PTO Meeting

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 

Angel Express | September 2017

Dear Parents,

After the flurry of busyness these first few weeks of school, we are leveling-out and sailing along. Let’s hope the sailing ahead is smooth!

I’ll be sending out an Angel Express every few weeks to keep you on top of school happenings. Here’s the latest:

Back-To-School Night

There are two evenings for Back-to-School Night. The first evening is for parents of students in grades TK – 5 and the second evening is for parents of students in grades 6 – 8. Both evenings begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the church building. The dates are the following:

Wednesday, September 13th – Grades TK – 5
Thursday, September 14th – Grades 6 – 8

Looking forward to seeing all of our parents at Back-to-School Night!

The 19th Annual Fun Run

The 19th Annual Fun Run will be held on October 27th. Our kindergarten teacher, Ms. Klute, thought of the theme “Go for the Gold” and students have been encouraged to draw a picture of the theme. The entire student body will then vote on a design and its image will be put on our Fun Run t-shirts. Additionally, students are encouraged to get pledges for their Fun Run laps from family members and friends. More information on this is forthcoming.

Finally, thank you to our Fun Run Chairperson, Mrs. Sharon Romesser, for making this event happen. If you’re interested in volunteering for the Fun Run, please contact Sharon at sharon.romesser@stlm.org.

The 39th Annual Msgr. Michael Lenihan Memorial Golf Tournament

Calling golfers of all levels to sign up for the SLM Golf Tournament to be held on Friday, October 6th, 2017, at Los Verdes Golf Course. This year’s golf tournament chairs are SLM parents, Brian Albano and Phil Banfield. The golf committee has, for several years, raised lots of money for the school and we are grateful for their efforts. Please support the school and use this link to sign up or to get more information: http://www.slmgolftournament.com/

Volunteers

There are many ways to make up the required 40 parent service hours. There are fundraisers, such as the Fun Run and the Mariner Main Event that need volunteers and the school programs need Art docents, library docents, carpool supervisors, playground supervisors, etc. The quickest way to sign up is to log onto School Speak and enter your name under the area that you wish to volunteer. The link to the volunteer calendar is located on the left hand side of the page; scroll down to ‘Volunteer Calendar’, click and sign up. A chairperson or school rep will contact you with more details.

VIRTUS Certification And Fingerprinting For Volunteers

All volunteers must be VIRTUS certified. Additionally, any volunteer, such as a sports coach, who will be working without a chairperson coordinator or an SLM staff member, must be fingerprinted. St. Lawrence Martyr is conducting a VIRTUS certification session and St. James VIRTUS certification and fingerprinting sessions on the following days and times:

  • Protecting God’s Children for Adults (Original Class) from 6-9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 th in the St. Patrick and Francis rooms. Contact the parish center at 310-540-0329 to sign up.
  • Keeping the Promise Alive (Recertification) - Tuesday, September 19, 6-7:30 PM in Kavanagh Hall. Call 310-372-5228 to register.
  • Protecting God’s Children (Original Class) - Saturday, September 30, 12-3PM in Kavanagh Hall. Call 310-372-5228 to register.
  • Fingerprinting: September 14 and September 26, both 12:00PM - 7:20PM at the school (O’Gorman Center) 4625 Garnet St. Call 310-371- 0416 to register.

Yum Club

Our new vendor for hot lunches is Yum Club. You may sign up to order lunches at this site: https://yumclub.boonli.com/login. Please know that families must order lunches by 2 p.m. the day prior to the date of receipt. Parents may also choose to have their child bring a lunch from home. If any issues arise with Yum Club, families must contact Yum Club directly and not St. Lawrence Martyr School. Thank you!

Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) Meetings

PTO meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the school library. All parents are welcome (but not required) to attend. The next meeting is on October 10th.

Friday Mass

Students in grades 1 – 8 attend Mass each Friday from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Parents and other family members are welcome to join us. Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students attend Mass on the first Fridays of each month.

Communications To The School

At present, most emails from parents come directly to me and while I enjoy communicating with our parent body, time does not permit me to respond as quickly as I’d like. Therefore, in the interest of time, please use the following directory of concerns and the contact person listed for a direct and much quicker response. Thank you! 

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More On Communication

In the spirit of charity, when communicating from parent to school or school to parent, it is our wish to assume that the best, most positive intentions between both parties are being made. There is not one among us who does not wish the best for the students and for each other. The missives shared or meeting discussions should be of graciousness toward one another, sharing points of view, and coming to a greater understanding of each other’s concerns.

In addition, it is important to keep information confidential. If you must share, it is our hope that your concern will be contained within the confines of family members (spouse, preferably, not children) and then directed to the source, i.e., teacher, athletic director, principal, etc. Otherwise what may be cause for little to no concern can often times transform into out of control rumors which may damage a teacher or other school member's reputation, as well as the reputation of the school itself.

Thank you for noting the responsible parties above. Please know that Mrs. Wynne and I understand very well the concerns parents have for their children and are here to speak with you should the need arise.

Sunday Gospel Reading Reflection

Matthew 18:21-35 (click here for the reading: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091717.cfm

This coming Sunday’s gospel reading is about forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone behaves poorly. God knows this, yet forgives us over and over again. In this reading the king’s actions represent the benevolence and compassion of God. He forgives the servant’s debt. However, the servant does not show the same compassion to the one who has an outstanding debt to him.

The servant's unforgiving heart speaks of our own human frailty.  What keeps us from moving beyond our anger, weakness, ego and pain to be moved to forgive those who have wronged us?  It is the humble heart that can love unconditionally…that can forgive even under the most difficult of circumstances. Jesus’ last words on the cross are the greatest example: “Forgive them for they know not what they do” ~ Luke 23:34.  We are called to emulate our lord and show compassion and mercy to all we encounter.  Difficult it is, but what would our world be without forgiveness?

May your week be blessed. May we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the U.S. who have been affected by the hurricanes and in Mexico by the earthquake. May we remember all those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks. May God show mercy on us all and may our hearts continue to be open to the grace and love of Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
Mrs. Diane Kaiser