301 S. Oak St. • Kendallville, IN 46755

The Eagle Eye

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

Banner #2; August 18, 2014

Cathy Thiem
WRITTEN BY Cathy Thiem - 18 August 2014


St. John Lutheran School

August 18, 2014

Number 2

The Principal’s Pen

Here’s the first quiz of the new year:

On average, how much screen time does a child have per day?

A. 4 hours B. 5 hours

C. 6 hours D. 7 hours

Screen time is defined as time spent in front of any kind of screen – TV, video games, computer, tablet, or phone. The correct answer is 7 hours (American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org)! To put that in perspective, that’s about how much time kids spend at school. When you add in about the same number of hours for sleeping, there’s not much time left in the day.

Yes, some of this time is well spent. Yes, most kids these days are drawn to media. Yes, it is a part of our world that kids must learn to navigate. But, is there also a problem with that number being so large? I would say yes. I believe we need to set limits on screen time, just as we set limits on other parts of life. Too much of a good thing can be bad! When kids spend that much time in front of a screen, they are missing out on valuable experiences: face-to-face relationships, family time, physical activity, developing other talents, and more. Each of these activities provides valuable skills and experiences that kids need now and for their future.

For one mom’s perspective on this topic, I strongly encourage you to read a letter posted on Tim Elmore’s website. While the context is about media accessibility, the letter is really about so much more. Go to www.growingleaders.com and search for the blog post from Wednesday, Aug. 13. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this important topic!

VERY IMPORTANT Back-To-School Night!

Please block the evening of Monday, August 25, on your calendar! We will celebrate the start of the school year with an evening of fellowship, food, information, door prizes, and fun for students in preschool through grade 8 and their parents. The class with the highest percentage of families represented for this evening will win a treat for the class. So, be sure to register when you go into the Worship Center for the “Parent Information Session”. Here’s the schedule for the night:

5:15-6:15 dinner is served – enjoy fellowship with your St. John family

6:30 Parent Information Session in Worship Center – learn about important

school news from Mr. Walz

7:00ish Classroom Sessions – receive an update from your child’s teacher on

important classroom news

Children will be supervised in the gym during the Parent Information Session and the Classroom Sessions. The Classroom Sessions will consist of three 15-minute sessions with 5 minute passing times in between. This will allow you the opportunity to attend several sessions if you have more than 1 child.

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

New Student Correction – and A New Student!

Our apologies to Lukas Christian, whose name was inadvertently omitted from last week’s list of new students. Lukas is a member of our kindergarten class and we are happy to have him with us!

A new enrollee in our three day morning preschool class is Nathan Hartman. We hope Nathan and his family soon feel a welcome part of our family here at St. John!


Once again our school is using the services of a company called FastDirect in an effort to better manage student information and facilitate better communication between school and home. We seek your help in providing us with up-to-date information. OUR GOAL is to increase use of FastDirect by families this year. Through FastDirect, you can:

• see daily updates of your Food Service Program and Extended Care billing

• read the month’s menu

• send and receive messages to teachers or other staff

• view your child’s progress and grade cards (grades 3-8)

If you have internet access, it is vital that you become familiar with this service. Informational sheets are being sent home to new families. Previous families who need assistance should contact Mrs. Thiem.

Order Your St. John Shirt

Don’t miss out on your chance to have a cool SPEAK LIFE theme t-shirt! This year you have two options – black or turquoise. 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. 29 by 3:15 p.m. NO LATE ORDERS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Additional order forms are available in the office.

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. We are also asking parents and students to list the reason they are tardy, just as we do for absences. This is helpful information as we track excused/unexcused tardies. 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, 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.

• We will once again follow East Noble in having a delayed start on Mondays. We will start at 8:30, allowing our teachers 45 minutes of collaboration time. We use this time to plan events, share resources, and have professional development.

• 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.

Morning Drop Off

Our morning drop-off procedures did not change from last year. For new families, or as a reminder for returning families, parents can park in the back parking lot and walk their children in. Or, you can pull into the small lot to drop off your children and then have them walk back on the sidewalk t door 5. If you do this, please pull forward as far as you can so that other cars can pull in behind you. Please do not drop off students by the portable or along the building. Finally, parents with only preschool or Kindergarten students can park on Oak Street and enter through door 3.

First Lego League

Your child (grades 4-8) has the chance to join St. John Lutheran School’s First LEGO League Competition Team this fall. The First LEGO League focuses on LEGO Robotics and problem solving, preparing projects and tackling missions associated with the First LEGO League’s WORLD CLASS Challenge competition in November (date and location TBA).

Please note: The competition team does not build with traditional LEGO bricks. Instead, we use LEGO EV3 robots, and program them to complete tasks. If your child wants to build with LEGO bricks, the Kendallville Public Library offers a LEGO Club every Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. beginning August 18.

If your child is interested in being part of St. John's First LEGO League team, please contact coach Jenna Anderson at jennalanderson76@gmail.com or 260-445-3369. The team will meet for the first time this Friday, Aug. 22, from 3:00-5:00

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 summer book or log sheets to the office by Wednesday, Aug. 20. Plan to join us on Friday, Aug. 22, from 3:00-5:00 for a party and prize ceremony. Special announcements will go home with students when their book or logs have been turned in.

Music, Library, and Counseling Begin

Our music program begins this week on Wednesday. All keyboard students will begin their instruction. Advanced strings will meet at 7:45 and advanced band will meet at 9:15. These students should have their instruments with them on Wednesday. Guitar classes for grades 6-8 will also begin.

Miss Taylor and Mrs. Kratzman will continue sharing their love of books with our students in the library. Our classes will begin visiting this week on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

Our counseling partnership with Cross Connections also continues this year. We have opportunities for both classroom sessions and individual counseling with our counselor Mrs. Lessing. Class sessions begin this Thursday.

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!

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 Melissa Murphy, our Food Service Director. Breakfast prices are $1.10 with the reduced price of $.30. Lunch will be served for $2.05; $.40 for reduced. Adult lunch price is $2.55. Afterschool Snack price is $.50 or $.15 for reduced.

If you want more information on the free and reduced lunch program please contact Mrs. Murphy 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 $.40 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, or they may be found on FastDirect. 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!

The Banner

Starting Tuesday, Sep. 2 (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 the copy that is posted to our website, or sent on Fast Direct.

School Reach Test

In order to make sure that we have every family’s contact information correct, we will send out a test message through School Reach on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 7:00 P.M. If you do not receive this message, or would to prefer to receive it at another number, please contact the school office.

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 School Reach phone call. 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.

3-HOUR DELAY: School will begin at 11:00 A.M. and will dismiss at 3:55. Extended care will be available. Morning preschool classes will not meet if there is a 3-hour delay. The afternoon preschool class will meet at its regular times. Extended care will be available free of charge to preschool students who have an older sibling enrolled who won’t be dismissed until 3:55.

COLLABORATION MONDAY: 2-hour delays that occur on a Monday will begin at 10:00 A.M. 3-hour delays that occur on Monday will begin at 11:00 A.M.

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.

Immunization Forms Due Now

According to State Law IC 20-8.1-7, immunization histories are now due no later than the first day of school. The immunization form must be completed and signed by a licensed physician. If immunizations are not yet completed, a doctor must give written verification of appointment dates for the needed immunizations. We must report immunizations for our preschoolers as well as all other grades. Please ensure that your child is protected by following the immunization guidelines.

Apple Festival Time IS Near!

The Kendallville Apple Festival is one of the main fundraising and outreach events for the school. This year’s Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 4 & 5. This is a huge event that requires many volunteers. In fact, it is so big that we expect all of our families to participate in some way, either with preparation before the festival or during the festival. Sign-up forms are being

sent home today so be on the lookout! The money raised by the Apple Festival directly supports your child’s education in the areas of technology, enrichment, and curriculum.


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.

Go Eagles!

Our Eagles athletic teams begin their season this Thursday. The soccer team plays at 4:15 at the Kendallville Athletic Complex. The volleyball teams is at Emmaus for its first game vs. Emmaus, also on Thursday. Watch the Banner for further game schedules, or see the athletic calendar in the calendar tab on our website, and come out and support your Eagles!

Do You Love To Spell?

Do you have a knack for spelling? Do letters just seem to fall into place for you? Do you love kids and want to make a difference in their lives? We are looking for a coach to work with our 6th-8th grade Spell Bowl team. The commitment would be 1 practice a week (usually held after school until 4:30) for a couple of months. Please let the school office know if you are interested or would like more information.

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 families during our teacher devotions. We will also pray for these families in All School Devotions and Chapel and in the classrooms. We will begin these prayers next week. We will list the family 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.

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 2, 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.

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.

Note: Even though our school does not charge for textbook rental, checking that box and signing provides St. John with additional funding.

FACTS Tuition Management System

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!

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 give them to Angi Goldey 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!

Fast Direct

Remember to become familiar with Fast Direct! As in the past, parents and guardians of students in fourth through eighth grade can access grades and missed assignment information through this school information program.

SHINE Student of the Week

Congratulations to the following students for being recognized as a SHINE Student: ________________ We give thanks to God for these students for serving God by serving others!

Old Memory Books Up For Grabs

Mrs. Thiem has a stack of memory books from past school years that are available for parents and students at no charge. If you would like to see what she has, please stop by her office.

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