March 7, 2019
Dan's Blog
Our grade 3-8 students will all be going to Confession this Lenten season during school hours. Father Gary, Father Fabian, and a few priests from neighboring parishes will be here on March 20 (for grades 3-5) and April 3 (for grades 6-8) to hear our students' individual confessions. (Non-Catholic students will simply speak privately to a priest but won't be "confessing" - also referred to as "receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.")  

These school-time Reconciliation events won't have time for you parents to also have your confessions heard, as it takes a long time for the priests to hear over 100 students' confessions each day. But you're invited every Saturday to St. Louise or to any other Catholic parish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Check out the exact time on each parish's website. (At St. Louise, Confession-times are Saturdays from 3:00-4:30.) 

In his book Rediscovering Catholicism, Matthew Kelly describes Confession as not just a way to come clean, but also a way to get stronger and to increase our desire for holiness. It's an opportunity for you and God to work together to "form a better version of yourself." Kelly goes on to say:

"If you want to spend the rest of your life arguing for your weaknesses, so be it. If you want to keep losing your temper and telling yourself, 'It's my character,' go ahead. If you want to have someone try to explain away or justify the sins of your life, go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. But if you want peace in your heart, I want to personally invite you to come to Confession. There is not treasure in life like a clear conscience. If you want the joy of a clear conscience, come to Confession."

You shouldn't think of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as confessing embarrassing secrets to a priest. You should think of Confession as sincerely and humbly bringing your darkness into the light as you confess your sins to your Almighty Father. There is no better time than the Lenten season to receive this Sacrament, and if you haven't been to Confession this year - or haven't been in 10, 15, or 20 years - I would like to strongly encourage you to go between now and Holy Week!

It definitely feels refreshing and freeing to walk out of the Confessional room after the priest has absolved you of your sins. Compare it to walking out of the barber shop or hair salon after the barber/stylist washed, cut, and styled your hair. You feel great and with that perfect look, don't want to mess up your 'do.' But eventually your hair does gets dirty, the perfectly styled hair gets messy, and you have to make another trip to the shop/salon.
That is what happens with Confession. You feel great afterward, but eventually your human nature causes you to sin again, and it's time to return for another trip to the Confessional room.

Perhaps you return monthly, perhaps you return quarterly. The Catholic Church Precepts say that you should receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least annually. (Pope John Paul II used to confess daily. Then again, he's now a Saint.) The point is, since a clear conscience, a strengthened faith, and a holier persona than you had prior to Confession are the results of humbly confessing your sins to God, why would you not want to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation more than once a year?!

This brief video is a great way to explain Confession/Reconciliation to kids (but we adults can learn from it, too).   You might also want to read this great article.  

Let me leave you with this thought, as I attempt one final time to get our Catholic parents to consider going to Reconciliation if you haven't done so for many years. You aren't merely having your sins forgiven when you step into the Confessional room. You're also receiving grace to avoid sin in the future. Confessing your sins helps transform you to be like Christ; it moves you in the direction of holiness. Oh! And did you realize it's free!? The only price you pay is displaying humility to admit your mistakes. Yet, the benefit is priceless.

Pax et bonum,                                         
Mr. Fitz

There is no school next Thursday and Friday, March 14 and 15. The school office is closed, and there are no Kids' Club or other extra-curricular programs on these two days either.

On March 14, the teachers will be working on tabulating 2nd trimester grades and writing comments, as they prepare report cards. Report cards are sent home at the end of the month.

Then on March 15, the teachers and staff will gather offsite for our annual faith retreat. A senior priest in our Archdiocese, Father Tim Sauer, will lead the faculty in a reflection on the Corporal Works of Mercy and Precepts of the Catholic Church. We welcome your prayers next Friday for your children's teachers and school support staff - that they be filled with inspiration and renewed grace on this special retreat day.

Upcoming Calendar of Events  

  • The snowed-out Winter Concert - performed by 3rd graders, 4th graders, and the school band - has been rescheduled to this date; 1:30 dress rehearsal with grades PK-6 attending; 6:30PM evening performance with parents and families invited to the parish hall; 3rd and 4th graders are to arrive in their homerooms between 6:00-6:15; band members are to report to the parish hall at 6:00.

  • The 2nd trimester ends today; Skyward will be closed for viewing of 2nd trimester grades starting today and continuing for three weeks, as teachers begin inputting report card marks; report cards will be sent home on March 29.

Saturday, March 9
  • 2019 Auction Launch-Party at 6PM in the school lobby; all school parents invited to attend for drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and the unveiling of the 2019 Auction theme; contact Julianne Read for more information or RSVP here; if you signed up for childcare last week (all spots are now full), please drop off your child at the Lavelle Center at 6:00

Wednesday, March 13
  • Early edition of this weekly Parent Bulletin is emailed to you today.
  • Because there is no school on Friday the 15th, the Charger Cards sales window will be open for a special sales morning today, Wednesday, from 8:15-9:00.
  • School Commission and Parents' Club meetings are tonight at 6:30 in the faculty room and office conference room.

Thursday & Friday, March 14 & 15
  • NO SCHOOL; Kids' Club closed; teacher workday on Thursday to prepare 2nd trimester report cards; faculty theology retreat on Friday

Tuesday, March 19
  • Vision and Hearing Screenings of grade K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 (these are the grade levels required by the State for screening) conducted by Jane Reynolds, RN, and volunteer parents; Jane will report results by the end of the month, but only to those parents whose children failed either screening

Save the Dates: 
  • Wednesday & Thursday, April 3 & 4 - School musical, Dear Edwina Jr., performs in parish hall at 6:30 for two nights only; tickets on sale starting today - see the red envelope
  • Thursday, May 16 - Donor Appreciation Event; contact Cindy Wagner to find out how to receive an invitation to this special night
Auction Launch Party Is This Saturday Night

Parents recently received an email from auction director Julianne Read, inviting you to a free party. Our  Auction Launch Party is coming up this Saturday - on March 9, 6PM. There is no cost to attend! And look at all that attendees receive!...
  • You'll enjoy time with your fellow St. Louise parents over complimentary wine, beer, and appetizers;
  • You'll be the first to know our 2019 auction theme and our NEW event location;
  • You have a one-time opportunity to purchase your Auction dinner tickets in advance (the 2019 Auction is on November 9) and by doing so, receive a 15% discount;
  • There are already 2019-20 Parties for which to sign-up to attend, and the Launch Party is the first chance to reserve your spot at one...or at two;
  • Receive a hotel discount at our NEW location for your Auction stay when you receive a one-time reservation code the evening of the 9th; 
  • A fantastic getaway will be raffled off, only offered during the Launch Party!
  • DJ Sean will be on-site spinning some auction-themed tunes!

By the way, this is an adults-only event on Saturday, so thanks for finding childcare. (Limited childcare spaces were available for those who RSVP'ed early. Those spaces are now filled up. If you were able to reserve a space last week and are on the childcare list, please drop off your child at the Lavelle Center/Kids' Club location at 6:00.)

RSVP here to attend the Launch Party!

We look forward to seeing you in our school lobby for our Launch Party this Saturday, and to watch the unveiling of our 2019 Auction theme and NEW location!

Volunteers Needed to Assist with Vision/Hearing Screenings
          Our school nurse Jane Reynolds is looking for 12 volunteers to help with vision and hearing screenings of students on Tuesday, March 19, from 9-3.  This is a great opportunity for 6 volunteer hours, and no experience is needed.  Please contact  Jane Reynolds  if you are available on March 19. 
Thanks for Your Donations and Participation in our Ash Wednesday Rice & Beans Lunch
         Lent began yesterday at St. Louise School with the three pillars of the season experienced by the students and staff:
  • Prayer - through the Ash Wednesday Liturgy and receiving of ashes;
  • Fasting - through the sacrifice of not eating a usual, filling lunch, but instead having a simple meal of a scoop of rice and a scoop of beans;
  • Almsgiving - through the generous donations from students and their parents to pay for the lunch and then to have the proceeds (over $1,500) be donated to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission.

          We are grateful to Chinh Vu and Kristy Nguyen, owners of Papaya Vietnamese Cuisine in Crossroads Mall and Papaya Vietnamese Cafe at Renton Landing, for preparing and donating all the rice to feed 400 people yesterday! Along with the help of our 7th graders and some parents preparing the beans and serving the rice & bean meal in bowls, the entire student body and school staff had a simple meal that made up their day of fasting. 

        Glenn Olson from the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) spoke to all our K-8 students last week to help them connect the feeling of hungriness they would experience for a few hours on Ash Wednesday with what some people experience 365 days a year. The UGM reaches out to these people - the homeless, the drug addicted, the downtrodden - offering them something to eat, a place to sleep, and/or a person to talk to. The UGM also provides yearlong recovery programs as well as evangelization to those they meet on the streets who are ready to take a step to get their lives in order. 
          For more information on how your family could do even more for the Union Gospel Mission this Lent above and beyond yesterday's $5 donation, please refer to the flyer coming home in today's red family envelope and also look  here

Tickets On Sale Starting Today for School Musical
          The annual school musical this year is Dear Edwina Jr., and tickets go on sale today to all St. Louise families and friends.  Our school's upper-grade and intermediate-grade students comprise the cast and crew of Dear Edwina Jr., which is being directed and produced by our music teacher, Terry LaRussa-Banton (aka "Mrs. LB").
          This year, we are excited to be bringing the school musical back to campus, after years renting out high school theaters. The play will be performed in our parish hall on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4. Both nights' performances begin at 6:30. 
          Tickets must be purchased in advance, as no tickets are sold at the door, and already pre-sale tickets to the cast's and crew's families have sold out the premi um seats in the "opera" section! If you would like to buy tickets for you and your children to come enjoy a fun night of theater, please look for the flyer in today's red family envelope. You'll note two remaining ticket prices:
  • seats farther back in the parish hall in the "mezzanine" section are $10;
  • floor space upfront (but with no chair to sit on) are $5 each and are suitable only for children age 5-12 who can sit responsibly and quietly by themselves on the floor for an hour.
If you have questions about Dear Edwina Jr. performances, please contact Mrs. LB
Keep the Prayers Coming

          Our librarian Cherie McIntosh continues to recover at home after her recent cancer surgery - her third! - and she hopes to return to St. Louise in mid-April. Please continue to keep her in your prayers! She has access to her email (, so you can always send her messages of love and support.
          Please note that with Mrs. McIntosh's absence for much of this school year, along with her somewhat weakened state, the annual library Book Fair will not be held this year. The Book Fair will return in the 2019-20 school year.
Expect an Email Tomorrow  
With the end of the 2nd trimester tomorrow, we will be emailing most school families one of three letters:

1. A letter thanking you for fulfilling your 40 hour minimum commitment to volunteering at St. Louise.
2. A letter confirming the total volunteer hours you have logged in so far, and reminding you to please reach at least 40 by June.
3. A letter notifying you that we  have no record of any volunteer hours logged in for this school year, and reminding you to please reach at least 40 by June.

Parents who already volunteered 40 hours by November, the end of the 1st trimester, will not be receiving letters tomorrow. If you believe there is a mistake in the amount of volunteer hours our records show you have, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Jen Sharp. For information on our volunteering policy and instructions for logging in your volunteer hours, please see our volunteer page.

It's Time for March Madness

During March, if you use your credit or debit card for purchases, there is no 'fee' for transactions in excess of $100.
How you can cash in using your credit card?
How much of your usual purchases can be funneled through Charger Cards first!
Are you paying for everything this month with Charger Cards? If your family typically uses credit cards to pay for purchases, this month is your opportunity to buy your Charger Cards first and pay with your credit card for a "fee free" purchase! Get your frequent flier miles and support St. Louise!

Buy Charger Cards for Your Business and Pay by Company Credit Card
If your company uses gift cards, buy them from St. Louise! Several families purchase gift cards from the Charger Card program for their company. This month, pay by credit card and there are no extra credit card fees!  Contact the Charger Card office if you need a large quantity of gift cards for a promotion or employee program .

Purchase Cards in Person This Wednesday
Because there is no school next Friday the 15th, the Charger Cards sales window will be open next week at a special day - on Wednesday, March 13 - from 8:15-9:00.

20% Rebate Cards Are Here
Do you need to catch up on rebates? Are you working
 towards tuition credit for next year? Charger Cards has a number of cards available at 20% rebate! These cards are limited while supplies last so get yours
  • El Gaucho
  • John Howie Steak
  • Palomino
  • Purple
  • Red Robin
  • Wild Ginger
  • Regis Hair Salons (Hair Masters)
  • Tutta Bella
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  or  for ScripNow, Reload, or Reload Now cards.                          
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 or email chairperson Marsha at

Thank You, Volunteers!

The special afternoon sales event we had last Friday for Used Uniforms, Charger Gear, and Charger Cards were run by these great volunteers: Grace & Dan Kirchner, Marsha Zope-Rampersad, Joy Tran, Anneliese Kertson, Kristina Yumul-Abueg,   Fabiola Ward, Veronique Tano, Victor Phan, Rachael Wong, 

Sandra D'Costa.


Julianne Read appreciated the help of Marinell & Peter Zevenbergen, Moni Mora, Kathy Vanichkorn, and Angie Ogilvy at last Friday's Kidd Valley (auction-purchased) Lunch. 

Thanks to the co-chairs of the fun Father/Daughter Dance last Saturday -  Silvia Macias, Rebecca Ort, Priscilla Portocarrero - and to their volunteer crew -  Amy Lau, Pinky Gutierrez, Sheldon Sequeira, Marian Zappala, Elaine & Brian Nartates, Gabriela Gonzalez, Elizabeth Armenta, Jorge Soto, José Castillo, Sergio Victorio.

The parish hall was full of a hundred Super Heroes at last Saturday's Father/Daughter Dance...

Registration Has Begun for St. Louise Summer Camps
          St. Louise School is happy to offer four week-long summer camps in July and August! While we are committed to having FUN, these camps were built on St. Louise's strong foundation.  Whether you sign up for 1, 2,3 or all 4 weeks, campers will get wet, be challenged with outdoor skills, create, and explore. Our schedule is flexible and offers security, independence, and stimulation. Camp sessions are held right here on campus in the Lavelle Center and gym.
            Week-long camps will take place Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 3:30pm. Each week offers exciting topics: 7/29-8/2 Sports Extravaganza; 8/5-8/9 Mad Scientist; 8/12-8/16 Quest; and 8/19-8/23 Splashtastic Adventures of a Theater star. Celebrate the sunny weather and experience a wonderful life at St. Louise!
            Camps are for students entering Grades K-5 from any school in the Fall of 2019. Spots are limited.  Register now and forward this email to any friends who may be interested!
For more information, visit us at or contact camp director, Maria Zambrano at
St. Louise Students Are Life-Long Learners
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 February, we have had this Student Learning Expectation focused on throughout the school:
"A St. Louise student is a life-long learner who demonstrates a solid academic foundation while using problem solving techniques, technology, critical thinking, and study skills."  (SLE #2.1).

Below are highlights from some of the classrooms on how they have been working during February - and/or all yearlong - on achieving this SLE.
All K-8 students used technology recently during our "online-learning snow days" to continue their academics while at home. Although not without its limitations and certain issues that arise, for the most part these days proved that teachers can use technology with their students at times for a type of virtual learning. Once at school during regular school days, students in K-8 use technology from as simple as primary grade computer classes to the older grades where they research online, type up papers, and communicate with classmates and teachers on group projects using Microsoft Teams.This form of technology for collaborating and preparing projects/products is something students as recently as two years ago never were introduced to. Now our junior high students are becoming masters at using this to help them build their solid academic foundations. Computers and Microsoft Teams is used for group-led prayers in religion, group presentations in social studies and literature, and partner projects in science.
In Miss Casey's 2nd grade class, students applied problem-solving techniques to situations outside of the classroom. They discussed as a class both good and poor solutions to various problems, and then each student wrote about a good solution to a common recess problem, as shown above.

In 7th grade, students are currently engaged in a research paper that requires students to deeply understand and demonstrate their understanding of their chosen topic through informative writing. This assignment demanded of students to read challenging texts, take detailed and thorough notes, and categorize and organize those notes so that they can answer a deep, historical essential question regarding their topic's role in the growth and development of the United States in the 19th Century. Students used the internet and library databases to locate relevant books as well as reliable and credible online resources using a rigorous filtering process. Students will eventually use their research papers as the foundation for a test that they create as a class (with the help of Mr. Weiss) on the growth and development of the United States. Their papers will also inspire a work of art in the form of a mural reflecting the significance of people or places in US history.
Our 8th graders in literature/language arts class researched Shakespearean monologues and soliloquies online, and then used that research to select one for personal presentation. The students also participated with Mr. Gallant in "Socratic seminars" surrounding Shakespeare and Taming of the Shrew, as they highlighted some of the key societal themes of the play. This required critical thinking and collaborative support from peers, while select students also played the roles of various characters in reading aloud.
In both 7th and 8th grades, our junior high students use study skills in a variety of ways. For example, they have a weekly planner on which they outline upcoming major tests, projects, and activities. Students get very proficient at scheduling plans for both short- and long-term assignments, which will be very beneficial as they move on to high school and college.
As we turn to March, schoolwide we'll be focusing on two new Student Learning Expectations:
  • "A St. Louise student is a well-balanced individual who practices positive social skills by taking responsibility for one's own actions and showing respect" (SLE #3.1);
  • "A St. Louise student is well-balanced individual who develops mind, body, and spirit by experiencing the arts and participating in physical activity" (SLE #3.2).
Parents can assist their children in understanding and achieving these expectations by talking about the various ways kids show respect and accept responsibility, and by listing all the art involvement and athletics/fitness activities in which every family member partakes.

The fourth grade students have been designing wagons for their Oregon Trail unit. Each wagon must have a tongue and wheels that are connected to an axle, the wheels must roll, and the tongue must turn the axle which turns the wheels. Critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and a vast amount of communication are involved in this activity.
Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading."
Saint Isidore of Seville

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