Saints Speak – 5/31/2018 – Looking Back / Looking Forward
As I write my final Saints Speak of the 2017-2018 school year, I can’t believe that we are putting the finishing touches on another chapter in the rich history of All Saints Catholic Academy as we complete our lucky 13th school year. There have been quite a few accomplishments and success stories which I would like to share and reflect upon this day which we can all take pride in:
- the completion of our new Main Entrance and Welcome Desk at Door 1, and Health Office/Nurses Suite, including the addition of Mrs. Tara Brophy, RN to our ASCA staff. This year there were quite a few scenarios where her expertise was needed; and we would have been lost without her.
- our new ASCA website at ascacademy.org.
- we welcomed our new school chaplain, Father Mark Bernhard. What a tremendous impact his presence has made on our ASCA school community.
- the continued development and expansion of preschool in our Growing Saints Early Childhood Academy programs. In just a couple of short years, we have seen our enrollment numbers more than triple. This current school year we added gym, art, music specials and Spanish enrichment for our youngest Saints, along with challenging and robust curriculum changes. The flexibility and choice that our preschool offers have really resonated with parents and students alike.
- our most successful Dinner Dance Auction to date, with gross proceeds exceeding $100,000, including a paddle raise of almost $46,000 alone dedicated to technology enhancements that will directly benefit our students and school.
- our first annual State of the School address to share the good news of our status, vision and direction for the school.
- the overwhelming success of meeting our $25,000 goal in our inaugural Run with the Saints Boosterthon, and the excitement that it brought to our students and All Saints school community .
- our first annual student led Lenten Market that raised over $5,000 toward our Lenten charitable almsgiving efforts.
- the continued achievements and triumphs of our All Saints Catholic Academy students in math, science, debate, writing and chess competitions. Our students set the bar high for themselves. We seek to provide opportunities and challenges for them to find success.
- the creation of ASCA Now News, a student led effort to write and produce a weekly news program, learning valuable journalistic and leadership skills along the way.
- the participation of our students in a live radio broadcast of the Relevant Radio show Go Ask Your Father with Fr. Francis “Rocky” Hoffman.
- the outpouring of love and support for the Tecuatl family and their children - 6th grade student Ashlee, and ASCA graduate Javier who is battling Leukemia.
- the growth of our no cut athletics program where all students have a chance to be part of a team, learn valuable athletic and life skills, and to represent All Saints Catholic Academy, building school pride and sportsmanship.
- the musical Annie Jr. that enjoyed a nearly sold out weekend run, with uplifting and spirited performances from our grade 5-8 students.
- two very successful Book Fairs that benefitted our school library, as well as furthering the love of reading in our students.
These are but a few of the many, many great things that have happened at ASCA this school year. Additionally, just think of the fun that you and/or your student may have had at any of the following:
- our Daddy Daughter Dance
- the Mother Son outing
- the Fun Fair and Catholic Schools Week activities
- the Christmas Pageant or Spring Fling
- Student Voices events
- Grandparents Day
- our MLK Day of Service
- Trunk or Treat festivities
- the ASCA Holiday Shop
- school pep and other assemblies
- graduation activities and commencement
It has been a fantastic year, and I thank everyone – staff, parents, grandparents, volunteers, friends and benefactors for your enthusiasm and support. I hope that everyone has a fun and safe summer!
At the end of the school year, it is always difficult to say goodbye to members of our All Saints school family who are leaving us. I wanted to let you know about upcoming changes in our ASCA staff. We are saying farewell to the following staff members:
- Laurie Becker, 3rd Grade Teacher
- Marianne Foege, 5th Grade Teacher
- Lincy Jacob, Preschool Aide
- Donna Maday, Kindergarten Teacher
- Kevin Wilson, Junior High Science Teacher
We wish them well in the next phase of their lives and/or professional journeys; and thank them for their dedication and service to our students throughout their years at All Saints, and the impact that they have made on our school community. As teachers, the extent of your influence is far reaching, and will never be forgotten.
I would like to welcome our new kindergarten teacher, Maureen Netzley, who will join our ASCA staff this fall. We also welcome Kathy Kokkinos as our new afternoon Welcome Desk Attendant. Kathy will be joining Geri Everson (who will be manning the desk in the morning) at Door 1. We are so lucky to have this dynamic duo welcoming all to ASCA. I am currently interviewing candidates for open music and junior high science positions. At this time, we have a number of grade levels – kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade – that could potentially expand from one to two sections dependent on new future enrollment.
Moving forward, our music, art and technology staff positions have been reduced from full to part time. This is due in part to enrollment declines that do not require full time staffing, as well as our administration and board efforts to be good stewards of the resources that are provided in funding the school. We have been vigilant in holding the line on projected expenses, and have not increased tuition for the second year in a row. Students will now have art and music classes once a week, along with gym every day. Junior high students will have their specials more frequently, as they only have them for a quarter. Technology curriculum will continue as a combination of lab/classroom time.
We are currently on course to achieve our enrollment projections for the coming school year, with strong registration in our preschool programs which are almost full, and new student additions at most other grade levels. We look forward to welcoming over 70 new students to ASCA this coming fall. There is so much to look forward to in the 2018-2019 school year.
New Chromebook Initiative
Currently, All Saints provides Chromebooks for student use in grades 3 through 8. Beginning this coming 2018-2019 school year, junior high students in grades 6-8 will have the opportunity to purchase brand new Chromebooks for a nominal annual fee. Students who purchase the new devices will be allowed to take them home nightly. The end result of this purchase program will be that students will then own their device by the time they graduate. Please stay tuned for more information to come.
Summer Office Hours
Beginning Monday, June 11, our summer office hours will be Monday through Thursdays from 9 am – Noon. The office will be closed on Fridays. If you are coming to the school during the summer, please enter through Door 7. Remember that it is always best to phone first before dropping by, as there may be some days that the office is closed due to holidays or administrative staff vacation days.
Last Day of School
We will be celebrating our last day of school for grades 1-7 on Wednesday, June 6. Students are expected to be in 'Perfect Uniform' on the last day of school. All are welcome to join us for our final school mass at 8:15 am. Student dismissal will be at 9:30 am. There is no after school care on the last day of school.
SCARCE School Supply Collection
ASCA Community Outreach is coordinating our annual end of the year used school supply collection. There will be a box by the school office beginning tomorrow, June 1 for students to drop any of the following items that they would like to donate:
- Notebooks (used pages should be torn out)
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Art Supplies
- Art and Craft Items
Items that are collected are given away to educators and non-profit organizations, or get recycled. Most of all, they are saved from the landfills. Please click here for more information. Thank you for your support. Please contact Margaret Danahy, SHPP Community Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Proposed Girls on the Run program at ASCA
We are considering applying for a GOTR* program at ASCA for the 2018-2019 academic year. The application is due 6/30, and we need at least eight girls and two coaches, as well as parent helpers. If you are interested in the program for your daughter, or helping out as a parent, please go to the following sign-up genius link to let us know:
*Girls on the Run-Chicago (GOTRC) is a non–profit after-school program for girls. It consists of a 10-week curriculum (lesson plan) that employs running as a vehicle to teach girls about healthy habits and behaviors, giving them a “tool belt” to address the social, mental, and emotional challenges affecting their age group. At the end of each season, the girls, along with coaches, family, friends, and community runners, participate in the Girls on the Run 5k as their capstone achievement. The 5k offers the girls a tangible experience of healthy goal-setting and success that lays the foundation for future achievement. The overall goal is to empower girls with the confidence, character, and skills they need to become strong, healthy women.
This program is being offered to girls who are entering grades 3-5. The fall season begins in September. Practices are is 2x/week. The cost is approximately $205/child/season. Learn more at www.girlsontherun.org If you have any questions, please contact ASCA coordinator (and school parent) Jennifer Haidu at Jennifer.email@example.com.
FACTS Agreement Rollover / 2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
Beginning this week, All Saints will be loading in tuition and fees for returning and new families, and activating FACTS agreements for the 2018-2019 school year. Families who have applied for financial aid will not have their accounts activated until award letters have been completed. All school fees (Instructional, Technology, SHPP and Graduation) will be due 10 days from date of invoice/billing. Please note that tuition payments will not begin until July, 2018. If you have any questions about your FACTS account or charges, please contact Maryanne Higdon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scrip Gift Card Clarification
The SchoolSpeak email about this week's Scrip order that was sent to school families yesterday evening did not take into account that there was a holiday this week. All orders that were turned in by Tuesday morning, May 29 at 8 am will be processed. Physical gift card orders that were placed after Tuesday morning at 8 am will be cancelled. We apologize for any confusion.
A Tremendous Thank You to the Cornerstone Sponsors of
A Green Tie Affair, ASCA Dinner Dance Auction 2018
For more information, please click on the Cornerstone Sponsor logos above. We encourage you to patronize these generous sponsors.