Pilgrim Lutheran School News

September 23, 2016

What a beautiful September...

...we are having. This has been a really nice start to the school year. Thank you Pilgrim!

We have a special announcement this week...Congratulations to Suzana Bataneant, our Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, on the birth of her daughter, Jane Fivia Bataneant. Jane arrived on Monday, September 19, 2016, at 4:27 a.m. Jane weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 21 inches long. Suzi, her husband Alin, and baby Jane are all doing well. While Mrs. Bataneant is on family leave, Mrs. Dale Luksha is teaching in the Pre-K room with Mr. Knuth. Mrs. Luksha was formerly principal of St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Skokie and has many years of experience as an early childhood teacher.

Today's Boys volleyball game is cancelled!

St Lukes called and has to cancel the boys volleyball game this afternoon. You student athlete's have been notified. Sorry for the short notice.

The games for Monday, September 26 have been cancelled. For information about interscholastic volleyball, contact coaches Robert Knapp and Wende Niforatos.

A note from Mr Comella

Visiting Pilgrim classrooms always delights and invigorates me throughout the day. Students are engaged in projects, experiments, literature circles, and math centers. As the honeymoon of the first couple of weeks of school is fading away, students are also beginning to test boundaries with teachers, staff and each other, too. This happens with academics and helps to stretch learning. Peer teaching is very powerful for both the one teaching and the one learning. If a child can teach a concept, that child really comprehends the concept. Students are also testing boundaries for social behaviors. One of the great strengths about Pilgrim lies in the ability of teachers and staff to celebrate desirable behaviors and redirect undesirable ones. Lots of talk about the 4 Be’s—Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be Kind—always creates good conversations with students and promotes the values we want children to own. This is truly evidence that so much of what we do is inspired by Grace. Pilgrim students really are learning to be problem-solvers in very positive ways. Come join us when you are able to witness it all unfold!

Another wonderful Block Party!

A HUGE thank you to the entire Pilgrim community who pitched in, came out and supported another great Pilgrim Block Party! We were blessed with beautiful weather, a fantastic worship service, a great turn out and a new addition with the funnel cakes from our neighbor Gray. Thanks to Event Coordinator Sarah Lau, Facilities Manager David Emery, Bouncy House supervisor Coach Suhajda and Anne Barsano for their tireless work. And a special thanks to the Pilgrim Parent Teacher League (PTL) for helping to provide the petting zoo.

Volunteer Opportunities

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: 2nd Thursday at 7 p.m.

 …at the Board of Education Meetings: 1st Tuesday at 7 p.m.

 …at Marketing Team Meetings: 2nd Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 …through the Development Group

 …supporting Pilgrim Fundraisers

 …sharing the good news about Pilgrim with a prospective family (postcards with Open House dates are available in the school office.


Preparations for Halloween Party 2016 have begun!! Pilgrim Parent-Teacher League (PTL) met for the first time during the 2016-2017 school year, last night, September 22. The Halloween Party is one of the biggest events of the year at Pilgrim and your homeroom rep(s) will be in touch with you about how you can help make the party a success. Homeroom reps are: Jessica Santana for am pre-K; Corrine Sheehan and Ellen Shorter for pm Pre-K; Gretchen Radach for K; Erin Telford and Shermi Patel for 1/2; Kelly Tobin-Tokowitz for 2/3; Valerie Carlson and Esther Negron for 7/8. We are still in need of reps for 4/5 and 5/6. The four areas of need for the party are food; haunted house; games; and lower grade Trick-or-Treat Hallway. The sign-up genius will be up and ready by next week. Thanks to all who volunteered to help!

Pilgrim Wildcats

The first cross country meet was Monday, September 19, at Portage Park. Pilgrim did a great job in all categories. Good job to all who ran! The next meet is at Schiller Woods, Monday, September 26. For information about cross country, contact Beata Halter. She is assisted by Pilgrim alum Dylan Allingham.


The full Volleyball Schedule is also available online:



We are excited to start another year of Band at Pilgrim. Band is open to all students in Grades 4-8. The cost for band is $275 per child per semester. If you would like your child to be in band please contact Pilgrim Band Teacher Ouida Zaporta at euph25@gmail.com. Band Day will be Thursdays.

If you need to rent an instrument, you will do this directly through Luscombe Music Inc. The best was is the get the rental agreement from their website. The school office is not involved in the renting of instruments, please contact them directly. Thanks all!


Interested in Development?

We are working to build up our efforts for development options for the school. If you have experience in work with development and grants, we welcome your input. Please contact parent Eric Crabtree-Nelson or me about these important efforts. Volunteering does not mean attendance at a monthly meeting!

Title I

If you believe that your child would benefit from additional help with reading and math instruction, Susan Stamm is Title I teacher, a federally funded program. She comes to Pilgrim every afternoon. Please contact me or your child’s teacher about how to access services. You can also contact Ms. Stamm at susan.stamm@catapultlearning.com This additional help is free to parents for students in Grades 1-8.

Chicago Home Tutor

...is providing social-emotional support and training in executive skills this year at Pilgrim. Tulin Akin is a licensed school psychologist, and she will be providing services. She can help students with executive functioning skills and with other problems that may arise which get in the way of maximal performance in the classroom. If you would like your child to be involved in this program, please contact me for more information. Or, you can look up more information about Chicago Home Tutor at www.chicagohometutor.com. Chicago Home Tutor is an approved provider for CPS and CLEF schools. They also can provide individual academic tutoring for Pilgrim students in Orton-Gillingham reading method.

Church Council

Pilgrim Church Council meets Tuesday, September 27, at 7:30. The Pilgrim Congregation supports the school in many ways, and the school is the most important mission of the Congregation. The Congregation pays to maintain the physical plant of the school and provides resources for the improvement of the school. School parents are welcome to observe or ask questions of the Council. Contact me or Council President Mike Suhajda for more details.

Gift Cards and Magazine Drive

We have even more gift cards on our list this year!! Landrys $25 has five restaurants in the Chicago area: Bubba Gump, Claim Jumper, McCormick Schmicks, Morton's and Rainforest Cafe, Fossil $25, Heinen's Grocery Store $25, $50, Jos A Bank $25, Pinkberry $10, Saks off Fifth $50, Southwest (varying amounts), Universal Orlando $25, $100 and Visa $100 and $250. All need to be ordered at the present time. Please contact Anne Barsano cbarsano@aol.com or 773-472-6037 if you are interested.

If you are ordering from Amazon online, please sign up at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2284295 and 0,5% of your order will come back to Pilgrim. There is no change to your Amazon account: same benefits, same Prime rewards and shipments, everything is the same except that Pilgrim makes a little more money without your having to spend any additional money. Better still, buy an Amazon card from Operation CIP, use it to pay for your order and Pilgrim earns 4.5% of your order.

Our Magazine Drive will run from Sept 12-29, with packets going out soon. You can order and charge your order at www.gaschoolstore.com at anytime throughout the year. Pilgrims account # is: 2633014 and we earn 40% of your order. Order new or renew your present subscriptions or order gifts for others!

Pet Blessing, October 1st

Bring your Dog, Cat, Hamster, Reptile, Fish or other animal to the Welles Park Gazebo on October 1st at 10:00 a.m. for a special blessing. The Blessing of the Animals is traditionally celebrated the first weekend in October in conjunction with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. We are glad to celebrate this blessing together with our friends at Luther Memorial Church.

Confirmation Info and Pizza Night

Join us Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Parsonage. Confirmation is a program that helps 6th - 9th graders learn about themselves and their relationship with God. With fun trips and retreats, service projects, and interactive classes, our students grow a strong faith foundation that will last for a lifetime. This program is open to all students regardless of their church/faith affiliation. Coming to this meeting does not commit you to the program. Parents and students are welcome to attend!

Opening the Treasure: New Opportunity for Parents and Kids

We as parents want our children to have a solid spiritual foundation. We want our children to learn about the Bible in a meaningful and age appropriate way. We also hear the research that faith formation happens primarily at home, but we as parents don't know where to start, and we don't think we know enough about the Bible ourselves. Pastor Kristian is offering a 5 session class called "Opening the Treasure", which will help parents and students of all ages explore the Bible together. The format will be similar to the First Communion Class that is offered each spring, but will have completely different content. The first session will take place on Wednesday, October 12th at 5:30 p.m. The class will continue at 5:30 p.m. on October 19th, 26th, and November 2nd and 9th, culminating with a special celebration on the 13th. To RSVP for this class, please email Renee in the office atchurchadmin@pilgrimchicago.org


The North Center MOPs group meets the first and third Thursday of each month at the Pilgrim parsonage. MOPs is a community group for moms! Discussions and speakers will focus on relevant, important and interesting topics. Fall semester dates are 10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/17 and 12/1. The cost of each meeting is $10 which goes towards childcare as well as program costs. Doors open at 9am and childcare is provided until 11:45am. If you would like more information or to RSVP, please contact Ginger Fowler at ghood79@hotmail.com.

Cocktails for a Cause 3 - SAVE THE DATE

Cocktails for a Cause 3 is coming on Friday, November 11. This is a party to connect Pilgrim families, past and present, and build up the Dave Maring School Endowment Fund (DMSE). This year the disbursement from the DMSE paid for workshops for teachers to learn about new science standards, new ways of teaching writing, and new ideas for teaching in Pre-K. Party Tickets are $40 each or $70 for a couple. The party is at the Celtic Crown Public House at Western and Cullom. Ticket price includes 2 drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Child-care will be available during the event in the school building. Tickets for the party are available in the school office.

Spread the News

Thank you to everyone for spreading the good news about Pilgrim! If you want a lawn sign, we have them in the office. We also have car magnets in the office. (If you go to the car wash, make sure you take the magnet off first!) If you have any friends interested in touring Pilgrim, we give tours every Tuesday at 10 and our first Open House for prospective parents is Tuesday, October 25. More info about that as we get closer to the date.

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Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School for wonderful info, photos, and updates!

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 either Mr. Comella or Staff Reps to PTL Angela Cardo and Beata Halter. Parents are also welcome to attend weekly chapel services. The students are always happy to see you there!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal