Pilgrim Lutheran School News

January 10, 2020

Welcome Back!

The first full week of January 2020 has been a success at Pilgrim Lutheran School! The 2nd Quarter of the school year ends on January 17, and both Upper and Lower Grade students receive progress reports on Friday, January 24. MAP testing also starts the week of January 20. All students in Grades 1-3 take MAP, as well as a select group of Upper Grade students. After school new sessions of Chess and Art Club are starting. And, Band is beginning preparation for solo competitions. Pilgrim is indeed a busy place!!!

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.

Teacher In-Service

Project-Based Learning is the topic for a series of professional development meetings, hosted by the Chicagoland Lutheran Educational Foundation (CLEF) and Concordia University Chicago. Project-based learning is way to engage students in deep paths of understanding the concepts taught in school through real-life problem-solving. While Pilgrim has done projects for many years, CLEF and Concordia are guiding us through new ways to think about how we structure our core curriculum to support projects that can take 2 to 8 weeks to complete. Project-based learning is a topic for discussion at the Teacher-In-Service meeting on January 29. All students dismiss at 11:45 on January 29.


Even though the 2019-2020 school year has not yet reached the official half-way mark, much of the talk in the school office has already turned to school year 2020-2021. Pre-registration letters will be going out to current Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten families about pre-registration for next school year. 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 Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes for next school year. Any information shared with the office is kept confidential unless you tell us otherwise. We want all of you to stay, but we all know that transitions are normal and inevitable. If we ask you for a deposit for next year and you are not able to make the payment within the time allotted, please let us know. We are happy to make accommodation; we just need to know. Thanks for your understanding.

Hot Lunch

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

Pilgrim Sports

Basketball is the sport of the season. The 7th and 8th Graders started practices before Christmas, and we are playing in a tournament this weekend at Walther Christian Academy. Pilgrim is matched up against St. Paul at St. Philip on Tuesday, January 14 and against Walther Christian Academy for the both girls and boys on Thursday, January 16. Come out and cheer on the red-hot Wildcats! Thanks to all our parent coaches!

Basketball Camp

This weekend begins a free basketball camp at St James Lutheran School for PK - 4th grade students. Check out the flyer below for this great opportunity. Please be aware, the PTL calendar says this camp will go for 4 weeks. It is only the 3 Saturdays in January. February 1st is a misprint.
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Epiphany "3 Kings" Celebration

This Sunday, January 12th, we invite all children and youth to help with a special procession and dramatic reading of the magi story. Please gather at the back of the Narthex at 10:10 a.m to dress in costumes, or at 10:30 a.m. for the service. We will have a piñata and great fellowship to follow!

Book Swap

The second book swap of the year will be held next Friday, January 17th. Students in PK-6th grade can bring in up to three gently-used books (at their own reading level or above, please) to swap for other books. Please also send along any kid-appropriate magazines that you don’t need anymore.
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Open House

Please encourage any friends, neighbors or family members with school age children to attend Open House on Tuesday, January 21, at 9:30 a.m., Pilgrim hosts an Open House for all prospective families, with a tour to classrooms and chance for conversation about the whole Pilgrim educational program. Our final Open House is scheduled during ELCA Lutheran Schools Week on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Principal Comella.

Chess Club

The 2nd session of Pilgrim Lutheran Chess Club/Team begins next week. The session runs from January 14th - March 17th 2020. Click HERE for details and registration forms. For more information, contact Arlene Calderone at acalderone@pilgrimchicago.org

Pilgrim Ninjas

Join us for an ultimate afternoon of ninja training on January 29th from 1:30-3:30! Let your kids burn some energy on a half-day off of school. We have reserved an afternoon time slot of open play available to our families at Ultimate Ninjas (2915 W Montrose Ave). The cost is $20 for two hours of play, water and snacks will be included! This event is open to children five and up.

Make sure you reserve your spot and select January 29th when registering. Flyers will be sent home soon with all the important info. This event also supports Pilgrim PTL!

Sign up at https://ultimateninjas.com/pilgrim-3/

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Register for Trivia Night!

Get ready for Trivia Night on Saturday, February 22nd. Gather your team for a night of factoids, fun and fellowship. Tables are $25 per person or $200 for a table of 8. Register before January 31 for a $25 discount. The grand prize for the winning table is $500 in cash! Use the attached registration form to sign up and order pizza. This is a 21 and older event: beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase.

Friends, family, community members and over 21 alums are also welcome to join in the fun! All proceeds will help send Pilgrim's Class of 2021 to Washington DC.

Need help forming your team? Let us know and we can help connect you with others looking for teammates. Contact Eve Haycock (eve@ccolife.org) or Shellie Riedle (shellieriedle@yahoo.com) with any questions.

Click HERE for your registration form and return it to the office

Lost Keys

There are two different sets of lost keys in the school office. One is a Subaru key on a clip, found in the grass by the Pilgrim Lutheran Church sign on Cullom. The other is a house key on a pig key chain that has a zipper pocket on it, found in front of the school door on the sidewalk. Please contact the school office if they are yours, thank you.


A special thank you to everyone who helped Pilgrim raise $566.96 for UNICEF!
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Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Law gives tax credits to individuals and corporations paying taxes in Illinois for donations to designated Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO’s). Any family attending a private school in Illinois may apply to these SGO’s for scholarship aid. The window for parents seeking scholarship aid opens January 15, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. Pilgrim and all the other Chicagoland Lutheran Schools have designated Empower Illinois as our primary SGO. Parents may request scholarship money set aside for Lutheran schools or for CLEF schools. There are, however, restrictions based on family income. For more information go to https://empowerillinois.org/. If you have questions, please contact Principal Comella.


The Pilgrim Board of Education met Tuesday, January 7. The Board Finalized tuition and fees for 2020-21, and notification will be mailed out to parents the week of January 20. Thank you to BOE members for working so diligently to keep Pilgrim running efficiently and effectively.

Please note that the Pilgrim School Board/BOE is NOT meeting on Tuesday, January 14, as indicated on the PTL Calendar. The next Pilgrim School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 28 (also not on the PTL Calendar).

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.

Save the Date

Sunday, January 26th- Lower Grades sing in 10:30 a.m. service

Gift Cards

Happy New Year from Operation CIP!! Christmas sales went well but we have some leftovers available.

REI 25's, Bass Pro 25 and Visa 50's (already activated). Please let Anne Barsano know if you are interested cbarsano@aol.com, 312-972-9040 or 312-972-6037. There will be no sales on Martin Luther King Day but otherwise our schedule is the same. Thank you!!

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