Weekly Notes September 11, 2017

On September 11, 2001 I was principal of a high school in New Jersey; only a forty minute ride to New York City by car, twenty minutes by train. The day the Twin Towers were attacked is forever etched in my mind. We had teachers and student who had family members in the towers. No one could call in or out. The police made contact with us stating we were on lock down; no one left and no one entered. It was if we were cut off from the world. No traffic, no pedestrians. For a school that had air traffic over us on a consistent basis, it was eerily quiet as all flights were suspended except for the military jets that sped over us. It was a horrific day. Two days later I went to the state park in New Jersey that is right across the river from New York to attend a service. I had grown up with those towers and saw nothing but smoke rising where they once stood. Two years ago I went to visit the memorial and view the new tower. It is a magnificent structure. The names of everyone who perished that day are etched into stone along the memorial. I did know I had tears streaming down my face until the person I was with asked if I was alright. September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget.

I am sure you all have remembrances of that day. Our students are either too young to remember or were not born yet. As the years go on, more and more people will have no first-hand experience with this event. It is up to all of us to teach them what happened that day and the sacrifices that were made and continue to be made in order to protect us. We observed a moment of silence in remembrance and prayed a special intention after recess in the Prayer Garden.

ELA - English Language Arts. Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary; what we used to call Reading class and English class.

Today after school the ELA teachers will be meeting in order to review and discuss the curriculum. We have found issues related to the complexity of the reading series the school is currently using. And to add to that, there seems to have been practices that were implementation by SES, not necessarily suggested by the series, that have complicated this even more; practices added for the good of our students. Some of these practices were things your child was accustomed to doing for the past two years but that Miss Kay and myself were unaware of. We will make decisions as to how to move forward in regards to the testing that has already been done in grades 3-5.  We will keep you abreast as we plan.

The computer curriculum is currently being addressed in order to make it more grade-level appropriate. There will be a test given every other week with ample opportunity for students to earn participation points. Once complete you will be informed as to where it can be found.  I am very happy to have Sr. Alphonse's expertise as we move forward. We are so accustomed to seeing a religious teaching religion. But religious are able to pick an area of concentration in college. Sr. Alphonse's concentration is computers in which she holds a master's degree. Once you get to know her, you will find Sr. Alphonse to be someone who is passionate about teaching, will work hard and has a fantastic sense of humor. Just as it has been with past religious who have been loved at SES, Sister Alphonse and the school will grow together as she learns the area, language and students.

We are blessed to have Miss Grace, Miss Heather, Sr. Anija and Miss Tiffney on our faculty for many reasons but especially since they are certified in CPR.  The school is working together with the HSA to have the rest of the staff certified. It is just one more way in which we are working to keep your children safe.

This the week in which you may find your child coming home stating he/she has had a substitute. The teachers will be attending in-services for the next three weeks that are sponsored by the diocese. We are fortunate to have qualified substitutes but are always looking for more. If you are interested or know anyone who is, please call the office and speak to Miss Melissa.

Remember that the Book Fair is this week. We have set aside time tomorrow, Tuesday, from 5:00-7:00 pm for you to come with your child. We hope to see you there!

Enjoy this beautiful weather. I like to step outside in the evening, watch the gorgeous sunsets that are on display across the road from me over the sugar cane field and just look at all the stars. This has not always been possible for me where I lived in the past. One can truly see the beauty that God created. 

Book Fair Schedule: Monday- 1st, 2nd & 6th, Tuesday- K, 3rd, 5th, Family Night- Tuesday, September 12-5:00-7:00pm, Wednesday- PK4, 4th & 7th, Thursday- PK3 & 8th, Friday- Makeup day for all classes.

Upcoming Events: 

September 11-15- Book Fair

September 15- Snack Sale. all items are $1

September 19- 2nd Grade Parent breakfast at 7:00 am

September 20- Spirit Dress Down Day

September 25- Blood Drive- 2:00-7:00

September 26- Individual Picture retakes and Fall sports (Cheer & Cross Country) 

Fall Break- No School. October 6 & 9