Dear St. John Families,
As we prepare to turn the calendar to February—already?!—I hope you are surrounded by the warmth of community and God’s abiding love. We keep hoping that the temperatures go up and the wind dies down enough to have recess more consistently.
Preparations are underway for the 2014-15 school year. Our goal is to continue with two classes at grade level throughout all grades and maintain a maximum classroom size of 22 students. Enrollment is a critical component of making sure we can meet that goal. Therefore, we’ve reached out to area churches that do not have schools associated with them so we might be considered their Christian school of choice. Between the Open House in November and the one we just hosted last week, we’ve had more than 25 new families explore our school with children ready to enter at all grade levels. The St. Louis area offers many options as parents select the best educational environment for their children. We are absolutely confident that we will continue to provide a superior academic foundation in a distinctive and nurturing Christian atmosphere. We are grateful to those who have already re-enrolled. We are blessed to have you as part of the St. John family. Please be mindful of the following related to enrollment:
- Monday, February 3 begins open enrollment for all
- Friday, February 28 is the last day to take advantage of early bird enrollment fees.
- Referral rebate is an opportunity for K-8 families to receive $1000 for each new K-8 family you recommend that enrolls and pays full tuition for one year. Thanks for being invitational!
We’ve allowed ourselves to be a bit silly this week as we dressed out of uniform in joyful celebration of National Lutheran Schools Week. We’ve focused on being a light, shining our light, and reflecting His light. Also as part of this week we are excited to create the next chapter in our mission partnership with Pastor Rudy. This is our fourth year collaborating with him. In 2011, St. John students paid for a fresh water well in Uganda, allowing a village of young women access to both water and an education. In 2012, we offset the costs of water filters and excavating a lake in Cambodia which is to this day called St. John Lake. Last year, Pastor Rudy’s efforts took him back to Uganda where a dormitory was needed to provide safe shelter for school age children. Again, St. John took up the call to assist our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our grade level quarter wars this year are going to purchase sewing machines and training opportunities for women in the Philippines to repair clothing and make new clothing. Hurray that through our partnership we can be the hands and heart of Jesus across the globe. God is truly working wonders.
God continues to guide the forward progress of our school. As we reflect on a successful first semester, we want to thank you for all you are doing to contribute to that success and forward movement. A few of our accomplishments so far this year include:
- replacing the bleachers and installing a wooden cross constructed from the old bleachers in our gymnasium
- introducing the much-needed SPIRE reading resource program to our learning center
- implementing a new fall (pizza) fundraiser with PTL
- executing a new approach to Annual Fund to encourage community-wide participation
- enhancing middle school students’ ownership of their learning process via goal setting, portfolio compilation and a greater voice in their conferences
- increasing student inquiry and experiential learning in our middle school science courses
- making scripture visible through painting God’s Word on the walls of our hallways
- providing further leadership for older students who lead school-wide prayer in the morning
- launching a Robotics team
As technology continues to advance, we routinely assess our integration of digital media to maximize student learning. Teachers will soon attend professional development sessions at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. Our Instructional Technology Coordinator, Rob Jacklin, has been researching the pros and cons of various Learning Management Systems and effective one-to-one computing programs, including the trend toward Bring-Your-Own-Device programs being implemented at other schools. We recognize that digital devices are just tools, yet when used effectively can foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, among other essential skills. By having all our students, especially those in our middle school, use Google Apps for Education and engage in research, public presentations, and the collaborative sharing of work between classmates and teachers, we actively prepare them for high school and beyond.
While I know the teachers do a great job of getting grade-level specific reminders out to you in their weekly newsletters, I also want to lift up the following opportunities so you can save the dates:
- Middle School Digital Devices Q&A sessions for parents in the Lower Level of the Next Generation Center: Monday, February 17th from 8:30-9:30am, or Tuesday, February 18th from 7:00-8:00pm
- Encore Night: A Fine Arts Exhibition, March 6 from 7:00-8:00pm
- Spring Fling Auction, April 4
I pray you have been blessed in many ways during these first few weeks of 2014. Think warm thoughts.
Living in His Light!
Principal, St. John School