Principal’s Letter

We’ve spent this week celebrating Saints and Souls, part of the tapestry of our faith. We started with the All Saints Day Mass, attended in-person by Kindergarten and Grade 7 students, and live-streamed to the classrooms for the rest of the school. Our Schola Choir helped lift our prayers beautifully. Students in grades 4 and 5 celebrated Día de los Muertos, a traditional Mexican holiday, on November 2. Though the celebrations looked a bit different under the shadow of COVID, students were able to continue the tradition of sharing stories about deceased loved ones, setting up altars with their favorite items and photos, and making sugar skulls, masks, and flowers. Thank you, teachers, for helping us celebrate our faith. A special thank you, to Kalyn Gustafson for making over 100 sugar skull cookies, and to Carolina Marx for the lollipops and helping Sra. Blanca put gift bags together for the students!

The Archbishop is celebrating a very special Mass of Remembrance for all those who have died from COVID-19. You are invited to attend and submit names of those for whom you wish the Archbishop to pray.

With the cold and flu season underway, during a pandemic, no less, we remind parents to keep children who are feeling ill at home. I’ve had students share that they haven’t been feeling well and are still sent to school. We ask you, parents, to help mitigate the spread of infection and keep children home when they feel sick. We did have a single Covid-19 case in our middle school this week. At this writing we are unaware of any further transmission.

We plan to begin diagnostic testing for COVID-19 here at school soon. More information to follow. I know that many of you have been asking about having a vaccination clinic for the children here as well. We have submitted our site. At a meeting with PHSKC this morning, we were asked to be patient; there is a significant wait-list at every site. The Department of Health is making a huge effort to ensure that vaccination opportunities are spread equitably throughout the city and state.

A hearty congratulations to our soccer teams! This past weekend, all middle school teams competed in the CYO soccer playoffs, and three teams, 6th-grade girls, 7th-grade boys, 8th-grade boys, are heading to the championships this weekend. Players on these teams will wear their CYO jerseys tomorrow (uniform pants are still required), and Father Crispin will bless them before their big games. Come out and cheer on St. Al/John!

Congratulations, also, to our students who competed in Math Games at Seattle Prep! Fifteen St. John students participated in the competition this past Saturday. Out of 44 teams, from 24 schools, one St. John team earned second place in a breakout room competition and another St. John team won an award for being the most persistent.

As we start the school improvement process (Accreditation/Self-Study) I would like to send a preemptive thanks to you, parents, for your active participation in the process. You are all stakeholders in this school and your input is valued. With the leadership team, domain chairs and committees established, data collection is our main focus in the coming weeks. The school will host an in-person Stakeholders Meeting in Egan Hall on November 16 at 7pm. Parents are invited to join administration and the faculty leadership team to review and offer revisions of the school Mission and Philosophy statements. Furthermore, on November 17, the school will post an electronic accreditation survey that will inform us as we set critical goals for future school improvement. Your input is expected and appreciated.

Remember that Daylight Saving Times ends this Sunday. Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

Bernadette O’Leary