Eagle's Eye

October 7, 2021

Mission Statement

St. Joseph Catholic School fosters a diverse community of disciples empowered through a rigorous and inclusive Catholic education rooted in Gospel values and service to others.

mass reflections

Our eighth graders spent some time in religion class recently reflecting on mass last Friday.

Jesus said, "Whoever rejects me, rejects the one who sent me." The mass talked about how God can help us as long as we have faith in Him. The priest told his story as an accountant. God can only know our future, and we must rely and have strong faith in Him. - Noah

In church, we are told that we face many difficult decisions but we have to try and choose what's right. No matter what our decision is, we can trust in God to support us. By facing these tough choices, we learn important life lessons. - Molly

God gave us the gift of living on Earth, but during our lifetime, we are always going to face some difficulties. When we believe in Him and put our trust in Him, He will support us. Like Jesus instructed the people to do, we must listen to Him and whoever decides to reject Him, rejects the one who sent him. If we want to have eternal life with God, we need to make prudent decisions that follow Jesus' teachings. - Stella

thanksgiving food drive

Catholic Charities is always so grateful for our food donations for their pantry. So many of our students routinely bring food items to mass on Fridays. Our donations help sustain food for those families that they serve. We know that the holidays are always a challenging time for people and there is more of a demand on Catholic Charities. As we've done in the past, we are requesting specific items between now and Thanksgiving. We will keep track of the number of items each class donates. There will be prizes for the class that brings in the most items.

Week of Oct. 4: Boxed Macaroni and Cheese

Week of Oct. 11: Soup

Week of Oct. 18: Canned Fruit

Week of Oct. 25: Canned Green Beans and Canned Corn

Week of Nov. 1: Spaghetti

Week of Nov. 8: Jars of Spaghetti Sauce (no glass please)

Week of Nov. 15: Rice (Bag or Box)

sjcs concert choir

Students in 3-8th grade have the opportunity of joining Concert Choir. The SJCS Concert Choir performs at various community events during the school year including Carols in the Park, the Christmas program and singing the national anthem at the Rays, Bucs and Tropics games. During rehearsals, students will be developing many vocal concepts such as correct posture, resonance and technique. We will be singing a range of repertoire and work on two and three part harmony. All students interested will need to audition (even if they were in Concert Choir previously).

Grades 3-5

Rehearsals: 3rd grade (only) on Mondays at 3:00-3:30pm beginning on Monday, Oct. 11

4th and 5th grade on Wednesdays at 3:00-3:30pm beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Middle School

Rehearsals: Thursdays from 7:15-7:45am beginning on Thursday, October 14th

Students do not need to have anything prepared in advance for the audition. Please e-mail Mrs. James at vjames@stjosephwhschool.org if you have any questions. Thank you!

school mass choir

We are going to start a small choir for school masses. At this point, we are opening the choir up for 6th through 8th graders only. Practices will be held every Tuesday from 3:00-3:30pm in the church. Students who attend practice on Tuesday may participate in the choir for Mass that following Friday. We invite all students in grades 6-8 to join us.

Bricks for Kidz

Bricks 4 Kidz will be hosting its after school program every Monday beginning October 4th! This after school class is for kids in grades K-5 and is for both beginner and advanced LEGO® enthusiasts! We provide an exciting and engaging atmosphere for kids to build unique LEGO® robot creations, make friends, and participate in activities that are designed to trigger their lively imaginations while promoting cooperation and teamwork! Classes will run until 4:30pm every Monday immediately after school. Sign up online or email polkflorida@bricks4kidz.com today!

Picture Retake Day

Picture Retake Day is Friday, October 22nd. Watch for much more information to follow.


Our PTO is currently accepting orders for Poinsettias for the Holidays. There are several different choices in size, color and price. Please consider supporting our PTO with the purchase of a beautiful poinsettia from Sunshine Growers Nursery. Poinsettias will be available for pick up at the school during the week of November 15th. Please place your order and make payment in the school office by October 15th.
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Thank you for the potatoes

Thank you, Eagles! You far surpassed our goal and collected over 440 boxes of instant mashed potatoes. 1B collected the most items, with 44 boxes. They earned a class dress down day earlier this week.

mid trimester

This week marks the middle of the first trimester. All students in kindergarten through grade 8 are receiving midterm progress reports and parents are attending conferences. Please keep in mind that, while we have scheduled conferences two times a year, parents/guardians are always welcome to reach out to a teacher and request a zoom conference.

Also, please keep in mind that parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor their child's grades throughout the trimester on Renweb. Scroll down within this newsletter for directions on how to access the portal.


No partial scholarships! We recently received word that thanks to very generous donors, AAA is happy to announce that they continue to award full-value Florida Tax Credit ("FTC") scholarships. To help as many students as possible, the deadline for 2021-22 school year application submission for FTC scholarship has been extended to Friday, November 19th.

Call the school office if you have any questions.

Mrs Rayburn

Through some grant money, St. Joseph Catholic School has been able to contract with Catapult to secure Mrs. Holly Rayburn as a second counselor in our Guidance department. Mrs. Rayburn, certified teacher, is a parent of Milly (Grade 4) and former fourth grade teacher at SJCS. Mrs. Rayburn has extensive experience advocating for students with special needs and working with public schools and other agencies to get services for students with special needs. We are blessed to have her at St. Joseph. On occasion, she may support our teachers and students by observing/working with students, attending meetings, or collaborating with teachers about strategies to best meet the needs of students. We welcome Mrs. Rayburn back to SJCS.

Read A Thon Prize Day

Our prize day from the Read A Thon was a lot of fun! Thanks to all for such a successful fundraiser. To recap one last time:

  • After all expenses, $43,000 was cleared for this fundraiser. That is amazing! Thank you!
  • Top money earning students: Skyler B grade 7 earned $100 Amazon Giftcard; Santi A grade 2 earned a $75 Amazon Giftcard; Miko in kindergarten earned a $50 Amazon Giftcard.
  • The top earning classes had a movie and popcorn party: 1st Place Class- 2A - $4825; 2nd Place Class- 7B- $4815; 3rd Place Class PK3A - $4145
  • The 3 classes with the highest participation also earned a movie and popcorn party: 1st KB 83%; 2nd is PK3 78%; Tied for 3rd place with 73% participation 5A and 3A
  • All students who raised $100 or more earned a raffle ticket for each $100 raised. We held a raffle and the following students won prizes: Skyler won a Smart TV; Alex won a basket of items including a Roku; Ne'Hani won an outdoor movie projector and screen; Joshua won a movie camera; Santi won a movie style popcorn maker.
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Fall fest

For those of you new to SJCS, our Annual Fall Fest is one of the most anticipated events of the school year. Unfortunately, due to COVID, we weren't able to have a Fall Fest last year. In an effort to give students this fun activity, we are modifying the format to make it COVID safe this year. There are lots of details involved with this fun event. Please take some time to review the information below. Thanks for supporting our Fall Fest. We know the kids will love to have the opportunity back this year and pray that we can resume our normal format and include all of our community next year.
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Thanks to those who have expressed interest in serving as a sponsor for our upcoming 5K Run for Unity. We are now beginning to accept registrations for individuals to run/walk. Please see information below. Please reach out to Leslie Martin (lmartin@cds-net.com) or Katie Collany (katie@collany.com) with any questions. Thank you for your support of the SJCS Booster Club!
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Beef O'Brady's spirit night

Please make plans to join us at Beef O'Brady's in Winter Haven on Thursday, October 21 from 5pm to close for SJCS Spirit Night. Families are invited to enjoy a night out for dinner. Mention St. Joseph Catholic School to your waitress, and Beefs will donate a percentage back to our school. Catch up with your SJCS friends and staff at Beef O'Brady's on 10/21.


Join us for SJCS Spirit Day at Cains Snowballs on Avenue C between 3pm and 7pm on Friday, November 5! Be sure to mention SJCS during your visit, and Cains will donate a percentage of the proceeds back to SJCS. We hope to see many of our SJCS community there!

school tool box kits

Last spring, PTO provided an opportunity for parents to purchase School Supply Kits through a company as an alternative to having to shop for school supplies for their child(ren).

  • 149 School Supply Kits were purchased from our community.
  • Our school earned $1,102.89 which will go to our PTO account.
  • 493 meals were provided for needy kids through Feed My Starving Children

Thank you for supporting this fundraiser for our PTO. We hope it made preparing to return to school easier. PTO intends to offer the same opportunity for our parents next summer/fall.

pediatric cancer donation

Recently, SJCS held a dress down day in honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. We are very grateful for the donations of many in our school community. Due to your generosity, SJCS is proud to make a donation in the amount of $583.06 to the St. Baldrick Foundation.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer and donor powered charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Mass with the Bishop

Bishop Noonan will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Sunday, October 24th for the 11am mass in celebration of the 60th birthday of the church building. Students of SJCS are invited to attend the mass in school mass uniforms and see Mrs. Haas following mass for a dress down pass. Please make plans to join us!

dress down day

Next week is Homecoming at Santa Fe Catholic High School, our local high school in Polk County. To celebrate their Homecoming, students at SJCS are invited to dress in SFC spirit wear or colors (Crimson and Grey) on Thursday, October 14th. GO HAWKS!
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science lab tables for sale

New tables and stools for the science lab arrived this week, and we are looking for a home for the used tables. If you have a need for a table (see below), they are up for grabs. We are asking for a donation to the school for the purchase of the table(s). They measure six feet by 30 inches and six feet by 24 inches. They are very sturdy and would be great as a work table or craft table. Please contact Mrs. Haas at thaas@stjosephwhschool.org if you are interested.
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checking grades

Parents are reminded of our portal that allows you to monitor your student's grades throughout the year. This is especially important for parents of students in grades 3-8, as they receive numeric grades for all subjects. Parents are strongly encouraged to check grades a minimum of a couple times a week. The directions for accessing the grades can be found below.
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We are beginning to allow limited volunteers on campus in supportive capacities. Please keep in mind, that if you intend to volunteer, you must have special fingerprint clearance through the Diocese of Orlando. Fingerprint clearance could take several weeks. Please take a look at the directions below and make arrangements for your fingerprints if you are interested.
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St. Joseph Prayer

O Blessed Joseph, faithful guardian of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, protector of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, I choose you this day to be my special patron and advocate and I firmly resolve to honor you all the days of my life. Therefore, I humbly ask you to receive me as your client, to instruct me in every doubt, to comfort me in every affliction, to obtain for me and for all the knowledge and love of the Heart of Jesus, and finally to defend and protect me at the hour of my death. Amen.

St. Joseph Catholic School

Principal: Mrs. Haas

Assistant Principal: Mr. Reilly

Assistant Principal: Mrs. Insua

Canonical Administrator: Fr. Tim LaBo

Superintendent: Mr. Fortier