"Our Lady of Guadalupe School fosters Gospel values, inspires academic excellence, and develops service and leadership. We face this as a sacramental community united and empowered by the Holy Spirit."
March 17th Newsletter
March 17, 2017
Dear OLG Families,
For the first three days of this week, I was on an accreditation visiting team at St. Francis Cabrini School in Lakewood. Just as when OLG had its accreditation visit in 2015, a team of educators from the Seattle Archdiocese, led by a chairperson from another diocese, came together to delve into the school’s Self Study, visit classrooms and meet with shareholder groups to gather measurable evidence to affirm the school’s identified strengths and goals, and provide professional feedback. It was a packed three days, with a whirlwind schedule during the day, followed by evenings sharing our observations, reviewing data, and writing our Report of Findings. It’s a growth-filled process, not only for the school, but also for the visiting team to step back from our own schools to reflect, learn and gain ideas from colleagues. I find that it also affirms the tremendous work of educating the whole child in faith, academics, the arts, and personal growth that occurs in our Catholic schools. And…it’s great to be back at OLG!
State of the School Follow-up
In looking over the notes from State of the School sharing, there are a few items that were mentioned by several discussion groups. We’ll be communicating out about those throughout the spring. One of them was STEM. I look forward to sharing some of the new initiatives that have begun at OLG this year in a special STEM-focused newsletter at the end of this month, along with our philosophy about how STEM education fits into our overall OLG mission and educational program.
You’ll see several substitutes around the building next week; we are sending six staff members to the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) Conference in Portland at the end of next week. We look forward to their sharing when they return!
We’ve opened registration for our spring and summer extracurricular classes. Click below to read all about them!
Special thanks to Mrs. Wilson, Ms. Sager, and our fourth graders for their wonderful work on Thursday’s Mass. As I told the students, each of them were so prepared and performed their role so reverently. The ministers of music in the chorus even surprised us with a rousing rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” at the end of Mass.
New Interim Superintendent for the Office for Catholic Schools
Kristin Dixon, former OLG School principal, has been appointed Interim Superintendent of the Office for Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Seattle. Dr. Patrick Haggerty, who has brought strong leadership and vision during his term, will be leaving the Office for Catholic Schools in early April to begin another position. We thank Kristin Dixon for her generous willingness to bring her many gifts of Catholic school leadership to this position in service to all of our schools. Congratulations and blessings!
Be sure to mark your calendar for a new OLG special event this spring: One World, One Night Cultural Night. See below for information about our Cinco de Mayo Jog-a-thon as well!
Finally, if you are new to the school or haven’t yet signed up for a VIRTUS Safe Environment class, which is required of all volunteers and staff, there will be one at St. James Cathedral on Saturday, April 29th at 1:00 pm. Find out more about how to set up an account and register here.
Founded in 1978, Committee for Children is a global research-based educational program. It fosters the safety and well-being of children through social-emotional learning and development. Schools have been teaching social-emotional learning (SEL) for years. But now the term is finding its way into the general consciousness. Even business leaders are embracing the importance of SEL in the workplace. But what does it look like in the classroom, and how can it support our students?
Social-emotional skills, like math or language skills, build on each other. The SECOND STEP Program, developed by Committee for Children, helps teach kids how to understand and manage their emotions, control their reactions, be aware of others’ feelings, and have the skills to problem solve and make responsible decisions. Grade-level kits include pictures, short lessons, activities, and brief videos, to help reinforce learning.
As described by The Committee for Children –
Social-Emotional Learning is…
Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
Managing strong emotions
Having empathy for others
Communicating clearly and assertively
Maintaining cooperative relationships
Making responsible decisions
Solving problems effectively
As adults, don’t we want these skills in hand for ourselves? SEL isn’t suggesting that today’s generation of kids is lacking. It isn’t taught at the expense of core academic subjects such as math and science. But simply put, it is an important component of growth and development for all of us.
Drawing from the SECOND STEP program, I teach grades 2 – 5 each week. Using the program as a guide, I often direct discussions and activities toward pertinent issues of the week. (Recess behaviors are often a topic!) Also incorporated into lessons in a general sense are concerns and challenges students share with me privately. We also look at similarities and differences that are common to each grade level. Kindergarten social-emotional learning concepts will vary dramatically compared to those of 5th grade. For example, Kindergarten, Unit 1: Skills for Learning – Objective – Name the rules for listening in a group. 5th Grade, Unit 1: Empathy and Skills for Learning – Objective – Demonstrate the ability to take someone else’s perspective.
Currently our focus is on learning to speak up, to find our voice and let others know how we feel. If there is upset, rather than walking away, we can speak to the other person, and share our perspective of the problem. Nothing will change unless we let them know. It allows us a chance to voice our concerns and frustrations, and it gives the other person an opportunity to step up and help in correcting the problem. And all of this can be done respectfully! It’s so empowering for kids to work through things on of their own…Yet sometimes it’s two steps forward, one back. Students at all grade levels are trying to understand their emotions and perspectives, put them into words, and recognize the feelings of those around them. Understanding social cues, and making good choices is an ongoing learning experience. OLG students continue to step up to the challenge!
Cinco de Mayo Jog-a-thon
Estamos listos para correr, chicos y chicas?
Put on your “zapatos de correr y corre! corre! corre!”
The Cinco de Mayo Jog-a-thon is on Friday, May 5th! It’s going to be a Mexican fiesta! Please save the date! We can’t do this final fundraiser of the year without your help. Count laps! Cut oranges! And most importantly, get pledges!
Look for Pledge Forms to come home in the FCE on Thursday, April 6th. Ask parents, friends, families and grandparents to pledge a per-lap challenge or flat dollar amount for your runner. All pledges are 100% tax deductable. Challenge your runner to beat last year’s laps (we will give them the number) – one year older, one year stronger! We will be utilizing the OLG events webpage for donations and payments this year. The website will be live on April 7th. Pledge forms will be due the morning of the jog-a-thon, Friday, May 5th.
Maracas, sombreros, serapes and zapatos de correr encouraged!
Ready to climb over walls, crawl through mud, and test your mettle on a host of exciting challenges? Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish is inviting YOU to Loop the ‘Lupe, a fun new event featuring an obstacle course, a fun run/walk 5K, plus special events for seniors and young kids. Loop the ‘Lupe will be held June 4, 2017 at Walt Hundley Playfield in West Seattle (just across the street from OLG). Loop the ‘Lupe is a fundraiser for debt reduction and ongoing maintenance of OLG’s gym facility, the Walmesley Center. The Center is a very important part of the West Seattle community, serving more than 8,000 kids and families per year with free community meals, athletic events, social outreach functions, blood drives, and more! Please register now to get an early registration discount, and/or donate to our GoFundMe site!
“Who is my Neighbor?” RSVP At-Home Lenten Reflection Series: Week 3
RSVP Lenten small groups are in full swing! The group reflections are centered on the Sunday gospels and the Washington State Catholic Bishops’ new pastoral letter on poverty, “Who is my Neighbor?”. We know not everyone can join a group so we created an at-home series as well! This week, we invite you to spend some time with the two-page insert in this bulletin. Consider trying the weekly challenge connected to fasting by eating on the typical food stamp allotment for a week, making a CRS Rice Bowl recipe from one of the featured countries, or doing a “hunger banquet” with your family or friends. For more information, visit our RSVP website.
Did you know that OLG is in the process of forming an immigration committee (name TBD)? Our next meeting is on Friday, March 24 at 9:00 am. If you’re interested in joining our efforts or learning more, please contact Jennifer at 206-935-0358 x120.
CRS Rice Bowl: Encounter Opportunity
We encounter Fernando in El Salvador where, despite a lack of economic opportunity, youth are pursuing their dreams of
building businesses to better the lives of their families. How have you worked to better the lives of others this Lent? Visit the CRS Rice Bowl website. You’ll find Stories of Hope from each of the featured countries as well as various reflections and activities.
Friday Night Stations of the Cross
During Lent we are invited to walk more thoughtfully and closely with Christ. One wonderful way to do that is by following the pathway of the Cross. Join us for some quiet on Friday nights as we meditate on the self-giving love of Christ and seek to pattern our own lifestyle on His love. Guided Friday evening Stations of the Cross will take place on March 24th and April 7th at 7:00 pm in the church (the same nights as the Knights of Columbus fish fries!). The meditations of the Stations will focus on a different theme each time: March 24th will be The Migrant’s Way of the Cross and April 7th will be Praying the Stations with Pope Francis. Praying the Stations takes between 30 and 40 minutes. Can’t join us in person? Check out this online stations experience provided by Catholic Relief Services.
Our Lady of Guadalupe School & Parish acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.