Principal Notes 03/13/2015

St. Cecilia School

Notes from the Principal

I hope everyone has an enjoyable spring break. It is encouraging that the weather has made a change to Spring and hopefully you are able to enjoy the seasonable weather. We will be ready to welcome your children back on March 23rd.

Enjoy break!

2015-2016 Commitment Form – Please Complete ASAP!!!

We are asking you to complete the 2015-2016 Commitment Form online as soon as possible. This will take you 5 minutes or less to complete. Please click the following link and complete your student and tuition information, then send a $100 deposit to the school office (show 2015-16 deposit in memo on check). If you are filing STO, then the deposit is waived. This $100 deposit will be applied toward your 2015-2016 tuition. If you have any questions or problems, please stop by the school office for a paper copy of this form.

2015-2016 Commitment Form

STO Reminder - only 10 days before the deadline!

A reminder to complete the STO form to qualify for assistance on your tuition for the 2014-15 school year. The due date is March 23rd and we want everyone to consider filing for this assistance. If you have heard others saying they would attend, but the tuition is a concern, please share with them that there is a scholarship program. A reminder that you need to file STO forms to be eligible for local assistance from the parish. Please contact the office if you need assistance with the form.

Wrap Around Care (Owls Club) for 2015-16

We continue in our efforts to provide wrap around programming for our students. We have been visiting with ACPC (Ames Community Preschool Center) to look at options that they can offer.

To assist in the decision process we are asking parents to complete a survey on how your family would use the program. The survey link is shown below and we are asking all parents to please complete the survey. For those not needing the service, the process will involve 1-2 minutes, for the others it will take less than 5 minutes. ACPC would be able to offer some options that would give parents more flexibility. We are asking parents for information that we can share with ACPC, so they can determine the best method and location to deliver wrap around care.

I appreciate your time to complete the survey.


Room changes for 2015-2016

Every year we have room changes that occur due to the enrollment in a certain class. This year we will be moving classes during the summer months to meet the enrollment needs. One change that we have decided is to move the Preschool to the education center starting in the fall of 2015. I am very excited about bringing the Preschool to the education center. This will help with the transition of the 3 and 4-year-old students to Kindergarten and provide the opportunity for increased enrollment in the 4-year-old Preschool program due to the space in the classroom. This will cause the relocation of other classes in the education center. We have talked about the additional moves and will be working with staff to make the decision on the location of sections.

Class Size Reductions

Each year the administration evaluates the enrollment and needs for the upcoming school year. This year the current 2nd grade has 22 students. As I have been looking at our options, we will combine the current the 2nd grade into one section for the 2015-16 school year. Every year the goal of the School Board and administration is to meet the needs of our students and be fiscally responsible for the school and parish. We will continue to have an associate available for the third grade next year. This past year Tilda Thompson served in this role and at this time I would anticipate that she would serve in that role next year.

St. Cecilia’s faces a challenge in the next few years as we examine enrollment and class size related issues. Our goal is to maintain the smallest class size possible but we have to balance the financial issues of affordability. Having two sections of 10-12 students cannot be sustained indefinitely by the school and maintain tuition at a level that is affordable for our families. We will need to have discussions of class size, the use of associates, and other creative options for the future of St. Cecilia’s. If we had 40- 45 students per grade level maintaining two sections would be easy and the school’s financial efficiency would be very strong, but that is not where we are at this time. We will need to figure the most productive way to manage class sizes of 20-36 and make decisions that will benefit your child and the continued success of St. Cecilia.

Thank You

We just wanted to thank you for your generous jeans day donation to Don Hahn, parish custodian. We were able to present him with a check for $600 to help with his medical costs. You are so generous and he was very touched by your kindness!

Jeans Day-Push International-March 27th

Our next jeans day will be held on Friday, March 27th. For a suggested donation of $1, your student can wear jeans and their favorite ‘team’ or ‘St. Cecilia School spirit’ shirt. The donations will be sent to Push International. Push International is a humanitarian non-profit organization whose mission is to provide sustainable mobility services to people with disabilities in need. They have teams of volunteers, which include occupational and physical therapist students, prosthetists, translators, who attend trips with them throughout the year. They usually give away ~80 wheelchairs and other equipment during these trips. After recipients have been properly seated in their wheelchairs Push International continues to serve the disabled. We host wheelchair maneuvering skills clinics, teach personal care skills, education, job skills, sports, and instill a sense of pride and unity in the disabled community in the countries where we work.

For more information, visit:

Thank you for your support.

ESA Legislation

The two current ESA Bills are House Study Bill 203, which would start with kindergarten and add a grade each year, and the other is Senate File 240, which would include all grades. We need support of both bills. General talking points about ESAs and School Choice are attached.

Please consider sending a message to your Senator and Representative using the ICC website:

The Senate File 240 bill can be found at:

Thank you for giving your immediate attention to this very important issue for our schools!

ESA Talking Points

Prayer Request

I want to encourage our families to pray for the parish members that are making a mission trip to Nicaragua. The group includes 22 members from St Cecilia and St. Thomas that are traveling to Chinandega, Nicaragua for a week of mission work. They will be adding an additional classroom to the school that they helped to build last year. They also will be supporting an orphanage and maturity home in the area. The group will be taking donations of food, clothing, and school supplies to the parishioners of El Divino Nina parish and school. Please take the time to include them in your prayers during their trip to Nicaragua as they complete the mission.

Erv Rowlands

Ervin A. Rowlands

Principal, St. Cecilia's School


Mrs. Wendt found some hair bows for the girls to wear at the concert.

An order form will be sent home the week of March 23rd.

Please watch for this. Thank you.

Scrip Notes

Thank you for participating in the Spring Scrip Promotion! Congratulations to this week's winner - Mrs. Hand!

Congratulations to all our winners:

  • Feb 16: Bath and Body Works $25 - WINNER: Weary Family!!!!!
  • Feb 23: Café Diem $10 - WINNER: Hustedt Family!!!!
  • Mar 2: Wallaby’s $10 - WINNER: Mrs. Susan Campbell!!!!
  • Mar 9: Panera $25 - WINNER: Mrs. Michele Handl!!!!

Our next scrip order date will be the Monday following Spring Break -March 23rd.

Mileage Club - PLEASE consider helping to make this possible!

Help us promote healthy exercise by being a part of Mileage Club! The program begins Thursday, March 26th (week following spring break) and we need you to make it successful!

Mileage Club is sponsored by Mary Greeley Medical Center and encourages kids to become more physically active and healthy by walking and running at lunch recess during the 8-week program. Students earn toe tokens for every 5 miles of walking or running and a grand prize at 25 miles! We will be walking and running at lunch recesses Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. We are looking for parent volunteers to help mark cards during the recesses. It's a simple task and a lot of fun to be part of the excitement! Grades 3-5 have recess at 11:40-12:00 and K-2 from 12:00-12:20. We will begin on Thursday, March 26th

Please contact Lisa Weary if you are interested in helping every week, every other week, or even just once or twice during the 8-week period ( or 292-0488). REMEMBER: Parents, grandparents, and younger siblings are invited to join their child(ren) for walking or running at any time! If you have never experienced Mileage Club, we encourage you to stop in and observe. Thank you for supporting this great opportunity for the students.

Mileage Club Parent Letter

Parish Seder Supper-Holy Thursday April 2, 5:30 - 7 pm Parish Social Hall

Parents: Give your children a better understanding of Holy Week, by participating in the Parish Seder Supper.

Each year St. Cecilia Parish celebrates a Seder Meal on Holy Thursday evening. Traditionally, the Seder is a festive meal for family and friends which is shared by the Jewish people during the Passover. This festive meal is a meaningful mark in the Holy Week journey.

The Seder Meal teaches children something about the journey that Jesus walked in his last days. It was at a Seder Meal, with his friends, that Jesus celebrated his Last Supper and instituted the Eucharist. The Seder Meal emphasizes our spiritual heritage as children of Abraham and Moses as well as brothers and sisters in Christ.

All members of the parish family are invited to attend the Seder Meal: adults, kids, families, singles, seniors. There will not be a charge for the meal, but contributions are welcomed. The Seder will finish in time to attend the Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7:30 in the church. Call Deacon Gary and Kay Aitchison at 296-2966 no later than March 29, or e-mail to make reservations.

Stations of the Cross on March 27 at 6 pm will have a special family focus. All members of the parish family, but especially children and families are welcomed to share in this Lenten opportunity in preparation for Holy Week.


Thanks to our awesome Art Teacher, Lisa Teske, we are offering a bidding opportunity that starts NOW! Please go to the Gala website to sign up at:

Hurry, because space is limited!

Parent Child Clay Creation Nights

Spend the evening creating your own unique slab containers with your child. Clay, tools, inspiration and guidance will be available as you spend the evening creating a unique clay containers together.

The first day will be spent creating your clay piece; the second will be spent adding color and shine through glaze application. You will need to be present both evenings to complete your projects.

Clay Building Day Tuesday April 21 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Clay Glazing Day Tuesday May 5 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Completed projects will be available for pick up from St. Cecilia on May 11th. The cost is $40 per parent/child pair.

Raffle News

Please continue to sell raffle tickets and turn in money and tickets to the school office. If you are not planning on selling them, please return the tickets to the office as soon as possible. We want to make sure we sell all we can! If you need more – YAY! contact Angela Carl at #292-2639.

Gala Preview

will be in the Social Hall after all Masses on March 21 and 22. Join us Saturday after Mass for snacks and drinks and Coffee &Donuts after Sunday Masses.

Preview auction items include a Fred Hoiberg Fantasy Camp,

World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia with an audience with Pope Francis, family and adult trips, activities and MORE!

Please contact Mindy Stahr at 515-450-1037 to register or donate.

We will be selling raffle tickets and taking registrations on site. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, 03/13: 1:30 p.m. Early Dismissal (no afternoon Owls Club)

  • Monday-Friday, 03/16-03/20: Spring Break – No School, Preschool or Owls Club

  • Monday, 03/23: Classes resume and 7 p.m. Catholic School Board Meeting

  • Wednesday, 03/25: 9 a.m. All School Mass

  • Thursday, 03/26: Mileage Club Begins!

  • Friday, 03/27: Jeans Day for Push International

Community Events

After School Art-Spring Session

Registration Form

Story Theater Company-see attached for Mulan Jr. auditions and summer theater programs for students first grand through high school.

Mulan Audition Flyer

Summer Theater Registration Form

Ames Morning Rotary Club-Kids Run for Kids 2015 on May 2nd. See attached for the information and sign up.

Kids Run Form and Info