Faculty Staff Memo

St. Gabriel School ....... December 20, 2015


4th Sunday of Advent

Sacred Scripture: LK 1:41-42

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb."


How, if at all, is Mary, Mother of Jesus, a part of my faith life? What in my spiritual life is bearing fruit and filling me with joy?

NCEA Weekly Reflections, Praying with you and for you as we focus on family and mission in Catholic education.

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Blessings dear teachers and staff,

I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful weekend! I'm sure some of you are finishing up shopping and other preparations for the holidays, so I hope busy-ness is not clouding the spirit of joy and hope for you in this beautiful time.

Have a great 2 day week, bringing your students into the greatest depth of experience and understanding of Advent that you can!

Blessings of peace and goodness and courage to you and your families and loved ones in this holiday break. May you have a wonderful and safe and restful time. I will keep you in my prayers, as always,

Donna Lee

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JrK, K, 1st Grade Christmas Program

We are having our school performance of the Jr K 1 Christmas Program start at 8:20am. am. We will have our morning announcements, then everyone can start on over to the church.

REMINDER: There will be an AM schedule.

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When the snow starts seriously flying ...

Our goal for calamity days this year is to greatly simplify and be consistent in our work requirements for our students. We are looking for a catch phrase to label calamity day work/information posted on your web pages. Please read the details below as posted this evening in the parent VB:

Here are some notes and guidelines to help us all be prepared ahead of time for calamity day school closings! This article is long, but it is advised that you print and keep a copy.

General Procedure Info

  • Our public school superintendents (Mentor and Riverside) make the call as to whether or not to close and keep buses off the roads, after consultations with their transportation departments and weather information.
  • When either one closes, we close, as half our buses come from one or the other, plus we generally go by their assessment and judgment on the safety conditions for travel. Rarely do they not both close.
  • Their transportation directors notify me -- the time can vary greatly -- from as early as 4:30am, to as late as 6:00am -- or sometimes they can make the call the night before if there is enough reliable weather information.
  • I call and notify: our maintenance, our assistant principal, the Loft Director, our office staff, our parish, and our communications director.
  • I post our closing on the TV stations 3, 5, 8 and 19.
  • Michelle Clarke writes an email blast and sends out to all families and staff.
  • I record a phone blast and send out to all families and staff.

General expectations

  • All school activities after school are cancelled unless otherwise noted. Things such as CYO and parish activities make their own judgments and calls.
  • By noon, teachers post directions on their web pages for what to do about things that were planned that day, or assignments to be done, or other important information they may wish to convey to you.
  • We will be striving to be consistent within grade groups (primary, middle, jr high), and very simplified in any required work.


  1. Students are expected to do work that was already assigned for the day that became a snow day(s). if a quiz or test was scheduled, it will be taken on the day back.
  2. No new instruction or new work or new assignments will be given. As with homework normally, if students have questions or problems, they can ask the teachers when they get back to school.
  3. Teachers will post on their web pages by noon on each snow day, any news, information, instructions or changes students and/or parents need to know about classwork, homework, or other assignments or events. Students and parents must check teacher web pages each snow day.

NOTE: If days off do string out to 3 or more in a row, teachers may offer activities not needing new instruction, but for practice or reinforcement or continuation (such as read the next chapter etc) for prevention of gaps. This will be consistent across grade, and be grade level appropriate.

All that being said ...

  • If we use up our allotted snow day allowance (10 days) things will change, we will then be required by state code to have comprehensive lessons/classwork that are part of a days's planning of courses and/or curriculum to add on another day. This is what is normally referred to as Blizzard Bags.
  • We will keep you notified of our status in that count, or if any other changes are needed.

December 14, 2015 - February 19, 2016

December 21

  • 8:15 All School Jr K, K, 1 Christmas Program, in church
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 - 4:00
  • Practice Prayer Service 2:45
  • Power of the Pen 3:00 - 3:30
  • Gr. Jr K, K and 1st Christmas Program 6:30, in Church

December 22

  • 8:05 All School Prayer Service
  • 8th grade girls basketball practice
  • NO Cub Care
  • NO Grizzly Academy
  • NO hot lunch (please pack a lunch)
  • Brownie Mtg. (Wiertel) Chuch basement 2:30 - 4:00

December 23 through January 5

  • NO school - Christmas break

January 6

  • Classes resume

January 7 - Principal Parent Circle

  • 5:00 Grizzly Learning Den

January 11--15 - JrHi Shakespeare Residency


January 14

  • PTU 5:30 in Church CR

January 18 -- MLK Day - NO SCHOOL

January 19

  • 2:45pm Faculty Meeting

January 24--31 - Scholastic Book Fair

January 31 -- February 6, 2016 -- CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

January 31 -- Open House, 1:00--3:00pm

February 1 -- All School Career Day

February 3 -- Arts Day II

February 8 through February 19, 2016 (having an earlier time this year)

  • Cognitive Abilities Testing (CogATs) - Gr 3, 5, 7
  • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) -- Gr 1-8


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Happy Birthday tomorrow, December 21 to Cheryl Collier, Sunday, January 3, to Fr. Fred, and Monday, January 4, to Colleen Beck.


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Let us continue to pray 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. Remember those who are suffering through loss in any way in their families. Please note all community names in the Weekly Parent VB Newsletter and keep them in your prayers.

Have a beautiful week!

I am praying for all of you, please pray for me,

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.