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Principal Cassidy's News & Notes
10/24/2014 Notes from Boosterthon Friday
Today was the big day for our “fun run” and color run! With the sun shining, fall leaves on the trees, parents cheering us on, and an enthusiastic Boosterthon team leading the way, the students completed their laps and ended the day with the color run. The students had fun and it was a perfect day to be outside enjoying God’s gift of beautiful fall weather.
A big thank you for the APO chairs, Sarah Johannes and Roberta Dietrick, for planning and organizing the event. Thanks to the awesome Boosterthon staff for their work and enthusiasm. And a huge thank you to all the students and parents who participated and helped make this a great fundraiser and fun event for our school.
Pledging remains open this weekend and money collected can be turned in to school by Thursday, October 30 or paid online. Any questions, please feel free to contact the school.
Reminder – we have mid-trimester conferences this week. NOTE: 1:00 dismissal on Thursday. NO SCHOOL on Friday. Extended day is available.
Wednesday, October 29 – 4:00-8:00
Thursday, October 30 (1:00 dismissal) – 2:00-8:00
If you prefer more than the scheduled time, please contact the teacher to schedule a separate conference so more time will be available.
MAP testing results will be shared with you at conferences. Since this is our first time testing with MAP, the teachers will share basic data and numbers for you. The staff is training this year to learn more about how to use this information to help set goals for students, determine placement, along with teacher input, and look for growth over the year. We will take another test this spring. We will continue to keep you up to date as we learn more about the MAP tests and share resources with you so you can utilize this at home to help your students as well.
Breakfast with the Principal
We held our first Breakfast with the Principal this past Thursday. Thanks to APO for hosting and to all the parents who attended. We shared school updates and initiatives, along with some information that is helping guide us as we put our strategic plan into action. The Power Point is available here in PDF. If you have any questions after reviewing it, please feel free to contact me.
Drop Off Reminder
When dropping off students in the morning, please be mindful of the residential area surrounding our school. Some neighbors have expressed concern over the speed of cars heading into the parking area. For the safety of all, and to be good neighbors, please drive slowly as you enter the neighborhood area. Thanks for your attention to this.
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!
10/15/2014 Living Our Mission
Our school mission is the foundation of all we do at Annunciation School. As staff, we reviewed our mission and broke it down into parts – our beliefs, the students’ expectations, the school expectations:
OUR BELIEF: “We believe each student is a gift of God, a unique person, entrusted to our care. The education, development and growth of our students are our reasons for existence. Each student makes a unique contribution to our school.”
STUDENT EXPECTATIONS: “We expect our students to: use their individual talents to the best of their abilities; be responsible for their actions; treat all others with dignity and respect; follow the policies of the school; and contribute to the life of the school, parish and community.”
SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS: “We provide them with: a Christian environment for learning; guidance, encouragement and discipline; love, respect and compassion; and nurture their spirit so they may achieve their full potential.”
10/10/2014 Heart and Soul of Our School
“Do not be afraid….take courage, I am here.” Matthew 14:27
As parents, I know you can’t be here each day to experience the life of our school, so I just wanted to take a minute to share some special moments from this week that demonstrated our mission alive:
First, our school mass on Thursday ended with our song, “Send Down the Fire of Your Spirit”. Standing in the church, hearing the voices of the children singing with so much passion and energy was truly the Spirit shining through our children. It was a wonderful moment and confirms the special opportunity we have as a Catholic school to celebrate our faith together.
Second was our grandparents’ tea which took place Thursday. What a wonderful moment to look out in the auditorium to see the many grandparents and friends who came to celebrate with our second graders and our school. These are people who have lived and modeled their faith in such an authentic and strong way, that they inspired the next generation to share this with their children as well. It is our privilege at Annunciation School to carry on and help form this next generation of children who can someday do the same for their children. The second graders sang and performed so well, ending with a song that brought tears to everyone’s eyes. Moments like this remind me how special our school is and how much we are blessed!
10/03/2014 Living our mission…
Communication and Partnerships
At Annunciation School, community and partnerships are key elements of our mission. To be successful, we rely on many members of our community to help us reach our goals. Parents, students, teachers, staff, parishioners, and others contribute to the work of developing the young people in our school. Without the work of so many, we could not accomplish all that we do! Thanks to those who step up and help make Annunciation School the vibrant, successful school it is.
Partnerships are another key to our success. We know that you, as parents, are the primary educators of your children. The work we do builds on the foundation your family has laid and helps fulfill the vision and dreams you have for your children. To do this well, we need to be in communication with you. One of the most important communications is our parent/teacher conferences.
09/26/2014 News & Notes: September 26, 2014
“Don’t be afraid...take courage, I am here.” Matt. 14:27
Dancing with the Annunciation Stars!
We are only a couple of weeks away for the debut of DWAS at Annunciation School! If you have not had a chance to check out the website and link to the event, I invite you to do so. Our Annunciation Stars have videos on the site along with information on event tickets and more. Take a look – it is fun and exciting to see! Thanks to the parents and staff who have worked diligently in preparation for this fun event. Hope to see you there!
MAP Testing begins Monday:
One of our goals from our accreditation and review of our programs, was the need to identify a comprehensive assessment for our school. The NWEA Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) test has been chosen as the tool for students in grades K-8. We have chosen to use one test for all students so we have benchmark data starting fall of kindergarten all the way through grade 8. We will be testing this year in Reading, Math, and Language Usage.
09/19/2014 SeptemberFest is Here!
“Don’t be afraid….take courage, I am here.” Matt. 14:27
Parent Information Nights
We had our second parent information night this week for our kindergarten – fifth grade parents. Thank you to all who attended. These information sessions are so important to help us build the partnership we have with you to educate and develop your children. Communication is always a key to any successful partnership, and we continue to offer many options and look for ways to improve our communication. Your participation makes it successful! I hope that these sessions provided you important information regarding your child’s classroom and teacher and allowed you to meet other parents in your child’s class. Most of all, I hope you felt the excitement and energy that has filled our school since school has begun! We truly do have a vibrant community and you have helped make it special. I look forward to seeing you at more events this year.
Speaking of community……what a great way to support Annunciation parish and school by attending this weekend’s SeptemberFest! The weekend is filled with fun events, food, games, prizes, and more. This is also a great way to meet new families and spend time with others in building our “family” here at Annunciation. Good luck to the many school wiffle ball teams, too! Hope to see you there!
The year is off to a great start. Thanks to all the parents for their feedback and questions. I welcome any questions or comments as we work together to make Annunciation School the very best place for all! Hope to see you at Septemberfest!
09/10/2014 MS Information Night
Greeting Middle School Parents!
On Thursday, September 11th, we will be having our Information Night. We have set it up this year as a “Day in the Life of a Middle School Student.”
You, the parents, will live a day that is similar to what your students go through at Annunciation. This is how it will work:
09/05/2014 A New School Year and a New Theme
We begin school year 2014-2015 with a new theme – and a focus on not being afraid, being courageous and trusting that God is walking with us always. Our staff and teachers began workshop week with a talk from Father Jim on this theme. He emphasized how important it is for us to trust God, even when the “waters seem rough” or the boat appears to be tipping. As the apostle Peter learned, if we keep our focus on Jesus, we have nothing to fear.
This is what we want to teach our students as well. Often, we have our best learning through our failures and struggles. It takes courage to try something new, to trust that we are on the right path, even when we slip. As a Catholic school, we can share the promise that God is with us – He is here! What a great lesson to learn for life. Together, we begin this year with the faith and courage to persevere, to take risks, learn new things, fall and know God is there to help us back up. And in the end, we will be wiser, stronger, and more faithful from the journey!
06/06/2014 Congratulations & Blessings
I want to extend my congratulations to the graduating eighth grade, kindergarten and preschool classes at Annunciation this year! I feel blessed to have witnessed these classes and all of the hard working students and teachers of our wonderful school community. A sincere thank you to you all for creating such an amazing community.
05/30/2014 MNSAA Acreditation & End of the Year News
MNSAA Accreditation News
This week, we received our official notification that we have been renewed for accreditation through MNSAA for another seven years! The letter stated:
“Congratulations! On Monday, May 19, 2014, the MNSAA Board of Directors renewed the seven-year eligibility status for the K-8 school program at Annunciation School of Minneapolis. Eligibility will now be extended through June 30, 2021. The Board wishes to recognize the leadership and the school community for the fine efforts in completing the renewal process. We especially want to affirm your school for your dedicated staff, as well as the community’s support of the school program.”
05/22/2014 Happy Memorial Day!
Silent & Live Auction: New York City
A huge thank you is in order to everyone who helped make the Annunciation School Silent and Live Auction: New York City – such a success! Thanks to Courtney Steilen and Maranda McCarthy for their leadership, to all the volunteers who helped set up, take down, and run the event, to Jimmy Dunn for being the MC for the night, to all who attended and everyone who bid and donated that night. The auction’s success helps us continue to provide strong programs for our students at Annunciation School. We could not do it without your support! THANK YOU!
The initial calendar for next school year is now posted on the website with the major events and dates for start and end of school, holidays, conferences, etc. A more detailed calendar will be provided over the summer, but this calendar will provide you with the main dates for planning. A few notes or changes we have made for next year:
We have moved conferences earlier to be closer to the mid-trimester point so the students’ grades are not finalized yet and there is time for them to work to improve grades if needed before the end of the trimester. This will allow the conference time to be a good conversation between parents and teachers to help identify strengths and areas for growth. We also hope to have our fall testing results in time for conferences so there is good information to assist in the goal setting for each conference.
We have changed the days off for conferences to only one day instead of two and have also added a second evening conference schedule to help accommodate our families. Conferences will be held on Wednesday after school. We will be in school on Thursday next year but will have a 1:00 dismissal so we can begin conferences earlier and still provide classes for students earlier in the day. Friday will be a day off.
By having school on the second day of conferences, we have two non-teaching days that we are able to use during the year for staff development days for teacher workshops and planning. This time will be important for us to implement the goals and objectives we have identified for the coming year.
Spring break will be during Easter week this year so it will include the Easter Monday day off.
Last day of school 2015
The last day of school will be on Thursday, June 4. On Friday, we will have a full day of staff meetings and planning on that final day of the week to help wrap up the year and set our goals for next year.
Enjoy the Memorial weekend. Prayers and blessings to all who have served our country as we remember and honor them this weekend.
05/16/2014 Live & Silent Auction – New York City:
The weekend is finally here! Saturday Night Live at Annunciation School! Join us for our live and silent auction – NEW YORK CITY!
After months of planning, tons of volunteers are working hard to help make this event a success. The school is transforming as we speak into the “Big Apple” and is sure to offer a night of fun, many great auction items, fabulous entertainment and some surprises.
Our thanks to Courtney Steilen and Maranda McCarthy for their leadership as chairs – and thanks also to the many helpful hands who are making the vision become real. Come and join in the fun while supporting a great cause - Annunciation School and students! Hope to see you there!
Have you RSVP'd? Visit the official Live & Silent Auction New York City registration web site.
Do you need to catch up and figure out what the Live & Silent Auction is all about this year? Check out Maranday & Courtney's New York City blog.
05/09/2014 Rounding Up and Counting Down
05/02/2014 Thank You Annunciation Families!
04/25/2014 Alleluia! He is Risen!
Our preschool students shared the good news this week that Jesus is risen! We celebrate the good news during this Easter season. Spring brings new life, flowers blooming, green grass and busy school days! As we look to begin our last month of school next week, the calendar is filed with many learning activities, extra attention to meeting academic goals, field trips, events and more! It is a blessed time of year.
04/17/2014 Happy Easter
As we enter the holiest of days in our church, the Triduum, we pray for each other as we eagerly await Christ’s resurrection on Easter.
“God our Father, during these special three days, hope us to honor the gift of your Son, who showed us how to love. Guide us to be compassionate with others as we move toward the Feast of the Resurrection. Amen”
Annunciation School community wishes you a blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter.
04/11/2014 Spring is Here!
The snow is finally melting and the sunshine is warm! Spring is here and that means our final stretch of the school year is ahead. Next week marks the mid-point for our last trimester of the 2013-2014 school year. With only 8 weeks or so to go, we have lots to do in a short amount of time! Here are some of the notable events coming:
03/28/2014 Principal Cassidy’s News & Notes
Accreditation Visit is Complete!
Our visit for accreditation renewal was completed on Thursday afternoon. The visit team spent over 3 days interviewing staff, students, and parents, visiting classrooms, reviewing our self-study, onsite documentation and our strategic plan. It was a wonderful week with our visitors here and a chance to share our story.
The team passed on their thanks to the APO for hosting their visit and to staff and the whole community for making them feel welcome and sharing information with them. The visit team does not make any final determination of renewal, but did pass on some thoughts before they left.
Overall, the team was greatly impressed by the incredibly vibrant and supportive community. They could sense this and heard from so many at the school, new families and long-time families, that this is part of what makes our school special. The team also gave high praise to the school for the consultative and thorough process used to prepare for the MNSAA renewal. From the self-study to the strategic plan, they were impressed with the involvement of so many within the community and the attention paid to making sure the plan was represented the whole school. In addition, they commented on the thoughtful process used to address our school’s mission. The mission statement is clearly lived here and was taken apart and addressed by each section to represent each dimension and how we live this out in our school. The team felt that many people participated in creating the self-study, strategic plan, and mission to make it a very authentic process.
The team’s report will be submitted to the MNSAA board for review at their next meeting in May. Shortly after, we will receive their decision and summary of the visit. This summary will highlight strengths they noted as well as areas for improvement. Moving forward, we will use the strategic plan and summary report as our living document to guide our improvement efforts for the future of the school.
It is an exciting and exhaustive process. The journey allows us to see what we do well and also where we need to improve. Having people from outside of our school community reflect and provide feedback also gives us a good perspective. All of these efforts are meant to create the strongest Catholic education for our children.
Thanks to ALL who participated or supported this work in any way. We appreciate your time, talent, and prayers. As a community, we live our mission and once again come together to carry on our tradition of academic rigor, spiritual enrichment, and leadership development.
03/21/2014 Accreditation Visit is here!
After two years of preparation, completion of community surveys, the self-study and the strategic plan, we will host our site visit to finalize the accreditation renewal process next week. Hopefully, you are all aware of the process we have been engaged in and the visit next week which will be the final chapter in this important process of self-reflection and affirmation of our strengths, challenges and opportunities for growth.
The team will be spending 3 days in the school visiting classrooms, interviewing teachers and students, parent leaders, and also contacting parents for feedback as well. During the visit, the team will be validating our story, confirming what we have said in our self-study narratives and our strategic plan. This information will be added to their written report which is sent to the MNSAA Association and presented to the board for final approval. The MNSAA board will convene in May to review our application. We should hear the results sometime in June. This information will be shared with our community once it is received.
The exciting result of this process is our strategic plan. You can review the objectives for the plan as presented at the last Principal Breakfast. The plan will be our guide for the future improvement work we do and help us define our vision for the future of Annunciation School. Our plan is vibrant, exciting, and holds us to high standards, as we would expect for our community. I look forward to working with staff, students, parents, and community members over the next several years to launch this plan and make it a reality. In the end, our goal is to continue the tradition of academic excellence, spiritual enrichment, and leadership development that Annunciation School is known for – while adapting to the changing landscape of education today so we can be sure we are providing the strongest Catholic education for our students now and in the future.
Thank you for the support and prayers you have given during this process. We look forward to a great visit next week and our final report in the months ahead. If you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact me.
03/12/2014 Drop-off and Pick-up
Drop-off and Pick-up
To help create a safe and efficient procedure for drop-off and pick-up, we are sending home a packet with a new number card for each family along with a few reminders about the process. If each person helps by following the procedure, we will have a faster and safer car pool line for students and families.
Please review the procedures (see page 16 of the handbook) and use the number card for all pick-ups. This helps move the line along quicker. Thanks for your help!
A few notes of importance:
The car pool line is ONLY for parents dropping off or picking up students immediately. Once children are dropped off or picked up, please exit the car pool line.
If you need to unbuckle children, get extra items out of the car, or take any extra time, please park and walk children to the entry area, using the crosswalk.
Always pull forward as far as possible for all drop-off and pick-ups.
Use the crosswalk area when walking to or from the parking lot.
All children MUST walk with an adult. No child can run through the carpool lines to the lot.
Students waiting to be picked up must wait in the south foyer of the school. This area is supervised by teachers for this purpose. Students should not wait in the church foyer for pick up.
All students must be picked up within 15-20 minutes of dismissal. If you need to pick up your child later on a regular basis, please contact Jeff Wisdom to arrange for extended care.
Please be patient and respectful of our neighbors and fellow parents/families and staff. We work hard to provide appropriate supervision and to move the carpool line as quickly as possible. By following the process, we can successfully clear the lot in adequate time.
Thank you for your assistance in creating a safe and efficient space for our students each day. We appreciate your help!
03/07/2014 MNSAA Accreditation visit is coming!
03/05/2014 Principal Cassidy’s Breakfast Presentation
Principal Cassidy's Breakfast Presentation
On February 27th Principal Cassidy addressed school parents with the intent to continue to build our communication and provide an update regarding the school. The presentation is available below...
03/02/2014 Winter Conferences Time is Coming!
"Encourage each other and build each other up".
CONFERENCE TIME IS COMING - MARCH 12-13, 2014
A key component of any successful school is the partnership with parents. We hold this as a priority and continue to seek ways to improve communication and expand the partnership.
Twice a year, we take time off of school to host our parent teacher conferences. These are important and give us the chance to meet face to face and discuss each child's progress along with ways to keep learning and growth going.
This winter, we are offering two evening conference sessions to better accommodate schedules of working families. Please make time to schedule a conference with each child's teacher. You can access the online sign up to schedule time. We look forward to seeing you then.
02/05/2014 Living Our Theme
“So encourage each other and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
We continue to live our theme this year and encourage each other in many ways:
Supporting each other in the classroom and learning
Noting people’s skills and unique talents
Reminding each other that we are special in God’s eyes
Cheering each other on in competition and hard work
Teaching and modeling for others
Saying “hello” and valuing each person
Welcoming all who come to our school
Holding each other to high standards
As part of our caring and vibrant community, this theme is central to our success. This week, the teachers attended a workshop on creating a positive school climate. We were reminded of ways we can work together and support each other, as well as our students, holding each other to high standards to create the best school environment.
The teachers will be carrying this into the classroom to help students in their actions to support each other and create this positive learning environment. You can also help by reminding them of the importance of their “job” at school – to listen, to learn, to be respectful, and to work hard. When we all work together, great things happen!
We are excited to continue this work with our students to live our mission of nurturing each child’s spirit to achieve their full potential. Thank you for all the help you give us in making our mission come alive at Annunciation School.
01/31/2014 Exciting End to January
“Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
We are wrapping up our week of celebration and activities for our Catholic Schools Week. What a wonderful and fun week we had! Thank you to the student council for planning the week’s themes and events. Also, thank you to the staff and parents for supporting the students and for your commitment to Catholic education at Annunciation School! We are truly blessed!!...
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