On Monday, the faculty and staff gathered for our Lenten retreat.
We started with 8 a.m. Mass with Father James. Then, while we shared fellowship, we reflected on our faith life.
Presentations were given by Dave Kimbell, director of Catholic Immersion, Father Jacob Jaks and Mr. James Reding. Topics included identifying our spiritual gifts through an online survey, how we can grow in faith, foster vocations and renovate our faith lives.
After lunch, prayer and adoration we concluded our time together at 2 p.m. It was a restful and insightful day for everyone involved. We thank you for your support as we spent time bringing our spirituality to one another.
Blessings and Greetings for the New Year,
As we begin our journey together through 2020, I want to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to the faculty and staff monetary fund. Thanks to your generosity and the PTO’s willingness to meet what money was collected from our parents, our entire faculty and staff were very gratified with their bonus this last week of December. I am continually humbled and honored to be able to serve you. Thank you also for the many personal notes, letters and gifts. I love watching the face of your children as they enthusiastically walk into school each day. I understand there may be a few bumps, but I pray you realize we are here to work together. Please always know, this is a partnership, so our administrative team is here to work, in partnership with you.
Report cards will be sent home today. There will be an envelope in your child’s backpack. Pre-K and Kindergarten reports will be sent home next week. These young people have worked very hard to attain their grades and I know you support their successes. Once again, thank you for your continued support.
Our eighth grade students will be entering their third set of service opportunities on Friday, January 17. They have been rotating through a series of service projects on our Friday half-days and have had enthusiastic revues from every place they have served. I am not surprised as this group is extremely empathetic and humble about their service.
I will be out of town from January 21-January 24 as I am chairing an accreditation visit in Sunrise, Florida. As a result of this visit, I am going to postpone Grandparents’ Day. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but I really feel it is important to be present for Grandparents’ Day. If you have a grandparent who has planned to visit Pensacola from out of state, please contact me and I will work with you so they can visit our school and your child’s classroom. I certainly do not want any grandparent inconvenienced because of my schedule. I will make it work for them on an individual basis. The day is not cancelled, it is postponed. My hope is we will be able to reschedule when our new addition is complete and we can showcase our wonderful chapel and new classrooms. I will keep you informed.
Catholic Schools Week is quickly approaching, so please mark Sunday, January 26 on your calendar. We will all gather for Mass and hospitality in Ave Maria Hall after Mass. A schedule for the week will be sent home shortly. However, some traditions never change, such as our annual kick-ball game on Friday, January 31. The game will start shortly after 1 p.m. Please plan to attend as our 8th grade students take on the staff and faculty. STUCO will also attend the annual Catholic High School Mass celebration, representing our school.
I end this note with saying, once again, it is a sacred privilege to serve you and your family. You are the best as you volunteer to coach, work in the lunchroom, arrive for early drop off, offer to drive on field trips, and offer a caring hand for whatever our needs. You volunteer for PTO, finance councils and SAC. You answer Dyna’s call to serve. Thank you for your willingness to help.
Please watch for news for our Trivia Night…It is our 10th anniversary, and while we cannot hold the event on site, we still plan for a spectacular event. I know you will all support our cause, which is for the benefit of our children.
November 13, 2019
Dear Parents and Supporters of Sacred Heart Cathedral School,
Thank you to the many volunteers, including parents, grandparents, faculty and staff that gave of their time and talent to make this 35th Pumpkin Run successful. The weather was perfect for a nice, cool start. Thank you also for the participating in the race. We truly are a family and I am reminded of this when we have these great events. A special thank you to Gracie Slocum, our sixth grade student, for singing the National Anthem. Bishop Bill presided in prayer before the race officially began. Check out the Pumpkin Run Facebook page for pictures, along with our own facebook page. Student led conferences went well. Thank you for partnering with us so the students can learn how to access their learning and understanding. The building addition is progressing nicely with blockwork scheduled for the first week in December.
Looking forward to the rest of the semester, I would like to outline some upcoming events. First of all, family faith night will be next Wednesday, November 20 beginning with dinner at 5:30. It is so nice to see so many families participating in the dinner and faith growth following. On Friday, November 22 at 11 a.m., we will have our annual Thanksgiving dinner for faculty, staff and students. This is a student only event. The menu is turkey, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans, a roll and cookie. If your child does not eat turkey, they may bring their own lunch. This year our luncheon will take place in Ave Maria Hall. Our 8th grade class, as part of their commitment to service, will be serving the students in grades Pre-k through 7th grade. Consequently, we will not need parent volunteers for this luncheon. Once the 8th grade is finished serving their fellow classmates they will have their own luncheon together. This class is to be commended on how they rise to the occasion to serve others.
The Christmas Program for students in PreK-3rd grade, along with our Mass choir, will be Wednesday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cathedral. The theme is Advent and waiting. Wednesday, December 4th, Faith Night is the parish mission beginning with dinner at 5:30. A flyer will be coming home soon regarding this evening. There will be a middle school retreat on Monday, December 9. Students in grades 6 and 7 will meet in the morning and the 8th grade students will meet in the afternoon. I will let you know when the younger students will have their retreat. These retreats are being coordinated by Mr. James Reding.
The middle school exam schedule will be finalized at our level meeting next Monday at 7 a.m. We will forward that schedule as soon as it is solidified. Our last day before Christmas holiday is Friday, December 20 with a noon dismissal.
Blessings to you and your family,
Elizabeth, Mary, Dave
Dear Parents and Supporters of Sacred Heart Cathedral School Family,
Our PTO Lucky Hearts fundraiser has always been a very important part of fundraising at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. This particular fundraiser creates funds for the teachers to enhance their teaching. For examples, these funds are used to create classroom libraries. Keeping libraries up to date and fresh is very expensive and this fundraiser supplements the library funds. The money is also used to fund the literature circle and book clubs that occur in grades 3-8, along with supplemental material for Story Works and Journeys in grades K-2. Spanish books have been purchased for the middle school Spanish curriculum. Technology subscriptions for math enhancement as well as writing and English reinforcement and practice is also supported through the Lucky Hearts fundraiser. Many of the technology programs we buy for the younger students are also funded through the PTO Lucky Hearts. Flexible seating has been possible because of Lucky Hearts and I know firsthand, this is very popular and successful for our younger children.
Names are pulled weekly so you have a chance of winning $100 or $50. You can win more than once.
Consequently, your support of the PTO Lucky Hearts allows your child to have enrichment activities that are not supported through tuition alone. As of today, we have 46% support of this wonderful and fun program. Please reconsider your participation, as we are accepting donations through Friday, October 4. The advantage for your child is they are allowed to be out of uniform one day per month. As the administration is conservative about out of uniform days, this is a nice perk for your child in thanksgiving to your dedication to this program.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email us.
Thank you, in advance, for your participation.
Elizabeth, Mary and Dave
News and Notes from the Principal,
As we move into our fourth and final quarter of the school year, there are a few events you will want to note on your calendar.
A reminder that there is a First Communion meeting for the second grade parents this Sunday, March 31 from 9:15 am-10:45 am. Please note this is a mandatory meeting if your child is planning on receiving the Sacrament on Sunday, May 5, 2019.
Dyna has sent out many schedules and reminders for Student Led Conferences. Please note your day and time as we will see all families at the end of the week.
Science Olympiad is this weekend in Orlando. Safe travels to all who are traveling. We are so proud of our young people who have worked so hard in their areas of competition.
I am going to an accreditation visit in Clearwater this next week so I will be out of the office part of next week. The accreditation begins on Monday and ends Wednesday afternoon.
Our mid-seven year accreditation visit will be the Tuesday after spring break, April 30. Mr. Juhas, Mary Camp from the FCC and Dr. Guernsey from Ave Maria will be the committee evaluating our school. The accreditation visit gives us an opportunity to evaluate what we are doing and how we can continually meet the needs of our families, both academically and spiritually. Mr. Nicholas Lahr is the faculty representative who is heading the steering committee along with Mr. Patrick Schmitz, Mrs. Leighann Roberts, Mrs. Marie Stills, Mrs. Whittington, Mr. Dave Kimbell and Mrs. Snow.
The Chrism Mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday, April 16. It is a tradition that our 8th grade attends this special Mass.
Please note we have a noon dismissal on Holy Thursday (April 18) with spring break following. Students will return on Monday, April 29.
The traditional Ribbon Mass for our 8th grade is Friday, May 3. This is always followed by a brunch with the second grade buddies. Once again, Mr. Redding is planning a retreat following brunch at Bayview Park. More details coming for the students and parents of the class of 2019.
We are planning an elementary spring concert with the theme of the 1960s. This will be held in May. Details and date will follow.
The CYSL track meet is at Catholic High School on Saturday, May 4.
First Communion on Sunday, May 5.
Please mark your calendar to join us for the Crowning of Mary Mass on Friday, May 10.
The athletic banquet will be on Saturday, May 11.
Dave, Mary and Elizabeth
Blessings on your long weekend As we look forward to this week, we recognize that it is that time of year again…time for standardized tests. The faculty and staff at Sacred Heart Cathedral School is getting ready. Test schedules are being coordinated, test booklets counted, and practice test booklets are being distributed. Students in grades two through eighth grade will be taking these standardized tests.
In the past, we have always administered the Iowa Basic Test. This year, in response to a request that all the Florida Catholic Schools are taking the same norm-referenced test, we will be administering the Terra Nova test. While this test is similar to the Iowa, there are some strategies we can utilize to help our students be successful with this new testing format.
We will only be administering one test per day and this will be first thing in the morning, right after prayer. Consequently, please have your child to school on time within the next two weeks. Your child’s teacher has been reviewing for the Terra Nova, but this is everyone’s first time taking the test.
Here are some proven test strategies:
Q: Should I guess if I don’t know the answer?
A: In the case of Terra Nova, the answer is yes. The Terra Nova does not take off points for answering incorrectly; they just don’t add any!
Q: What should I do if I’m stuck on a question?
A: Skip it. Your child can always return to the question once they have answered those they are more sure about. But advise your child to be careful about filling in the answer sheet. It may seem obvious to skip that line on the answer sheet when you skip the question, but in the more intense atmosphere of a testing situation, it’s easy to forget to do this.
Reassure your child – Tell your child the test will not give us the same data as MAP testing. This is a norm referenced test which compares students in the same grade across the state to see how they are learning compared to their peers.
Listen carefully – Listen carefully to instructions from the teacher. Be sure you understand exactly what you have to do for each part of the test. Look at ALL the answer choices before deciding on the correct, most complete answer.
Look for key words – Look for key words in test directions and questions such as: choose, describe, explain, compare, identify, except, not and but
Listen carefully to the instructions from the teacher, and read the directions to each question carefully. Be sure you understand exactly what you have to do for each part of the test. Look at ALL answer choices and choose the best and most complete answer. If, you are not sure which answer is correct eliminate choices that you know are incorrect. Then focus on the remaining choices.
Stay focused – Do not let other students distract you.
Please, please, please get to school early and get a good night’s sleep the night before. A protein breakfast is an added bonus.
Elizabeth Snow & Mary Adams
As we approach and immerse our hearts and thoughts into this Advent Season, we are reminded of the any blessing we have been given. The Student Council’s Advent project has identified 18 children from our neighbor parish, Saint Anthony’s, that need our assistance. It is our goal this Advent Season to collect money so we can provide presents for these 18 children.
We are asking for monetary donations which we will be collecting within the next two weeks. Once the money is collected, student council members, teachers and class representatives will shop for the presents requested. Presents requested are very moderate; clothing and an occasional bicycle. Once the presents are bought, student council and representatives will wrap and present under the Angel Tree at church.
We thank you, in advance, for your participation in this project.
As for the Christmas programs. Those students in grades 4th -8th that are involved in choir have been asked to participate in Lessons and Carols with the Cathedral , Tuesday, December 4th at 7 p.m. This is a very special opportunity for the students to not only sing as a unit themselves, but to be involved in the larger choir community. This is quite an honor for these students to be invited to this event. I realize the time may be later than usual, but this is a life experience that I am sure these students will remember forever.
On Wednesday, December, 4th, the students in Pre-K through 3rd grade will have their own performance of Christmas melodies at 6 p.m. in the gym. This performance will last around 30 minutes. Students are asked to dress in Christmas attire. Mrs. Johansen will be directing the Pre-K-3rd program.
Elizabeth and Dave
Thank you so much for your response to Lucky Hearts. Thanks to you, we have once again reached our past goal that makes it possible for us to provide extra resources for our classrooms and teachers. We feel very blessed as you, our families and supporters continually support our Sacred Heart Cathedral School family.
This next week brings many classes traveling down the street to the Pumpkin Patch, with buddies and alone as classes. This a great time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, while we enjoy one another’s company. We also experience the joy of being a student at Sacred Heart Cathedral School as we share with our buddies, and create and confirm relationships. We are so fortunate to have such a family friendly neighborhood.
We have ended our first quarter and are anxiously looking forward to student led conferences. Your child/children have worked hard to present presentations to you, their parents. They will share with you their strengths, weaknesses and plans for the future. I know you will be touched as I have spent many hours in the classroom only to find an overwhelming goal of being kind to one another and finding joy in my classmates. Our mission is becoming a reality at Sacred Heart Cathedral School.
As always, it is an honor to serve you and I am continually humbled by your support and generosity. Mr. Redding took a truck load of supplies this weekend to those families affected by hurricane Michael. As families of Sacred Heart Cathedral School, if you decide you would like to take your family for a weekday workday, please let us know and your child/children will be excused from school for that day. I understand how important it is to spend time as a family and the week days is the highest need for family support.
We are looking forward to two school events. We are hosting a PTO general meeting this Wednesday, beginning with appetizers at 5:30 followed by a general meeting at 6 p.m. This event will take place in our outside newly designed outside patio, weather permitting.
This Friday there are many events happening at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. Our families from PreK-5th grade are participating in our Seat ‘n Treat activity held on our campus grounds.
Our middle school students are participating in the championship football game as they take on Little Flower/EDS at Catholic High School at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening. Please try to support both events this weekend. We have so much to be proud of here at SHCS. Our families, PTO, sports programs continually support our mission. You are the best!
Looking forward, the 8th grade will once again be following tradition in the mission of service as they help at the YMCA on October 30th. The 8th grade will also be sponsoring the Fall Fest for those students in grade Pre-K-5th grade on October 31st. This fun day will take the place of individual Halloween parties. The 8th graders have planned many fun activities for these young people.
Please join us for Mass on All Saints’ Day at 8 a.m. Bishop Wack will be the celebrant.
The following week, Mr. Kimbell and I will be attending the Catholic Liberal Arts Conference and three other teachers will be attending a seminar on Mindset and Determination in New Orleans. We will all return to Sacred Heart Cathedral School eager to move forward with what we have learned from these conferences.
I know you will all continue to support our annual Pumpkin Run. Please keep the pumpkin bread coming in as this is crucial for the support of the run. This is such a special day for our parish and school community. The briskness of the early morning air and the warmth of the air at the completion of the race just lend towards a wonderful family day.
As we move into November, we will continue our annual Thanksgiving Feast on Friday, November 16th. Our 8th grade class, as part of their commitment to service, will be serving the students in grades Pre-k through 7th grade. Consequently, we will not need parent volunteers for this luncheon. Once the 8th grade is finished serving their fellow classmates they will have their own luncheon together. This class is to be commended on how they rise to the occasion to serve others.
Elizabeth and Dave