ST. LOUISE SCHOOL PARENT BULLETIN
Our new 5th grade teacher, Joellyn Jaster, is from Southern California - just moving here this past August. She asked me when we were going to get out of these bad weather weeks of grey skies during the day, frequent cold rain, and darkness arriving before the commute home. I told her, "July 5." Seriously, as a native of Bellevue, I'm used to the grey and the rain. What I dread - as a private school principal - is the freezing and the snow. My hair did not turn grey due to worries every year about tuition revenue and enrollment worries; it turned grey due to worries of making the "right call" of closing school or starting the day late due to snow.
Although I use the Bellevue, Lake Washington, and Issaquah School District's inclement weather announcements of "late start" or "school closed" as a guide for what St. Louise will do, we get to make our own distinctive decision as to if St. Louise will start two hours late on a snowy morning or close entirely. Since we don't have busses like the public schools, and instead have parents driving in from all over (from North Bend to Woodinville), we have a unique situation and so get to make our own unique decision.
If ice/snow will make it difficult for most to drive to St. Louise, I try my best by no later than 6:30 a.m. to announce our decision of either a late start or a cancellation of the entire school day. Please note that this decision is NOT announced on TV stations or the radio, as are the government-run schools and many other private schools. Instead, I text and email you parents directly.
**TOMORROW, FRIDAY, I WILL BE TEST-TEXTING ALL SCHOOL FAMILIES IN THE MORNING. THIS IS A TEST TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE YOUR CORRECT NUMBER IN OUR EMERGENCY TEXTING SYSTEM. IF YOU DO NO RECEIVE A TEST-TEXT BY 8AM TOMORROW, PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH YOUR NAME & CELL #.**
(Note that texts sent from our texting system come from an unrecognizable, random number. When space allows, I sign my name to the text. The system we use is similar to Twitter in that we have limited character space.)
Remember, once the winter season hits, we won't be announcing via texting whenever we are on a regular schedule; we only announce when there are changes to the schedule. So, even though you may hear other schools are closing or late-start, if you don't hear anything from St. Louise, then you are to assume we are on a regular schedule. Typically, if you don't hear anything by 6:30 a.m., chances are good we are on a regular schedule. (The exception would be if the snow doesn't start accumulating until after 6:30, in which case we could announce closer to 8:00.)
Also, please remember that just because we may be on a regular schedule at St. Louise, or in session but with a delayed start, that doesn't mean 100% of you must show up for school. We know that some of you live in geographical areas that are at a much higher elevation than where the school is situated on Main Street in Bellevue. And some of you live in the Puget Sound convergent zone where strange weather emerges. So we will understand if you decide it's too difficult to get on the road, let alone out of your driveway, on some mornings, even though Main Street may be bone dry and St. Louise is on regular schedule.
Finally, I suggest you read these Winter Weather Preparedness Tips that will help you prepare your family for the bad winter-weather we'll most likely have here in the Puget Sound. One of the things this website does is make sure you have a plan for your family in the event of an emergency, be it a snowstorm or an earthquake. It's not always the case that the snowfall will begin at 10 p.m. so that by 6:30 a.m. it will be obvious that school will be closed. The snow could start falling at 10 a.m., and by noon the roads would be impassable. Here are just a few things to think about:
- Does our school office have all of your updated contact information, such as a new cell phone number or email address?
- Does the Emergency Information Form we have on file for your child (that you fill out each year when registering your child for school) list the carpool drivers and other people who have permission to pick up your child from school and take them?
- Do you have an out-of-state contact phone number in the event of an earthquake when local lines might be down? And does your child has this number programmed on his/her cell phone?
I'm one who thinks that the more you're prepared for emergencies, the less likely one will happen. It's kind of like when I was in school. The more I studied for a test, the more likely the teacher would either postpone the test or it would be a simple multiple choice one. If I ever took a chance and didn't study, that's when the teacher threw a massive exam at us.
Please refer to the Emergency Notifications & Inclement Weather handout I'm sending home in today's red Family Envelope. On the backside are directions for using our emergency texting system - BrightArrow.com. Let me know if you have any questions. And please, do indeed pray for snow to fall...but only during Christmas vacation.
Pax et bonum,
Two special events take place this weekend - The Saint Nicholas Breakfast & Bazaar is this Saturday, and Advent begins this Sunday. See your red Family Envelope for information on the Saint Nick Breakfast, and please make plans for your family to attend, with breakfast being served from 8-11, and crafts being sold from 8-1.
As for Advent, please refer to the handout in today's red Family Envelope which lists the various parish and school events taking place throughout December. For a quick guide for parents on how to make Advent more meaningful in your home this season, I think THIS is a great resource. And please plan on attending next Wednesday's all-school Mass, where your children's classroom Advent wreaths will be blessed.
Upcoming Calendar of Events
- Mr. Fitz will be sending out a TEST text to families by 8AM to test the school's emergency texting system; please email him with your name and cell phone # if you do not receive his text.
The 5A and 5B classes each sponsor a child from the NPH orphanage program as part of their class service. To help raise extra money to send to the 5th graders' sponsored children for Christmas, the 5th graders will be selling ice cream sandwiches today. The treats are $1 and will be sold to all classes during lunch. Thank you for considering sending a $1 bill (or 4 quarters) with your child for a Friday ice cream dessert that will help support the 5th graders' NPH pequeños!
Saturday, December 1
- Saint Nicholas Breakfast and Christmas Bazaar: pancake breakfast in the parish hall from 8AM-11AM; arts and crafts vendors in the parish hall from 8AM-1PM; please sign-up HERE to volunteer for Friday set-up or Saturday help.
Sunday, December 2
- Advent begins! See the handout in today's red Family Envelope for a list of Advent liturgies and activities for your family to attend.
Tuesday, December 4
- Admissions Season kicks into full-swing with today's "Tuesday Tours," where prospective new school parents may visit the school for a tour, a meeting with Mr. Fitz, and a chance to sit in on a teacher's lesson; please spread the word to friends/neighbors/co-workers to call the school to set-up their own Tuesday Tour (425-746-4220). Remember, if a new family enrolls and lists you as their referring-family, you get a month's free tuition!
Wednesday, December 5
- All-School Mass during the Advent Season, 9AM
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, December 19
- Christmas Concert featuring the singing of our 5th & 6th graders, 6:30PM in the church; all school families are invited (5th and 6th graders are to report to their homerooms at 6:00).
If You Are a St. Louise Parishioner, This Notice Is for You
Every year at this time, St. Louise Parish asks all parishioners to please commit initially to or recommit themselves to the financial support of St. Louise Parish by returning their completed Stewardship of Treasure Commitment Card. This commitment/recommitment may be done through the mail or collection basket by using a hard copy form (found in the church or at the parish office) or it may be done online at www.stlouise.org/treasure. If you have any questions about stewardship, please contact Jonathan Taasan, parish administrator.
This URL QR-code will take you to the parish's Stewardship of Treasure page, where you may complete your Stewardship Commitment Card
Please remember that if you are a school parent paying the in-parish tuition rate, this assumes you annually complete this Stewardship Commitment Card and, to the best of your ability, you fulfill this pledge throughout the calendar year. If a school family fails to tithe in this way, they can no longer receive the reduced in-parish rate, so please make sure you get this process completed before 2019 arrives. Thank you in advance for your financial support of St. Louise Parish!
Class Photos Have Finally Arrived
Class photos are coming home today (via your children) to those parents who purchased them from Yuen Lui. If you have any questions about school photos, please contact Cindy Wagner.
Pack Away Those Shorts
A reminder that now that the 2nd trimester began this week, shorts are no longer able to be worn. That includes on a free dress day. Shorts may resume being worn when the 3rd trimester begins in March.
Saint Nick ArrivesThis Saturday!
St. Louise Parish School is hosting our annual St. Nicholas Breakfast and Christmas Bazaar this Saturday, December 1st, and rumor has it that Saint Nicholas himself will be in the parish hall from about 9-11 to talk to all children!
This annual event is a wonderful Advent/Pre-Christmas experience, so please plan on stopping by for a delicious breakfast (served between 8:00 and 11:00) and to do someChristmas shopping with all the crafters (between 8:00 and 1:00pm).
If you would like to earn volunteer hours by helping with set-up tomorrow or serving, cooking, greeting, and/or cleaning on Saturday, please sign-up
. There is much work that needs to be done both tomorrow/Friday and Saturday, and we'd love to have as many volunteers as possible or either or both days!
Thanks to Miss Helfen's 1st grade class (pictured here) - and the other 18 homerooms - for providing food and fixings to fill the cupboards of 25 families in our Bellevue community who needed assistance for Thanksgiving meals.
The St. Louise community will certainly be blessed by this showing of generosity!
Hello, St. Louise Families!
I've been trying to find the right words and phrases and ways to extend to you how grateful we are for the generous support you have provided in the past year for It's A Wonderful Life, our
school's annual auction, and I just cannot come up with anything that expresses how thankful I am for you.
I could say "thank you" a million times over and it still wouldn't feel like enough. But please know that your volunteer time, creativity, planning, coordination of effort, donations and
matching, and your kind words are more than appreciated. They are why the event was such a wonderful success!
Things will be winding down in the auction office beginning next week, and my hours will drop back, but please know that if you have any questions regarding this year's auction, or next year's,
please be sure to reach out and ask!
Things to Watch for:
- Today, via email, you will receive your auction receipt. If you have any questions regarding your receipt, please let me know!
- If your company has a matching program, please submit this receipt for matching and note "St. Louise Auction" in the form. Not sure if your company has a matching program? Just ask!
- Today's Red Family Envelope contains Thank Yous - you will find a comprehensive list of all the people who made this year's event happen - our dedicated volunteers, our incredible School Sponsors, and all families who supported the auction financially with donations, and auction purchases. We thank our entire community for the generosity and support!
- I'm emailing you a Free Dress List - for families who signed up and paid for 5 Days of Free Dress! Please be sure your name is on this list as this will be handed to teachers. Forgot to sign up? No worries, click this link and sign up no later than Monday so we can include your family name on the list - $75 per family for all the kids getting free dress.
Please note: the 5 Days of Free Dress for students in grades 4-6 is for Monday, December 10, through Thursday, December 13, and then again on Monday, December 17. This is because grade 4-6 students have a special fieldtrip on Friday the 14th and must wear a complete uniform that day. All other grade level students whose parents purchased 5 Days of Free Dress will have their days from December 10 through 14.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Advent Begins this Sunday
Making a New Year's resolution on January 1 - often to improve one's physical self such as in starting a new diet - is typical of many people. What is typical of many Catholics is to get a 30-day head start - so to speak - by working at improving one's spiritual self during Advent. The Advent season begins the Church's calendar, as opposed to the secular calendar, and the resolution one makes for the New "Church" Year is to examine our spiritual lives in preparing the way for the Lord during Advent.
Catholics focus during the Lenten Season on penance (prayer/fasting/almsgiving/confession), but not many realize Advent is also a Penitential Season. The purple vestments worn by priests during Advent are the same that they wear throughout Lent. The season of Advent allows us to recall that the Incarnation, which is the coming of God to be one of us and live among us, brings us joy because we are sinners and we need a savior. It is therefore fitting that we would take up practices like prayer, fasting, and confession in December to remind ourselves that the Incarnation is the starting point of our Salvation. We prepare for the birth of Jesus because that is the moment that God enters humanity so that He might eventually be nailed to a cross for us. And at the same time this Advent season, we prepare for his second coming - when he will "come again to judge the living and the dead."
To help us prepare in this 30-day head start on New Year's resolutions, St. Louise Parish has many liturgies and events in which you and your family may participate. Please take a look at the parish Advent handout in today's Family Envelope. Make a resolution to choose at least a few of these to attend.
You'll notice on the handout multiple opportunities for you and your family to attend a Reconciliation Service at St. Louise, as well as to attend Eucharistic Adoration. Please note that our grade 2-8 students take time during school in December (and a second or third time later this winter and/or spring) in Eucharistic Adoration with their classmates and teachers. We don't have room for school parents to join their children in the small parish chapel at these school-day Adoration times, so we ask school parents to instead attend the evening Adoration times as a family, as listed on the handout.
Charger Cards Available in the Perfect Denominations
Charger Cards have in stock a wide variety of brands with low denomination cards - perfect for Christmas giving to your employees, your kids' teachers and coaches, your babysitter, etc. Here are a few:
- Starbucks: $5, $10, $25
- Taco Time: $10
- Panera Bread: $5, $10, $25
- Cold Stone Creamery: $5, $10
- Target: $10, $25
- Walmart: $10
- QFC/Fred Meyer: $15, $20, $25
- Amazon: $10, $25
As you're planning your Christmas gift list for school teachers and staff, and you want to know what your child's teachers prefer in gift cards, see this
Faculty Wish List
. Thanks in advance to families who generously gift the St. Louise faculty and purchase Charger Cards to do so! The teachers and staff so appreciate these practical gifts!
(With literally 14 Christmas ties hanging in his closet, Mr. Fitz says he doesn't need another tie please!)
Plus, when you use Charger Cards as gifts, you are helping raise funds for your kids' school at the same time!
We now carry Cost Plus World Market cards of $25 and $100 denominations at 7% Rebate.
Place your order online, drop off your order in the School Office, or stop by the window on Friday morning.
More big news - Starbucks cards are available at a bonus rebate rate of 8.75%! Starbucks cards will help you meet your family minimum rebate and support our school even more quickly than their usual 7% rebate. This is a great time to stock up on cards for gifts or for you. We have $5, $10, $25 and $50 cards. This bonus rebate also applies to ScripNow and reloads orders on your Starbucks cards purchased through
. Get your bonus today!
Christmas Is Coming!
Would you like to support St. Louise School and make some great progress on your family rebate accumulation? You can do so with your usual spending this Christmas season.
Charger Cards have stocked up on family-favorite retailers you are sure to be shopping with. Why not buy your gifts with Charger Cards and provide a gift to St. Louise School with every gift you give?
Whether you are Christmas shopping or attending holiday festivities, plan a family evening to include dinner downtown. We have stocked up on some special cards that will help you to dine out for a good cause:
* Dominos (11%)
* Red Robin (20 %)
* PF Chang (8%)
* California Pizza Kitchen (8%)
* El Gaucho (11%)
* Wild Ginger (20%)
* Daniel's Broiler (20%)
* John Howie Steak (20%)
* Purple Café (20%)
* Tipsy Cow (20%)
* Tutta Bella (20%)
Additional Sales Day
Charger Cards will be selling cards in the parish hall during the St Nicholas Breakfast this Saturday from 8:30am - 12pm.
Be Looking for Your Letter
In today's Red Envelope, Charger Cards will be sending home
for Family Rebates earned for the current year. This report is for the period of July 1, 2018 through November 18, 2018. If you have questions after receiving your report, please email Marsha at
Charger Cards...It's simple, it's thoughtful and it's truly the gift that keeps on giving! Of course, you may always purchase 24/7 at www.shopwithscrip.com or myscripwallet.com for ScripNow, Reload, or Reload Now cards.
For more information on Charger Cards and online ordering, please visit www.stlouiseschool.org/chargercards or email chairperson Marsha at firstname.lastname@example.org
Future scientists Vivian, Ashy, and Malia experiment with mixtures.
Take Advantage of Childcare While Mom & Dad Have a Night Out
Do you have a Christmas party to attend or still have Christmas shopping to do? Let your kids play at St. Louise while you go out! Your children will be supervised by parish adult volunteers and the St. Louise Youth Ministry Trekkers who are raising money for their service immersion trip to Tijuana, Mexico next summer.
- When: Saturday, December 15th from 6pm - 9:30pm
- Ages: 4 to 11 years old
- Location: St. Louise Parish Lavelle Center - gym & upstairs Lavelle
- Activities: Pizza dinner, gym time, board games, Christmas crafts, and age-appropriate Christmas movie\
- Cost: Suggested donation of $50 per child
Your online registration form, completed permission slip, and a payment must all be submitted to be considered fully registered. You may pay online through the online registration form, or by check delivered to the Parish Office c/o Annarose Jowenson (payable to St. Louise Parish, memo: Parents' Night Out).
Registration is due by Friday, December 7. If you have questions, please contact Colleen Lowell at email@example.com or 425-644-2297.
This Advent, Join a Women's Bible Study Group
Ladies, please join us for a new Bible study series at St. Louise Parish. Our first focus will be on excerpts from the Gospel of John using a Bible study program published by
titled, "Turning Point." This program includes workbooks for participants and brief lectures on DVD. There is some recommended "homework" to do between sessions, but the workload is light, and we are confident that any level of involvement will be rewarding.
We will be meeting the first and third Thursdays of the month,
from 8:30-10:00 am
, in the Central Wing of the original school - room CW-B. A second group will be meeting in parallel, also on the first and third Thursdays of the month,
, also in CW-B. You are welcome to join either of these groups, or to attend sessions of the one that best fits your schedule on a particular week/day.
If you have any questions, please contact Ingrid Flaat at 425-443-9151.
Speech Team Starts Competitions
Our St. Louise Speech Team, comprised of the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders pictured here, participated in its first tournament of the season on November 17, here at St. Louise.
This year we were joined in our tournament by twelve students from the Bellevue Middle School Speech and Debate Team. The St. Louise Speech Tournament served as a "warm up" for the three other tournaments our students will compete in this year at Bishop Blanchet, Seattle Prep, and Archbishop Murphy High Schools.
Thirty-seven of our 6th through 8th graders competed in eight different events in front of parent and alumni judges. A big thank you is due to
Anais Fawcett for all her hard work coordinating this tournament! We appreciate
Mari Sullivan providing the Starbucks coffee and
Trina Legnon for her administrative assistance with speech team this year. Thanks also to the following people who helped judge at the St. Louise Speech Tournament:
Molly Akers, Raquel Almeida, Frank Buysse, Alessandro Catorcini, Kristy Charles, Susie Goett, Rochelle Lagunero, Melody Litovkin, Shannon Wallis, Ichsan Zwart, and alumni students
Teresa Akers, Daniela Castillo, Anjah Fawcett, Katie Goett, Elsa Kammereck, Natalie Nowak, Alice Vimal,
Our next tournament is next Saturday, December 8, at Bishop Blanchet High School.
Prayer Inspiration for the Week
"The hardest day to pray is the day after the day you forgot to pray."
Father Mike Schmitz
PARENTS in PRAYER
All parents are welcome every Wednesday-schoolday at 8:15 a.m. to pray with fellow school parents in a small-group setting. Please check in at the school office.
See what's happening on our St. Louise Facebook page