Week of May 20 - 24 (2013)
TO: Parents/Guardians of SVS
FROM: Sister Cherree
RE: Week of May 20 - 24
SVS State of the Union Presentation
Let’s Go Fly a Kite at Allaire State Park!!
Please listen to this message in its entirety. I thank Mrs. Groh who worked for weeks with the municipal clerk in Belmar to assure us that they would be ready for us on Monday, May 20th, for Kite Day. Even up until Thursday, May 16th, we were assured that everything was a go and all things would be in place for us. When Mrs. Groh pulled up to the beach on Friday morning, however, it was quite a different story, with all of the construction trucks there. She tried to reach the municipal clerk again, who never returned Mrs. Groh’s call.
Thinking quickly, as we had discussed alternate plans earlier in the week, Mrs. Groh contacted Allaire State Park. They were very accommodating to our needs- to fly our kites and picnic with our students. However, on Monday they will have a few classes there for a class trip, and they cannot accommodate such a large crowd in their small General Store or the tour of the Village Area.
We will park in the parking area at no charge and enter the park at no charge. Parents may also park and enter, no charge when you arrive. Please follow the path along and to the left of the Church. There is a large open field which they are making available only to us. There are port-a-potties on the field and permanent restrooms at the main entrance.
Please be sure to pack a lunch, a drink, no glass bottle, please, a blanket for picnicking, and sunscreen for your child. You might want to bring a ball or playing cards or easy picnic game. Be creative – but safe! If you are available, we hope you might join us- even for a part of the day.
As we wind down, I would just like to remind everyone that all tuition should be paid in full, unless you have made other arrangements with Mr. Weg.
As you should be aware if you read my Memos, next year every family must be on FACTS. At our State of the School Address on Thursday night we had a representative from FACTS with us to explain the program. Most of our Catholic schools in our diocese- both elementary and high school are now using FACTS or some other tuition company. This is an excellent way to help YOU manage your tuition payments, and it also helps us to have a more even cash flow. At the recommendation of our diocese and our School Board, St. Veronica School will be using FACTS for all of our families next year. I certainly do understand that it can be difficult at times, and FACTS does help. Why not take advantage of the credit card payments through FACTS?? Please check the Home Page of our Website in the upper right hand corner and click on the Graduation Cap FACTS: to read more about this program and how to enroll to create your FACTS account.
Thank You to Mrs. Boyle, Mr. Franca, Mrs. Sullivan
They did it again! What an amazing show last Monday night!!! We have so many reasons to be proud!
Our Cadet and Advanced Band members performed beautifully in Concert- these musicians have been practicing all winter and spring for their concert! With more practice, they could go far! Thanks, Mr. Franca, for preparing these budding musicians! Indeed we are blessed with wonderful gifts and talent!
The splendid talent that exists among our students is truly a gift from God, and we thank Him for each of our student actresses, actors, singers and dancers! We know they worked hard for months getting ready for this amazing show, and all of their hard work and dedication was well worth it! Mrs. Boyle, we appreciate all the time and effort YOU put into making this show such a success!
Mrs. Sullivan, the art work was also splendidly done. Under your tutelage, our young people are learning such detail and skill. We were impressed.
Mrs. Groh and Mrs. Nelson, the poetry really added a nice touch to our Fine arts Festival! Thank you!!
May each of you be specially blessed!
Mrs. Rhodes has used her talents in education and her love for children to successfully education students here at SVS for the past 28 years. SVS holds a special place in her heart as her own daughter, Deborah, was educated here and is now a teacher herself! Mrs. Worman has served St. Veronica in many capacities, as a volunteer in the library, as a PTA President, then as a teacher assistant for 4 years, before becoming a teacher for the past 11 years. Both of her children, Heather and Matt also graduated from SVS and are valuable members of their communities. Mrs Rhodes and Mrs. Worman will always fondly remember their students and colleagues at St. Veronica School. We wish both Mrs. Rhodes and Mrs. Worman God’s blessings as they each begin this new journey and ask that He fill them with an abundance of His love and grace!
ATTENTION ALL COACHES AND THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A COACHING POSITION
Once again we would like to ensure that SVS has the best coaches for our athletes, and to give everyone the opportunity to apply for a coaching position. If you are interested in coaching for any of our sports’ teams, you will need to complete an application and return it to us by June 1, 2012. All applications will be accepted and reviewed by the Selection Committee for each coaching position based on a specific set of criteria. An application will be included in this week’s envelope and on our website. Please send all applications in a sealed envelope to the attention of Mrs. Kisiel by June 1, 2013. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to help us continue to mold strong athletes for SVS!
Looking For Other Talented Parents…
We are also looking for other parents who may wish to share their time and talents with us to moderate a “new” club or activity here at school. If you have any thoughts or ideas that you might wish to brainstorm with me about this idea, I ask that you please send me an e-mail or give me a call at school so that we might discuss this further. The sky’s the limit- think outside the box. I’d love to hear from you!
It seems that every once in a while we need to send out a reminder to parents that BINGO is an obligation for parents at SVS. Revenue from BINGO goes directly to the school and is one of the ways to help keep the cost of tuition down. We expect that parents would take this responsibility seriously and fulfill this obligation. It speaks to your integrity, and is not just to those people who show up for their shifts and end up having to do their work and yours.
What is God’s Message to Us
In his message of April 25th Bishop O’Connell wrote about his disability with diabetes, which has resulted in his left foot’s exposure to frequent ulcers and the slow destruction of its bone structure. He wrote, “For several months I have worn a large, clumsy cast on my left leg. I frequently need the assistance of a walker or crutches or a cane or someone’s arm or shoulder to move about.”
Our bishop spoke about his disability as a cross he will most likely carry for the rest of his life. No one enjoys carrying a cross, he said, even Our Lord prayed, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” And no one really knows why one particular cup is visited upon one person – it just is. He says when it’s just he and God talking he knows God has given him an opportunity for grace. He’d like the cup to pass him by, but for some reason – known only to God - he has to drink it, and he does.
I could not believe what I was reading, but it got better! “With each passing day, the grace of acceptance and perseverance replaces an inclination to feel sorry for oneself or give up. … I simply believe that in all the twists and turns of life, there is something to be achieved, something to be sacrificed, something to be used for good. At times, that “something” may be the result of a physical disability or challenge; at other times, it may be more emotional or vocational or social or relational. Sooner or later, everybody faces a “something” in life. The questions then become: What do we do? What do we think? What do we feel? What do we believe? The answers to these questions yield another, more consequential one: How do we live?” …
“The weight of Jesus’ cross crushed him to the ground on the road to Calvary; he picked himself up not once, not twice, but three times and moved on. Yes, he died, but then he rose from the dead making the same reality possible for us all.”
“That’s what Easter is all about. That’s what faith is all about. If only we would give it a chance.”
That morning, Tuesday, April 30th, I prayed for trust – AGAIN! I wanted to give God all the anxiety that filled my heart, my mind, my soul! I asked that He would redirect the care and concerns that were in my heart, particularly those about our situation here at school. I wanted to love Him and trust Him so that I could love those around me, and continue to give of myself every day to help our school grow and thrive! I knew I was being asked to put my trust in Him instead of moving through the day with a troubled heart. Of course MY question was how do I do that on difficult days? And it’s ALL about school, and the difficult decisions again!!
Twenty minutes later I left the house and was on my way to Mass. As I walked, not too far from the convent, I looked down to the left towards the gym, and somehow twisted my foot. I saw my feet in the air in front of me, and land flat on my back. Eventually as the day worn on…. I received the wonderful news that I broke my foot in the worst place, the hardest place to heal, and would, therefore, need to be in a cast for 8 weeks. In one area the bone is actually shattered. I’m in a removable boot cast so that I might ice it regularly, use a bone stimulator twice a day- and shower!! Because of the injuries to my back I am not able to use crutches, so I had the choice of a wheel chair or scooter.
During these 2 weeks I have come to realize in a real way that no matter how hard I work, no matter what I do or don’t do, ultimately this ministry is God’s work. As Mother Teresa said somewhere, I’m simply His pencil.
Last Monday’s Gospel really got me: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” So much I don’t understand- in our ministry there will be “trouble”- not prosperity, pleasure, success, but trouble! Then He says, all will be well because He has conquered the world. It’s a mystery. He’s the One who loves us most, who makes this promise. He’s the One who loves me most, and let me fall – over nothing- there was nothing there; I didn’t trip; I just fell! And it was my left foot – like Bishop O’Connell!! And He asks for our complete trust. I can’t say I understand it all; but I’m trying.
A friend of mine said he couldn’t help but think of the dramatic conversion of St. Paul when he heard about my accident. Knocked down, blinded, helpless, dependent on others to move about, then left to ponder the Voice which spoke to his heart. Doesn’t that happen? The drama repeats itself over and over again in our lives. I have been knocked down for a reason. I trust that this will lead to a deeper Faith. I have been trying to listen for His voice. I believe it will let me know what to do. Then I pray I will have the courage to do what He asks. I am sure that will be a challenge, too. It will most likely mean living a completely different way, along a route not traveled before. I’m sure there will be resistance from those around me. In that scripture passage after Paul’s conversion I remember how fearful Ananias was to go to Paul, yet he, too, trusted and was the instrument God used to deepen Paul’s Faith. It is all a remarkable journey with unexpected twists and turns, falls and rises. And that’s what our bishop said in him message of April 25th: “simply believe that in all the twists and turn of life, there is something to be achieved, something to be sacrificed, “something” to be used for good. And I TRUST that St. Veronica School is God’s work it is something that will be used for good. I believe He is not ready to give up on us yet. Are you?
So, why should St. Veronica School continue? According to findings from a meta-analysis of 90 studies on the effects of schools conducted at the Whitherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ and California State University in Long Beach, CA, “students in religious schools enjoy a significant academic advantage over their counterparts in traditional public schools and charter schools.”
“The results indicate that attending private religious schools is associated with the highest level of academic achievement among the three types of schools.” One conclusion is that “it may be time to extend the school choice to include the private sector.” Wouldn’t that be great for us!?! William Jeynes who conducted the study said that “because religious schools are so much more efficient than public schools, states would save money by implementing programs that pay for children to attend these schools instead of more expensive public ones.”
He stated that “the average standardized test score for students in faith-based schools is 11%ile points higher than that for the public schools students.” The statistics indicate that our students are achieving very well individually and Saint Veronica School is achieving in the high end of average or above average as a school community. In the National norm group, 50% of the students had NP score between 51 and 90. Our students had well over that – from 25- 50 percentage of students more in each area in each of the grade levels.
May God be praised! We are proud of our students, teachers and YOU, their parents, who are their first teachers. Let us continue to strive for excellence in all that we do.
Although academic performance was a key focus in the report, I mentioned earlier, the study also examined student behavior and found an even larger advantage for religious schools. “Students who attend religious schools have fewer behavioral problems than their counterparts.” Now, let’s be realistic. All of our kids are real kids; if you pinch them, they will say OUCH!
However, when you, their parents, and we, their teachers work together we are able to help them learn to make good choices. Hopefully they do grow into mature young Christian men and women seeped in reverence, respect and responsibility.
If you recall, the Middle States Team was very impressed with our school. When they received the copy of our self-study in the mail they looked forward to their visit, and they said their expectations were not disappointed. They went though each point of our goals and the standards, affirming all of the hard work our faculty had put into developing our Strategic Plan.
They praised our partnership approach and commitment to the common core curriculum, the numerous activities we have for our students and the vibrant life with which we share all of these. They even commented that our Terra Nova scores are high.
The Team was equally affirming of our students, their poise, their confidence and the way in which they handled themselves when they visited the classrooms or spoke with the students. They said our School Climate could be felt from the moment they walked through the door that Sunday afternoon and that our Catholic Identity is very much alive. The final sentence of the oral report was that St. Veronica School is an outstanding academic and religious institution! Can any more positive be said about our school?
Faculty and Staff Assignments for 2013 - 2014
Rainbow Patch 3s Teri Bove and Kathy Liquori if enrollment permits
Rainbow Patch 4s Liz Brady and Laurie Player
Kindergarten Anne Londregan
Grade 1 Therese Ern
Grade 2 Debra Konzelmann
Grade 3 Diana Ficchi
LA Res. Rm Gr 2 & 3 Sister Antoinette or 3 & 4 ???
Grade 4 Maureen Madden 4 and 5 will switch LA, SS
Grade 5 Rita Morello Math, Sci, Rel
I C S Math Gr 4 & 5 Sister Roberta
Grade 6 Carole Howell 6,7,8 Sci; 6 Rel and LA
Grade 7 Linda Groh 6,7,8 SS; 7 Rel and LA
Grade 8 Debra Palmer 6,7-1, 7-2, 8-1, 8-2 Math, 8 Rel
Joanne Nelson 8 LA
PE/Health/Rosetta Stone Donna Kisiel
Art Irene Sullivan
Music Loretta Boyle
Library Barbara Reilly
Tuition Manager/Secretary Terri Haemmerle
Secretary Ellen McGirr
IT Coordinator/Receptionist Rose-Ann Chacanias
Safety of our Children
FROM: Sr. Cherree
RE: Safety of our Children
I’m sure you, like we, have been torn apart inside over the tragedy that has struck the families in Newtown, CT. Let us continue to pray for these families that their faith will sustain them and God will be their strength during their healing process.
We wish to assure you that our school safety polices are in place, and we will take the time today, as I already have this weekend to review them. We will continue our efforts to maintain a safe, loving Catholic environment through clear behavioral behavioral expectations, positive behavior interventions, and crisis planning.
Our doors are locked, and as you know there is limited access to our school building. The Howell Police Department monitors the school parking lot on a regular basis. Our students are monitored and supervised in the corridors, cafeteria and on the playground.
Your child’s safety is and always has been our number one priority!
I am including with this memo a Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers from The National Association of School Psychologists for your review.
May God bless us all and keep us safe!