The Good News
Saint John XXIII December 13, 2020
Week Three of Advent: Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday or Rose Sunday: “The Lord is near”
The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, represented in our Advent wreaths by the pink or rose candle. The theme of the day celebrates our hopeful anticipation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Rose is the liturgical colour used to signify joy. The anticipation of the coming of Christ and His infinite love for us is our JOY!
Advent: Week Three-JOY
Christmas is not cancelled: The Light of Christmas is Jesus
This week, the most recent provincial announcement weighed heavily on so many hearts and minds. As I listened to the worries and wonders of parents, staff, and our community, the waves of grief and sadness continually loomed at the surface. The walls seem to close in, with limits and restrictions, financial hardships, health concerns, and the ever increasing COVID count. People face difficult decisions on how to connect during their Christmas traditions, without loved ones present. These limits weigh on us and can create a profound sense of grief--of darkness, and yet...the small but mighty light of faith keeps illuminating the dark.
During one conversation this past week, someone said to me, “I am so upset when I read and hear that, “Christmas is cancelled because of the restrictions, but Mrs. Boehm-you can’t cancel Jesus’ birthday!” As they shared this, it made me think of the scene in the Christmas movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, (based on the story by Dr. Suess), when all the presents, food and decorations have been stripped and the Grinch delights with anticipation of the silence, the void of Christmas sounds, and then, quietly...you begin to hear the song of the Whoos, gathering to share the spirit of Christmas. I see this hope in our children’s eyes as they share in lighting our Advent wreath each morning. I hear the trust and peace, through their masks, as they sing, Violet in the Snow. I see our stars in each window of our school reminding us of all of the generosity and love shared this season. I connect this with that scene in the Grinch movie and know in my heart, that amongst the darkness, Jesus will find His way to each one of us and illuminate the darkness with the Light of Christmas.
Mrs. Bonnie-Lynne Boehm, Principal
Dress up for Advent Concert recording this week: Read below
Finding ways to share the Light of Christmas with our SJ village: Advent Celebration and Concert-Video Dec. 21st
Recording this week:
This week students will be recording their contributions to our Advent Celebration. Please check your communications with the homeroom teacher for the specific date for your child. For many students, getting to dress up for the concert is an exciting part of the tradition. We would love for our students to keep this tradition alive by dressing up on the day they will record their performance. This could be a Christmas sweater or t-shirt, or it could be a fancier outfit not unlike what you would have chosen for the evening of the concert. This is by no means a requirement, however we wanted this option to be available for those who choose.
OLA Catholic Parish Update
Sunday Livestream Masses will continue at
9:45 am on Facebook
Pre-Registration for Sunday Masses in effect
Click Sign-up Genius link to register
CHRISTMAS MASS: LIMITED PRE-REGISTRATION AVAILABLE
(Mass times will be posted this week)
LIVESTREAM MASS DEC. 24 AT 4:00 PM
(OR AVAILABLE ANY TIME AFTER FOR VIEWING ON FACEBOOK PAGE)
NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT REQUIRED FOR VIEWING
CLICK ON LINK ABOVE FOR VIEWING
Celebrating Advent Mass as a Faith Family on Friday. Livestreamed mass for our 4 schools
Winter Break and January Return for EICS: Clarification
For the Sherwood Park, Fort Sask., Vegreville Calendar:
The last day of classes for students is Tuesday, December 22nd.
For ECS-- Gr. 6, the students are in the classroom receiving instruction.
For Gr. 7 - 12, the students are online.
First day of instruction after Christmas is Wednesday, January 6th
ECS - Gr 12 classes are online January 6th - 8th.
Classes online: Jan. 6-8th
As stated by the Ministry, students in K-12 will attend school online for Jan. 6-8th.
This week on Wednesday during our monthly collaborative team meetings (CTM) our SJ staff will continue the planning for online learning in the new year. We have heard parents' feedback and are working together for grade level and school consistency, ease of access and communication, and finding ways to continue providing excellent programming for all learners at St. John XXIII. One of the areas teachers are working on with their students this week will be establishing online "norms" for Googlemeets and Google Classroom tasks.
How can you assist as parents?
- Stay informed and connected by reading teacher and school communication
- Clarify any questions with your child's teacher sooner than later
- Help your child with digital citizenship and responsible tech use
- Let us know of any challenges your child or family are facing so we can help and support
- What is Google Classroom? Click here to access a short Slide Show presentation about Google Classroom and how to access the Google Applications with Google Suite. Here is a PDF version of the slide how presentation.
- Do you know your child's unique student ID that begins with a 6 and contains six digits. These six digits, plus @eics.ab.ca are their EICS email address and login email: studentIDfirstname.lastname@example.org . Please reach out to your child's teacher if your child can't remember theirs or you cannot find the email that was sent to you with it.
- We will be taking attendance am and pm Jan. 6, 7, and 8. Your child's teacher will share how attendance will be taken in each classroom. Please continue to use School Messenger and report any absences to our school and your child's teacher.
Meet our Team SJXXIII-Each week we will highlight a few staff members so you can get to know our crew!
Parents as Partners
Mrs. Michelle Johnston-Parish Parent Rep
Hello St. John XXIII family! My name is Michelle Johnston. I am your Parent-Parish liaison. I have been a parent of kids at St. John for 15 years! My oldest daughter started preschool there and graduated last year from St. Andre Bessette. I have four more children that currently attend Catholic school in Fort Sask. I am a preschool teacher and substitute EA for EICS. I’ve been a part of the OLA parish since I was a little girl. My husband, Darryl, and I were married there 20 years ago and since then I have taught: OLA youth groups, Children's liturgy, Reconciliation prep, and worked in the church office a few times for our busy church secretary. Please reach out if you have any questions about mass or the sacraments. I’ll be happy to answer or find the answer for you.
I find joy in painting, reading, singing,Playing board games with family and watching sunsets from my deck.... Oh and my new puppy, Mika.
To connect with Michelle:
Call or text: 780-934-3411
We are in need of replacement pants for our kids! Please donate any gently used, clean items and return any borrowed items
Lighting up the Manger with Joy: Advent Giving at St. John XXIII
It's not about the money, Serving others is the goal:
As shared in last week's video, our grade 4 leaders wanted to "Light up the Manger with Joy" with acts of service and finding all kinds of ways to connect and share the light of our faith with others during a very difficult time. If this is a time of financial hardship for your family, please continue to support your child in their acts of service and send in their sheet so we can "light up the stable" with their lights, even without the loonies or toonies.
Every contribution (monetary or service) gets a star or a light-see the beautiful picture below of our Nativity Scene and the stars and lights twinkling around!
Where is the money going? Can we contribute online? Catholic Social Services
Due to Covid and storage space, Catholic Social Services is unable to take donations of clothes and toys for Valeda House. Instead, our loonies and toonies gathered during our "Light up the Manger with Joy" Advent Project will help bring Christmas joy to vulnerable women and children through the Catholic Social Services' (CSS) 2020 Stuff a Stocking for Sign of Hope initiative! Donations received through this campaign will go towards purchasing gifts, stockings, and Christmas trees for over 100 women and children currently seeking refuge at CSS shelters.
STJ Staff, students and families can either bring in loonies or toonies when earned or make a donation online (if that is easier):
Here is the link for the fundraiser page: https://bit.ly/EICSadvent
Under the principle that finances should not be a barrier to a child's education, Elk Island Catholic Schools will waive fees for independent students or parents/guardians if they meet certain income guidelines, are on social services or are facing exceptional circumstances. If you qualify, you may apply using the attached application form for a waiver for the following fees:
- Ineligible Transportation Fees
- Instructional Material Fees
- Course Fees
- Instructional Activity Fees
The deadline for the fee waiver program is December 13, 2020.
When you have completed the forms required to register your child,
please submit them directly to:
EICS Central Learning Services
310 Broadway Blvd, Sherwood Park, AB. T8H 1A4
Fax: 780-467-5469 Phone: 780-449-6440
If your require assistance in paying fees you may fill out a fee waiver form Fee Waiver deadline is December 13, 2020
Please call the office at 780-998-7777 if you have any questions.
We are here to help, please reach out if you need some assistance
Bonnie-Lynne Boehm, Principal email@example.com 780-998-7777
Eleanor Heesings, Family Wellness Worker eleanor.heesing @eics.ab.ca 780-995-9352
Adding a little more FUN: This Friday, Dec. 18th: Rock your Fun (Ugly) Christmas Sweater
Looking ahead: Mark your calendars
December 18: Fun Christmas Sweater day!
December 22: Last day of classes before Christmas Break for all Kinder - Grade 6 students
Students can come in their cozy clothes today. (PJs included)
January 4: Registration begins for Sacramental Prep OLA Parish
January 6: First day of classes online
January 6,7,8: First week of classes- Online Learning
January 6: Early Out Dismissal 2:23 pm - Crazy Hair day
January 7: OLA Parish priests visit our SJXXIII Grade 2 classrooms- Online Visit
January 11: First day back to school- in person learning after Christmas break
January 12: Parent School Council Meeting 7:00 – 8:30 pm
January 22: 1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion Registration closes
January 29: PD DAY-NO School for Students
Christmas Break Dec. 23-Jan. 6
Growing Brains & Sharing Smiles! It's a Great Day to be a Saint John Kid!
Grade 4s at Monday Faith Assembly
Snowball Scoot-Math in 3A
Saint John XXIII School Council News
See you at our next meeting, on Tuesday, January 12th@ 7:00 pm.
Google Meet link will be shared with you that day.
Thank you for checking your email inbox or spam/junk folder.