Pilgrim Lutheran School News

June 3rd

Congratulations Graduates!

Graduation is tonight at 6:30 PM! All families are welcome to attend the service and wish our graduates well.

Wednesday, June 8th is the last day of school, and there is a lot going on next week.

Please scroll down to Important Info - there is more detailed information about the end of year events!

Here's a quick look at what is on the calendar!

June 3rd - Last Day of 3 yr old afternoon Pre-K program

June 3rd - Graduation - 6:30 PM

June 6th - Volunteer Breakfast @ 7:50 am

June 6th - Honors Awards Assembly @ 9:30am - Note time change

June 8th - Last Day of School - Final chapel 9:00AM-Dismissal at 10:00 AM followed by lemonade and cookies

June 20 - 24th - UKANDU Sports Camp

June 27 - July 1 - VBS at Pilgrim

July 5 - July 22 - Pilgrim Summer Enrichment Camp

This week's recap...

The turnout for the PTL Ice Cream Social for Ms. Huelskoetter and Ms. Daczyszyn on June 1 was great! It was good to see so many current and alumni families come out to share their appreciation for Ms. H. and Ms. D. Many thanks go to the PTL for organizing the event. If you did not get a chance to write a reflection in the memory books, the books are in the school office until Wednesday, June 8. We will have them at the closing chapel, too. If any family would like to make a contribution toward a retirement gift for Ms. H. or Ms. D., please forward it to the school office and mark in the memo line to whom you would like to donate. These retirements re-affirm what a blessed community Pilgrim is!

Pilgrim Sports Awards today recognized all of our student athletes. Congratulations!!! Congratulations are also due to 8th Grader Cole Friedman, who is the winner of the 2016 Sportsmanship Award, Pilgrim’s highest sports honor. Congratulations also to Coach Carol Schlensker who received the Anne Barsano Volunteer of the Year Award. Thanks to all of our parents who supported our athletic teams this school year, either by coaching, driving students to games and practices, or by cheering in the stands. Special thanks are due to our Athletic Director Mike Suhajda for organizing today’s ceremony.

Important Info!!

With the remaining days of the 2015-2016 School Year running short, all school staff are planning some very important close of the year events.

Friday, June 3, is Pilgrim Graduation, at 6:30 p.m. All families are welcome to attend the service and wish our graduates well. Chorus students in Grades 4-6 are singing a prelude to the service, and Kindergarteners will sing for their chapel partners during the service. School Board members are part of the service and we ask that you be in the 1st floor hallway by 6:15. Wednesday, June 1, we heard testimonies from each graduate about how Pilgrim has shaped their lives. If you missed the graduates delivering those, the testimonies are included in the graduation program.

Academic Awards are on for Monday, June 6. Again, the calendar says 10 a.m., but we need to start at 9:30 to get other school projects done. Students receive awards for their work on yearbook, in music, in service to the school community and for academics. Students who have already earned a Pilgrim Letter should bring it that day so that they can pin their awards onto it.

Please note that all classes are on end of the year field trips on Tuesday, June 7. Please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if you are interested in being a chaperone. June 7 is the last day for PAS for 2015-2016.

Grade reports for all students will be released electronically on Wednesday, June 8.

Next Wednesday will be the final newsletter for the 2015-16 School Year. However, keep your eyes open for important enrollment information coming this summer. Thanks everyone!

The last day of school is Wednesday, June 8

Students report to their respective homerooms at the usual start times. Chapel starts at 9 a.m. on June 8. Our final chapel is our last time to recognize the good work accomplished this school year, and to bid “Farewell and Godspeed” to those who are leaving Pilgrim. Teachers dismiss students at the conclusion of chapel.

The Pilgrim PTL is hosting “Lemonade on the Lawn” to provide a snack for students on their way home. Please bring your favorite treat to share!!

There is no PAS on Wednesday, June 8. School and church offices are closed at noon on June 8. Thanks for your understanding about this.

Starting Thursday, June 9, Pilgrim offices are open on an abbreviated schedule from 8:30 to 2 p.m.

Many thanks to The Pilgrim Marketing Group...

...for launching a Facebook campaign to advertise Pilgrim. Please share the post with all of your friends. Our last official tour is scheduled for Monday, June 6, at 11 a.m. Encourage any prospective families to attend. If you have not already posted on Yelp or Great Schools about Pilgrim, please do. And, like us on Facebook!


The Pilgrim Board of Education meets Tuesday, June 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Mrs. Andreen’s room. The topics this month include approval of recommendations to hire new teachers. The BOE is also sending out some surveys to parents. When you get your survey, please complete it because the feedback is important for the BOE to plan and improve the school.

A note from Principal Comella

Summer is a good time to set up some school holiday rules. Let me share something that was shared with me recently:

You may have as much time on the iPad or TV as you like—as long as all of these jobs have been done before you turn on the screen.

Have you: Made the bed? Had breakfast? Dressed? Brushed your teeth? Brushed your hair?

Have you completed 20 minutes of reading?

Have you completed 20 minutes of coloring or writing?

Have you cleaned 1 room (TV room or bedroom)?

Have you played outside for 30 minutes?

Have you made or built something creative (lego, craft, sand, etc.)?

Have you helped someone in the family or neighborhood (ask if there is a job you can do, if you can’t think of something yourself)?

If you have done all of these things, then you can watch TV or play on the iPad.

I hope that helps in your formulation of a summer schedule.

Finally, the end of the school year is time of major transition in schools. As the job and housing markets have opened up over the last couple of years, we have said good-bye to several families from Pilgrim. This year we also say good-bye to classmates and friends. We wish our best to each and every one of you! And if your path leads you back to this place, know that you are always welcome here!

Thanks for all that you do to make “Academic Excellence with a Heart” a true reality!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal

Healthy organizations need fresh, energetic leaders to grow!

Currently, several leadership roles are available to parents to take Pilgrim to the next level of excellence. If you are interested in a leadership role with PTL, please contact Anna Lambros and/or Carrie Goerne. Pilgrim is also seeking a new Auction chair for the 2016-2017 program year. Contact Sam Doerfler, Pastor Kristian, or Principal Comella if interested. A seat on the Board of Education is also opening up. Contact BOE Chair Chad Smith or Principal Comella if you would like to serve. Thanks for your thoughtful consideration of these positions.

Playlot renovations: PHASE 2 Update

We are pleased to announce that the 8th grade class gift will be going towards the rubber tiles for the play deck. We thank them for giving of the own money to the next generation of Pilgrim students.

The play deck renovation plans are under way! We thank those who have contributed to help us get this far:

The North Center Chamber of Commerce grant, the auction’s fund-a-project, the Ravenswood manor garage sale and many friends and family donations. Did you know that the Target red card has donated $600 to our school and that has been earmarked for the renovations?

Now we also thank those who have contributed to the Mrs Mowery memorial fund. We thank the Suhjada and Mowery families for designating her memorial fund to the play deck renovations. She was a mentor for Miss H at St Philips years ago! Her passion for early childhood education will be remembered and honored.

All included, your generous donations have pushed the fund up to $21,000. Of course, it’s not too late to contribute!

This places us at a cross roads in our planning efforts. With $21,000 and some additional funds from the church dedicated to the roof replacement, we are at a crucial decision point regarding the extent of work to be completed. We find ourselves a bit short of our original goal but remain dedicated to completing the work this summer and providing the school with a new play surface for this upcoming 2016-17 school year.

Plan A remains, ambitiously to extend the deck and increase the raised play deck surface.

However, in order to accomplish this task, we would need to raise an additional $7500 more, at a minimum.

As a second option, Plan B offers to keep the spirit of the renovation, by scaling back some of the new deck work.

The work remaining under this option will include replacement of the existing roofing, installation of new rubber tiles, and replacing the chain-link fence.

Even if your children are older, or if you’re moving, please honor the Pilgrim teachers and future generations by helping us improve this play space. This final playground renovation push will benefit the entire community of Pilgrim and will be a legacy to be enjoyed for years to come!

In addition to the physical upgrades, we are planning a mural art smart project for the fall. Painting improvements, new volleyball pole pads and soccer goals remain on the wish list! Help us fund these items and maintain a quality environment to which we can all be proud. Fundraising will continue until end of June.

One way to help is by sponsoring a rubber playground tile for $100 each. We still have 148 more to go.

If you haven't donated yet, please consider a gift soon!

Thank you.

Enrollment for 2016-17

Please encourage your friends with kids in Grades 1-8 to take a second look at Pilgrim. They can compare the test scores and track the data about where Pilgrim students successfully enter High School. Our data continues to be some of the best in the neighborhood! Middle School Girls are especially welcome! Upper Grades at Pilgrim are THEE place to be!!

Pilgrim Lutheran Sports CAMP

Pilgrim has partnered with a Lutheran youth group called UKANDU to present a sports camp at Pilgrim. 10-12 High school and college students under the direction of 2-3 adult leaders provide instruction and skill building in basketball, volleyball and soccer. UKANDU provides a fun, structured program that includes time for snacks and reflection.

What are the dates and times?

Camp starts Monday, June 20, and runs through Friday, June 24. Campers should be at Pilgrim in Maring Hall by 9:30 a.m. Camp concludes each day at 3:30

Who can attend? Students age 4 through 10.

What is the cost? UKANDU is providing the camp at no cost to Pilgrim families. UKANDU provides a morning and an afternoon snack. Every child should bring a lunch and a water bottle or other beverage.

How do I register my child for the camp? Registration forms available at www.pilgrimchicago.org, or in the Pilgrim School Office. You will be able to register siblings at the same time.


Pilgrim Summer Enrichment Program

The Pilgrim Summer Enrichment Camp allows children the opportunity to explore themes of interest to them and explore the places around the city where they can find out more about each theme. We emphasize community-building, collaboration, and, of course, fun!

Click on this link for further information including times and costs!


Vacation Bible School!

Splash in God's Word! Vacation Bible School: Registration Now Available
Children 3-years old (potty trained children only) through grade 5 are invited to Vacation Bible School. LMC will partner with Pilgrim Lutheran Church to hold a week-long program filled with music, crafts, drama, and bible activities. This year, VBS will run 9:00 a.m. until noon

on June 27th through July 1st at Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School (4300 N. Winchester). The cost is $35 per child with a $50 per family cap on fees. Scholarships are available. There are two steps to register:

  1. First, please fill out the electronic form available here.
  2. Second, complete payment electronically through Pilgrim's website or by check payable to “Pilgrim Lutheran Church” with “VBS 2016” in the memo line and mailed to Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 4300 N. Winchester, Chicago, IL 60613.

Older children and youth are encouraged to volunteer at VBS (service learning hours are available!). Contact Chris Wallis (cewallis1949@yahoo.com) for more information.

Thank You!

To everyone who walked and contributed to this year's, Walk to Reach El Salvador! Thanks to your generous support, we raised over $1700 for Pilgrim Participants and their mission in partnership with the Lutheran Church of El Salvador.

Gift Cards

June is the month for beautiful brides, fresh-faced graduates and handsome and loving dads! Why not purchase a gift card from Pilgrim to honor them, whether it be from a specialty store, such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy's, Carson's, Crate & Barrel, William-Sonoma, Dick's, Bass Pro Shop, Barnes & Noble, iTunes or a generic one, such as Visa $50 (no activation fee) or Amazon ($10, $25, 50 or $100).

This week we will be selling in the church foyer after the Sunday service and in the school office on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 to 10 am. We have plenty of cards to take home those days and will be ordering more on Monday, June 6th with the cards available Tuesday around Noon or Wednesday morning.. We will start our summer hours on June 12th where we will sell on Sunday and Monday only. Please contact Anne Barsano at cbarsano@aol.com or 773-472-6037 to place an order or to arrange for pick up. Have a wonderful summer!

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