Wednesday Parent Newsletter 3.3.2021

Posted in Wednesday Newsletter

In this week’s news, you’ll find information on Assumption’s PPP loan from last spring, Auction information (how and where to bid this weekend) and our final sneak peek item, a little bit about our dedicated School Commission and how to reach them, a fond thanks for Mrs. Twining, a student opportunity to learn coding and robotics, help needed to keep our school and church grounds looking good, our current travel precautions, a big shout out for daily safety volunteers, the Fitness Challenge for March, the schedule for this week’s school Mass, another way to support ACS (with someone else’s money!), continued support for our beloved Salcido Family, PTC news including used uniform results and gratitude, a chance to earn a few fundraising volunteer hours, a reminder for Saturday meal pick up, and upcoming calendar events. Thanks for reading!

 

Paycheck Protection Program Loan has been forgiven– 

Last spring, Church of the Assumption and Assumption Catholic School joined together to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)- a small-business loan which came from the COVID Aid and Relief Act (CARES). This loan was intended to cover eight weeks of payroll and utilities costs in the months of May and June, preserving jobs and allowing school staff and the parish staff to be paid during the uncertainty of the shutdown. As a result, we were able to ensure continuity of the wonderful teams from which the school and parish benefit. The loan was used in those months as required, thereby allowing us to hold income from those months until the loan was forgiven. We recently received notice that our loan was forgiven, thereby providing us an additional $197,000 to be put into reserves. This is great news for our school community, and we are so grateful for this help in such an uncertain school year. 

This savings will help to cover the current one-time, un-budgeted COVID-related costs associated with substitute teachers. As you know, long-term substitutes like Mrs. Town, Mrs. Eusebio, and Mrs. Demry were needed to split our larger grades into two classes for the current school year to meet social distancing requirements. This savings will also cover one-time facility repairs this summer and other additional expenses related to technology and facility upgrades. In consultation with the Finance Committee and School Commission, the savings not used for facilities and substitutes this year will be held in reserve for future school years for similar one-time costs. We hope that it can be spread out to provide for the future of ACS beyond the current year. 

Some parents may ask why the school would need to raise tuition by 4% going into the 2021-2022 school year with almost $200,000 in reserves. The answer is that this savings should provide for one-time future costs. It wouldn’t be prudent to use it for ongoing operational costs like salaries and benefits. These core costs will remain consistent and increase year over year, and we need to budget for it that way. Ongoing operational costs need to be covered each year by equally consistent revenue sources: tuition, fees, and income from PTC and the Foundation.  

This loan forgiveness is a huge blessing for our school and allows us to pay for things that otherwise seemed unattainable. Please email Mr. Anderson directly if you have any questions. 

  

 

The Silent Auction is already in full swing and bidding is getting competitive! Thank you, Assumption families, for already supporting the auction! If you have family or friends that are having trouble finding the website, they can go to the Assumption school website at https://school.assumption.org/auction/ and click the large red button labeled “Register Here”. They will be taken directly to the website to sign up.    

For your convenience Auctria (our auction software) also has an app you can download for your smartphone that may make bidding easier. 

*Helpful hint for night of viewing: we suggest when it is time to view the live auction on the homepage of charityauction.bid/growinggreatkids, have the website open on your desktop, laptop or smart TV. Then simultaneously use the Auctria app on your smartphone to actually place bids.  If you have any questions, please email growinggreatkidsauction@gmail.com as we’ll be checking our email multiple times on Saturday. 

 

 

From the School Commission Team: A Shout-out for the Parent-Teacher Club  

With our school’s largest fundraiser–the Growing Great Kids Auction (https://school.assumption.org/auction/) just three days away, the School Commission (SC) team is giving a heartfelt shout-out to the important work of the Parent-Teacher Club (PTC)! At monthly SC meetings, beloved team member, Meryluz Duque-Soto, liaison from the PTC, always makes sure PTC fundraising is front-and-center. Meryluz reports on how the PTC raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for our school, in celebratory ways (the popular Take-and-Bake dinners!), to keep Assumption Catholic School tuition the lowest of any Whatcom County independent school. In addition to the behind-the-scenes work of writing perfect minutes for every SC meeting, Meryluz also brings her elegant words to prayer (done at open and close of every meeting) and the importance of being a Christ-centered, loving, school community. 

In the parent satisfaction survey, completed earlier this year, the SC team understands that we need to be more approachable for every family in our school. That’s valuable feedback. We are a strong working group, focused on developing the school around four priorities in the Strategic Plan: 1) marketing–engaging prospective families and serving current ones, 2) building (non-tuition) revenue, 3) developing excellent curricula, and 4) making a workable facilities plan. Each SC member serves three years, drawing from experience in marketing, fundraising, finance, teaching, public service, construction, and more. We’ll continue these posts to become a friendlier presence for all of you. Have questions about our work or the experience of serving? Find us on the school website (https://school.assumption.org/about/commission/) please feel free to reach out to any one of us. We are here to serve you and our school. See you at the auction! 

 

Thank you, Mrs. Twining!  

It’s that time of year when teachers share their intentions for the upcoming school year. We hope that all teachers and staff are returning for the 2021-2022 school year but as we receive resignation notices from teachers, we will update you on open positions. Mrs. Lisa Twining has decided that she will not be returning to teach physical education next year. We are so grateful for her work with all grade levels and for stepping into a role that had been held so long by Mrs. Campbell before her retirement. Mrs. Twining brought in things like the fitness challenge and she made movement and athletics accessible to our online learners. She’s only been here for a year but has made wonderful contributions to the program and will surely be missed. The part-time physical education position, as well as a part-time position for a school counselor and Development Director, will be posted on the school’s webpage. The jobs will also be posted to the churches’ websites, the Office of Catholic Schools, and colleges and universities around Washington and Oregon. 

  

Bellingham Coding + Robotics Club  

In this week’s Wednesday Envelope, you’ll find a hard copy flyer for a new center in Fairhaven- the Bellingham Coding + Robotics Club. Students are able to join any of the weekly classes or drop in on Saturdays for a monthly fee. Elementary students can participate in weekly classes about coding, and middle school students learn about robotics. Middle school students are also encouraged to join the Assumption Robotics Team if there is enough interest (4-5 students total) and can then compete against other schools in the county. This is a wonderful opportunity for a partnership between the Club and Assumption. Please email admin@bellinghamcodingclub.com for more information. 

 

Assumption Lawn Maintenance Needed 

Assumption Parish is looking for a yard maintenance business to consistently mow and edge all of the grassy areas for both the school and church.  If you know of a good company, please contact Karen Zuther at karenz@assumption.org

 

 

Travel plans for Spring Break 

We have heard that some of our families may be traveling out of state during Spring Break. So far, 22 of our parents have completed the attached survey. If you haven’t done so, please fill this out today so that we have an idea of how many students will need to quarantine the week of April 12-16. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7VLQVG3 

 

Health Screener and Playground Angel Volunteers 

Every March, we see a significant drop in sign ups for our daily volunteer needs. We understand that the winter is seeming long and some parents who we’ve relied on so heavily in the first part of the year have completed their commitment hours. But we have many families who still need hours and our need for help is greater than ever! We’re asking you to dig deep and sign up for whatever you can. We truly rely on these positions to have our students here safely. Thank you in advance for your support!  

Check out the link for responsibilities and openings. Please note we’ve added slots for an additional lunch recess specific to Kindergarten and First Grade from 12:25-12:55 pm. You can earn one full volunteer hour for only working these 30 minutes. Thanks for your help. 

MARCH: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D4CA5AA23A1FEC25-march 

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 volunteer.assumption@gmail.com so she can try to find a replacement volunteer.  

 

March Fitness Challenge

Congratulations to all those who completed the Healthy Heart February Challenge! 

March is here and so is our next month’s fitness challenge!  Once again, you should check off each day as you complete the activity and when needed, log your results.  Be honest and only check off the day if you performed the full activity.  However, if you forget a day, you can make up that day on a rest day.  Also, if you miss a day due to a practice/game and you were physically active for more than 30 minutes, you can check off that day.  We will be turning in our calendar and log sheet the week of April 12th – 16th.  

Please turn in your February sheet to the office no later than Friday, March 5th by 3:00 pm. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at ltwining@school.assumption.org 

 

School Mass on Friday, March 5th  

6th-8th grade students should plan to wear their dress uniform this Friday for School Mass. Parents of children in participating grades are also welcome to attend/sit with them. Only students attending Mass in person need to wear dress uniforms, and regular uniforms for all other grades. 

 

 

Vote for ACS

The Bob Wallin Insurance Agency is again running a contest to determine Whatcom County’s Non-Profit of the Year. For the third year, Assumption Catholic School has been nominated (we won $2000 last year!) and we need your help to win again! The top three finishers win a cash prize of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 respectively. The link is now active through March 31st.  WE ARE CURRENTLY IN THE LEAD WITH 66 VOTES! 

Please vote by going to http://www.bwicares.com/non-profit-voting-form/. You’re entitled to one vote per email address you control. Please note that emails submitted will not be used for any solicitations by the agency. This has been confirmed through our experience last year and discussion with the agency.  

 

Continued Support for the Salcidos

The Salcido Family deeply appreciates your continued prayers and the meals they’ve received as Dora continues to fight her battle with cancer. If you’re able to provide them with a meal in March, there’s a cooler outside the school doors on Mondays and Thursdays for them. Please drop your meal off by 2:30 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 

 

PTC News 

Thank you for stopping by the used uniform sale on Friday and helping raise over $900 for the school! Remember, we accept gently used/outgrown uniform items year-round so bring them by the school office anytime! 

 

Volunteers Needed! There are just a few spots left (think: fundraising hours) for helping out with meal prep and distribution of our take-and-bake meal this week. Sign up here to help with this important fundraiser: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4ca5aa23a1fec25-growing  

 

Don’t forget to pick up your fabulous Auction dinner to-go between 3-5 pm this Saturday, March 6th in the gym before tuning into the virtual auction event! Pick up instructions will be sent to all who ordered. Contact lynette_machinski@yahoo.com for questions. 

 

 
Upcoming Calendar Items:   

March 6thGrowing Great Kids Virtual Auction! Pick up your delicious Take & Bake meal, dessert and wine between 3-5 pm to enjoy while you bid! 

March 12th NO SCHOOL- Regional Curriculum Day 

March 17thEarly Release @ 11:45; Casual Uniforms 

March 19th– Salmon orders due today for PTC fundraiser 

March 22ndSoy House Box Lunch (more info to come!) 

March 24th– Part II with Patti Hoezle at 7 pm (This is a follow-up to the presentation on social/emotional learning from the General PTC Meeting in January. All are invited!) 

March 29th Pizza Lunch 

April 2nd– Good Friday and Early Release Day