301 S. Oak St. • Kendallville, IN 46755

The Banner

St. John's weekly newsletter to parents, faculty and staff

Banner #1; August 12, 2019

Cathy Thiem
WRITTEN BY Cathy Thiem - 13 August 2019


St. John Lutheran School

August 12, 2019 - Number 1

WELCOME TO THIS FIRST ISSUE OF OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER, THE BANNER. The Banner will be sent home with students each Monday (on Tuesday for two-day preschoolers). We hope that it will serve the purpose of keeping you informed about upcoming events and activities. Read it faithfully so that you know what is going on.

Our Mission

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year at St. John! I am thankful that you have chosen to have your child here at St. John. Our mission is to partner with you to provide a Christ-centered education that will nurture and develop your child in all areas of life.

In order to do that most effectively, the key word is partner. St. John is here to assist you in your God-given responsibility to “train up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6) Our teachers and staff members are committed to serving God by sharing His love with your child every day. As parents and students, you are expected to also share God’s love with others in the St. John family and beyond. Unfortunately, none of us do that perfectly. That means that there will be problems and hurts through the course of this year. The great thing is that, as we follow Jesus’ example and offer forgiveness and grace, God will restore these broken relationships and bring healing. Through the good times and the hard times we are still partners with the same purpose: the Christian education of your child.

I’m excited about the year! By God’s grace we will have a great year together as partners in your child’s education.

The Principal’s Pen

So we, though many, are one body in Christ,

and individually members one of another. Romans 12:5

As we begin our year together, we also begin to explore our theme, We Are The Family Of God. I think a good place to start is to consider two aspects of our theme verse of Romans 12:5. These two aspects might seem contradictory at first, but they actually go together.

We see in our theme verse the phrases though many and individually. These phrases highlight our individual natures. All our students are unique creations of God with different talents, interests, personalities, and inclinations. All of us as parents are equally unique. So are our all of our individual families. Our unique individuality is truly a gift from God! We would soon grow bored (and probably annoyed) if everyone in our class or family was exactly alike!

We also see in our theme verse the phrases one body and members one of another. These phrases highlight our connectedness. While God has made us unique, He has also brought us together in groups: our families (immediate and extended), our class, and our larger St. John Lutheran Church and School family. Within these groups we keep our individual natures while at the same time taking on the nature of the group. Our individual nature is important, but so is the nature of the family!

As we look at our theme verse one final phrase stands out, the phrase in Christ. This phrase is the most important, as it shows us what draws all of us together. As the Family of God, we are united in Christ through His death and resurrection. All of our unique individuality is brought together in Christ!

I look forward to the year ahead, exploring this theme more with our students and with you, and growing together as We Are The Family Of God!

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

For the safety of our students, we have the following arrival and dismissal procedures in place:

● Before-school care students will ring the doorbell at Door 5 and be buzzed into the building.

● Students arriving at 7:50 will enter the building at door 4 after being dropped off along the building or parking and walking in with a parent.

● Parents picking up for dismissal should enter at door 4 and then proceed to the gym to pick up your child.

● Parents leaving the building after arrival or dismissal can exit through door 4 or door 5.

● Parents picking up children after school from after-school care, sports, or clubs will ring the doorbell at Door 5 and be buzzed into the building.

● Bus riders shuttled from East Noble Middle School will be dropped off and picked up at Door 1.

Order Your St. John Shirt

Don’t miss out on your chance to have a cool WE ARE THE FAMILY OF GOD theme t-shirt! We would like every student to have one of these shirts so that we can all wear them for field trips, school spirit days, and for other events. The absolute final day to order is Aug. 23 by 3:15 p.m. NO LATE ORDERS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Additional order forms are available in the office. Shirts are $8.00 ($10 for Adult 2X, 3X, or 4X)

VERY IMPORTANT “Need To Know” Night!

Please block the evening of Wednesday, August 21, on your calendar! This night is an important opportunity to partner together and be informed about the year ahead from Mr. Walz and the classroom teachers. We will begin at 6:00 with a parent meeting with Mr. Walz in the Worship Center. Shortly after 6:30 we will break out into 3 classrooms rotations of 20-minutes each. In these sessions you will hear plans and procedures specific to your child’s classroom. You may attend however many of these sessions that you need to in order to cover all your kids. Child care will be provided for those students who need to come with their parents. The evening will be finished before 8:00. Please plan to attend!

Please make this event a very important part of your calendar and make every effort to attend! Thank you!

FACTS ParentsWeb

FACTS is our school information system and ParentsWeb is the parent portal. You all used this for the online enrollment. But, there is much more available to you in ParentsWeb. Here are a few points to get you started:

● All communication in FACTS happens through email. Any message we send you will come to your email inbox. To communicate with a teacher, just send them an email. All teachers have emails in the following structure: first initial last name @stjohneagles.org (ex: twalz@stjohneagles.org).

● There is a basic calendar on the ParentsWeb homepage.

● Under ‘School information’ – ‘Directory’ there are both family and staff directories.

● Under ‘School Information’ – ‘Resource Documents’ you will find our Parent Handbook and the weekly Banner.

● Under ‘Student Information’ – ‘Grades’ you will be able to see your child’s grades (in grades 3rd-8th) when they are entered by the teachers.

● Under ‘Student Information’ – ‘Attendance’ you will be able to see your child’s attendance record.

● Under ‘Family Information’ – ‘Family Billing’ you will be able to see your hot lunch account and extended care charges and make online payments to these accounts. (Please note: a NEGATIVE amount in your account reflects a credit. A POSITIVE amount in your account reflects charges you need to pay.)

● The ParentsWeb site is: https://sjl-in.client.renweb.com/pw/ Our school code is SJL-IN.

Your username and password are the ones you set up when you enrolled.

We hope that you will become familiar with ParentsWeb and use it regularly for these various uses and more!

Summer Enrichment Party

If you participated in our Summer Enrichment Program by working in your summer book, logging your reading minutes, and/or logging your physical fitness activity – WAY TO GO! Now you get to celebrate! Make sure you turn in your tickets to the office by Thursday, Aug. 15. Preschool – 5th grade students who participated should plan to join us on Friday, Aug. 16, from 3:00-4:30 for a party and prize ceremony. Middle School students who participated will enjoy lunch at Pizza Hut on Friday, Aug. 16, from 12:00-1:00. Special announcements will go home with students when their tickets have been turned in. Parents, if you would like to help with this event please contact the school office! Parents are also welcome to join us for the party!


We’re Glad You’re Here

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! Whether it is welcome back or you are new to St. John, we are glad that you are here. We as a staff are blessed to serve you and your children! We look forward to growing together as one family in Christ.

New students this year are:

Preschool Graham Aumsbaugh, Mercy Hayden, Paisley Hicks, Anna Neuman, Khloe Spaw, Hank Timmerman, Addilynn Treager, Abel Warner, Reese Acker, Evan Aumsbaugh, Rose Sexton, Caiden Treager, Nash Deveau, and Maddox Wysong

Kindergarten Emalinn Bond, Terryn Bowman, Silas Gaff, Bayleigh Gibson, Tyler Matthews, Jaxson Moran, and Paige Ormiston

Second Grade Naomi Gaff

Sixth Grade Landon Kintz

Music, P.E., Library, and Counseling Are Beginning

We welcome back Mrs. Tina Wilkinson (keyboard and general music), Mr. Brandon Eiler (band and strings), and Mr. Don Schroeder (beginning guitar) as our music instructors! All music classes begin this Wednesday! Returning band and strings players should bring their instruments. 3rd graders interested in our string program will receive information and see the instruments demonstrated. 4th graders interested in our band program will receive information and see the instruments demonstrated. This year our 2nd grade class will receive general music instruction with an introduction to keyboard at the end of the year. We believe this is more developmentally appropriate and will give the students an excellent foundation when they reach 3rd grade and have the choice of keyboard or strings.

We welcome back Mrs. Darcy Barr as our PE instructor! PE classes began last Thursday. Kindergarten through 3rd grade will have class two times per week and 4th through 8th grade will have class three times per week.

We welcome back Miss Taylor and Mrs. Kratzman as our school librarians! Library classes will begin next Monday.

We welcome back Mrs. Kathy McIlrath as our school counselor. Our counseling partnership with Cross Connections provides Christian counseling for students but also for families. Mrs. McIlrath will be at St. John on Tuesdays and will spend time in both classroom sessions (providing lessons on friendship, bullying, social skills, suicide, depression, body safety, drugs/alcohol, and more) and individual counseling sessions (by arrangement with the parent). If you would like more information about individual or family counseling, please see Mr. Walz. Finally, we are asking all parents to sign a release for the child(ren) in that family to meet with Mrs. McIlrath 1 or 2 times per semester. These are for times when the student is just having a bad day or struggling with something. Any needs that go beyond 2 visits per semester would be handled through a partnership agreement with the parents. These release forms were available at the Back to School Night and were sent home last Friday or today with students. Counseling lessons begin tomorrow.

Fitness Fact

This school year I have the opportunity to share a fitness fact each week in The Banner. I hope you will find them useful as we pursue physical fitness together. Mrs. Barr

“Fitness is not about being better than someone else; fitness is being better today than you were yesterday, which makes physical fitness attainable for everyone. “

Important Reminders

• Please remember to call the school when your child will be tardy or absent for the day. We do report the number of excused and unexcused absences to the state at the end of the year. Excused absences result from illness, seeking medical care, family emergencies, and other unique situations approved by the principal. Family vacations will be recorded as “unexcused”. More details can be found in the school handbook.

• Remember to use the sign-in/sign-out sheet - LOCATED IN THE FRONT OFFICE ON MISS YOUNG’S (Mrs. Thiem’s sister!) desk if your child arrives late or leaves early. Students arriving late must sign the sheet and get a late pass before going to their classroom. Students who need to be picked up early must be accompanied by a parent who then signs the sheet before leaving the building.

• For the safety of our students and staff, our building is locked once arrival is complete. Access to the building during the day should be at door #1, where you can ring the doorbell and be buzzed in by the secretaries. Anyone visiting our school during the school day should sign in on the proper sheet in the office.

• Parents are welcome to eat lunch with their child. In order to be included in the lunch count for the day, if you want to order a school lunch, please notify the kitchen or the office by 8:00 A.M.

• Your child’s spiritual growth is important to us! We encourage you to regularly attend your church and take advantage of the opportunities to grow in faith as a family. If you don’t have a church home we would love to have you worship with us. We have traditional worship services on Thursday night at 7:00 P.M. and Sunday mornings at 8:00. We have contemporary worship Sunday mornings at 10:30 A.M. Sunday School for children and adults is held at 9:15. Parents are also welcome to join us for our all-school devotion time on Monday at 8:35 and for our chapel service on Tuesdays at 8:10 in the Worship Center.

• Like East Noble, we delay our start on Monday morning and use that time in various collaboration groups. However, we will keep our start time on Mondays at 8:30, (whereas East Noble does not begin until 8:45).

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• In order to provide a safe and secure environment for our students, and to maximize their learning time, we will be asking parents to help us avoid disruptions to the classrooms. If you need to drop off a forgotten lunch, backpack, instrument, book, or anything else, please do so in the office. The secretaries can then determine the best time to deliver the item to your child.

• If your plans change during the day and you need to communicate with your child, please call the school office. Mrs. Thiem and Miss Young can notify your child’s teacher. Emailing or texting the teacher may not be seen as the teachers are busy teaching your children and can’t always check their messages during the day.

In Our Thoughts and Prayers……will be a weekly feature in the Banner. If you have a prayer request please notify your child’s teacher or Mrs. Thiem in the school office.

We pray for God to be with each of us as we begin a new school year growing in Him and praising His name!

It’s Spell Bowl Time!

It’s time to start thinking about Spell Bowl. St. John has traditionally fielded strong Spell Bowl teams and it is time for this year’s team to get organized. Spell Bowl is both an individual and a team written spelling competition. We can have both a 6th-8th grade team and a 3rd-5th grade team. Mrs. Schroeder works with the younger group and we are in need of an additional coach. Please see Mrs. Schroeder or let the office know if you are interested. Mrs. Pillers works with the older group and will run practices on Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:00-4:30. Students are expected to attend at least one practice a week. We will be asking the students who is interested this week and will follow-up with additional details as we begin. Please consider being involved with this great activity!

Food Service Program News

Information about our Food Service Program can be found in the “Food Services Handbook” in the back of our Parent Handbook or by contacting Deedra Parks, our Food Service Director. Breakfast prices are $1.90 with the reduced price of $.30. Lunch will be served for $2.55; $.40 for reduced. Adult lunch price is $3.30. Afterschool Snack price is $.75 or $.15 for reduced.

If you want more information on the free and reduced lunch program please contact Mrs. Parks or pick up an application from the school office. The government reimburses our program over and beyond the cost of the meal for free and reduced students. If you feel you qualify for either of these, I strongly urge you to take advantage of this. All applications and decisions are completely confidential.

Milk is included as part of hot lunch. Additional milks can be consumed at lunch or morning break. The price for milk is $.45 cents per carton. Preschoolers and kindergartners have milk during their snack time.

Lunch menus will be sent home with children before the start of each month. We operate under the guideline that ALL MEALS WILL BE PAID FOR IN ADVANCE. Please consult the page entitled “St. John Food Service Charging Policy” in the handbook for more information. According to this policy, parents will be notified when their balance reaches $0.00. Parents are then expected to make payments to avoid a negative balance. Please make every effort to make prompt payment of milk and lunch bills. Thank you!

Fall Sports: Soccer and Volleyball

JV soccer for 4th-8th grade boys has begun. Practices this week will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00-5:00. The volleyball teams and schedules are still being developed. Please see Mrs. Kline, our athletic director, or the office for schedules and other information. Physical exams must be completed before an athlete can participate in a game. Both of these sports provide great exercise, the opportunity to learn new skills, and fun with friends.

Help Wanted

Guitar Teacher: We are looking for a new guitar teacher for our advanced (grades 7th and 8th) guitar class. We are looking for someone who loves kids, who actively lives their Christian faith, can teach guitar to a small group of students, and has a flexible schedule. The class meets on Wednesday and Friday from 8:15-8:45.

Bus Supervisors: East Noble requires us to provide supervision for our students while they wait at the middle school for their bus to St. John or home. The time commitment is roughly 7:15-7:35 in the morning or 2:40-3:15 in the afternoon. You can sign up for as little as 1 shift per week.

If you can help, or know someone who can, please contact Tim Walz at 260-347-2444 or twalz@stjohneagles.org for more information.

It’s Robotics Club Time!

Our robotics Club is open to 4th-8th graders and we begin on Wednesday. The theme this year is City Shaper and our work will again involve building the robots, programming them to do certain tasks, researching the theme, discovering a problem we want to address, and coming up with a solution for a problem. It involves teamwork, research, writing, computer skills, problem solving, and public speaking. Students in grades 4-8 who are interested in joining should see Mr. Walz. Practices will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:00-4:45 and start this Wednesday, Aug. 14. We are looking for additional parent mentor/coaches. If you would like to be a part of this great activity, even if you can’t commit to every day, please see Mr. Walz.

Art Club

St. John has partnered with Peggy Tassler and Sozo Art Studio to provide an Art Club for our students. This first session is for grades K-2 and will meet for 6 sessions starting next Tuesday, Aug. 20. The class is from 3:15-4:30. It will meet at St. John or at Sozo Art Studio on Main Street, depending on the activity for the day. St. John will transport, by walking or our bus, the students to Sozo on those days. Parents will need to pick up their children from Sozo on the days the club meets there. Information and a registration form went home last week with your child. If you didn’t see it or need another, please ask your child’s teacher or the office.

So August is here now and school’s started back.

Another year to learn letters and math to attack.

Our kids are so blessed with all of their gear

as they head off to class with lessons to hear.

This month, once again, school items I’ll stress

So children far off their studies can address.

They need crayons and pencils at this time so cheap

The rewards of an education those children will reap.

Without those supplies the kids are left out.

To school they can’t go – so there is no route

Out of the poverty that wears them away

In a life of poor sadness they’re bound to stay.

So won’t you help out with this project today?

Run to the store and don’t delay!

Help fill a box with something for school

Smile as God uses you as His tool!

Anything else that you think fits the bill

Can be placed in the collection box each month as well.

In the lobby you’ll find it upon the floor

Just lift its lid and fill it galore!!

Cathy Thiem, St. John Operation Christmas Child Coordinator

The Week Ahead - August 12 – 18, 2019

Monday, August 12

Tuesday, August 13

8:15 – Chapel

Wednesday, August 14

Thursday, August 15

7:00 – Worship Service

Friday, August 16

Pizza Lunch for middle schoolers who completed Summer Program

3:00 – 4:30 – Summerbook party for PS-5


Saturday, August 17

Sunday, August 18

8:00 – Worship Service in Sanctuary

9:15 – Adult Bible Class & Sunday School

10:30 – Contemporary Worship in Sanctuary

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St. John Lutheran Church
301 South Oak St.
Kendallville, IN 46755
(260) 347-2444