November 18, 2020

Dear Parents,

SJB continues to grow! We welcomed our 153rd student and 98th family to SJB on Monday this week. Nora joined the four year old prekindergarten class. Welcome to the Loonam family. We are so delighted that you are a part of the SJB family.

Congratulations to St. John the Baptist’s first trimester honor roll students. All students in 6th-8th grade are eligible for the Honor Roll. We commend the following students for their hard work and encourage them to continue to endeavor in their scholastic efforts. We’d like to recognize the following students for their academic achievement:

2020-2021 First Trimester Honor Roll

Grade 6 Honors

Isabella Aschauer

Phillip Cabrera

Mia Grantz

Jack Kozlowski

Grade 6 High Honors

Brielle Borner

Augustine Cin

Anthony Emlen

Kim Nguyen

Faith Owens

Connor Parkitny

Aaliyah Silva

Sofia Soriano

Tyler Stith

Lucia Vang Nu

Joseph Zagotta

Grade 7 Honors

Sophia Resendez

Delaney Starmach

Thomas Weber

Roman Zolota

Grade 7 High Honors

Isabella Garcia

Abigail Goddard

Calise Matzke

Elizabeth Zitnik

Grade 8 Honors

Thomas Cabrera

Lauren Ludovice

Alyssa Zagotta

Grade 8 High Honors

JT Barrett

Makayla Grantz

Emily Hanania

Christopher Momot

Lisa Soppi

Elizabeth Weitz

Isabella Zagal

Honor Roll recipients will be recognized tomorrow during announcements and receive certificates to honor their accomplishment.

As you know, there has been a matching gift campaign for Illinois’ Tax Credit Scholarship Program for the past six weeks. Yesterday afternoon, Fr. Chris and I were notified of the success of the campaign at St. John the Baptist. My heart is indeed full with gratitude for the generous donors and the anonymous donor who made the matching opportunity possible. St. John the Baptist raised $22,700 during the past six weeks, which will be matched by $25,000. Noteworthy is that we had 5 new donors to our school’s Empower Illinois fund! Following the conclusion of the match deadline, the campaign had some surplus grant funds. The donor decided that the remaining funds should be split among the schools that reached their fundraising cap and successfully generated new donors. Because St. John the Baptist met those two benchmarks, SJB is receiving $19,560 in bonus funds. Our total matching funds will be $44,560. To date, fourteen scholarships have been awarded through Empower Illinois at St. John’s. In the next two weeks, about 9 more scholarships for students on our waiting list will be awarded. In total this year, nearly $95,000 has been donated to our EIS fund. I am ever so grateful for the generosity of the SJB family, the anonymous donor for initiating this wildly successful campaign, and all donors throughout the year. God indeed has blessed us!

This morning we tested our emergency notification program, School Messenger. You should have received a phone call and an email notifying you of the test. If you did not, please contact the office so that we can make the necessary adjustments.

Looking for a virtual parent workshop about navigating children’s use of technology? We have a wonderful opportunity available for you. Liz Repking, author of CASE Curriculum which SJB uses for online safety, will offer virtual parent workshops at 7:00 pm via Zoom on the following dates: Thursday, December 3; Thursday, January 7; and Wednesday, February 10. In the 90 minute session, Liz will address how parents can balance some of the great advantages and opportunities of technology with how to protect our children in a hyper digital age. She will also offer some helpful tips and strategies to manage screen time, implement successful eLearning strategies, address the isolation children feel while trying to stay connected to the outside world, and how parents can create healthy family tech time. Advanced registration is required. Please see the posting for registration information for the session that works best for you.

Thank you to the many parents who participated in parent teacher conferences on Tuesday. You should have received a Zoom invite from your teacher if you are scheduled for a conference tonight. If you did not, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

Besides finishing our virtual parent teacher conferences tonight, there are two notable events. Grab some pizza from Caliendo’s in Winfield between the hours of 4:00 and 9:00 PM and cozy up with a book afterwards to join in the state of Illinois’ Family Reading Night sponsored by Jesse White, Secretary of State; the Illinois State Library, and the Illinois Center for the Book. You can find some SJB teachers and Fr. Jim reading some picture books or sharing poetry and jokes on our school YouTube channel which can be accessed here: . The videos should appear when you go to the school YouTube channel. You can also go to the Family Reading Night Playlist to access the stories. Bookmarks promoting the night were distributed to our students this week promoting Family Reading Night. Please see the posting for the Caliendo’s flier. 20% of the profit will be donated to the SJB Athletics program. Thanks to Chuck Zydek, our Athletic Director, for organizing the fundraiser.

This is just a reminder that tomorrow is an Eighth Grade Council sponsored Dress Down Day. Tomorrow is Business Casual Day.

As a reminder, there is no school next week, November 23 – 27 in celebration of Thanksgiving. School is scheduled to resume on Monday, November 30, 2020. In this time of Thanksgiving, I can’t but help think of a quote from St. Therese. Therese is my Confirmation name and she has been ab inspiration to me for many years throughout my life.

“What most attracts God’s grace is gratitude, because if we thank him for a gift, he is touched and hastens to give us ten more, and if we thank him again with the same enthusiasm, what an incalculable multiplication of graces! I have experienced this; try it yourself and you will see! My gratitude for everything he gives me is limitless, and I prove it to him in a thousand ways.” Therese of Lisieux , The Way of Trust and Love

The gifts and graces bestowed upon us at St. John’s is undeniable. Please know that as we approach Thanksgiving, my gratitude for you and yours is great. You are all true blessings to the entire SJB family. I also ask that you join me in praying for those in our community who are experiencing difficult times or have been affected by coronavirus. 2020 has been a very different year and many have experienced hardship and loss. Please lift them in prayer.

Wishing you the blessings of family, health and safety this Thanksgiving,