Parent Bulletin
February 13, 2020
T oday is the FINAL day for current school families to re-enroll for the upcoming school year and save $125! If you have any questions about completing the electronic Parent Contract and confirming your personal information via Skyward, please contact Mindy Morgan in the school office at 425-746-4220 or MindyM@stlouiseschool.org .

 MR. FITZ'S BLOG
You might have seen in the news that recently our Washington State Senate approved a bill requiring every public school to provide “comprehensive sex education.” The State House is currently considering this bill and a bill of their own, and signs are that they will vote to approve one of these bills, and then the Governor will sign it into law. What that means is that instead of each public school district deciding if they wanted to teach human sexuality in their curriculum, and if so, at the grade levels they decided, now every school – from Bellevue to Bellingham – will be required to teach sex ed in all grades K-12, and many of the lessons will be more “mature” than what common sense and decency would tell you kids should be exposed to.

In the Catholic schools, we believe that the parents are the first educators of their children, especially in the areas of faith and human sexuality. We do offer some support by explaining the concept of “unsafe and safe touches” starting in kindergarten and in 5 th grade devoting a few lessons to teaching students about the male and female body parts and how reproduction works. Obviously, our faith insists that sex is to be between a married man and woman, and that concept is promoted starting with our 5 th grade human sexuality curriculum. (You can take a look at what St. Louise teaches starting in 5 th grade by going to our publisher’s website .)
 
The bill in Olympia weakens the authority of parents and individual school boards and imposes edicts from the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). If – or when – the final bill passes and becomes law, it will be the OSPI that will be mandating sex education across all 295 of our state’s school districts in every K-12 grade level. And the sex education lessons that will be mandated are purposely vague as described in the bills. It is simply and loosely worded that the OSPI will develop a list of approved curriculum, and schools can choose from this list. This list will no doubt end up being similar to what programs other states, such as California, have already adopted for their state-wide curriculum, as there are only so many public school programs out there.

One such popular program that will likely be on the list of sex ed curriculums from which to choose is “ Get Real .” This programs’ lessons assume kids even in middle school will be sexually promiscuous, so the lessons don’t focus on abstinence. They spend a lot of time highlighting so-called “gender fluidity” and telling children that it’s normal to have sexual relationships with people of the same sex. 

Another popular, comprehensive sexual education program that will probably be on the approved list for Washington state schools to choose from is “ Advocates for Youth .” To give you an idea of how alarming their curriculum’s scope and sequence is, here are some of the topics taught at some of the grade levels:

Kindergarten
  • The body parts named and shown on pictures to both boys and girls include “clitoris,” “scrotum,” and “anus.”

Grade 1
  • Introduces the concept of “transgender.”

Grade 3
  • Promotes the rainbow flag for gay pride.

Grade 5
  • Promotes the use of condoms;
  • Discusses anal and oral sex;
  • Introduces the concept of “bisexuality."

Grade 6
  • Explains how to prevent pregnancy with birth control;
  • Tells 6th graders it’s not shameful to have sex at this age level;
  • Defines “anal sex rape.”
 
I could go on with more descriptions from more programs being used by public schools nationwide, but my “G-rated” blog has already become “R-rated.” Yikes!

It’s actually quite startling how the sex ed curriculum that is taught today differs from not only the one taught when you parents were kids, but differs dramatically from what was taught just five years ago. No longer are the sexual education programs taught in public schools solely explanations about how conception works and what happens to a body during puberty. Reading into all this, it’s obvious to me that the public schools and the curricula developers definitely want to impose particular values on students. At St. Louise, we also want to impose certain values on our students… Gospel values.

Once this “comprehensive sexual education” bill becomes law in our state, it will be more noticeable than ever that Catholic schools are much different than public schools. The Seattle Archdiocese and our Catholic schools will continue to promote that human sexuality curricula are best fit to begin in grade 5, and that the concepts taught will be appropriate for children at the developmental level their minds can handle and not at the increased pace that secular society is pushing. Furthermore, Catholic schools’ policies and practices will always follow Church teachings. There are many forces in today’s society that promote a view of sex not in accord with God’s purpose and plan for human sexuality. St. Louise School’s and Archdiocesan policies are in fidelity to the moral guidance and teachings of the Catholic Church in all areas that touch on human nature, including issues related to human sexuality.

When you hear in the coming weeks about the new sexual education law being signed, be assured that St. Louise School is not impacted by it, and we will continue to teach about morals and about sex in a modest “Catholic way.” We won’t call our sex ed “comprehensive.” We’ll call it “careful and common sense.”

By the way, the Washington State Catholic Conference – the lobbying representation for our state’s Archbishop and Bishops who support public policies that promote the common good - opposes these sexual education bills. The WSCC says that if made into law, “locally elected school boards would no longer be able to self-determine their own policy or protect the values of their individual communities in this sensitive area,” plus the bills “fail to address adequately complex moral issues tied to human sexuality.” The WSCC has created a quick and easy way for you to contact your Representatives in Olympia to voice your opposition to the sex ed bills. Simply go here .

Please let me know if you have further questions....not about human sexuality, about curricula. ;-)

Enjoy God's blessings today,

MR. FITZ

p.s.
Tomorrow we bid farewell to Lisa McKenna, our instructional assistant and head playground supervisor, who is leaving to begin a full-time internship as a student-teacher in the Lake Washington School District. We've greatly appreciated Lisa's eight years working at St. Louise and wish her well in her future career of teaching! Ann Marie Sweeney is transitioning to our full-time instructional assistant and head playground supervisor position beginning Monday. If you have any playground questions for Mrs. Sweeney, her email is AnnemarieS@stlouiseschool.org .
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS

Today
  • Deadline to Re-Enroll for 2020-21 Admissions and Save $125!
  • Bake Sale to support junior high events
  • Parents' Club meeting at 6:30PM in the faculty room; come learn about the Parents' Club if you're considering joining the PC Board

Friday, February 14
  • Used Uniform & Charger Gear Sale from 2:00-4:30PM in the St. Louise Room in the original school building; all used uniform pieces are $10 or less
  • CROWD Social for grade 6-8 students from 7-9PM in the parish hall; parents must come inside to sign-out their children when picking them up

Monday & Tuesday, February 17 & 18
  • NO SCHOOL - George Washington's Birthday and extended holiday; explore this website with your kids and see who knows more about the Father of our Country

Wednesday through Friday, February 19-21
  • Book Fair in the school library

Thursday, February 20
  • "Teacher for the Day" takes place today for one child in every homeroom whose parents purchased this privilege at the Auction

Friday, February 21
  • "Flavorful Friday" - ice cream treats sold for $1 each at lunchtime; proceeds benefit the 5th grade's service project of supporting the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphans

Saturday, February 22
  • Father/Daughter Dance at 6:30 in the parish hall

Tuesday, February 25
  • Mardi Gras Fun-Dress Day for all students and staff - wear the colors of gold, green, and/or purple and you get free dress today (no shorts allowed during this winter trimester; regular free dress rules apply)

Wednesday, February 26 - Lent Begins
  • Ash Wednesday Prayer Service at 1:45; parents invited to sit with their children; please arrive by 1:30
  • Rice & Beans Lunch for all students and staff; don't pack a lunch today but instead your child will eat a simple lunch of rice and beans as a form of fasting; as a form of almsgiving, please have your child bring a cash donation of what normally would have been spent on a filling lunch ($5?); the donation will be given to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission


CHECK OUT OUR COMPLETE SCHOOL CALENDAR HERE
Job Opening for a Half-Time School Secretary
A half-time school secretary position is available starting this March at St. Louise School. This position is for a 20.5 hours per week school secretary, who job-shares with another half-time secretary. This position will begin March 30, with training to begin in mid-March. The secretary works approximately 120 days annually, following the school calendar and including most of June and August. This is a recurring position, with the opportunity for continual, annual rehire.
 
Secretary’s Responsibilities
The St. Louise Parish School secretary is often the unrecognized heartbeat of our school. The school secretary is typically the first person a student, teacher, parent, or visitor will see when entering the building and will also be the last seen as people depart. Since the secretary is the person behind schedules, records, meetings, and files contained in the school building, this type of person is one who has the ability to multi-task, is highly organized, and is people-oriented.
As the first point of contact with visitors, the school secretary assures that the school is provided with receptionist services over the phone and in-person that convey the friendly, community-spirit attitude for which St. Louise School has always been known. The school secretary compiles and files student grade and attendance reports, family information, and other school records, using school-management software. The secretary also manages school admissions throughout the year, including transferring student records to and from other schools. The secretary schedules observations from prospective parents as well as teacher conferences for current school parents.
 
Providing assistance to the students is of utmost concern, and this includes providing initial health care in the absence of the part-time school nurse and helping students who come to the office for a variety of needs.
 
Qualifications for the Position
A candidate is desired who is a practicing Catholic, and the ability to speak Spanish is a plus. Some qualifications include:
  • knowledge and experience of relevant software applications including spreadsheets and database management;
  • knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures;
  • proficient in spelling, punctuation, grammar and other English language skills;
  • proven experience in positive communication skills and the ability to convey the upbeat spirit of St. Louise to those who call or visit the school.

How to Apply
Please send letter of interest and resume to principal Dan Fitzpatrick at danf@stlouiseschool.org . Interested candidates must also apply through the Seattle Archdiocese's Office for Catholic Schools website at http://www.ocsww.org/employment.php . The position closes on February 20.
Maura is perfecting her use of the microscope in 5th grade science class.
Lent Begins Soon
The Catholic Church's annual 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving begins on February 26, with Ash Wednesday starting off the Lenten Season.

Lent is a time to prepare ourselves spiritually - acknowledging our faults and weaknesses while also trying to strengthen our faith and draw ourselves closer to Jesus before we observe the anniversary of his crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection at Easter. Since Jesus spent 40 days fasting and in isolation in the desert, tempted by the devil, we take 40 days from Ash Wednesday until Holy Week also battling the bad habits and disorders in our lives.

Prayer is one of the three pillars of Lent, and at St. Louise School students will be praying not only daily in religion class, but also as an entire school at our Ash Wednesday Prayer Service on February 26 at 1:45, at grade 3-8 Reconciliation Services in March, and at all-school Holy Week Services in April.

A second pillar of Lent is fasting, and on Ash Wednesday everyone in the school - teachers, staff, and students - will fast from our typical, filling lunches and instead eat a simple bowl of white rice and pinto beans. It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that some form of penance is required when turning away from sin and turning back to God. Fasting is one form of penance that we practice, just as Jesus fasted and just as he asked his disciples to do.

(Please note that every student is expected to forego their usual lunch on Ash Wednesday and partake in the Rice & Beans fasting/lunch. Only a medical/allergy reason should preclude a student, and in that case, we ask that the parent send a letter to the teacher explaining this unique situation.)

The third pillar of Lent is almsgiving. The money that would have probably been spent to create a filling lunch on February 26th (suggesting $5) will be donated by each person when they pick up their bowl of rice and beans. These donations will be sent to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. As you recall, the Union Gospel Mission was here a couple of weeks ago, educating the students on the ways they help feed the hungry and help those without shelters. We've already collected almost $500 in donations to the UGM through our recent Faculty Bake Sale, where the teachers baked treats and your kids purchased them, with 100% of donations earmarked for the UGM. Thank you for your support at that sale, and thank you in advance for your donations via the rice and beans lunch!

If you have any questions about the Lenten Season or the Rice & Beans Fasting and Almsgiving taking place on Ash Wednesday, please talk to your child's teacher or to Mr. Fuerte or Mr. Fitzpatrick.
Used Uniforms & Charger Gear on Sale Tomorrow
Both our Charger Gear program and Used Uniform program are holding a sales event this Friday, February 14. From 2:00-4:30 p.m. in the St. Louise Room of the original school building, you'll be able to purchase new fleece sweaters or Friday-wear hoodies and track jackets, along with used pants, skirts, jumpers, and sweaters. Please plan on stopping by tomorrow to shop either before you pick up your kids at dismissal or immediately after dismissal if you need your child there for correct sizing.
Our newest extra-curricular offering is "Sewing Club," moderated by Mrs. Bannick. Here, showing off the pillowcases they sewed and created, are Elina, Alaina, and Kate.

Extra-Curricular Programs Available Now for Sign-Up
Our director of extra-curricular programs, Maria Zambrano, emailed all school parents on Monday the 10th about the eight after-school clubs starting soon and now open for signing-up. Please refer to Mrs. Zambrano's email or contact her if you have questions. Please remember that the first step for signing-up to a club is to turn-in the registration form to the office, and then Mrs. Zambrano will send you a payment link once your registration has been accepted.
Book Fair Is Just Around the Corner
The Scholastic Book Fair is quickly approaching; it's February 19-21 this year! This year’s theme is Jungle Book Fair! The student’s have been introduced to the Fair in Mrs. McIntosh's library classes this week. Next Wednesday through Friday, grades K-6, will visit the Fair in the school library to preview and have an opportunity to purchase books.

Proceeds from the Book Fair are used to buy more books for the school library. Our St. Louise School Library will receive 50% of the net profit. We encourage you to come in and experience the excitement of the Book Fair with your family. You will also have the opportunity to purchase books for your child’s teacher (from their wish list) to expand their own classroom library.

This year we are adding a safe and convenient digital payment option for your child to shop the Fair cash-free! It is called eWallet . Simply set up an account online, add funds, and let your child know they can shop at the Book Fair (any remaining funds get returned to your card). It’s super easy and eliminates the hassle of bringing cash to school. Be on the lookout for the link that Mrs. McIntosh will email to all families to set up an account for your child(ren). The link to set up eWallet is also available on the library website here .

Hours to browse and buy in the school library on Feb. 19, 20, 21 are:
  • Before school from 8:00-8:30 a.m. all 3 mornings;
  • After school from 3:00-4:00 p.m. for 2 afternoons - next Wednesday and Thursday (the library will NOT be open next Friday after school)
  • Regular library class schedule

  We gladly accept cash, debit/credit cards, checks, and eWallet!
Contact CherieM@stlouiseschool.org if you have any questions.
Charger Cards for Valentine's Day

Let Charger Cards make your Valentine's Day shopping super easy this year! Whether you are getting presents for your kids, shopping for your significant other or going out to celebrate, get Charger Cards for all your Valentine’s day spending to share the love with St Louise Charger Cards fundraiser.
 
The Perfect Match =
Valentine’s day gifts
+
shopping with Charger Cards
 
 
Great Gift card suggestions for Mom include:
  • Amazon.com - $25 or $100
  • Crate and Barrel - $25 or $100
  • Gene Juarez - $25, $50 or $100
  • Jo Ann Fabrics or Michaels - $25
  • Macy’s - $25 or $100
  • Nordstrom - $25 or $100
  • Pottery Barn - $25 or $100
  • See’s Candies - $25
  • Ulta - $25
  • Starbucks-$10 or $25

Create a Valentine package:
  • From Dad and the Kids to Mom ($50): $25 Gene Juarez & $25 See's Candies
  • The Mom's Day Out package ($60): $25 Gene Juarez, $25 Macy's, $10 Starbucks.
  • The Spoil Mom ($100): $100 Gene Juarez.
  • The Couples package ($200): $100 Gene Juarez, $100 Daniel’s Broiler.
  • Dinner and a movie at Crossroads or Factoria ($45): $25 Regal or AMC, $20 Chipotle
  • Dinner and a movie in Downtown Bellevue ($220): $25 Lincoln Cinema, $200 John Howie Steak
  • Evening of Coffee and Books ($35): $10 Starbucks, $25 Barnes and Noble

Or get creative and make your own package. We'd be happy to customize any package! Nothing says, “I love you,” more than buying a gift that also helps your kids’ school! Take that extra step to show them you care! Charger Cards also offers gift wrap to make your life even easier!














ATTENTION:
Family Rebate status reports are coming home in today’s Red Envelope . Please review your family account information and email Charger Cards with any questions.

Many families have met their rebate minimum and are well on their way to earning tuition discount for next year’s tuition! Charger Cards is happy to help you map a plan for your family to use this program to earn tuition credit and help support St. Louise at the same time! We can meet with you to create a personal plan unique to your family’s budget and everyday purchases to maximize your participation in the program!

Charger Cards program main function is to earn funds using budget that families are ALREADY spending. Simply change how you purchase (buy Charger Cards first for items you already plan to buy) NOT what you purchase.




The Charger Cards sale office in the central wing of the original school is open on school-Fridays from 8:15-9:00AM. 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
We Love Our Volunteers
Are you looking for volunteer hours?
The Father/Daughter Dance team can use your help. We are in need of volunteers who can help set up on Friday the 21st for the Saturday dance. For more details, please contact Silvia Macias or sign up here .
 



We are grateful for these parents who came in during Catholic Schools' Week to supervise the grade K-5 classrooms at lunch and recess so the teacher could enjoy a rare 1-hour lunch on Teacher Appreciation Day:
Tiffany Neuman, Mimi O'Sullivan, Arlene Isaksen, Shirley Wu, Shiji Varuthattil, Darci Currie, Vicky Lau, Kelly Miller, Marsha Rampersad, Patrick & Kelly D’Ambrosio, Rebecca Ort, Jo Cha, Natalie Scarella, Karla Pardo, Edna Hewett, Erica Lizotte.
Come to School on the 25th Wearing Green, Gold, and/or Purple
St. Louise School will observe Mardi Gras on Tuesday, February 25 - the last day before Lent begins - with a free dress day for all the students and staff...provided part of the clothing includes purple , gold , and/or green colors. Here's a history lesson for you explaining why Mardi Gras and why specific colors (from Catholic.org)...

Catholic Christianity spread throughout Europe during the first 1,000 years after Jesus, and different cultures celebrated the last day before Lent in their own ways, adapting the practices to suit their cultures. In France, the holiday became particularly popular as people feasted on foods that would be given up during the forty days of Lent. Meats, eggs, and milk were finished off in one day, giving the holiday its French title of 'MARDI GRAS' which means “Fat Tuesday.”

As Europeans crossed the Atlantic to colonize the Americas, they brought their religious practices with them. From the onset, holidays such as Mardi Gras were celebrated in the colonies with as much enthusiasm as they were celebrated in Europe. As the colonies swelled with European immigrants, the celebrations went from the simple to the elaborate. In New Orleans, masked balls and public celebrations quickly became common. In fact, the celebrations became so popular that virtually every citizen of the city joined in even if they were not Catholic.

By the 1800’s, the celebration began to lose its identity as an exclusively Catholic tradition and became more secularized over the centuries. Still, the original intent of Mardi Gras has always been to indulge, within the context of Catholic morality and reason, the last day before the start of the Lenten season.

Just as orange & black have been the historical colors of Halloween and red and pink are the official colors of Valentine’s day, the official colors of Mardi Gras are purple - representing justice, gold - representing power, and green - representing faith.


Thanks for helping your children join in the fun on Fat Tuesday before we begin the more serious season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. No face paint, hats, or masks are to be worn on Mardi Gras, but beads or other simple accessories are okay. Regular free dress rules apply, which means no shorts since we’re still in the winter trimester.

And don't forget, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26, with a day of fasting (only rice and beans for lunch), almsgiving (donations to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission collected at the rice and beans lunch), and prayer (all-school liturgy with distribution of ashes at 1:45).
St. Louise Crowns a Champion
The National Geographic GeoBee is an annual, national competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world. In December, our 5th through 8th grade students participated in a preliminary competition, moderated by Mr. Weiss. Last week, the top 10 students from the preliminary rounds (pictured here) competed to be named the St. Louise Parish School Geography Bee Champion. Congratulations to eighth grader Patrick Blaha, our 2020 St. Louise School Champion! 
Saint of the Week
please read this with your kids

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