From the Principal's Desk:
Dear Saint James School Parents, Guardians, Students, and Friends,
Here we are at the end of the school year and what a year it’s been! On Tuesday, we celebrated our students’ accomplishments at our annual Awards Assembly and I told the students how proud I was of all of their accomplishments, hard work, and growth this year. If you’re anything like me, you took a picture of your child on the first day of school – take a moment to find that picture and look at your child on Friday. I think you’ll be amazed at how much they’ve grown!
Thank you to all of our parents and friends of SJS for all of your support throughout the year. We are truly lucky to be a part of such a faith-filled, caring, and loving school. Thank you to all of our teachers and staff who care so much for our children and work so hard, every day, to make each child’s experience at SJS one filled with love.
A few housekeeping items before we go our separate ways for the summer months. Summer reading assignments have been provided to your children. These assignments will also be posted on our school website within the next few days. These assignments are not meant to burden your children. Instead, they are meant to help them avoid the loss of skills, especially their reading skills! Please help your child to find a good balance between relaxation, rejuvenation, summer fun, and fun reading time! Student supply lists will also be posted on the website, so check back for that when you’re ready to shop!
I want to wish all of our students and families the most wonderful of summers! Be safe, have fun, rest up, and spend some quality time together as a family. I found this prayer and thought it was lovely:
At the end of this school year we give thanks to God:
For all the teaching and learning that has taken place in our school,
both in and out of the classroom,
For the talents and gifts that have been shared and the challenges that have been faced;
For the burdens that have been lifted and the hurts that have been healed;
For the respect and care that has been given.
We give thanks for the friendships that have just begun and for those that have grown.
For the faith that has been lived in our daily struggles,
For the hope that has lifted our hearts on the dark days
And for the love that has kept us going.
We give thanks for the community that we are, and we ask you Lord -
Bless our students as enter these summer months: may your Spirit inspire them with reflection and calmness
Bless our families as we take our vacations, may our time together leave us with memories to cherish.
Pour out your love on us that we may return renewed and refreshed to continue our journey together.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
Ways to Manage Screen Time This Summer
Summer break is right around the corner, and many of us are looking forward to having a little more free time. Youth will have more time to breathe and explore their interests beyond school, but so often downtime becomes screen time. Summer’s wide open time spans can heighten battles over technology use.
Here are some ideas for managing screen time this summer.
1. Take a moment to ask your kids (students) if they have anything they want to do, people they want to see, projects they want to take on, or finish during summer time? See if you can get them to say one or two specific things. You can call them “goals” but sometimes this word can shut down teens since the word “goals” can conjure up work.
2. The more you can have systems in place to have tech go off at defined times, the better. It is not fun to police screen time. For those of you battling the Fortnite obsession, don’t forget that if your child plays it on XBOX, the console does have a way to set screen time limits. . And, lastly, introduce them to pro-social games as a great alternative to all the intense video games out there.
3. Now is a good time to get more creative about possible “house help” projects for the summer (aka chores but I prefer house help)....thinking up new tasks that will give your children new skills. I am excited that my teens have agreed to help me paint my home office. They’ve never painted a room and 4. I think it’s a good skill to have. Other house help ideas I have for this summer are fixing the broken wood garage door, having them do more cooking, and of course the usual (weekly sweeping and bathrooms).
5. Summer is a great time to encourage creative projects using technology. Did you know that on average kids only spend 3% of their screen time doing “content creation” such as making videos or composing music on the computer? You might suggest that your video gamer consider learning how to design and code their own video game. Or, how about your kids that love to listen to music, see if they will try to write their own songs on Garageband? Your YouTube watching tweens and teens might enjoy shooting their own movie right on their phone camera and then learning how to edit it on the computer in iMovie or another program. I use Premier and my daughter Tessa learned it super fast.
6. Reading—sure enough, reading has gone way down over the past few years but it does not have to be that way. I find that having a few new titles in the home (via borrowing from the library or friends or ordering) increases the chance my teens get interested in reading them.
Here are a few questions to get the conversation going:
1. What are 2 things you would like to accomplish this summer?
2. Is there a new skill, like video editing or creating music or coding that you might be interested in
learning more about?
3. How much time do you think is reasonable per day this summer for you to spend doing things like playing video games or scrolling social media?
4. What “house help” projects can you come up with that would teach you a skill you are interested in—or at least mildly interested in? Or at least not completely dreading?
Source: Delaney Ruston, MD screenagersmovie.com