Family Update

Week of February 27, 2022

Academy of St. Benedict the African - Week of February 27, 2022

Masks, Conferences, and Tardies

Good morning,

The video included before this section will highlight the main points of the update.

First, let me say what a fabulous job everyone did putting together the virtual Black History Celebration! Here is the link if you missed it. It was powerful and moving! Feel free to share that link with your family, friends, and social media.

On Monday, the entire state (and most of the country) are moving to mask optional in line with the science. Our school will be mask optional. We will still offer masks for those who would like them. All other protocols will stay in place. We encourage you to talk with your children about your family's choice and about being respectful of other family choices. At this point, each person has to do what makes them feel comfortable. I also will continue to encourage all people age 5 and over to get vaccinated. Your health care provider will have more information on that.

As we move into spring, we will return to our tardy policy, effective March 2nd. Of course, if there is a bad weather morning, we will excuse tardies. However, the number of tardies and classroom interruptions is much too high on days that are not weather impacted. If a classroom is interrupted 6-10 times in the first hour because students are late, it affects all students' learning. Please help us by leaving earlier whenever possible. We believe that excellence happens on purpose -limiting interruptions in school is one way that happens! Students in K-8 who are tardy will remain after for 30 minutes working on their iReady to ensure they have met their academic minutes.

Wednesday, March 2nd at 4:30 in our gym there will be a meeting with the Regional Director of Empower Illinois. The law that provides Tax Credit scholarships for our families needs to pass in the state legislature this spring. Come find out how you can keep this program in place!

This Friday, March 4th is conference day. We look forward to having you in person for the meetings but will offer a virtual option. Please see each teacher's Bloomz account for the sign-up sheet. Students will have a remote learning day while conferences are scheduled from 8-4. We are offering childcare and supervision on the 4th from 7:30-4. Please sign up here: For most families, there is no cost to this.

We have opened registration for the 2022-2023 school year for returning and new families. As you may know, we have a waitlist for 4 classrooms, so reserving a seat is key! Please complete this form and then during the week make the $25/student payment to hold the seat. The rate will move to $50 on March 7th. We have over 70 students registered already! The payment can be made in the office or through the payment portal on our NEW SCHOOL APP putting registration 22-23 in the note/memo section! Many families are receiving notification of tax credit scholarships for next year. Be sure to keep an eye on your emails.

Have you completed the family survey of the 5 Essentials Survey? If not, please go to this link and offer your thoughts. We need at least 20 more families to participate in order to get fair feedback. It's no more than 10 minutes, but the feedback will be helpful as we seek to always improve!

Have you downloaded the school app yet? It's an important tool in keeping all school information in one place. The app is our hub!

We are working very hard to keep the school free of COVID to the best of our ability. With that said, our families must partner with us by not sending any students to school who have ANY symptoms. Please keep students home if you are waiting for test results. I know it's hard and families have to work, but it's how we take care of each other and our entire extended school community.

We will send home students with runny noses, headaches, sore throats, and/or coughs. We will send work home as needed for students with an extended absence.

Apple watches and other smartwatches are NOT allowed at school. They, along with any cell phones, will be held in the office for the day.

  • Boots must be changed upon arriving at school. This keeps the children safe and the school clean. Some families choose to keep a pair of gym shoes in the student's locker.

  • FOLLOW THE DRESS & UNIFORM CODE: Hoodies and sweatshirts that are not part of the school uniform are not allowed during the school day. Please have your child wear their school hoodie, school gym sweatshirt, or a plain navy blue sweater if they're cold during the day. Please see the school uniform/dress code in our family handbook. We believe that excellence happens on purpose. Lessening distractions of being out of uniform is one way we foster that excellence. We still have light blue hoodies in all sizes and some navy blue hoodies.

  • Students should not have nail polish, artificial nails, any jewelry, or smartwatches. Students do NOT need their cell phones at school. They are kept in the office all day.

  • Please be sure to check the "Save the Date" section below.

  • We will have a five-week summer program for students entering PK3 - 5th grade for the 2022-2023 school year. See the flyer below! Use this form to register. For the month of February, the registration fee for summer school is $10 (will go to $25 in March).

  • We still have two spots remaining in Preschool. Do you know of anyone with children preschool-aged? Referring families will receive a $300 tuition credit ($150 this year and $150 next year) and 3 PAWS will be credited. We accept Action for Children/Child Care for payment for preschool. Spread the word!

  • Do you have clothes and shoes your family has outgrown, don't wear, or don't want? We have a clothes and shoes collection box in the parking lot! The school receives $0.02/lb and a tree is planted in our honor each time it's emptied. We are the stewards of God's beautiful earth. This is one way we help!

  • The school office is open Monday through Friday 6:30 AM - 3:30 PM. Our amazing office staff can take payments, sell hoodies and polos and answer questions. After 3:30, please leave a message on the mainline or dial 101 at the recording to be connected to my extension. If you need extended day after 3:30, dial 107 at the voicemail message.

I will be out of the building at a retreat Monday and Tuesday. Ms. Murphy and the office staff can help with any immediate concerns. Feel free to email me or send a message through Bloomz as I will check periodically.

Thank you for trusting us with your child/ren. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Mrs. Farrand

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Congratulations to our junior high students who won 2nd place at the 5th Annual Black History Bowl at Leo High School sponsored by Big Shoulders Fund. The students prepared for the bowl with Mr. Guthrie and worked together during the contest. It should also be noted that we won 1st place in the paper airplane contest! Great job by Jeremy, Kanyla, Lorenzo, Darius, Dwayne, and Mr. Guthrie! We are proud of your hard work!

March 4th - Conference Day Childcare Option

March 4th is the second trimester conference day. It is a remote learning day for all students. We understand that for working families days like this are particularly challenging. We are offering childcare on March 4 which will allow time, space, and supervision for remote school lessons, playtime, guided activities, breakfast, lunch, and snack time. Students must preregister for this opportunity. Care will be available from 7:30 - 4. Fill out the form to reserve a space! For most families, there is no additional cost.

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2022-2023 Financial Contracts and Forms

Financial Contracts for next year along with the required forms will be sent home during March and April for all families that have registered. This will be done through the email we have on record.

The contract will be written without carrying over any part of the 21-22 contract. In June and July, if necessary, we will make updates.

Please be sure that the phone number and emails we have on Powerschool are accurate.

Tuition Payments

Tuition payments for our families are due on either the 17th or 30th of the month for most families. Please make your payments in a timely fashion. Payments can be made through the family's FACTS account, using the donate button on our website ( or in the office. We do accept debit/credit, money orders, cash (exact please), and Apple/Samsung Pay.

The office will continue making reminder calls and sending notices. Please let us know if there is a particular challenge in advance of the payment due date. We will work with you, but we need to know! We will be starting exclusions as necessary.

As a reminder, all financial accounts must be settled by May 15th for all graduating students: PK4, Kindergarten, and Eighth grade.

Volunteering in School

In order to volunteer in school, adults over the age of 18 must attend Virtus Training, complete a background check, and complete mandated reporter training. These are requirements of the Archdiocese of Chicago to keep all children safe.

Go to to register for an online class and consent to the background check. Please see or email Ms. Fernandez ( if you need assistance or have a question.

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As a reminder, all PAWS must be completed by May 15th.

Thanks for your help!


  • March 2nd - Kind Shirt Day
  • March 3rd - Kind Party for chosen students
  • March 3rd - 4:30 PM Meeting for Parents - Saving Tax Credit Scholarships
  • March 4th - Remote Learning Day with Parent-Teacher Conferences 8-4 Childcare 7:30-4.
  • March 9th - Kind Shirt Day
  • March 11th and 14th - No school
  • March 22nd - Kind Shirt Day
  • March 25th - Professional Learning day No school however, childcare is available from 7:30-4.
  • April 4th - Kind Shirt Day
  • April 15th - 22nd - Easter Break -no school
  • April 27th - Kind Shirt Day
  • May 10th - Kind Shirt Day
  • May 19th - Kind Shirt Day
  • May 30th - Memorial Day - no school
  • June 1st - Last day of classes for 8th grade
  • Last Day of School is TBD -depending on snow days
  • June 3rd - Eighth Grade graduation 10 AM
  • June 13th - July 14th - Summer Program
  • August 22nd - First day of the 2022 -2023 school year. Full-Day for all students, no extended day.