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Mrs. Maura Nash, Principal

Notes from Mrs. Nash 5.24.19

Posted on May 27, 2019

Dear SJF Families, I hope you had a wonderful week. Thank everyone who came out and participated in the School Board’s two “Desserts & Discussion” feedback sessions over the last two weeks. We had great turnout and very much appreciate everyone’s input. I know the board and committee members are already hard at work comparing notes and reviewing the ideas that were raised. We look forward to reporting out more broadly on next steps in our strategic planning efforts in the coming months. If you weren’t able to attend but would like to contribute feedback on any of the five focus areas - academics/curriculum, mission & culture, finances & fundraising, marketing & communications, and campus space planning - or get more involved in our planning work, please feel free to email sjfspc@gmail.com.

Also, please don’t forget to fill out the 5Essentials survey if you haven’t already. The survey window closes at the end of next week. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and the more of us that participate, the better the feedback we’ll get back. You can complete the survey by clicking here: https://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent.

I want to thank Modie Lavin and the Conner Lowry Foundation from the bottom of my heart for generously providing scholarship funds to 4 of our 7th grade students for the 2019-2020 school year in Conner’s name. Conner was proud to be a Falcon and died fighting for our country. It was his mission in life to “live life large” and to always take care of those around him. This year, in order to apply for the scholarship, Modie Lavin embraced our “Be the Nice Kid” mantra, and students had to conduct an act of kindness and document it with photographs and an essay discussing the act along with how it made them feel and what the impact of their project was. Congratulations to our winners this year: Lucy Mlyniec, Cole Adamski, Kate Griffin and Grace Monahan. In addition to the scholarship, Modie Lavin and the Foundation have also graciously donated funds to renovate our gym in Conner’s name. Our kids are so fortunate to utilize this new facility in addition to having the daily reminder of Conner’s sacrifice. Thank you Modie Lavin and the Conner Lowry Foundation; we are eternally grateful! On the heels of Memorial Day, perhaps we can all embrace Modie Lavin’s message for this weekend and have a moment of reflection to give thanks for all of those brave men and women who have died for our freedom.

Thank you so much for your continued support of Catholic education. Please take time this weekend to pray for all of our veterans and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Maura Nash

Notes from Mrs. Nash May 17 2019

Posted on May 20, 2019

Dear SJF Families,

There has been so much excitement, joy and anticipation this week in the building as The Falcon Theater Guild prepared for their presentation of “Seussical Jr” directed by our fearless 7th & 8th grade science teacher, Ms. Amanda McAndrews. Ms. McAndrews, along with many other dedicated faculty including Ms. Cathy Browne, Mrs. Caffrey and Mr. Gibson worked tirelessly with our parent volunteers, Mr. & Mrs. Black, Mrs. Bonko, Mrs. Goosherst, Mrs. Guinane, Mr. and Mrs. Luzin, Mrs. McDonagh and Ms. Millies. The play “could not have gone on” without the energy and assistance of these individuals coupled with are talented students; thank you for bringing this to our school and brightening our days!

One of the improvements we are working on with the School Advisory Board is our marketing and communications platform. This upcoming Wednesday, May 22nd, we are so excited to have a photographer visit the school and church to capture candid moments and our school’s beauty for future marketing (website/social media) purposes. We hope to get many great shots of faculty, staff and students. If you would not like your child’s image used for any of our school’s future marketing, please let me know.

Stay tuned for additional information about changes to our tuition payment system for next year. For the 2019-2020 school year, we will be utilizing FACTS, an online system to pay tuition. We are looking forward to a more seamless and user-friendly approach for our families. More information is to come.

The celebration of the arts continues into next week! Monday, May 20th, our SJF student band will be performing for their fellow classmates during the day and in the evening for our parish community and school families. Both concerts will be in the church.

As always, thank you for your continued support of Catholic education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from May 10 2019

Posted on May 16, 2019

Dear SJF Families,

The month of May is proving to be incredibly busy, featuring a whirlwind of activities and emotions! There is a great deal of excitement throughout the building as we anticipate warm weather (finally!) and the end of the year celebratory events recognizing the many accomplishments and transitions into our next chapter at SJF. As we move forward, I have much to be grateful for and many exciting announcements to share.

Thank you so much to our Reading Buddies! We are blessed at St. John Fisher to have a group of ladies who volunteer their time as Reading Buddies every Monday afternoon. The Reading Buddy program pairs a first- or second-grader who needs additional reading support with a caring, supportive adult who focuses solely on that child for one half-hour, reading and working on phonics skills. A special thank you to our volunteers: Mrs. Maureen Connolly, Mrs. Debby Dillon, Mrs. Kathy Guinane, Sr. Jean McGrath, and Mrs. Mary Nitsche for their energy, time and kindness!

While we are on the topic of reading, I would like to announce that we have hired Ms. Mary Schiavone as our FULL-TIME reading specialist for next year! Many of you may already know Ms. Schiavone. She has been a dedicated and dynamic third grade teacher at SJF for the past 7 years and is finishing up her MA in Literacy Curriculum this month. Ms. Schiavone attended Mother McAuley High School, Saint Xavier University and The American College of Education. Because Ms. Schiavone has a history with our school, I know she will hit the ground running with her talent and expertise. I cannot wait to see the incredible enhancements Ms. Schiavone and her new position will bring to better support our students, teachers and reading curriculum.

Speaking of support, SJF has had a counselor position posted since the beginning of the year. Through our search process, we were fortunate enough to discover Mrs. Nikki Carey. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that we have hired Mrs. Carey to be our FULL-TIME school counselor for next year! Mrs. Carey comes to us with an extensive wealth of knowledge in mental health services and school counseling and is also an SJF community member and parent to 2 (next year it will be 4) of our Falcons! Most recently, Mrs. Carey was the Director of Counseling at Mother McAuley High School. Prior to her leadership role at McAuley, Mrs. Carey worked in many different facets of their counseling program including college counseling. Before McAuley, Mrs. Carey worked with adolescents and teens struggling with mental health issues at the University of Chicago Orthogenic School. Mrs. Carey attended Mother McAuley and went on to Loyola University for both her BA and MEd. Coupled with Mrs. Carey’s vast and impressive background, she brings an enormous amount of energy, love and commitment to our school and community. I am so excited to welcome Mrs. Carey aboard our ship! Please HELP Mrs. Carey by clicking here and providing your perspective on this needs’ assessment. Your feedback will allow Mrs. Carey to tailor her planning for next year to best fit our school’s needs.

Finally, we have had many accomplishments this past week including First Holy Communion and May Crowning. Thank you to Dr. Chermak, who led our 2nd and 8th grade students and teachers in these beautiful ceremonies. I would be remiss if I didn’t also congratulate our 8th grade A volleyball team on their GOLD BALL VICTORY! Great job, all!

As always, I am so grateful for all of you. Thank you for continued support of Catholic education.

 

Mrs. Maura Nash

Notes from Mrs. Nash 5.3.19

Posted on May 05, 2019

Dear SJF Families,

I hope you have all survived the rain! The sunshine today is such a welcome change in the weather as this week has been so dreary. Fortunately, it has not put a damper on all of the happenings in our building, one of the most exciting of them being First Holy Communion! Our second graders have been practicing tirelessly for their big day. Please join me in praying for our First Holy Communicants as they partake in this sacrament tomorrow morning. Thank you so much to our dedicated teachers: Mrs. Ade, Ms. Broncato, Mrs. Connelly, Mrs. Kellam and Dr. Chermak for all of your incredible work preparing our children for this important day.

By now, I hope you all had an opportunity to read my e-mail pertaining to the 5 Essentials Survey as well as the upcoming Desserts and Discussion Roundtable Events. These are incredibly important elements of our strategic planning initiative, and I am so grateful for your engagement in these efforts. I look forward to collaborating with all of you to enhance our school community.

I cannot stress enough to please communicate with your children about the child luring reports we have received this week.As the weather continues to warm up, our children will be playing outside more frequently, and their safety is of my utmost priority! Please report any suspicious behavior to school.

Congratulations to all of our boys volleyball teams who have been experiencing great success this season! Their seasons will be coming to an end this week with many games this upcoming Sunday at Brother Rice. Best of luck to all of the teams – Go Falcons!

As always, thank you so much for your continued support of Catholic education.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Maura Nash

Strategic Planning Launch

Posted on May 03, 2019

Dear SJF Families,

I'm writing to you today with an important announcement and to ask for your assistance.

Ever since joining the Fisher family as a parent four years ago, I have had an appreciation for the quality of the education and the sense of community my children have experienced here at SJF.  That appreciation has only grown since becoming more involved in the daily life of the school first as a teacher and for the last few months as Principal.  My gratitude especially for the contributions of the many talented, dedicated people - students, teachers, parents, volunteers alike - that truly make us a "Catholic Community Like No Other" can't be expressed enough.  You all inspire me to do everything I can to keep our school and our students prepared for the future without losing the unique strengths our faith-based and tradition-filled mission offers them today. 

In that spirit, I am very excited to announce the public launch of a strategic planning effort for our school.  For the last several months, members of the School Board have been hard at work in the background laying out a formal process to help me and the entire SJF community begin identifying and prioritizing some long-term goals for the school.  We now need your support of two near-term initiatives to get this process kicked off right:

1. Completion of the 5Essentials Survey:  SJF is providing teachers, parents, and students the opportunity to participate in a 5Essentials survey pilot program through the Archdiocese.  This survey has been developed by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research and gathers data related to research-tested factors that can predict important elements of student outcomes and overall school success.  This survey will be conducted May 1-May 31.  Your honest, prompt participation in the survey would be greatly appreciated and is strongly encouraged.  All responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.  To take the survey, please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent/.  I'd ask that only one parent/guardian from each household complete the survey on behalf of your family.  It should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete.  If you have any questions about the survey or you do not want your child to participate (all students in grades 4-8 will be given the opportunity to also complete the survey themselves in school), please let me know or feel free to e-mail dmaxwell@sjfschool.net.

2. Attendance at one of two planned Desserts & Discussion roundtable events:  In addition to the 5Essentials survey, the School Board welcomes your qualitative input into our planning process and your ideas for school improvement.  To help facilitate that feedback, we have scheduled two discussion forums on Tuesday, May 14th at 7p and on Sunday, May 19th after 10a mass.  We will kick off both events with a brief overview of why we want to create a strategic plan in the first place, what the proposed planning process looks like, and who's involved.  The main purpose of the meeting, though, is for School Board and strategic planning committee members to simply listen and be sounding boards for your ideas, concerns, and questions around five main topic areas: academic advancement and curriculum, school mission and culture, financial health and fundraising, campus space planning and maintenance, and school communications and marketing.  We'll send out some more details and conversation starters closer to the events.  For now, please save the dates, so you can join us, and if you know you'll be in attendance, please register at http://bit.ly/SJFRoundTable.  Coffee and sweet treats will be provided.

No doubt, lots more is to come here, but I'm hopeful these two initiatives will go a long way to successfully launching our planning efforts before this school year is out.  To do so, they will require the interest, involvement, and investment of the entire community, so please participate and engage with the process as much as you can and encourage others to do the same.  Thank you in advance for your time and attention.  I really think this process will help us maintain SJF’s track record of academic and social success in the near-term while ensuring the strength and vitality of the school for years to come.

Finally, should you have any questions, would like to get more involved in the process yourself, or have feedback for us you won't be able to provide via the survey or at a scheduled roundtable event, feel free to let me know or reach out to the planning committee  OR  Joan Rogers and Joe Goldrick who are co-chairing the planning committee for the School Board] at sjfspc@gmail.com.

We always welcome your input!

Mrs. Maura Nash


 


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