Pilgrim Lutheran School News

January 3, 2020

Happy New Year Pilgrim!

We look forward to seeing all of you on Monday, January 6, 2020 when school resumes. Have a wonderful weekend!

Welcome back

We certainly hope that everyone had a good Holiday break. The first chapel of the year focuses our students on the story of the Magi and the Star. Basketball games for the 7th/8th Grade teams are beginning. Basketball camps for Grades 1-4 are about to start during the month of January. And, of course, many new academic projects are set to begin in our classrooms. Your kind support makes this all possible. Thanks!

Hot Lunch

The January menu is up on the website, lunch.pilgrimchicago.org. Order before Saturday at midnight to receive lunches next week.

Staff Bonus Fund

Many thanks to all our parents for your generous contributions to the Staff Bonus Fund, and kudos go to the Pilgrim PTL for organizing the drive. Staff members are very, very grateful and appreciative of your generosity. Cheers to a New Year of partnership with you in the education of our children!

Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship

We encourage families who might be seeking tuition assistance to apply for an Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship through Empower Illinois. The State of Illinois has established a scholarship fund for Illinois private school students who demonstrate financial need. The funds are available to eligible families based on the amount of contributions to a tax credit program established by the State. Several Pilgrim families applied last year, and one family was awarded a scholarship. The date for submitting applications is Wednesday January 15, 2020. This year, the reservation form will be available at 6:30pm, to give families time to enter their information before submission at 7pm. More information about preparing for reservation night can be found on our website under, "How Do I Apply." We do encourage families to visit the Empower Illinois website for more information: https://empowerillinois.org. If you need more information or clarification, please contact Principal Comella.

MAP testing

Winter NWEA MAP testing is scheduled to start after Martin Luther King Day. All students in grades 1-3 are taking the MAP. Strategic testing will occur in grades 4-8. Strategic testing for upper grades allows teachers to track specific skills among students better. It also prevents upper grade students from “peaking” their performance in Winter and then doing a downward slide for the Spring test. Our goal with all students who test is to show an accurate representation of academic growth from the start of the school year to the end. Strategic testing will help us to represent that growth as best as possible. If you have any questions about Winter MAP testing, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.


The Pilgrim Board of Education is meeting on Tuesday, January 7. Please note that this is a change from the date on the PTL calendar. The main topic for discussion is the roll out of tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 school year. Other topics include updates to the school handbook. All parents are welcome to join us. The BOE is meeting in the 8th Grade Classroom at 7:00 p.m.

Church Council

Pilgrim Congregational Council meets Tuesday, January 14, because there was no December meeting. The main topics are Pilgrim’s annual meeting on January 26 and the Pilgrim Strategic Plan for Action. For more information or if you would like to attend, contact Pastor Kristian or Pilgrim President Joel Heiniger.

Open House

Please encourage friends and neighbors to check out Pilgrim as their school choice! We do tours every Tuesday at 10 and our next official Open House for Prospective Families is Tuesday, January 21, at 9:30 a.m.

Save the Date!

Use the holiday break to brush up on your trivia. Pilgrim's Annual Trivia Night will be Saturday, February 22, 2020. Gather a team and get ready for some good, old-fashioned competition. To begin your training, here is a question: In what year did the City of Chicago first light a municipal Christmas Tree?

Watch for early-bird table registration and all the details after break.


Later in January, we will begin the process of pre-registration. We hope all our current families will return next year!!! If a family has a sibling whom you want to enroll at Pilgrim, please let us know. Siblings of current students always get a seat! Pre-registration always starts with Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. If you know that your family does not plan to return for the next school year, please let the school office know as soon as possible, as we have several families on waiting lists for the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes for next school year. If your family is not sure about staying beyond Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten for Grades 1-8, we would be happy to match you up with another current parent in the primary grades to discuss the possibilities.

Winter weather is here

Winter weather is here! Please note that during wet and snowy weather students should bring a change of shoes to keep the school clean and dry. Students should change shoes on the bench in the basement hallway. We will continue to dismiss students through the playground unless large amounts of snow make the gangway between 4310 and 4314 impassable. Students continue to go out for recess unless the wind chill dips below zero.

Epiphany "3 Kings" Celebration

Sunday, January 12th at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with a piñata and "3 Kings Bread" (Rosca de Reyes) to follow.

Community Parents' Night Out January 11

Want to enjoy a well-deserved night out after the holiday rush while supporting the Night Ministry? Please drop your kids off Saturday, January 11th, between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., for a night of activities and pizza/snacks with the Pilgrim Youth Group and supervising adults. This is a great opportunity for our youth to build leadership and teamwork skills while serving both the Pilgrim and broader neighborhood community. Participating families are asked to contribute their normal cost for babysitting, with the proceeds going to the Night Ministry, a Chicago-based provider of services to community members struggling with poverty and homelessness. Please RSVP to Children's Ministry Coordinator Marla Everett at meverett@pilgrimchicago.org by January 8th to register your children (between ages 4 and 12), letting us know names and ages. Please RSVP in a timely fashion, as there is a limit on participants.

Gift Cards

Regular selling hours will resume on Monday, January 6, 2020. Gift cards will be sold on Monday and Friday mornings. Pilgrim has you covered with gift cards in value from $5 Starbucks to $500 Amazon! The traditional green forms are in your mailbox or on the table in the narthex. Can't come in for the physical cards? Call Anne for different pickup options or use your phone to find "cards" to download in line at the store for the exact amount of your purchase, send to others by email or print for gifting or your own use by going to www.benefit-mobile.com/causes/pilgrim-lutheran-church-andschool. Register with Pilgrim 60613, pay with your bank account or a credit card and Pilgrim benefits. Please contact Anne Barsano at 312-972-9040, cbarsano@aol.com or 773-472-6037.

Like us on Facebook

Like us on Facebook to be inspired by some of the wonderful things happening at Pilgrim! "Pilgrim Church and School"

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

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal

Finally, if you missed the list of ways that parents can help at Pilgrim, here are some ideas:

  • …in the classroom
  • …in the Parent-Teacher League
  • …at the Board of Education Meetings: 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.
  • …as part of the Marketing Team
  • …as part of the Development Group
  • …as part of the Technology Team: 1st Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m
  • …supporting Pilgrim Fundraisers and purchasing gift cards on a regular basis
  • …sharing the good news about Pilgrim with a prospective family (postcards with Open House dates are available in the school office.

Our theme for parents this school year is 100% Participation! Our success as a school and as a living, growing community depends on the reality of every family donating some time, talent and treasure, as each family is able. Thanks for your help and participation.

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 Shellie Riedle, Alison Hays,or Staff Rep to PTL, Kristen Stone. Parents are also welcome to attend weekly chapel services. The students are always happy to see you there!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal