Monday Memo September 19, 2016

Principal’s Corner

I came upon this article written by Dr. Blackburn recently and found myself praying with it. I hope this may cause you to stop and ponder for a few minutes.

“Approximately 500 years ago, Saint Ignatius of Loyola developed a daily way of praying that invited people to examine their lives so that they could better service God. This prayer, the Daily Examen, is part of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. One of the five parts of the daily Examen is to “Face your shortcomings.” Here I am challenged to face up to what is wrong—in my life and in me. The practice might also be called our daily examination of conscience.

This certainly runs counter-culture to a societal trend to blame everyone and everything else for what goes wrong in my life, in my home, in my country, in the world, and even in my classroom. How often do we hear a student or a parent declare “It is not my fault?” Reasons or excuses that students offer run the gamut: My homework is not done because soccer practice ran late last night. I’m late for class because my alarm didn’t go off. Parents don’t return signed permission slips or forms because the teacher must have failed to place it in their student’s take home folder. Sure, accidents and unforeseen circumstances happen; but many times folks are reluctant to assume any personal responsibility for their own actions or the consequences of their decisions.

We can all benefit spiritually from the daily Examen in spending some time facing our shortcomings. God already knows us inside-out and sideways. God loves and accepts us warts and all. Then why bother examining our shortcomings and faults? As Thomas Merton wrote in his famous prayer “I believe that my desire to please you, does in fact please you, Lord.” We respond to God’s great love and mercy with humble admission that we so often miss the mark with what God expects of us.

The ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, is known to have said that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Great Christian theologians agree. Part of our Christian spirituality is to honestly and humbly face our shortcomings and then to ask where I need God in the day to come. On a daily basis we can deepen our relationship with the Lord who knows us better than we know ourselves.

At the end of the day, our students will learn more by our actions than by what we say to them. Are we modeling ways that students will grow up to be able to work together even in disagreements, to be able to respect one another in spite of differing viewpoints, and to be able to find solutions to problems?

Dates to Remember

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. 6      PTO Board Meeting 7 PM in the Cafeteria

Oct. 7       Campfire Night & Square Dance for Adults

Oct. 10     PTO Special Lunch

Oct. 14     End of First Quarter

The auction is November 5, 2016!

auction-clipart-1_auctionGet 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! Table reservation and sponsorship forms are available in the Auction Packet 2016.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Auction Gift Giving Party this past Friday evening! It was a huge success and great to see everyone. Thanks to Larry Fuse and Lorenzo’s for the delicious food!

VBRD Virtue Selfies

Now that we are a month into the school year, we’d like you to think about a virtue that you can cultivate as a family to help you practice our VBRD program at home.

Here is a simple family prayer circle you can have at home.

Please take a moment to read the Colossians verse together:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

As a family, discuss the following:

1) What words from the prayer really jump out at you? Why?

2) What would be a good virtue for us to choose as a family? (It doesn’t have to come from the Colossians prayer. Feel free to choose any virtue that you/your children want.)

Our family chose _________________ as our virtue because _____________________________________________________________.

Write your family virtue on a piece of paper, decorate it and display it somewhere in your house for all to see. Send in a selfie of your family with your virtue and we will post the family selfies in the hallway outside the office. You can send your selfies to us as an email attachment.

We will be asking you to complete another family activity later in the year, so be sure to keep working on virtues!IMG_0550

Thanks for your support in helping us make St. Ambrose School a great place to be.

Your St. Ambrose VBRD committee,

Kate Black, Emily Elmore and Lisa Horner

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 youhave any questions, please send them to the PTO fast direct account. Thanks!

 unknown PTO Board Meeting  All are welcome at our next board meeting on October 6th at 7:00 PM in the cafeteria. Everyone who attends 3 PTO meetings this year will be eligible to vote on the board positions at the April election.

 Cardinals Night at the Ballpark  Thanks to everyone who purchased Cardinals tickets! We still have a few tickets left so if you are interested they will be sold on a first come basis.

We will be sending the tickets home the week of September 26th. You will receive a Fast Direct message on the day the tickets are sent home so you will know to check your child’s backpack.

tent-and-campfire-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-4ycllt-clipartCampfire 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. The evening will begin at 7:00 PM. Plan to bring your camping chairs and cooler. More details are available on the flyer sent 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.

4850483_origBox 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!

In the Classroom

The PreK-3 students are learning about the letter B. They went on a bear hunt and had a “beary” special snack, They ended the day with a science experiment to see what happens when you put gummy bears in water. The class had a great day exploring and learning.

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Mrs. Ruggeri’s 1st Grade class spent a Daily Five session listening to reading.

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3rd Grade created Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast an original telling of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.

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The 5th Graders are busy in Social Studies working on their Free Enterprise projects.

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In science class, the 7th graders completed a lab demonstrating how to find the volume of an irregular solid.

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Should I Let My Kids Fail?


Can I pour that juice for you? Are you sure that’s the right answer? We ask our kids lots of questions each day in the hopes of avoiding minor messes and stained shirts, and because we want to build up their confidence. But here’s one question we should be asking instead: should I let my kids fail?

It’s a scary concept. As parents, we want to see our kids succeed in everything they do, whether it’s acing their science homework, making the varsity softball team or simply making a sandwich without smearing peanut butter and jelly all over the kitchen. And often, we try to push our kids toward success with constant reminders and prodding, and we jump in to rescue them when we see a risk of failure. But is that more hurt than help?

We’re well-intentioned as parents, wanting to keep our kids happy and feeling good about themselves and their accomplishments. But when kids don’t experience what it’s like to fail, they miss the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and know how to improve for the future. Kids that don’t know failure have trouble knowing what to do when problems do arise – they don’t have the confidence to take risks, they won’t courageously face their problems head-on or roll with the punches. As parents, we can be overly focused on the short-term success, not knowing that we’re affecting our kids’ potential to achieve success in the long run.

When we allow our kids to face failure, they learn to find creative solutions to their problems. When we rescue them, kids may think that everyone always wins or that things always work out – and that’s not true. According to child and adolescent psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, kids that are constantly bailed out of problem situations will come to avoid situations where they might fail. As they grow older, that can increase anxiety and depression when they need to depend on themselves in tough situations.

So, is it time to ask, should I let my kids fail? Don’t get caught up in the words – making mistakes is a normal part of everyday life. Mistakes make us human, not failures. Mistakes are a chance to learn and will help us adapt to new and difficult situations as we encounter them throughout life. In the long run, making mistakes and learning from them will give our kids more self-confidence and resiliency than when we swoop in to save them from failure. Here are some great strategies to help your kids face failure and learn from the experience:

  1. Take a leap – as a family. Let your kids know that risk-taking is an important value in your family, and follow through with your actions. Share with your children how you’ve made mistakes and kept on trying. When risk-taking is a family value, kids will want to take on more new challenges and experiences, whether it’s trying the scariest roller coaster in the park or signing up for calculus. You’ll also be more comfortable with trying things outside your comfort zone, like picking up a hammer for Habitat for Humanity, learning a new language or starting a new exercise program.
  2. It’s okay for failure to be familiar. No matter what it is – tying our shoes, sinking free throws or diagramming a sentence – we’re bound to have a few hiccups along the way as we learn. Make sure your kids know to expect some failures as they try new things and let them know that it’s normal and expected. Emphasize the positives of learning from your mistakes and how we can learn from our miscues.
  3. Look at those who have risen above. Some of the most successful people in the world, from business tycoons to all-star athletes, had to overcome major obstacles and failures throughout their careers – think Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey. Share these stories with your children, and pepper the conversation with personal stories of how you’ve improved following difficulties in your own life.
  4. Run a post-game analysis. While we naturally want to step in when our kids do fail, we need to avoid rescuing them. We can, however, support them and do a run-down of what happened and what to try next time. Try empathizing, saying, “I can tell that was hard for you. So now that you’ve been through this, what would you try next time?” Don’t solve all the problems for them, but allow them to build up their critical thinking skills to help them come to a better result in the future.
  5. Support your student by letting go. Many times parents feel just as much pressure for their kids to bring home a straight-A report card as the students do. School is one of the hardest places to let our kids fail, but it’s one of the best – and most important – places for them to learn to take on responsibility for their own success. Learning to manage assignments and practices, dealing with teachers and classmates, and improving their work will all serve them well as they head to college and the workforce, and in everyday life. This doesn’t mean being removed from your kids’ homework or activities, but offering the right kind of support.

Be clear that how your kids do in school is up to them, and give them the tools and resources to solve problems when they arise. Help them to recognize when they may be struggling and how to deal with it – talking to the teacher after class or studying with a friend, for example. Run through how a meeting with a teacher to discuss a test grade might go – but make sure your student goes to the teacher, not you. And if the report card comes home with poor grades, let your kids experience the consequences of the situation to truly learn an important lesson. Encourage and support them in raising their grades, but make sure the responsibility to improve is in their hands. As they earn grades that they have worked so hard to achieve, they will be proud of what they’ve done, and they’ll have a great work ethic and sense of responsibility to carry them through college and beyond.

Disappointment is a regular aspect of all our lives, so the answer to “should I let my kids fail?” is clear: giving our kids the tools they need to roll with the punches and bounce back from failure will be a lesson that will serve them the rest of their life. As much as we’d like to, we can’t protect our kids forever, but we can give them the skills to be the best they can be. Early experiences with failure will help them make tough decisions as they grow older and ultimately guide their successes.

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

dubourg Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 8.28.58 AM Dragon for a Day

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!