Volume 7~ October 15, 2019
St. Joseph's Regional Jr. High
News & Notes ~ Week of October 14th
We are looking forward to our upcoming Open House, beginning in the St. Joe's Library November 4th, 2019 from 6:00pm-7:30pm. We would love for you to spread the word and bring your upcoming St. Joe's kids!
Please let me know if you would like to participate in a small parent panel to speak about our school. Student Council members will be asked and trained to host tours that evening. We are offering 30% registration discount for anyone who registers, setting up Shadow Days and sending new students home with a Going-to-Joe's Kit of a gym bag, book of Catholic Prayers and St. Joe's water bottles. We will offter the same to you if you register for next year on November 4th!
A quick housekeeping reminders:

  • Our handbook is online on our website and linked here. Please take the time to read through it with your students, print the last page and sign it and submit it to the office by October 21st. We will be enforcing the guidelines written in the handbook including the dress code policy, code of conduct, description of grading policy, etc. There are several minor revisions I will request of our advisory board, none of which are related to the two categories above, but this is an important part of being an informed member of the St. Joe's community.

  • All students who come into the building after 7:40 must have a tardy note (though it is best to get to school on time ~ wink!). If they are absent, they should bring a note upon return.

  • Our next PTO meeting will be on October 21st, 7-8pm. Details were posted on my last email and on FB!

St. Joe's Boys AND Girls Soccer Teams Make It to the Playoffs!

The two teams will begin playoffs on Thursday afternoon. Please keep your eye out for an email on Tuesday with the playoff schedule.

Congratulations, Players, Coach Borromeo and Coach Emily! Go Bears!!

Student Visits to Elementary Schools
Coming This Week!
These dedicated students went to elementary school at St. Francis in Litchfield.
We are so proud of our Catholic elementary schools and we want to spread the word about St. Joseph's Regional Jr. High as the BEST place for 7th and 8th graders.

I invited students to come with me to their former elementary schools over the next few weeks before our Open House. We will be talking with 5th and 6th graders to about the academic, athletic programs, encouraging them to get involved in the service projects at St. Joe's and to be part of our warm and wonderful community. The students are experts on their own experiences. Thank you for letting them join me! Please see permission slips for more information about the individual visits to St. Francis, St. Catherine's, St. Benedict, Cardinal LaCroix. Also remember that we are giving $150 discount of tuition to THIS year to anyone who refers a registering family for either the remainder of this year or next.
8th Grade Portsmouth Trip ~ This Friday
Mark your calendars with the 8th grade field trip this Friday. The final date of the field trip had not been confirmed before the lunch menus had to go out, but rest assured, Celebrations Catering will credit November lunches. Students will take in historic sites of our beautiful seacoast treasure. Students should DRESS DOWN on Friday, as they will be eating lunch in the park on the grass. They should bring a bagged lunch and dring (no glass).

St. Joe's Service Spotlight
Though it is not a requirement at this time, a critical part of the students' engagement at St. Joe's is the community service. This work IS our Catholic identity and it also promotes active and positive civic contribution. Below are a list of projects students have done in the past:

  • A donation from every dance was given to a charity voted on by the Council. Last year the 4 charities were breast cancer research, Liberty House, animal shelter, and New Horizon Soup Kitchen.

  • Students and teachers helped fill the Thanksgiving baskets at Trinity. Our assignment was to provide boxes of macaroni and cheese.

  • At Christmas, each home room picks a theme (sports, chocolate, socks) and puts together a basket. The students can then buy raffle tickets and the baskets are raffled off on the last day before Christmas break. The money goes to Heifer International.

  • In the fall, the entire 8th grade decorates string bags for students in Catholic schools in Jamaica. The bags are then filled with school supplies and shipped to Jamaica.

  • Our next project is Advent in Reverse. Instead of getting something (a piece of chocolate) each day, students bring in something to make someone else’s Christmas better like a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo etc. 

  • At Easter, the Council fills Easter eggs and these are delivered to nursing homes around Manchester. Could use drivers for this one.

I will be asking students to contribute to this newsletter as they partake in community service projects so you can read about their intentions, reflections on this meaningful part of their education at St. Joe's. Teacher. We will be also distributing St. Joseph's Gold Crosses after Mass each month in recognition of valuable service work.
Mrs. Martineau and Mrs. Jones accompanied three of our students to New Horizons Soup Kitchen in September. St.Joe's has a standing visit the third week of each month to serve the Senior Dinner.
In October, We Celebrate Our Holy Rosary
This month, our students have been learning about the reverence of Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. With Mrs. Jones, they formed a human Rosary, and learned from one another about how experience the Mysteries. One student even shared the Holy Rosary in his native Spanish language. The students applauded him as he humbly asked Mrs. Jones if he could recall this prayer as he does in the voice he knew first, the one that he prays with his family.

I did not attend Catholic schools as a child and did not grow up in a traditionally Catholic household. I moved nearly every single year of my life with my military family, making it necessary to adapt and integrate. I came to the Catholic faith as a teenager after my father retired and we stayed in NH, driving myself to church each week, and becoming a religious education teacher at age sixteen as service work for my Holy Confirmation. For me, church and the faith have been my anchor. As I reflect on my own adolescent experience of learning do such things as pray each of Mysteries of the Rosary, I did not truly understand each prayer until I grew in wisdom. I heard the prayers intellectually, but I did not know them with my heart until I became a mother.

I was and still am captivated by the images of Mary, Mother of God, with her cousin, Elizabeth. I see the awe on her face as she is approached by the Angel Gabriel, I see the belief in her eyes as he tells her of her impending Godly dedication. I pray slowly. I learned to say the Hail Mary prayer as a conversation with Mary. I learned to pray every word with the weight of the sacrifices she made for us, for God, and the trust in her to care for my fears, great and small, for my own children.

There are such reverent prayers among the Holy Rosary, the St. Joseph's teachers and I pray that the students come to know each one with their minds and hearts in the voices they knew first. They will be tested throughout their lives to come to pray the Holy Rosary as a dedication, a daily practice of meditation and praise that they will hear differently with wisdom. Adolescence is the time they begin to question and need anchors in the rough seas of life. Let the Holy Rosary be the iron that holds them in place as it was for me.

Peace and Blessings to You All,