Faculty Staff Memo

St. Gabriel School, September 7, 2015


23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacred Scripture: James 1:21-22
"Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves."


How does the parish I am involved with build evangelizing communities of faith, justice and solidarity? What will I add this coming year to improve the parish’s efforts in helping believers live their faith?

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

Blessings dear teachers and staff!

Another wonderful week! Still extremely busy, but you know that's not going to change much until June :) it will just go deeper, but that is good.

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

Big image

September 7-27

September 7

  • Labor Day
  • No School

September 8

  • Hot Lunch starts
  • 8:15 K-1 begin Children's Liturgy of the Word
  • 2:45--3:30 Google Classroom Training, 2:45--
  • Jr Hi PLC re-scheduled to September 22

September 9

  • 8:05 -- All School Liturgy, K and 1 do not attend
  • 2:30--4:00pm Chess club begins
  • 2:30 Grizzly Growler begins
  • DL Principal Conference -- I will be gone after Mass and back at the end of the day

September 10

  • Grade 7-8 Crossroads Student Leadership Training. Church CR
  • COSI

September 11

  • Gr 5-6 Crossroads Student Leadership Training Church CR
  • 6:00pm PTU Patterson Farm Family Fun Night

September 15

  • 2:45 Faculty Meeting

September 17

  • 5:30 PTU Meeting

September 18

  • Grade 8 only Peer Leadership Team Leadership Summit

September 21 -- All School Retreat Day

  • 8:05 - Opening All School Liturgy
  • Assemblies scheduled throughout the day

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 26-27

  • St. Gabriel Parish Jubilee Kickoff Weekend

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

Big image

Servant leadership ...

On Wednesday this week of unexpected scheduling change (with Picture ID photography), and a shortage of staff (away at professional development training), some servant staff - and a servant parent! - wonderfully stepped up to save the day!

Our Related Arts teachers Andrea Karpuszka, Amanda London and Maureen Boucher gave up their time to assist in the organizing of class student ID pictures. Parent Denise Anzlovar also assisted, giving more extra time to lead and perform various tasks throughout the whole time of the photo sessions.

In addition, Maureen B stepped up at Morning Arrival for Mary Henke, and Maureen and Lisa Resetar stepped up at afternoon dismissal with several regular staff out.

Thank you ladies, we were in a bind -- not that that happens very often, haha,-- and we greatly appreciated your kind hearted servant leadership!!

Chromebook rollout ...

It truly was like Christmas morning distributing Chromebooks to the 4th grade! With the excellent help and organization and planning of Joyce Gravagna, Jo Ann Albers, Mary Henke, Alicia Henrikson, and the 4th grade teachers, the 4th graders 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 to grades 5, 6, 7 and 8!

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

Peer Servant Leadership for kindness and prevention launches ...

St. Gabriel School/Crossroads Peer Leadership

As you know, since our opening staff Crossroads workshop day in August, we have been working with Crossroads and busy building our new program for strengthening a culture of kindness and preventing hurtful and harmful behaviors.

During the past 2 weeks many teachers were asked to recommend students from grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 who demonstrated leadership characteristics ... characteristics that could be well tapped in peer leadership, students who could be servant leaders in a movement to help strengthen and spread our St. Gabriel School culture of kindness and prevention of risky behavior ... where all students feel safe, connected, and supported ... in collaboration with Crossroads School Based providers and prevention specialists. After careful gathering and reviewing of the students recommended, approximately 50 students, 12-14 were selected from grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 to be on our new Peer Leadership Teams.

We met with these students this week, presenting our invitation to them to be part of these teams. With permission from their parents, these students will now meet for a special skill training and team building of grades 7 and 8 on Thursday, and 5 and 6 on Friday by Crossroads providers, along with a teacher and administrator. Afterwards students will then meet 2 times a month during their recess/lunch times to work on plans for student led actions to help implement school programs throughout our school grade levels. Crossroads providers, teachers and school administrators, and Danielle Klein will guide the students in their meetings and planning and implementation.

The focus will be to lead peers in preventing hurtful and harmful behavior in our school by spreading positive actions to strengthen and expand the culture of kindness and respect at St, Gabriel School ... in collaboration with faculty and staff where all students feel safe, connected, and supported ... and we accomplish our mission of being Christ every day, everywhere through teaching, learning, leading, and serving.


Lunch Room notes

Our first week of hot lunches begins tomorrow. Students have been getting re-acquainted with recess and lunchroom procedures and behavior guidelines. With procedures being added in for going through the hot lunch line, students will be doing final adjustments.

Please reinforce from yourselves as their teachers and main sources of expectations and good behavior support, how they must all abide by the guidelines, rules and procedures. Because of our scheduling and the number of classes, the need to keep time flowing smoothly so all can have a good recess and lunch is great.

Especially please remind your students to do their part in cleaning up at their place at the table by throwing away all trash. We have removed table washing and sweeping duty from Kindergarten, and removed sweeping duty also from grades 1 and 2 to facilitate movement of students. But please impress on all students, K-8, that no matter who is cleaning up, all should watch individually their manners and accidents as they eat. If a student drops a baggie or food such as a cookie on the floor, it would be good manners and kind and helpful to others after them to pick it up themselves.

We will be having more hand sanitizer pumps on stations around the MPR, and also be adding the availability of hand wipes. We will keep you posted as to progress of this. The restrooms can be used by all also to wash hands if requested or desired.

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! Even though I try to give you a "looking ahead" list in this newsletter, there are many more things on the Google Calendar that can not be all listed out here. It would be a helpful habit to check your calendar every night before/or morning before you start your day.
  • Make sure you post your club dates and other meeting dates etc on the Google Calendar as far ahead as you have events. And conversely, make sure you delete items that you remove or re-schedule.
  • Important: When you want to schedule anything after school, whether afternoon or evening, or in any space or room, from now on you need to go through Maggie. 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. I know it has certainly not been intentional, but there have been mistakes that resulted in scheduling conflicts when we don't get the approval from Alice first. With the size and busy-ness of our staff and the number of things going on in the school and the parish, this has become imperative.
  • Also, please continue to also check with Maggie when scheduling spaces in the school during the school day. When the Mobile Unit is ready, and when all furniture, materials etc due to the Grizzly Learning Den construction have been removed, many space requests and conflicts will lessen, and/or be easier to resolve.
  • 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!!


Big image
Happy Birthday to Kylee Percival, today, Monday, September 7th, to Kalene Karthan, Wednesday, September 9th, and to Tim Dickinson, Saturday, September 12th!


Big image

Please pray for each others' children, as these days some of our children are going off for the first time or returning to college or higher adventures, some are having illnesses and/or surgery, and some are carrying other burdens. I know that our children, and our grandchildren, are most precious to us, and call on our deepest love and care in our hearts, as we also strive to bring love and care to our school 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.