Andrew Pride

NOVEMBER 10, 2021


Hard to believe that November is already here. With Thanksgiving break not far away, we are reminded of how thankful we are at VJA. We have the best students, incredible staff, and a truly supportive community. In fact, our goal is to continue to focus on appreciating the abundance of excellence here with celebrations and recognitions.

A group that we are most appreciative of is our Veterans. We are excited to celebrate Veterans Week, an annual VJA tradition, and a return of an onsite celebration (modified) on November 18th. Also, we continue to appreciate the success of our T-Bolts in and out of the classroom. We are completing both team and individual IHSA postseason competitions with great success and kicking off winter sports and activities. Furthermore, we are proud that our First Generation Day celebration highlights over 100 T-Bolts that will be the first to attend college in their family. Our Fine Arts Programming is vibrant this month which includes our Band concerts, Art shows, and Orchesis Dance showcases. Regarding recognitions, on November 17th, we will have our annual National Honors Society Induction ceremony. We are excited to welcome over 115 juniors and a handful of seniors to this outstanding organization which emulates character, leadership, service, and academic excellence.

With the end of the semester drawing near, we are happy to announce that we will be offering additional help sessions for students who are struggling. It is called Academic T-Bolt Intervention-ATI and it will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays both before and after school. Please click on this link for more information, and if interested, use the sign-up link (located on the bottom of the attached flyer), so that we can plan accordingly. We want all our T-Bolts to end the semester successfully!

In our continued efforts to enhance VJA, emphasis on our VJA School Improvement Plan is prominent. We received feedback from students, parents, and staff stakeholders regarding the four areas of focus for this year. The following goals align to our D230 Pillars and Strategic Framework:

  • Implement the D230 Reopening Plan with fidelity, ensuring that the three key priorities for the full reopening of school during the 2021-2022 school year are achieved.

  • To optimize student success by providing timely, targeted, and effective interventions that address students’ academic and social-emotional growth.

  • To continue our school-wide efforts around equity, inclusion and diversity. This includes increasing capacity for staff and students as well as moving toward implementation of best practices.

  • Increase student college and career readiness by engaging students in authentic learning experiences that build their agency.

We are very appreciative of the support and encouragement you have provided to our T-Bolts and us. I am very grateful to serve as your principal. If you have any suggestions or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Follow us on Twitter @AndrewHS_d230 & @AbirOthman


November 10: Athletic Boosters Meeting @ 7 p.m.

November 12: Winter Athletic Showcase @ 5 p.m.

November 13: Class of 2026 entrance exam (contact Guidance Dept. with questions)

November 13: Dance Invite @ 1 p.m.

November 16: Music Parents Meeting @ 7:30 p.m.

November 16: School Board Meeting @ CS, 6:30 p.m.

November 17: NHS Induction Ceremony @ 7 p.m.

November 24: NO School

November 25: NO School (Thanksgiving Day)

November 26: NO School

November 28: Santa Breakfast @ 8:30 a.m.


The co-curricular activities have been busy since our last newsletter:

  • We returned to the stage with our Freshmen show and our Fall play. Both performances were amazing, and the kids and staff had a great time preparing and performing.

  • Congrats to our Marching Thunderbolts for their excellent set of performances at the Illinois State Marching Band Championships. In prelims, the band was 2nd place in class 5A, and won caption awards for Best General Effect and Visual. They earned a spot in the final, and placed 5th (tied with Edwardsville). It was an excellent way to end a very successful 2021 season.

  • Our "I AM ANDREW" Twitter project has returned and we have been able to learn about many different students who make up Andrew. We are so fortunate to have them at Andrew. Click here if you missed any.

  • DECA had its District 230 DECA Competition with Stagg and Sandburg on Monday, October 25th. Students competed in a Role Play and Product Knowledge Test. Our top 5 scoring students were: Patryk Marusarz, Frank Kane, Noah Montoya, Steven Wagner, and Leila Sloane.

  • We had a strong Tbolt start to the speech season at the HF Novice Halloween Classic Tournament! Way to go! 6th (IMP) Vinnie, 4th (DDA) Julia & Maddie, 2nd (DEC) Sam, 5th (Prose) Ava.

  • The History of Rock & Roll: Part 30, Andrew's annual Variety Show is BACK in the PAC (show dates March 10-12, 2022)! We are excited to allow our students to return to the stage to perform in this high-energy event. Love to sing? Dance? Make new friends? Live your Rock Star dreams?? ~ then check it out. Auditions will take place on Sunday, December 5 at 11:30 a.m. in the main gym. See Mrs. Mattix in room 357 for more info or at

  • Our S.A.V.E. club was able to host a great Halloween Trick or Treat for our community. They were able to accomplish this with the clubs volunteering to take a room for some fun, and then the NHS students helped keep everyone moving and safe. Here are some of the pictures from the event.

  • The Sportsmed Club will be hosting a restaurant fundraiser on November 20th from 5 - 9 p.m. Here is link to the flyer!

  • Lastly, if you are seeing all of this fun and want to get your child involved in clubs, please check out our website to see all of the different clubs we offer. I do know for certain that we are looking for some kids to join our debate club!


  • Stay Healthy during Cold and Flu season:

    • Get plenty of sleep (at least 7 hours/night)

    • Stay Hydrated (Drink water!)

    • Eat fruits and vegetables

    • Be physically active (take a walk)

    • Manage your stress (self-care is important!)

    • Avoid close contact with sick people

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water OR use an alcohol based hand sanitizer

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and wash or disinfect your hands afterwards, if you do

    • Cover your nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing

  • Please report COVID positive cases or close contacts, please call or leave a message in the Nurse’s Office at 708-342-4343 or send an email to

  • If your child is absent due to vomiting and/or diarrhea, your child cannot return to school for a minimum of 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea. This is according to updated guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health. When calling the Attendance Office (708-342-5895) to report a student absence, please remember to give the reason for the absence.

  • Class of 2025 families, if you haven’t turned in your child’s 9th grade dental exam (completed on or after 11/15/20), please turn in or email to the Nurse’s Office at OR fax to 708-737-7725.

  • Class of 2023 families, once your child turns 16 they can receive their 2nd Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine. This is required to be submitted to the school prior to the beginning of their senior year. When your student has received the vaccine on or after their 16th birthday, please email to the Nurse’s Office at or fax to 708-737-7725.

  • Medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, may not be taken or carried in school unless a completed Medication At School Authorization form is on file with the Nurse’s Office. Blank forms can be found on the Nurse’s page of the VJA website. Forms must be completed by parents/guardians AND physicians. Completed forms can be turned in or emailed to the Nurse’s Office at or faxed to 708-737-7725.



The College/Career Connection newsletter provides updates from the VJA College & Career Center for students and families. Please click here to access November’s College Corner newsletter. You may also access it via our website.

This month’s edition features:
  • Scholarship Resources
  • D230 Works Information and Upcoming Events
  • What to do after submitting College Applications and/or FAFSA
  • Facts for First Gen: Info for those will be the first in their family to attend college
  • and more!

Questions? Contact Cody Dailey, Student Success Specialist - - 708-342-5869


Our next Booster Club Meeting will be November 10 at 7 p.m. in Room 220. If you are interested in becoming a part of this great club, come to the meeting.

Our spiritwear store is now open on line until November 11. Please use the following link to get some school spirit! VJA Spiritwear

Remember, just because the fall season is over does not mean you have to stop being a part of the Booster Club. If you were a fall team rep and want to continue being involved, please come to the next meeting on November 10. We can only be successful because of the parent volunteers! The Booster Club is excited to welcome all the incoming winter team reps. Please contact Lesley at if you would like to be a part of this great group of parents!


The VJA Marching Thunderbolts concluded their season with two fantastic performances at the Illinois State University Marching Band Championship. In their preliminary performance, the Thunderbolts placed 2nd in their class (5A) and won Best Visual Effect and Best General Effect captions awards. In their final performance they placed 5th overall in the state of Illinois. Congratulations on a triumphant come back after last year.

The Winter Percussion workshops and auditions will be held 5:30 – 9:00 p.m. on November 15th and 16th. The Winter Color Guard clinics will be held 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on November 16th, and 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. on November 18th.

Auditions for this year’s winter musical, Freaky Friday, will take place after school on November 8th and 9th in the choir room. Please see Mr. Moan for more information.

The Symphonic band and Wind Symphony band will have their fall concert on November 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the PAC. The bands are working on music of a variety of different cultures. Look forward to an Italian Rhapsody, Korean Folksong, and Moscow 1941. Our students have been working hard and will be also prepping for the winter Prism Concert in combination with our choir department. This concert will be on December 8th and 9th.

Please consider attending the Andrew Music Parent meetings to keep up to date about all the news from the music department. The next meeting will be November 16th at 7:30 p.m. in the choir room.

Thank you and Eyes with Pride!!

TPPO (Thunder Pride Parent Organization)

We have reestablished the Thunder Pride Parent Organization (TPPO). The minutes from the first meeting are here. We will have our second meeting on December 6th at 7:00 p.m. in room 220. If you can only attend virtually, you can attend by using this link.