Monday Memo, September 12, 2016

Principal’s Corner

As the Athletic Association CYC sports begin again, I want to thank the coaches for the countless hours of time that will be put into practices and games. A special thanks to our Board who is charged with making sure everything runs smoothly.

I hope that as parents you will remember that the coaches are volunteering their time to make this a great season for all. However, you are a vital piece to this endeavor because you and your child have made a commitment to a specific team. Please remember that it takes everyone on the team to show up for practices as well as to the games. It is one more life lesson that the students will learn from you.

What is emotional literacy? The ability to understand and express feelings is a vital part of safety. Learning to articulate our own emotions and being able to “read” the emotions of others can help us to build stronger interpersonal communications. Our own self-awareness can signal us to use coping strategies under stress or uncertainty, and with empathy toward others we can bring comfort and more fully connect to grow friendships. Social-emotional literacy is many times the fruit of good conversations between you and your child during celebrations, traumas, adversity, and daily experiences. Simply talking and praying about what is happening and connecting feelings and responses can cultivate optimism and confidence. Take time this week to eat as a family and to talk with one another.

Dates to Remember

Sept. 14  Auction Volunteer Meeting- 7 PM at LoRusso’s

Sept. 16   Auction Gift Giving Party

Sept. 19-23       ITBS Testing

Sept. 22   Eckert’s Field Trip (Kindergarten-2nd Grade)

Sept. 28   Health Screenings

Sept. 30   STUCO Pizza Day

Sept. 30   St. Ambrose Night at the Ballpark

Oct. 10     PTO Special Lunch

Oct. 14     End of First Quarter

Save the Date

The Auction Gift Giving Party is this Friday night, September 16th

from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the school cafeteria.

The party is in support of the St. Ambrose Auction “Kitchen Traditions.”

Bring an item to donate and stay to enjoy beverages and food courtesy of Lorenzo’s Trattoria.

Donation Suggestions:

Sports Items, Event Tickets, Memberships, Electronics, Gift Cards, Home Accessories, Cash, etc.

RSVP: [email protected]

If you bring a donation valued at $75 or more you will be entered in a raffle to win a complimentary seat at the auction.

Parking Note: Please park on the soccer lot as the church lot may be full due to a wedding rehearsal and scout meeting in the church. Thanks!

The auction willauction-clipart-1_auction be November 5, 2016!

Get your friends together to fill up a table! The auction has always sold out in the past so be sure to send in your reservation today!   Auction Packet 2016

If you are interested in volunteering for the auction, plan to attend the meeting on September 14th at 7pm at LoRusso’s on Watson. We are looking for volunteers to solicit donations, make baskets, set up for the auction, work the evening of the auction, and more. Come learn how you can put your talents to good use!

Speech Team

St. Ambrose Speech Team Tryouts will be September 15, 2016 at 3:10 PM.   Nancy Richter, a parent of St. Ambrose alum, will be the coach this year. If your child would like to try out, please have them pick up a form in the office. Students may bring something that is no longer than 3 minutes to read at the tryout. If they don’t have anything, they will be given time to read over something provided. At this point she is more interested in expression and facial presentation than memorization (unless they have something). Nancy understands that some might be nervous and new to the tryout, but she wants them to know that she has been doing this along time and understands. Thanks!

Choir

St. Ambrose is offering a school choir this year for students in 4th – 8th grade. Practices will be on Thursdays from 3-3:30 in the church starting September 15th. If you would like to sign up or need more information, please contact Mrs. Wagner.

Fast Direct

Learn more about how to use Fast Direct and make it work better for you.

http://ftp.fastdir.com/public/file/Sales_Tools/ParentWelcomePacket.pdf

Standardized Testing

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Next Monday, September 19, our students in grades 3-8 will begin taking the Iowa Assessments. This is just one type of measure we use to assess how our students are progressing and to determine any areas of strength and weakness in those grades levels. These are standardized tests, and they measure students against a norm population of students in their grade levels in the fall of the school year. Testing in the fall, allows the teachers to use the results diagnostically, and to better plan for the rest of the school year.

The test results are not used to determine report card grades, and will not appear on your child’s report card. The results will be given to you at parent-teacher conferences, and will then be put on the student’s permanent record. When your student applies to high schools, their Iowa scores are one of the things that go with that application.

You can help your child prepare for the test in a number of ways. First, make sure that you have an established schedule at home, which ensures your child gets adequate rest and good nutrition. It is recommended that school-age student should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night. A high protein breakfast helps brain function.

Second, give your child the message that these tests ARE important and that they DO count. You want your child to do his/her best and take it seriously.

Third, encourage your child to give a best effort. Please encourage the use of scratch paper. Some students seem to think it’s a sign of “smarts” to not use available scratch paper, or to be the first one finished.

Fourth, if your child tends to stress about tests, talk about some relaxation strategies like neck/shoulder rolls, stretches, and concentrating on your breathing.

If you have any questions about the Iowa Assessments, feel free to contact Mrs. Horner or Mrs. Grellner.

For additional information, check out the following article from the Archdiocese’s Education office.

De-Mystifying Standardized Tests: A Parent’s Guide

PTO News

 Be sure to check out the PTO planner page on Fast Direct for a list of upcoming events and printable flyers and registration forms. If you have any questions, please send them to the PTO fast direct account. Thanks!

Cardinals Night at the Ballpark

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LAST CALL!!! Reservation forms are due this week!

St. Ambrose is hosting a night at the ballpark on September 30th against the Pirates. It will also be fireworks night after the game. A flyer with the order form was sent out on fast direct and is also available on the school website and Facebook page under events. Tickets are $14. The last day to turn in your reservation is September 14th. It is sure to be a fantastic evening!

 Campfire Night and Square Dance

PTO will host a free event for adults only on the evening of Oct. 7th. Come and meet fellow parents by the campfire and kick up your heels with a square dance called by Mr. Dibb. Look for a flyer coming out through Fast Direct.

 Class Auction Baskets

Room Parents have sent out notes requesting items for the class baskets for the auction. Please be sure to send in your donation by September 30th with a completed donation form. Donation forms have been sent home and more are available in the school office. We are looking for 100% participation on the baskets. Each class that reaches 100% participation will receive a dress down day. If you have any questions, please contact your class’s room parent.

Box Tops

Remember to collect and send in Box Tops and Labels for Education. They are an easy way for our school to raise extra money. We will be collecting them all year long. Thanks!

Tables Needed!

If you have a folding high top table PTO could borrow for the Auction Gift Giving Party on September 16th, please send PTO a Fast Direct. Thanks!

Faculty and Club Installations

At each of last All School Masses, the Faculty and student organizations including Student Council, Safety Patrol, and Student Ambassadors received a special blessing and recited their club’s oath.

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In the Classroom

Mrs. Entrikin’s PreK-3 students have been working on sorting shapes and colors.

In Mrs. Seaton’s PreK-4, students are studying the letter G. In the sensory table they are making gardens with dirt and flowers.
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The 7th graders and Kindergarteners meet up in the cafeteria to be paired up with their buddies for Friday All-School Masses. They spent time getting to know each other and then headed out to the playground.

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Mrs. Goetsch’s 4th grade class went to the STEM lab to complete a lab observing how erosion and weathering take place using sugar cubes as dirt and vinegar as acid rain.

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If you have pictures to share during the year, please send them to Jenn Kelly at [email protected] or through Fast Direct to the Website account in the Staff directory. Thanks!

think-e1391487178215Think Before You Speak: 5 Ways to Help You Choose Your Words Wisely

BY JILL TOMAC / TIPS FOR TRANSFORMATION & INSPIRATION /

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” ~Napoleon Hill

As we sat around the dinner table, each family member recounting the “best learning of the day”, my 1st grade daughter jumped up to grab a piece of paper. She enthusiastically made a big happy face in the center of the page, and then with great pride wrote her name across the top, B-E-C-C-A.

She held up her paper and said, “Go ahead, say some mean things to Becca”.

So with initial hesitation my ten year old jumped in with “you’re stupid”. As the words came out, Becca slowly grabbed a corner of the paper and folded a piece of it down. One by one we began to add our comments “you can’t play with us”, “you are wrong”, “your dress is ugly”, “this activity is dumb”, “I don’t like you”. With each harsh phrase Becca continued to crumple the paper a little more until at last it was in a crunched up ball.

We then received our next instruction, “Now say some nice things to Becca”.

Feeling pretty bad about the last portion of the exercise we eagerly jumped in with “you have good ideas”, “you’re so strong on the monkey bars”, “you listened well in class today”, “you’re so smart”, “I love you”. With each spoken kindness, Becca un-crumpled a portion of the paper.

When we shared our final word of kindness and the paper was unfurled, she said…

Do you see that even with your kind words, the paper is still damaged? It will never be as smooth as it was before you used your mean words. Even though your nice words opened up the paper, the damage of the crumpling is still there.”

What a profound and poignant lesson taught by the youngest member of our family.

Becca’s 1st grade teacher used this exercise to demonstrate that once the gossip, complaint and unkind words are released, they cannot be taken back. The damage caused by harsh words cannot be erased.

In one of my all time favorite books by don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements, the first and most important agreement is: “Be Impeccable With Your Word”. It is through your word that you create everything, “The word is a force; it is the power to express and communicate, to think, and thereby create events in your life…you can create the most beautiful dream or you can destroy everything around you”.

Yet somehow, we are not always thoughtful or intentional with our words. You know those times when you have encountered a person who disappoints… makes a mistake… doesn’t follow through on their commitment… drops the ball…hurts another.

So you may enter the conversation from a place of fear, frustration or anger. And these negative emotions may just alter the words that you choose. It is during these times that you may feel the need to “put them in their place” or “vent your frustration”. While your unkind words may seem justified, they most likely will not get you the result you are looking for. Harsh words may feel cathartic, but the long-term damage can be severe.

Becca’s teacher shared the concept “your words should be kind, true and necessary”. When you consider these three elements you are more likely to hit the mark. Feedback can be direct. Opinions should be shared. Confrontation is healthy. Disagreement is necessary. However, your reaction – your word choices – will either inspire another or poison the relationship.

Here are 5 ways to help choose your words wisely:

You can continue reading the article at http://mariashriver.com/blog/2015/10/think-before-you-speak-5-ways-to-help-you-choose-your-words-wisely-jill-tomac/

High School Nights

Mark your calendars for the 2016 High School Nights. They are a great way to learn about the application process and find out about individual schools. A schedule of the nights is available at http://school.stambroseonthehill.com/blog/fall-2016-high-school-night-schedule/

High School Shadow Days

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Kougar for a Day on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

7:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

8th grade girls come check out Rosati-Kain!

For those who would like to know a little more about the spirit of Rosati-Kain, join us for a half-day of class observation and discussion with faculty, students and ambassadors. Family tours are not required to join in this day!

Scouting News

Scout Information

Archdiocesan Family Programs

Below are two invitations to events offered by the Archdiocese’s Office of Natural Family Planning.  Families from St. Ambrose have attended these programs in the past and have found them to be very well done and beneficial.