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Wednesday's Words

WEDNESDAY'S WORDS ON THE WEB

A Weekly Newsletter for Saint James School Families and Staff

February 21, 2018

 
 
 

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Weekly Bulletin Letter to Parishioners

From the Principal's Desk:
Dear Saint James School Parents, Guardians, Students, and Friends,

In the wake of the most recent school shooting, I would like to address Saint James School’s preparedness. It is unfortunate that we have to think about and train for school violence and it is a shame that we must subject our young children to the harsh reality that we find ourselves in. That being said, I would like to reiterate and reassure you that we at Saint James School do everything in our power, every day, to make sure that your children are safe when they are in our care.

As I have detailed in this medium before, in October our entire staff was trained by the Bernards Township Police Department to adopt their standard response protocols - lockdowns, lockouts, evacuation to another location, and shelter-in-place. In addition to our monthly fire drills, we are required to practice one security drill every month. To date, we have practiced three lockdown drills with the most recent on January 25. I am proud to say that our students are all taking these drills very seriously. Each time we practice a drill, we have designated staff supervising the teachers and students to ensure that protocols are being followed. We debrief after each drill to determine if any changes need to be made.

In light of the recent event in Florida, the teachers have been given a list of age-appropriate tips to talk to children about the events should their students express concerns. Those tips can be found here should you wish to review and employ them at home. The teachers have also been advised to assure their students that we take their safety very seriously and work very hard every single day to make sure they are safe while they are in school. They have been advised to point out that we practice our emergency drills, keep our classroom doors locked at all times, keep all exterior doors locked at all times, and all employees and students are encouraged to say something if they see or hear something. Mrs. McInerney, our school counselor, is also available to any student who wishes to talk to her about their concerns and she has offered to talk to students, in an age-appropriate way, should a teacher request it. 

Going forward, I hope you will join us as we pray that our state and federal elected representatives take this matter seriously and pass sensible legislation to ensure that our children will no longer be in danger when in school. I hope you all know that every one of the teachers and staff here at Saint James School have room-specific plans to keep their students safe should, God forbid, this ever happen here. They are a formidable group of people and would do whatever it takes to make your child safe. Please pray that those plans never need to be employed.

Best Regards,
Sue Florendo
 
 
 Shine bright like a diamond at this year’s Spring Jam, which will take place on Saturday, March 24 from 6:30 PM - 11:30 PM at the Morristown Hyatt. Please RSVP on or before March 1. Additionally, the Morristown Hyatt has opened a room block for our event. Click here to make a hotel room reservationTo receive the discounted rate, your reservation must be confirmed by Monday, February 26.
  • Wine Pull & Donations 
    Do you have a favorite wine you wish others knew about and could enjoy? Then why not grab one and donate it to the Spring Jam Wine Pull. Your friend may be the lucky one to enjoy that nice bottle of wine. Spring Jam Committee Members will be collecting donations for wine and Mystery Envelopes every Wednesday at school dismissal by the bicycle rack. Suggested value for wine donation is $20. 
  • Off-Premise & After-Mass Raffle Ticket Sales
    Wait, are those raffle tickets? I can win a $5,000.00 gift card? If you want to be part of spreading the excitement in our community, please sign up for Off-Premise Sales. By selling grand raffle tickets at church or local stores, you can easily sell your initial raffle book (and more!) in only a couple of hours. BONUS: Each book sold is a chance in the Weekly Prize Patrol, and every two books sold earns your student a Mini Gift Auction Ticket!
    Please sign up using this link: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C054CA9AC2EA5FE3-saint
  • Class Basket Reminder
    Class Basket Coordinators: Please have your baskets completed by Thursday, March 1. If you have any questions, please contact the Spring Jam Committee.
  • Program Ads
    Deadline for placing an advertisement in our Spring Jam Program has been extended to Monday, March 5
 
News You Can Use:
  • Registration forms for the 2018 - 2019 school year are now past due. Please complete and return all forms along with your $150-per-student registration fee as soon as possible.
  • Please remember that all SJS families must go online and register with the FACTS Tuition Management Program for the 2018-2019 school year, regardless of the payment plan that you select. 
    • Click here to create your online FACTS account. You may also link to FACTS from our website home page at www.sjsbr.org. 
    • Once you log in, click the "Select a New Payment Plan" button on the left hand side of your screen.
    • On the next screen, click "Looking for a different term?"
    • Click the button next to "2018-2019 School Year" to enter and complete the sign-up process for next year.
    • For additional information and FACTS frequently asked questions, click here.
    • Questions? Contact Mary Killian at mkillian@sjsbr.org.
  • On Monday, February 26, all 6th and 8th Graders will participate in the annual American Scholastic Achievement League Challenge. This online challenge allows students to demonstrate a variety of problem-solving skills and knowledge across many academic areas. Students participate by taking a 100 question test on the computer, and the results are tabulated comparing students nationally from all 50 states. Due to strict supervision guidelines dictated by competition rules, all students will be taking the test on February 26 only; there will be no make-up dates. Qualifying students will be honored when test results are received later in the year.
  • Late last week, the Senate failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers.  Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice President; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together issued the following statement:  
    We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers.  With the March 5 deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty. We are also announcing a National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers. This coming weekend, we will be asking the faithful across the nation to call their Members of Congress next Monday, February 26, to protect Dreamers from deportation, to provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process. Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters.  We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way.  Now is the time for action.
  • Come out and support our CYM Basketball teams this Saturday at the Saint James School Gym! Game times and teams are listed below.
    • 9:00 AM 4th Grade Girls SJS
    • 10:15 AM 4th Grade Boys SJS
    • 11:30 AM 5th Grade Boys G SJS
    • 12:45 PM 5th Grade Boys B SJS
    • 3:15 PM 6th Grade Boys SJS
    • 4:30 PM 7th Grade Boys White SJS
    • 5:45 PM 7th Grade Boys Green SJS
 
HSA Happenings 
    • This Saturday, February 24 at 7 PM the Spirituality Committee will host a Spiritual Date Night. Treat yourself and your spouse! There will be a short talk: Marriage - the School of Love and light refreshments. We hope you can join us! Click here for the event flyer.
    • Saint James School is now participating in Stop and Shop's A+ School Rewards Program.  Just register your Stop and Shop Savings card and shop as you normally would, and cash rewards will automatically accumulate for SJS!  Click here for more information and how to register your card.  
 
Counselor's Corner: 
Managing Your Child's Screen Time
Our children are growing up in a very different world than we did. With the array of media available for our kids today — and their amazing ability to watch TV, instant message, and listen to music all at the same time — what’s the best way to balance media exposure with other activities? How can you monitor what and how much your child consumes?

While media and technology can be a great educational tool, when we limit screen time, we give our children the gift of more time to read, engage in active play, and be healthier children.

Managing Your Child's Screen Time