Pilgrim Lutheran School News

February 5, 2016

The groundhog has confirmed...

...this winter is going to be short—not good news for the cross country skiers among us, but good for urban driving! Mrs. Halter and Ms. Huelskoetter took their homerooms to Emily Oaks Nature Center this week to check out the groundhog first hand. The Kindergartners are going quite in-depth about the groundhog. Check out their bulletin board in the first floor hallway.

February also brings registration letters to Pilgrim Families - the deadlines are upon us so please check them out below...

Registration for 2016/17 School Year

The letters have all gone out and we are sending this reminder about deadlines. The Pre-K and Kindergarten deadline is today! If you have lost or not received your letter in the mail, please contact Halley Williams in the office at office@pilgrimchicago.or or 773-477-4824.

Pre-Kindergarten (4 Yr old) and Kindergarten:

Due date is February 5, 2016

EC (3 Yr old):

Due Date is February 29, 2016

Grades 1-8:

Due Date is April 4, 2016

If your prepayment is not received by the designated deadline, your child’s name will be placed on the alternate list, and space will not be reserved for your child. If you submit payment after the deadline, the child’s name will be moved from the alternate to the enrolled list if space is available. We will begin to fill any openings with applicants from the waiting list in mid-February. Please do not miss the deadline if you want your child to return to Pilgrim in 2016-2017. If costs are a stumbling block to your registration, please contact Mr Comella.

If you know that your family will not be returning to Pilgrim for 2016-2017, please let us know. Transitions are natural in school communities and we all understand that. An accurate count of returning students helps Pilgrim leaders plan budget and staffing needs for the coming school year. Thanks for your help by letting us know your plans.

EC 3 Year Old Program

Please note if you are the parent of a 3-year-old or know someone interested in the 3-year-old class for the 2016-2017 school year: after much discussion, we are making spots available to 3-year-olds in the morning class, but unfortunately, we will not be able to offer an all-day option for these 3-year-olds, due to space and room limitations. We are also inviting parents of children who are eligible for the 4-year-old class in 2016-2017 to consider the option of sending your child to the afternoon class for 2016-2017. Our Early Childhood staff truly believe that a mixed 3- and 4-year-old class both in the morning and in the afternoon is going to be a stronger learning environment for all the children.

Winter Germs

One bad thing about not having a deep freeze is that many germs have not died off for the winter. I am not sure if this is an old wives’ tale, but certainly, we need to be vigilant about handwashing and keeping toys and indoor playthings clean. Many thanks to Mr. Emery for washing down the Pre-K room this week with a mild bleach solution to kill all the surface germs. We are also increasing the regularity with which bathrooms are cleaned. Please let us know if your child comes down with a confirmed case of something so that we can forewarn others here at school. Notes from school are not meant to scare parents, but just to increase awareness to prevent everyone from getting sick. Thanks for your partnership in this, and please let the office know if you have any questions.

Report Cards

Report cards were posted on the SIS page last Friday afternoon. I have heard from a few parents about various aspect of report cards. Here are some responses to those concerns: 1. Report Cards are posted in the document section of SIS. Grades 1-3 have two documents because one is a traditional report card, and the second is a narrative from Mr. Yearick about Spanish. If you cannot find the report card or if you have forgotten your password to SIS, please contact Halley Williams in the school office. She can guide you to the page with the report card. If you have forgotten your password, she can reset the password for you. Once you open the report card and have a question, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher for answers. If you need to arrange a conference to talk about your child’s progress, contact your child’s homeroom teacher. Pilgrim conferences, unlike CPS, do not align with report card pick-up. Teachers are happy to meet with parents with a couple of days’ notice. Parents are also welcome to observe their child in class if the parent needs more information about how a child learns. Thank you for your partnership in helping us deliver academic excellence with a heart!

Pilgrim hard at work...

The Pilgrim Board of Education met on Tuesday, February 2. An action item of great interest to families is the approval of the main calendar dates for the 2016-2017 school year. See the dates agreed upon below. The remainder of the calendar is up for approval at the March BOE meeting.

The BOE also engaged in several other action items. The Board approved revisions to the Pilgrim personnel policy handbook concerning staff job classifications. The Board also approved changes to the section of the Pilgrim Parent Handbook in regards to the relationship between the Pilgrim Church Congregation and the Pilgrim School Community. The discussion about Special Education staffing needs also continued from the January meeting. In March, the Board will be talking about staffing overall in preparation for setting the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. If you would like to review the BOE agendas and minutes, you can find them on the school website by clicking the School Board link under the Parental Involvement tab: http://pilgrimchicago.org/about/parental-involvement/#.VrTKh_krKUk.

2016-17 School Year Dates

Here you go all you planners...we have had some questions about next year's school calendar. The full calendar is not finalized, however, we have some essential dates set for next year.

Start of School 2016/17: September 6th

End of School 2016/17: June 14th

Christmas Break 2016/17: December 21st (half day dismissal at 11:45) - January 3rd - School resumes January 4th

Spring Break 2016/17: March 27th (half day dismissal at 11:45) - March 31st - School resumes April 3rd

Gallery Opening

Tonight is the night. Parent Tricia Koning will be exhibiting her fine art photographic work in a gallery opening tonight at 3756 N. Ashland, on Friday, Feb 5th from 5:30-8:30pm. A portion of the sales will be donated to the playground renovation at Pilgrim. You are welcome to stop by with or without your children.

Wildcat Basketball

The Pilgrim 7th/8th Basketball Teams have been playing some good ball. The “boys” team—comprised of 3 grade levels of players, mixed boys and girls from both Pilgrim and St. Philp—played well against Grace Christian at St. Paul’s/Austin last Friday. Boys and girls teams played against St. John’s on Tuesday, with the girls losing by one point and the boys handily beating the St. John’s team. The boys routed St. Luke’s yesterday. Come out and cheer the boys on! Both boys and girls engage in tournament play at St. Andrew’s in Park Ridge this weekend. Boys and Girls play again on Monday, February 8, at St. James. Coaches for 7th/8th Basketball are Carol Schlensker for the girls; Malik Kvamme for the boys. Basketball clinics for 3rd & 4th Graders conclude this Saturday at St. James Gymnasium. These clinics are designed to teach students basic skills in basketball. If you have any question, please contact Mike Suhajda, our Athletic Director.

Auction News

Planning for the Pilgrim Auction 2016 is well on its way! If you would like to make a donation, there is a box available in the school office for drop-off, or contact parent Samantha Doerfler. Sam is also happy to answer questions if you are not sure what or how you might contribute to the Pilgrim Auction. Save the date of April 30 for the best party of the year!

Gift Cards

Congratulations to everyone who purchased gift cards during 2015! $131,159 worth of cards were sold, generating a profit of $6557.95. 24% of total sales were in the "6 weeks of Christmas", from November 16th until December 28th. Just think how much we would earn if we had a killer week like that once each quarter! We have added $50 Saks 5th Avenue (12% profit) to our list. Thank you again for your support of the program!

Don't forget to renew your magazine subscriptions throughout the year to support Pilgrim. Our account number is 2633014 through www.gaschoolstore.com. Reordering this way starts or continues your subscription faster than through the publishers and Pilgrim earns 40% of your order. Contact Anne Barsano at cbarsano@aol.com or 773-472-6037 with questions.

Come to El Salvador 2016

If you have ever wanted to go on a mission trip, now is the time! Come with us to El Salvador, Central America July 31st- August 10th, 2016. We will be witnessing the dedication of a new Resurrection Lutheran Church in San Salvador, El Salvador. We will be able to meet Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Bishop Medardo Gomez and the leaders in the Lutheran Church of El Salvador. We will accompany the church in their work to resettle and feed refugees, help children attend school, help bring solar electricity to rural homes, minister with the homeless, and encourage our sister churches who raise Christian voices for human rights on a daily basis. This trip is open to all people. ALL AGES WELCOME, no Spanish knowledge required. Please talk to Pastor Kristian or Pastor Anna-Kari for more information!

First Communion Class-Begins in February

We invite everyone who is in 2nd grade or older to participate in our upcoming First Communion Program. The inter active class (that is geared for adults as well as children and youth) is focused on helping us grow in our relationship with God. We will cover the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the 10 commandments, and the meaning of the sacraments. Classes begin on Wednesday, February 10th at 5:30 p.m. in the annex (in the basement of the church).

Join us for Chapel/Ash Wednesday

One of our recent visitors to Pilgrim joined us in chapel. After the service, she turned to me and said..."Wow! Chapel at Pilgrim ROCKS!"

It really does... if your schedule allows, we encourage you to join us some Wednesday at 10:10 a.m.

Note: We will be having an Ash Wednesday themed chapel on Wednesday, February 10th. Our student choirs will be singing on that day.


Lent at Pilgrim 2016 “40 Days of Creativity”

Because we are all made God’s image… we are all creative! (Genesis 1:26) Our Lenten Theme is “40 Days of Creativity”. Each Wednesday starting on February 10th, we gather at 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. for a community dinner for all ages, followed by a creative activity that will draw us closer to God, to one another, and our community! We will also have some creative projects that will be running throughout Lent.

We are looking for creative ideas and people to weave together as we put this journey together... please talk to Pastor Kristian about your ideas, or email him at pastorkristian@pilgrimchicago.org

You are always welcome in classrooms, and I welcome your feedback and questions. Feel free to contact me (ccomella@pilgrimchicago.org) whenever something arises. If you would like to become involved in events and activities hosted by the Parent Teacher League (PTL), please contact either Anna Lambros or Carrie Goerne. Parents are also welcome to attend weekly chapel services. The students are always happy to see you there!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal