Angel Express | November 2017

Dear Parents,

Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away, and we have much to be thankful for here at St. Lawrence Martyr School.  First of all, many thanks to Mrs. Romesser and her team (including Mr. Romesser) for organizing a fantastic Fun Run.  The weather was perfect for the run, especially after a few days of high temps.  As a reminder, if you haven't sent in your Fun Run funds please do so by this Thursday, November 9th.

More thanks goes to Mrs. Wynne and our dedicated student council members - Lauren Frisancho, Samantha Liu, Caelyn Morais, Drake McKechnie, Reilly Solheim, Colton Wimmer, Jantzen Ebreo, Giselle Groe, Daven Cornelio, Gabriella Lopez, Emily Tramontin, Gia Soriano, Hadley Hanson, Emily King, Auburn Thomas, Dominic Sellan, Jack Simmons, Lauren Dunne, Mason Tymick, Jeanyn Ebreo, Jaden Commandante, Camila Besada for organizing one of the best Octoberfest parties ever!  In addition, the students that participated in the Lip Sync contest are all very talented and were fun to watch, and the activities and food were terrific. Several parents and grandparents commented that it was great to see the students wearing respectful, sweet, and sometimes silly costumes.  I had a few others say, "Wow!  The students and staff really go all out when dressing up for Halloween!"   The staff and I are also grateful that the rain stayed at bay during the event!

All Saints Day

Last week, we celebrated two very important days in our liturgical year: All Saints and All Souls Day, November 1st and 2nd.  All Saints Day is the day we honor those who have led exemplary lives in following in the footsteps of Christ.  They were "real" people who had their own spiritual struggles and difficulties with faith and with human frailty.  The saints' personalities differed as much as their struggles here on earth; however, they lived their lives with a great amount of discipline in choosing to try to avoid sin and in choosing to serve those in need, even at the cost of their own suffering.  It is important to look to the lives of the saints as role models and to ask for their prayers for us. They are our greatest allies in helping us to become holy. There are many saints with whom I have become close to over the years. St. Anne, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Joseph, St. Paul, and St. Monica are a few of my favorite saints as I have sought intercessory prayers from them when difficulties have come about in my life.  I've included a link for you to learn more about The Solemnity of All Saints Day click here.  Please share information about this beautiful day with your children and encourage them to learn about and become friends with a saint or two.

All Souls Day

All Souls Day is the day we remember our loved ones who have died.  We believe that they have only died a physical death and that their souls live on.  One of the beauties of the Catholic Church is that we remain close to our loved ones even beyond death.  We continue to pray for them as they continue to pray for us.  I have included a video link here for you to learn more about this special day.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13

This coming Sunday's gospel reading is a parable told by Jesus about 10 virgins who are waiting to meet the bridegroom at a wedding banquet.  The virgins, since they had a long wait, took lamps with them (the kind that require oil).  Jesus goes on to say that "five of the virgins were wise and the other five were foolish".  The foolish ones did not take extra oil to refuel their lamps, fell asleep and ran out of oil.  The other five were well-prepared and brought enough oil to keep their lamps going for the duration.  While the foolish virgins went off to purchase more oil, the bridegroom came and the virgins who were well-prepared entered into the wedding feast.  When the foolish virgins arrived wanting entrance into the feast, the bridegroom said to them, "Amen I say to you I do not know you."  Jesus goes on to say to his followers (and to us), "Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

It is not difficult to understand the main point of this parable.  It is to be prepared.  The bridegroom is Jesus, the wedding feast is heaven, and we are the virgins wishing to enter into the wedding feast. Jesus is telling us to prepare ourselves every moment of every day so that we, too, main gain eternal salvation and be witnesses’ of Christ so that others may also enter into the kingdom.  It is similar to the idea of an athlete preparing to compete in the Olympics.  Athletes would not wait until the last few days prior to the competition to train.  They would be honing their craft many years prior to the Olympics.  They would train and make daily choices in order to be in tip-top condition. We can think of ourselves as spiritually training for Heaven.  Through our words and actions we can practice virtues that lead us to holiness, such as,  Prudence , Temperance, Courage, Justice, Faith, Hope, and Charity.  In addition, to practicing these virtues, the small sacrifices (and sometimes large) that we make throughout our lives, as well as seeking reconciliation with one another and with God, help us to purify our souls. This spiritual training is not easy to do in a world that is counter-cultural to all that we believe as Catholic Christians.  That is why we need each other as community to lead one anther to that which is good and true.  Our children need us, too, to guide them through the faith journey and to be role models of how to train spiritually.  So as the wisdom of Jesus calls us to in this scripture passage, let us continue to prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of Heaven.

School News

Parent-Teacher Conferences

All families by now should have received confirmation of the date and time of your child or children’s conference.   All junior high students are highly encouraged to attend the conference with their parents.   

If you have filled out the meeting request form sent home in your family envelope a few weeks ago, but have not received a confirmation date and time, please contact Mrs. Richardson, our school secretary, at 310-316-3049 or catherine.richardson@stlm.org .

PTO Meeting

The next Parent-Teacher Organization Meeting is on November 14th , at 7 p.m.  Any parents interested in attending may do so.  Feel free to drop by at 7 p.m. in the school library.

Restaurant Night

Our first restaurant night of the year is this coming Monday, November 13 th , at Rock & Brews.  Restaurant Nights are always a popular event for all families so you don’t want to miss this; it’s also a super easy way to raise funds for the school.  15% of all proceeds will be donated to SLM School.  A Rock & Brews flyer/coupon was sent home in the family envelope this past Tuesday.  The flyer/coupon must be handed to the server in order for the funds to be allocated to our school.  (Note that the flyer has the incorrect date.  The correct date of the fundraiser is November 13th.)  Thank you for supporting our school!!

Thanksgiving Drive

The school’s Annual Thanksgiving Drive is underway.  Your child received a food item to bring to school any time between now and Wednesday, November 15th .  The students may leave their items in their classrooms.  This food drive goes toward the needy in our community and all food collected will be distributed out of the St. Lawrence Martyr Food Pantry during the week of Thanksgiving.

Veteran's Day

This coming Saturday, November 11th , is Veteran’s Day.  The school will be closed on Friday, November 10th , in honor of those who have served our country.  Please join me and the SLM faculty and staff in taking a few moments this weekend to pray for our country and to express gratitude for all those who have and continue to serve our nation.

SLM Teachers

Did you know that our teachers go through at least two formal observations per year and several informal walk-throughs?  Most of the faculty had their first observation this past October.  Here are just a few of the positive remarks given:

  • Group investigation work before introducing the topic was a great way to get the students excited about the lesson.
  • The teacher is well-prepared with everything set up prior to the start of class.
  • Superb patience shown with all students and wonderful positive reinforcement given when deserved.  (This is also an excellent strategy for getting other less cooperative students on board.)
  • The teacher incorporated Christian principles by redirect students to behavior of kindness toward one another.
  • Teacher challenged the students to use “high-level” thinking by directing students to “change the question” to streamline looking up the information.  
  • Students are expected to come in quietly and begin responding to the “Do Now” prompt (Great procedure!)
  • All students knew what they were to be doing at all times (there was no confusion) as your instructions were very clear – notebooks out, pens, pencils ready.
  • Excellent hands-on activity.  (Cut out paper copies of bones and put them together to create organism.  Then draw a picture of what you think the organism looked like.)
  • Thoroughly models the learning activity to be completed
  • Retold the story to check for understanding
  • Verbal, written, and kinesthetic modalities used to teach the lesson
  • The instructional aide was used appropriately for pre-instruction and during instruction
  • Excellent positive feedback to students that speaks to specific skills.
  • Loved the bathroom signal.
  • Excellent use of parent helpers.
  • Great system for randomly calling on students to participate which keeps them engaged and accountable.
  • Students were given a choice to use the method of factoring that they liked best.
  • Great pointing out and correcting common issues with factoring.
  • Great explanation of various math terms.

We are very thankful for our teachers for the care and dedication they give toward educating the SLM students!

Other Information

Athletic Coaches

We’d love to share news about how our teams competed.  Please send any information you have to wrap up the Fall Season to diane.kaiser@stlm.org

Mock Trial Team

Won their first round this past Monday.  Their second round competition is this coming Monday, November 13th.  Full details will be sent in a separate email.  Please keep the team in your prayers!

Fun Run Funds

Please turn in your Fun Run pledges by tomorrow, Thursday, November 9th.  They may be brought to the school front office.  Thank you!!

Many thanks to you, our parents, for your continued support in educating the SLM students!

Blessings,
Mrs. Kaiser