ST. LOUISE SCHOOL PARENT BULLETIN

October 31, 2019
Dan's Blog
Coming home in the red envelopes today are November Conference Confirmation Letters. Please verify you can conference with your child's teacher at the time he/she scheduled for you, and return the bottom of the letter to the teacher tomorrow or Monday.

The date and time on the Conference Confirmation Letter was based on the request you made in the recent Parent Survey. Thanks for 2-parent families making every effort to have both mom and dad at this upcoming conference. Remember that we also want grade 1-8 students to attend at least part of the conference. (We'll have supervision in the library on our November 25-26 conference days, so children can wait there and watch a movie during their siblings' conferences.)

Speaking of the Parent Survey, you recall that it also asked you for input on the future class sizes and tuition rates for St. Louise. Thank you for sharing your views, elaborating on reasons for your answers and asking us questions. I'll be sharing the results of the survey soon, but for now I'd like to answer the following common questions that parents repeatedly asked on their surveys. 

Q) Is decreased enrollment localized to St. Louise or happening across other Seattle Archdiocesan Catholic schools?
A) When it reached its high-point in the mid-1960s, the nation's Catholic K-12 education system educated more than 5 million children in its schools. Since that time, the number of students in Catholic schools has decreased to today's figure of 1.8 million - a loss around 65%. Locally, our Seattle Archdiocese had 23,324 students enrolled in K-12 in 2008, and just 10 years later in 2018, this number was 15,417 - a decrease of 34%. At St. Louise, our enrollment in 2008 was 445, and we dropped to 361 in 2018 - a decrease of 19%. 

Q) What is the Seattle Archdiocese doing to help schools increase enrollment?
A) The Office for Catholic Schools in our Archdiocese has recently hired a new director of marketing and enrollment, whose office gives advice to individual Catholic schools and runs seminars for development directors. Our development director, Cindy Wagner, and her assistant, Linda Bowers, attend these seminars. We will be reaching out to the director in the Office for Catholic Schools to see if for every region of Catholic schools (e.g. "The Eastside," "The South Sound") they could create regional group advertising of radio/paper/social media advertising.

Q) It appears that as school enrollment is falling, so is church attendance. Is there a correlation? 
A) Although there hasn't been a study on this, it seems very obvious that there is a correlation. One survey says that 50 years ago 75% of Catholics self-reported that they attend Mass every week. Today that figure is 39%. 

Q) If the worry of paying private school tuition is keeping prospective school families from enrolling, do they know that tuition assistance scholarships are available? 
A) We certainly try to clearly mention that financial aid is available - in our school marketing materials to prospective families and to current families during every re-enrollment period. HERE is what we show on our website about tuition assistance.

Q) Do you know why families who were once enrolled ended up leaving St. Louise in recent years?
A) We typically request exit-interviews of families who inform us they are not returning the next year to St. Louise. There has not been a common thread from these interviews regarding why they're leaving. Moving out of the area, not being able to afford tuition (even with our offer of a scholarship), or wanting to start in public school in the middle school so to "prepare" for public high school come up most often as reasons for switching schools. It's important to note that our middle school class sizes have been fairly steady, since for every student who might leave during those years, a new student transfers in. The biggest issue isn't students in the intermediate or upper grade levels leaving; it's that we aren't getting 50+ people applying for kindergarten as we did in years past. 

Q) What marketing efforts have you tried? Do you go to preschool fairs? Do you market to Microsoft employees? Have you thought of offering a tuition credit if a current family refers a new family who ends up enrolling?
A) Our marketing committee, under the direction of our development office and me, has marketed St. Louise more aggressively in the past 5 years than in the previous 25 years combined. Everything is being tried - from attendance at the Eastside Preschool Fair, to yard signs in neighborhoods and along thoroughfares advertising our Open Houses. We realize we need to continue to improve how we use social media, as although our Facebook presence has been good,  young parents aren't necessarily checking Facebook these days. So we started an Instagram page, and we hope you'll start mentioning @stlouiseschool and #stlouisebellevue in your posts. Soon we will be having an outside consultant lead us in a strategy session for promoting our school. Of course, what was true 25 years ago is true today - the best marketing for St. Louise School is word of mouth. We need our current school parents to talk up the school to their coworkers, neighbors, and friends. And yes, we offer a tuition credit if a current family refers a new family, so it indeed "pays" to spread the word about St. Louise! Cindy can give you more information on our referral program.

As I said, the survey results will be shared soon, so you can then see how many fellow parents are more worried about future class sizes and how many parents think future tuition rates are more critical. The survey results and all of your comments, questions, and ideas are being shared with our Finance Committee and Marketing Committee to help them formulate plans. 

In closing, I'd like to share this one parent's comments on his/her completed survey:

"Wouldn't it be great if our school families would pray for an increase in enrollment? I truly believe in the power of prayer and know that God wants his children fed with good education and the love of Jesus."

With that, how about we all contemplate  this from 1 Chronicles 28:20...

"Then David said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and of good courage, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.' "

...and we all can pray on this from Joshua 1:9, a favorite verse of mine which I have on display prominently in my office...

"Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Enjoy God's blessings today,                                         
Mr. Fitz
 
p.s.

Thanks to all of you who have registered to attend WE ARE ONE - our school's annual Auction! It's going to be a great evening of fun, food, drink, camaraderie, and fund raising! The deadline to get in your dinner reservations is tomorrow, Friday, If you have been procrastinating with your RSVP, you only have a few hours left! Please go HERE and sign up you and your spouse/date. We'd love to pack the Westin ballroom in 9 days! 

Upcoming Calendar of Events  

Today - NOON DISMISSAL FOR ALL
  • No afterschool Kids' Club or extracurricular clubs
  • Kindergarten concert at 8:40
  • Fun Dress Day - please follow the costume guidelines; students dressed as "Saints" should see Mr. Fitz for their giant-sized candy treat
  • Coming home in the red envelopes today are November Conference Confirmation Letters. Please verify you can conference with your child's teacher at the time he/she scheduled for you (based on your request in the parent survey), and return the bottom of the letter to the teacher.

Tomorrow

Saturday, November 2
  • 8th Grade Math Team to compete in Bishop Blanchet HS Math Tournament

Monday, November 4
  • By today, please make sure you return to the teacher the bottom of your November Conference Confirmation Letter, verifying you can conference with your child's teacher at the time he/she scheduled for you 

Tuesday, November 4 through Friday, November 8
  • Auction Preview Week in the school lobby
    • Come inside at the start or each school day - Tuesday through Friday
    • Or you can also come at the end of each day - Tuesday through Thursday
    • You'll be able to buy raffle tickets, sign-up for parties, and buy Black & White Photos of your kids with their friends
    • You can also come inside to get a sneak peek at the grade level art projects
    • And your kids can come with you to purchase raffle tickets for the KID raffles that are taking place this week - with the winners announced on Friday

Wednesday, November 6
  • Parent Prayer Group gathering from 8:15-8:45AM in the faith formation office near the school lobby; all parents encouraged to come pray for your intentions and the intention of God's continued protection on our children and teachers

Saturday, November 9
  • We Are One Auction at the Bellevue Westin
    • Doors open at 5PM (VIP ticket holders should arrive at 4:45)
    • Directions can be found here
    • Parking is free in the Lincoln Square parking garage; park on level P4 or P5 near the south elevators; take the elevator up to the hotel lobby
    • Need help deciding what to wear? Check this out!

Monday, November 11
  • Veterans' Day ceremony at flagpole outside front entrance of school, 8:30AM; parents invited as are any family members or friends who are or were in the military
  • Fun Dress Day - students allowed a non-uniform day as long as they are dressed in red, white, and blue clothing 

Wednesday, November 13
  • Photo retake day

Thursday, November 14
  • Bake Sale
  • School Commission meeting, 6:30PM in the faculty room

Saturday, November 16
  • Speech Team tournament here at St. Louise

Wednesday, November 20
  • Thanksgiving Baskets Collection Drive - thanks for your donations!

Save the Date:
Saturday, December 7 - St. Nicholas Breakfast and Christmas Bazaar
+ In the St. Louise Parish Hall
+ Breakfast Served from 8-11AM
+ Craft Vendor Sales from 8AM-12PM
+An event for the whole family, including grandparents and neighbors

SCHOOL CALENDAR
WE ARE ONE 
Auction News


In a little more than a week, We Are One will be here!  Here are the three most important things you need to know this week about W e Are One:
  1. Register HERE now so you can attend the big event! Be sure to tell us who you want to sit with in the Special Accommodations field! We want to see you there! We are a dozen couples away from filling the ballroom, so if you haven't yet registered to attend, you can be the one that hits our number!
  2. Volunteer for Set Up and Clean up on Auction Day! Click HERE to join our Item Display, Load In/Load Out, and Distribution teams!
  3. Parties & Sign Ups are taking names already! Don't miss out on the fun! Sign up HERE for one of the amazing parties, so you won't have to worry that you won't get a spot at the party of the year. Click HERE to see the list of awesome parties and events!
 
Finally, Preview Week takes place next week - from Tuesday morning through Friday morning and Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. You should plan on stopping in the school lobby either from 8:15-9:00 or 2:45-3:30 on these days. We'll be selling raffle tickets for kids' baskets, and doing early sign-ups of parties and Black & White photos.

Please take a look at today's Red Envelope for more information about the auction. 
 
Cannot wait to see you next week!
~Julianne Read
St. Louise Parent & Auction Director
   auction@stlouiseschool.org or 425-214-5441
School Photos Were Sent Home Yesterday

          If you bought a photo package from our school photographer, Yuen Lui, you should have received your child's individual photos yesterday.  (Class photos will be sent soon.)  If you are not satisfied with your child's print, or if your child was absent on the original Photo Day - October 3 - we have Photo RETAKE Day coming up on Wednesday, November 13. If you are retaking photos due to dissatisfaction, please return the complete photo package that day. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Wagner.
Rest in Peace

          We mourn the death of alumni  school parent Dick Hess, father of Heather Hess (Class of 2018) and husband of Sheila. Dick died last month of brain cancer. His funeral Mass will be at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Sammamish on Wednesday, November 20, at 5 p.m. More information on Dick and on where you can send condolences may be found here.

Eternal rest grant unto Dick, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
Here's Your Big Chance
 
          Charger Pride in Every Stride! While the Walk-a-Thon is still months and months away (May 1st), we're looking for the next Walk-a-Thon (WAT) chair or co-chairs! This is a great activity to partner up with a couple of pals, or like last year, husbands and wives can team together. You'll take the lead on the festivities of this key fundraiser while inheriting lots of great documentation on how to run the event, both leading up to and including the day of. So you don't need WAT experience. Last year's chairs are available and very willing to coach you and help make the event a smashing success!  The WAT is such an amazing event - full of Charger Pride and school spirit! Please contact Jen Sharp for more information.



Tuesday Is Calling

          We are looking for a parent volunteer to assist with Tuesday recess supervision from 11:50-1:00. You get to enjoy being outdoors, watching your child play with his/her classmates while making sure all the students stay safe. You'd be working with our two instructional assistant staff plus other parent volunteers. No experience is necessary, and moms with babies in strollers or toddlers are allowed to bring their lil' ones. Please contact  Lisa McKenna for more information. 
Do You Know a Veteran
or Active Military?

          Please note that on Monday, November 11, the entire school will be holding an outdoor ceremony at 8:30 AM in recognition of Veterans' Day. We will be praying, singing, saluting the flag, and thanking any military veterans or active military who were able to join us that morning. If you or a family member (or neighbor) is a veteran or active military, it would be great to show up outside our flag pole on Veterans' Day to join us and be recognized!

Please Join Your Children in Church Tomorrow Morning

          Tomorrow is All Saints Day, which is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Church. The classes will be going to 9AM Mass, and it would be wonderful if your kids saw you there, too! As always with our school Masses, we expect the students to be quiet and reverent in church, and you can help model that. 
          There's an added reason to model silence in church tomorrow. At the immediate conclusion of Mass, there will be the  exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, also known as Adoration. This is when Father will remove the sacred host from the tabernacle and place it in the Monstrance for adoration. "Monstrance" (which is Latin for "to expose"; one type of Monstrance is shown below) is the vessel used in the church to display the consecrated Eucharistic host. The  Monstrance  will be solemnly carried in a procession to the parish chapel across the parking lot, for parishioners to pray before throughout the rest of tomorrow. (Parents are welcome to pray at the chapel at any time.) During this procession out of the church, all of us who are at Mass will kneel in silence. Once the Monstrance has been carried out of church, we expect our students to leave church in silent respect, and we appreciate the adults modeling this same, reverent behavior.

          
For more information on Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, please look here
Looking for Leaders

         
        We're looking for a green thumb to take over chairing the Adopt-a-Garden program. Actually, you don't even need a green thumb! Just some enthusiasm around creating a nice looking environment on the school and parish grounds.You'll coordinate volunteers who want to "adopt" a section and tend to the plantings in that area. This is a great volunteer opportunity that can be done outside of work hours, such as evenings or on the weekend. Everything is already organized for Adopt-a-Garden, thanks to outgoing chair, Eric Lund. Eric will hand you the list of adopters and the map of the adopted plots of gardens on campus. Please contact Eric if you are interested.


            A rare opportunity has just come up - to take on the Room Parent Coordinator role, one of the most sought after volunteer chair positions at St. Louise! Harness your organizational and communication skills to lead the Room Parent volunteer group. It's an excellent way to get to know parents in various grades along with the teaching staff and administrators. The big plus about this role is that you can do most (if not all!) of the work on off-school hours! Score! Current coordinator, Nancy Tribolet, has everything all prepared for you, so no experience is necessary. Please contact Nancy if you are interested.

Go, Chargers, Go!

           Three of the St. Louise CYO soccer teams advanced to the playoffs this fall. The 6th grade girls', the 7th grade girls', and the 7th grade boys' teams all went to the postseason. Congratulations, Chargers! Of these three teams, it was only the 6th grade girls who won their first round game and advanced. They played their second round game last night in Seattle (and results weren't available at press time). If they won, then they play in the finals this Saturday at 10:00 at Kennedy Catholic High School.
          We want to thank the CYO soccer coordinators, Jenelle Bair and Mari Sullivan, and all the following for coaching St. Louise soccer teams this year: Mark Zappala;  Miguel Gil; Elliot Kirk; David VanNoy; Max Engel; Bob Currie; JC Fawcett; Genevieve Bekkerus; Peter Zevenbergen; John Jung; Marcelo DeBarros; Tyler Wilken; Modesto Estrada; Daniella Olsen; Tim Russell; Esther Magnotti; Jim Goett; Jon Sharp; Chris Read; Matt Aitken. 

Malia is one of our 6th grade playoff members.


Who Is Going to Win the Class Lunch Contest?
 
Just hours left to order Charger Cards online and help your student's class win free lunch and a donut dessert! The c urrent class standings as of Monday were:
  1. 2A leading in family participation with 64%
  2. 5A at 52%
  3. 5B at 48%
  4. 2B at 36%
Contest is close! Every order counts! F ind out in next week's bulletin which class won!  Here's a reminder of the contest details:
  • Contest ends 11:59pm, October 31st.
  • One online order counts toward the classes of all children in your family.
  • Any size order qualifies. (Place an order as small as one $5 Charger Card!)
  • Online PAYMENT is NOT required. Pay for your order by check or online (via Presto Pay). 
  • Winning class will be determined by the highest percentage of participating student families.
  • Please use the Online Registration Directions form to get started!


Auction Night Is Coming - Have You Bought Your Cards?

Rebates you can earn by purchasing Charger Cards that will come in handy when attending the Auction on November 9:

Gene Juarez - hair/makeup
$100 x 10% = $10 earned

Nordstrom - new clothes
$200 x 4% = $8 earned

Dominos - pizza for the kids staying home
$50 x 12%  = $6 earned

Starbucks - for the morning after
$25 x 7%  = $1.75 earned



Purchase Cards for the Groceries, Gas, and Decorations Needed for Thanksgiving
 
Give thanks for great rebates this fall. If you use Charger Cards when you go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and for your trip over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house, you'll hit your Charger Card fundraising goal.

QFC & Fred Meyer - Thanksgiving dinner & fall decorations ..... $300 x 5% = $15
Joanne's - Fall decorations ..... $50 x 6% = $3
Safeway - Thanksgiving dinner ..... $300 x 4% = $12
Shell (closest station to St. Louise) - Thanksgiving vacation driving ..... $100 x 2% = $2
 

The Charger Cards sale office in the central wing of the original school is open on school-Fridays from 8:15-9:00AM. 
Of course, you may always purchase 24/7 at  www.shopwithscrip.com  or myscripwallet.com .                          
 
Charger Cards...It's simple, it's thoughtful and it's truly the gift that
 keeps on giving! For more information on Charger Cards and online ordering, please visit www.stlouiseschool.org/chargercards or email chairpersons Marsha and Katherine at

4th-8th Graders Have One Week Left to Register for  Basketball 

          All registration/enrollment for St. Louise CYO Basketball is done online here, and registration  closes on November 8.  All gr ade 4-8 children who attend St. Louise School or whose parents are parishioners of St. Louise Parish can be a part of St. Louise CYO Basketball. Registration is open to children of all skill levels - from beginners to experienced - and every child on a St. Louise team will get guaranteed playing time in all the games.  If you have questions, please contact St. Louise Basketball Coordinator, Rodney Thomas
This Thanksgiving We Can All Perform a Corporal Work of Mercy - Feeding the Hungry
  
          On Wednesday, November 20, the entire school will be donating food items and other goods for our annual Thanksgiving Baskets service project. We will be partnering with the parish and the St. Vincent de Paul Society to create 20 bountiful, traditional Thanksgiving feasts to deliver to needy families in our community. Here's how your family can help.
          Your child will be discussing in his/her homeroom what he/she agrees to bring to school to add to the classroom basket. It could be food (e.g. flour, canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes), or it could be items (e.g. the basket itself - we carry these donations in new, plastic laundry baskets we gift to the families).  We suggest you then allow your child to select the designated item from your pantry or help you shop at the store. This assures your child will feel a connection to the service project.

          
          Please have your child bring the food or item to the classroom the morning of Wednesday the 20th. If you have any questions, please ask your homeroom teacher.
          If parents want to help even more, it takes many hands to sort your generous donations and create these bountiful baskets to hand out to the families. Volunteers are needed for assembling our offerings during the service project day on November 20. Please contact  Cindy Wagner if you can volunteer from 8:15-11:15 that day.

Parents Need All the Support They Can Get
          
          What is conscience? How can I help my children form true Christian consciences? How can I help my children make the best decisions when they faced with a new or unfamiliar situations? How can I explain the difference between following conscience and doing what "feels good at the moment" or what gets me "off the hook"?
          Sister Carolyn Roeber will be at St. Louise to meet with parents and address these and other important practical issues that arise in the formation of your children as citizens of this world and the next.  Sister's deep expertise and practical wisdom are sure to give you skills and support to address this critical dimension of your children's formation for Faith & Life. The event, sponsored by the parish's Adult Faith Formation Committee, begins at 6PM on November 16 in the Parish Hall.



S AINT OF THE W EEK
please read this with your kids
 
 

Thank you for patronizing the following businesses and thanking these families who, through their generous sponsorship, help underwrite the costs of St. Louise School's Auction, Walk-A-Thon, and other events...


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