Principal’s Letter

Happy Safe, Socially-Distanced Halloween!  Superheroes, firefighters, doctors, princesses, bears, bunnies, pigs, unicorns, foxes, chipmunks, fairies, cats, kittens, Harry Potters, pumpkins, and so many more folk came by today for health screening!  It was an exciting morning on the sidewalk!  The afternoon was rather wet!  Pablo and I were properly soaked by safely spaced rows of Jog-a-thon winning fifth-graders armed with water balloons!  The sun shone and we all had a lot of fun!  Thank you fifth-grade families!

Thank you for participating in the conferences.  The teachers report that the conversations have been very effective and are looking forward to zooming with the rest of you tomorrow.  Thank you, also to the 4th grade students who have sent recordings of themselves reading stories to the primary grades.  The primary students greatly enjoy their lunchtime read-a-louds!

Speaking of primary, you may have noticed a new face among the faculty.  I want to introduce you to Jane Green, the new kindergarten assistant teacher.  At the end of the school day, Miss Green moves with the student cohort to the Extended Daycare program.  Miss Green’s experience of working with students was strengthened over the many years she led groups at a summer camp with CYO.  We are delighted to welcome her to St. John.

Sunday, November 1, is All Saints Day and on Monday at the all-school Mass, we will celebrate All Souls Day.  For Catholics, November is a special month during which we remember those who have died.  Email Sheila Marty at the parish with the names of your deceased loved ones, and Fr. Crispin will pray for them throughout the month.  In your own prayers, remember John Flynn and his family.  John passed away earlier this week after a long battle with cancer.  He was the husband of HongPhuc, who works at the parish, and father of alumni, Tai and XuanMai. May he rest in peace.

During November, we will discuss our theme, ‘Love with mercy’ and study the Beatitude, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Culture and faith traditions are interwoven around the world, and in some of the classes, students will talk about how their families mourn and celebrate the passing of family members and friends.  Yesterday I stopped in at Preschool, and Mrs. Castillo was telling her students about traditions that honor the dead. They made an altar for Mrs. Flood.  Senora Blanca will also teach students about Dia de los Muertos and the Mexican tradition of celebrating ancestors during the month of November.

Looking forward, remember the State of the Parish presentations at Mass next weekend.  All school families who are paying parish tuition are asked to attend in-person or virtually one of the two weekend Masses (Saturday 5pm, in-person or live-streamed, Sunday, 10:30am in-person). Additionally, you will be provided with a link to view a presentation to hear about how our parish is doing.  The sixth grade is also organizing the annual Holiday Food Drive, which will take place November 9-20.  Families of in-person learners can bring in their donations during that time.  Families of remote learners can drop off their donations at hot lunch pick-up on the following dates:  November 10, 12, 17, and 19.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.  The food is given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society for disbursement to those in need.

We continue to hope for a drop in the virus transmission rate. We are still very much in the high-risk category, so remote learning continues for students in grades 3-8 and for those in grades PreK-2 who chose that route.  Students at home, your teachers are very proud of your flexibility, perseverance, and commitment. We all need to persevere and do our best, as we act for the common good and do our part to lower that transmission rate!  Please follow the CDC’s guidelines for a safe Halloween.

God bless,

Bernadette O’Leary