Principal’s Page

APRIL 3, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

We continue to celebrate our teachers and their pets.

Here is Mrs. Niklewicz and Winnie performing some amazing tricks for your enjoyment - https://flipgrid.com/d64c701d

Ms. Niemczyk and Max appear in this video - https://flipgrid.com/ffb94575

Also, I have a few student pets to share.

Happy Birthday to Nadia and Eric’s cat. She turned 1!

Here is Evan and his dog...

Here are Caleb and Christina with their cats!

This week has been so much fun... I love seeing everyone’s pets.

Don’t forget that next week is Holy Week. We have a “half day” on Thursday and then will be keeping our already scheduled Easter break. Our next day of e-learning after April 9 will be April 20.

I know we will all miss going to the Labyrinth in the gym. These wonderful virtual options will help everyone in prayer and getting closer to God.

https://stguerinparish.org/labyrinth/

Stay healthy and happy.  You are in my prayers and in the prayers of all the teachers.

Sending you gratitude and prayers,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 2, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Yesterday you were the heroes!

Based on suggestions from families, we were able to donate cleaning supplies to first responders in Elmwood Park. They really need them and we are keeping them safe with this donation. Here are some pictures.

Our 4th graders have written thank you letters as part of their work. I’d like to pair this letter with the pictures above.

Thank you, officers, for telling us to stay home. Thank you, doctors, for trying so very hard to get a cure for the horrible virus. Thank you, paper and hand sanitizer companies, for trying as hard as you possibly can to make products for us. Thank you, teachers, for providing us with homework to keep us occupied. Thank you, news, for providing us with updates on the virus. Thank you, nature, for looking beautiful and making us smile. Thank you, Mr. President, for telling us everything will be alright and for providing , thank you, family and friends, for being happy, loving us, and making us happy.

Pablo G.

While physically we are away from each other, together… as a community… we are in this together.

Sending you gratitude and prayers,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 1, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Welcome to the first day of April! I hope you have a wonderful day. I know, with the help of the teachers and parents, students are working very hard. Despite what has been mentioned in the press, Catholic schools are grading assignments because that helps us understand if the students understand the work. That informs how we go about creating plans for the week ahead.

Today, I have a few reminders for you. The first is about a very important initiative that the Archdiocese has for schools. It is the 3Cs Survey which is run in collaboration with the University of Chicago. Please, if you could spare a few minutes, complete the survey. It’ll provide the Archdiocese and me with important insights for the school. The link is:

http://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent/

Next, last week we shared information about a virtual presentation being provided for parents by Mobile Therapy Centers. The topic is “Beyond Survival: Family Strength and Resiliency during the COVID19 Pandemic”. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to rsvp@mtcus.com so they can send a direct invitation to facilitate their participation. It is being hosted on Thursday, April 2nd at 12:30 pm (CST) and on Tuesday, April 7th at 6:30 pm (CST).

Now for some pets!

Watch this amazing video of Charlie, Mrs. Persico’s dog doing amazing tricks! - https://flipgrid.com/s/fa35479b4162

Here is Higgins Jandrists and Mrs. Jandrists with another cool trick! - https://flipgrid.com/d87a8103

Lastly, here are pictures of Penny and Shelby. They are Mrs. Szeszol’s pets. We all know how much she loves animals!

There will be more pictures and videos later this week…

As I think about ways to help, prayer is a very important way EVERYONE can help during this time. I looked for some prayers families can say and I found this link. https://dolr.org/covid-prayers.

Of course, saying the rosary is another very special way to help and we encourage families to say the rosary during this time.

This week, I am looking for other ideas and ways we can help. Let me know what your family is doing during this time to help. I will keep you posted on ways St. Celestine School and St. Mother Theodore Guerin are helping, too.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 31, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Welcome to Teachers Pet Week! The week you get to know your teachers’ favorite furry creatures...

To start the week, I am including a picture of my cat, Dante. He is 13 years old and thinks he’s a dog. He comes when he’s called, begs for food and can’t quite figure out why I’m in the house so much these days!

Here is a video of Mrs. Lovera and Reno - https://flipgrid.com/3a497f0c

Later in the week, we will have some more fun videos of teachers and their pets.

I know that even when we are apart, we are still a strong community. In addition to praying for all first responders and those who are sick, there are things that can be done to help.

Making masks for medical workers is just one of those things. Here is a link showing how to do that: https://www.joann.com/make-to-give-response/. I will keep you posted on other things we can do to help.

Mr. Rogers has this great saying about looking for the helpers.

We can be the helpers by helping each other during this time period. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I look forward to seeing you…

Here is also a video created by Mrs. Gallagher using the Chalk Walk pictures from last week: https://spark.adobe.com/video/qt8xs07hiHQu8

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 30, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

This week is Teacher’s Pet Week! You’ll get a chance to meet the wonderful pets that are keeping the teachers company at home. You’ll also get a chance to send pictures of pets, too! Many of them will be included in the message for the week ahead!

There will be a few other wonderful surprises this week, as well...

Hopefully, you had a wonderful weekend! Here are some more amazing pictures from last week... So many were shared!

Lastly, one of the initiatives that the Archdiocese has for schools is the 3Cs Survey which is run in collaboration with the University of Chicago. Please, if you could spare a few minutes, complete the survey. It’ll provide the Archdiocese and me with important insights for the school. The link is:

http://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent/

Have a great day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 27, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

St. Celestine School wants to offer you and your family support during this challenging time.

The school has worked with a company called Mobile Therapy Centers throughout the year and they are here to support you if you need it. They are offering a free online event on Thursday, April 2 and Tuesday, April 7 called "Family Strength and Resiliency during Covid-19".

If you would like to listen to this short presentation and ask questions, please CLICK HERE (PDF FILE) to see all the information of HOW TO JOIN OR CONNECT from your computer or phone.

Today’s spirit activity is to  say the rosary.  Pope Francis has frequently said that praying the rosary is one of the most powerful things people can do.  Here are some links and reminders on how to do that.

I am including an amazing piece of art created by one of our 5th graders to inspire you in prayer.

I will be saying the rosary today, too.

A few more fun things… Here is a warm hello from Ms. McNulty - https://flipgrid.com/s/d5e2f2e81ecb

Finally, here are some more wonderful Chalk Your Walk pictures from yesterday!

I am so very proud and happy with how you are staying in touch during these days away.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 26, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Today is going to be one of my favorite communications! It comes with video links of the teachers sharing their kind words! Please take a look at these links and see some friendly faces saying hello! There will more videos to come in upcoming days...

Mrs. Niklewicz -  https://flipgrid.com/s/c722b6cefd11

Mrs. Pharis - https://flipgrid.com/s/5a8b2d289b6f

Here are some of you decorating your sidewalk for Chalk Walk Day!  What a nice day for these drawings!

I plan on sharing all of the drawings, videos, and pictures... there’s plenty to look forward to in the days ahead!

On another note, parents, please keep an eye on Tik Tok usage if your children use that app.  Apparently, there is a “Coronavirus Challenge” which is encouraging young people to do ridiculous things and to disregard the warnings out there about coronavirus.  Kids need your help deciding what to believe and not believe on-line and to make logical choices.

Lastly, one of the initiatives that the Archdiocese has for schools is the 3Cs Survey which is run in collaboration with the University of Chicago.  Please, if you could spare a few minutes, complete the survey.  It’ll provide the Archdiocese and me with important insights for the school.  The link is:

http://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent/

We miss you and can’t wait to see you soon!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 25, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Virtual Spirit Week has been amazing! Thank you for all your wonderful posters honoring First Responders! Here are some more that have been shared with me since yesterday.

Please read this letter from the Superintendent of Catholic Schools which includes information about different prayer opportunities for families:

Dear Catholic School Families,

I hope you are remaining safe and healthy. I am pleased to inform you that Cardinal Cupich recently released a video directed at school students and families. I encourage you to view this video and continue to pray for our health and well-being.

In addition, I encourage you and your family to join Pope Francis in a special prayer this Friday, March 27 at 12 pm (noon) CDT. The Holy Father will preside at a prayer service on the sagrata of  St. Peter's Basilica, that is, the platform at the top of the steps immediately in front of the façade of the church. While St. Peter’s Square will be empty, the Holy Father is inviting all to join him in prayer through various forms of communication.

The prayer service will be broadcast live on the Vatican website (https://www.vaticannews.va/en.html) and will include biblical readings, intercessory prayers and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et Orbi Blessing, with the offer of a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live. The Urbi et Orbi blessing “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” is normally only given on Christmas and Easter.

May God continue to bless you, our community of Catholic schools and our world.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Archdiocese of Chicago

Stay tuned tomorrow for some wonderful videos celebrating Kind Words Day!

Sending you prayers and good thoughts!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 24, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Thanks for your participation in our Virtual Spirit Week! Here are some of the wonderful Thank You’s we made First Responders!  Thanks for hanging them in your windows…

Thank you for these wonderful pictures.  To all First Respondes in our school community, thank you for everything you are doing right now!  We really appreciate your service!

One of the initiatives that the Archdiocese has for schools is the 3Cs Survey which is run in collaboration with the University of Chicago.  Please, if you could spare a few minutes, complete the survey.  It’ll provide the Archdiocese and me with important insights for the school.  The link is:

http://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent/

Thank you!  Stay safe and healthy!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 23, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Welcome to a new week filled with activities and fun. Even though we are not together, we are going to celebrate a Spirit Week! If you are able, please do these things each day. Please send pictures (especially of the activities that involve making posters or drawing... Enjoy the week and have fun with these daily themes!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 20, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Thank you for all of your help and support during this first week of e-learning.  We are very proud of our kids navigating this challenging time and appreciate your support.

As we work into next week, we will continue to tweak the schedule for students.  This means that there will be a variety of off-line assignments, some on-line work, some shifts around screen time and ongoing work on i-Ready.  We want to support our students with intentionality, while providing the best possible instruction we can during this challenging time.  The teachers and I appreciate your positive support and communication around this.  Thank you!

Please also read this communication from the Superintendent of Catholic Schools regarding our ongoing measures tied to COVID19.  It answers many questions you have had about how Catholic Schools are navigating this challenging time.

Dear Catholic School Parents and Guardians,

One week ago, we announced the closure of our Catholic school system due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) through our region. Since the closure started on Monday, the Office of Catholic Schools has worked closely with each of our schools to deliver high-quality electronic learning (e-learning) or alternative learning to our students. I have been amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of many of our educators as they have implemented their e-learning/alternative learning plans. Our students are keeping busy!

As a Catholic school parent myself, I know that this has been a time of anxiety and stress. Know that I am extremely grateful for your patience and trust. Our Catholic schools depend upon the partnership between our parents/guardians and our Catholic schools. I deeply appreciate your efforts in supporting your child’s e-learning/alternative learning during this unprecedented time.

As of now, it is unclear how long our system-wide closure will last. You may have heard that Chicago Public Schools recently announced that they will remain closed until April 20. We are not yet setting a specific date to re-open the Catholic school system, although we are intending to resume school once it is deemed safe to do so. We will continue to be in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and state health departments, and other agencies as we consider our options.

Regardless of the length of our closure, know that we remain committed to delivering the very best faith-based education possible through e-learning/alternative learning. If you have questions or needs during this closure, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school or the Office of Catholic Schools.

To assist you during this time, we have prepared a frequently asked questions (“FAQ”) document that offers basic information about e-learning/alternative learning, tuition, registration, and other important issues. I encourage you to read this document carefully. Likewise, here are some resources to assist you in supporting your child’s e-learning/alternative learning.

I know that God is blessing our efforts during this time of uncertainty. May God continue to watch over you and your family and bless our precious ministry of Catholic education.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Chicago

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Happy St. Joseph’s Day! St. Joseph rose to the challenge and cared for Mary and Jesus. His love for his family is a model for family love for all. One of my favorite statues at Notre Dame is informally called the Holy Family Huddle. It is a beautiful celebration of St Joseph and the Holy Family. May God watch over you and your families today!

 

Since we are on the subject of beautiful artwork, I wanted to share the gorgeous pictures made by Hailey in second grade. While this time away can be challenging, I love seeing the wonderful way our students are utilizing their talents and sharing their gifts to cheer the entire community. Just look at her art!

Feel free to send me pictures of the wonderful things your kids are doing during this time away. They will bring pictures to everyone’s faces!

Lastly, I know we are very focused on how things are right now and that’s OK. I just want to remind families that if a new family come to SCS and they mention you as a referral source, there will be a $150 tuition credit in April 2021. Our school community is strong and special… and totally worth sharing with others.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 18, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I hope you are doing well.  Thanks to those of you who shared pictures and drawings yesterday.  They were wonderful.  Mrs. Doyle also reported seeing a leprechaun in the near the school, too!

Here are a few fun things to do, if you are interested…

Lego building ideas... https://frugalfun4boys.com/lego-projects-for-kids/

More Art ideas from Ms. Vessini…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmoyqpwwGUA - Optical illusion draw   (grades 4-8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naMb5b4_QaY - Optical illusion 3D hand middle school+

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKOVYw9R7oI - Origami Dinosaur

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyh3kcLuqrc - Origami Crane tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCdgIxWfvaQ&t=682s - Paper Rose - Cut, fold & glue (5th-8th)

Brain pop is a wonderful resource we use in school regularly.  They appear to have some free access during school closures… https://www.brainpop.com/

Here’s something to make you smile.  The Shedd Aquarium let its penguins take a field trip during the closure.  It’s been on the news and the videos are cute.

https://news.yahoo.com/chicago-aquarium-releases-penguins-exhibits-141321702.html

A few years ago, a friend gave me a small statue that has “An Angel is Watching Over You” etched on it.  God and His angels are watching over you.  You are in my prayers.  Please keep the SCS community in yours…

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Thanks for everything you did to make e-learning such a success yesterday…

Thanks to our very hard-working teachers for getting lessons to you.  Every child in the school has lessons and activities because of our great teachers!  Parents, please reach out if you did not get access to lessons.  We want to work with you during this time…

Some of you shared pictures of the great things you have your kids doing and they made my day.  I am so proud of how hard they worked and how creative you are during this time.

I have a few more links to share.

Here are some live webcams from a few zoos in the United States.

https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/

https://www.kansascityzoo.org/animal-cams/

Here are some great art links from YouTube provided by Ms. Vessini.  They provide step by step directions for fun drawing activities.

https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtforKidsHub - Art Hub for Kids (grades 3 -5)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRAarF177Y4 - draw a dragon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6cJl89axqY - draw a unicorn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1NT7aWr_ow - draw baby yoda

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNpJCgOA1Xc - draw a slice of pizza

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR2NlUr0yPuqRxZN_7ItHog - art videos K-4 Madi & Dada

Lastly….

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  The story of St. Patrick reminds me not to be afraid and that God is with us on this journey.  St. Patrick was kidnapped as a teenager and taken to Ireland.  He turned to God for faith turning a time of tremendous uncertainty and it changed his life and the faith of an entire country.

https://www.holyheroes.com/Articles.asp?ID=184&Click=921

Here is some relaxing Celtic music to make your holiday complete…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiqlZZddZEo

Sending you smiles and prayers….

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 16, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate the school closure cause by the Coronavirus.  Each and every one of you have been so kind and supportive!  We are a strong community and we will come through this time together!

The teachers have worked very hard to prepare lessons for your children and are available via email for any questions you have.  They really miss coming to work and appreciate your kindness, too.  If you have questions for individual teachers, please contact them via email.  Their emails are listed on the school website.

As I sit inside with my own daughter, an 8th grader who attends another Catholic school, I know very deeply the challenges this time periods presents.  I also know how strong our community is…

I did a little digging for resources and found a few things for families.  They are just a hodge-podge of links and ideas for you….

Here is a link to streaming Mass.  Mass is a regular part of our routine and can provide a lot of support during this time.

http://www.catholictv.org/masses/catholictv-mass

Wishing you were someplace else?  Here is an article with virtual tours of different museums.  I have not done these tours yet, but will over the course of this time out of school.

https://www.kitchentableclassroom.com/best-virtual-gallery-tours/

Here are some story read alouds that can be entertaining.

https://www.storylineonline.net/

Lastly, here is a link to stress relief and help with supporting kids during this time.

https://parentinghealthy.com/social-emotional-learning-resources-covid-19-resources-for-kids-teens/

Please know that you are in my prayers.  Please keep us in your prayers.  I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 13, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Thank you for your patience while St. Celestine School is closed. The Archdiocese of Chicago made a system-wide decision in the best interest of students and families to close all Archdiocesan schools beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. At this time there is no definitive end date.

E-learning protocols will begin Monday, March 16 and will continue until we resume school. Teachers will reach out to you electronically with activities and lessons that students should complete. I will reach out to you periodically to keep you updated with information as it becomes available.

This closure applies to all extracurricular events and social events tied to St. Celestine School.

I will be available in the school tomorrow from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm to allow parents only (no children) to pick up materials from classrooms. The school has 30 chromebook loaners that can be signed out for during this time for children who might not have access to devices or computers at home. They are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Please note that St. Celestine School has not had any reported cases of COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus). While the school is closed, it will be deep cleaned.

Thank you for your patience and prayers as we navigate this situation. You and your families are in my prayers.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MARCH 11, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Please read the updated letter from the Archdiocese of Chicago about the Coronavirus, which is being included in the Brown Envelope this week. It provides information about what schools are doing and what can be done by families to navigate this issue. Thank you for not sending your child to school sick, reminding them to wash their hands and helping us help them as much as possible.

Please remember that this Friday school is not in session.

Please follow this link to take a survey about St. Celestine School. Results will be shared with me and with the Office of Catholic Schools. Thank you, in advance for taking the time to complete this survey.

http://survey.5-essentials.org/archchicago/survey/parent/

Please double-check that your contact information is current and correct. That includes email addresses and phone numbers. Please reach out to the office if there have been any recent changes in these methods of communication.

Finally, thank you for your continued loyalty and support for St. Celestine School. We depend on your support in our efforts to provide the highest quality of education for your children. Your continued support and cooperation is appreciated, as we remain committed to our mission.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School