From the Desk of Sr. Mary Grace

Dear Saint James Families,

Greetings in Christ! As we begin a new semester, I have been filled with gratitude for each of our students. Whenever we return from Christmas break, there is a fresh start, but also a sense that everyone is a bit more “grown-up.”  I look forward to seeing the good things God will do in each student in the coming months!   

We are proud of our teachers and students who continue to work diligently to make progress each day. As you know, our students are in the midst of their winter MAP testing this week, which, along with classroom assessments, will provide valuable data to teachers so they may meet the needs of each student.  Students have set goals for not only their MAP scores, but also goals in virtue, academics, and personal growth for the second semester. Students will share these with you, along with evidence of their growth in their new digital portfolios, at our conferences on February 15-16.   

Teachers continue to work collaboratively to increase student achievement in language arts by meeting in grade bands once a week to discuss lesson planning and analyze assessment data. LeAnn Nickelsen, an educational consultant from Solution Tree, is providing quarterly workshops on formative assessment, lesson planning, writing and discussion. LeAnn has visited SJS twice so far and will return on February 8 as well as for our professional development day on March 15.    

Catholic Schools Week is right around the corner, a special week set aside nationally to celebrate the gift of Catholic education. A committee has been planning a variety of activities to highlight, recognize, and thank groups in our community that make our school possible. On the weekend of January 28 and 29, our Student Ambassadors will be speaking at our regional parishes and all students are encouraged to wear their uniform to Mass to represent our school. A complete calendar, suitable for your refrigerator, can be found at this link!  

Our application for the 2024-2025 school year is open for new families and we have received a good number of applications for all grades. Re-enrollment for current families will take place from February 12-23. Watch your inbox for your re-enrollment packet!  It is highly likely that we will have waiting lists in several grades once we begin accepting new students. If you have any questions regarding re-enrollment, please contact Jennifer Moran.  

Black and White Knight is approaching, and we are looking forward to a wonderful celebration of our community. This is our largest fundraiser and all the proceeds of the event will be used towards ensuring that we are able to sustain equitable salaries for our faculty and staff and to bridge the gap between tuition and the cost of education at SJS. This year all silent auction and class projects will be online and available to everyone for bidding!  Wait until you see your childrens’ creations! Thank you to Jen Coen, chair, and our planning committee, all of our sponsors, to those who have donated auction items, to those attending and to those who purchased and sold raffle tickets. We appreciate your support and ask that you consider how your family can contribute.  

Though it is January, we are already planning for summer and next school year!  We will be hosting summer activity and sports camps for all grades at SJS once again and will be launching registration for all of them on our website, with online payments. We are also putting together a comprehensive uniform guide with pictures which will be available soon to provide clarity in the different uniform options and vendors as we fully implement the uniform next year.  

We are blessed in so many ways. Thank you for your continued support and know of my prayers for your family. Do not hesitate to reach out with any concerns; I’m always happy to hear from you!   

In Christ,

Sister Mary Grace, O.P. 
Principal, St. James Catholic School