St. Peter’s Postings
Little Things…Great Love! – May 2019
Fr. Gartland Walk…Fun, Friendship and a Special Guest!
St. Peter School recently held its 8th annual Fr. Gartland Memorial Walk on Wednesday, May 1st on the school and parish grounds. With the help of all of our teachers and staff and so many volunteer parents and family members, we celebrated the past, present and future of our school with a PTA Hot Lunch Picnic, walking and running as well as games, snacks and making Ministry Cheer Cards for parishioners. Facing the threat of rain, the sun began to appear from behind the clouds and it was a glorious day. Pastor Fr. Angelo Patti, led the opening prayer and the our friend and classmate, Ian Rosenbaum, had the honor of declaring the Walk OPEN by tearing the ribbon. Ian was also able to hang out with all of us for the day which was a beautiful blessing since he has been absent during his medical treatments. But his smile couldn’t be denied and neither could ours! And if the day couldn’t get any sweeter, about half way through the afternoon a rainbow appeared around the sun in full color! There is no doubt in the hearts and souls of our school family that Fr. O’Neill was looking down on us with a smile. Thanks to all teachers, staff, Fr. Patti, Mr. Sanner, parent volunteers (and siblings!) and our PTA Crew for a wonderful day! Funds raised from this fundraiser will help purchase additional student Ipads for the school. Donations can be sent to the school through May 10th.
Spelling Bee, SCRABBLE and Vocations Contests Round up 2018-2019 Contests
At St. Peter School we value the relationship we have with other schools and community organizations and work hard to support different events and give our students the opportunity to shine with their unique gifts! On Tuesday, April 16th, finalists from Grades 4-6 competed in our school Spelling Bee. Each class had previously held their own contests to determine two finalists per class who then competed against each other in the school’s Spelling Bee. This year’s classroom finalists were: Grade 4 – Emily Fisher and Lane Svonavec; Grade 5 – Sidney Riggs and Felicity Petrosky; Grade 6 – Jude Glover and Hannah Jacob. Fifth grader Sidney Riggs won the Bee and Jude Glover was the alternate / runner-up. Sidney then traveled to Lock Haven Catholic School on Thursday, May 2nd to compete against students from the other Diocesan schools. While he did not win the diocesan competition, we couldn’t be more proud of him and all his hard work and spirit representing our school. Special thanks to Mrs. Ulerich for her hard work as our school Spelling Bee coordinator and for travelling to Lock Haven with Sidney for the competition.
St. Peter School also participated in the 2019 Diocesan Vocations Poster / Essay / Poetry Contest earlier this Spring. All students created an original poster around the theme, “Open Your Heart to Respond to the Call of God” for the contest and some students also entered essays and works of poetry. We had three students chosen as winners from our school this year and they are: Aviana Shockey (Grade 1 Poster) received 1st Place; Gabriel Gary (Grade 2 Poster) received 1st Place; Declan Egal (Grade 5 Poster) received 3rd Place. All three students will be the special guests of Bishop Mark Bartchak at the Vocations Dinner on Friday, May 10th. Congratulations!
On Friday, May 3rd, 12 students in grades 4-6 participated in the Somerset County SCRABBLE tournament held at Somerset Christian School with students from public and private schools across Somerset County. These teams were chosen from our school SCRABBLE tournament that was held on Friday, April 5th and are led by coach and school facilitator, Miss. Juliann Isgan. This year’s finalists and county participants are: Grade 4 – Jake Stoy & Colin McClelland, Emily Fisher and Chloe Sorensen. Grade 5 – Sidney Riggs & Cruz Santoyo, Felicity Petrosky & Declan Egal. Grade 6 – Hannah Jacob & Abigail Ledney, Callen Miller & Cole Johnson. Well done everyone!
All of these events and contests take extraordinary extra time by teachers and students during very busy days and includes, very often, after-school hours for teachers without extra compensation. So we extend
Reading Rocks!….100 Point Club and Summer Reading!
St. Peter School participates in the Renaissance Place “Accelerated Reader Program.” Each grading period students conference with their teachers and set point goals for themselves. Students accrue points by reading books of their choice and then taking online AR tests on the computers at school or during Family Reading Night. At the end of end of each grading period, students are given incentive prizes for getting very close to, reaching or exceeding their goal. We also recognize students who attain 100 points or more. They are given a certificate and treated to lunch with the principal. There are often school-wide incentives as well including extra recesses, pop-sicles and student/faculty baseball games. While the games and prizes are fun, it is our deep hope that this program will above all instill a passion for books and reading. It is well-known and documented how important reading from a very young age dramatically impacts not only students’ writing and vocabulary but their overall academic achievement throughout high school and college. Studies show that especially reading aloud to children from infancy exposes them to thousands even millions more words than a child receives just listening to people talk or watching tv. This results in children starting Kindergarten with a much larger vocabulary – one of the main dimensions of reading fluency. We will be sending home our “Summer Soars” Reading packets in the next few weeks and we hope that you will fill a bag with books and magazines and pack it up with the sports equipment and snacks when you head to vacation or the ball field. Above all we also hope parents will read in front of their kids and talk about what they are reading as it is not the school’s job alone to teach a love of reading. We’ve listed below a few links to some great articles about reading and its direct impact on student learning. Happy Reading!
Class of 2019…Seven Years Already?
The St. Peter School Class of 2019 will celebrate their graduation on Tuesday evening, June 4th, with a Graduation Mass at 6:30 pm followed by a reception in the Hall hosted by the fifth grade families. The reception is invite-only (which should be mailed in the next week) as we have a very large class to celebrate this year. All are welcome at the Graduation Mass. This class of sixth graders was our first Kindergarten class when we started Kindergarten in the Fall of 2012. There was such a “new” feeling of excitement in the school as our smallest students joined our family. And now they will soon step forward from here to live out their amazing lives in their next schools. We know we won’t soon forget the mark they have had on our school or their place in our history and we pray that they will take some of what they have learned and go out and bring the love of Christ to others in even small ways each day. “God is so good Sixth Grade!….And so are you!”
To Everything There is a Season…
Watching God work in our school is always a privilege. To see how He cares for us and who He brings to our school each year, in new students and teachers, and watch them become beloved members of our school family reminds us how much God loves our little school. This year we welcomed Mrs. Cassandra Burke to our school as our third grade teacher and she easily and joyfully committed herself to our school and her third grade students. Bringing technology to the forefront and inspiring all of us to try some new strategies, she balanced the demands of her job and her very young family at home. Recently she was afforded the opportunity to stay home with her 1 year old son and after prayerful discernment (and a fair share of tears) she will leave us at the end of the year to be with her son at home. Please read her letter below:
Dear Parents and School Family,
Moving back to my hometown and having the opportunity to spend my sixth year of teaching at this magical school that inspired me to become a teacher has been a literal dream come true. My whole life I always told my mother that “I want to be a teacher and I will teach at St. Peter’s.” So you can imagine how excited I was when a position became available this past school year. Being a part of this school and getting to know my students has been every bit the blessing I always dreamed. As we all know, sometimes God has other plans for our lives despite what we think we want. Last April I had my first child and he has brought immense joy into my life. At this season of life I feel God is calling me to be at home with him and to leave teaching for now. I am sad to give up my place here at the school, but I know He is guiding me on the right path for my family. This school has and will always be so special to me and I look forward to a future not without St. Peter’s, but a future where I play a different role here other than classroom teacher. I will remain a part of the school as a substitute, after school tutor, and who knows what else! Thank you, especially to my third grade parents, for your kindness, patience, and trust this last year.
Mrs. Cassandra Burke
We plan to add Mrs. Burke to our substitute teacher list and she may also be available for private tutoring as needed. She will continue to be active in the St. Peter’s Parish as well as the choir so we are sure to see her around. We will begin interviewing for our third grade teacher position after school lets out for the summer and we extend blessings and much thanks from all of us to Mrs. Burke and her family.
Two Little Words…But Full of Big Love…Thank You!
How can two words sum it up? One of the most powerful things to witness in our school is how easily and beautifully God works in and among our school family each year. The kindness and sweetness of the students, the endless extra hours and compassion of teachers and the commitment of spirit of our families and the financial generosity of our parish and EITC contributors truly is a reminder of the very big love God has for our school. It takes my breath away. Every. Time. Without a doubt, this is also so richly evident in the heart of our volunteers. From our Hot Lunch crew and Morning and Recess Volunteers (and their stroller kiddos in tow!), the chaperones and team judges, the loving hands that show up weekly just to sort recycled paper in the right direction for reuse, the weekly helpers that hang bulletin boards, correct student work and support teachers in whatever they need, the family at home that sorts and bundles all the Box Tops, Junior Achievement presenters, the PTA officers and event coordinators and volunteers for the Hoodie Sale, the Vendor Fair, the Crop Events, the Music Concerts, the Back to School Picnic, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Winter Carnival, the Golf Outing and Spaghetti Dinner. For all the Fish Dinner help and baking, the Uniform Exchange folding and refolding, the donations for the Snack Cart…. the list goes on. I read a saying the other day, “The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers!” To the moms, dads, little and big brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and loving friends…. THANK YOU FOR HUGGING US WITH YOUR FAITHFUL ARMS THIS YEAR. May God bless you all and may you return to us rested and refreshed in the new school year! For those who leave us this year, we hope you know that your mark here will not soon be forgotten.
“Dream Small – Don’t bother like you have to do it all – Just let Jesus use you where you are – one day at a time….. A tiny rock can make a giant fall…. Dream small!”
A Few Tidbits & Reminders
- Lifetouch Spring Pictures will be sent home when we receive them. You can choose to buy as many of the sheets as you’d by either sending payment into the school (checks made out to Lifetouch please) or paying online (directions provided with pictures) and returning the pictures you don’t want. Any pictures not purchased or all of them are to be returned to the school in a timely manner.
- Final PTA Meeting Monday, May 13th at 7pm with some subs and pizzas to enjoy from Marianna’s fundraising. We will need to decide on leadership for the 2019-2020 school year as well as future Hot Lunch leadership and the Back to School Picnic. Hope to see you there! BYOB or refreshing drinks!
- Transportation & Reminders: We still have an entire month of school left and while we have filled the weeks with fun field trips and activities, there is still a lot of learning to do! Please continue to be attentive to students’ work at home and somewhat reasonable bedtimes and good eating habits. We also ask everyone to please continue to notify the office with written notes in the morning about any changes in transportation. Student safety is of utmost importance to us as well as assuring students that their transportation is not in question on any given day which often causes tears and anxiety and a loss of focus on learning. THANK YOU!
- May Dates to Remember were sent home earlier this month. Please post somewhere to keep informed about all upcoming events this month and pay close attention to Assignment Books for any changes or additions!
- Yearbooks will be distributed to students as soon as they arrive. We will have a limited number of extra copies available for purchase at $20 each at that time.
Background Checks Renewal Time for Some
Many of our seasoned volunteers who have been around for awhile will soon be notified that they need to update or renew some of their clearances and background checks to continue to volunteer at our school. It has been almost five years since many of us completed these and the state extended the three year expiration to five years in 2017. So if any of the required clearances are older than 2014, they will need renewed. Since 2014 there have been many changes to the requirements including the addition of Act 126 Mandated Reporter Training and the return to the “Virtus” diocesan format. If you are notified that any of your clearances or trainings need to renewed or completed, please try and do so before the beginnin of August. There are many new people trying to get clearances completed in August before school starts which can cause delays in getting the needed paperwork which then results in parents or family members not being allowed into school events. We also ask that if you are renewing clearances of any kind, to please submit any and all paperwork or certificates to the school office or at least copies to the office. We will then submit them to the diocese after making copies for our records. Very often throughout the school year, parents will call and ask for a copy of a clearance for volunteer coaching or other activity then we have copies here. It is also a good idea to keep copies for yourself when and if possible. The new Act 126 Mandated Reporter Training is now required for all volunteers (only when it is time to renew clearances.) The free video course is quite lengthy but can be paused and completed at different times. Again, volunteers will be notified by email or other means when and if clearances and trainings require updating or renewal. As always, we thank our volunteers for their efforts in acquiring all the needed clearances and for their valuable time and commmitment to ur school. Feel free to always call the school with any questions or concerns.
“Safe 2 Say Something” PA Schools Commit to Stopping School Violence
In 2018, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 44 mandating the establishment and use of the “Safe2Say Something” (S2SS) anonymous reporting system by every PA school entity. This was rolled out in all schools on January 14th. S2SS is a life-saving and changing school safety program that teaches students, educators, and administrators how: 1) to recognize the signs and signals of individuals who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others and 2) to anonymously report this information through the S2SS app, website, or 24/7 Crisis Center. Submitted tips are triaged by the Crisis Center then delivered to the impacted school via a diocesan S2SS Team. School authorities as well as emergency personnel are dispatched as needed to intervene with the at-risk individual and his or her family. Schools close out tips with any resulting actions. During the 2019-2020 school year, each diocesan school will activate their own team for interventions as needed. St. Peter School students in grades 5 & 6 received training on many topics from recognizing behaviors and communications that could indicate someone is at risk to hurting themselves or others (especially using social media platforms) and what to do if they suspect this kind of situation. S2SS strongly recommends that students relay this information to a trusted adult, or call 911 if there is a sense of imminent danger and use the S2SS tipline when they don’t have access to or can’t talk to a trusted adult. Tips can be submitted using the S2SS website (www.safe2saypa.org) or call the tipline at 1-844-SAF2SAY or use the mobile app available as a free install for both ios and android phones.
St. Peter School Mission Statement
The mission of St. Peter School is to first spread the Good News. By providing an educational and spiritual environment rich in knowledge and experiences, students will be empowered to achieve academic, social, physical and spiritual excellence. Our mission is to create lifelong learners that are guided by their faith and commitment to “be the good” and “do good” throughout their lives. We model the Master Teacher, Jesus, by encouraging students to challenge themselves academically and to follow their faith in all of their life’s decisions.