Holy Family School Newsletter

End of Year & State of the School


Dear Parents/Guardians:

As the school year has come to a close, our minds and hearts are filled to the brim with pride. I would like to express how grateful I am to be leading such a remarkable community of students, parents & staff. It has been an amazing year! I am so proud of all of the achievements and accomplishments of our students here at Holy Family School. It’s been a year filled with many memories, successes, and transitions. Together we’ve learned so much and shared experiences that will long remain with us in the years to come. All of this would not be possible without your continued support and dedication.

One thing I know is that the strength of our community and wholehearted passion make our school a wonderful place of learning for our children. Thanks to the support of our parents, volunteers, and community members, Holy Family School truly is a special place. I want to also take this opportunity to thank the Parent Advisory Committee and Marketing Committee for all of their support to our students and staff this past year. You are an amazing group of people and everything you do is greatly appreciated!

Reflecting on the past school year, we have had so many great memories and exciting events to look back on. We continued many successful traditions such as our book fairs, all-school rosary, Caring About People (CAP), Godchild Bowling, Heroes for Hunger, Workathon and many more heartfelt memories. We also added many new experiences, which we will continue and make new traditions of such as our Little World Changer character education program, all-school assemblies, faith-filled Fridays, book buddies, and the all-school Divine Mercy Chaplet. Our students really enjoyed all of these activities.

Looking ahead, we have many exciting new initiatives that we are bringing to HFS for the upcoming year. You can click on any of the hyper-links to learn more about the program. We will be incorporating IXL into our math curriculum, as well as Believe and Read a new reading curriculum based on the Science of Reading. This program will be integrated into the K-2 classrooms next fall with 3rd grade being added the following year. We will also have a new Student Information System called JMC, which you have already started to use. More information and training will be coming out to families in the future. All grade levels will have an opportunity to participate in STEM (science/technology/engineering/mathematics) activities 2x a month next year. In addition, we are also fortunate to have a shared part-time Phy-ed teacher, Michael Knoblauch from the public school, who will be at HFS next year. This will be a great opportunity for our students.

Starting in the 2023-24 school year the Free School Meals Program is being implemented. The Free School Meals Program is a state-funded program that provides reimbursement for meals served to students who do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals. This means ALL students will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost. This legislation provides a maximum of one free breakfast and one free lunch per day to students at participating schools. A second breakfast and/or a second lunch is considered an a la carte item and must be priced at the adult meal rate. A breakfast menu will be coming out in the fall prior to the start of school along with breakfast serving time.

The school calendar for next year is attached in this newsletter. As you know there was a survey sent out to parents seeking input continuing 2-hour late starts or removing them in the upcoming school year. The survey results were overwhelmingly positive to remove the 2-hour late starts. With that being said, HFS will not have any scheduled 2-hour late starts which means our schedule will look different from the public school calendar. On 2-hour late start days, parents will need to transport their child(ren) to HFS - students will be able to ride the bus home on those days as they normally do. Please see the calendar for more information and specific color coding on various days. In addition there will be 2 required parent-teacher conferences next year. These are also indicated on the calendar. The school calendar will also be available on our website and on JMC.

Many thanks to the teachers and staff who have done an amazing job in supporting our students both academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Their hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed! We are also in the process of hiring an additional support staff to assist in the Kindergarten classrooms and with the breakfast program that will be starting in the fall. Jerry Hiltner, our Head Cook, will be retiring this year. We wish Jerry the very best in his retirement and hope he is able to relax and do all the things that he deserves. We will definitely miss him in the kitchen, but are hopeful he will still be seen at HFS helping out when needed. A special thanks to you, the parents who have contributed in ways small, large and unimaginable! Thank you for the partnership between home and school, which is so important. We appreciate all that you do each and every day for our school and our children!

As always we encourage parents/guardians to be involved in their child(ren)’s education. Our goal in the upcoming year is to encourage parent involvement with parent representation across all grade levels. With that being said, there are 3 opportunities for parents to participate on the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). We are looking for parent representation from the following grade levels: Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. The committee meets 5 times a year and plays a vital role in supporting strategies that provide a positive outcome for students. Please consider getting involved or call the school if you have any questions.

Finally, students will be coming home on the last day with their report cards indicating their promotion to the next grade. In early August, students will receive a “Welcome Back” letter from their respective teacher for the new school year. Different from the past, full class rosters will not be sent home with every student on the last day of school. Instead, students will receive individual teacher assignments in the welcome letter in August. Teachers have spent a significant amount of time ensuring that students are placed appropriately for the upcoming school year based on many factors, such as academic needs, social needs, maturity levels, and learning styles to name a few. With that being said, Holy Family School will not accept parent requests as the process used is based on individual student needs and also keeping classes balanced. Teachers know the students well and are able to accurately make decisions in the best interest of the student. Holy Family reserves the right to make changes as needed prior to the start of the school year based on other incoming students that may require an adjustment to the current placement in order to meet all student needs. This is one of the main reasons that teacher assignments will not be shared out until August. I realize this is a change, but students will have a “Welcome Back” letter to look forward to prior to the start of school.

We look forward to celebrating another year when we are all back together in the fall. May God bless you and keep you safe and healthy over the summer.

Ms. Otte & the teachers and staff at Holy Family School

Big picture


On Tuesday, May 23rd, Holy Family School will have their final end-of-the-year all-school celebration. The day will start off with our final all-school assembly, then go into our talent show (only parents whose children are performing are permitted to watch the talent show). Next we will process down to Sinclair Lewis Park to the bandshell where lunch will be provided along with entertainment with DJ Pete (which was funded through one of our grants provided by the Sauk Centre Area Community Foundation). Students will be walking with crossing guards available and law enforcement will be contacted to assist with crossing of major roadways. If for some reason you do not want your child(ren) to participate in walking, please notify the school no later than Monday, May 22nd. Upon returning to the school, yearbooks will be handed out and students will have assigned grade-level opportunities to have them signed.

Students who received recognition this past year for a monthly character trait will be coming home with their own "Little World Changer" trophy to keep. Students do not know this and it is a surprise during the last assembly so please do not share this with them. The purchase of these trophies was made possible through donations from the Sauk Centre Lions Club and Sauk Centre Rotary as well as a grant from the Catholic School Center of Excellence (CSCOE). The Sauk Centre Area Community Foundation (SCACF) has also provided support for other components of our assemblies such as DJ Pete, the character trait curriculum, etc. A huge thank you to all of these organizations. Please watch for your child to bring this trophy home and we hope it will come home in one piece as we are not able to replace broken trophies. Again, please help us to keep this a surprise. Thank you!


The lunch menu for next week will change on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, May 24th - Will be smorgasbord
  • Thursday, May 25th - Will be bag lunches of meat sandwich, chips, fruit, veggie & a cookie

Please click the button to view the full calendar for the 2023-2024 school year.


Please click the button to view the school supply list for the 2023-2024 school year.

Big picture
  1. Holy Family School will foster a Catholic and Christian culture that actively lives its faith and mission.

  2. Holy Family School will provide curriculum, instruction, training and assessments that promote high academic excellence.

  3. Holy Family School will provide a safe and welcoming learning environment.

  4. Holy Family School will encourage involvement and promote awareness of our school.

  5. Holy Family School will maintain and preserve financial sustainability and school growth.

Important Accomplishments In Our Strategic Plan and Celebrations This Year

  • HFS students and staff have been able to return to volunteerism in the community such as going to Getty Street, Fairway Pines and the Workathon.

  • Enrollment this year started out at 252 and will end at 250 due to families/students moving. Next year's enrollment numbers are remaining steady with a slight increase to 255.

  • Our overall STAR Consolidated Progress Report for Reading and Math scores reflected continued growth in both areas. However, the consolidated report did not show as much progress as we would have hoped for in the area of reading. Therefore, the addition of the new Believe and Read Program, which is based on the Science of Reading, will be or great benefit. We did see good growth with math and hope with the addition of IXL to support our existing math curriculum growth will continue.

  • Our school theme “Walking in Faith” focused on being able to keep faith in difficult times, understanding that we are not alone and learning to trust in God when we face challenging situations. Students shared messages based on having faith during Faithful Friday announcements and during our all-school assembly. We also added the all-school Divine Mercy Chaplet this year. This has been an amazing and powerful time of prayer for our student body. Students have really embraced the Divine Mercy and have done a wonderful job of praying together and for one another. We implemented the new Religion series “Blest Are We” and continue to foster the church teachings, create an awareness of our faith, and enhance our faith formation at home and school. We also implemented our "Little World Changer" character education program that aligns with Christian values. Students are recognized every month for displaying positive traits.

  • Holy Family School has been blessed to be awarded with a number of grants from the following organizations for our character education program: Sauk Centre Area Community Foundation ($2,500) Sauk Centre Lions Club ($500), Sauk Centre Rotary Club ($600), Technology Award ($1,300) for a student-created video with Ashley Bruggeman.

  • We are in the second year of the Wonders Reading Curriculum. Teachers continued professional development on assessments and Tier 2 intervention resources available to support instruction. We also reviewed our current math curriculum and will be supplementing the program next year with IXL. This is a great resource for students to use over the summer as well.

  • Our school joined the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE). CSCOE is an innovative nonprofit that works with Catholic schools to enhance excellence and increase enrollment while building the best elementary school educational model in the state of Minnesota. CSCOE was established through the vision and generosity of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. This has been one of the best things that has happened to HFS! The support from CSCOE has been amazing and has provided our students staff with amazing opportunities. The following are some of the resources our school has gained access to: flexible seating options for students through a grant called Impact ($10,000), professional development for staff and administration, onsite visits with a CSCOE member and STEM resources to name a few things. Most importantly we applied to pilot the Believe and Read Program and we were awarded that opportunity after going through a lengthy grant application process ($130,000).

  • The Marketing Committee is in its second term and has provided the school with so many great things this past year. They have done an outstanding job of promoting awareness of HFS. I want to recognize those members: Ashley Bruggeman, Abby Henderson, Allison Norgren, Laura Borgerding, Logan Gruber and Megan VanHavermaet. The committee has done a great job of marketing our school on our school Facebook page by keeping the community informed of what is happening at HFS, they have created new brochures for our school and created an alumni newsletter. Ashley Bruggeman played a key role in the success of our student-led videos for our all-school assemblies. They continue to make great strides on behalf of our school. Allison Norgren took the lead in seeking out potential grant opportunities to supplement our current programming and our facility.

  • Our school is currently participating in a technology audit with CSCOE. A technology audit is a 3-step process designed to help schools answer 3 key questions: 1. What technology do we currently have access to at our school? 2. Are we getting the most out of our technology? What is going well? What needs work? 3. What steps do we need to take in order to maximize our technology? Where do we go from here? The goal is for us to be better prepared to plan for future technology needs.

  • Annually MNSAA seeks to focus our Annual Progress Report on an essential standard. This next academic year the emphasis will be on health and safety. Other future goals in 2023-24 include Facilities and Equipment updates and improvements in specific areas, ensuring the safety and security of students and staff, and supporting health requirements. We will also continue to identify and plan for future technology needs for both staff and students and determine how to maintain our current technology. This will be accomplished in part through our technology audit, ongoing professional development of STAR and other assessment tools. HFS will continue long-term financial planning.

2022-2023 School Budget as of April 30, 2023

The charts below reflect our school budget as of April 30, 2023. The complete school year budget runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Year-end fiscal reports are available in the late summer.

As we all know the unexpected inflation has hit everyone hard and created unexpected expenses above and beyond what was projected. Holy Family School still has outstanding expenses that will be incurred through the end of the fiscal year ending June 30. With that said, HFS does have a positive fund balance and it is projected that we will remain on track ending the year with a positive balance barring any unforeseen circumstances.

We appreciate your commitment to your tuition pledge and much needed involvement in fundraisers throughout the year. A tremendous thank you to the donors, businesses, and the parishes for their generous subsidy and spiritual support.

Big picture
Big picture


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

The school will have limited office hours for the months of June, July & August. Please see below for specific times to call or stop in:

  • June 5th -16th: Monday/Wednesday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm.

  • Beginning June 17th: School and Offices Will be Closed


  • School and offices will be closed for entire month of July.


  • August 2 - August 23: Monday/Wednesday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm.

  • August 28: 8:00 am - 11:00 am

  • August 29: Offices closed

  • August 30: Open House & Office Hours: 1:00 pm -7:00 pm

  • August 31: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm


  • September 1: Offices closed
  • September 4: Offices Closed - Labor Day
  • September 5: First day of school at HFS

From School Nurse Raymie

Big picture
Big picture

May "Good Citizen" Assembly

Please watch the Herald for updates on our Character trait winners from May!

Big picture
We want to say Thank You to all the parents who have been bringing in treats for the staff at HFS. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

2022-2023 School Year Theme

Big picture