Dear St. Francis School Families,
Words of Wisdom
When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind!
Some of My Experiences at St. Francis School by Victoria Cobian
When I was in second grade, my two-year-old sister died of cancer. There were things I was too young to fully understand, but I understood that my little sister was not coming back to our house and that my parents and grandparents were devastated. It was very meaningful to me that my whole class walked to the funeral home to say a prayer at my sister’s visitation and all wrote letters of condolence to me. And later, all of the “sisters”…our teachers… came there together to comfort my family. Two years later, my class did the same for a boy whose older brother died in a car accident. Praying for each other was what we did whenever there was trouble.
That same spring, I received my First Communion. My mother and the teachers and Father Pritzl had prepared me so well that I felt a miracle was going to happen. So I wasn’t even terribly surprised to see the face of the statue of Mary turn toward me and nod as I knelt at the communion rail.
As a third grader in St. Francis School, I had a desk by a window in the classroom that is now your office, and I watched day after day as the mammoth beams (they looked like inverted Vs) were lowered into place by a crane. So you can imagine that I always felt a part of “the new church”, felt it was my spiritual home. I imagine all the children who attended St. Francis that year felt some of that special ownership.
Our teachers at St. Francis were Benedictine nuns, and I don’t know today, having had a career in teaching myself, where they found the energy to do those jobs. Each taught two grades at a time, with a total of over 40 students per classroom, and our only visiting staff was Sister Karline, who taught music, and Fathers Pritzl and Zick, who came in for religion classes. So they must have had exhausting days (and evenings!) But most still looked for ways to have fun with us. I especially enjoyed the candy sales that were our frequent fundraisers, and spelling bees and talent shows. With only crayons and drawing paper for materials, they came up with fun art projects for us, which I loved. Sister Ann was athletic, and she picked up her long black gown to play kickball with us at recess time. Sister Kristine, who I think was probably 23, was fun loving and smiley all the time.
Miss Jeanne McCoy devoted more than twenty years of her life (Ann, would you fill in the correct number here?) to St. Francis, and she brought the school excellent organization and consistency, high standards, and the best technology she could get. Miss McCoy was my principal when I taught at SF myself, and she really made things move smoothly, made it easier for me to do a good job there. She had a heart for children too. Some Catholic schools are blessed with gifted administrators, and this is true of the teachers too. Even though they are working for lower salaries and fewer benefits than public school teachers, they will put tremendous energy and care into their work because it is work done out of faith in God and love for young people.
If anyone doubted the value of Catholic schools, he should have attended Father Donaldson’s funeral, easily the most unforgettable such experience of my life. Father Tom was wonderful with all children, but he was an especially trusted friend and mentor, almost a grandpa figure, to the students of St. Francis School and the demonstrations of their love for him were everywhere on that day, from the annotated drawings hanging all over inside the church (the one nearest me depicted Father on a cycle and said, “Remember when you rode your motorcycle into the lunchroom?”) to the moment when one of the children waiting at the grave for the burial was lowered into it to catch a bunny…something Father would have loved!
Finally, for a teacher, one of the advantages of teaching in St. Francis School was the support of families. They felt that anything lacking in paid staff needed to be provided through volunteerism, and they showed up to help in the office and workroom, to chaperone trips and help at events, and of course to attend special ceremonies and masses when they could. On the last day of my teaching at St. Francis, my students’ families gave me an armful of red roses, a sweatshirt with the students’ group photo on it, and tickets to a play in St. Paul. I taught in a middle school for the next 18 years, and I met wonderful people, but nothing from parents ever made me feel so appreciated again.
Congratulations to our fifth grade students who will be crossing over to the middle school next year. We ask God’s blessings for you, and want you to know that you will be missed!
Kalen Berns Joey Jean Sadie Olson Josie Peckacek
Logan Brand Nic Kemmerer Kehan O’Neil Chloe VanWatermeulen
Maria Harrington Bayla Langer Leo Parmeter Aubrey Wittenberg
Corynn Jahnke Gabby McChane
WE HAVE A NEW PRINCIPAL: We are pleased and very excited to welcome Mr. Chuck Buckel as our new principal! Please watch your newsletters and email for more information as he will officially begin his position on July 1st.
FOOD SERVICE ACCOUNTS: Please check your family’s food service account to make sure you have enough funds in it to finish the year. Quite a few bills went out in today’s newsletter. Report cards will not be issued to anyone with a negative balance. If your family will have children at St. Francis next year, any positive balance will be carried over for next year. Please call if you have questions (715 -273-4391), or need help accessing your account balance. Thanks.
LIST OF YEARBOOK ORDERS: I’m also including a list of families that ordered a 2016-2017 yearbook last fall. I want to remind you that the yearbooks will be distributed next September. If you did not order a yearbooks, but would still like to do so, please send a check, made payable to St. Francis School. The cost is $20 per book. Please indicate Yearbook in the memo area of the check so there is no confusion. Thanks.
WALK FOR VIRTUES UPDATE: Congratulations on the Walk for Virtues! Our new total is $9,131.00! Thanks,everyone, for your great support. This is a great fundraiser to get involved in as 100% of the funds raised stay at our school, and are used for annual technology costs.
GR. 5 - DAY OF REFLECTION – JUNE 1: Fifth grade students will participate in a Day of Reflection on Thursday, June 1. This day is held at St. Francis, and provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their days at St. Francis prior to their departure to the Ellsworth Middle School next fall.
Fifth grade parents are reminded about a letter that was mailed to them regarding something
needed for the Day of Reflection.
GR. 5 CLASS TRIP TO VALLEY FAIR – JUNE 2: Fifth grade students will take their class trip to Valley Fair Friday, June 2. Tickets were ordered on Friday and permission slips were due last Wednesday.
LAST DAY OF 4YK: The last day for our 4YK at St. Francis will be Friday, June 2.
ORDER FORM FOR LAST DAY PICNIC LUNCH: All food orders from the Youth Group must be turned in, with payment, no later than Friday, June 2. Make checks payable to St. Francis Youth Group.
GRADES K-5 - LAST DAY OF CLASSES/MASS/AWARDS CEREMONY - JUNE 8: Our last day of
classes for kindergarten through fifth grade students will be Thursday, June 8. This day will include our Fifth Grade Tree Planting Program, all-school Awards Assembly in our church immediately following the 8:30 a.m. Mass. Our fifth grade class will take on their parents in the annual softball game, and we will have our picnic lunch. Students will be dismissed at 12:15.
We will use the following schedule:
7:45 a.m. Classes begin, as usual.
8:00 Fifth Grade Tree Planting
8:30 Mass, and Awards Ceremony
10:00 Recess (approximate time, 15 minutes of recess will follow the awards ceremony.)
10:15 Return to classrooms for cleaning, final projects.
10:45 Annual softball game. Fifth grade students versus their parents.
11:30 Picnic lunch
11:55 Return to classrooms for report cards & summer farewells
12:00 Dismissal for those students going home with parents
12:15 Dismissal for those students riding a bus.
LAST DAY EARLY RELEASE FORM FOR GRADES K-5: In today’s envelope is a form to let us know how your student(s) will be going home the last day of school. We need all families to complete the form and return by Friday, June 2nd.
SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST: Our student supply list for next year is included in your weekly envelope
2017-2018 SCHOOL CALENDAR: The 2017-2018 school calendar is included in today’s packet for your reference.
Please note: The Back-to-School Night is scheduled for Tuesday, August 22 from 3 - 7 p.m.
School Pictures will be taken on this evening. Classes begin Thursday, August 24.
SUMMER SCHOOL SCHEDULES: Summer school schedules are included in your weekly envelope today.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL REGISTRATION: St. Francis Parish will host a Vacation Bible School, for children currently in grades 4YK through 4, July 10 - 14, 2017. Current fifth grade students on up through adults are encouraged to help with the program as volunteers! Registration forms, with the volunteer sign up on the back, were included in the weekly envelope a few weeks ago. The registration deadline is June 20. Please send payment with your registration forms, and make checks payable to St. Francis Parish. Completed forms with payment can be turned into the St. Francis School office until the last day of school.
ST. FRANCIS FAIR STAND: We would like to give you the opportunity to work at the St. Francis Fair Stand. A list of all the days and times were included in the weekly envelope a few weeks ago. Look the list over and sign your name on the day and time you would like to work at the fair stand. Please return the sheet in your envelope by Wednesday, May 31. We think you will have fun and you will get to meet some wonderful parishioners.
HOME AND SCHOOL INFORMATION
HOME & SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS COMMITTEES: The Fundraising Committees for next year are summarized on the enclosed sheet. Please keep for your reference throughout the year. You can always locate it on the school’s website too. If you are on a support committee, you’re encouraged to help with various tasks for that event. Your committee chairperson will be contacting you to discuss the specifics of your position and it may evolve as the event is planned. Please attend the planning meetings that the chairperson coordinates. The help of all is crucial to the success of our fundraising efforts. We look forward to working together!
GREATER GIVING BALLOT: Please read the attached information that the Home and School Association has about Greater Giving. Complete the ballot that is listed at the bottom.
New St. Francis Home and School Schwan's Campaign: Just in time for summer! Please support St. Francis School by adding our new Schwan's code to all your purchases. If you buy a $25 gift certificate, $10 automatically comes back to St. Francis School, plus 20% of all purchases! This is for both new and existing customers. If you've used before, just switch to the new code. All your summer purchases will give back to the kids! We appreciate your support!
1. Visit www.schwans-cares.com/c/33052
2. Click "Shop to Give"
3. Select team member, if applicable
4. Start shopping !
ORDER BY PHONE:
Call 1-855-870-7208 and provide Campaign ID:
33052 and Team Member ID, if applicable.
CLOTHING DRIVE POSTPONED: The St. Francis Home and School Association is postponing the Clothing Drive for this summer. When we contacted the vendor that pays for the donations (Easter Seals), they said they are at capacity and cannot accept any donations in the near future. We will be in contact with them in the fall to see if there is a possibility at that time. We cannot find a similar program that provides the same service.
This was not a possibility we imagined, and we apologize to anyone who was saving us items! We appreciate your support and hope we will have a date in the fall.
Friends of St. Francis – Addresses Needed: Thank you to those families who have already submitted their addresses. If you have yet to do so please fill out the form sent home last week or visit: https://goo.gl/forms/ENWgd8lYHPykVSG72
With the cooperation of each family, this fundraiser has the potential to evolve into a significant source of funding for our school. Please re-submit addresses from last year - but this will not need to be done for future years. We are in need of alumni addresses in particular. If you are a St. Francis alum, please think to your classmates and submit any addresses you have. This campaign is only as successful as the size of our mailing list; we thank you in advance for your support!
Cheese Curd Festival Voluntary Fundraiser: You received a note regarding this voluntary fundraiser for our church/school a couple weeks ago. The Ellsworth Chamber is recruiting volunteers to help with this year's Cheese Curd Festival. They will donate $10/hour back to us for each hour volunteers work on behalf of our organization. Plus, we also earn a share of their profit from the sales of deep fried cheese curds at the event! Last year over $4000 was donated to local non-profits. Please consider working a shift or two on behalf of St. Francis. Signup at: http://signup.com/go/xbKmEjX
Some of the St. Francis teachers are working from 3-6 on Friday. We would love to see you there!
Taste of Tuscany Fundraiser: Thanks to two generous grants from the School District Foundation we were able to move forward on two projects last year; a chicken hatchery for the 3rd grade class and programmable robots for the 4th grade class. These projects offered a great deal of learning and fun to the students! We have a few teachers applying for grants this year, as well. Please show your support for the Foundation by joining us at their annual Taste of Tuscany fundraiser, Friday, June 9, 2017 at Vino in the Valley. Tickets are $35 each which includes music, wine tasting, and dinner. The event also showcases a student art exhibit and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at Nilssen’s, Ellsworth School District office, or Vino in the Valley. We also have tickets available in the St. Francis School office.
FINAL NEWSLETTER: This will be the last newsletter for this year.
Hope you have a wonderful summer! Please call or e-mail if you have questions: 715-273-4391
St. Francis Alumni
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