Family Update

Week of December 12, 2021

- YouTube

Week of December 12th - December 17th, 2021

Good morning,

The video included before this section will highlight the main points of the update.

  • This is the third week of Advent. Sunday (today) is Gaudete Sunday which means Rejoice in Latin. The pink candle signifies Joy - Christmas is almost here!

  • There is no extended day after school care on Wednesday, December 15th. All children must be picked up at 2:30. Our faculty and staff have a Christmas gathering that afternoon.

  • Our First Virtual Christmas Program is this Friday: Our amazing marketing person has created a video we will air on 12/17 at 1 pm. The link and RSVP are below. If you miss the show, the video will be posted on Bloomz on Friday afternoon.

  • Students have a school-appropriate dress-down day with Christmas colors on Friday, December 17th. (gym shoes preferred for safety).

  • Uniforms and the school dress code are required. This includes no nail polish or acrylic/artificial nails, bracelets (except medical), rings, and non-school sweatshirts. Also, all students must wear gym shoes during the day. As we come into winter and the need for boots, students will change into their school sneakers upon arrival. Gym shoes are the safest shoes for students.

  • Tardiness is still an issue, but it's much better! Thank you for helping your child maximize their learning time by arriving between 7:15-7:40. After the first of the year, students who are late for school and are unable to stay to make up the time will be required to complete 30 minutes of iReady at home.

  • Please see the section after this about vaccinating your child and family against COVID-19. We do expect to have a clinic at school in January - the date is not set yet.

  • Second Grade is starting a service-learning project collecting supplies for a local shelter this holiday season. Friday is the last day to collect items. Please see the attached flyer. Thank you to those of you who have already helped!

  • Hoodies and sweatshirts that are not part of the school uniform are not allowed during the school day. Please have your child wear their school hoodie, school gym sweatshirt, or a plain navy blue sweater if they're cold during the day. Please see the school uniform/dress code in our family handbook. We believe that excellence happens on purpose. Lessening distractions of being out of uniform is one way we foster that excellence. Currently, we have light blue hoodies in children's sizes and navy blue in adult sizes available in the office. Light blue adult-sized hoodies have been ordered.

  • Please be sure to check the "Save the Date" section below.

  • We will have a five week summer program for students entering PK3-5th grade for the 2022-2023 school year. See the flyer below!

  • We still have a few spots remaining in Preschool. Do you know of anyone with children preschool-aged? Referring families will receive a $300 tuition credit ($150 this year and $150 next year) and 3 PAWS will be credited. We accept Action for Children/Child Care for payment for preschool. Spread the word!

  • Please keep your child home if they are sick or have symptoms that could be COVID-related. I can't stress this enough. If the symptoms (including fever) clear up in 24 hours (no medication), please send them back to school. Any illness lasting longer than that will require either a negative COVID test or an alternate diagnosis from the doctor. We cannot accept home test results.

  • For students who have traveled for Christmas and are not yet fully vaccinated, the quarantine period of 10 days from the return must be observed. We are working incredibly hard to keep everyone well and we need your partnership on this. We will have work sent home.

  • Do you have clothes and shoes your children have outgrown or don't want? We have a clothes and shoes collection box in the parking lot! The school receives $0.02/lb and a tree is planted in our honor each time it's emptied. We are the stewards of God's beautiful earth. This is one way we help!

  • The school office is open Monday through Friday 6:30 AM - 3:30 PM. After 3:30, please leave a message on the mainline or dial 101 at the recording to be connected to my extension. We have hoodies ($20/23) available in the office as well as polos ($15) for students. We ordered adult size Kind shirts for sale. They're $10 cash/$12 debit.

  • Please send your child to school with their mask every day along with an extra in their backpack. It's really important that the children are wearing child-sized masks that cover their nose and mouth fully.

  • Tax Credit Scholarship Applications will open on 1/12 for Empower Illinois at 6:30 PM to pre-enter information with 7 PM being the exact moment one needs to enter for a good timestamp. The following morning January 13th, Big Shoulders Fund's application opens at precisely 8 AM. We will start school at 9 AM that day (1/13) to give everyone time to apply and then get to school. 68 Children have tax credit scholarships this year - it's a wonderful program. Be sure to apply as close to the opening time as is humanly possible. More information will be coming to you soon!

  • Calendar Change: Friday, February 18th school will be closed. This day off is recommended by the Archdiocese in recognition of the hard work of our faculty and staff. This day off creates a 4-day weekend as Monday, February 21st is Presidents' Day.

  • Calendar Change: Friday, March 4th will be a remote learning day with Parent-Teacher conferences occurring from 8-4. Again, both in-person and virtual conferences will be offered.

  • Our next fundraiser, Double Good Popcorn, will begin on Friday, January 28th, and run through Tuesday, February 2nd. Download the DG Popcorn app and enter code XBZ KKT to set up your child's store. Then email that information (1/28) out to your friends and family. That's it! DG takes care of the rest. I'll send more information right after the break.

Thank you for trusting us with your child/ren. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. The next Family Bulletin will be sent on 1/2/22.

I wish you and your families a very Joyous and Merry Christmas.

Mrs. Farrand

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Academy of St. Benedict the African's Virtual Christmas Program

Friday, Dec. 17th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Jennifer Farrand is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Academy of St. Benedict the African's Virtual Christmas Show

Time: Dec 17, 2021 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 852 8702 3580

Passcode: Christmas

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,85287023580#,,,,*838552887# US (Chicago)

+13017158592,,85287023580#,,,,*838552887# US (Washington DC)

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 852 8702 3580

Passcode: 838552887

Find your local number:

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

COVID-19 Vaccines

As you know, the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for all people ages 5 and up. As you and your health care provider discuss vaccinations, here is some information specifically about vaccinating children.

From PBS:

One of our parents shared that St. Bernard Hospital is doing vaccinations for all ages 5 and up, as well as booster shots. The address is 6307 S. Stewart in the Ambulatory Clinic. Hours from 9 am-5 pm, Monday to Friday.

The school is working to host a clinic in January. I'll keep you posted about this as I have more information.

Thank you for helping us keep the school and our community as safe as possible.

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Tuition Payments

Tuition payments for our families are due on either the 17th or 30th of the month for most families. Please make your payments in a timely fashion. Payments can be made through the family's FACTS account, using the donate button on our website ( or in the office. We do accept debit/credit, money orders, cash (exact please), and Apple/Samsung Pay.

The office will continue making reminder calls and sending notices. Please let us know if there is a particular challenge in advance of the payment due date. We will work with you, but we need to know! We will be starting exclusions as necessary.

Volunteering in School

In order to volunteer in school, adults over the age of 18 must attend Virtus Training, complete a background check, and complete mandated reporter training. These are requirements of the Archdiocese of Chicago to keep all children safe.

Go to to register for an online class and consent to the background check. Please see or email Ms. Fernandez ( if you need assistance or have a question.

The Archdiocesan policy is that volunteers who are working directly with children, like chaperoning or in the classrooms must be vaccinated. Proof of the vaccination must be shown to me. Thanks for your understanding.

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Each family must complete three of their six PAWS before Christmas Break. The office will be calling to give updates.

Here are some suggested PAW-pportunities! We really can use children's masks. Amazon has sets of 100 available ($23.99). They can be sent directly to the school with your name or your child's name on the gift line. 100 masks will give credit for one PAW, 200 masks will give credit for 3 PAWS.

Another PAW--pportunity is for paper towels. two 12-16 packages of Paper towels will qualify for one PAW.

Thanks for your help!

Travel and Quarantines

As families gather for Christmas, we do insist that all regulations for quarantining & testing as a result of traveling must be followed for the safety of our school community.

In accordance with the Chicago Travel Order, anyone who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 traveling must either quarantine for 10 days upon return or have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of returning to Illinois if the state visited is noted in the travel order. The test results must be shared with the school. Please help us keep our school community well by adhering to this policy.

Once vaccinated, no testing or quarantines are required unless the person has symptoms.

Thank you!


  • December 14th - Kind Shirt Day
  • December 15th - NO EXTENDED DAY - Staff Christmas celebration
  • December 17th - Student Dress Down Day - Christmas Colors
  • December 17th - 1 PM Stream our pre-recorded Christmas Program. More information coming!
  • December 18th- January 2nd - Christmas Break
  • January 3rd - Welcome back!
  • January 5th - Kind Shirt Day
  • January 12th - 7 PM -Empower Illinois Opens for 22-23 Tax Credit Scholarships
  • January 13th - 8 AM - Big Shoulders Fund Application Opens for 22-23 Tax Credit Scholarships
  • January 13th - School Starts at 9 AM due to TCS Application opening
  • January 14th - Kind Shirt Day
  • January 17th - Dr. King's Birthday - NO SCHOOL
  • January 20th - Liturgy - Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King
  • January 25th - Kind Shirt Day
  • January 28th - February 2nd - Double Good Popcorn Fundraiser
  • January 31st - February 4th - Catholic Schools Week
  • February 2nd - Title I Game Night! 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
  • February 7th - Kind Shirt Day
  • February 11th - Professional Learning Day for Teachers -NO SCHOOL
  • February 17th - Kind Shirt Day
  • February 18th - No School - Wellness day for Faculty and Staff
  • February 21st - No School - Presidents' Day
  • February 23rd - Kind Shirt Day
  • February 25th - Black History Program - Details to follow
  • March 4th - Remote Learning Day with Parent-Teacher Conferences 8-4.