Weekend ... Virtual Backpack

St. Gabriel School ............. November 22, 2015

Developing our God-given souls, minds, talents and gifts .......................................... as servant leaders .......................................... in the community of the Body of Christ.

That's the St. Gabriel Advantage ...

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1st Sunday of Advent

Sacred Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2
Finally, brothers and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God — and as you are conducting yourselves — you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.


How does our family life please God? What resources help each of us continue to grow in understanding and following the love and truth of Jesus Christ?

NCEA Weekly Reflections, Praying with you and for you as we focus on family and mission in Catholic education.

Season of Advent

First Sunday

As we

Jubilee Year of Mercy - Dec 8, 2015 - Nov 20, 2016

Pope Francis has declared a Holy Year of Mercy for the entire Catholic Church to begin on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pope has described this jubilee as a time to heal, to help, and to forgive.

He has also asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Throughout this holy year at St. Gabriel School, we will continue with a question frequently infused into our learning and growing in our faith, "Lord, when did we see you..... ?

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Dear Parents,

I pray that all of you have a wonderful, joyful and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday! May your time with family and loved ones bring you abundance of God's love, grace and blessings! I pray also especially for your safety and health and for your strength and courage in any challenges that bring strain and hardship to your lives. May we trust in God's continual wisdom, though often in mystery, and his eternal goodness.

Let us also continue to pray, for the people of Paris, and for all peoples of the world suffering in the wake of terror, violence and hatred. Let us all pray also for ourselves and our children, that we many grow in strength in our faith and our courage to reach out in Christ-like love and kindness and mercy, even in the smallest of ways and in the most unknown of locations.

Peace and blessings to you and your families and loved ones,

Mrs. Saladino


TAKE A LOOK! There are many wonderful events, activities, and accomplishments of our St. Gabriel School Community captured in our School Blog on our school website!

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November 23, 2015 through November 30, 2015

November 23

  • 8th grade basketball (Simek) after school practice
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Practice for Thanksgiving Prayer Service (Church) 2:45 pm
  • Play Practice 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

November 24

  • 8:05 am ALL School Thanksgiving Prayer Service - Church
  • 3rd grade Basketball practice (Budrys)
  • Brownie Meeting (Wiertel) Church Basement 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • NO Cub Care
  • NO Grizzly Academy

November 25

  • NO School - Thanksgiving Break

November 26

  • NO School - Thanksgiving Break

November 27

  • NO School - Thanksgiving Break

November 30

  • Classes Resume
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Play Practice 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Looking Ahead ...

December 2

  • 8:05 All School Liturgy

December 3

  • 7:00pm School Band Concert, Lake Catholic HS

December 7-13 -- Computer Science Education Week

  • Computer Science Education Week -- Joining students all over the world in an "Hour of Code" -- details TBA

December 9

  • 8:00am--2:00pm PTU Santa Shop

December 10 -- Principal Parent Circles

  • 5:00-6:00pm, Church CR

December 21

  • 6:30 JrK, K, 1 Christmas Program, Church

December 23 -- January 5 -- NO SCHOOL - Christmas Break

January 6 -- Classes resume

January 31 -- February 6, 2016 -- CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

January 31 -- Open House, 1:00--3:00pm

February 1 -- All School Career Day

February 3 -- Arts Day II

February 8 through February 19, 2016 (beginning earlier this year)

  • Cognitive Abilities Testing (CogATs) - Gr 3, 5, 7
  • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) -- Gr 1-8


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Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

Can You Spare Some Change?

The first graders are conducting their annual service project for the patients at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. If you would like to contribute, bring your spare pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars to the Rainbow Station in the cafeteria during your lunch period.

Collecting Change on:

  • November 23rd
  • November 24th
  • November 30th
  • December 1st
  • December 2nd
  • December 3rd
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Hour of Code ... it's coming ...

Every year during Computer Science Education Week (December 7-11) over 74,000,000 students from around the world work with Hour of Code, a one-hour introduction of basic computer programming, specifically coding.

Last year, our St. Gabriel students took part in Hour of Code. This year, we are at it again!

Starting on November 30, all students in Kindergarten through 8th grade will work on www.code.org, a website that uses Blockly - a program used to make animations move on the screen. The students will make an angry bird squash a nasty pig, a Flerb (a blob-like character) find his treasure, and Frozen’s Ana and Elsa skate across the ice while drawing snowflakes! And new for this year, a Star Wars themed lesson!

Coding is a valuable tool for students to learn to problem solve. Steve jobs said, “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think.” Check out this YouTube video for more information on the importance of coding. https://youtu.be/STRPsW6IY8k

Parents, are you interested in trying it? Come and see what you can do with coding on November 30th. Sign up using the link below. We are offering two half hour classes on coding for parents in our computer lab. The first class session will begin at 6pm with a second session at 6:45pm. Space is limited to 30 parents for each class.


PTU Santa Shop

Dear Parents,

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas♪. Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again! Our dedicated Christmas Elves have begun shopping for the 8th annual St. Gabriel PTU Santa Shop. On Wednesday, December 9th, students in grades Jr. K – 8 will have the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts for their parents or any two important adults in their lives. For those of you whose children will be shopping for the first time, here are some important details:

  • All gifts are purchased locally by PTU Santa Shop committee members – not from outside vendors.
  • All gifts are priced at $5.00 each and are specifically for moms and dads. Each student can purchase up to two gifts: one for each parent or another important adult family member.
  • Money for gifts is collected ahead of time and must be returned with the form below by Tuesday, December 1st. It is important for us to know in advance how many students will be shopping.
  • Even if you do not want your children to purchase gifts, they will still participate in other Christmas crafts and activities that day. Everyone will be involved in the fun!
  • 7th graders will be shopping with their Kindergarten buddies; 8th graders will be shopping with their 1st grade buddies. 6th graders will be shopping with Jr Kindergarten students.

As in the past, parent volunteers will be available to assist students in wrapping their gifts. What we have discovered is that many gifts can be difficult to wrap without boxes and in the time allotted. Therefore, we are in great need of gift bags (any sizes). If you have some lying around your house that you don’t intend to use, please consider donating them. Donations can be dropped off at the school office. Thank you!

Please detach the bottom portion of this letter and return it to school by Tuesday, December 1st even if your child(ren) will not be shopping. Your response is very important as we rely on this number to know how many gifts we need to purchase. We will not be accepting money on the shopping day. Please understand that this is the only way to keep it fair for all students so that those shopping later in the day have as many gifts from which to choose as those shopping earlier. If you have any questions or if you have a special family situation where your child will need to buy more than two gifts, you can contact Mary Madeja at strawberrymajic@yahoo.com

Santa Shop Form

Career Day - Monday, February 1, 2016

Catholic Schools Week will take place from January 31st, through February 6th. After Open House, on Sunday, January 31, we are creating another CAREER DAY on Monday, February 1st at the beginning of the school week.

Our Career Day last spring for our 7th and 8th graders was a huge success, confirming the value of partnering with parent citizens and businesses in our community to bring added current expertise to our efforts to prepare our St. Gabriel students for college and career. This year we would like to expand it to include 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades having a formal schedule of speakers throughout the morning of February 1st, 2016.

As we work to incorporate connections of STEM culture and learning across curriculum at St. Gabriel, we know this entails partnerships with higher education and businesses in our community. These partnerships will help expose our students to skiils, knowledge, understandings and various requirements in college and career opportunities, STEM or otherwise, for our students' futures.

Are you a parent, or a St. Gabriel Alumni, who has a career that you are passionate about? Would you like to offer your knowledge and experience with it as a worthy, fruitful, and fulfilling choice of career or study for our young people? Would you like to partner with us to help and guide our students to discover and take their God given talents and go forth and make a difference in our world? If so, we invite you to join us! Please let us know by signing up on the link below.

Monday, February 1, 2016. Presentations will be in the morning.

Click HERE to register


PTU Information

All PTU Information and forms can be accessed through the PTU Website

Grizzly Gear - Uniform Sweatshirts

GRIZZLY GEAR makes great Christmas presents!

Grizzly Gear will be on sale outside of the school office during Parent-Teacher Conference nights Nov. 3rd and Nov. 10th. Shop our Buy It Now items or place orders. Cash or checks accepted. Order deadline Nov. 24th.

Order deadline: November 24, 2015

Dear Parents,

All summer/early fall orders for gym clothes, school sweatshirts and Grizzly wear have been delivered.

New orders are due November 24th. Goal is delivery by Christmas!

Did you know that we have a wonderful apparel team of PTU parent volunteers who make all of this possible? ~ guided by Mrs. Schauer, Mrs. Osterman and Mrs. Mann's leadership and aided by countless of behind the scenes volunteers who sort/organize and deliver orders. We thank all of our PTU parent volunteers!! If you'd like to volunteer to help with the school apparel effort please contact Mrs. Schauer at barb.schauer@roadrunner.com

Gym Uniforms & Uniform Sweatshirts Order Form

Spirit Wear Order Form

PTU Sunshine Committtee

The goal of the St. Gabriel PTU Sunshine Committee is to bring a little ray of sunshine, and perhaps a smile(!), to members of our school community that are not feeling very “sunny”. We also like to celebrate happy occasions too! We do this by sending home a card, small gift, or an act of service.

If you hear of anyone in need of our services, please contact the School Office, or feel free to directly e-mail us.

Thank you,

Joy Novak: joynovak@ymail.com

Katy Moran: katy_moran@att.net

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Please make special places in your hearts and prayers for all persons in our St. Gabriel Community:

For the Burtch family, for prayers of healing, especially for grandpa Richard Farrell.

For Darin C, for prayers for healing and comfort in illness.

Healing prayers for Pop Pop Remchick.

For the Galeazzo family, especially Oliver and Evan, for prayers of comfort, strength and healing in the loss of their Dad Steve.

For the Pokersnik family, for prayers of comfort in the lost of their grandmother Helen.

Please keep in your prayers, general intercessions for all in our community, especially all of our students who have suffered losses of loves ones over the last few years. And I know there are many needing both big and little prayers here and there, for many reasons. I was once read an anonymous quote:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

A very special expression of appreciation and thanks to our wonderful school parent Sunshine Committee who strives to lead reach out efforts of love and support and help for those in our community in suffering!

Submitting School News, Memos, and Information

If you wish to have something included in the Weekend Virtual Back (VB) or the Weekday News and Notes, or any of our shorter email memos, please contact our Communications Coordinator, Michelle Clarke, at michelle.clarke@st-gabrielschool.org. All items must be approved by the principal and follow our policies. Thank you!!

NOTE: Also, if there are technical obstacles or difficulties in preventing you from accessing a linked item, or getting the correct information, please let Mrs. Clarke know, and she will get you the document or item or information you need!

St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School

We are being Christ every day, everywhere, through teaching, learning, leading and serving.