And so a new school year is upon us. It seems like we just left for the summer and here we are, back at it for the success of our children. I would like to first extend a warm welcome to our 22 new families, from Kindergarten all the way through grade 8. We are very blessed to have all of you as part of our St. Christopher family and my hope is that you will love it here as much as I do. I would also like to welcome back our returning families. It is you who drive this school. It is your love for this place that is the heartbeat of St. Christopher’s and is what makes the faculty and staff want to be here day after day to work hard for the success of your children. Thank you so much and, again, welcome back!
As I sit here and reflect on the time since we left in June, I can’t believe what we have accomplished. I am sure that you have seen some of the physical changes to our campus. We started with adding a magnetic lock to our main office entrance with a camera so we can see clearly who is coming in and out of our office. Next we added reflective tint to the door windows on every classroom and to the library so teachers can now see who is at their doors, however, it is very difficult to see into the classrooms. The final piece to this is the fence that is now up around our play area. I began discussing this project back in May with Fr. Gene and officials from the Diocese offices. While the process of picking the contractor, getting the proper permissions, and final approval took a long time, it has been worth it. Now that the project is complete I know that our kids are safe both during the day and during after school activities. I would like to extend a thank you to our pastor, Fr. Gene, and Deacon Aruna Silva and Russ Mower from the Diocese of Las Vegas for their guidance and support of this project.
For curriculum, we have some new additions to our school. First, we have added a revamped Art and Music program. Thank you to Mrs. Sheri Ornelas for taking on the role of our Art and Music teacher. We are using two new programs, Arts Attack and Music Alive. To go along with this, our middle school students are participating in the new Band program. Mr. Kyle Bissantz, Assistant Band Director at Bishop Gorman High School, comes to our campus every Wednesday to teach our students about instruments and the finer nuances of music. Mr. Bissantz’s services are paid for by Bishop Gorman so we are very blessed to have this opportunity on our campus. We currently have over 40 middle school students participating. The long term goal is to have a band performance with the other schools in our Diocese, including with the Bishop Gorman Band. I would also like to take this time to welcome the newest members of our St. Christopher faculty. Ms. Liza Ruan will be working in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade as our aide. Mrs. Rhyannon Jovan is our new 4th and 5th grade English, Literature and Social Studies teacher. And finally I would like to welcome Mrs. Karyn DePari as our new Middle School English and Literature teacher. I am very excited to have all this wonderful experience in our classrooms to continue to build St. Christopher’s into the place our children deserve.
I would also like to discuss two more changes for our school. This year we are taking our noon dismissal days on the second Friday of each month as opposed to the first Friday. We are doing this to help us better prepare for our upcoming accreditation visit. Please see the updated calendar on the school’s website, www.stchrisnlv.org. Also, our new gradebook/communication system, Rediker, is up and running. At this point, you should have received an email with your login credentials. If you have not, please stop by the office and let us know so we can get that to you as soon as possible. The domain for the system is www.plusportals.com/stchristophercatholicschool. There is also an app for your Smart Phones. You should be able to access it after your initial login to the site.
As we move through September, we have some important dates I would like to keep you apprised of. First, September 18 – 22 will be Terra Nova testing for grades 2 – 8. This is a yearly standardized test given that helps us to measure where our students are academically in all subject areas. Testing will take place in the mornings, but we still have full days of school for the entire week. Please remind your children that these tests encompass all of the knowledge they have already gained over the years and there should be nothing on there that will surprise them. The most important things for them is to get a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast each morning. On September 28, our 8th grade students will spend the day at Bishop Gorman High School shadowing a BGHS student. This is a great opportunity for them to see what a day in the life of a high school student is like. Also on September 28, the Wal-Mart vision center will be on campus as a community service project and they will be doing vision screening for grades 3 – 8. The final two items for your calendar is our annual bazaar and conference week. Our bazaar will take place October 7th and 8th. Please remember that this is a major fundraiser for our school and your participation is imperative for its success. If you have not yet signed up for your volunteer hours for the weekend, please see either Ms. Dulce or Mrs. Perdichizzi. Conference week is October 10th through the 13th. You will receive both academic and SLE progress reports for your children at these conferences. Please see your child’s teacher to sign up.
As always, thank you so much for your constant support of our school. Without that support, this does not work. Without working together we cannot achieve the success that our school can reach. God bless you all, and as always tell your children that Mr. Zunno said I love you all, and I always will.