Principal Notes 01/29/2016

St. Cecilia School

Notes from the Principal

Catholic Schools Week

Thank you in advance to Family School Association and our School Committee for all your work on our Catholic Schools Week agenda next week. Thank you in advance to all our school families for helping your children participate in our daily challenges and fun activities. Let’s make Catholic Schools Week a success!

Student Tuition Organization (STO) and Tuition Assistance

I want to encourage families that are interested in assistance to open the attached letter that provides more details. Many of our families receive financial assistance to attend St. Cecilia and we encourage these families to apply for this assistance. This year a family of four can earn $72,900 and a family of seven can earn $110,190 and be eligible for STO funding. If STO does not meet your financial needs, you can apply to our local tuition assistance through St. Cecilia Parish. You must apply to STO as our local tuition assistance uses their financial need formula to help base their decision. Your completed application must be post-marked or filed electronically by March 24, 2016.

STO paper applications can be picked up in the school office or you can apply online at If you need assistance completing this application, please call the school office. Please contact Mr. Rowlands if you have any questions. We are hoping that we can make it financially affordable for all families to send their children to St. Cecilia.

Tuition Affordability

2016-2016 STO Letter

2016-2017 STO Letter - Spanish

5th grade parents - message from Ames Middle School

Acceleration Information: Wednesday, February 3 at 6:30 pm, we will host an informational meeting for all students and their parents who are considering a 6th grade compacted math class for top students. This will be an opportunity to see how the process works, get important deadline information, and begin a dialog regarding acceleration options for individuals. We encourage any student who is considering acceleration next year to attend. If you have any questions, please contact the Ames Middle School at #515.268.2400.

Kindergarten Round Up – February 11 & 12, 2016

Kindergarten Round Up – February 11 & 12, 2016 –

Please share with your friends and family!

Dear Parents,

The first part of our annual Kindergarten Round-Up will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2016, starting at 6 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room of the St. Cecilia Education Center. This is a registration session for parents/guardians only. The agenda will include some information about St. Cecilia School, some general kindergarten classroom information and registration.

Registration packets will be provided for you at this meeting, with the necessary forms to complete since formal registration will take place during our meeting time. Please bring the following paperwork with you:

  • Birth Certificate Copy
  • Baptismal Certificate Copy
  • Immunization Record Copy
  • Physical Form Copy
  • Lead Testing Copy (may be included on physical form)
  • Vision Exam Copy
  • Dental Exam Copy
  • $100 Deposit (refundable until June 30, 2016)

The second part will be the Kindergarten Round-Up visit for you and your child, which will take place on Friday, February 12th, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. in the Kindergarten Room of the St. Cecilia Education Center. Your child will be in the kindergarten classroom working on a variety of activities while you are invited to the north social hall with our Family School Association volunteers for refreshments, question/answer time and tours of the school. At 11 a.m., you’ll meet back up for lunch. The lunch menu will be Smuckers PB&J, yogurt, Sunchips, carrots, applesauce and milk. Our Family School Association will be purchasing your lunch, so all we will need is your RSVP the night of Kindergarten Round Up.

People of all faiths are invited to consider a Catholic Christian education for their children at St. Cecilia School. The St. Cecilia School staff is highly committed to providing a quality faith-based education for your children. We look forward to welcoming those who share the same values concerning their children’s education. If you have any questions, please contact the school office at #515-232-5290. Hope to see you at Round Up!

'Tis the season

This week we are experiencing a higher number of students who have been sent home ill or have stayed home ill. Just a reminder to ask your children to wash their hands frequently, dispose of tissues properly and cover their mouth while coughing.

Also, if your child has a fever or stomach issues, please do not send them back to school until they are 24 hours symptom free.

Tuition Tax Credit Information

The State of Iowa provides tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools. The following summary from the Iowa Catholic Conference gives the background of the law and explains the Tax Credit Program and how to take advantage of it. Please review the attached form. If you would like to use this form, please complete the form by January 30th and send it into the school office for the principal’s signature. Thank you.

Tuition Tax Credit Information

Our Faith STO Thank You

Thanks to the generosity of over 1,000 donors we were able to reach our full capacity of $5,479,436 for the 2015 STO program across the Archdiocese. The support that you provide to STO benefits a number of students in Ames and across the Archdiocese. The program helps to assist those families that otherwise could not afford a Catholic education for their children.

The assistance application process for the 2016-2017 school year is underway. Any families that may be interested in assistance should contact the office for the forms or direction or log onto Assistance applications are due no later than March 24, 2016 but we encourage everyone to start earlier and try to file by the end of February.

Erv Rowlands

Ervin A. Rowlands

Principal, St. Cecilia's School

Catholic Schools Week

We are excited to celebrate Catholic Schools Week next week. The day-by-day agenda is attached again for your review. Below are a few more details about the week...

* If you haven't turned in your cross for the family project, please send it in next week!

Sunday – Talent Show

Congratulations to all of you who will be performing and helping with this year's Talent Show! We would like for all participants to be in the multi purpose (mp) room on Sunday by 1pm. Please think ahead and have your music, props, etc. ready and with you.

M.C.s and stage hands should meet in the MP room at 12:45 pm.

Thank you for allowing your children to make this a fantastic show!

Sincerely, Mrs. Gaul and Mrs. Nespor

* Monday is our SCRIP CHALLENGE! Please place your Scrip orders by 9 am Monday morning. Remember your Hickory Park giftcards for SuperBowl Sunday and the 5th grade fundraiser! Note that there are 2 ways to order Scrip. You can submit the order form attached, or place your order on line. To place an order on line, shop at The code for St. Cecilia is C2A59CCB961. You will find many more businesses offered on line. You may pay via "PrestoPay" or make checks payable to St Cecilia Scrip. Any questions, contact All orders placed on line or submitted via paper, attached, count for the Scrip Challenge.

SCRIP order form


* One addition was made to the Tuesday schedule. Please wear your red polo shirts and if possible, an ISU hat (if possible) as we're having special guests that day!

* To make things easier for those counting/sorting box tops/soup labels for the Tuesday challenge, please put them in a plastic bag, and label the bag with the total number of box tops and/or soup labels. Thank you!


*An empty, never used, prescription bottle has been sent home with each student for today’s Home For Awhile loose change collection.

Thank you for your support in making this Catholic Schools Week a success!

CSW Flyer

5th grade pasta lunch, January 31

Now Gluten-free Option Available!

Good news all you gluten-free pasta lovers: The 5th grade pasta lunch will now offer a gluten-free pasta option! So please join the fifth graders' and their parents' at the annual Catholic School Week Pasta Lunch on January 31 from 11 am -1 pm in the Social Hall. They will be serving pasta, with either meat marinara or Alfredo sauce, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. Your free will donation will help fund the group's overnight trip to the Omaha Zoo in May. Thank you for your generous support for this once in a lifetime experience!

SuperBowl Sunday - Hickory Park

Fifth Grade Class Trip Fundraiser-February 7th

Gift cards may be used for this purchase – SCRIP challenge on Monday. See attached flyer for details!

Hickory Park Flyer

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart is coming soon to St. Cecilia PE! We will have our kick-off assembly on February 11th with Amy Knoll from the American Heart Association as well as a special four-footed guest! The theme this year is all about dogs and our students have the opportunity to start now in helping to raise money for the American Heart Association online. Please check out the flyer to learn more about Jump Rope for Heart which will also help us raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association!

Jump Rope for Heart Flyer

Spelling Bee

The local Knights of Columbus will be hosting the annual Ames Area Spelling Bee on Sunday, February 14, 2016, for students in grades 4 through 7. Detailed information--including registration form, date, location, rules and word lists--are available at the following web site:

Key information:

- Free to all Ames-area 4th-7th grade students.

- Registrations due by Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

- Spelling Bee at 1pm on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, at St. Cecilia School, 2900 Hoover.

- Entry form, word lists, and additional information available at:

Spelling Bee Information

School Events

  • Monday February 1, 8:45am, All School Rosary in the church
  • Tuesday February 2, 7:00pm Catholic School Board
  • Wednesday February 3, 9:00am, All School Mass and Volunteer Reception