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Our focus this month is on Habit 6 Synergize: Together is Better, which fits in well with the season of Lent.  The two big ideas of this habit are to Value Differences and Seek Third Alternatives.  Valuing differences is the foundation of creating synergy and this seems to be lacking in our society today.  We are effective when we value and embrace the differences of others rather than rejecting or tolerating them.  We need to see our differences as strengths and not weaknesses.  Here are some things that we can we do to value differences:

  1. Respect, include and value everyone’s skills and contributions.
  2. Know the unique strengths of the people you work and live with.
  3. Actively seek to learn from others.
  4. Seek out different ideas and points of view.
  5. Take advantage of the strengths of others and differences of opinion to achieve better results.

Lent is about prayer, fasting and almsgiving and sharing our time, talent and treasures with others. It is also a good way for us to practice valuing differences. One way we are doing this at STC this month is through our Student Lighthouse Team.  We started with good intentions in January but just really got sidetracked with COVID and the overwhelming number of students (47) who applied to be on the team.  We are blessed to have so many students wanting to share their time, talents and treasures with us. Our goal is to have all students who expressed interest, be able to share their talents with at least one leadership activity.

Another area where we will need to practice valuing differences this month is with the lifting of the restrictions by the government.  We have put together a plan for our community to ease back into more familiar procedures. While the restrictions are lifted, we are being cautious as we are still in a pandemic.  Our goal is to continue to create a safe, caring and welcoming atmosphere.  Through COVID, we have discovered different ways of doing things and are going to keep some of those procedures in place. Our speaker at Teacher’s Convention, Dr. Robyne Hanley Dafoe reinforced this idea for us.  She said that we are in an integration stage of recovery and if we simply return to what was, we are missing out on the learning from the past 18 months.

Masks

  • Adults and students are no longer required to wear masks. However, we highly recommend that masks be used as a means of reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses. Whatever your choice may be, we will support it.

Cohorts

  • We will not have any cohorts in the school. However, we will try to limit the number of classes that students interact until our March 21 recess change.

Assemblies and Gatherings

  • We will gradually be increasing the number of classes gathered together.  We may be too large to fit all of the school into the gathering space so we will continue with a hybrid of online and in-person celebrations.

Fieldtrips

  • We will be moving forwards with field trips. The school is booked to attend St. Francis’ production of Beauty and the Beast on Tuesday, March 29. Grade 6 Orientation will be at St. Francis on March 23.

Recess and lunch  

  • We will continue with our lunch and recess stagger for a few weeks.  As students will not be limited to staying in a designated area, we want to give them time to get used to the choice before all students are outside at once.
  • On March 21, we will not stagger our lunch and recess breaks.  
  • Also, on March 21, microwaves will be available during lunch recess as we will have student microwave helpers from our Lighthouse Team.

Drop Off and Pick Up

  • Drop off and pick up will continue to be outside at the muster points.  We feel that we are better able to ensure student safety as we know which students have been picked and can see them crossing the parking lot.  We also want to keep the hallways less congested at the start and end of the day. Parents are still able to connect in person with the teacher on a daily basis at the end of the day.
  • Students who arrive after 8:05 will need to enter through the front doors.
  • In the morning and at the end of the day, students will be able to play on the playground.  Please remember that supervision starts at 7:50 am. 

Access to the Building

  • We will be transitioning to a more open school environment and will be following an “access with a purpose” model so that we can monitor entry to the building.
  • As was the norm before COVID and for the safety and security of the people in the building, all exterior doors will be locked except for the front door. Parents, visitors and guests will enter through the front door and check in at the office.
  • Parents are welcome to come to the school for different reasons, such as, dropping off lunch, picking up students for appointments, looking through the lost and found items, volunteering for hot lunch.
  • We want to provide opportunities for parents to attend events as we know it has been a long time since this was possible.   We thought that opening our Lenten liturgies up to parent attendance would make a nice transition. If you choose to attend, please check in at the office and we will show you to your seats.
    • Monday March 7 – Lenten Liturgy at 9:10 led by 3.4 Davey
    • Tuesday March 15 – Lenten Liturgy at 1:25 led by 1.2 Picton and Alvarez
    • Monday March 21 – Lenten Liturgy at 9:10 led 1.2 Picton and Alvarez
    • Monday March 28 – Lenten Liturgy at 1:25 led by 1.2 Mouly, Schori, New
    • Monday April 4 – Lenten Liturgy at 9:10 led by 1.2 Mouly, Schori, New Monday April 4 – School Council Meeting from 6:00 – 7:00pm
    • Volunteer to help out with hot lunch

We know that not everyone will agree with our plan as some will see it as moving too fast while others will see it as moving too slow.  We tried to Seek a Third Alternative by balancing the two sides and trying to create wins for everyone. We welcome us working together in our move towards more familiar processes. St. Teresa summarized Synergize when she said, “I can do things you cannot and you can do things I cannot.  Together we can do great things.”

January is the month of New Year’s resolutions where we set goals that we want to achieve.  It is also the month where we focus on Habit 4 Think Win-Win: Everyone Can Win.  While the first three habits focused on the private: things we can do when dealing with ourselves, the next three habits focus on the public: things we can do when we are dealing with others. The big ideas in this habit make for a great New Year’s resolution as it is the habit of mutual benefit.  It is based on the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everyone and more to spare. You may want to make Think Win-Win into your own personal resolution for 2022.

One of the big ideas of Think Win-Win is to have an abundance mentality.  This means that you are secure in your own self worth and that you know that there will be enough for everyone. In order to develop this abundance mentality, you can do the following things:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
  2. Celebrate your own unique strengths and contributions.
  3. Celebrate when other people have successes.
  4. Share compliments, praise, credit and rewards.

Creating an abundance mentality will also help to build your emotional bank account which is another big idea of this habit. The emotional bank account is a metaphor for the amount of trust in a relationship.  Deposits build and repair trust while withdrawals break trust. When you are kind to others, you are making deposits but when you are mean to others, you are making withdrawals. During the month of February, we will be having a week of leading with love where our students will be working on building emotional bank accounts. Working on being kind, keeping promises, complimenting, smiling and saying hello when passing someone in the halls, listening, apologizing when you make a mistake, and forgiving others.

A third big idea of Think Win-Win is to balance courage and consideration. Courage allows you to face difficulties while Consideration is a desire to avoid doing something that will make others sad. While you have the courage to stand up for what they want, you still have consideration for what others want. This balancing act can help you with solving conflicts.  When facing conflicts, you have to be able to stand up for yourself, but you also have to take others into consideration.  To support our students in developing these skills, we have taught them Kelso’s Choices.  Some of the wheel choices fall under Habit 1 Be Proactive while others fall under Think Win-Win: share and take turns, apologize, make a deal, talk it out. Through practicing these choices, our students are learning to have high levels of both courage and consideration.

As we move into the New Year consider which of these areas you may want to focus on:  creating an abundance mentality, building an emotional bank account or balancing courage and consideration.  Whichever one you choose to work, remember to be committed and accountable to your goal. On behalf of the staff and students, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

There are so many things that come at us these days that it can be easy to get caught up in the unimportant things that can distract us.  Implementing the big ideas from Habit 3 Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play can really help us to stay focused and productive. There are four key elements to this habit:

  1. Focus on the highest priorities – We want to focus in on Quadrant 2 where our priorities lie that allow us to focus on items that are important but not urgent. Our highest priorities become our “Big Rocks.”
  2. Eliminate the unimportant – As best as we can, we need to try to stay out of the not important items that are a distraction and can waste our time.
  3. Plan every week – To help focus on the priorities, we need to schedule in the Big Rocks first.  Ask yourself, “What are the one or two most important things I can do this week?”  The next step is to schedule other things around your Big Rocks. For me, I like to do this every day and make a list of the 3 Big Rocks I am choosing to focus on the next day. This video is a good illustration of how we can get make things fit if we schedule our Big Rocks first.
  4. Stay true in the moment of choice – This sounds easy to do, but is actually harder to do we are in the moment being bombarded with things. I know for myself that I can get bogged down in Q3 but having my list of Big Rocks helps me to focus back into Q1.

For the month of December, we have two Big Rocks that we are prioritizing: Wellness and Faith. Both of these are our Wildly Important Goals that are in our Continuous Improvement Plan that you can find on our website under Resources & Publications – Reports and Plans. We decided to focus on our Faith for December as we are in the season of Advent.  Our Wellness Action Team felt that the past year has been difficult and wanted to prioritize fun before the Christmas break.

In looking at fun, we decided it was important for that to apply for our whole school community: students, parents and staff. The whole month is a points blitz for team points.  Students can earn points every day they wear something Christmassy.  The more items they wear, the more points they can earn for their team.  I know I am looking forward to wearing my Christmas sweaters, shirts and my beautiful Saskatchewan Roughrider Christmas hat.  On the 10th, we have our first assembly of the year where we will get to view the talent show winners. Thanks to School Council for organizing the talent show and 5/6 BW Cohort for organizing the assembly.  Wednesday the 15th is our wonderful Christmas Dinner provided by School Council. During that week Blaze will again make an appearance at the school to deliver the class gifts that our School Council has purchased for us.  This year we chose the gift of literacy and all classes will be receiving books for their classrooms. On Thursday we are excited to have Steve Harmer present 7-30 minute magic shows to our cohorts. Steve will include the values of Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope in his Christmas show. Our final fun activity takes place on the 17th where we will once again do a whole school bingo activity.  Students who get a bingo will run down to the office to verify their bingo and to claim a prize. We know that a piece of wellness for parents is seeing their children perform. As it has been a while since we have had a concert at the school, each cohort will be posting some whole class performances for parents on Spaces or Class Dojo. The staff has been working on a performance for our school community so stay tuned to our Facebook page for our gift of joy to you. We also have some special board office guests who were unlucky enough to visit our school and were kind enough to take part in our performance.

Advent is just a natural priority for us as it is the start of the new liturgical year in the Church. We will start off the season with mass at the school organized by 5/6 HV on Thursday at 9:00. All parents are welcome to join in our Zoom Link by clicking here or by going to the google calendar on our website. The rest of our Advent celebrations will be on Mondays: 6th at 9:00 and 13th at 1:30. Our big Advent project is Coffee for a Cause.  We are selling Cuppers coffee, our STC Advent Blend, for our adopted sister school in Tanzania: Mkono Wa Mara Primary.  For every $20 bag of coffee(ground or whole) purchased, we receive $5. Coffee for a Cause orders are due by noon on Friday the 10th and you can purchase coffee on School Cash Online. Orders will be picked up at the school from 12:00 on the 16th to 12:45 on the 17th. We have committed the next three years to raise funds to help them with their needs for water storage tanks, kitchen improvement and kitchen equipment.

To learn more about the school and its needs, please watch this short video. Thank you to everyone for helping support our sister school and spreading some hope, love, joy and peace.

During this season of Advent, apply the big ideas of Habit 3. It can be easy to get lost in the commercialization of the season, the decorating and buying of presents when our priority is to focus on preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus. That is the Big Rock that we need to schedule all our other activities around.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

The month of November is when plans are due in education which fits in with Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind – Have a Plan. In the Alberta Education Ministry Business Plan for Education for 2021 – 2024, the Minister articulates goals for the province and then our Holy Spirit Board sets Strategic Priorities that align with the Business Plan. One of the key elements of this habit is to define outcomes before you act.  All things are created twice:  first mentally and then physically.  By defining outcomes before we act, we ensure our efforts are truly effective. We have been working on mentally and physically creating plans for the school year with staff during our learning team time and at our Professional Development Day on October 12th. We have been using The 4 Disciplines of Execution for Educators to guide us in achieving our Wildly Important Goals.  The following areas are the four pillars of our school’s improvement plan:

  1. Faith: Staff & students will grow in their faith and experience the richness of Catholic Education
    • Our focus is on spiritually growth for our school community through prayer leadership.  Through leading prayer or rosary; participating in liturgy ministry; creating prayers for announcements. Chalice or Legacy Lodge; and creating prayer cards, we are aiming to hit 2000 leadership activities for the entire school by the end of the year. 
  2. Learning: High quality instruction rooted in sound research & effective assessment practices to support growth for all learners
    • In this area we are focusing on finding and filling any gaps in numeracy and literacy skills.  For numeracy we have determined that basic number sense will be our focus.  Number sense is understanding the value of a number and how they relate to each other. We are going to look at how student progress in number sense and devise common interventions for those concepts.
    • With literacy we are going to be looking at the key skills needed for reading and how the progression that students make. We will be using Words Their Way to assess and then individualize instruction and interventions.
  3. First Nations, Metis & Inuit: First Nations, Metis and Inuit education for all
    • Our focus here is to ensure that staff and students learn about and understand five aspects of indigenous culture, history and/or traditions.  We started the year with the Legacy of Hope display to allow a better understanding of residential schools.  Working with our First Nations, Metis and Inuit support worker, our teachers will be able to better understand and infuse content into their lessons.
  4. Wellness: Foster a culture of wellness that is foundational to support learning
    • Our goal for this area is to have our students develop the skills to independently solve their problems.  Our grades 1-6 students have all been taught about Kelso’s Choices and are using this process to solve their small problems.  We will continue to develop skills and track the progress of the different choices being used by students. 

We have school goals and classes will make their own goals that we will track and celebrate throughout the year.  The next step is for our students to set their own Wildly Important Goals (WIG).  For this we will be using the SPACES portfolio platform.  Later on in the newsletter you will see our graphic for the implementation plan.  Look for your email invite to come out the week of the 15th. We will have a parent information night on the 18th and will have our goal-setting evenings on the 23 and 25 of November. Teachers will be working with students during the month to create their goals both mentally and physically.  We look forward to celebrating our goal and the learning we make throughout the year. 

God doesn’t require us to succeed. he only requires that you try.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

Every month we highlight a habit and during October we are focusing on Habit 1 Be Proactive: You are in Charge. This habit teaches about personal responsibility: I am in charge of me; I am responsible for my choices and behaviours; I can choose how I react to other people or situations. The common themes that we reinforce are as follows:

  1. Pause
  2. Proactive
  3. Circle of Control

Pause helps us to make Proactive choices. Before responding to a situation, take a moment to pause and think about your response. We have the freedom to choose our response.  Kelso’s choices are giving students proactive options as to how to respond to others.  Being proactive is about the language we use and the choices we make.  Proactive language helps us take responsibility while reactive language can be about blame.  In making our choices we also use the analogy of water vs soda.  If you shake up a bottle of water and a bottle of soda and then open the lid, you will get two different reactions.  The soda spraying all over is an example of how we can explode and be reactive.  Without the pause, the soda does not get to settle and sprays all over everyone near you.  In life there are things we can control and things we cannot and being proactive means focusing on the things within our circle of control and taking action that will make a difference.  Our goal with this habit is to get our students to become a transition person:  a role model of proactive, helpful and effective behaviours. 

Communication is an area in which we can Be Proactive.  Knowing where to find information is within our circle of control.  The following are different ways to stay connected at St. Teresa of Calcutta School.

  1. School Messenger – The school and the division sends out communications via text, email or phone.  It can be done through your phone or via the School Messenger app. Each week we will be sending out texts to remind you about upcoming events.  Currently we have 37% of parents signed up to receive texts. If you didn’t receive a text this week, you can sign up sending a text to 978338. Reply with a Y to opt in.
  1. STC Website – Our website links on it for all kinds of information you may need.  Explore it at https://stc.holyspirit.ab.ca
  2. Email – Want to connect to the front office?  Send us an email at stcoffice@ holyspirit.ab.ca. Want to connect with the staff?  You can find contact information on our website under the School/Contact Tab.
  3. Office Hours – If you want to know how your child is doing at school, you can connect with the teacher during office hours. Every second month, teachers are available to connect with parents.  Our first virtual round is set for Thursday October 21 from 4:30 – 6:00. Teachers will send out information and links to parents in advance so that parents can make appointments. If that time doesn’t fit your schedule then please contact the teacher for an alternate time.
  4. Newsletter – If you do not receive our monthly newsletter, you can find it on our website.  You can access it from the home page newsletter button.
  5. Calendar – Our Live Google Calendar of school events.  Sync this calendar with your own calendar. Upcoming Events scroll down the right side of the home page.
  6. Facebook – Like and follow us at STChs4
  7. Twitter – Follow us @STChs4
  8. Instagram – Follow us stchs4
  9. School Council – Meetings are the first or second Monday of the month at 6:00 pm. Minutes are under the School/School Council Tab
  10. Spaces – Coming Soon – Digital Portfolio to celebrate student learning and to communicate with home.  Students have been rostered into the program and teachers are still learning how to use Spaces.  We will be discussing our implementation plan at our October PD Day.  A parent information night and a date for going live with the program will be set soon. Spaces Website 

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

September is a special month for us because the 5th is the feast day for our patron Saint: St. Teresa of Calcutta. She was known for her work with the sick and the poor, and she said many wise words throughout her life.  Many of her statements fit in quite well with the 7 Habits.  To start the year, the teachers are doing the “First 8 Days Program” and are introducing all of the habits to the students.  These are lessons centered on the different habits which involve creating a classroom mission statement and establishing classroom routines. After this, we will focus on a different habit each month and learn more about it. The following is a summary of each of the habits so that you can use the same language at home with them.

Habit 1:  Be Proactive – You’re in Charge

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

Habit 2:  Begin with the End in Mind – Have a Plan

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.”

Habit 3:  Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today. Let us begin.”

Habit 4:  Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”

Habit 5:  Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – Listen Before You Talk

“Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.”

Habit 6:  Synergize – Together is Better

“I can do things you cannot and you can do things I cannot.  Together we can do great things.”

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw – Balance Feels Best

“Life is an adventure, live it.  Life is a game, play it.”

Along with our 7 Habits, we are going to be introducing Kelso’s Choice to our students.  Rhiece Cordes, Mental Health Capacity Building Facilitator, will be working at St. Teresa on Mondays and Tuesdays.  To start with, she will be delivering the Kelso’s Choice program to our grades 1-6 in September and to Kindergarten in October. Kelso’s Choice helps students to develop conflict resolution strategies and helps them to practice Habit 1: Be Proactive and Habit 4: Think Win-Win. Last year this program was introduced to our grades 1 and 2 students and we fell that the whole school will benefit from it too.

We do have a few more activities planned for the month of September.  We are planning a virtual Meet the Teachers Night and more information will follow on the details.  We have our opening mass on the 16th at 9:00 which will also be virtual and we will email out a link for parents to join us.  Our first School Council meeting will be on Monday the 20th at 6 pm. All parents are welcome to join us in the link sent out by email.

Let us follow the guidance of our patron Saint this month, a symbol of love and compassion, and Lead with Love.

I did a google search on Mary to find out if she was called as a peacemaker. I found a Wikipedia page about the Titles of Mary that were more numerous that I realized. The titles differ from early titles to devotional titles to those associated with images or apparitions.  Yes, I did eventually find that in the Roman Catholic Church she has the title of Our Lady of Peace, Mother of Peace, Queen of Peace or Our Lady Queen of Peace. In this month of Mary, I wanted to talk to you about the Kelso’s Choice program we have introduced which believes that every child is capable of being a peacemaker.

Earlier in the year, we noticed that students were coming up to the adults on supervision to tell them about their problems and then the adult would solve the problem for the students.  Our school counsellor, Miss Ann Elise, suggested Kelso’s Choice conflict management skills program to us which has been effectively used at various schools for over 25 years. We wanted students to Be Proactive (Habit 1) and solve their own problems and conflict. The philosophy of the program fits well with the 7 Habits as it believes that each child is smart enough and strong enough to resolve conflict.

When students are faced with conflicts, the first step for them is to decide if it is a small or a big problem.  A big problem is one that they need adult help to solve and they can make students feel scared, worried or frightened. Examples of big problems are if someone is in danger, a student is hurt or some students are fighting. A small problem is one that students can solve on their own and they can make students feel annoyed, frustrated, embarrassed or have hurt feelings.  Small problems may be the following: not sharing a toy or equipment, pushing or cutting in line, saying you are not out when tagged or arguing about which game to play. In order to solve the problem, Kelso has a Choice Wheel where students can try out a couple of choices to solve their conflict.  If, after trying a couple of choices, the problem isn’t solved then the students can talk to an adult to help them solve it.

The choices on the wheel give both verbal and non verbal options and fit in with what we teach the students with the 7 Habits. The following are the choice the students can make to solve small problems.

Habit 1 Be Proactive: You’re in Charge

These choices remind students that they are free to choose their reactions and are responsible for themselves.  We are asking students to choose to react like water not soda.  If you shake up a water bottle then open it, nothing happens but if you do the same thing to soda, it will explode all over when the cap comes off.  These choices help students act proactively like water.

  1. Tell Them to Stop
  2. Walk Away
  3. Ignore It
  4. Go to Another Game
  5. Wait and Cool Off

Habit 4 Think Win-Win: Everyone Can Win

These choices explore the ideas of fairness and mutual benefit.  We are asking students to consider other people’s wins as well as their own. In using these choices, the students are trying to come up with solutions that benefit others as well as themselves.  They are practicing and learning how to Lead with Love.

  1. Make a Deal
  2. Apologize
  3. Talk It Out
  4. Share and Take Turns

Currently only the Grades 1 and 2 students received the Kelso’s Choice lessons and have practicing the skills.  Next year we are planning on teaching the skills to more grades in the school as we have seen success.  Now, when students come up to us with concerns, the first thing we do is ask them if this is a big problem or a small problem.  We help guide them through the process as needed instead of solving their problems.  The website has a parent page with some information so that you can use the same language at home.  You too can help them to learn to peacemakers at home.

Kelso’s Choice Wheel

Its hard to believe that it’s approaching the one-year mark since I came to St. Teresa of Calcutta School.  I have really enjoyed getting to know the staff and students and I am looking forward to the day when I can meet many of you in person.  I knew of the 7 Habits and had heard from my colleagues about the merits of them in schools, but I had never been in a Leader in Me School.  After my experience this past year, I now understand how effective the 7 Habits are not only in schools, but also in everyday use for everyone.

One of the priorities we have focused on this year is integration of the 7 Habits and our Catholic Faith.  During Advent and Lent we linked together the 7 Habits, the Catholic themes of those seasons, and our Faith Plan calls to action of Be Gracious and Be Grateful. We have also been looking at meshing together our faith with the 7 Habits.  We looked at how other Catholic schools did the same thing and liked the idea of finding Bible stories where the people demonstrated the different habits. God does work in mysterious ways because we received a copy of the book Do Something Beautiful for God: The Essential Teaching of Mother Teresa. The book provided us with statements made by St. Teresa for every day of the year and as we read through the book, we realized how much of her teachings we could relate to the meaning of the 7 Habits.  We then proceeded to read through and jot down different statements she made that we thought best represented each of the habits. The following is a draft of our ideas:

Habit 1:  Be Proactive – You’re in Charge

Bible Story: The Wedding at Cana

St. Teresa Teaching: Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

Habit 2:  Begin with the End in Mind – Have a Plan

Bible Story: The Story of Noah’s Ark

St. Teresa Teaching: God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.

Habit 3:  Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play

Bible Story: The Story of Creation

St. Teresa Teaching: Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today. Let us begin.

Habit 4:  Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win

Bible Story: The Story of the Good Samaritan

St. Teresa Teaching: Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

Habit 5:  Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – Listen Before You Talk

Bible Story: Finding Jesus in the Temple

St. Teresa Teaching: Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

Habit 6:  Synergize – Together is Better

Bible Story: Jesus Calls the First Disciples

St. Teresa Teaching: I can do things you cannot and you can do things I cannot.  Together we can do great things.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw – Balance Feels Best

Bible Story: The Resurrection of Jesus

St. Teresa Teaching: Life is an adventure, live it.  Life is a game, play it.

Habit 8: Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs

Bible Story: Moses Speaks to the Israelites

St. Teresa Teaching: I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

May the blessing of Christ be with you during the Lenten and Easter Season. We ask that He watch over our school community during the upcoming holidays that we may safely return with a new spirit and energy.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said that “it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing.  It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and it is not important how much we do or how much we give, but how love we put into our actions. For our Lenten journey we are asking the community to follow those words of our patron saint.

Our motto is to Lead with Love and that is exactly what we are asking of the school community during our Lenten Adventure.  We have created a Lenten calendar based on the following categories:

  • The Three Pillars of Lent: Monday –  Prayer, Tuesday – Alms or Fasting
  • Our Faith Plan Calls to Action:  Wednesday – Be Gracious, Thursday – Be Grateful
  • Leader in Me: Friday – 7 Habits

Each day of the week has a specific activity to be completed for the theme.  For example, one Monday we ask you to pray for world political and religious leader, one Tuesday we ask you to do something to help the earth, one Wednesday is to learn about a saint, one Thursday is to think about a place you are grateful for and one Friday is to plan to first complete your big rocks for the weekend. Activities for our calendar can be found on our Webpage and our Facebook Page. These activities can also be completed as a family so I encourage you to follow Habit 6: Synergize and Lead with Love throughout Lent.

Habit 1 is to Be Proactive so here are some other things going on during March to bring your attention to. Join us for our weekly Lenten prayer services which are on the first school day of the week. Zoom links will be emailed out so that can join us.  Our virtual School Council meetings are the second Monday of the month so please join us on the 8th at 6:00 so that you can be engaged in what is going on at the school.  Thank you to School Council for organizing the Pie and Pierogi fundraiser which will help support more online events for the school community and individual classes. Please note that our school calendar has changed and our Spiritual Development Day was originally scheduled for the 16th of March but has been moved to the 22nd to accommodate the speaker’s schedule.

Love and Red in February

When I think of February, two things come to mind:  Love and Red. Our motto is Lead with Love and there is no better role model of love and friendship than St. Teresa of Calcutta. Leading with Love is a choice that we ask the school community to make everyday. This is part of Habit 1: Be Proactive where we are free to choose our actions and our attitudes.  There are a few events going on this month where students can practice Being Proactive and Leading with Love.

From February 1 – 12 we will show our love for one another through Candy for a Cause. We have chosen a Lenten project that will allow us to help a community in Tanzania by gifting them a sustainable water system. This system costs $750 and we are hoping to raise enough money through our sucker draws to purchase it.  If we raise more than the amount needed, we will donate to another Chalice project.  The chalice website is where you can find out information about the organization.  To find out about all the available gifts for donation, click on Give a Gift which will bring you to the Gift Catalogue page.  Our water system is listed in there under the Community Improvement heading. The draws will be made near the end of the day and students will be limited to two suckers a day.  Each one costs $2 and can be paid for in cash or through cash online.  The suckers are gourmet Kapow Pops in a variety of flavors.  I have had them before and can attest to how good they are. Further information about Candy for a Cause and the prizes that can be won are included in the newsletter.  Maybe your family may choose to support chalice as your family Lenten almsgiving project.

While red is a colour for February, on the 24th  we will be wearing pink in support of Pink Shirt Day. This day came about because of an act of kindness done by a few teenage boys in Nova Scotia. They saw that a grade nine student was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt and so they purchased a bunch of pink tank tops. The story was featured on the news and it has now become an international day and the pink shirt is a symbol of kindness. The theme this year is “Lift Each Other Up” as the pandemic has affected all of us and shown us the importance of helping one another out. London Drugs stores will have Pink Shirt Day products on February 1 if you are interested in purchasing an official shirt.  This year’s shirts are white with a pink design.  Every day of the year we need to treat everyone with respect and be kind to one another.

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