It“If we remove Jesus, what remains of Christmas? An empty feast. Do not take Jesus out of Christmas!”
-- Pope Francis
Cookies and Baked Goods Thanks
On behalf of the faculty and staff of Pope Francis, I offer a heartfelt thank you for the delicious assortment of treats you so generously baked (or bought) and contributed for the Teacher Cookie Exchange. This large token of appreciation was very well received and much appreciated by all. I hope you saved some for yourselves!
Teacher Gift Thanks
A sincere thank you to all those families who were able to contribute to the Teacher Christmas Gift Fund which the Parents' Club organizes. As you realize, our faculty is not here at Pope Francis because they view their efforts as a "job", but rather they feel it is a calling to perform the work of Jesus. The teachers and staff are truly thankful for the gift and grateful for all that the parents have done toward the success of the school.
It was 4 Days Before Christmas Today, students at both campuses enjoyed the theatrical retelling of Clemente C. Moore's Twas the Night Before Christmas by Pope Francis Dad, Vito Gioia. In its second year, we'll call that a tradition! Thanks so much to Mr. Gioia for entertaining the kids and helping to get us all into the Holiday Spirit!
TWO Surveys Tomorrow, you will receive a Strategic Planning Survey by email.
Pope Francis Global Academy is beginning the process of drafting a three year strategic plan and this new survey will initiate that process.
The strategic plan, once completed, will cover the 2018-2021 planning period. As part of the process, we are asking the school community to complete this brief survey. The questions in this survey cover both the strengths and weaknesses of the two campuses. The information collected from this survey is an important part of the strategic planning process and will guide the leadership team in the formulation of the plan.
We do recognize that you recently received another survey regarding messaging from Mrs. Thyen. This is a different survey serving a different purpose. Both are important and we truly appreciate your time and feedback on both as your participation in these processes is integral.
Volunteer Hours Update
A letter for each family with the hours they have logged as of mid-December has been prepared. Some got out today and some will get out tomorrow. Please be sure to check the backpacks both days for your letter.
Ask O'Rourke Question/Answer Question: "I am geared up to make a donation to an SGO (Scholarship Granting Organization) in early 2018 pursuant to the recent Illinois tax law revisions. Are there students at the school who meet the criteria for such scholarships?"
Answer: Yes! We absolutely do have quite a few families that will qualify for and greatly benefit from the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships, to one degree or another. We are working to keep everyone informed on how to apply for those scholarships.
Back to your question...as an individual donor, you are allowed to specify, down to the school, at which school you would like your contribution to be used for scholarships. You can't specify a student. And, if you're a corporation, it is our understanding that you CANNOT specify even a specific school to benefit.
If you, or anyone else that you know, has a contribution they would like to make and earn a 75% tax credit on that contribution, we would be ever grateful to be the school you specify when you are completing your application.
Jesus, the Light of the World
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Amen.
On behalf of everyone at Pope Francis Global Academy, a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year to you all!
Terrence K. O’Rourke
Head of School
Pope Francis Global Academy
Our first ASK O'ROURKE question has been asked and answered. If you have a question that you think other parents might also have, please submit it HERE. Thank you!
THURSDAY FOLDER FOR POPE FRANCIS PARENTS Everything underlined includes a link to more information.
PAJAMA DAY TOMORROW!
Tomorrow is not only a half day with lots of stuff planned for the kids, but it's also PAJAMA DAY...thanks to Student Council!
EMPOWER ILLINOIS WEBSITE IS NOW UP
The website which gives all of the most updated information on the Tax Credit Scholarships is now up. Please take some time to read through and
Friday, December 22 will be a half-day with dismissal at 11:30. There will be no EDP available.
CHRISTMAS EVE MASSES
You are invited and encouraged to join one of our founding parishes for one of the Christmas Eve Masses. There are also some opportunities for the kids to participate. See the flyer with times and details HERE.
STATE OF THE SCHOOL PRESENTATION
This program is in the works...look for a date in January to be set soon!
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
The St. Vincent de Paul organizations from St. Pascal and St. Tarcissus have joined up with our Student Councils from both campuses to bring you a special Family Movie Night on January 19 in the Mason Orchard Auditorium at the North Campus. The movie is The Mighty Macs (rated G.) Details are HERE.
The Parents' Club will host a night out for parents at St. Cornelius in the Pacocha Center. Comedians from Comedians for Communities will perform. More info HERE.
FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE
The Parents' Club will be hosting the Annual Father Daughter Dance on February 2. Put it on your calendar now! More Information HERE.
TRIVIA NIGHT #2
Our first Trivia Night fundraiser for the school was so successful that our Chairs, Maggie and Brian Rahlfs, have agreed to host a second one on February 24! Save the Date and more info will be forthcoming. Huge thank you to the Rahlfs!
TOMORROW IS PAJAMA DAY! Student Council has declared tomorrow Pajama Day! Please be sure that students are in pajamas that they can get be functional in..bathroom stops in particular...especially if they're wearing a onsie-style pajama.
JANUARY 22, 6-6:30 PM AT THE SOUTH CAMPUS
FREE ADMISSION - Come out to support the kids and bring a friend!
CONGRATULATIONS! Catholic High School offers are coming in and we are more than proud of our students! Congratulations to these Merit Scholarship winners from St.Patrick High School. From left to right : Anthony Cali. Aaron Origenes, Sean Conway, Daniel Espinoza, and Alex Goworowski. Way to go fellows, and keep setting your sights high!
Some of our Pope Francis students are part of a Chicago Park District gymnastics team and they competed in the North Region Tumbling Meet last week representing Rosedale Park.
Back row, left to right - Sarah Shewchuk, Chloe Thiel, Claire Stieve,Annie Figueroa, Audrey Dombrowki, Izzy Simic, Erin Daly,. Front row; left to right - Celia Stevens, Ava Dirnberger. and Kiera Stieve.
Ava, Chloe, Audrey, Sarah and Clarie placed high enough to qualify and compete in the Citywide Tumbling Championships which were last Saturday. Congratulations and keep up the good work!
MEET OUR TEACHERS - MS. DANIELLE WADE!
Ms. Wade is the 2nd grade teacher at our South Campus. She attended Concordia University Chicago where she received her Bachelor's in Elementary Education. Starting this January she will be working towards her Master's in Special Education, as well. She grew up in Chicago and attended St. Francis Borgia from Pre-K through 8th grade. When she is not teaching, she loves to spend time with her sisters, Ashley and Jenna, as well as her parents. As a family, the Wade's enjoy making memories together at Disney World. She also enjoys reading, running, hiking, and spin classes in her free time. Danielle enjoys working with children so much that when she is not in school, she is babysitting, coaching kids lacrosse, or teaching swim lessons. Ms. Wade is on the right in this picture with her sisters...no, they're not triplets, but they look like they could be!
We're asking for everyone's support for the St. Tars 12 Days of Christmas Raffle as it will directly pay for some Auditorium improvements at our North Campus. It's fun with lots and lots of prizes given out over 12 days. You can even win prizes just for SELLING tickets.
Our four founding parishes are alive in Christ! There are many activities and special events that our families would surely find helpful and of interest. Please take the time to read through the weekly bulletins of each to see what you might be interested in!