301 S. Oak St. • Kendallville, IN 46755

The Banner

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

Banner #3; 2020-21

Cathy Thiem
WRITTEN BY Cathy Thiem - 24 August 2020


St. John Lutheran School

August 24, 2020 Number 3

The Principal’s Pen

How’s your health? I’m guessing your answer focused on how you are doing physically. But, what about mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually? Our health is made up of many dimensions that are all woven together.

We are now 5 months in to living with a global pandemic. How are you coping? How are your kids coping? No matter what it is, one quality needed to deal with a long-term crisis is resilience. There’s no easy way to build resilience. It is forged over time through challenges. But, there are things we can do that lead to increased resilience:

Focus on God and what He would have you do – God has your challenge covered. He knows its beginning, middle, and end. While it is under His control, He does have things you can do. Focus on what God is telling you to do rather than what you think the world wants you to do.

Be diligent about worship – Whether you are worshipping in-person or online, through family prayers and devotions, or in individual quiet time, worship connects you to God. Concepts of faith, like love, trust, peace, move from theory to reality. This makes it easier to respond in faith during the next challenge.

Look for ways to come together as a family – Your family should be a source of refuge and strength. Family bonds grow through togetherness. This does not have to mean some big vacation away. Watching a movie, playing a game, reading a book, taking a walk, even doing yardwork, strengthens the family relationships through communication, problem-solving, and shared memories.

Value family discussion – Engage your children in conversation. Meal times and car rides are two of the Walz family’s favorite talk times. Not only will your kids learn etiquette around group discussions, they will also learn to process life events and the world around them.

Life is challenging! Resilience helps you and you r kids move through life in more healthy ways.

(Thanks to Dr. Kim Markhausen for the ideas I shared. You can read more at: http://faithparent.marxhausen.net/2020/08/pandemic-peace-for-families.html)

Financial Obligations – Important!

As was shared in the Principal Need to Know sessions, the following policies are in place to help families and the school meet financial obligations and be good stewards of our resources. In order to allow time for us to communicate these policies and for parents to prepare, they will go into effect on Tuesday, Sep. 8.

Hot Lunch and Extended Care

● Families accounts must be current for students to participate in these services.

● Invoices that show Hot Lunch, Extended Care, tuition, and miscellaneous charges are sent home with students at the beginning of each month.

● Also, automated emails are sent out on Sunday night for families that have a -$10 balance in either Hot Lunch or Extended Care. Remember, a -$10 balance means you still have $10 to spend. A paper note is sent home on Monday as well.

● Also, automated emails are sent out on Sunday night for families that have a $15 balance in either Hot Lunch or Extended Care. Remember, a $15 balance means you have overspent your account by $15. A paper note is sent home on Monday as well.

● Students whose families have reached this level ($15 overdrawn) will be served an alternate breakfast or lunch entrée until a payment is received on the Hot Lunch account. Students whose families have reached this level ($15 overdrawn) will not be able to participate in Extended Care until a payment is received on their Extended Care account.

● Payments can be made online in your FACTS Family Portal account or by sending checks to the office. Please remember to send separate checks for Hot Lunch and Extended Care as they are deposited into different accounts.

● All balances left from 2019-2020 have been moved into the new year in FACTS Family Portal.


●Tuition payments must be made in one of three options:

● One-Pay Plan: Pay in Full - would have been completed over the summer

● Two-Pay Plan: First payment in June/July and the second payment in January

● Monthly Plan: Monthly automated payment plan through FACTS

If you have questions regarding any of these matters, please contact Mr. Walz.

Welcome, Michael!

We welcome Michael Ryman to our two-day preschool class. We hope Michael and his family soon feel a welcome part of our family here at St. John!

Retirement Celebration!!

Plan to join the fun in paying tribute to two of St. John's finest - Vernie Scheiber and LouAnne Pillers - as they begin their retirement. Due to COVID, the celebration has changed a bit from the beautiful reception room at the Community Learning Center to the pavilion near the entrance to the east side of the lake at Bixler Lake Park. All takes place on Sunday, September 13, from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Please plan to stop by and say hi to these two fabulous teachers and friends!!

Fitness Fact

Did you know that you can “train” your heart and lungs to become stronger? Cardiorespiratory Endurance is the ability of the heart, lungs, and muscles to work together for an extended period of time. It is also known as Aerobic Fitness. Aerobic or “cardio” activities are continuous and rhythmic and can include: running, swimming, cross country skiing, jumping rope, step aerobics, and cycling. For these activities to be effective aerobically, they must be participated in for a minimum of 15 minutes and your heart rate must exceed 60% of maximum.

First Trimester Chapel Offerings

Chapel offerings collected during the first trimester of this school year will go to support Christian mission work through Casa Chapi Children’s Village in Peru. Casa Chapi is a residential school where children are cared for and educated. This is now our third year of supporting this mission work.

Children are encouraged to bring an offering each week. Giving an offering is a part of our worship as we say thank you to God for all the He provides for us. The amount of the gift is much less important that the attitude behind the gift – an attitude of gratitude!


For Sale – Violin

One of our parents has a Cremona ½ size violin in very good condition for sale. This instrument would be perfect for an incoming violin student. Please contact Terri Myers at 318-2598. She is asking $75.00.

Congratulations Summer Enrichment Students!

Last summer, around 20 students logged their physical activity, reading minutes, and/or summerbook activity. Although we couldn’t have our usual pizza lunch and after school party, we do celebrate those students who participated! We hope you had fun while also keeping your mind and body active! Congratulations to the following students who participated last summer:

Piper Arnold, Graham Aumsbaugh, Trevor Conrad, Mercy Hayden, Hadley Buwalda, Lincoln Moser, Ethan Schowe, Carleigh Aumsbaugh, Holden Buwalda, Hugh Conrad, Olivia Hastings, Serenity Hayden, Corinne Murphy, Caydren Sams, Will Schowe, Danica Sattison, Fyo Hayden, Brody Workman, Lilly Moser, Addison Hampshire, Lex Moser, Ashlynn Myers

Congratulations to the winners of our three prize packs: Lilly Moser for the Reading Pack, Carleigh Aumsbaugh for the Crafting Pack, and Hugh Conrad for the Sports and Games Pack! Way to go!!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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!

Travel Plans?

With Labor Day coming up and Fall Break not too far down the road, you might be considering travel plans. Considering COVID-19, I would strongly encourage you to think through those plans carefully. We do not have anything in our plan restricting families from travel (not that we could really do that) or about isolating or testing after travel in order to return to school. However, we know that exposure to different locations and groups of people do increase the chance of bringing sickness back to others here. If you are thinking about traveling, I ask you to carefully consider:

● What is the state of COVID-19 in this area? You don’t want to be taking the virus with you!

● What is the state of COVID-19 at your destination? If you are travelling to a hot spot you should reconsider.

● How will you be traveling? Planes still have higher risk than a car trip.

● How long is your trip? A day trip is lower risk than a week-long vacation.

● What will you be doing there? Outdoor activities, being moistly with your family, avoiding large crowds are lower risk. Spending a couple of days with many people at a theme park, water park, large city, cruise, or museum are higher risk.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Walz. Our goal is for you and all our families to remain as healthy as possible!

Twenty-first Century Scholars

Twenty-first Century Scholars application forms should be available online at www.scholars.in.gov. The website also lists recent legislative changes to the program. Income-eligible students who take a pledge as a seventh or eighth-grader may be eligible for up to four years of paid tuition at an Indiana college following high school graduation.


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.

God desires His followers to be praying people. Our teachers and staff take this responsibility seriously and want to help your children be praying people also. Each week our teachers will pray for 5 school students during our teacher devotions. We will also pray for these students in All School Devotions and Chapel and in the classrooms. We will list the student names here so that you can pray for these families at home as well. If you have a specific prayer need, whether it is your week for prayer or not, please let us know through your teacher, the office, or the prayer request box located by the other collection boxes in the church lobby.

This week, the following St. John students will be included in prayer: Sawyer Ashley, Lawrence Pankop, Graham Aumsbaugh, Ezra Gaff, and Logan Harper.

Free and Reduced Price Lunches

If you have not turned in your application for free or reduced price lunches, please do so immediately. The government reimburses our school above and beyond the cost of these lunches, so it is a benefit to us as well as you to use this if you qualify. Applications are strictly confidential.

Yearbooks Available

Yearbooks from the 2019-20 school year are here and are available in the office for $15.00 each. First come-first served. Checks should be made payable to St. John PTL.

Another Way To Benefit our School

When shopping on Amazon, consider using Amazon Smile. If you designate St. John, we receive a portion of the proceeds of your purchase. Visit amazon.smile.com!

Watch Out for Head Lice

Coming home with each family today is an informative booklet to educate about head lice. Please familiarize yourself with the signals of a possible case of head lice and inform us here at school should you find any evidence.

The past couple of years, I have distributed tubes of mini M & M's to anyone who would like one. The idea was that the M & M's would be enjoyed and then the tube would be filled with cash that would be used to help ship the shoeboxes the children pack for Operation Christmas Child. I decided a few months ago that, due to the pandemic and loss of jobs and income, it might not be the best time to ask for such donations.

However, Vacation Bible School offerings were given to purchase items for boxes and I have been approved for a Thrivent grant to also fund items for in the boxes, so it will be necessary to raise shipping funds. Each box costs $9 to send and I hope we can pack 40-50 boxes.

If even just a few of you contact me and request M & M tubes, I will supply. Or, if you'd prefer to pick up your own tube, that would be fine too. Or just plain straight-up donations are super-appreciated too! I believe I have mentioned this ministry enough times that you know all about it, but if you have any questions, please never hesitate to contact me. I'm in the office from 7:15-4:00 each day (347-2444). Packing will take place in early November, so you have a few months to save. Thanks!!

Cathy Thiem, Operation Christmas Child Coordinator

The Week Ahead - Aug. 24 – 30, 2020

Monday, August 24

Tuesday, August 25

8:15 – Chapel

Wednesday, August 26

Thursday, August 27

7:00 – Worship Service

Friday, August 28

Saturday, August 29

Sunday, August 30

8:00 – Worship Service in Sanctuary

9:15 – Adult Bible Class & Sunday School

10:30 – Worship Service in Worship Center

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Copyright © 2012 St. John Lutheran Church.
All rights reserved.

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