Weekend ... Virtual Backpack

St. Gabriel School ............. January 3, 2016

Developing our God-given souls, minds, talents and gifts .......................................... as servant leaders .......................................... in the community of the Body of Christ.

That's the St. Gabriel Advantage ...

Big image


4th Sunday of Advent

Sacred Scripture: LK 1:41-42

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb."


How do we as a family help each other learn about love, justice, compassion, forgiveness, mutual respect, patience and humility? When do we ask Mary, Mother of Jesus, to pray that our family will demonstrate the fruitfulness of faith, filled with the Light of Christ?

NCEA Weekly Reflections, Praying with you and for you as we focus on family and mission in Catholic education.

Big image

Dear Parents

As we move into this final week of Advent preparations leading to our celebration of Christ's birth on Christmas, lessons and learning continue in full, with the children's smiles brighter than ever! We have a short but full two days of school. We will enjoy the wonderful Christmas program performance of our Jr Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st grade on Monday, and will participate as a whole school in our specially prepared all school final Advent prayer service on Tuesday.

Our next newsletters will be a brief Weekend Virtual Backpack on Sunday, January 3, 2016, right before classes resume, and the News and Notes, to be sent out on January 5th, 2016, the day after classes resume after our break. We look forward to the second half of the school year in anticipation of many exciting events, activities, and programs that support and enhance the progress in our faith and academic learning and formation.

May you and your families and friends experience abundant blessings of love, joy, and peace at Christmas and have a wonderful and safe holiday break! You will be in my prayers as always,

God bless,

Mrs. Saladino

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has declared a Holy Year of Mercy for the entire Catholic Church that began on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pope has described this Jubilee Year of Mercy as a time to heal, to help, to forgive, and to be the mercy that we also seek.

Pope Francis utilizes the motto, "Merciful Like the Father," inviting us not to judge or condemn, but to give love and forgiveness without measure. He has also asked our Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, depicted so beautifully in Matthew 25:31-46.

Enrollment Packet

Dear Parents,

2016.17 Enrollment Packets were mailed to your home address this past Friday, December 18th. Included in the packet are:

  • A cover letter of simplified directions
  • A page display of St. Gabriel progress
  • A payment agreement and payment election form
  • A Roundup sheet for Jr K or Learning Loft

Additionally 2016-17 PSAS forms are now available on-line on the school website

Please direct any questions to the School Office.

Thank you!

8th Grade - Pancake Breakfast

Hello 8th grade parents.

As you know, the 8th grade trip has been planned and will be here before we know it! The largest fundraiser for the 8th grade trip is the Pancake Breakfast, which will take place Sunday, February 21, 2016. Every year, the Pancake Breakfast is a huge success, great fun for the 8th graders, and significantly helps to offset the cost of the trip. Every 8th grader is required to volunteer for this event, and the net proceeds from the breakfast will be divided equally among every student that volunteers. For those students that can't volunteer on the day of the breakfast due to a prior commitment, there will be a few opportunities to volunteer ahead of time selling tickets. Please mark your calendar for this fun event, and look for more information coming your way in the new year.

Not only do we need the help of every student, but we need parent volunteers as well. There will be many volunteer positions available on the day of the event, but we also need a few parents to lead the following committees: Food Donations, 50/50 Raffle & Chinese Auction, Kitchen, and Bake Sale. Each committee head will have the help of multiple other parents on the committee. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact Lisa Petersen at lisampetersen21@gmail.com.

Big image

When the snow starts flying ....

Here are some notes and guidelines to help us all be prepared ahead of time for calamity day school closings! This article is long, but it is advised that you print and keep a copy.

General Procedure Info

  • Our public school superintendents (Mentor and Riverside) make the call as to whether or not to close and keep buses off the roads, after consultations with their transportation departments and weather information.
  • When either one closes, we close, as half our buses come from one or the other, plus we generally go by their assessment and judgment on the safety conditions for travel. Rarely do they not both close.
  • Their transportation directors notify me -- the time can vary greatly -- from as early as 4:30am, to as late as 6:00am -- or sometimes they can make the call the night before if there is enough reliable weather information.
  • I call and notify: our maintenance, our assistant principal, the Loft Director, our office staff, our parish, and our communications director.
  • I post our closing on the TV stations 3, 5, 8 and 19.
  • Michelle Clarke writes an email blast and sends out to all families and staff.
  • I record a phone blast and send out to all families and staff.

General expectations

  • All school activities after school are cancelled unless otherwise noted. Things such as CYO and parish activities make their own judgments and calls.
  • By noon, teachers post directions on their web pages for what to do about things that were planned that day, or assignments to be done, or other important information they may wish to convey to you.
  • We will be striving to be consistent within grade groups (primary, middle, jr high), and very simplified in any required work.


  1. Students are expected to do work that was already assigned for the day that became a snow day(s). if a quiz or test was scheduled, it will be taken on the day back.
  2. No new instruction or new work or new assignments will be given. As with homework normally, if students have questions or problems, they can ask the teachers when they get back to school.
  3. Teachers will post on their web pages by noon on each snow day, any news, information, instructions or changes students and/or parents need to know about classwork, homework, or other assignments or events. Students and parents must check teacher web pages each snow day.

NOTE: If days off do string out to 3 or more in a row, teachers may offer activities not needing new instruction, but for practice or reinforcement or continuation (such as read the next chapter etc) for prevention of gaps. This will be consistent across grade, and be grade level appropriate.

All that being said ...

  • If we use up our allotted snow day allowance (10 days) things will change, we will then be required by state code to have comprehensive lessons/classwork that are part of a days's planning of courses and/or curriculum to add on another day. This is what is normally referred to as Blizzard Bags.
  • We will keep you notified of our status in that count, or if any other changes are needed.

December 21, 2015 through December 22, 2015

December 21
  • 8:15 All School Jr K, K, 1 Christmas Program
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 - 4:00
  • Practice Prayer Service 2:45
  • Power of the Pen 3:00 - 3:30
  • Gr. Jr K, K and 1st Christmas Program 6:30, in Church

December 22

  • 8:05 All School Prayer Service
  • 8th grade girls basketball practice
  • NO Cub Care
  • NO Grizzly Academy
  • NO hot lunch (please pack a lunch)
  • Brownie Mtg. (Wiertel) Chuch basement 2:30 - 4:00

December 23 through January 5

  • NO school - Christmas break

January 6

  • Classes resume

Looking Ahead ...

January 7 - Principal Parent Circle

  • 5:00pm
  • Grizzly Learning Den (new school media center)

January 14

  • 4:30-5:30 pm - PTU meeting

January 31 -- February 6, 2016 -- CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

January 31 -- Open House, 1:00--3:00pm

February 1 -- All School Career Day

February 3 -- Arts Day II

February 8 through February 19, 2016 (having an earlier time this year)

  • Cognitive Abilities Testing (CogATs) - Gr 3, 5, 7
  • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) -- Gr 1-8

February 21 - Pancake Breakfast -- Gr 8 Class Trip fundraiser


Big image

TAKE A LOOK! There are many wonderful events, activities, and accomplishments of our St. Gabriel School Community captured in our School Blog on our school website!

Big image

Career Day - Monday, February 1, 2016

Catholic Schools Week will take place from January 31st, through February 6th. After Open House, on Sunday, January 31, we are creating another CAREER DAY on Monday, February 1st, with presentations in the morning.

If you are a parent, or a St. Gabriel Alumni, who has a career that you are passionate about, and you would like to offer your knowledge and experience with it as a worthy, fruitful, and fulfilling choice of career or study for our young people, we invite you to join us on our Career Day! Please let us know by signing up on the link below.

Click HERE to register

Big image

Please make special places in your hearts and prayers for all persons in our St. Gabriel Community:

For the Burtch family, for prayers of healing, especially for grandpa Richard Farrell.

For Darin C, for prayers for healing and comfort in illness.

Healing prayers for Pop Pop Remchick.

For the Pokersnik family, for prayers of comfort in the loss of their grandmother Helen.

For the Thornton family, for prayers of comfort in the loss of their grandmother, Roberta Thornton.

In Thanksgiving for Father Fred's tireless devotion to St. Gabriel Parish and School for the past 25 years!! And for God to continue to bless him.

Please keep in your prayers, general intercessions for all in our community, especially all of our students who have suffered losses of loves ones over the last few years. And I know there are many needing both big and little prayers here and there, for many reasons. I was once read an anonymous quote:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

A very special expression of appreciation and thanks to our wonderful school parent Sunshine Committee who strives to lead reach out efforts of love and support and help for those in our community in suffering!

Submitting School News, Memos, and Information

If you wish to have something included in the Weekend Virtual Back (VB) or the Weekday News and Notes, or any of our shorter email memos, please contact our Communications Coordinator, Michelle Clarke, at michelle.clarke@st-gabrielschool.org. All items must be approved by the principal and follow our policies. Thank you!!

NOTE: Also, if there are technical obstacles or difficulties in preventing you from accessing a linked item, or getting the correct information, please let Mrs. Clarke know, and she will get you the document or item or information you need!

St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School

We are being Christ every day, everywhere, through teaching, learning, leading and serving.