Dear St. John Families,
Our guiding scripture for this month has been Thessalonians 5:13. The last line of the verse is a concise reminder of God’s desire for us here on earth: “Live in peace with each other.” He calls us to bind together in harmony. After all, He sent his only son to be our Prince of Peace. As you anticipate the birth of our Savior, may you reflect on how you can bring just a bit more peace into the world.
The kind gestures of so many who pulled a tag or two from the Christmas tree in the school lobby to provide a gift for a child they may never meet certainly brought a bit more peace into the world. Thank you to those who participated. It was such a delight to see your children, our students, placing toys under the tree with such reverence. They know what it means to receive. Glory be that they also know how great it feels to give. The JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself) model we teach kiddos is just that—a real joy!
Several PTL volunteers are giving of their time and talents in preparation for the January 31 Trivia Night and April 4 Auction. Please keep them in your prayers, plan to attend, and lend a hand if you can help with some aspect of these fun + fund raising events. Large events such as the auction result from the coordination of many smaller parts. Making a contribution of your time to one component of an event’s success could be a blessing to you as well as the overall outcome for the school.
Another great way to contribute to our school’s success is to be invitational about joining our learning community. Sharing what has been so meaningful about St. John in the lives of your children will be the best encouragement for a prospective family. To encourage you, we are offering a $1000 tuition rebate for referring a new family. The rebate is per new family, not per new child. That new family would need to have at least one child enrolled in our school for the full 2014-15 academic year before the rebate would be issued. The details will be available on a referral card to be obtained in the school office after Christmas break.
Enrollment for 2014-15 will open to current families as of January 21. We will then give new families the opportunity to begin enrolling as of February 3. Tuition information for the next school year is now available on the school website. You’ll notice that there has been a change in terminology used to express what has been called “member” or “community” tuition. In an attempt to provide enhanced clarity around why there is a difference in fee structure, we’ve chosen to be specific and transparent. The tuition itself is not what is different. The difference is that members of St. John Church who faithfully participate in the worship life of the church and practice financial support of the church’s General Fund are already helping provide for the maintenance of and improvements to the facility. Families who want to be part of our school but do not fit this description will pay the facility fee that has been folded into the larger tuition payment. That way, everyone is sharing in the upkeep of our quality learning environment. In either case, the fees charged do not cover the operational costs associated with educating each child. That gap is offset by charitable contributions to Annual Fund, PTL events and other designated gifts.
You invest so much more than money in your child’s education. Your time, your energy, your patience, your affection…the way you live your life are all essential components to growing a healthy child. As we continue to look at how we can provide a solid foundation for skill development in a changing world, we look to information experts in our field. One such person is Dr. Tim Elmore, author of a book called Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults. His analysis reveals how to help children balance autonomy, responsibility and information (in our age of information abundance) so they can develop the so-called soft skills, such as delayed gratification, needed for leadership and success. The St. John bookstore has a couple of copies of Artificial Maturity in stock for your convenience. Elmore’s team has also coined the notion of “Habitudes” and has published a series that incorporates scripture as part of reflection and formation of essential habits of mind.
It is a privilege to be part of this community and serve alongside you. May the peace that passes understanding be yours this Christmas and always. Oh come oh come, Emmanuel! God IS with us!
Principal, St. John School