Dear SPC Families,
This week, our Superintendent asked me to meet with Illinois State Senator, Laura Murphy regarding the Invest In Kids Act. Tuesday, other Catholic school principals in her legislative district and I, along with the Director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, met to share the positive impact of the Invest In Kids Act and advocate for its extension beyond the targeted sunset of this legislation in 2023. Since the legislation's inception, St Paul of the Cross has served over 40 families through this program with valuable scholarships!
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIP
I have gone back and forth debating whether I should share my concerns with our community regarding the startling nature of the conversation. Still, I feel strongly that, together, we need to advocate for Catholic schools. At the end of our discussion, we asked Senator Murphy if she had any questions regarding the conversation; she had two questions, which is why I feel compelled to share our school community.
Senator Murphy claimed that the criticism of the legislation is that Catholic schools are not held to the same assessment standards as public schools, that we do not assess our students, and we do not have to follow state guidelines. This concern could not be farther from the truth. As you all know, we assess our students three times a year using IReady. Moreover, the legislation mandates that students receiving the tax credit scholarship be assessed a fourth time in the spring. This important aspect of the legislation has been strictly adhered to by all Catholic schools. Our school policies and procedures are vetted and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education each year through the non-public renewal process. We are also visited by the State Board of Education every five years to ensure that our policies, programming, record-keeping, and procedures fully align with state guidelines. The Illinois State Board of Education visited St Paul of the Cross in the Spring of 2022, and we passed with full recognition with no recommendations for improvement.
Her second concern was that Catholic schools were not mandated to follow Covid guidelines dictated by IDPH and disregarded the guidelines when opening in 2020-2022. We all know this claim couldn't be further from the truth. I am sure you all don't need reminders of the Covid guidelines of times past that this claim is wrong. If anything, we were stricter than recommended guidelines.
While my colleagues and I respectfully clarified the misinformation with regard to her woeful lack of awareness of the details of legislation and policies of the Illinois Board of Education, it is a concern that our elected official, who is up for reelection, is making an important decision that impacts so many families without doing her homework regarding the Invest in Kids Act legislation and the guidelines of the Illinois State Board of Education as it relates to non-public school recognition. I would appreciate it if you have time to contact Senator Laura Murphy (Senator Laura Murphy) to advocate that she support legislation that will extend this program beyond the 2023 sunset date. Please click here for a sample letter asking for support in extending the highly successful Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship (TCS) Program.
CHRISTMAS SHOW 2022
The Christmas Show for Preschool-3rd grade is set for December 21st at 10:30 in the church. While I know that this time is in the middle of a work day and that an evening performance is often easier for parents, it is not easier for the little ones who have to perform. We know our kids are at their best during the day rather than at 7:00 pm when they are winding down for the day and preparing for the nighttime routine. I hope that by giving you advance notice, you will be able to join us. The event will also be live-streamed.
HOME AND SCHOOL OUT OF UNIFORM:
A reminder that tomorrow is a Home and School Out of Uniform Day!
HALLOWEEN COSTUME GUIDELINES:
As you prepare for students' Halloween costumes that they'll wear to school on October 31st, please be mindful of the following:
- School rules regarding dress code must be followed in terms of appropriate attire.
- Nothing that promotes the use of illegal substances or activities or is derogatory, disrespectful, or depicts violence.
- Students may wear hats & hoods as part of a costume on this day only.
- ALL costume preparations are to be completed at home. (No dressing or applying make-up or colored hairspray once students arrive at school).
- No masks or weapons (nun chucks/sickles/swords/knives/guns, etc.)
- Students or parents who have questions about the acceptability of their costume should check with their homeroom teacher before wearing the costume to school.
- Students wearing inappropriate costumes will need to call home to bring a change of clothes up to them.
- PARENTS: Please help support an appropriate, distraction-free learning environment for all students by assuring that your student adheres to these guidelines.
St. Paul of the Cross Feast Day
Today is St. Paul of the Cross Feast Day. The students and faculty received tootsie pops as a little celebration.
Exciting Update on the Techrise Challenge
Dr. Ochsner and the team of SPC 7th graders just completed building their NASA-funded experiment for the NASA Techrise Challenge and delivered it this week! Their experiment has a camera, light, and box full of metallic space junk that will be ejected when it reaches space and microgravity. The camera will record how much space junk is collected onto their magnetic space junk collector. Two special metallic objects are a medal of St. Paul of the Cross and a medal of Pope Francis, which Fr. James Wallace blessed. The box also contains an SD card full of student photos at St. Paul of the Cross. The rocket built by UP Aerospace will carry our experiments into space early next spring in New Mexico!
Dr. Erika Mickelburgh
Trivia Night on Friday, November 4, 2022 - Don't Delay!
Please click here to purchase your tables!
Home & School Association
FROM THE PARISH
We have an active and vibrant parish and encourage everyone to read the weekly bulletins for Fr. James' weekly letter and stay informed about all upcoming events and programs.
Please click here for the latest bulletin.
Please click here for Fr. James' "The Daily" - Daily Mass Readings and Reflections
From the Community
Announcements From Our Catholic High Schools
Attention 8th Grade Girls – Basketball Clinic Sunday November 8th at Regina Dominican
Click here for the flyer and information.
Sponge Bob Musical at Regina Dominican
Students in Grades 3-8 Meet the Cast! November 11th at 6:00 pm
Click here to download the flyer.