Ms. I's Update

September 2020

St. John School - Empowering for Excellence

Dear St. John School Community,

I hope all of you were able to stay cool and safe during the Labor Day weekend. Last week, we began our Spanish program. Packets for each grade level will always be available at school for pickup. St. John School is also about to enter our first STAR testing period. Teachers will be sending out additional information. Please also take the time to fill out a Title I survey. More information on these topics can be found below.

Today we celebrate the feast day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I encourage you all to gather and pray the Hail Mary prayer. I have linked the prayer and a video that you could watch with your family below. Thank you to all of our mother figures in our community.

As you can imagine, there are many ever changing updates and announcements. Thus, the Archdiocese has a weekly meeting with all principals to go over the latest changes and updates. The San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) has also been extremely helpful and has offered several highly informative sessions. Last Friday, they went over the reopening application process and all of the steps in great detail. There were several medical professionals and analysts on the call that went over data and the reasons for their decisions. A request was made to have a similar meeting for the wider community- particularly the parents. We also requested Spanish speaking data experts and/or translation services.

Every Archdiocesan school that plans to reopen must go through the SFDPH in addition to following the protocols set forth by the Archdiocese. SFDPH will conduct a site visit at every school prior to reopening. As always- the goal is a safe reopening for all participants. Please know that a lot of effort and time is being poured into ensuring that our students are being educated. We all want our students back on campus. Desks have been properly placed and plastic shield guards are being installed on each desk.

At tomorrow’s Town Hall- I will cover any changes that have occurred since my last communication regarding reopening. I will then focus on the purpose of Star Assessments and how the school can partner with the parents/guardians to ensure fidelity. Please record any questions you may have in the survey on SchoolSpeak.

Go Eagles!

Ms. Iwaszewicz

STAR Testing

What are Star Assessments?

Star Assessments are computer-adaptive tests (CATs) for pre-K—12 students that measure reading, math, and early literacy skills. The Archdiocese of SF has four testing windows throughout the school year.

Your child’s teacher will use the data from Star Assessments to answer essential questions he or she has about your child’s learning needs and to improve academic outcomes for all the students in the class. STAR assessments are just one of the many tools teachers are using to create an educational plan with SMART goals for our students.

Info Video:

Purpose of Star Assessments:

  • Measuring your child's general achievement in reading, math, or early literacy
  • Identifying what skills he or she is ready to learn
  • Helping plan instructional support activities
  • Tracking his or her progress toward academic targets
  • Estimating his or her proficiency on state tests
  • Estimating his or her mastery of standards
  • To identify students who are in need of support

What is Adaptive Testing?:

How to Prep your Student(s):

Teachers will let you know how and when your child will be assessed this year. (Small group, 1:1)

Prior to beginning the test, we recommend that students use the restroom and get a drink of water if needed. Students should silence any phones or other distractions as well as they can and place their phones out of reach.

Ensure that your child has the materials ready for testing.

Materials include: headphones for Early Literacy testing, paper and pencil for Star Math.

What assessments will my child take?

TK-1st Grade: Early Literacy

2nd-8th Grade: Star Math and Star Reading

I have attached a letter from Pamela Lyons and one from St. John School below.

Thank you for your partnership as we work together to support our students.

Title I Funding- Survey

St. John School received Title I, Part A federal funding. This is used to pay for our counseling services, Catapult program, educational materials, etc.

This is also how we are able to participate in so many field trips (during a regular school year). The cost of attendance is typically free or greatly reduced due to our Title I status.

In order to receive the proper funding- we need to have the correct data. Please partner with us by completing the following survey:

Additional information on Title 1, Part A federal funds:

Tech Update & Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who donated gently used iPads or made monetary contributions. St. John School is so incredibly grateful!

Thank you to the following donors*:

Low Family

Greg & Robin Canonica

Joan Dolan Ziegler

Connie Batchelder

Thomas & Katherine Kavanagh

Bill Elsbernd & Avelina Leanos

Jessica Guevara

*I will continue to update this list. We have also had several anonymous donations.

St. John School has purchased 40 iPad 7s! Hurrah!

Our goal is to be able to provide 1:1 devices for all students in TK-5. Please continue to spread the word!


Please always check SchoolSpeak for the most updated calendar.

September Dates

9/9: Town Hall- 5pm

9/11: Prayer Service- pre-recorded and distributed

9/15: PTG Meeting- 6pm

9/28: 12:30pm Dismissal

Looking ahead:

Thanksgiving Vacation: 11/25/20- 11/27/20

Christmas Vacation: 12/21/20- 1/1/21 (12/18/20 is a 12:30pm dismissal)

Easter Vacation: 4/2/21- 4/9/21 (4/1 is a 12:30pm dismissal)

Last Day of School: 6/10/20

*All Wednesdays will be 2pm dismissals*

*Please note that the calendar is subject to change. SchoolSpeak will have the most updated version*


We have several online fundraisers and community outreach events occurring.

Shoe Drive: Our bins are overflowing! Thank you! Drop off your gently used/worn or new schools to the entrance of St John. Share with family and friends - its a great way to clear out the closet while supporting St John. A community drop off is being arranged and will be posted on School Speak once the details are finalized.

Fundraisers: In lieu of chocolate sales, we are holding online fundraisers. Thank you for participating! Don't forget to participate in the online fundraiser with Boon Supply. If you haven't registered for your student, go to 'Join a Fundraiser as a Seller' type 333906 and click 'Join a Fundraiser' to register and associate orders with your student.

PTG Annual Survey: Please complete the annual PTG survey on SchoolSpeak. It's important we all stay connected and have a voice that is heard in the school.

September Meeting: 9/15 @6pm via Zoom (link on SchoolSpeak). Join us!

Questions? Want to get involved?: Email

Please continue to look at SchoolSpeak under the PTG tab for updated information.

Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (9/8)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

And Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Salve Regina (tono simple) | 450 voces - coro virtual | Música Católica

St. John the Evangelist Parish

Every weekend, Sunday Mass is being posted on our Parish website:

Referral Incentive

We love our St. John School community and feel that our parents and families know us best. Our school has thrived when current families have referred their friends/acquaintances to us.

Referral Incentive: Refer a family to us! If they enroll- your family will receive a $250 tuition deduction per newly enrolled student.

Alumni Spotlight

A St. John School graduate, Emmet Forde (2016), just biked across the continental United States with a group of recent graduates and a teacher from Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. We are all so impressed!

Here is the link to the article:

New York Times Article

We would love to spotlight any alumni of St. John School! Contact us!