Family Update

Week of January 11th-15th, 2021

This Week at Academy of St. Benedict

Good morning,

This is the week that families must apply to be eligible for a tuition tax credit scholarship. There are two separate scholarship-granting groups, Big Shoulders Fund SGO and Empower Illinois. Each has its own application date.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 12th at 8 AM (be ready at 7:50), is the application time for Big Shoulders. Go to this link at 7:50 AM and be prepared to enter at the stroke of 8. Students will not start school on Tuesday until 8:45 so that parents can apply.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13th at 6:30 PM is the time for Empower Illinois. At 6:30 PM you will be allowed to prefill an application. At the stroke of 7 PM, the system will allow you to move to the next, and most important step, to receive your timestamp.

This week is our last e-learning week. Students have school Monday - Thursday this week. Friday is a planning day for the teachers as students return to the building on Tuesday, January 19th.

Students are to follow their class schedule as designed by their teachers. The assigned work and Zoom calls are required of all students. So many students and families are doing a fabulous job with elearning! However, there is concern that some students are not completing their assignments. Ms. Murphy and I will be reaching out to families to see how we can help.

Junior high students will receive midterm progress reports on January 13th. They will be emailed from the classroom teacher. I encourage families in other grades to reach out to their child's teacher and have a "check-in" conversation if you haven't during the remote period.

Join me on the school's Facebook page at 8 AM (8:45 this Tuesday) each school morning for prayer and announcements. On Tuesday at 10 AM, I am doing a very special Facebook Live Story Time reading Let the Children March and making a peace plate. Students will need a paper plate, tape, paint, or markers! I'll also show you how to do it with shaving cream, food coloring, and tape! Please "share" the event on your Facebook page! This is open to everyone!

We are asking ALL families to complete this survey regarding the return to face-to-face instruction. We have responses from 74 families! If you didn't respond, please do it today. We want to be prepared! Food orders for the first few weeks back must be updated by tomorrow. Thanks!

Families must have been back in Illinois by January 4th to return to our building on the 19th. The list of states to which this applies is here. During this remote period, if your child contracts COVID or is quarantined due to close contact, please let me know directly. We do need to report this information.

As you look to the building reopening on January 19, 2021, please make plans to not send students to school in any part of the orange PE uniform. It was retired two years ago. All students should be in their light blue PE uniforms on the appropriate days. The crew neck sweatshirt can be worn over the polo on cold days. Also, students must be in uniform every day. We have the polo shirts in the school building available for $10/each. Martinelli's on 95th in Evergreen Park sells the gym uniform.

This week the office will be open between 8 AM - 2 PM. Please call if you need to come to the building and set-up an appointment.

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SAVE THE DATE - Tax Credit Scholarship Applications!

The two days to apply for tax credit scholarships are right around the corner! As you know, time is of the essence with both systems. Set an alarm on your phones!!

January 12th - 8AM - Big Shoulders Fund Applications:

January 13th - Empower Illinois: 6:30 PM enter info in preparation: 7 PM - application opens for time stamp.

At St. Benedict, 52 students have tax credit scholarships! It's a wonderful program helping many families. Families must apply each year and everyone has the same chance - it's all about how fast you can apply!


We are able to take payments over the phone during the e-learning period. Call the school at 773-776-3316 to do so. January payments are due on or before 1.17 for most families.

If you need help with your tuition plan, there are a few options. All begin with a phone call or email to Ms. Murphy or to me. From there, we can set up an income tax agreement. Many families will be receiving a refund at tax time after filing their FY20 taxes. Another option for some families may be using some of your Federal stimulus money. We certainly understand and respect that either of these may not work for your family. The most important thing is that you contact us so that 1. we know there's a problem and 2. we can develop a plan with you.

We value you and your family. These unprecedented times are challenging for everyone.


POPCORN Fundraiser

Our last fundraiser of the year will begin on January 28 and run for just four days! This is a completely contactless fundraiser! We will be using the Double Good company. I've attached a PDF with information for the fundraiser. Next week's Family Update will have bit more information as we get closer to the starting day!

Tips for Successful e-Learning

As we make this temporary shift, there are some things families can do to help children continue their learning from home.

  • Have a designated space for schoolwork, ideally a table/desk.
  • Be ready to begin instruction at 8 AM daily -join me on the school's FB page!
  • Have all supplies for the day at the workspace.
  • Participate in class Zooms by asking questions.
  • When not speaking on Zoom, be on mute.
  • Reach out to teachers when there is a question.
  • Stick to the daily schedule designed by the teacher.

Please discourage eating and drinking near the school-owned Chrome Books and Tablets. If your child's device isn't working properly, please contact me.


  • January 12th - 8 AM Big Shoulders Application - Be ready at 7:55 AM
  • January 12th -School day starts at 8:45 AM with morning prayer on Facebook.
  • January 13th - 6:30 PM Empower Illinois Application reservation.
  • January 13th - Junior High Midterms are sent home.
  • January 15th - Professional Development day - NO SCHOOL/E-Learning today
  • January 18th - Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday - NO SCHOOL today
  • January 19th - School building reopens for in-person learning
  • January 25th- 29th - Catholic Schools Week

PAW List!

Please remember, each family was asked to have 3 PAWS done by 1/31.

Families have a 6-PAW commitment for the year. We also will accept 3 Lysol wipes, disinfecting spray, or a combination of the two for a PAW.

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YouUpLift - Our Kindness Wall

Have you seen our Kindness Wall? Click and take a peek! If you'd like to submit a kindness, please go to: