301 S. Oak St. • Kendallville, IN 46755

The Banner

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

Banner #2 2020-2021

Cathy Thiem
WRITTEN BY Cathy Thiem - 19 August 2020


St. John Lutheran School

August 17, 2020 Number 2

The Principal’s Pen

For those of you who have read my articles over the past few years, you know that I often turn to Dr. Tim Elmore for research and advice on young people (elementary through college). I find his work insightful and practical and often spot on.

In a recent blog post (www.growingleaders.com) Dr. Elmore compared the “Pandemic Population” to kids that grew up in the Great Depression. After interviewing many elders who grew up in the Depression, he came away with these three practical approaches that might benefit our kids:

●Limit Exposure: Kids need to know what is going on in the world in age appropriate amounts. But, in our instant-access world, it is hard to limit how much exposure they get. For young kids, the news is probably best filtered through you. This helps kids to understand what is happening and to process what it means for them. For older kids, limit the amount of time they spend watching or reading the news. They still need you to help them process what it means for them.

● Calm and Loving Leaders: Kids look to the adults in their life and take their cues from them. If the adult is anxious and on edge, the kids will pick up on that. If the adult is calm, the kids will pick up on that. Although you might feel on edge with the state of things in your life, remaining calm for your kids is helpful. So is maintaining a regular schedule: walk-up time, meals, chores, and bedtime. This structure helps a child feel secure.

● High Belief and Expectation: Many depression kids were able to excel in those difficult days because their parents had both high expectations and high belief in their kids. The parents expected a lot and believed that the kids could accomplish those expectations. The kids rose to the challenge.

This generation is living through uniquely challenging times. This is a defining moment for this generation. We can help our kids thrive by being calm and loving with high expectations and belief!

VERY IMPORTANT “Need to Know” Night Live on Zoom!

Instead of meeting this Wednesday in the building, our Need to Know Night this year will be Live on Zoom! The schedule is spread out through the week as follows:


5:30 - 3-Year-Old Preschool (Mrs. Neuman)

6:05 - 2nd Grade (Mrs. Kline)

6:40 - 6th Grade (Mr. Hayden)

7:15 - Principal (Mr. Walz)


5:30 - 4-Year-Old Preschool (Mrs. Neuman)

6:05 - 3rd Grade (Mrs. Schroeder)

6:40 - 7th Grade (Mr. Schroeder)


5:30 - Kindergarten (Mrs. Mast)

6:05 - 4th Grade (Mrs. Gerst & Mrs. Blackburn)

6:40 - 8th Grade (Mr. Neuman)

7:15 - Principal (Mr. Walz)


5:30 - 1st Grade (Miss Grimes)

6:05 - 5th Grade (Mrs. Moser)

The teachers are sending out the Zoom links. The principal sessions are the same and you only need to attend one. These links were in the email sent last Friday and this morning. We encourage all parents to attend the appropriate session to learn more details about the school year. The sessions will be recorded and sent to families for those who cannot attend at the schedule time. Cool treats will be given to students whose parents attend a session and to classes that have 80% participation.

Why Does the Staff Wear Jeans?

If you’re in the building on Fridays you might notice many staff members wearing jeans. You may be wondering why? We’re enjoying the opportunity to dress down, but we’re also supporting our Chapel offering project. Each staff member pays a dollar each Friday to be able to wear jeans. Comfort and a good cause!

Fitness Fact

According to The Cooper Institute (renowned authority on physical fitness, founded in 1970 by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Father of Aerobics), there are 5 components to physical fitness: Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility and Body Composition. Over the next 4 weeks we will delve more fully into each of those terms.

The Banner

Starting Tuesday, Sep. 8 (because we are off on Monday for Labor Day), The Banner, our school newsletter, will be sent home with the youngest child in the family. This is an important communication method and one that we hope you will read each week. Other information from the school office will also go home with the youngest child in the family. If you would prefer another child in your family be the one to bring items home please notify the school office. In a few weeks we will be asking whether you want to continue to receive a paper copy of The Banner or read an electronic copy.

Screenagers: The Next Chapter

Last Spring, before everything shut down, we hosted a showing of the documentary Screenagers. This documentary gave specific research and resources to guide parents in discussing the use of screens and the effects of screens within their family. We are scheduled to show the follow-up documentary Screenagers: The Next Chapter on Wednesday, Sep. 9, at 6:45 (scheduled well before COVID hit!). While we are investigating the best way for us to do this, we want you to put this on your calendar and plan to attend! You and your family will benefit from this practical information. You can learn more at www.screenagersmovie.com.

Missing Forms?

If you have forms that you haven’t turned in to the office, please do so right away. These forms are all needed to help our school run more smoothly. If we notify you that a form hasn’t been turned in, please take care of it right away.

SCRIP Needs You

Our SCRIP program is easy to use and can be a valuable financial blessing for both the school and your family. Parents can buy gift cards at face value for many local and national retailers. When you purchase the cards St. John receives a percentage back, varying from 3% to up to 25%. St. John uses that money to provide for the education of all students. However, we also credit half of the percentage amount that we get to your family. You can pay for tuition, extended care, hot lunch and other things. Your family wins and St. John wins! Stop in the office for more information and to purchase your first SCRIP cards. See Mrs. Thiem if you need more information.

School Delays

While we hope we won’t face weather delays and cancellations any time soon, we know that the possibility for fog, ice, and snow delays exists at any time. When such delays and cancellations occur, you will receive a Parent Alert text. You will also see or hear “St. John Lutheran School, Kendallville” on the following media outlets:

WANE-15 WAWK-1140 WPTA-21

WBCL-90.3 WISE-33 WLAB-89.7

St. John will, with very few exceptions, follow the East Noble School Corporation on weather related issues. Delayed starts will be handled as follows:

2-HOUR DELAY: School will begin at 10:00 A.M. and will dismiss at the regular time. Extended care will be available. All morning preschool classes will begin at 10:00 and dismiss at 11:30. The afternoon preschool class will meet at its regular time.

COLLABORATION MONDAY: 2-hour delays that occur on a Monday will begin at 10:00 A.M.

Student Directory to Be Published

We will soon publish our annual booklet which contains names, addresses, and phone numbers of our families. If you do not wish for any of this information to be published – YOU MUST INFORM MRS. THIEM. If we do not hear from you by September 1, we will assume it is your desire to make this information public.

Also, divorced or separated families, if you have a preference as to how you are listed, please talk with Mrs. Thiem. Thank you.


Keep Money Separate, Please

Please keep all payments separate. All payments must be made on separate checks as they are deposited in many different ways at various locations. Thank you for your help!

No Refrigeration Available

Please do not send snacks or lunches to school that require refrigeration. Ice packs made specifically for cooling lunch boxes are available quite inexpensively at local retailers and serve the purpose of keeping the lunch cool until needed.

No Pop

There will be no soft drinks during the school day. This also means that parents who bring in food for a special treat for their child’s lunch should opt for an alternative drink. Students bringing their lunch from home may not consume pop even if it is brought to school in their lunch box. Our pop machine in the gym is off limits to students until 3:25 p.m.

FACTS Tuition Payments

Keep in mind that changes can be made in your FACTS tuition agreement should a need arise. Perhaps you have received a windfall and would like to make an advance payment, or perhaps you are having particular financial strains and need an adjustment. See Mrs. Thiem for assistance and she will direct you to Mr. Walz if needed. Please contact us at least 10 days before payment is set to be deducted from your account.

Asthma Inhaler?

If your child uses a doctor-prescribed inhaler to treat bronchial asthma, it is our policy that the inhalers be kept in the locked cabinet in the school office. However, if your doctor feels this is inadequate for the severity of your child’s situation and the inhaler needs to be kept with the child, please have him/her issue a written statement to that effect. Return that to the school office as soon as possible. Thank you!

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

Our new arrival and dismissal procedures have gone very smoothly during our first week of school! Please remember to use your assigned door for both arrival and dismissal. For arrival, you can pull up to the Oak Street curb or along the building and let your children out. Or, you can park on Oak Street (building side) or in a parking space and walk your children to the door. For dismissal, we ask that only parents that walk to pick up their children come up to the door. All other parents should now use the car line dismissal. It is working well and we have all children dismissed by 3:10

Thank you for your help with this new process! We want nothing more to be able to welcome parents into the building for arrival and dismissal. But, until it is safe to do that, we will continue with our new process!

Order Your St. John Shirt

Our Jesus is Greater theme shirts are ready for you to purchase! These shirts are a great way for you to show your St. John spirit while also witness to your friends, neighbors, and even strangers around town. All students will receive a T-shirt this year for free (the cost was built in to our tuition increase)! Parents will be able to purchase additional shirts for themselves and other family members. Watch for the order form to be sent home this week. The last day to order shirts will be Friday, Aug. 21 at 3:15.

FACTS Family Portal

FACTS is our school information system and Family Portal is the parent portal. You all used this for the online enrollment. But, there is much more available to you in the portal. 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: firstinitiallastname@stjohneagles.org (except Mrs. Neuman whose email is jneuman2@stjohneagles.org).

● There is a basic calendar on the Family Portal homepage.

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

● Under ‘School Information’ – ‘Resource Documents’ you will find our Parent Handbook, the school calendar, 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 Family Portal 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 FACTS Family Portal 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! While we won’t be able to have a party this year, we will still have a drawing for prizes. If you haven’t yet turned in your participation lips to the office, please do so now. We’ll hold the prize drawings on Friday!

Recycle, Please!

Now that school is back in session, I want to remind you to recycle the empty ink jet cartridges as well as any cell phones, MP3 Players, I-PODS, and Laptop computers. Some cell phones and Blackberrys can earn up to $100.00. You can bring them to the office if they are large items, or put them in the wooden collection box in the church lobby. Thanks for helping to keep our world clean and making money for your school!

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.

• 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. For the safety of our students and staff , parents will not have access to the building past the office.

• 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.

• 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 (starting Sep. 13).

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

• 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.

Music, P.E., and Library Have Begun

We welcome back Mrs. Tina Wilkinson (keyboard and general music), Mr. Brandon Eiler (band and strings), Mr. Don Schroeder (beginning guitar), and Pastor Mike DiSanto (advanced guitar) as our music instructors! All general music (K-2nd), keyboard, and guitar classes begin last Wednesday! Returning band and strings will begin this week on Aug. 19 (Don’t forget your instrument!). 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. More information will be coming home to those parents

We welcome back Mrs. Darcy Barr as our PE instructor! PE classes began today. Kindergarten through 2nd grade will have class two times per week and 3rd through 8th grade will have class three times per week.

We welcome back Miss Taylor and Mrs. Kratzman as our school librarians! At this point students will not be going to the library but the librarians will provide crates of books to the classrooms.

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!

Help Wanted

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 7:10-7:30 in the morning or 2:45-3:15 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.


A place to begin the journey from mourning to joy!

Through the medium of video:

• Find hope as we hear from people who have journeyed through grief – what helped in the journey.

• Receive helpful ideas from grief counselors, Christian authors, and pastors; many of whom share their own experiences of journeying through grief.

• Be encouraged to travel through your unique journey from mourning to joy – moving at your own pace.

Through small group conversation:

• Experience support and care with others through:

o listening to one another;

o discussing the video presentations; and

o mutual acceptance without ‘pressure’ to heal.

Through a workbook completed at home:

• Real stories of people journeying through grief and what they found helpful.

• Appropriate Scripture passages that apply to the topic.

Grief work is hard work. Join us for 2 or 3 sessions. See if GriefShare proves helpful to you.

In-person or online!

Begins Wednesday, August 26th at 6:30 p.m.

St. John Library or Online – sessions 90-105 minutes.

Come – Begin at any time!


Talk to DCE Wendt, Diana Probst or Tina Bowen

Group contact link: https://www.griefshare.org/groups/121551


Go to GriefShare.org

Click on “Find a Group”

Put the Kendallville zip code: 46755 in the search field. St. John’s group will be in the list.

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 Breanne Weber, 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 Ms. Weber 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!

Furniture Available

We have the following items available to a good home for a free-will donation: filing cabinets (5-drawer, 4-drawer, 4-drawer, 3-drawer, and 2-drawer), wood bookcase, and 2-door wood cabinet. Please contact the office if you are interested.

The Week Ahead -- August 17 – 23, 2020

Monday, August 17

Need to Know Night Zooms (see schedule in Banner)

Tuesday, August 18

8:15 – Chapel

Need to Know Night Zooms (see schedule in Banner)

Wednesday, August 19

Need to Know Night Zooms (see schedule in Banner)

Thursday, August 20

Need to Know Night Zooms (see schedule in Banner)

7:00 – Worship Service

Friday, August 21

Saturday, August 22

Sunday, August 23

8:00 – Worship Service in Sanctuary

9:15 – Adult Bible Class

10:30 – Contemporary Worship in Worship Center

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, Operation Christmas Child Relay Center Coordinator

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All rights reserved.

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