Pilgrim Lutheran School News

February 12, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day...

..there are lots of smiles, laughs and candy at Pilgrim today! It is fun to see. Thanks to all of our families for your help with classroom parties. We could not do it without you! Enjoy your weekend.

A note from Mr Comella

As a teacher, I would have devoted a short unit on Ash Wednesday, another on Lincoln’s Birthday, still another for President’s Day and then thought through how best to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. This school year all those events fall in the same 7-day time period, so I know that teachers have had lots of ground to cover. Kudos are due to all of our homerooms for making Valentine cards to pass out at the Montrose Brown Line stop, and especially to Ms. H.’s students who actually went to the station to pass Valentines out to people.

Student Council

Student Council has been meeting with homerooms in preparation for ELCA Lutheran Schools Week, the first week of March. They have designated this as Pilgrim Spirit Week, with a different fashion for each day of the week.

Here is what they have declared: Monday, 2/29 = Crazy Hair & Crazy Sock Day; Tuesday, 3/01 = Sports Jersey Day; Wednesday, 3/02 = Rainbow Day, each class wears its own color (Pre-K, red; K, orange; 1/2, yellow; 2/3, green; 4/5, blue; 5/6, purple; and 7/8, black); Thursday, 3/03 = Doppelgänger Day; Friday, 3/04 = Pajama and Flannel Friday.

During ELCA Lutheran Schools Week, we are also opening up the school for our Learning Fair Open House on Thursday, 3/03. Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten have programs for families, starting at 6 p.m.; the rest of the school is open for visitors from 6:30 till 8 p.m. Homeroom teachers will be sending home more information about Learning Fair Open House soon.

Pilgrim Hard at Work

The Dave Maring School Endowment Committee met this week. One of our topics was this year’s disbursement of funds for a project suggested by the staff. The Endowment exists to provide funds for projects that are not part of the church and school budget, and these projects would either help teachers learn new strategies or might help families with tuition assistance. The Endowment Fund disburses 5% of its value each calendar year. The current value of the Endowment is just more than $54,000. If you would like more information about the School Endowment Fund, please contact me in the office.

The Pilgrim Board of Education meets again on Tuesday, March 1. If you would like to review the BOE agendas and minutes, you can find them on the school website by clicking the School Board link under the Parental Involvement tab:


CLEF Nurse

The CLEF school nurse was here on Tuesday, 2/09, and Friday, 2/12. She is testing students for vision and hearing in accordance with new state guidelines. If the data leads the nurse to believe that your child needs further evaluation, she will send home a letter indicating that you should follow up with your own optometrist or pediatrician. If a child passes the screening, then no further communication goes home to parents. If there is any question about the results of these vision and hearing tests, please contact the school office and we will forward your question to the CLEF nurse. She works at all 12 CLEF school partners so she moves around a lot.

Wildcat Basketball

The Pilgrim 7th/8th Basketball Teams have played some great games in the last week or so. Boys and girls teams played against St. James on Monday, with the girls winning in overtime and the boys fighting hard till the end. Pilgrim took 3rd place trophy in the tournament play at St. Andrew’s in Park Ridge. Boys and Girls play this weekend in the Lutheran School League basketball tournament at Luther North this weekend. The teams play again next Tuesday in a pair of games against Holy Family at Luther North on Tuesday, February 16. Coaches for 7th/8th Basketball are Carol Schlensker for the girls; Malik Kvamme for the boys. Basketball practices for the 3rd/4th grade teams are lining up. If you have a question, contact Mike Suhajda, Pilgrim Athletic Director.

Parent Workshop


To RSVP for this event, please use this link: http://www.npnparents.org/events/2372

Developmental Differences

Our 5th Annual Fair dedicated to providing Chicago families with school options, service providers, and other resources in one place that focus on serving parents of children with developmental differences. Categories of needs include, but are not limited to, developmental delays (i.e., speech, motor skills), sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down Syndrome, and physical disabilities. The event is geared toward families with children ages infant through 8th grade. Open to the public. Free admission. RSVP below to expedite your check-in process. Note: We recommend, where possible, to make this an adult-only event. This convention style event and workshops are not ideal for children. Free workshops to be announced soon.

If you are interested in exhibiting, please register here. If you would like to see a list of current exhibitors, click here.

Have a question or topic you want addressed during one of the workshops? Please email schoolfairs@npnparents.org.

Location: DePaul College Prep

Address: 3633 N. California Ave Chicago, 60618

When: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM · Mar 13, 2016

Who: Members & Non-Members - Children welcome

Parking: Attached lot & neighborhood street parking.

Cost: Free

Coordinator: Christa Reed Email:christa@npnparents.org


The Red Balloon children's boutique will donate 3% of sales to a local school of choice. If you shop there, create a profile and designate Pilgrim as your school of choice! If you want more information the contact email is: shopforschools@theredballoon.com. They have locations in Andersonville and Bucktown.

Auction News

Planning for the Pilgrim Auction 2016 is well on its way! If you would like to make a donation, there is a box available in the school office for drop-off, or contact parent Samantha Doerfler. Sam is also happy to answer questions if you are not sure what or how you might contribute to the Pilgrim Auction. Save the date of April 30 for the best party of the year!

Registration for 2016/17 School Year

February is registration time for our preschool and kindergarten classes. Please read on for more information on deadlines. Transitions are natural in school communities and we all understand that. An accurate count of returning students helps Pilgrim leaders plan budget and staffing needs for the coming school year. Thanks for your help by letting us know your plans.

PreK (4 Yr old) and Kindergarten - We have begun to contact our wait listed families at this point to fill any available slots. Please be sure to contact us about registration if you have not already done so. Thank you!

EC (3 Yr old):

Due Date is February 29, 2016

Grades 1-8:

Due Date is April 4, 2016

If your prepayment is not received by the designated deadline, your child’s name will be placed on the alternate list, and space will not be reserved for your child. If you submit payment after the deadline, the child’s name will be moved from the alternate to the enrolled list if space is available. We will begin to fill any openings with applicants from the waiting list in mid-February. Please do not miss the deadline if you want your child to return to Pilgrim in 2016-2017. If costs are a stumbling block to your registration, please contact Mr Comella.

If you know that your family will not be returning to Pilgrim for 2016-2017, please let us know. Transitions are natural in school communities and we all understand that. An accurate count of returning students helps Pilgrim leaders plan budget and staffing needs for the coming school year. Thanks for your help by letting us know your plans.

If you have not received a registration letter for 2016/17, please contact Halley Williams in the School Office.

EC 3 Year Old Program

Please note if you are the parent of a 3-year-old or know someone interested in the 3-year-old class for the 2016-2017 school year: after much discussion, we are making spots available to 3-year-olds in the morning class, but unfortunately, we will not be able to offer an all-day option for these 3-year-olds, due to space and room limitations. We are also inviting parents of children who are eligible for the 4-year-old class in 2016-2017 to consider the option of sending your child to the afternoon class for 2016-2017. Our Early Childhood staff truly believe that a mixed 3- and 4-year-old class both in the morning and in the afternoon is going to be a stronger learning environment for all the children.

2016-17 School Year Dates

Here you go all you planners...we have had some questions about next year's school calendar. The full calendar is not finalized, however, we have some essential dates set for next year.

Start of School 2016/17: September 6th

End of School 2016/17: June 14th

Christmas Break 2016/17: December 21st (half day dismissal at 11:45) - January 3rd - School resumes January 4th

Spring Break 2016/17: March 27th (half day dismissal at 11:45) - March 31st - School resumes April 3rd

Gift Cards

Valentine's Day is this Sunday- why not pick up some gift cards for your sweetie! We have many cards available, which we usually have to order, such as, $25 cards for: Bass Pro Shop, The Children's Place, Super Cuts, Best Buy, Applebee's, Sweet Tomatoes, William Sonoma/Pottery Barn, Bakers Square, Lou Malnati's (also in 10's), and $10 Bath and Body Works and Pizza Hut. We also have our usual restaurant cards. We will be selling on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday this week because of the holiday! Please call Anne Barsano, 312-972-9040 or cbarsano@aol.com with questions or orders

Come to El Salvador 2016

If you have ever wanted to go on a mission trip, now is the time! Come with us to El Salvador, Central America July 31st- August 10th, 2016. We will be witnessing the dedication of a new Resurrection Lutheran Church in San Salvador, El Salvador. We will be able to meet Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Bishop Medardo Gomez and the leaders in the Lutheran Church of El Salvador. We will accompany the church in their work to resettle and feed refugees, help children attend school, help bring solar electricity to rural homes, minister with the homeless, and encourage our sister churches who raise Christian voices for human rights on a daily basis. This trip is open to all people. ALL AGES WELCOME, no Spanish knowledge required. Please talk to Pastor Kristian or Pastor Anna-Kari for more information!


Lenten Pottery Project—We invite you to participate in a special activity as a part of our Lenten theme, “40 Days of Creativity”. We are hosting a three week pottery project which will occur in conjunction with our First Communion class. Under the leadership of Cynde Heiniger and with the help of Pilgrim’s kiln, each child will design, sculpt and fire their very own clay cup (chalice) which will serve as a meaningful symbol of faith that each family can receive into their home. Sessions will be held from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, February, 17th, 24th and March 2nd. Please RSVP to kdanner@pilgrimchicago.org including the age of your child and whether you as an adult can come and help as well. Many thanks to Cynde Heiniger for coordinating this wonderful project! (You are not required to sign up for First Communion to participate in this project)

Lent at Pilgrim 201640 Days of Creativity”

Because we are all made in God’s image...we are creative! (Genesis 1:26) Our Lenten Theme is “40 Days of Creativity”. Join us this coming Wednesday for a community dinner at 6:15 p.m, followed by an opportunity to design and make your very own banner made out of felt. Thank you to Judy Daniel for coordinating this project!

Movie Outing

Group Outing to see the movie “Risen”

A new big budget film called “Risen” is coming out, exploring the resurrection of Jesus from the eyes of a non-believer. Meet at the parsonage (4332 N Winchester) for rides at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 19th to go to the 4:40 showing at the Regal Cinemas, 2600 N. Western. Please come join us!

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 Anna Lambros or Carrie Goerne. Parents are also welcome to attend weekly chapel services. The students are always happy to see you there!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal