During October the boys and girls learned about fall. 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 prints and rubbings. They also had fun with all things Halloween. They sang silly songs and read many Halloween themed books. They even made bats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns!
The preschoolers continue to work on strengthening their hand muscles by buttoning, zipping, snapping, lacing, cutting, and playing with playdough. All of these activities help them achieve correct writing grip!
Also, Father Twaruzek came to our classrooms and talked about the Rosary, Holy Water, and Baptism in the Catholic church. Our 3-year-olds even got to act-out the roles of Priest and Godparents!
The St. Isaac Jogues Speech Team competed in an event at Fenwick High School on October 26th. Twenty-five courageous students from grades 6th-8th spent the last couple months preparing for the competition during their lunch period. Some even wrote their own material for the Original Oratory category. SIJ placed second in the team category and the following students placed in the top 3 of their categories. Declamation: Kari T. (1st), Kathryn S. (3rd); Drama: Sophia Y. (1st); Original Oratory: Audrey W. (1st), Jocelyn J. (2nd); Prose: Abigail G. (2nd). Congratulate those young orators when you see them. We are proud of all students, as they worked hard to develop an important skill. Did we mention they memorized their 5-9 minute speech? It was an impressive group of young people from SIJ!
The SIJ Speech members were: Kacey H., Sophia Y., Jillian P., Kari T., John H., Madeline G., Kathryn S., Isabella P., Abigail G., Paige M., Ella B., Jocelyn J., Audrey W., Elyssa A., Katelyn K., Caroline S., Aoife S., Sam J., Lukas J., Julia C., Aidan Y., Riley K., Kami K., Abigail G., and Emma L
The SIJ Science Team earned 6th place in the Fenwick Science contest with Ellie R. placing 12th and Hayden S. placing 25th out of over 400 students and 30 parochial and public schools from Chicago and neighboring suburbs. Other members of the SIJ Science Team included Bianca P., Sophia Y., Kari T., Nick C., Madeline G., Emily W., Kacey H., Kathryn S., Christian K., Jillian P., Elizabeth D., Abigail G., Ella B., Paige M., Isabel P., Josie W., Audrey W., Jocelyn J., and Finn R.. Students answered questions in the areas of Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science.
The SIJ Academic Bowl Team represented St. Isaac Jogues at the annual Benet Academic Bowl on November 5th where hundreds of 7th and 8th grade students from Will, DuPage, and Kane counties competed. Members of the 8th grade team consisted of John H., Nick C., Kari T., Ellie R., Tanner M., Faith D., Jillian P., Madeline G., Tyler C., Emily W., Kacey H. and Bianca P. The 7th grade was assembled by Paige M., Abigail G., Elizabeth D., Quinn D., Finn R., Ellie W., Audrey W., Ella B., Jocelyn J., Meghan K., Luke S., and Gaetano C. These students participated in the areas of English, History, Math, and Science.
On Monday, October 7th, eight of our 8th graders from St. Isaac’s traveled to Nazareth Academy to participate in the 8th Grade Math Contest. Students are placed in teams and complete in 3 rounds of problems. Two of the rounds are scored individually and one as a group. Congratulations to Faith D. who took first place overall. A huge thank you to the following students who represented our school: Nick C., Faith D., Kacey H., Conor M., Jillian P., Ellie R., Kathryn S., and Kari T.
The Exceptional Learners Center is alive and well. Through generous donations from the 2019 auction, the ELC was able to purchase a variety of instructional materials, intervention programs, school supplies, and furniture. Additionally, we are fortunate enough to be able to fund our ELC personnel. Our occupational therapist, Mrs. Munira Shakir came to us from Treehouse Pediatrics in Woodridge, our speech language pathologist, Mrs. Jennifer Houch was referred to us through Kids Matters Counseling in Hinsdale, and our clinical psychology extern Mrs. Brie Arevalo, is practicing under Dr. Alana Roth from Monarch Clinics. Without the generosity from our school families, these partnerships would not have been possible. Additionally, the ELC has purchased toys, furniture, and materials for the sensory room, a wide variety of leveled readers for students to use within their classrooms, a subscription to Freckle, a subscription to iReady Tailored Interventions, and additional school supplies that students have daily access to such as noise canceling headphones, EZ readers, whisper phones, and hands-on learning aids. The ELC has also used funds to purchase the materials and curricular rights to programs such as TinkRworks, NiHao Chinese, and Great Books. Mrs. Katey Goll will be sending out an updated list of ELC enrichment classes next week. Due to popular demand, more TinkRworks classes have been added in, along with additional opportunities for creative writing workshops and NiHao Chinese. The NiHao Chinese program will expose students to the Chinese culture and language through the use of sounds and pictures. It is a very different approach to learning a language that doesn’t involve using the Roman alphabet. NiHao Chinese will be the basics for the future study of Mandarin. The ELC will also be partnering with Kids Matters Counseling to run Sunshine Circles in the primary grades. Sunshine Circles is a social skills group that will be run within your child's classroom to foster friendships, solve disagreements, and guide students as they grow in their leadership capacity. The skill group spans across 8 weeks. You will be notified if your child's class will be participating in a sunshine circle. Lastly, Mrs. Brie Arevalo and Dr. Alana Roth will be running a parent support group on executive functioning at 6:30 pm at St. Isaacs on Tuesday, October 22nd. If you are interested, please save the date. Thank you for your continued collaboration and support.
Furthermore, as many of you may already know, our resource support staff, Mrs. Amanda Miller and Ms. Nicole Madda are implementing a co-teaching approach this year. They are working with fluid leveled groups within the classrooms. When working with your student, if academic concerns arise, you will be contacted by your student's teacher and a member of the resource team. We are hopeful that our new co-teaching model will help to identify students who have learning needs as soon as possible so that we can work with you to administer any necessary interventions or supplemental learning opportunities. Lastly, the ELC implemented the MAP assessment this year, which is a universal assessment platform that can identify each student's unique level of performance. We are looking forward to a year filled with exceptional opportunities for our students.
Thank you to everyone who participated and came out to support our United Football teams during our Homecoming celebrations and games. The Homecoming 2019 Festivities started with an all-school Pep Rally on Friday, September 27th. There was a great show of support with the cheerleaders leading the crowd of students and parents in some familiar cheers. The football players from St. Isaac’s, Our Lady of Peace, and Notre Dame were announced and received some loud cheers from the crowd. The entire United Family shared in the Celebration of Homecoming as the United Football Teams (both JV and Varsity) played St. Joe’s on Sunday, September 29th, at Nazareth Academy. The varsity team won and the JV team played a tough game. New this year to United Football are our 4th graders. Even our youngest players saw some action on the field during the Homecoming games.
The Cross Country team has had a great season. On Saturday, October 5th, the team competed in their final race of the season - the Suburban Parochial League Conference Championship Meet at Lewis University. Each grade level race had more than 100 runners competing from over 29 Catholic schools. Congratulations to the following SIJ students who finished in the top 25 in their races: Jack T. (Third Place; 9:49.3 for 1.5 miles), Winston S. (Second Place; 12:07.9 for 2 miles) and Finn R. (Third Place; 12:08.7 for 2 miles). The sixth grade boys finished 5th overall as a team and the seventh grade boys finished 4th overall as a team. Congratulations to all of our runners for on great season!
Our Preschool students have been learning about "Community Helpers." They had visits from a policewoman, a fireman, and several construction workers. They also learned about farmers and our 4-year-olds explored the Hinsdale Farmers Market. They created many apple crafts and even made their own applesauce! All of our classes love playing on the playground with their new friends! Our full-day PK4 class has adjusted very well to their long day. In addition to their morning activities, these students attend art, library, music, PE, and STEM classes in the afternoon. In art, they recreated early human cave paintings from France.
Thank you to everyone who attended our Open House last Thursday. It is always a special day at St. Isaac’s when your children know you’re visiting with their teacher, seeing their school work displayed in their classroom, and sharing in their daily SIJ experiences. A huge thank you to our PSA co-presidents, Kristine Jeka and Michelle Wake, who spoke about the Parent School Association and all it does to support our school, and raffle chairs, Megan Noell, Amy Allegra, Tracy Allegra, and Kelly Riordan who have been working so hard to direct “The Greatest Show on Earth.” I know it’s the children and all of our families who sell the raffle tickets, but the event couldn’t be possible without the organization and long hours of our raffle committee. In addition, Kathleen Devine, Megan Malloy, and Melissa Kinzler gave us a preview of Auction 2020, “Leap into Action, Leap into Auction,” being held on February 29, 2020. A personal thank you to all of the chairs of our major events and to our parents who work behind the scenes to make SIJ such a special place for our children.
I hope you were able to stop in the library and visit our Exceptional Learners Center as well as the sensory room and pick up a packet with the enrichment opportunities available for our students. These offerings, plus the specialists who serve our children during the school day, are a wonderful addition to our already successful school. Again the ELC is a living example of the strong support our school receives from our families. We thank you and hope you are as proud of the ELC as we are. The ELC packet will also be available to view on School Speak.
Over the past week we have been working with our police and fire departments to practice our safety drills to ensure all know what to do should a situation arise. We had our lockdown drill in coordination with the Hinsdale Police Department and our first fire drill. We exited the school during our fire drill in one minute and forty-eight seconds. The Fire Department was highly impressed with our speed and most importantly, how quiet our children leave the building and follow directions. This is especially impressive as both the preschoolers and kindergartners are new to these drills. Today we had our severe weather drill. Also, St. Isaac’s will be working closely with Officer Karen Kowal from the Hinsdale Police. Officer Kowal, upon the retirement of Officer Coughlin, will be taking over our DARE program in addition to supporting our school whenever needed. We are very fortunate to reside in a community with such a positive relationship between our law enforcement, fire safety, and school community.
We will be begin to administer our external assessments next week. MAP (Measuring Academic Performance) will be administered to grades K-7 on September 16th or 17th and the 8th graders will be assessed during the week of the Iowa tests. MAP is used in K-12 both in private and public schools to track a student’s progress in the areas of Math and Reading. MAP is a computer based assessment where the difficulty of each question is based on how well the student answered previous questions. The Fall assessment gathers baseline data and the Spring assessment measure the student’s growth. This will provide us with valuable data to guide teachers in designing instruction as well as interventions. In addition, the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) will be given to students in grades 3-7 the week of September 23rd. This battery of tests goes beyond Math and Reading and compares a student’s ability to students nationwide. Please have your children present for testing. Make-up testing is required for those students who are absent. In addition, we stress that each child’s goal is to do their personal best. Our teachers will go through practice materials with the children to make sure they are familiar with the time frame, types of questions, and tips to attack the assessment. You can help us out at home by making sure your child is well-rested, eats a good breakfast, and tries to do his/her best work.
Finally, thank you for adjusting to the new pick up and drop off procedures. Things are running smoothly, our children are safe, here on time, and ready to work. Who could ask for more?
Enjoy the summer-like weather this week as shortly the winds will blow, the leaves will fall, and we’ll be wishing for the warmth of summer.
The St. Isaac Jogues Exceptional Learners Center is officially up and running! The ELC will provide resource supports and services to students in need and offer gifted learning opportunities, while simultaneously promoting an exceptional Catholic education program. We are thrilled to welcome our new additions to the SIJ faculty: Amanda Miller will provide resource support for students in kindergarten through second grade, Nicole Madda will provide resource support for students in third through sixth grade, and Caitlin Kielty will provide resource support for students in seventh and eighth grade. Additionally, Jen Houch will be our private speech pathologist, Munira Shakir will be our occupational therapist, and Brie Arevalo will be our clinical psychology extern, practicing under the supervision of Dr. Alana Roth, clinical psychologist. Lastly, we are thrilled to welcome back Bob Leece as our social worker. Furthermore, SIJ will be offering a wide variety of enrichment opportunities for students such as 3D printing and robotics classes, Mandarin classes, and book clubs. On Thursday, September 5th the ELC and the attached sensory room were open for parents to view. It is located on the second floor next to the library. The staff was present for everyone to meet and packets containing information about the program, dates for the enrichment classes, and sign up instructions were available. This information was also emailed to all parents on Friday, September 6th. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Goll at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. Nelson joins St. Isaac Jogues School in Kindergarten this year. Mrs. Nelson is a former parishioner at St. Isaac’s church where she made her First Holy Communion, First Reconciliation and Confirmation. She is beyond thrilled to be part of such a wonderful school. Mrs. Nelson graduated from St. Mary’s College in South Bend, IN and received her Master’s Degree and a Reading Endorsement from National-Louis University. She taught in Second Grade at The Latin School of Chicago and Kindergarten at The Catherine Cook School in Chicago for a combined 10 years. Mrs. Nelson lives in Western Springs with her husband and three children who attend St. John of the Cross Parish School. She is looking forward to a wonderful year!
Mr. Lee is excited to be joining the St. Isaac’s community and teaching 4th grade this year. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and attended a Catholic grade school and high school in the area. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After college, he worked in Wilmette Public School District as a classroom paraprofessional for one year before getting his own classroom in a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He taught 2nd grade at St. Athanasius School in Evanston for 6 years, and also taught 1st and 8th grade religion classes while there. He is looking forward to teaching 4th grade at St. Isaac’s this year!