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!

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Leadership Message

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, 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

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Finding ways to share the Light of Christmas with our SJ village: Advent Celebration and Concert-Video Dec. 21st

We continue to persevere to share our SJ traditions and JOY with our village. We are excited to share our Advent Faith Celebration & Musical Celebration with you this year, albeit in a different way than we have shared in the past. Our video will be ready on Monday, Dec. 21. We will share with our staff and students in our cozy clothes on the last day Dec. 22 before Christmas break (Dec. 21 for our M/W Kinders) and we will send a link to all of our families to enjoy as well in a way that works best for your family.

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


(Mass times will be posted this week)





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?

  1. Stay informed and connected by reading teacher and school communication
  2. Clarify any questions with your child's teacher sooner than later
  3. Help your child with digital citizenship and responsible tech use
  4. Let us know of any challenges your child or family are facing so we can help and support
  5. 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.
  6. Do you know your child's unique student ID that begins with a 6 and contains six digits. These six digits, plus are their EICS email address and login email: . 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.
  7. 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!

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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

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Lighting up the Manger with Joy: Advent Giving at St. John XXIII

As we continue along our Advent Journey, our school community is "Lighting up the Manger with Joy". One of the ways we are fostering a sense of giving is through our Advent project: Twinkles for Toonies and Lights for Loonies. This idea was generated by our grade 4 Servant Leadership Groups: School Spirit and Faith. These students wanted to combine doing "good deeds" as service to others during Advent with sharing their abundance with those in need by earning toonies and loonies. Your child should have a purple sheet at home that gives ideas for acts of service. Contact your child's teacher if you have not seen this. :)

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:
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School Fees

School fees are now due in PowerSchool. Please log into your PowerSchool account to pay for your child's fees. *If you have brackets around your dollar amount, then this is a credit and you do not have an amount owing.

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

Fee Waiver Program Application 2020-2021

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

We recognize that this is a difficult time for some of our families within our community. If you or your family are struggling with finances, emotional or mental health, medical or physical needs, please reach out to someone within our school or parish community and we can respond. Everyone needs help sometimes, we are not meant to journey this life alone. There are many resources, agencies and people who have offered assistance and we can confidentially arrange for support, especially through this Advent season.

Bonnie-Lynne Boehm, Principal 780-998-7777

Eleanor Heesings, Family Wellness Worker eleanor.heesing 780-995-9352

Adding a little more FUN: This Friday, Dec. 18th: Rock your Fun (Ugly) Christmas Sweater

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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

OLA Parish News: Sacramental Prep Registration-January

For Grade two children and those who have not yet received these sacraments:

1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion

Registration begins: January 4, 2021

Registration closes: January 22, 2021

Saint John XXIII School Council News

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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.

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