Friday Letter 08/24/2018
Where did the summer go? I have heard that question so often in recent days. The summer months did seem to fly by. I trust that you had many opportunities to relax and build family relationships.
This past Monday Our Lady of Grace opened its doors to begin its 108th year of providing a Catholic education to its students. The rich tradition that is ours is due to you, to our OLG parishioners, and to all those who have supported Catholic education by enrolling their children in OLG over the years. I welcome all of you to our school community. I realize the sacrifices you are making to give your children the gift of a Catholic education and I thank you. Our teachers and staff are committed to making this a great year for your children.
We have enrolled several new students, but there is room for more. If you know of any family that does not have their children in OLG, I encourage you to reach out to them and extend an invitation to them. If a family enrolls their children in OLG because of your invitation and the students remain for the entire year, your tuition for the month of May will be waved.
Joan Chittister, a well-renowned spiritual writer, defines tradition as “what constitutes the heart and soul of an institution, its purpose and reason for being, its highest vision of itself and its deepest dreams.” Joan Chittister writes: “It’s change that is undertaken with the tradition in mind that counts.” I begin with these thoughts as we begin this new year, a year of transition. For those of you who had children enrolled in OLG last year, you received a letter from me at the end of the year informing you that a Dominican Sister from Springfield, Illinois will no longer be principal of OLG after this school year. With fewer vocations to the religious life, there is no Sister in my community who can replace me in June of 2019. As OLG moves to a lay principal for 2019-2020, I believe that the history, the mission and vision, the purpose and goals of Our Lady of Grace School will be the guide as it moves into the future.
I also believe that OLG will thrive because of the dedicated individuals who will minister to your children at OLG this school year and in years to come. There’s a lot of excitement in the air as we welcome back returning teachers and staff: Mrs. Sue Krill, Ms. Nicole Johnson, Ms. Jennifer Feliciano, Ms. Christina Cartagena, Ms. Michele Lodl, Mr. Robert Herich, Mrs. Sue Batka, Mrs. Teresa Covarrubias, Ms. Candelaria Rosales, Sister Mary Bride, and Mr. Oscar Montoya and welcome new staff to OLG: Mrs. Jennifer Frazzini-assistant principal, Mrs. Christin McDonough-8th grade, Ms. Linda Beaugureau-7th grade, Mr. Luis Romo-6th grade, Ms. Victoria Olson-5th grade, and Ms. Lauren Shellenback-kindergarten. (Ms. Nicole Johnson has moved from preschool to 4th grade.) How happy we are to serve you and your children!
For the benefit of new families, your oldest child in OLG will be receiving a parent letter each Friday. Please ask for this letter each week. It will provide valuable information on events that will be scheduled the following week. You received a policy book and calendar. Please put this in a safe location and refer to it frequently. Please return the form by next Friday, August 31, indicating that you have read the school policies.
Please make the following changes on your calendar: 1st Reconciliation will be celebrated on February 2 at 10:00 AM rather than Jan. 19. There will be NO parent meeting for Reconciliation on December 6. First Communion will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on May 4 rather than 11:00 AM. These changes were made after the calendar had been sent to the printer. Please notice that our Easter vacation this year is the week preceding Easter, not the week following..
Next Friday we will formally open the 2018-2019 school year with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The Mass will be celebrated at 8:15. How blessed we are that our vicar, Bishop Alberto Rojas, will be the celebrant for this Mass. We encourage you to join us at this Eucharist in asking God’s blessings on this new school year. The sixth grade class has planned the Mass and will be actively ministering as readers and gift bearers.
If you wish to volunteer in the school, please note that you must attend a Protecting God’s Children training. You received information in your packet on how to register for a training session.
We are in need of volunteers to help in the school library on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This is a great way to earn your volunteer hours and enable the students to have time in the library.
The first meeting of Grace’s Proud Parents will be held on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM in Room 104. This is your organization. Please come and share your ideas.
If you drive your children to and from school, please observe the following directives. Please pull to the curb before letting your children exit your car. Once your children have gotten out of the car, please drive away so that other parents can pull to the curb. Unless you are the parent of a child enrolled in our preschool where you are required to go into the school to sign your child in, PLEASE DO NOT PARK AND GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. We need to keep traffic moving and eliminate double parking. If you are parents of preschool children or parents who have business in the school office, please turn on your hazard lights when you get out of your parked car so that you won’t get a traffic ticket. Parents of preschool children, PLEASE DO NOT DOUBLE PARK AND LEAVE YOUR CAR UNATTENDED. If you have children enrolled in grades K-4 and want to watch by the fence until your children enter the school, please park on Altgeld, leaving Ridgeway open for parents to drop off their children. Thank you for following these procedures. They are intended to safeguard the safety of all of our students.
When sending money to the school for gym clothing, assignment notebooks, etc., please send the exact amount of money that is due in an envelope with your child’s name and grade written on it. We bank money every day, so we often do not have change to give you if you overpay.
The school day begins at 8:00. Please be sure that your children arrive before 7:55 so that they are in their classroom and ready when school begins. This will prevent your children from being late for class and also save you some money since an additional hour is added to your volunteer hours when your children accumulate four tardy slips
This past Wednesday you received information about the possibility of having your children’s vision tested. If you have not yet requested a permission form, please ask for the form on Monday since all permission slips must be returned by Wednesday, August 29.
It is very important that you and your children attend Mass each Sunday. In each week’s parent letter, I will share a brief reflection on the Gospel which will be proclaimed at the Sunday Eucharist. I hope this will allow you to discuss the reading with your children before you attend Mass together.
In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus shows us His love by acknowledging our freedom. Jesus asks: “Do you also want to leave?” Jesus does not whine or demand; He does not threaten or manipulate. In this simple question, Jesus respects His Apostles’ freedom to choose what they believe and what they want to do. Jesus’ pure and unconditional love for us has nothing to do with popularity. Rather, it has to do with faith. It is with faith that we hear Jesus and freely respond to Jesus in Sunday’s Gospel: “Do you want to leave?” How will we respond?
COME TO MASS ON SUNDAY WITH YOUR FAMILY.