Weekend ... Virtual Backpack

St. Gabriel School ............. February 7, 2016

Developing our God-given souls, minds, talents and gifts .......................................... as servant leaders .......................................... in the community of the Body of Christ.

That's the St. Gabriel Advantage ...

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacred Scripture Luke 5:10-11

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Message of Mercy

An Intense Desire

The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts.

Evangelii Gaudium


Do you have an intense desire to share God’s love?

This message of mercy and reflection material is generously provided by Our Sunday Visitor, publisher of A Year of Mercy With Pope Francis: Daily Reflections.

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Ash Wednesday Liturgy, February 10th, 8:30am

Dear Parents,

We invite you and your family to join your students and the whole St. Gabriel school family this Ash Wednesday, to begin this year's holy season of Lent. We will celebrate with our beautiful Eucharistic Liturgy, including the distribution of ashes for all.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Ash Wednesday Mass will begin at 8:30am.

7 Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy & 7 Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Dear Parents,

We hope you have all received the special small posters your children brought home last week of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching, Throughout this Lenten time of focus on prayer, fasting, and giving, we will be integrating these in our daily school life and learning in meaningful ways.

  • Please have your children hang or place them in a special place in their rooms or other special place in your home.
  • In response to Pope Francis' call, St. Gabriel will be celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy in a special way through understanding and living these works of mercy and themes of social teaching.
  • Pope Francis explains, "There is an important relationship between justice and mercy. Encase mercy with justice. There are not two contradictory realities, but two dimensions of a single reality that unfolds progressively until it culminates in the fullness of love."
  • It is the goal of St. Gabriel School to more deeply instill these virtues of compassion and equality throughout the school year, not just this Lent, but into next fall. Each month our school will be focusing on one or more Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy, and one of more of the Catholic Social Teachings.

STANDARDIZED TESTING Begins, Monday, February, 8th

  • Tomorrow, February 8, we will be beginning our standardized testing time span of Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) in all grades, 1-8, and Cognitive Abilities Tests (CogAT) in grades 3, 5, and 7.
  • The bulk of the testing will be completed this week and half way into next week. In the following third week, mostly make-up testing will be done for those absent any of the beginning days.
  • Testing has been scheduled to take place in the first 2 morning hours of school. Teachers and staff have been getting all in place for preparations for the tests so our students will have as optimum an experience as possible.
  • You can help your children as always by having them rested and having good nutrition before they leave to come to school. If your child is ill please do not let them come to school. We have a few days at the end of the testing for makeups for illness absences.

Reminder--Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten enrollment ROUND-UP

  • The one-stop "Jr. Kindergarten & Kindergarten ROUNDUP" enrollment will be at the School Office,

  • Monday, February 8, from 5:00--7:00pm.

  • For all pre-school families

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Enrollment Forms/Fees Due March 1st!

Puxatony Phil saw his shadow and you know what that means... only 3 more weeks till the 2016.17 enrollment form/fees deadline of March 1st.

Please return your 2016.17 enrollment forms/fees to the School Office by March 1st. If you have NOT received your packet please contact the School Office.

Additionally 2016-17 PSAS forms are now available on-line on the school website.

Please direct any questions to the School Office.

Thank you!

St. Gabriel School on Twitter

1) St Gabriel School @stgabrielschoo1 (please note that the last l of school is the number 1)

2) Donna Lee Saladino @PrincipalStGabe

If you have any questions about our school Twitter accounts, or need help setting up one for yourself to be able to access and follow our Twitter accounts, contact Mrs. Joyce Gravagna, our school Technology Integration Coordinator: joyce.gravagna@st-gabrielschool.org

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February 8, 2016 through February 13, 2016

February 8 --February 19
  • Cognitive Abilities Testing (CogATs) - Gr. 3, 5, 7
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skillts (TBS) - Gr. 1-8

February 8

  • GBN Meeting 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Play Practice 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Power of the Pen 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
  • 5:00-7:00pm -- Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten Open Enrollment "ROUNDUP"

February 9

  • Daisy Mtg. (Bunner) Community Room 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
  • National Junior Honor Society - CR of the Church 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm

February 10

  • Ash Wednesday
  • 8:30 am ALL School and Parish Mass
  • Brownie Mtg. (Wiandt) MR1 Church 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Math Club (Grade 6-8) 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Chess Club 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Power of the Pen 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

February 11

  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Play Practice 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Art Club 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
  • Parish Women's Night Out 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Community Room)

February 12

  • St. Gabriel Community Fish Fry 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm, PC & MPR

February 13

  • Grade 2 First Reconciliation (10:00 am - First Session) ( 12:00 pm - Second Session)

Looking Ahead ...

February 15--Presidents Day


February 16 through February 19, 2016 continued

  • Cognitive Abilities Testing (CogATs) - Gr 3, 5, 7
  • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) -- Gr 1-8

February 17

  • 8:05 am All School Mass

February 18

  • Regional Spelling B at Auburn Career Center

February 19 -- St. Gabriel Community Fish Fry 5:00--7:30pm, PC & MPR

February 21

  • Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for 8th Grade Class Trip
  • School MPR
  • 7:30am--2:00pm

February 23 -- Principal Parent Circle, 5:00--6:30pm, GLDen

February 24

  • 8:05am All School Mass

February 26 -- St. Gabriel Community Fish Fry 5:00--7:30pm, PC & MPR

February 27 -- Learning Loft Reverse Raffle Fundraiser

March 2

  • 8:05am All School Mass

March 4 -- St. Gabriel Community Fish Fry 5:00--7:30pm, PC & MPR

March 9

  • 8:05am All School Mas

March 11 -- St. Gabriel Community Fish Fry 5:00--7:30pm, PC & MPR

March 12 -- St. Gabriel BOK Food Fast

March 16

  • 8:05am All School Mass

March 18 -- St. Gabriel Community Fish Fry 5:00--7:30pm, PC & MPR

March 23

  • 8:05am All School Mass
  • 1:15pm Living Stations

March 24--April 1 -- Easter Break NO SCHOOL

April 4 -- Classes Resume

April 6

  • 8:05am All School Mass

April 9 -- District Power of the Pen Regional Competition

April 13

  • 8:05am All School Mass

Aprl 14 -- PTU Spring Fling, Moms Night Out

  • Location off campus, TBA
  • Vendor items

April 15 and 16

  • Performing Arts Group "Cinderella"
  • 7:00pm
  • Pahler Center

April 16

  • Gr 2 First Eucharist Retreat
  • 9:00am

April 17

  • Performing Arts Group "Cinderella"
  • 3:00pm
  • Pahler Center

May 2 & 3

  • Kindergarten Screening

May 9

  • 8:15am May Crowning

May 11

  • 6":30pm 8th Grade "Academy Award Night"

May 16

  • 7:00pm Grades 4-5 Music Program

May 26

  • Young Authors, Young Artists Night
  • 6:30-8:00pm
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A myriad of Bright Spots throughout Catholic Schools Week!

Career Day

A HUGE thank you to all parents and family members who gave of their time and expertise to build such a successful St. Gabriel School Career Day! As we move forward into building a STEM environment of practices that help our students learn the skills, knowledge and understanding they need for success in their future education and careers, our students need to experience authentic ways they can use their talents and gifts and abilities. They need such experiences to set real and motivating goals. And they also need to see one great difference further -- that their talents, gifts and abilities are all God given, and for God's purposes, to lead and serve and create in unique ways a strong Christlike society and community of responsible and loving members for the care, benefit, accomplishment of all.

Full STEAM Ahead Arts Day

Using the STEM in our brains!

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Snow Day reminders


  1. Students are expected to do work that was already assigned or regularly expected for the day that became a snow day(s). if a quiz or test was scheduled, it will be taken on the first day back after the snow day(s).
  2. No new instruction or new work or new assignments will be given. As with homework normally, if students have questions or problems, they can ask the teachers when they get back to school.
  3. Teachers will post on their web pages by noon on each snow day, any news, information, instructions or changes students and/or parents need to know about classwork, homework, or other assignments or events. Students and parents must check teacher web pages each snow day.


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Please make special places in your hearts and prayers for all persons in our St. Gabriel Community:

For the Gromack family, for prayers of comfort in the loss of Mrs. Gromack's brother, uncle to students Ava and Gianna.

For Mrs. Mann and her children, for prayers of comfort in the loss of Mrs. Mann's mother and the children's grandmother.

For comfort and healing to the Bill Koenig and Keith Koenig families with the loss of their grandparent/great grandparent.

Please keep in your prayers, general intercessions for all in our community, especially all of our students who have suffered losses of loves ones over the last few years. And I know there are many needing both big and little prayers here and there, for many reasons. I was once read an anonymous quote:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

A very special expression of appreciation and thanks to our wonderful school parent Sunshine Committee who strives to lead reach out efforts of love and support and help for those in our community in suffering!

Submitting School News, Memos, and Information

If you wish to have something included in the Weekend Virtual Back (VB) or the Weekday News and Notes, or any of our shorter email memos, please contact our Communications Coordinator, Michelle Clarke, at michelle.clarke@st-gabrielschool.org. All items must be approved by the principal and follow our policies. Thank you!!

NOTE: Also, if there are technical obstacles or difficulties in preventing you from accessing a linked item, or getting the correct information, please let Mrs. Clarke know, and she will get you the document or item or information you need!

St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School

We are being Christ every day, everywhere, through teaching, learning, leading and serving.