Faculty Staff Memo

St. Gabriel School, September 13, 2015


24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacred Scripture: Mark 8:34b
“Whosoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”


How can I infuse formation in empathy into my programs in response to the many, and varied, family situations present in the school and parish(es)? What are the issues local families are facing right now?

Praying with you and for you as we focus on family and mission in Catholic education.

Blessings dear teachers and staff!

I hope that everyone had a good weekend, that the rain and the chill in the air didn't dampen anyone's plans, and that it was a restful little break after our third week!

A friendly reminder to remember to read the parent newsletters and memos (Weekend Virtual Backpack, Weekday News and Notes, PTU, etc) besides this staff newsletter. Frequently there is information that goes to parents that is not in the Staff newsletter that is good for you to know that parents are getting. I have been trying on the one hand to get good information out to everyone in these new newsletters so everyone knows what is going on and communication is really enhanced, and on the other hand through these new newsletters, to cut down the length and number and repetition of things in order to be sensitive to everyone's time.

Prayerfully walking together to the Center, with joy and gratitude,

Peace in the Father, love in Jesus, and courage and wisdom in the Spirit,

Donna Lee

Looking Ahead

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September 14-27

September 14

  • Power of the Pen
  • 7:00pm St. Gabriel Parish Communal Penance Service

September 15----All School Picture Day--re-scheduled!

  • 8:15 Gr K-1 Liturgy of the Word
  • 9:00--11:00am Mini Open House
  • 2:45 Faculty Meeting

September 16

  • 8:05 All School Liturgy
  • DL out to Principal Conference, St. Thomas Moore

September 17

  • 9:15--10:15am Riverside Bus Safety Practice
  • 2:45 Accreditation Steering Committee
  • 5:30 First PTU Meeting, MPR

September 18

  • 8:00am--2:30pm Grade 7 & 8 Peer Leadership Team Leadership Summit


  • Theme: Finding the gift in yourself and others, and giving it to the world
  • 8:05 - Opening All School Liturgy
  • Assemblies with Inspirational Speaker Mike Patin
  • Prayer experiences with Deacon Bob Grgic
  • Classroom Service Projects for the community

September 22

  • 2:45 -- Jr Hi PLC, re-scheduled from 9-8

September 24

  • 2:45-- Related Arts PLC, re-scheduled from 9-22

September 25

  • St. Gabriel School Spirit day
  • 1:15pm All School Spirit Asssembly
  • Installation of Student Council Homeroom Representatives
  • PM schedule
  • Dress down day

September 26-27

  • St. Gabriel Parish Jubilee Kickoff Weekend

Bright Spot - a shaft of light in darkness, something or someone that brightens the day!

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St. Gabriel School~Crossroads Peer Leadership

St. Gabriel School/Crossroads Peer Leadership

Peer leaders in grades 5-8 have been selected. All these students experienced very effective training days Thursday and Friday. Next week these students will start meeting during their lunch recess times to start planning and learning more ways to take and spread what they are learning throughout the school. Danielle Klein will also be setting up and scheduling her Grade K-4 classes with you, occurring throughout the year.

Thank you Erica and Sherry for your time in working and being with the kids last Thursday and Friday. Going forward, the students will be meeting one day, twice a month at the their recess lunch times, that is, 2 days a month to work with the Crossroads team and Danielle Klein.

A special thank you to our Back Door Team!

Thank you very much all of you Related Arts and Aide staff who do such a great job of greeting and welcoming all car riders and their parents every morning!!! Especially when you help open the door for a little one and help them out of the car, or help a little one get out of their car seat and out of the car. This ensures and sends a message of safety and warmth and parents are very grateful. I get compliments about you for the way you make them feel appreciated. It sends a great message about our school community!!


Faculty Meeting

At this faculty meeting we will be working on moving forward with learning how to give assessments, in particular in writing across the curriculum, to obtain data that will help us grow in our Response to Instruction (RTI) initiative. Mary Hartnett has emailed all teachers instructions and guidelines for how to prepare and what to bring to this meeting.

Two extremely important purposes of this meeting concerning RTI are to

  1. learn how to gather and interpret data, and
  2. the critical importance of collaborating and partnering with colleagues in using this data to determine what individual students need and how to differentiate/modify classroom instruction to meet those needs.

All School Retreat

  • Sherry has sent everyone a schedule and agenda for our retreat day next Monday.
  • We will continue our very effective "formula", of assemblies with our speaker, prayer with Deacon Bob Grgic, and service projects for the community.
  • Fitting very nicely with our "growth" mind set, the retreat theme focuses on the children especially finding the gifts in themselves and discovering the gifts in others.
  • The faith component however adds the dimension that these gifts are from God, for God has a purpose for each of us, including the children, and in their purpose they share their gifts with the world.


When you get a chance, please sign up one teacher per grade for our Accreditation Committee. It is on Google. Thanks to those who have signed up so far.

Lunch Room notes

Ruth's lunchroom computer is back up and running :) for now.

We started using the hand sanitizer "squirts" again by the Noon Watch as students come in from recess and enter through the MPR doors for lunch. Please mention to your students to make sure they each get the sanitizer as they enter into the lunchroom, and they can wash their hands in the restrooms also if they wish.

We are still researching kinds of wipes to use, including just water. The Noon Watch can then offer them to anyone who would like an additional one at the table, especially the K-2 students.

Thanks for all your help and support.

Staff Club and Extracurriculars Notes, Reminders and Guidelines

A huge thank you to all of you who are leading and monitoring clubs and extracurriculars!! This is a great and wonderful plus and appleal for our students and our school! I am getting great feedback from parents who were not fully aware of all the extra things we do and have available to students. Describing, informing, highlighting and promoting this in the new VB is making a big difference!! Before they just saw a list in the handbook, and some flyers here and there.

A couple notes about things that are thus more critical for us to have in place:


All groups need to have some kind of a flyer, which includes description, purpose, meeting dates, times, locations, and parent permission sign-offs. It doesn't have to be that fancy, if you need help or samples, let me know. You can ask other staff who have done for help also.


As I mentioned in contacting many of you earlier, we need to have rosters of all members in the after school activities. Including names, grades, homerooms, contact #s, record of verification of parent permission, and record of payments if there are any. If you need help with that, let me know.

Staff Google Calendar Reminders and Guidelines

  • Please keep watch on our Google calendar!
  • Important: Don't forget to go through Maggie when you want to schedule anything after school, whether afternoon or evening, or in any space or room. She will contact Alice at the parish to check that your request does not conflict with anything else in the parish. If there are questions or problems Alice or Maggie will get back to me and then to you.
  • Thank you for your patience and understanding with each other, your collaboration in working things out, and the great amount of time and effort and heart you give!!


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Happy Birthday to Lauren Zenobi, Tuesday, September 15th!


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Please pray for Andi as she goes through treatment and healing of her knee injury. Please also pray for Joyce, as she goes through further treatment and examination of her back injury which is increasing in impact and pain. Please also pray for several on our staff whose children are needing treatments and surgeries and of course needing extra time and energy as they expend their love and care also for our students!

Let us continue to pray also for each other and all of our families, as colleagues and friends, and as companions on the discipleship journey of our mission in Christ. I know there are many unspoken needs, needing big and little prayers.

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

Please continue praying for parents and families in our school community needing prayers. Please note their names in the Parent Newsletter coming out after this one, but in the meantime keep them and their children in your prayers. I'm sure there are others, but for now please pray for the Corrigan family, the Byrnes family, the Michalsky family, and the Degner family.

Have a beautiful week!

I am praying for all of you,

Peace in the Father, love in Jesus, and courage and wisdom in the Spirit,


Donna Lee

St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School

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