Ms. Monaghan's Message - August 16

Challenge, Inspire, Empower, & Serve

Important Upcoming Dates

August 22: Partners In Education (PIE Night) - starting at 5:30 for parents in K-5; 6:30 for 6-8

Sept. 4: Sr. Judy's Birthday; St. Patrick Church Night - Celebrating Sr Judy, Mary Ragan, and Jean Folken

Partners in Education Night - August 22

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On Thursday, August 22, all parents are encouraged to attend Partners in Education (PIE) Night at St. Patrick School. This evening is a time for teachers to go over their classroom expectations, share how you will receive communication, go over any important policies and procedures, and allow you to ask questions.

At St. Patrick School, we believe that the home and school connection is key to your child's success. Please make a plan to be at this PARENTS ONLY event to ensure you have all the information you need to make this a great school year!

St. Patrick Church Nights - Wednesdays

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When I was a kid, which I swear wasn't really that long ago, our lives revolved around church. Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday nights too. It something we looked forward to as kids, because church was one of the true forms of socialization that we had. It was a time when our entire community put everything aside and came together for fellowship!

This year, as we prepare for our 25th anniversary in the new church building, St. Patrick is bringing back the idea that Wednesdays are "church nights". Each Wednesday, a light meal will be provided starting around 5:45pm - free of charge. Different groups in the church will take turns sponsoring the meals each week. If you want to bring a side dish to share, that would be great! If you simply don't have time, don't worry about it!

On "church nights", we will come together for a meal, then break off into different activities. Our youth will head to youth group, our groups might schedule a meeting, a group might get together to play a card game or have a bible study or just simply have some coffee and talk. If you can dream it, we can create a group for it!

Mark your calendars, because we are going to kick off "St. Patrick Church Nights" on Wednesday, September 4th. This evening will be a night to celebrate the 80th birthday of the one and only Sr. Judy Hayes and the retirement of 2 beloved parishioners, Mary Ragan and Jean Folken. You don't want to miss this special night!

STEM Class Donations Needed

* Our new STEM classes are going to be looking for miscellaneous items throughout the year. If you are willing to donate, you might first contact Dana Nolan at or Danielle Motta at Some items you might consider are: toothpicks, popsicle sticks, duct tape, scotch tape, scissors, nuts and bolts, screw drivers, wood pieces, circuits, etc. Check out the link below for more donations needed!

School/Home Communication

School Office/Home Communication

Each Friday, you should receive an email entitled, "Ms. Monaghan's Message". Because we have had some issues with Sycamore, some people are receiving the emails two or three days late. We are working on this problem, but for now, my weekly newsletter will be on our school Facebook and Twitter pages each Friday as well, along with the News section of the School home page on Sycamore.

You will receive various other communication via email throughout the year, so it is VERY important that your accurate email address is in Sycamore.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to "like" our Facebook page and follow our Twitter page. We also have an Instagram page if that's your preference. We consistently update each of these social media sites to ensure you have the most accurate information available. There is never a reason to fill uninformed!

Teacher/Parent Communication

Communication between school and home is truly the key to your child's success! All teachers are expected to post their newsletters on Sycamore by Monday of each week. This newsletter should be posted on the class homeroom page by the end of the day on Monday. However, many teachers have already developed different means of communicating with parents which might be the preferred method of communication for that classroom. It's important that you talk directly to the teacher. You might ask:

What should I expect? Will I receive an emailed newsletter? Am I expected to check Sycamore? Is there another method of communication that your child's teacher is using?

If you email a teacher or other school staff member, please understand the guidelines below.

* Emails will be replied to within 24 hours. (Exception: If you send an email after 3:30pm on Friday, the expectation is that you will receive a reply by the end of the day on Monday.)

* Emails received after 3:30pm Monday- Thursday will be returned by the end of the next day.

Please do not email something to a teacher over the weekend or late at night expecting them to reply before the next day. Our teachers work very hard during the day and go home exhausted and in need of downtime to recharge and prepare for the next day. I have encouraged them to disconnect from their school emails when they go home for the evening. (I'm working on doing this myself!)

If you ever feel as if you are not receiving the communication you need, please use the following protocol.

Step 1: Communicate your feelings to the teacher via email.

Step 2: Set up a time to speak face to face with the teacher. (I highly recommend getting to this step before a small problem becomes a big problem. However, do not stop the teacher in the parking lot or at drop off or dismissal. Set up a time to meet with the teacher outside of the normal school day.)

Step 3: If you have met with the teacher face to face and the problem persists, please email me and I will set up a time for all of us to meet. Please understand that if you email me regarding a teacher, I will forward the email to the teacher or add him/her to my reply.

I believe in complete transparency. We are all a team working to do the best we can for your child. If there is a problem, it's important that we are open about it, so we can get to the bottom of the problem quickly! We know that none of us are perfect and there are times when communication will breakdown. If we get to this point, sitting down together can often put an end to the breakdown quickly.

In the days of electronic communication, it's easy to misunderstand tone or vent frustrations in an unproductive manner. Every single person in this building loves your child and wants to see him/her succeed. Please remember this and know that often times there is an easy solution to most problems. Let's work together by keeping an open line of communication all year long!

Academic Integrity

This year, one of our school wide goals is increasing the Academic Integrity of St. Patrick School. What does this really mean?

We are lucky enough to have the "dream team" of teaching staff this year. With the help of 2 resource teachers in Mrs. Nolan and Mrs. Motta, along with our entire teaching staff, we will have the ability to create Individual Learning Plans for every single student at St. Patrick.

Over the next few weeks, we will be giving students in grades 3-8 a learning style assessment to determine what type of learner he/she is. Then, we will take a look at his/her Iowa scores and Math Benchmark assessments along with any data collected from the previous teacher. After gathering this information, we will work to create a specific plan for each child that focuses on his/her individual needs. Throughout the year, teachers will work with small groups and individual students to focus instruction on these specific needs and we will monitor weekly and monthly to measure student growth.

This year at St. Patrick, your child will receive more individual attention than he/she has ever received. This may come in the form of one-on-one instruction, small group instruction, instruction inside the classroom, and/or instruction outside of the classroom. We are all committed to meeting our students exactly where they are and doing WHATEVER IT TAKES to help that student achieve growth.

But.....(there's always a but, right???)

We need YOUR help. You are the first teacher of your child. Kids have this uncanny way of picking up habits, traits, and beliefs from their parents. If you put other things above school, your child will learn that school isn't really that important. If soccer practice is more important than the project that's due, your child will not find value in his school work. If you step in and do the work for your child, he/she will never learn to do that work himself. If you don't allow him to fail from time to time, he/she will never learn to develop the grit it takes to succeed in life. If you don't expect him/her to be accountable for his/her actions, he/she will never learn that there are consequences in life.

As a mom, I have had to learn to watch the way I speak to my children. I can remember being so frustrated with one of my son's coaches. My son works harder than anyone on the team! He is way better than some of the other players! Why doesn't he get enough playing time? Those coaches are just stupid! What I didn't realize was that my son was listening. Way more than he listened to me talk about anything cleaning his room or picking up after himself. He actually listened to me voice my frustrations over this coach and guess what....soon, MY frustrations became HIS frustrations and instead of being honest with me (or even himself) about why he wasn't getting playing time, it became the coach's fault.

We need YOUR help. Students learn the importance of hard work and perseverance from you. They learn that school work IS important when you tell them it IS important. They learn that it's okay to fail, so long as you get back up, work hard, and keep trying when you teach them to persevere. They develop grit when you allow us to hold them accountable for due dates and deadlines. We do this because we know it's a skill your child will need at every stage of his/her life.

Let's be honest, St. Patrick is a pretty great place to try, fail, and try again. Everyone here loves your child and wants to see him/her succeed. Why not allow them to learn these tough life lessons in this safe, nurturing place, so that when he/she gets into the real world, they already know what it takes to succeed?

St. Patrick School

The mission of St. Patrick School is to develop young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We stress the total development of each child: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. Encouragement is given to students to bring their lives into conformity with God's will and plan, so that He is glorified.