Weekend ... Virtual Backpack

St. Gabriel School ............. September 13, 2015

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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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacred Scripture: James 2:1
"My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ."

Personal Meditation
How do we help our family better understand the similarities we share with all of God's creatures, even those we do not understand? Discuss who are the poor and where do we find them. As a family, discuss what loving actions would help them. Make a promise as a family to follow through on one of those actions in the next month.

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

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Blessings Everyone!

i hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather of this Labor Day Weekend! This has been another busy and full week at St. Gabriel!

One of the highlights was the great progress we made in our new program of strengthening our school's culture of kindness and prevention of hurtful and harmful behavior. As I explained in our back to school Orientation presentations, we are collaborating with Crossroads of Lake County in starting a program of student led leadership in which students will be given skill training and guidance throughout the year in creating a culture in their school, our school, in which all students feel safe, connected and supported. Truly blending with our mission of being Christ every day, everywhere, through teaching, learning, leading and serving.

This past week, we gathered diverse teams of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students that were recommended by many of their teachers as demonstrating leadership skills and abilities to affect their peers and all St. Gabriel students in positive and joyful ways. We invited them to join these teams as servant leaders in the school, and with parent permission, help us to spread this kindness movement. We will keep you posted as things unfold.

In closing I would like to share with you Fr. Fred's comments that so deeply touched me at the gatherings of these students. I pray I can convey his message well ... He said yes, we are asking you students to be servant leaders, as we firmly believe we should all be. However, a true servant leader is not a leader "at the top" of all in the school, but a servant leader in the spirit of the call of our leader Pope Francis, and Christ. To serve from the bottom, being the servants of the servants, who are their peers, and lead by lifting up and helping all as above us, to grow and love and be the best Christ-like servants they can be, for others, and ultimately for the community, for the world, and for the glory and love of our God.

Peace, love and courage to all,

Mrs. Saladino

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September 8 - September 18 ...

September 8

  • Hot lunch resumes! Hooray!!!! -- see notes below
  • Jr K, K, 1 Begin their weekly Liturgy of the Word sessions specially designed to help our little ones in understanding the Eucharist, before they join with all the school
  • Grizzly Academy starts after school, hooray!
  • Preventative all school lice checks by school nurse and team during school day
  • 6:30 pm (MPR) Belize Youth Mission Presentation

September 9

  • 8:05 -- All School Liturgy, Gr 1 will not attend until Advent, Gr Jr K-K not until Lent
  • Preventative all school lice checks by school nurse and team during school day
  • Chess Club first session! hooray!
  • Grizzly Academy
  • Gr. 2 - 8 School Mass in the Church

September 10

  • "COSI on Wheels" Science day interactive program for Gr 3-6
  • Grizzly Academy

September 11

  • PTU Family Fun Event: Patterson's Farm Family Fun Night

September 14

  • All School Picture Day -- for personal order, and for School Yearbook
  • See Picture Day Dress Code.
  • 7:00 St. Gabriel Parish Communal Penance

September 15

  • 9:00 am Mini Open House for New Families

September 17

  • 5:30pm--First PTU Meeting of the school year, at new time, hooray! All parents invited, in MPR!

Looking Ahead ...

September 29

  • Debate Club starts, hooray!

October 1

  • 5:00pm -- Principal Parent Circles, Church CR

October 7

  • Arts Day I

October 16

  • Grandparents Day

October 30

  • PTU Halloween Carnival Day

November 2-11

  • Grade 1 Cognitive Abilities Tests

November 6

  • 6:00--9:00pm - PTU Christmas Craft Boutique, at St. Gabriel School

November 7

  • 9:00am--3:00pm - PTU Christmas Craft Boutique, at St. Gabriel School


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1:1 We Have Come--Thanks to Everyone's Awesome WALKATHON Generosity!

The implementation of our 1:1 rollout of Chromebooks finally started on Friday with Grade 4! It truly was like Christmas morning distributing Chromebooks to the 4th graders! It took a little over 2 hours, but with the excellent help and organization and planning of Joyce Gravagna, Jo Ann Albers, Mary Henke, Alicia Henrikson, and the 4th grade teachers, the students were led, step by step to unpack and set up their new Chromebooks. With students applauding each other as their names were called, and all staff busy troubleshooting all issues, it was so exciting to see the joy, exuberance, and brightness of the students' smiles as they took ownership of their new learning tools!

This week the brightness will spread as we finish rolling out the distribution to grades 5, 6, 7 and 8!

This process has been a long time coming, and all who worked so hard to bring us to this bright point are to be thanked profusely!

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Improving the Weekend VB and the Weekly Newsletters Reading Experience

We have had a few questions asking if the reading experience of this Newsletter can be modified or improved for reading on mobile devices.

  • This program cannot convert the newsletter to html.
  • We are however, able to post it in a PDF form on the School Website.
  • If you can access the school website on your mobile device, and then on the home page click on the School Office tab, you will be able to select the current newsletter. We will be setting up a page shortly that will archive all the newsletters in PDF. They scroll and read well on a device.
  • All that being said, in October, coinciding with the Parish Jubilee Kickoff, we will be activating a new Parish Website, and a new School Website that will have an app for mobile devices, and easier access to links for items such as docs and forms and the School Newsletters. Stay tuned ...

HOT LUNCH STARTUP - September 8 - Notes and Reminders

Things are ready to roll starting on Tuesday in our Hot Lunch Program! Hopefully everyone saw and accessed links to lunch program information in the past "Weekday News and Notes" parent newsletter. Links are posted below again for your convenience.

Students will go to recess first, as they have been, then line up to come in for hot lunch.
Those buying hot lunch go in first and get in line, those who bring lunches go directly to tables. At the doors coming into the MPR lunch room we are going to start giving "squirts" of hand sanitizer by the Noon Watch parents to all students entering. Those who wish to use the rest room instead to wash their hands may do so.

We have several pumps of hand sanitizer at cart stations throughout the lunch room for students wishing to use it after throwing away their trash, or in addition at any time during their lunch. Please tell your children they can ask to use it, and they can also ask to use the rest room.

We are looking at what it will take to install hand sanitizer pumps on the walls, whether fitting with parish guidelines, cost, etc. Also, as anyone will agree, the best way to cleanse hands is warm water and/or soap and warm water. Many options for doing this also are being examined. The main constraint we have in all of this that gives us very little wiggle room is time, plus keeping recess before lunch which is also done for health and other reasons very beneficial to the children.

If anyone has any further ideas, please feel to let me know, We are looking to make the recess lunch time the healthiest and safest for all that we are able.

Welcome Back Letter

September Menu

Diocesan National School Lunch Free & Reduced Program

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

Thank you to everyone for the great way cars are moving, and people are walking in the process of getting all children safely in and out of the building!

Notes for afternoon dismissal car rider pick-up;

  1. Thanks for your patience in having ID checked at the door of each classroom. It is totally for safety.
  2. As newer teachers and aides get to know those who regularly pick up, the flow through the line will be smoother and quicker.
  3. Thank you for your patience and understanding that safety of all the children is our top goal.

Notes for back door in morning arrival car rider drop off:

  1. A special reminder that in the morning car rider arrival, you cannot pull up in your car to the left to pass another car when it is stopped in the drop off line. This is extremely dangerous, as someone may be getting out of the driver side of the car, in particular at times a student not thinking or not paying attention.
  2. If your child needs help getting out of the car seat, you cannot get out on the driver's side and walk around to get them out. Staff on duty at the door will help get your child out.
  3. If your child is still needing a lot of extra help getting out of a car seat, and you wish to help them, you might want to consider a safer option of parking in the front of the church and walking your child across the crosswalk at the school's front door A3.
  4. Thank you for your patience and understanding that safety of all is our top goal.

Morning Arrival Procedures

Grizzly Learning Den ... an update

Our Grizzly Learning Den is nearing completion. The large hall wall window has been installed, the new LED ceiling lights have been installed, the ceiling tiles and bookshelves are now in process of being secured, and the furniture is en route. As explained at the Parent Orientation Evenings, the delay of the construction and furnishing of Grizzly Learning Den will end soon, and its use and great benefits for students will commence in the next couple weeks!

Principal Parent Circles ...

First Principal Parent Circles meeting was held successfully this past Thursday. Thank you to all who attended and shared concerns, questions, and input!

  • We followed an agenda of opening prayer, introductions, and welcoming
  • Explanations of the purpose and goals of the Circles were presented, to enhance communication, ultimately to continually improve the faith formation and education of our students
  • Parents presented topics of current interest
  • Dress code changes and clarifications and requests
  • Recess/lunch room hand washing dilemmas
  • New crossroads program collaboration for kindness and prevention
  • Academic programs at different grades and qualification

The greatest and most informative discussion was held concerning lunch room hand washing with good input from parents experienced in the medical health and inspection fields.

Currently we are examining and gathering more information and options as to how we can improve our ways for sanitizing our children's hands, tables and spaces between lunch and recess, and at other times of the school day.

We are also examining and gathering information about clarifications and consistency and further improvements in the dress code.

Parents then gave suggestions for some ideas for future meeting topics.

  • academic topics
  • social topics
  • technology

We will keep everyone posted, and invite all back again, and invite anyone to join us that could not make it this time. I will post an agenda ahead of time, and at the meeting share progress on the previous meeting, and as always have time for open discussion.

God bless,

Mrs. Saladino

Invitation to Tech Savvy Parents ...

Our Technology Committee has been one of the most effective and strong parent school partnership groups St. Gabriel School has had. Made up of staff and teachers and parents bringing amazing expertise to the table, we have been able to greatly improve technology for our students' learning, our teachers' teaching, and our parents' communication at St. Gabriel School in many, many ways.

If any parent is interested in becoming a new member of this Committee, especially if you have expertise in current continual progression and advances of technology, please contact either Joyce Gravagna, our Technology Integration Coordinator, at joyce.gravagna@st-gabrielschool.org, or the principal, Donna Lee Saladino, at donnalee.saladino@st-gabrielschool.org.

CLUBS ... reminders ... and additions

Chess Club

Chess Club will meet on Wednesdays for 8 weekly sessions after school in the MPR and the Grizzly Learning Den, starting September 9, from 2:30-4:00pm. Instruction will be provided by Progress With Chess, a local non-profit organization with chess programs in over 50 Northeast Ohio school, including St. Raphael, Communion of Saints, Notre Dame Elementary, St. Dominic, Metro Catholic, St. Ambrose, and Incarnate Word Academy.

For information, contact Michel Joelson at mdjoelson@progresswithchess.org. Late registrations with payment will be accepted tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8. Complete this form: Chess Club Registration Form and return to the school Office.

Grizzly Growler Press Club starts this Wednesday, September 9!

Grizzly Academy starts Tuesday, September 8!

We have been excitedly announcing that we are expanding last year's Homework Club, into the new Grizzly Academy. It is finally set to start tomorrow, September 8, from 2:40--4:00pm.

The new Grizzly Academy will provide an excellent opportunity for St. Gabriel;s 4th-8th grade students to complete homework, studying, and reading in a quiet working environment. In addition, opportunities to work on classroom project-based learning and group work will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This program will be facilitated by St. Gabriel School teachers, who provide supervision, allow for the appropriate use of school technology, and assist with clarification of students' questions.

If you want to start your child tomorrow, but have not registered yet, please send in a blue note documenting that you child will be staying, along with payment of $8 for the session, to the teacher. You may also contact Linda Oster at linda.oster@st-gabrielschool.org for questions or more information. Or go to Grizzly Academy


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Patterson's Farm Family Night--This Friday, September 11!

Patterson's Farm Family Fun Night is one of the popular school family fun traditional events sponsored by our wonderful PTU! Held in the crisp, colorful and energizing autumn season, this event has always drawn great participation and promoted great community spirit for families to start off a new school year.

Families from St. Gabriel School & Learning Loft are invited to enjoy hayrides, face painting, pumpkin decorating, apple bobbing and many family fun activities! And, it’s a great way to meet and spend time with other St. Gabriel families.

Friday, September 11th from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Patterson Fruit Farm

8765 Mulberry Road, Chesterland, Ohio

$5.00 per person age 3 and above

REGISTER by completing the form included with all PTU info in the following link:

PTU Info.

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

For the Corrigan family, for healing in the recovery of injuries.

For the Byrnes family, for comfort and hope in the loss of a loved one.

For the Degner family, for comfort and hope in the loss of Mrs. Michel Degner.

For Mrs. Keith, for healing in recovery of surgery.

For the Pecjak family in celebration of good news in healing and recovery of Sophia.

Please keep in your prayers, general intercessions for all in our community. 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.