During Advent, our preschool students enjoyed all things Christmas! One of their learning center activities was to decorate a ‘Christmas Letter Tree.’ After rolling a letter die, students searched for the matching letter on the tree and dotted it with a marker to make a colorful letter ornament. In another activity, students practiced extending gumdrop patterns. They loved working with the gumdrops and even created their own patterns. Our preschoolers prepared for Christmas by singing songs, making Christmas trees, and playing games. They even filled their plates with homemade Christmas cookies baked in their classroom pretend center.
Our religion curriculum focused on the birth of Jesus. The preschoolers loved learning how the Angel Gabriel visited Mary and Joseph and listening to the story Jesus is Born. They had fun telling and retelling the Advent story. Our students realize they have many blessings including family, friends, school, and Jesus!
SIJ STUDENTS PLACE FIRST IN CHICAGO AREA SCIENCE COMPETITION!
In late November, SIJ 7th & 8th grade students participated in the Annual Fenwick High School Science Competition. This year was an online version of the test, and our students excelled by earning a 1st place finish out of seventeen Chicago area and suburban schools. The students were tested on their knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology and earth science. Hayden S. was recognized as an individual winner by placing 4th, while Paige M. placed 6th. Abigail G. placed 13th, and Finn R. earned 20th place out of over 275 students. All of the students represented SIJ with academic diligence and excellence.
SIJ 7th and 8th GRADE STUDENTS MASTER SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS WITH GREAT SUCCESS!
All SIJ 7th and 8th graders have successfully completed and presented their annual science fair projects. Despite the absence of the usual trifold boards and open house to showcase the projects, the students have worked diligently to complete this major junior high academic expectation. Students started researching their topics last spring. They created their project designs and followed through the procedures of the scientific method in experimentation, analysis of data, and finally communication of data. Students were awarded ribbons from 1st through 3rd place based on their written science fair documents (typically 30 pages consisting of an abstract, full lab report, and background research) and oral presentation. Many students’ projects included topics of their own interests. Students researched and experimented on the physics of ball movement and composition. Some studied facial recognition, memory, and auditory vs. visual perception. Other students focused on the chemistry involved in various types of medications and their unique solubilities. Experiments on desalination, biofuels, temperature of magnets, earthquake proof buildings, and even dog intelligence were all conducted by our bright and curious students.
The following students earned Gold Medals for their outstanding efforts: Ella B., Beatrice C., Elizabeth D., Abigail G., Paige M., Ethan O., Merrick P., Isabella P., Isabel P., Lucy R., Winston S., Ellie W., Liam C., Julia C., Abigail G., Oresta H., Lukas J., Katelyn K., Sloan M., Anika O., Thomas P., Mia S., and John T..
Due to the pandemic, it is uncertain at this time how many students will be able to advance to the regional and state levels of competition. Nevertheless, we celebrate ALL of our SIJ students and their excellence in science!
On Tuesday, December 1st, and Thursday, December 3rd, the 8th graders were sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. We are happy to have been able to celebrate this sacrament which was conferred by Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago with social distancing, wearing of masks, disinfecting, and lots of cleaning. The bishop spoke about the tradition of renewing Baptismal Promises going back to ancient times. On the first Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit changed everything: the emboldened Apostles no longer hid ~ they proclaimed the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers go with the newly confirmed eighth graders as they prepare to go out into the world to live more divinely and bear witness to Christ.
Eph 1:13 “In Him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
St. Isaac's first graders celebrated All Saints' Day by dressing up as "little saints." Each child selected a saint and learned about his/her life. The children dressed up as their chosen saint and processed into church for an All Saints' Mass Celebrations. Father DeSalvo and Father Twaruzek celebrated two different Masses to allow for social distancing. They gave special sermons about the meaning of being a saint and following Jesus. Everyone enjoyed the Mass celebrations and the special saint outfits. It was a beautiful day and we were so grateful that we were able to maintain this St. Isaac’s tradition for our first graders and their families.
Dear St. Isaac Families,
Well it’s Friday and I believe we have had an extremely successful week of remote learning. As I walk through the building, I often can’t help but laugh as I observe our teachers standing in front of the television screen and teaching in an animated voice, calling on children to participate within the class, sharing their screens for presentations, answering questions from our primary students, “…when is it snack time?” and conducting well executed lesson plans from start to finish. Thank you for assisting your children if they needed help to access Google classroom and thank you for continuing to keep our school community as safe as possible. In person learning will resume on Monday, December 7th. At this time it is my intention to also resume in person learning on Tuesday, January 5th (as indicated on our school calendar) after our Christmas Break. That is 10 days after Christmas. Again I ask each family to assess your personal situation. If you’ve traveled or had potential exposure to the virus, please continue to access our remote learning platform.
When remote learning, the expectations communicated to our students is that all classroom rules apply at home. For example, emailing a classmate about topics unrelated to schoolwork, or accessing the “chat” would never be allowed within our classroom setting. We have the ability to shut off those capabilities on individual iPads. Should your child tell you that their email or their chat isn’t working, that might be the reason why.
This was an exciting week for our Class of 2021. Confirmation was celebrated among 4 different ceremonies on Tuesday and Thursday. It was a proud moment for all as our students committed to their Catholic faith after an extensive period of preparation to receive the sacrament. As I stated in church, it was evident that the Holy Spirit was watching over us as He kept all of us safe to be able to welcome Bishop Perry to administer the sacrament of Confirmation.
On another note, tomorrow is the day for the entrance exams for the Catholic High Schools in the area. We wish all of our 8th grade students well as they demonstrate their knowledge for admission to the high school of their choice.
There has been a lot of press these past few days regarding the new CDC guidelines on quarantine time. This morning I received the following message from the Diocese of Joliet:
At this time, the quarantine time of 14 days stands regardless of what the CDC states.
That being said, we will continue to implement the 10 day isolation period for a positive case along with a 14 day quarantine for exposure to the virus.
We will have our scheduled Professional Development day for teachers on Thursday, December 10th. We will dismiss at 11:00 a.m. The topic for the afternoon is the implementation of our Social/Emotional Learning Program, Friendzy. I had mentioned to everyone last May that this was going to be a goal for this school year especially given the current challenges during the pandemic. The delay in implementation stemmed from the purchase of the materials. All the materials have arrived and we will train the staff on Thursday. Upon the return from Christmas break, the children will have one lesson each week. There will be a parent component sent home to make you aware of the topic of the week so you can further discuss the topic with your child/children. A big thank you to Ms. Fons, our Director of Student Services, who is going to lead this initiative with our teachers.
As we approach the second Sunday of Advent, let us all remember that Advent is the season of anticipation and reflection while preparing our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth. We remind ourselves of the true meaning of Christmas. This year, unlike any other year, has caused us to dig deep into our souls and realize all of the blessings we have in our family, faith, and community. The first Advent candle, which is purple, symbolizes the hope that people felt before the birth of Jesus. Let us fill our hearts with hope as we approach the Christmas season and look forward to a healthy and safe 2021.
During the month of November, our preschool students enjoyed the beautiful fall weather. One of the fall activities was learning about pumpkins. Using their five senses, they looked, felt, smelled, listened, and tasted the inside and outside of the pumpkins. They performed a science experiment to see if pumpkins would sink or float! They went on a leaf hunt, painted leaves, and made leaf letter collages.
Our religion curriculum focused on teaching that "God Knows and Loves Me" and "God Gives Us All That Is Good." The preschoolers loved listening and watching a video about the parable of “The Good Shepherd.”
Our preschoolers also prepared for Thanksgiving by singing silly turkey songs, making handprint turkeys, and creating special placemats showing what they are thankful for. They filled their plates with good healthy food and learned about numbers by playing Thanksgiving dice games. Our students realize they have many blessings in their lives which they are thankful for, including family, friends, and school.
Dear SIJ Families,
I hope you had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Following are the remote learning expectations that were emailed to all families on November 18th:
Each morning your child(ren), dressed in school uniform, will log into Google Classroom and search for their homeroom. This should be done by 8:10 and they should ready themselves for morning prayer which will begin at 8:15. We will then follow the normal 8 period day with a slight change in periods 7 and 8. In order to end the day one hour earlier, 7th period will end at 1:39, and 8th period will run from 1:41-2:15. The instructional day will end at 2:15. The lunch/recess period will remain the same for all students. During this time, the students may log off, take a break and eat their lunch and to return to their remote learning as their teacher directs them. Since the children will have been working with their iPads for 5 plus hours each day, the classwork/homework will not be extended beyond the school day. Children are encouraged to take a walk or go outside and play, maybe read a book, spend time with siblings, and simply relax to gear up for the next day of remote learning."
"It is critical that your student log in with their SIJ iPad only. If a personal device is used, the student will not be able to access Google Meet. They will be blocked. If a student (or a parent if you are helping your child) receives ask for code, the student is logged in as the wrong person."
As of today, we still have only one week of remote learning scheduled. Hopefully this one week will keep everyone safe to ensure our return to in-person learning the week of December 7th.
With the cool outside temperatures and autumn approaching, what a great time for the preschoolers to explore the world of apples. Our preschool classes have immersed themselves in exciting STEAM learning experiences! They have been practicing one to one correspondence with several activities including Apples on the Tree. They made patterns with red and green apples. They played apple games that help them identify colors, shapes, and numbers. The students also had an opportunity to taste test three different types of apples while learning about their five senses. They identified how they looked, smelled, sounded, felt, and of course, tasted! They graphed and voted on which apple their class liked the best. In all preschool classes, the RED APPLE WAS THE WINNER! By examining the different parts of an apple, our students can now identify the stem, leaf, seeds, and skin. Our preschool students are now apple experts!
St. Isaac Jogues Church Opening for Mass Beginning June 6th . . . Please Read the Following for Guidelines