FROM THE PRINCIPAL:
RESET BUTTON: There are many things that I enjoy about being a principal & teacher. I truly love interacting with students each day, I love seeing the growth throughout the year(s), the student’s sense of humor cracks me up most days, I’m still amazed at the trust and sincerity in their comments and discussions about anything, and of course the most enjoyable aspect of my “job” is the opportunities to share my faith and do my part in nurturing faith in the hearts of my students.
There is one other joy of my life as a teacher that happens every year at this time – SUMMER VACATION! Those two words can create dread and maybe even some fear in the hearts of parent – what am I going to do with my child for two plus months when the boredom of summer break sets in? I enjoy my summer break but for a different reason. Summer break is my time to hit the reset button each year and reinvent, change or just completely overhall my classroom and/or lesson plans and goals. How many jobs give you two months to improve your craft through research and self-evaluation and then plan an improved course of action? Now, every summer is different and some summers include more research or more self-evaluation or just different planning than others. These are the joys of being a teacher/principal. This summer I am looking at curriculum and post-COVID adjustments. There is also a level of excitement that comes with the initial planning of large and small projects leading up to the 150th anniversary of school in a couple of years. It should be a refreshing and rewarding summer break with students and teachers excited to start up again in late August. Until then enjoy the SUMMER VACATION!
KESA goal #1 - St. John will increase stakeholder engagement in vision planning, curriculum development, and facility upgrades & maintenance projects through surveys, PTL and School Board activities, and direct contact (emails, Facebook, etc.).
KESA goal #2 - St. John will increase the relevance of its curriculum – focusing on preparing and equipping 21st century students (academics, socio-emotional, career skills) and meeting the unique needs/desires of stakeholders and parents in Wabaunsee County.
1ST AND KINDERGARTEN:
First of all, thanks to all of you who offered support this year. Here is what we have been doing. In March, we learned about holy week, time, ordering numbers, place value and addition. In reading, Kindergarteners began to learn long vowel sounds. First graders learned the vowel-r sounds. In Social Studies, we learned about the Nez Pierce Native American tribe. In Science, we learned about the weather.
In April, we learned about Jesus’ resurrection and afterward, Ascension, and Pentecost. First graders continued with the vowel-r sounds and learned new diphthongs, while kindergarten continued with long vowels. In Math, Kindergarten moved to subtraction. First Graders worked on addition and subtraction facts to and from 20, shapes, and patterns. In Social Studies, we learned about Kansas. In May, we had lots of fun learning Archery from Mr. Theel. We also visited the Volland School house, and a bison farm. We had a blast at the Lutheran schools field day. The children really enjoyed learning about bison. We also did some measurement and scientific observation of different types of soil. We finished out the year with writing our own version of The Little Red Hen and performing it as a play at awards night/spring fling/graduation. The summer has arrived at lightning speed! We closed out the year in 2nd and 3rd by working on our Spring Fling skit Joseph and the Truth Stick. The students love to get to act things out and are getting better at using a microphone to speak in front of groups of people. To finish off our science/health unit we sadly learned that our dairy calf, Rejoice, did not make it through the super cold spell in February. While sad, this allowed us to study another aspect of how weather affects animals and the ecosystem. We didn't leave our dairy unit on a sad note though; we celebrated by making homemade ice cream! We also tied in science, reading, and social studies as 3rd grade finished the year with a novel study about Mt. Saint Helen's eruption. We even made a volcano in the room after studying them. The class took a field trip to the Konza and found and identified all of the Kansas wildflowers currently out as well as studying the Kansas symbols such as the Western Meadowlark, Cottonwood tree, and Little Bluestem grass! The students all did a great job at field day and I was very happy to see the kindness shown towards all competitors. For our final PE unit Mr. Theel did archery with the students which they loved! They especially loved Dinosaur hunting! A huge shout out to Mr. Theel for making this wonderful experience happen for our students; I know he put in a lot of extra hours! For the month of June I will be working on some continuing education as well as preparing some more hands-on units for next year (I hope to get back in the kitchen more with the students since COVID restrictions are being lifted!)
4TH-8TH LANGUAGE ARTS & SOCIAL STUDIES
Here we are at the end of another school year. As we began this fall, we were filled with the uncertainty of ever changing health code regulations. I am so thankful that we have been able to spend the entire year as in-person instruction. Many friends and family members around the country were not so fortunate. We are truly blessed to live and teach in this community and school. This month we have been working on cross-curricular research project. They each created a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation and wrote a research report. Fourth and fifth graders each wrote about a state. Sixth graders learned about a U.S. president. Seventh and eighth graders studied about a significant event in U.S. history and reported about how it has impacted our country and in some instances, the world. We also took time to participate in several fun, end-of-the-year activities. Among these were a track-and-field day in Marysville, a field trip to the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve near Strong City, and a game day at the local ball parks, complete with a bonfire cookout and water balloon fight.
On a personal note, many of you know that after nearly ten years in Maple Hill, my husband has accepted a pastoral call to a church south of Abilene. It is with a heavy heart that we must say, “Good bye,” to SJLS. As a parent as well as a teacher, I will truly miss this place and its people. You have been a great support to my family and me during the past four years. I know God has a plan for our future, and we will find His joy and blessings in this new chapter despite the sorrow in the passing of the old.
As my homeroom sings at the close of each day, “God be with you ‘til we meet again.”
Graduation, Awards Night and Spring Fling: Thank you for all those that attended this event and supported the students and their talents. It was a great way to end the school year! We appreciate everything the teachers, staff, students and families did to make this year and wonderful one at St. John!
Save the Dates!: Please Save the Date for Sunday, August 8th at the Alma City Park for our annual BTS Picnic & Pool Party. We are looking forward to kicking off another great school year at St. John Lutheran School!
The PTL is bringing back our Live & Silent Auction on Saturday, November 6, 2021. It is going to be a great event, and one you won’t want to miss, so please mark your calendars!
Amazon Smile: The PTL is signed up with AmazonSmile, which is perfect for Summer getaways shopping and all year through! This link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/48-0554347 will take you directly to smile.amazon.com in support of St. John Lutheran School. When you shop using this link, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible smile.amazon.com purchases to SJLS. Thank you so much for your support!
Box Tops: Box Tops have changed to fit today’s families! Scan your receipt in the new and improved Box Top mobile app. The app will instantly find participating products and add the earnings to our SJLS account. No more cutting, sorting and counting Box Tops. Scan any receipt from Dillons, Hyvee, Aldi’s, Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, etc. Simple, easy money for our school. Box Tops for Education helps teachers purchase supplies for their classrooms, art/music/science/PE supplies and much more!
Get the app today and start scanning! Encourage neighbors, family and friends to get the app as well. Let any of the PTL Officers know if you have any questions or need help! We will continue to take paper Box Tops so please keep saving them too. You can continue to drop your paper Box Tops off at the school, or contact a St. John PTL member and we would be happy to pick them up from you. Or you may give them to your favorite SJLS student to bring to school. So far, our 14 supporters have raised $23.90 in 2021 through Box Tops! Thank you for your support!
Dillon’s Community Rewards: We encourage anyone who is a Dillon’s PLUS card shopper to please take a couple of minutes to sign up for the rewards program. This is a program offered by Dillon’s to give back to local schools. Each time you make a purchase using your PLUS card, a percentage of your sales is donated back to SJLS in the form of cash. There is no extra charge to you, it is simply a donation by the Dillon’s company. Please use the following link to add your PLUS card to the rewards program: www.dillons.com/communityrewards and use the code AU093 to support SJLS.
Stop to Shop: St. John Lutheran School now has a Kickback Card at Stop 2 Shop! When you check out, just tell them you would like to use the SJLS Kickback card and then key in 7-8-5-7-6-5-3-9-1-4 (the school’s phone number). It’s so easy…be sure to participate all summer lon