school family
received in the U.S. Mail three weeks ago our Annual Report, and it contained your Annual School Gift Campaign request letter and pledge envelope.
Please send in to school by no later than February your Annual School Gift Campaign (ASGC) donation or at least your initial pledge.
Your ASGC gifts will go directly into our school operating fund, helping us to have enough funds to buy those books and computers and to help give annual raises to our faculty. Your tuition payments cover about 80% of the cost to run our school (paying salaries and benefits, buying books and computers, up-keeping the rooms and buildings, etc.). The other 20% comes from fund raisers and donations such as this ASGC, which to your benefit are tax-deductible gifts.
We offer many avenues through which you may donate to the Annual School Gift Campaign. If going the avenue of paying your ASGC donation by check, you may use the pledge envelope we mailed you and return to us now a one-time gift paid in full. However, we realize many families are able to pledge a larger donation if they divide their gift into four quarterly payments or twelve monthly payments, or even pay via credit card. If giving through any of these alternate avenues helps you give more, by all means we will accommodate a gift in four-parts, 12-parts, via credit card, ....even via a donation of stocks!
Although participating in the Annual School Gift Campaign is required as a part of the school contract all school parents sign, there is no required amount to give. We understand that for some families, stretching to a gift of $250 - even if this means paying $20 a month - will be a big sacrifice. And the students and teachers appreciate this size gift! We also appreciate it when a family is able to give as high as a 5-figure donation, sharing the gifts God has bestowed upon them.
Many families choose to donate by using their credit cards
, not only because that allows them to give more, but they also might earn airline-mile rewards. Then this whole donation-thing ends up a win-win. You win miles, and we win donation-revenue. If you have any questions about the best way for your family to give or want to explain a special circumstance, such as giving via stocks, please contact
in our development office.
Thank you for your generous support of the ASGC!
A Message from Our School Nurse
Cold and flu season is here in the Puget Sound and it's reached St. Louise School! We need all students to remain home if it hasn't been 24 hours since their fever ended - without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol. Similarly, we need all students to remain home if it hasn't been 24 hours since their last vomiting or diarrhea. K
eeping children home with bad colds that have an active cough or runny nose is also a good idea, so they can rest and recover more quickly.
I know this is sometimes hard because of your work schedule, but we do not want to spread illnesses to classmates
Please refer to the section on "Illness" from page 22 of our
School Policy Handbook
for our complete policy. It includes:
"...To avoid passing on an illness to classmates, a student who has an above normal temperature, vomiting, or diarrhea is not to attend school until things return to normal for at least 24 hours after all fever-reducing medicine has been discontinued...."
Getting enough rest, eating right, and washing hands are all good ways to stay healthy.
Thank you for helping to keep your children - and therefore, all their classmates - healthy through assuring enough hours of sleep, nutritious meals, and washing hands frequently.
Jane Reynolds, RN
St. Louise School Nurse
Now That We're Halfway Through the School Year, Have Your Children OutgrownTheir Uniforms?
Save the date of Friday, February 15, from 2:00-4:00PM for our winter Used Uniform and Charger Gear Sale. It will be held in the St. Louise Room in the central hallway of the original school. Stop by to order a new fleece sweater or Friday-wear hoody or track jacket. In addition, you'll be able to find great deals on used skirts, jumpers, sweaters, pants and shorts.
By the way, if you have clean, gently-used uniform pieces your children have outgrown, please send them to school in a bag marked "used uniforms," and we'll be able to add them to our sales inventory. Remember, all proceeds from these sales go to the Parents' Club, who use it to provide assemblies and other enrichment grants for your kids!
Free Class to Enhance Your Parenting Skills
Kindering is pleased to offer a free parenting course to parents of children from 2 through 12. The ten-week class sessions focus on basic parenting skills such as managing anger and effective communication. Kindering has been providing free parenting classes to the community since 1991. This upcoming course runs from February 25th through April 29th from 6-8pm on Monday nights at Kindering's Bellevue location - 16120 NE 8th Street. Registration can be via email to Lois Ralph at email@example.com. Classes fill quickly and are on a first-come, first served basis.
It begins today - the a
dmissions process for re-enrolling your children in the 2019-20 school year!
You'll find re-enrollment information in today's red Family Envelope, and we ask you to complete it by no later than February 14. There is a reduced $95 re-enrollment fee to pay, to assure your children's spots in next year's rosters. If you fail to meet the February 14th deadline, this fee jumps up to the regular rate of $220! It saves to not procrastinate!
Note: If you will have a child newly enrolling at St. Louise for the first time in 2019-20 (such as in PreK or Kindergarten), please contact Lola/Mindy in the school office today for additional paperwork.
For more information on re-enrollment and admissions, please go HERE.
Twenty Years of Angels and 100 Years of an Angelic Priest
This year marks 20 years since our junior high students began to send "prayer angels" to those who may need a spiritual boost - someone who is ill or has a relative who is ill, someone expecting a baby, a teacher or parent having surgery, someone whose pet died, etc.
The inspiration came to our 8th grade homeroom teacher and junior high religion teacher, Mary Herridge, in February 1999, when she learned of a woman who was suffering with cancer. Mary didn't know this person personally, so she wasn't in a position to do anything for this woman physically. Or course, Mary knew she could pray, but still she felt helpless. She then read an article written in the Seattle Archdiocesan newspaper by Fr. William Treacy, a senior priest of the Archdiocese, and Father's words on the theme of "angels offer us hope" gave her Divine Inspiration. The next day, Mrs. Herridge asked her junior high students to make "paper angels." They mailed those angels, linked in a chain, along with a copy of Father's article, to the woman suffering with cancer.
The real miracle of this 20-years and still-going-strong angel outreach project is that most of the angel requests come from the hearts of junior high students. They request them for their ill and troubled friends, family, and acquaintances of which they become aware. Our junior high students have too been inspired to look beyond.
Today, Fr. Treacy - who will turn 100 years-old this May - is perhaps the oldest, actively-ministering priest in America. He currently lives in Mt. Vernon, and Mary drove him here to St. Louise last Wednesday to celebrate his lifetime of ministry as well as the 20th anniversary of angels flying to the prayerful aid of others. Recognition of Fr. Treacy took place in the school lobby, with grades 5-8 students gathering to hear Father recall stories in his life where guardian angels were at work. Several students joined Fr. Treacy and Mrs. Herridge for lunch following the larger group assembly, sharing personal ways the angel project has touched their lives.
In addition, Mary invited adults with prior connections to St. Louise who in the past had angels mailed to them, and they attended last week's gathering, meeting Fr. Treacy and sharing their stories of how these messages and paper angels from junior high students gave them peace and inspiration.
Thanks for your leadership of this project, Mrs. Herridge, and your 20-year anniversary of paper angels!
Cupid Is Getting Ready for February 14...So Should You
Whether you're giving physical gift cards as presents or you're planning on spoiling your loved ones with all things candy & flowers, we at Charger Cards can help you plan the perfect Valentine's Day observance!
We carry cards for the classic dinner-and-a-movie date night, a fancy upscale dinner in downtown Bellevue, a trip to the spa, or perhaps a surprise shopping spree.
Let Charger Cards help you create any package for your valentine.
Nothing says "I love you" more than buying a gift that also helps your kids' school!
The Charger Cards sale office in the central wing of the original school is open on school-Fridays from 8:15-9:00AM.
Charger Cards...It's simple, it's thoughtful and it's truly the gift th
St. Louise Students Are Community Members
Student Learning Expectations - SLEs - are expectations that our students should know, understand, value, and be able to do by the time they graduate from St. Louise School. These 12 SLEs comprise four categories important to the development of a well-rounded student: an active Christian; a life-long learner; a well-balanced individual; and a community member. Each month, one or two different SLEs are focused on school-wide until the 12 expectations are covered by the end of the school year.
For the month of January, we have had two Student Learning Expectations focused on throughout the school. One has been,
A St. Louise student is a community member who honors the gifts of others and values the dignity of each person"
(SLE #1.2). And the other SLE of the Month has been,
"A St. Louise student is a community member who accepts leadership roles and collaborates with others"
Below are highlights from some of the classrooms on how they have been working during January - or perhaps all yearlong - on achieving these SLEs.
Dr. Cole reminds us that the work of our Chorale choir she directs embodies both of these SLEs. Providing music for the school liturgies demonstrates choir members' leadership, and every song they learn and perform is an act of collaboration. The Chorale couldn't properly function without all members respecting the musical gifts of each other, especially when some students step up to serve as cantors.
||Sixth graders created posters like this one, depicting the various components of January's SLEs.
Third grade students learned in January about the life of Rev. Martin Luther King and discussed his message of valuing the dignity of each person no matter their skin color. Our 4th graders took this a step further, as along with studying King, they learned about Mahatmi Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, two other men who stressed the dignity of each person. Both grade levels also had the opportunity to participate in a two day experience on the Native American culture. This experience - called "Of Cedar and Salmon" - taught the 3rd and 4th graders about another Native Americans through playing games, doing creative art work, drumming and dancing, participating in an evening potlatch, and listening stories from the presenter - a Native American who goes by the name Long Claw.
In the Art room, Mrs. Walker's 7th grade artists focused on our January SLEs while sketching "drawing manikins." Students were challenged to work in small groups, with each member needing to create an individual piece of art that, when combined with the other pieces in the group, showcased a dynamic composition of "drawing manikins in motion." Students had to take on leadership rolls while working with others in their group, and more importantly they had to be respectful of their classmates, honoring the gifts of each artist. So far, both 7th Grade classes have done a really nice job exhibiting the current SLEs as we work on this colorful piece of art. Check out one of the works in progress below.
Proving that they are community members who accept leadership roles, Miss Reynolds' 2nd graders each take on 16 different jobs in their classroom - from
line leader to prayer leader, and from door holder to class librarian. Each student takes the role of a certain type of leader of a job. Every week the students are assigned new jobs, and they know what each job entails, as earlier in the year the 2B students acted out what leading each job looks like.
For the month of January, Mr. Evans focused his 6th grade P.E. students on being able to achieve SLE #1.3. He had partners collaborate on a muscular-flexibility "cool down" routine and lead their classmates at the end of a fitness lesson. Mr. Evans guided the leaders as little as possible, so as to test their knowledge of previous stretches, pattern of stretches, major muscle groups involved, and the timing of the cool down. Mr. Evans reports he witnessed a variety of cool down routines presented, including new, creative ways the students came up with to stretch the same muscle.
Demonstrating that a St. Louise student is a community member who accepts leadership roles and collaborates with others, our 5th graders act as "buddies" to 2nd graders throughout the year. Below they are shown leading their buddies in a project between the two grade levels.
As we enter February, schoolwide we'll be focusing on this new Student Learning Expectation:
"A St. Louise student is a life-long learner who demonstrates a solid academic foundations while using problem solving techniques, technology, critical thinking and study skills." (SLE #2.1).
Parents can assist their children in understanding and achieving this expectation by reinforcing what was already discussed in class about the definitions of these terms.
Can You Name Which Country I
s an Archipelago & Contains the Sierra Madre Mountain Range? Ben Goett Can!
This January, we brought back to St. Louise the national Geography Bee competition, which hadn't been held here for over 15 years. Under the direction of junior high social studies teacher, Andrew Weiss, grade 5-8 students competed in a competition which began by first finding each homeroom's geography champions. Students had to answer very difficult questions ranging from naming capitals of countries to noting which geographical feature was in a certain country. Once a champion from each grade level was captured, these students competed in a finalists' round.
The top students to make it to the Geography Bee finalists' round were: Liam Curran, Noah Kirby, Griffin Reed, Kate Leach, Modesto Estrada, Will Zevenbergen, Ryan Tang, and Ben Goett.
In the championship round, it came down to one student getting the most Geography Bee questions correct - Ben Goett! The runner-up was Ryan Tang. Ben's next step is to work at qualifying for the statewide bee. Good luck, Ben!
Prayer Inspiration for the Week
Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be the monotony of Hail Marys which purifies the monotony of your sins!"
See what's happening on our St. Louise Facebook page