Growing Saints

Family Newsletter * August 18, 2022

"This is what we are about: we plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise."

-Attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romeo

Mrs. O'Connor

Hello and welcome to the beginning of a very exciting school year!

We have some pretty big plans for project based learning, real life exploration, and, of course, growing together in faith! Achieving academic excellence goes beyond books into the wide world. All of our instructional choices will be directed towards understanding our theme for the year, "My Vocation is Mercy!" God has a plan for each one of us to show our love for him by loving those around us. We will be exploring the actions we can take to show our love by caring for our world, our community, and one another.

As much as we love to be able to take each and every one of our students to Rome to see the Vatican, that is a little beyond our capabilities. However, we have the amazing opportunity to view the paintings from the Sistine Chapel up close right here in Grand Rapids. Our kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms will be starting the year by studying the Bible Stories pictured in Michelangelo's paintings and then visiting the exhibit before it closes on September 11. For our fifth and sixth graders, the opportunity to learn about and appreciate Renaisance art will preceed their later study of the Renaisance time period later in the school year. We will be posting permission slips next week.

We hope to see everyone on Sunday for the Blessing of the Backpacks, the Parish Picnic and our school Open House.

St. Therese, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, pray for us!

Sheryl O'Connor

School Hours/ Drop Off and Pick Up

School is in session from 8:30 am-3:30 pm daily. Half days are 8:30 am to 11:45 am.

Students may be dropped off in the morning between 8:15 and 8:30 am. Parents of preschool students need to park in the parking lot and walk our preschool friends into their classroom. Elementary students may dropped off by the cones marking the playground.

Pick up at the end of the day is 3:30-3:45 pm. Again, parents of our preschool friends are asked to park and walk into your child's classroom to pick up your child. Our elementary students will line up by classroom. Parents are asked to stay in their cars and form a line around the parking lot. For the safety of our students, we will be using an numbered system to track who is picking up each student. You can go to your Family Portal>>Web Forms>>Student Pick Up Number to request that a number be assigned to your family. You can also tell us how many numbers you will need. As you pull up each day with your family number on your dash, a staff member will enter the number into our database alerting the teacher to dismiss your child. We are hoping this also has the bonus effect of keeping the car pick up line moving a little more smoothly. Please give us a little grace as we get the kinks worked out during the first week of school.

Get Involved!

We are so happy to welcome volunteers back into our school this year! As we grow our volunteer base this year, here are some beginning opportunities to get involved. You can click the link below to sign up via Sign Up Genius.

Various Opportunities: Volunteers Needed

Starting September 6-Chaperones to walk to Henika Library

All school volunteers are required to be Virtus trained (available on-line) and have a current criminal background check.

Orchestra Round Up!

We are blessed to have the opportunity to offer an Orchestra Program to grades 3 through 6. (And if your child continues on to St. Stanislaus for middle school, they will be able to have 2 more years!)

Learning to play the strings is a life-long gift. Violinists, violists, cellists, and bass players will play their whole life! We want to help you discover if your child would like to learn to play a string instrument. We will have one orchestra for this first year. Orchestra will meet on Thursday mornings after Mass. Please encourage your child to consider being a part of our orchestra.

On September 12, there will be a demonstration of the violin, viola, cello and bass to all of our 3rd-6th grade students. This will be an introduction to the instruments and their sounds. Students will also be given the opportunity to hold and try an instrument, if they like. There is no pressure for students to enroll in the orchestra. We will send information home about the instrument in which your child is interested and the size that they would need.

If you decide to enroll your child in Orchestra you can contact Meyer Music regarding instrument rental. The video Getting Started with Orchestra, has some information about what to expect. Meyer Music ( is the vendor for our orchestra. They will come to our school and bring instruments for students to try out and measure for the appropriate size. One advantage of renting is that as students grow and need larger instruments, they exchange for larger sizes for free. For example, a student may start with a ¼ violin but need a ½ size by January! Meyer has stores in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Kalamazoo.

If you decide to purchase or rent an instrument from Meyer music, you may either visit one of their stores in Holland, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, or Muskegon to purchase or rent online and the instrument will be delivered to the school.

We are looking forward to our Orchestra Round Up! If you have any questions, please contact me.

Sheri E. Jaffurs Ph.D. Assistant Principal

St. Stanislaus and St. Mary’s Visitation Catholic Schools,

Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 21

  • Blessing of the Backpacks 10:30 Mass @ St Therese
  • Parish Picnic immediately following Mass. Pulled pork, hot dogs, beverages, and table service provided. Please bring a dish to pass.
  • Meet the Teacher and Supply Drop-off Noon - 2:00 pm

Monday, August 22

First Day of School

  • 9:30 am School Mass
  • 1/2 Day, 11:45 Dismissal

Thursday, August 25

  • 9:30 am School Mass

Friday, August 26

No School

Thursday, September 1

  • 9:30 am School Mass

Friday, September 2 - Monday, September 5

No School

Tuesday, September 6

Walk to Henika Library

  • 5th and 6th Grades: 9-9:30 am
  • 2nd and 3rd Grades: 9:30-10 am
  • Kindergarten and First Grades: 10-10:30 am
  • Watch Family Portal for Permission Slip

No lunch menu yet!

You can check Wayland Union Schools website for updates. Since we do not receive lunch from Wayland on Wednesdays, we will again be offering pizza lunch on Wednesdays starting on September 7. Please plan on sending a lunch from home for Wednesday, August 24 and 31.