Progress Reports

Angel Express | January 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope that your New Year is off to a great start! I pray that you and your children have remained healthy. The flu this year has been quite nasty.  The teachers and staff continue to encourage the students to wash their hands and use hand-sanitizer throughout the day.  We ask that any students who are exhibiting flu symptoms remain at home.  Stay well!

Our school has had and will have much going on during these first few months of the year, so I will get right to it…

Spelling Bee

Student qualifying representatives from each class competed in the annual SLM Spelling Bee on January 10th. Two students will be competing in a championship round this week. Those students are Payton Hofilena (4th Grade) and Adrian Vilca (3rd Grade). The SLM Spelling Bee Champion will then compete in a local spelling bee and the winner of that round will enter into the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We congratulate all of our Spelling Bee qualifiers and wish Payton and Adrian well!!

The SLM Spelling Bee contestants are the following:
1st Grade - Miranda Vilca & Chelsea Volkman
2nd Grade - Mercury Cox & Brendan Rivas
3rd Grade - Cate Cansino & Adrian Vilca
4th Grade - Payton Hofilena & Madison Viera
5th Grade - Brooke Banfield & Kaelyn Hanson
6th Grade - Jiselle Lime & Aleyna Pirie
7th Grade - Davide Ciuffoli & Auburn Thomas
8th Grade - Devan Cornelio & Karma Sarni

Progress Reports - January 25th, 2018

Grade 3 - 8 progress reports will be posted online on January 25th by 5 p.m. Please be sure to check the status of your child’s progress. For any issues logging into Gradelink, please contact Mrs. Wynne at  (Also as a reminder -- if you have any concern with grades, curriculum, discipline, teaching methods, etc., please speak directly with the teacher. Thank you!)

Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten Information Night

Can you believe it is already time to think about 2018-2019 enrollment? This coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 6 p.m., we will be holding our annual TK/K Information Night in the parish hall. We feel that the best kind of interest comes from referrals by you -- our parent body. We encourage our families to “talk-up” what you love about SLM to your friends and family and invite them to join us on January 24th. 

Catholic Schools Week (CSW) - January 28-February 2, 2018

The Mass to kick-off Catholic Schools Week is on Sunday, January 28th, at 11 a.m. All SLM families are encouraged to join in on this school-wide, archdiocesan-wide event to celebrate the rich heritage and continued excellence of Catholic Education, in particular our very own St. Lawrence Martyr School. Students should show their school spirit by wearing their First Friday uniform. During the remainder of the week, the students, faculty and staff will be participating in many activities to celebrate our Catholic school. A schedule of events for CSW has been posted on School Speak.

CSW BBQ and Open House - January 28th, 2018

After the Catholic Schools Week Mass on January 28th, the school will hold its annual Open House. School families are invited to come visit the campus and their child’s classroom. We encourage our families to extend the invitation to their friends and family members, especially to those interested in sending their children to SLM School. In addition, our PTO will be holding a barbecue simultaneously during Open House. Feel free, either after or before visiting the school to stop by and grab something eat!

Much thanks to Gerry Lomas, PTO Chair, and our PTO members for organizing the barbecue!!

Scholastic Book Fair -- January 23rd - 28th, 2018

“Paws for Books” Book Fair by Scholastic Books will begin this week on Tuesday, January 23rd. Students will have an opportunity to preview the fair and create a “wish list” of items prior to sale days. Then during sale days, each grade has a time during school hours to visit the fair and purchase items. Parents and other individuals may also purchase books at the fair after school hours (check School Speak for the schedule). The fair will also be open on Sunday, January 28th, after all Masses and during Open House.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Holly Nilson, Melanie Muhl, and Maria Tymick for their time and energy in organizing this terrific fundraiser!

W’s China Bistro Restaurant Night Fundraiser - January 29th, 2018

Join us for our next Restaurant Night on January 29th, at W's China Bistro between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. If you plan to dine in, you may make reservations (which is highly recommended) by calling 310-792-1600. 15% of all food and beverage orders, including take-out, will go toward St. Lawrence Martyr School. Flyer must be presented to the server. (The flyer may be found on School Speak.) The address to W's China Bistro is 1410 PCH, Redondo Beach. 

A big thank-you to Jeff Vicario, 3rd grade PTO rep, for organizing our Restaurant Night Fundraisers!

Mariner Main Event (MME) - March 17th, 2018

Mark your calendars for our biggest fundraiser of the year, our Mariner Main Event -- March 17th, 2018. This year’s theme: “Shamrocks & Gold”. Look for more information coming from our MME Chairperson - Jamie Cary or co-chairs - Robin Lomas and Jenna Cox. Also check out the MME Facebook invitation at by clicking here.

Valentine’s Day & Ash Wednesday

This year, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day, February 14th, 2018. For this reason, the students will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 13th, a day early. Your room parent will send more information about your class Valentine’s Day activity. On February 14th, we will begin our Lenten Journey by attending Ash Wednesday Mass at 8 a.m. Parents are invited to attend this liturgy as well.

Cornerstone Retreats

Cornerstone is a 26 hour spiritual renewal retreat. There are two separate retreats, one for men and one for women. Individuals must be 21 years of age to attend. The retreats provide an opportunity to reflect, renew and strengthen your faith while meeting other men & women in our SLM Faith Community.

The women’s retreat is planned for February 2-3, 2018
The men’s retreat is planned for February 16-17. 2018
For more information about Women’s Cornerstone, please contact Robin Lomas at 310-748-7443
For more information about Men’s Cornerstone, please contact Deacon Jim Egnatuk at 310-990-7311

Gospel Reflection - Mark 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said,
"Quiet! Come out of him!"
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
"What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him."
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

In this passage, Jesus continues to preach to crowds and the people are astonished by his words, and by his authority. Jesus’ teachings are different; they are counter to what they’ve learned, primarily his teachings on love, forgiveness and their place in God’s divine plan. In this particular passage, the people witness Jesus’ power and authority over evil. This is the first time they’ve witnessed a person teaching with authority on behalf of no one but himself. The scribes teach on authority prescribed to them through Jewish tradition. Jesus teaches with authority from God.

There are several stories in the gospels that show Jesus’ authority over things, such as calming the wind and the sea (Mark 4:35-41), the forgiveness of sins (Mark 2:10, and in this passage, over evil. Jesus’ divine authority brings him in direct conflict with worldly authority and this ultimately leads to his death. However, even in Jesus’ death his authority reigns; he has purchased eternal salvation for us and for all people. 

So what does this mean for us? We can ask ourselves, what sin or habit plagues us? What do we bring into our lives that keeps us from truly loving, forgiving and being a people of God? Is it resentment, jealousy, obsessions over people, things, work, sex, alcohol, technology, etc.? We cannot truly be free to be who God created us to be or to experience the richness of God’s grace until we are released from those bonds.  Jesus wishes to use his authority to help us, to heal us and to show us his love. To begin, we must recognize those sinful areas of our lives and seek forgiveness through Christ Jesus. Only then can we be transformed through the divine authority of Jesus.  

Let us pray for ourselves and the world, that just like the people in this scripture passage, we recognize the power of Jesus' authority.  Let's pray that we will be in awe of his authority and desire our lives to be in alignment with it.  May we seek to be people of strong faith, good deeds, compassion, forgiveness, peace and love; if for no other reason then let's proceed in this manner because our children and their future need it.

Richest blessings to you in the New Year,

Mrs. Kaiser

Angel Express | October 2017

Dear Parents,

I write this newsletter from Running Springs (just below Big Bear) at the Pali Institute. I’ve joined our sixth grade class at outdoor school and am enjoying watching them engage in science lessons and activities, such as Geology & Engineering (formation of rocks, layers of earth, plate tectonics, causes of earthquakes and designing model structures to be tested against an earthquake simulator), Weather (patterns and tools to make predictions), 21st Century Energy Dilemmas (renewable and nonrenewable resources and how to be a conscious consumer), Forest Navigation (compass and coordinates), as well as a night hike to learn about nocturnal animals (their environment and survival tactics). The weather in this part of California is gorgeous with day temperatures in the mid-sixties, beautiful blue skies above and lots of greenery below. The biggest joy for me, though, is seeing how respectful our students behave toward their outdoor school teachers and how caring they are toward their peers. At my exit interview with a Pali Institute staff member, I was told that our students are some of the best behaved they’ve ever worked with. I know this to be true as our SLM students have a great reputation for their behavior at outings such as these! Thank you for raising such great kids!!

On another, less peaceful note, two Sundays ago, we heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas. I’m sure there is not one of us who has not spent time reflecting on the incident. Those sweet, innocent lives that were senselessly taken are still fresh on my mind - particularly the St. John Fisher parent, Lisa Patterson, mother of three children (who happened to be attending the concert with a very close friend of mine) as well as the young woman from South High School, Christiana Duarte, who has relatives that attend our school. I can’t help but wonder why so many incidents such as this are occurring in our country today. 

Although the founding of America separates church and state, our country’s forefathers were influenced by Christian ideas and, thus the founding of America was deeply rooted in Christian moral truths. Even the verbiage in many of the United State’s founding documents are unique to Christianity. In addition, there are 68 references to God in the U.S. code, such as, anyone who swears into any of the branches of the armed forces or into office as a justice or a judge must conclude with the words “So help me God.” The American Pledge of Allegiance states that we are “ Nation under God…” and our national motto is “In God We Trust.” However, it seems that more and more society is forgetting those basic principles that made up the fabric of our nation. The landscape of our culture is changing and, in my opinion, I feel this is due to society moving away from God and Faith as central to the formation of each person. 

There was a time, not long ago, where attending religious services on Sundays and daily prayer at home were a normal part of most American families’ lives. In rearing children, parents made it a high priority to lead their children closer to God. It is without a doubt that in the past and now, Catholic schools have provided the environment for students to learn Christian moral values and deepen their faith in God, which leads to compassion for and service to others. However, while Catholic schools have “some” influence in rearing children toward leading better, more God-centered lives, it is the home-life that holds the greatest influence. In other words, teachers may teach about God and open a child’s heart to faith, but it takes root and is nourished by word and deed in their homes, especially by their parents. Our greatest purpose as parents is to model Christian deeds, speak God’s wisdom to our children, and care for their little souls.

In the gospel reading this coming weekend, we hear the story of The Parable of the Wedding Feast. In summary, a king sends out invitations for a great feast that he will host for his son to be wed. Those invited, initially accept the invitation. When the second invitation goes out (which serves as reminder to the event), the guests ignore and dismiss the invitation. A third reminder goes out and the guests flatout reject the invitation. In this parable, the wedding feast is the kingdom of heaven. We all want to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but what is the cost? What must we do to enter? Share our goods with those less fortunate, be kind to our enemies, forgive those who have wronged us, show compassion to the downtrodden, etc. In addition, to care for our souls we attend Mass, receive and partake in the sacraments, go to confession, pray daily. So we initially accept the invitation to the Kingdom of Heaven, because who would not want that...but often times when the “second” and “third” invitation arrives, we find our lives too busy or practicing faith too inconvenient or perhaps we feel that it is not relevant to our lives at present. We know however, that our lives on earth are very short compared to eternal time and what we do here on earth matters in the ever after.

Society can no longer afford to put aside or be inconvenienced with actions that nourish our souls and unite us with God, who longs for peace in our hearts and peace in the world. We must begin to put God back into our daily lives and we absolutely must make it our priority to care for the souls of our children by being good stewards of the faith through word and action. Please continue to pray with me that the hearts of our families, our communities, our nation and of all the faithful may be passionately driven toward a renewed sense of urgency in bringing God’s presence in the world in word and deed. We can change the movement toward a world without God by the small things we do each day within our family units. Let’s do this!

More News:


Progress reports for students in 3rd through 8th grade will be posted on School Speak on Thursday, October 12th, by 5 p.m. For our TK - 2nd grade students, your child’s teacher will be in touch with you to indicate when those will be sent home.


Each month our students are directed toward learning and living out one of the School-wide Learning Expectations (SLEs). The SLEs can be found in our School Calendar Handbook listed underneath each month. At the end of each month, their teachers choose students who have exhibited behaviors in alignment with the SLE. September’s SLE was “A St. Lawrence Martyr Student BELIEVES through understanding and living our Catholic faith. We are proud of the following students for living out this schoolwide norm:

Brook Banfield
Maggie Battle
Genevieve Bellante
Ava Brownlie
Caleb Burke
Arianna Ciuffoli
Devan Cornelio
Charles Cress
Isabelle DiLeva
Connor Guerreiro
Colin Hall
Olivia Higgins
Grayson Javier
Andrew Jensen
William Johnson
Peter Lyons
Abigail Martinez
Natalie Nilson
Rachel Oppenheim
Megan Reynolds
Sadie Smith
Reagan Vieira

Congratulations students! Well-done!!

SLM Sports:

Our Fall team sports are underway. Coaches please send information to post in the Angel Express!


We have results from our first ever swim meet. Here they are in a message from our swim coaches (parents - Mr. Ciuffoli and Mr. Curry):

Swimmers and Parents,
Thanks for participating to the first SLM Swim Meet ever!
Coach Curry and I are so proud of the kids, they all had a great performance, they kept cheering their teammates, they were extremely focused with lots of positive energy, always on time and ready to race at the starting block.
Some of our kids placed in top 12th overall and earned a medal, which we will distribute during next swim practice on Friday.
Bailey Solheim: 2nd 50 Breast, 4th 50 Back, 6th 50 Free, 6th 50 Fly
Jake Smith: 10th 50 Free
Jack O’Shaughnessy: 1st 50 Back, 1st 50 Fly, 2nd 50 Free, 2nd 50 Breast
Liam Curry: 6th 50 Fly, 9th 50 Free
Davide Ciuffoli: 1st 50 Back, 3rd 50 Breast, 4th 100 IM, 5th 50 Free
Ryan Oldewurtel: 8th 50 Breast, 11th 50 Free, 11th 50 Back
Reiley Solheim: 5th 50 Back, 6th 50 Free, 6th 50 Fly, 8th 50 Breast

Congratulations to all!!!

Go SLM!!!


Two students participated in their first CYO golf tournament this past Sunday -- Isabelle DiLeva (4th gr.) and Matthew Kaiser (6th gr.) Great effort to you both! We look forward to more SLM students participating in the golf tournaments.

UPDATES ON FOOTBALL, VOLLEYBALL AND CROSS-COUNTRY will be sent soon in a separate e-mail.


The SLM Mock Trial Team and coaches have been working around the clock to prepare for the competition. Keep up the excellent work and dedication, students! (Dates of the competition to be announced soon!)

Finally, please check School Speak frequently for more news and updates. 

Thank you for your continued support and generosity of time and treasure to our school. It is the partnership between parents and staff that help our students to thrive!


Mrs. Kaiser