Second Week of Advent

On Monday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary at a beautiful school mass.  Listening to the children sing is always an uplifting experience.  Mrs. Mansfield gave the reflection, describing the fear and confusion Mary must have felt when the angel appeared to her.  She told us that God knows us and that He loves us, and yes, He challenges us at times.  It takes courage to do the right thing, to be an ‘upstander’ for the common good.  Advent is the perfect time to pay forward that gift of love that God has given each of us.

The teachers are taking advantage of the Christmas spirit in their lessons!  The fourth graders learned about open and closed circuits by making a Christmas card that lights up!  The first graders were practicing subtraction by drawing candy canes in their story problems.  A student, Oliver W., came to my office to read his Christmas story to me.  Fifth-grade authors are working on voice and perspective by writing the Nativity story through the eyes of one of the persons or animals who came to visit the baby Jesus.  Seventh graders ‘drew’ Christmas trees by plotting points and equations on a graph.  The kindergarten students wrote about what they would do or say if they were Santa’s elves.  It is such a pleasure to visit the classrooms!

This week, our middle schoolers led the younger students through the Hour of Code.   Elsa was running in squares, reindeer were searching for the sleigh, and a planet needed puffer pigs!  The adventures that students created were exciting!  For the teachers, it was thrilling to see on the screens statements like “you have completed fourteen lines of code.”  We are excited for the fourth graders, who will participate in an Amazon-sponsored Hour of Code tomorrow.  Volunteers from Amazon, some of whom are St. John parents, will lead this special event.  We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful and talented community.

God Bless,

Bernadette O’Leary