In this week’s news, you’ll find a school COVID update, an opportunity for remote mental health services, ongoing safety volunteer needs, Soap for Hope last call, a gallery of Christmas artwork, recognition of our November Fitness Challenge participants, ways to celebrate Advent with your family, an easy way to get your teachers the perfect gift, PTC news including past due Auction commitments, planning for the second general meeting to be held on January 27th, and upcoming calendar events. Thanks for reading!
As a follow up to last week’s update, the case counts for Whatcom County in the days after Thanksgiving still hover just above 200/100K residents. Yet, the unofficial number as of December 7th (the most current data) shows 191.7/100K and a projected decline moving into Christmas break. The Whatcom County Health Department continues their strong recommendation of distance learning for middle school and high school students until these numbers decline further. However, for elementary students, they suggest not making any changes to the current in-person learning model. Transmission among this age of students is low and they trust that we have protocols in place that would prevent an outbreak if we did have a case in the school. We are confident that PS-6th grade students will remain in person through next Friday, December 18th. We will continue to monitor the case counts and follow any future recommendations from the health department or governor’s office for our return in January.
For parents looking for counseling for their children during this difficult time, WWU offers free tele-mental health counseling sessions with graduate students (supervised by faculty). If counseling is not offered with your insurance, this could be a great way to support your child’s mental health at this time. See the flier for more information.
Volunteer Hours from Home
We’re hoping for a few parents (with neat penmanship!) to help us address and stuff school Christmas cards next week. An envelope containing approximately 50 cards and envelopes would come home with your child on Tuesday or Wednesday (15th or 16th). We’d ask you to return them ready for postage the following day. Please call the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re able to help. Thank you!
Health Screener and Playground Angel Volunteers
Please help us get these last few days until Christmas Break filled! We also need to start prepping for our return starting January 4th. Please check out the link for responsibilities and openings.
We are so grateful for the support Health Screeners and Playground Angels bring to our students and Duty Teachers. Please keep in mind that we count on these safety roles when you sign up, and last-minute deletions send us scrambling for help. If you must cancel a sign up, please email Jessica Sidhu at email@example.com so she can try to find a replacement volunteer.
Soap for Hope
Addy and Grace, two of our wonderful second graders, are making specialty soaps to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for families in need. Along with their parents, we are incredibly proud of their charity and service to others!
If you’d like to support these young ladies and their honorable cause by buying their lovely and fragrant soap, we’re collecting pre-order forms (found here) through this Friday, the 11th. Please contact Catie with questions or for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Christmas Card Art Contest
Thank you to all of our students who were so creative in their participation in the Christmas Card Contest this year. We had fifty-two entries (more than any of the past five years), so we were able to select six that will be used for this year’s Christmas card to families and school partners. Congratulations to our six winners: Conor Rodriguez-Stiff, Isabella Blas, Airabella Brumley, Piper Berard, Ava Patelli, and Isabella Vargas. You can see a slide show of all the entries here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/SWCMdWXvfMKiEEZ5A .
November Fitness Challengers
Congratulations to the following students who completed the November Challenge! These students completed each day to the best of their abilities.
Henry Remien (Pre-Kindergarten)
Nicholas Patelli (Kindergarten)
Allison Bratt (1st Grade)
Di Nguyen (1st Grade)
Bennett Remien (1st Grade)
Annalise Twining (1st Grade)
David Patelli (2nd Grade)
Jacob Claret (2nd Grade)
Caroline Bratt (3rd Grade)
James Patelli (3rd Grade)
Hy Nguyen (3rd Grade)
Ava Patelli (5th Grade)
Micah Patelli (6th Grade)
Taylor Rush (6th Grade)
ACS Giving Tree
In addition to our school Advent wreath, we have a tree in our entryway! You’ll find it contains tags that state basic items needed in general and by specific families serviced by Hope House. If your family is able to share a little extra this Christmas, please have your child take a tag for purchase and return your item(s) at the main school doors (at either drop off or pick up) by Friday, December 11th. No need to wrap anything! We’ll deliver our collected items at the end of next week. Thanks so much for your generosity!
Advent Family Resources
On December 13th, we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday (Latin for “rejoice”) and marked by lighting the pink or rose candle in the Advent wreath. It’s meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.
It’s a wonderful time to choose a tradition to start with your family. The fruits will be when your child(ren) make this a holy time of preparation for Jesus.
https://www.catholicicing.com/ -Make the liturgical year fun, engaging, and meaningful for young children. This site offers, crafts, costumes, printables, and many ideas to put the “icing on your Catholic Faith.” A must for young Catholic families!
https://www.holyheroes.com/ -Sign up for “Advent Adventure” and receive a short video directly to your email every day. The videos are created by kids and are very engaging! This site contains so much more and hosted by a faithful Catholic family. Most of the resources are free, including all the daily emails and videos, but they also have amazing items to purchase. Great for Christmas gifts!
Hands-On Fun Family Activities:
Advent Wreath –Light a candle each night at the dinner table. Short prayers can accompany the lighting, and/or sing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
Nativity Set –Have a set the children can play with and make it hands on!
Jesse Tree –The basic concept behind a Jesse Tree is that you have one ornament for each day in December, and it counts down to the coming of Christ on the 25th. Each ornament stands for a person or event from the Old Testament that leads up to the coming of Christ. Every evening, you hang an ornament on the tree that symbolizes that biblical event and do a small reading or devotional about that Bible story. Easy, printable ornaments are found free on the resources above and children have fun being creative and making them.
Sacrifice Manger –Make a simple manger out of clay, popsicle sticks, or anything around the house. Cut up pieces of yellow yarn or paper to resemble the straw. When children make a sacrifice throughout Advent they are told to “put a piece of hay in the manger.” By the end of Advent, the manger is soft and cozy for Jesus to come.
Christmas Morning –Wrap the Jesus up from your nativity set and have the children open it first! Read the Nativity Story and place Jesus in the manger before opening any presents. Jesus is the most important present!
Advent Calendar –A spin off the traditional chocolate ones. Place a small token, task, or good deed to perform in each envelope, drawer, or box. There are many options for calendars, but it creates the count down and children anticipate the coming of Jesus. (Examples: A pencil, “make cards for the homeless”, “watch a Christmas movie together”, “do something nice without being noticed today.”)
Donate to a person or family from Hope House –Every year Hope House has a variety of names or families that need donations for their Christmas celebration. Have the children pick the names then shop as a family for their gifts first before your family gifts.
Read Luke 2:1-7 together – Have children summarize the story or act it out. Draw or color pictures. Compare it with other nativity children stories.
Make cards – A wonderful year to bring joy to someone who is lonely or alone by sending a card or virtual hug/video!
School Masses this week
Just a reminder that there will be no School Mass this Friday, December 11th as we celebrated a special Mass on Monday for K-2nd grades and The Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday for 6th-8th.
Care and Concern Ministry
There’s a cooler outside the school doors on Mondays and Thursdays for the Salcido Family. Please drop your meal off by 1:30 pm so that their daughter can bring it home at pick up. To sign up for a meal, please visit the link here: https://mealtrain.com/rw14nw
Staff Christmas Scrip
If you’d like to show your appreciation for a faculty or staff member this Christmas, this special Scrip order form may be just what you’re looking for! Contribute any amount (minimum $1) to an individual’s account and they can use it to purchase Scrip they most enjoy. Your recipient gets what they want for Christmas and 10% of your total purchase is credited to your annual family commitment! Deadline to submit these orders is December 11th.
Just a friendly reminder your procurement (donation) form was due last Tuesday, December 1st! Please turn in your forms this week if you haven’t already and thank you to those who have.
We’ve gotten a few questions regarding the Auction that we’d like to take a minute to answer:
Q: What can I donate to the Auction?
A: We would appreciate any donation you decide to give. As mentioned previously, cash, Scrip, gift cards, etc. Places you like to go with your family/friends, date nights, airline miles, dinner for a group, time share, tickets to a show or sporting event. Baskets that contain some of your favorite things are also great: spa items, camping items, board games, etc…
Q: Who do I send my procurement form to?
A: Angie King in the school office needs your procurement form. You can place it in the Wednesday parent envelope, e-mail it to Angie or drop it off at school.
Q: When is the live virtual Auction?
A: Saturday March 6th, 2021
Q: Will there be a Silent Auction?
A: Yes! This will be open approximately a week in advance to the live auction date.
Q: Can I share the Auction website with friends and family?
A: Yes, everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us online for the Auction. Stay tuned for more information on website address and how to share with your friends and family.
Q: If I purchase advertising/sponsorship, do I still have to donate/procure an item worth $200?
A: No. Purchasing advertising/sponsorship covers your $200 contribution obligation.
We hope this has helped clear up any confusion. We check our email daily so if you have any more questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com.
Thank you all again for supporting this amazing event!
Jen and Tiffany
We would love to see you at our next General PTC Meeting on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 pm via Zoom (PJs and wine glasses encouraged!) We will have a guest speaker, Patti Hoelzle, from the Ferndale School District. She is a highly regarded school counselor who will be speaking to parents about trust-based parenting (TBRI) strategies and helping children navigate the current crisis. Stay tuned for more details!
Upcoming Calendar Items:
December 17th – Virtual Christmas Program “Watch Party”. The Christmas program will be videoed ahead of time this year for all to enjoy. Be prepared to watch together from home at 6 pm on Thursday, December 17th.
December 18th– Early Release @ 11:45 am
December 21st– January 1- NO SCHOOL, Merry Christmas and SO LONG, 2020!
January 11th– Tuition assistance applications due in FACTS for the 2021-2022 school year