In this week’s news, you’ll find information on Assumption’s PPP loan from last spring, a bit about our dedicated School Commission and how to reach them, plus a spotlight on member Matt Daheim (dad of Liam, 6th), 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 (excellent) results of last month’s Kids’ Heart Challenge, a reminder that we have Friday off, another way to support ACS (with someone else’s money!), continued support for our beloved Salcido Family, PTC news including Auction results and gratitude, a delicious Hot Lunch option later this month, a chance to buy the freshest of salmon (and benefit ACS), and upcoming calendar events. Thanks for reading!
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.
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.
We went well beyond our goal for the American Heart Association Kid’s Heart Challenge. This year we raised $7,162.85! Thank you to all the families that took the time to reach out to family and friends for donations. A special thank you to Genevieve Whelan (6th), Harrison Cassar (K), and Alison (1st) and Caroline (3rd) Bratt, who were our top earners this year. Mrs. Twining and the American Heart Association are very proud of our outcomes!
We are excited to announce that Mrs. McClurg’s Class won the class participation award and will get to silly string Mr. Anderson or Mrs. McClurg later this month!
NO SCHOOL this Friday, March 12th
Just a reminder that this Friday is Regional Curriculum day for our teachers. Enjoy your three-day weekend!
From the School Commission Team
Get to Know the Commission: Servant-Leader Matt Daheim
From the parent satisfaction survey, completed earlier this year, the School Commission (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, business, and more.
Completing his third year, SC team member, Matt Daheim, provides leadership at every Commission meeting, especially in presenting and leading discussions around his finance reports. Matt also chairs the Finance subcommittee, and that team meets monthly, too—he has given so much of his time and talents to our school. Matt always credits the whole Finance team, helps the Commission understand the budget, and increases collaboration at every SC meeting because of his high-level thinking and engagement. The SC team is indebted (the best kind of debt, as we have learned from Matt) for his leadership.
Have insight, feedback, or questions about how the SC team can better serve you? Write to SC Chair Tara Gilligan Reimer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to find out more about our work or the experience of serving? Find us on the school website at https://school.assumption.org/about/commission/. Please reach out to any one of us. We are happy to serve our beloved school!
Bellingham Coding + Robotics Club
In last week’s Wednesday Envelope, you received 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel plans for Spring Break
We have heard that some of our families may be travelling 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
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 STILL IN THE LEAD WITH 151 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.
Care and Concern Ministry
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
Paycheck Protection Program Loan has been forgiven (re-posted from 3/3/2021)
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.
Thank you for supporting the Auction!
Our school’s largest fundraiser, the Growing Great Kids Auction, took place over the weekend, providing an opportunity for our school and parish communities to come together (virtually) in support of a common goal: Catholic education in Whatcom County. While the format was different, the spirit remained and we are so pleased to announce that preliminary numbers show that we raised in the ballpark of $130,000. Donations are still trickling in and some expenses still need to be subtracted, but overall, considering the challenges of this year, we consider this a great success.
Thank you to our incredible Auction Chairs, Jennifer Sheafor and Tiffany Schuman for their willingness to take on the challenge of a completely new format- the event quite simply would not have happened without them and we are so grateful for their leadership. Nick Berard stepped into the important role of Live Auctioneer and did such a wonderful job, along with Dan Anderson, guiding us through the evening, thank you both so much! We also want to thank Katherine Deets who led a hugely successful effort by the sponsorship team, bringing in over $43K for the event. To our take-and-bake meal team, especially Sara Rush and Lynette Machinski, under the exceptional leadership of Rob Viggers– thank you for providing yet another delicious way for us all to celebrate at home. We recognize that our entire school community contributes to this event in a variety of ways, so we want to extend our sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for the ways you helped make this year’s auction a success.
Stock up on Salmon
It’s back by popular demand! Michael Jackson of Fall Line Fisheries has offered to provide his amazing Sockeye Salmon to us at a discount AND contribute $1 per pound back to the school! See attached flyer for information and to order. Please return these forms to the office by Thursday, March 18th and pick up your salmon after school the following Monday (March 22).
Special Hot Lunch from Soy House!
Do your kids miss hot lunch? Of course they do! One of our very favorite local (and ACS parent-owned!) restaurants is providing an awesome hot lunch for our students on Monday, March 22nd. You can find the order form in this week’s newsletter- please return them by Friday, March 19th. Thank you, Soy House, for your generosity in providing these lunches for the students AND donating profits back to the school!
Upcoming Calendar Items:
March 12th– NO SCHOOL- Regional Curriculum Day
March 17th– Early Release @ 11:45; Casual Uniforms
March 19th– Salmon orders due today for PTC fundraiser (see today’s physical envelope for order forms!)
March 22nd– Soy House Box Lunch (see today’s physical envelope for order forms!)
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