Generosity is our Fruit of the Spirit for the month of February. “You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God.” (Corinthians 9:11) This is one fruit that I see practiced so often in this parish school. Our staff reflection for this month gave us an opportunity to share what our experience in the ministry of Catholic education has taught us about generosity. Teachers shared that the spirit of generosity is shown most often in our students. They are generous with their time, attention, help, and resources. When asked to recall a time when we were the surprised recipient of unbounded generosity, teachers again mentioned our students. I found it interesting as they shared stories of your children. We could learn a lot from these young, loving, and giving children. You may not see this same generosity and helpfulness around your own homes, but I want you to know it is there and abounding.
Our Lenten theme for this year is simply, “Pray and give!” This theme is easy for all students to understand. We have been praying daily for the healing of our pastor, Father Nick. We have been praying for the healing of many people in our parish and school communities in need of God’s grace and mercy. We will have this continue to be our focus during Lent. We will also be working on giving to those less fortunate than us. We will be holding a food drive for the St. Patrick’s Society in the upcoming weeks. A flyer will be sent home soon. We also continue to encourage the children to give their spare change during Lent, using the rice bowls that will be sent home next week. Our families are extremely generous. I want to thank everyone for their contributions for dress down days. We decided a few years ago that all dress down donations would go directly to the Missions. This year, we received notification that we won First Place in Total Contribution and also First Place Per Capita. On March 5th, Mr. Shields and I will join a few of our students and attend the Mass and breakfast at St. Helena’s in recognition of the Missionary Childhood Association. The students will be recognized by Dr. DeAngelo and Bishop Malooly. I am very proud of our students. They give often, without hesitation or in expectation of recognition.
My staff and I have been substituting often lately, and I want to thank each and every teacher that has been so “generous” and flexible with their planning periods. In an effort to keep substitute costs down and to keep consistency with implementing lesson plans, everyone has stepped up to the plate and helped cover Mrs. Potts, Mrs. O’Brien, and other teachers that have been out sick recently. Middle school teachers have gotten to experience the joy (and controlled chaos) associated with teaching the primary grades. And primary teachers have experienced teaching middle school, where you don’t typically have to explain everything three times. It has been enlightening to all and a true help to Mr. Shields and me. I want to personally thank everyone for their kindness and generosity. Our students are not the only ones who are beautifully living the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Thank you to my amazing staff! I had the pleasure of observing 6th Grade Egyptian projects this week and 6th Grade playing Math games they created for their 3rd Grade church buddies. I celebrated Valentine’s Day with our loving Preschool class and then returned to Preschool on Thursday for the Brandywine Zoo visit. Yesterday was our Spelling Bee. I was amazed by the difficult words used in this year’s Spelling Bee and impressed by 8th Grade students’ ability to spell some of the words. When we held the 8th Grade classroom Spelling Bee, I told them I had never used a few of those words in a sentence in my life. They kindly corrected me when I pronounced one word incorrectly.
Today at Mass, Father Nick spoke to the children about the origin of the word “babble.” He retaught the lesson learned from the tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis. The world had a common language and a common speech at the time. The people of the town believed they were better than others. They wanted to build a tower so high so that it reached the sky and into the heavens. They wanted their own rules and not to follow God’s rule. God did not approve of this and as a punishment, he had the people babble and not make sense. They all spoke differently and were not able to communicate to build their tower. What was supposed to be a symbol of power (the tower) became a symbol of confusion and misguided pride. God eventually changed his punishment of babbling into a blessing by creating all of the different beautiful languages of the world. Father Nick reminded us that we are to be who God wants us to be and to “be that well.”
Thanks again to our Home and School Board for all of the events they are planning for the remainder of the year. Stay tuned for flyers and additional information. We have Grotto Night coming soon (on Ash Wednesday) and Spring Fling, to name only two.
Lunch Ordering Reminder – I want to clarify some things about our lunch procedure. We typically only have one person serving and one as the cashier. This is absolutely fine when all things flow smoothly and parents follow the ordering process. This is a reminder that the process for ordering lunch is to use the menu provided to all families. We are having issues with a few students not filling out the menu and then charging regularly. The purpose of the menu is for ordering and preparing food with very little waste. The second purpose is to be sure you are aware and in control of what your children are eating. We do not make a lot of extra food, so if your child forgets his/her lunch or decides to order, they may not be able to get what they want due to the supply of what is available (based on the amount prepared according to the menu). Once lunch begins, there is no time to prepare additional food. Three lunches run consecutively. If your child does not use the menu and you simply send in cash, there is no guarantee the child will choose healthy food. I assure you that they typically buy a hot dog and several snacks instead. However, with a lunch menu, the adult in the cafeteria sees each menu and you are assured your children are getting the warm meal you selected. Children who use the menu are the first to enter the cafeteria, to keep the pace moving. If your child has to charge or has cash for snacks, they are called last. This is simply efficient. Charging requires a stop of the line and paperwork to be filled out. We do not do this in the middle of each class. The cafeteria is a huge financial loss to the school every month. It is not set up to be a fundraiser in any way. Therefore, we really need everyone’s cooperation to make it a success. Children are served a hot lunch for less than $4 which is very reasonable. Please be sure to use the lunch menu (and attach payment) for your child to order lunch for the month. If your child charges for some reason, please be sure to send in the money the next day. Charges really should be very rare. Thank you!
Visit to the Mayor’s Office – On the Wednesday of Catholic Schools Week, some of our students went to visit the Mayor of Wilmington, Michael Purzycki, in celebration of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wilmington.
Spelling Bee – Congratulations to our classroom Spelling Bee winners: Nora Farrell (1st), Lillian Scott (2nd), Lena Padovani (3rd), Andres Lorenzo (4th), Diana Lorenzo (5th), Neha George (6th), Hayden Scully (7th), and Paige Johnson (8th). It was obvious that all of these students had studied hard for the school Spelling Bee. After many rounds, our school winner was Paige Johnson. Way to go, Spellers!
Declamation – Neha George, Henry Kelleher, and Paige Johnson recently competed at St. Mark’s in a Declamation contest. Paige came in 1st in the 7th/8th Grade Oral Interpretation. All three did an excellent job! Congratulations!
Math League – Congratulations to 8th Grader Javier Lorenzo. Javier tied for 1st Place in Math League Region 3. Way to go, Javier!
Save the date for April 4th – 8th Grade parents will be sponsoring an all-day dine-in or takeout fundraiser at both Cafe Napoli and Cafe Riviera. Both events will be held on April 4th. Proceeds will help offset some of the costs associated with the 8th Grade trip to New York City. Thank you once again to our generous Home and School Board for also making a contribution of $500 to the 8th Grade class.
Rocky’s Reading Challenge – Preschool through 3rd Grade will be participating in the Rocky’s Reading Challenge to earn tickets to a Blue Rocks game. Look for more details in the paperwork that came home this week.
Yoga Class/Art Club
- Yoga Class – For those who signed up for yoga classes with Michelle Pedicone, the classes will be held in the library and will end at 4:30 P.M. The classes will take place on the following days: March 6th, March 20th, April 3rd, April 17th, May 1st, and May 15th (final session).
- Art Club – For those enrolled in Art Club with Mrs. Everman and Mrs. DelGrosso, the classes will be held in the Art room and will run from 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. Art Club will take place on the following days: March 1st, March 14th, March 29th, April 11th, April 26th, and May 10th (final session).
If your students are registered for Yoga or Art Clubs, please mark your calendars for the above dates, as there will not be reminders sent each week. Thank you!
Financial Aid for the 2017-2018 School Year – Financial aid packets are now available in the main office. A parent must come into the school office to sign out a packet. Students may not bring them home. All parents applying for financial aid to our school MUST apply to the Diocese first. This is a new policy. Please be aware that without a completed application to the Diocese, a family will not be considered for financial aid through our parish education fund. This is a new policy. Please contact Mr. Shields or Mrs. Serio with any questions.
*Reminder – Financial aid packets have to be completed and submitted by March 6th.
- PreSchool 3 and 4 had a fun visit with the Brandywine Zoo! With the help of Ms. Hannah, the Zookeeper, we met Fiona the rose haired tarantula, S.J the arboreal lizard, Reggie the Brazilian Rainbow Boa, and Martha the ferret!
- 1st Grade had a wonderful time on their field trip to see The Lion King, Jr. at Cab Calloway. The children did an awesome job on their 100th Day of School Projects.
They also enjoyed a special Valentine’s Math Activity where they were able to sort and graph candy hearts.
- 2nd Grade is working on two-digit subtraction. They are reading and learning about Black History, as well as the presidents.
- 3rd Grade played Math games that their 6th Grade buddies created for them. The students had a great time playing these well thought out games!
- 4th Grade has been working hard on learning how to divide 2 and 3 digit numbers by 1 number. They’ve also been learning about chemistry – they combined vinegar and baking soda and were amazed by the chemical reaction.
- 5th Grade has been busy working on a world travel project. Students were able to pick any destination they wanted to travel to and then created a poster that included interesting facts, day and night photos, and other tidbits they learned while researching.
- 6th Grade has been very busy making Math games (see above) and completing their Egyptian projects. All students acted as docents when other classes came to visit the Egypt Museum set up in the Library. The students did an excellent job on the projects and research.
- Middle School – All Middle School Science classes have been sharing their mid-year projects. 6th Grade presented projects on Body Systems, 7th Grade made 3D cells, and 8th Grade taught their classmates about sound waves and pressure.
- In Music class, 5th – 8th Grades are learning about the coordination needed to play drums.
Business Office News
Tuition Payment Dates – Occasionally a family may need to adjust a tuition payment date. This is to inform you that the Business Office will need a minimum of 3 business days’ notice to change that date. If you should need a date changed please contact Lisa via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 302-421-3707.
Important Dates – Please continue to check our school website (https://sapgs.org) for upcoming events and information.
- February 20th – No School – Presidents’ Day
- February 26th – Boy Scouts’ Pancake Breakfast – Ballad Room – 6:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
- March 1st – Ash Wednesday
- Grotto’s Night –Pennsylvania Avenue– 4:00 – 9:00 P.M.
- March 3rd – End of Trimester 2
- Stations of the Cross – Church – 2:00 P.M.
- March 5th – Parish Social – Ballad Room – after the 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. Mass
- March 6th – Student Council Meeting – PreSchool – 3:00-3:30 P.M.
- Confirmation Registration – Ballad Room – 6:15 P.M.
- March 7th – Financial Aid Packets must be completed and submitted by this date
- March 8th – Child Find Testing – Preschool 3
- Home and School General Meeting – Ballad Room – 6:30 P.M.
- March 9th – 5th Grade Field Trip – Constitution Center – 9:15 A.M. – 1:45 P.M.
- March 10th – Stations of the Cross – Church – 2:00 P.M.
- March 11th – It’s Academic – St. Anthony’s – 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Peace and Blessings,
Mrs. White and Mr. Shields
“Lord, Help us to live the virtue of generosity, to love without limits.” ~ Pope Francis