Principal’s Page

FAQs About 2020-2021 Year - CLICK HERE


AUGUST 13, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Celestine School,

We are sincerely looking forward to welcoming back our students for the 2020/21 school year! As you know, we are implementing a number of procedures this year to maximize the safety of our students and employees. We are following the Reopening Plan of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which integrates all health and safety guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health. We believe that in-person instruction is essential for the growth of each child, and our plan provides for ongoing safety and illness prevention.

It is important that all parents, guardians, and students clearly understand our safety procedures and agree to follow them. While we have confidence in our plan, it is essential that we all work hard to keep each other safe and healthy. To this end, I encourage you to read the “Agreement to Adhere to COVID Protocols and Acknowledgement of Parental Responsibilities” which is linked below. If you are planning to return your child for in-person instruction this year, you are asked to sign this form and return it by August 20, 2020 or August 21, 2020 (depending on which of those days is your first day of school).

Covid Protocols Agreement / Responsibilities (PDF) - CLICK HERE

If you are planning to participate in full virtual learning and have not yet informed us of your intention, I encourage you to contact the school’s main office as soon as possible.

Please contact me if you have any questions about this form. Once again, I look forward to seeing your child back in our school this fall.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal


AUGUST 12, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Thank you for your communications with me as we move to the start of the 2020/21 school year. I appreciate your patience, grace and communication as we navigate the year ahead. We are truly a team and I thank God for you daily.

As a parent myself, I know that this is a stressful time for families. I am hopeful that many of the school communications have answered questions. I am including a few resources in today’s communication, as well.

Some families have asked if they can send plexiglass shields for their children’s desks. While the school has acted fully according to the Archdiocesan Plan for re-opening schools, which does not include this, families may send these along with their children.

I worked closely with the teachers to determine what dimension would best and am including a link for a shield that would work nicely according to our desks: CLICK HERE.

This link shows the suggested size, if parents would like to purchase it. Students will continue to be expected to wear masks in the classroom. The shield does not take the place of the mask.

In terms of managing the stress of the decision making you, as parents, are handling, I mentioned that St. Celestine School has partnered with a Mobile Therapy Center Social Worker to provide a parent session. The session will be Tuesday, August 18 starting at 6:30 pm. A registration link will be coming prior to the event.

Parents choosing the St. Celestine School Remote Learning Track instead of the Face-To-Face Track were asked to respond by Monday, August 10 stating that preference. Should that have slipped past your radar, please respond to this link by Thursday, August 13. The school is working diligently to provide options that support families during this stressful time. If you have already responded, we have your information. There is no need to respond again.

The link is:

Long Term / Trimester E-Learning Interest Survey - CLICK HERE

Details, which include a schedule, calendar and expectations will be shared in an upcoming email.

There will be an email to families tomorrow including a document that must be signed by families preferring the Face-to-Face Track. The details in this letter that the Archdiocese of Chicago has created includes a formal acknowledgement of responsibilities relative to a physical return to school. The letter is to be included in all paperwork being submitted at the start of the year. I am mentioning this letter now so that it is on your radar and does not get missed.

Please reach out to me with any questions you have or if there is anything I can do to help as we get closer to the start of the year.

Please keep me and all school staff in your prayers. We are praying for you, as well.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal


AUGUST 5, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

There are a number of items that I have to share, all of them designed to help support you during this very important time. There are 3 very important items I have to share.

1.- Parent meetings: Please remember that there will be Google Meets set for grade bands of students, starting August 7 and running through August 14. You will receive an email with an invitation, This is an opportunity to ask any questions you have as we prepare to start the year. These meetings are optional and are being offered to support you during this time. Teachers may also be participating in this meeting, as well.

2.- I am sharing the following article from Carol Morrone MSW who works with Mobile Therapy Centers. It addresses the return to school and emotions you and your child(ren) may be feeling right now.

Returning to School During a Pandemic - As we prepare our children for a new school year in 2020, we are all facing unprecedented challenges that continue to impact our daily lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of our children may be returning to in-person learning, some may be continuing with remote lessons, and many will most likely be experiencing a hybrid version of both in-person and online lessons. Parents have an important responsibility in helping to prepare their children for this new school year, while keeping them safe and alleviating fears of the new normal related to education.

In the spring, schools were mandated to shut down as the virus spread and fear increased. Since then, we have learned more about Covid-19 and how to keep our families safe. Businesses have begun to re-open while everyone continues to adjust to the new normal. As we make plans for the upcoming school year, let us keep this progress in mind as we prepare our children. While we still don’t know how long restrictions will last, or if we may even experience a rollback on reopening due to a new surge of Covid-19, we know much more now than we did 6 months ago when the first case was reported in the United States. Let us focus on the positive, and the steps we can take to keep our children safe and to alleviate their fears as we approach the new school year.

One of the first steps you can take as a parent is to contact your child’s school to learn what plans are being implemented for both learning and for safety. Talk with your child about how returning to school this year will be both the same in some ways and different in others. Acknowledge your child’s fears as they arise, and their disappointments. Social activities and even personal interactions with peers will definitely be limited. For children, school is a central core to their lives, and any change can be scary. Continue to reassure your child that these changes are necessary for their safety, while also encouraging their input into creative ways to face these challenges. You want your child to be appropriately cautious while avoiding fear. As masks continue to be a necessary requirement, engage your child in picking out special masks for back to school. Masks have become a notable fashion accessory and can be just as exciting as picking out new clothes. By engaging your child in this process, you are helping them become compliant with the requirement. If you have become more relaxed with precautions such as disinfecting surfaces and hand-washing at home, now is the time to renew your vigilance and set the example for your children.

Of equal importance is for parents to help their child focus on what is still the same this school year. Parents need to start getting their children on a regular schedule. Often summertime means more fluid bedtimes and relaxed rules. As we get our children prepared to return to a school environment, we need to start adding back more structure. If you have allowed later bedtimes, start gradually working back to an earlier schedule. Even 5 minutes earlier each day will make the transition easier than if you wait until the end of summer. If your child is a late morning sleeper, move wake up times earlier in increments as well. Whether school will be in-person or remote, or both, be sure each child has a designated spot for homework and supplies. Talk about schedules. Be sure to incorporate relaxation and family time into remote learning and working. As an increasing number of our homes are also our office and school, we need to remember that first and foremost we are family, and our homes need to reflect that safe haven for our children.

Finally, adults need to keep talking with children, answering their questions simply. Use age-appropriate words and explanations. As adults, we more fully understand the nuances and impact the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have on our lives, but there is no need for us to overly burden our children. The primary job of a parent is to keep your child safe, which includes knowing what information to share. Reach out to other parents for support and ideas. Your children will grow and move on from this crisis and are often much more resilient than adults. Let us keep positive and informed and remember to also take time to relax as a family, and to be an advocate for your child. There is no more important job than the job of a parent.

To help all SCS parents, regardless of whether or not they are selecting face-to-face learning or a long-term e-learning option, St. Celestine School has scheduled a virtual parent event with Carol Morrone on August 18 at 6:30 pm. An invitation link will be shared with you prior to the event. This event is optional, as well. The staff and I want to support all of our families with as many resources as we can.

3.- Lastly, there has been quite a bit of interest in the long-term e-learning option originally mentioned as being provided through the Archdiocese of Chicago. If your family is interested in this option, please complete this survey by Monday, August 10, so that planning can be completed.

Long Term / Trimester E-Learning Interest Survey - CLICK HERE

Quite a number of families expressed reservations about a third party, who is not directly involved with our students offering the instruction. With that in mind, the following model for the 2020-2021 has been designed using SCS teachers and will be implemented starting this Fall.

ST. CELESTINE SCHOOL - 2020-2021 TWO TRACK MODEL FOR THE RETURN TO SCHOOL


The SCS Two Track Plan allows for closer implementation of SCS curriculum, greater coordination efforts within the community, the inclusion of teachers from SCS, and improved flexibility should the school need to shift from one track to another. We are working within our community and supporting each other in this model.

Face to Face Track:

  • A physical return to St. Celestine School following the cohort model developed by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
  • Begins August 20 (Last names A-L) or August 21 (Last names M-Z).
  • An ability to move to short term e-learning, coordinated by the Homeroom Teacher, should the child need to be away from the classroom for any reason.
  • Adherence to the Archdiocesan Priority Standards during instruction.

Long Term E-learning Track:

  • Available for PreK-8.
  • Organized using St. Celestine School teachers and staff according to grade-bands, with consultation by the Homeroom Teachers to ensure coordinated instruction between tracks: Grade Band: PreK to First Grade - Grade Band: Second Grade to Fourth Grade - Grade Band: Fifth Grade to Eighth Grade
  • This track will begin Monday, August 31. This will allow teachers and staff the opportunity to plan and prepare lessons aligned for both Face-to-Face Instruction and Long Term e-learning.
  • Coordination of e-learning lessons with those lessons being taught in the Face-to-Face Track. The concept and content being taught will be the same. There may be differences in how the lesson will be taught, given the differences in the two types of instruction.
  • Face-to-Face lessons will not be live-streamed.
  • Adherence to the Archdiocesan Priority Standards during instruction.
  • Core classes taught: Religion, Reading, English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • The use of Google Meets, videos, iReady, and platforms designed to coordinate instruction and share communication around instruction.
  • Parent and student support will be provided by St. Celestine Staff.
  • Chromebook loaner devices will be available through the school on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • The ability to return seamlessly to face-to-face instruction at the end of the first trimester will be provided.

Thank you for your commitment to St. Celestine School as we plan for the Fall. Please reach out to me at sklich@stcelestineschool.org if you have any additional questions. You are in my prayers and the prayers of the staff.

Sincerely,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal


JULY 22, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

The start of the school year is nearly here and the entire SCS staff looks forward to supporting you and returning to face-to-face learning for our families. There are many changes to our routine and they come out of an abundance of effort to keep everyone safe and healthy and create a positive learning environment for every member of the SCS community.

Organization Day will look a little different this year. On Tuesday, August 4 from 11 am until 6:30 pm, tables will be outside in the parking lot for parents to come and get packets. Forms can be completed at home and turned in between August 7 and August 20. Detailed information in the packet will include the following items which St. Celestine School will have in place for the start of the school year.

  • Morning temperature checks in cars, before students may enter the building.
  • A staggered arrival and dismissal procedure, with grades being assigned entrances and exits.
  • A small group model (cohort model) based on homerooms.
  • Mandatory masks for everyone in the building.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures in the classrooms and throughout the building.

A series of Google Meets will be available for parents to ask questions according to the timeframe below:

  • PreK - August 7, 2020 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Kindergarten - August 10, 2020 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Grades 1 and 2 - August 11, 2020 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Grades 3 and 4 - August 12, 2020 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Grades 5 and 6 - August 13, 2020 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Grades 7 and 8 - August 14, 2020 from 4 to 6 pm

A link will be sent to parents prior to the meeting.

In order to ensure student safety and a smooth start of the year, there has been an adjustment to the date for the start of the school year. Students with last names A-L will have a full day of school on August 20 and will remain home on August 21. Students with last names M-Z will remain home on August 20 and have their first full day of school on August 21. This staggered resumption of the school year allows the school to ensure all procedures for the school day are efficient and effective. We will all be on campus starting Monday, August 24.

The Archdiocese is working towards a long-term, trimester long e-learning option for families not ready to send their children back for face-to-face learning in the fall. Details are coming. Students and families would remain a part of the SCS community and would be welcomed for face-to-face learning when ready. As soon as I have more information about this, I will share it with families.

Please reach out to me sklich@stcelestineschool.org if you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to be of assistance as we start the year.

Thank you for your support, health and efforts on behalf of your children and the school community.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JULY 15, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

You should have received an email from the Archdiocese of Chicago announcing the release of the plan to reopen schools this Fall. I am including it below, in case you missed it.

Dear Catholic School Families of the Archdiocese of Chicago,

Last month, Cardinal Cupich announced our intent to reopen Catholic schools for face-to-face classes this fall. Since this announcement, the Office of Catholic Schools has been working hard to develop our specific plan for school reopening. The planning process included consultation with several groups, including the Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force, a panel of medical experts, state and local officials, priests, principals and school parents.

We are releasing our reopening plan to schools this week. I invite you to view a Summary of the Reopening Plan along with a Parent FAQ. Each of these documents contains important information about how our schools will open and what instruction will look like when school begins.

Our plan is built upon the following principles:

  1. The safety and well-being of all our students and faculty is and will remain the first priority.
  2. Everything possible will be done to timely reopen our school buildings and provide a safe, faith-filled, high-quality education for our students.
  3. The current situation in Illinois remains fragile. While much has been achieved over the past several months, there remains the potential that the gains could be lost if we are not collectively prudent and cautious with how we proceed.
  4. The trust our school families place in us is sacred and as with all aspects of our ministry, our reopening efforts will move forward with complete transparency and clear, open lines of communication.
  5. We call all people within our communities to exercise faithful citizenship and ask that each family take personal responsibility for the common good as well as their own safety.

In the coming weeks, we will work closely with each school principal and their staff to ensure that proper steps are taken to safely reopen our schools. If you have specific questions about your school’s reopening process, I encourage you to contact your principal. However, please bear in mind that each school is still taking steps to prepare for the year. As such, not all questions will be answered until closer to the start of the new instructional year.

In addition, I know that some families may not wish to return to face-to-face instruction quite yet but wish to remain enrolled at their school. We are working with all schools to provide an ongoing, high-quality virtual option for families that are not ready to physically return. If you share this concern, I encourage you to contact your school’s principal.

Should you have questions for the archdiocese, you may reach us through ReopenSchools@archchicago.org.

I am incredibly grateful for your trust and support as we prepare for the upcoming school year. May God continue to bless our efforts on behalf of our precious Catholic schools!

Yours in Christ,

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

Please know that the school is actively preparing plans for the school year. Information will be coming soon on the following items:

  • Organization Day
  • School Organizations and Activities (including Parents Clubs, Athletics, and School Board)
  • Virtual Meetings for Grade Levels
  • Arrivals and dismissals
  • Class Assignments
  • E-Learning Options for students

Plans are being created with a great deal of care and consideration for everyone involved. While I recognize that this is a time of incredible uncertainty and many questions, I want to ensure that policies and procedures we are putting into place are well-organized and thoughtful. This is what the Planning Committee, Staff, and I have been spending our time doing. I thank you for your patience.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JULY 8, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

St. Celestine School has been busily preparing for a safe, healthy and wonderful 2020/21 school year. While we are waiting to get the plan from the Archdiocese of Chicago, we have been doing a number of things to prepare. These things include:

  • Moving furniture to create space in the rooms to allow for greater space between students.
  • Ordering plexi-glass for the office.
  • Ordering cleaning supplies, including wipes and hand sanitizer.
  • Reviewing current policy regarding student attendance and absences due to illness.
  • Eliminating the “Perfect Attendance Awards" from St. Celestine School awards.

This is only the beginning...

Check out this video from Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools. He outlines some of what is happening.

https://youtu.be/ZFj9jst08IA

We are working with the Office of Catholic Schools to safely and thoughtfully welcome each and every family back in August. Enroll today at:

https://forms.gle/fnuAHwBBkyF4R1Qy8

If you have questions reach out to me at sklich@stcelestineschool.org.

We can’t wait to see you!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 30, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

St. Celestine School continues to prepare for face-to-face learning in the fall, with our first day of school being August 20. Every effort is underway to provide a safe, healthy, calm start to the year, integrating the expectations of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Illinois State Board of Education into our educational program. As clarity around them continues to evolve, I will keep you posted on what changes to expect.

Thanks to the families who completed the survey on our remote learning program. Over 80 families provided information on their experiences. That information has already been used to make some decisions about educational programming so that we are well situated for anything the future holds. This includes the following improvements:

  • Teachers are participating in professional development opportunities and webinars tied to both face-to-face instruction and remote instruction during the summer.
  • Additional devices are being procured to support students who may need them as loaners in the future, should a return to remote learning occur at any point in the future.
  • Some teachers are getting loaner devices to support their technical needs to host GoogleMeets and lessons, since many of them have older devices.
  • Curriculum materials with both print and on-line capabilities are being purchased as available.

I encourage you to watch this recent Today Show clip exploring remote learning and equity issues for families. St. Celestine School is being proactive to support and improve so that all of our students can learn and all of our teachers can teach.

https://www.today.com/video/many-kids-lack-tech-tools-for-remote-learning-new-report-says-86333509851

We strive to stand apart from all schools in the area in terms of what we have and what we offer. That is true for face-to-face instruction and remote learning. The school never stops in its quest to be the best for you and your family. Please reach out to me if you have any questions at all.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 17, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Sports have always been an excellent way to grow emotionally as an individual. Skills in time management, problem solving, delegation, motivation, and team building develop along with athletic ability when a child participates in sports.

As such, St. Celestine School has a history of being blessed with a wonderful Athletic Director and dedicated Athletics Board. In times such as these, the school community has a deep appreciation of what has been given by Todd Nettelhorst and the Athletics Board.

For the 2020/21 school year, Todd has expressed the desire to step away from the many hours of responsibility and dedication he has generously given the athletics program to focus on his business and personal pursuits. In striving to find the most qualified candidate to replace him, Ms. Kaitlin McNulty, a beloved Kindergarten teacher, has stepped forward to assume that position. We could not have done better in our search!

Todd and Kaitlin are working together to ensure a smooth transition. Todd will continue to provide some historical knowledge around the program and dedicate time to continue the wonderful partnership we have with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

While we continue to plan for face-to-face instruction in August. We await specific guidance around athletics for the Fall. I ask the community to join me in prays for a safe and healthy plan for both academics and extra-curriculars. I will keep families informed about what to expect.

I also want families to know that there will be numerous opportunities to volunteer, both on the Athletics Board and as coaches as we return to school in the Fall. Assuming a position on the board, volunteering and coaching are direct ways one can positively impact the school community and change the lives of students. There is always plenty for people to do.

Join me in expressing great appreciation to Todd and the members of the Athletics Board for their service, instruction, kindness and dedication on behalf of our students and families. They have gone above and beyond in their service.

I am thankful for them and I look forward to a strong, positive future for Athletics, which is their legacy.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 10, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

While summer has begun, we still celebrate our wonderful Class of 2020 Graduates. Please join us on Saturday, June 13 at 1 pm for a “Reverse Parade” where friends and family may drive past and congratulate our students. We are so very proud of them and this is a wonderful chance to show it. Immediate families and graduates will then have a Parking Lot graduation where students will receive their diplomas.

We are also celebrating our 5th Graders and their awards. Typically, we have the 5th-7th grades gather for an awards ceremony on the last day of school. This year, we celebrate them here instead.

Teacher: Mr. Issa - Room 206

  • Spanish: Danielle, Neave
  • Religion: Justin
  • Reading: Grant
  • Math: Paulina
  • English: Neave, Paulina
  • Spelling: Olivia
  • Social Studies: Josaphat, Justin
  • Science: Neave, Paulina
  • Art: Grant, Neave
  • Physical Education: Samantha, Justin
  • Technology: Justin, Paola
  • Music: Neave, Josaphat
  • Perfect Attendance Marking periods 1 & 2: Paola, Jaxon, Nico, Megan
  • Outstanding Effort: Neave
  • Special Christianity Award: Kennet
  • Altar Server: Kennet
  • Student Council: Kennet

Teacher: Mrs. Lovera - Room: 207

  • Spanish: Sean, Julia
  • Religion: Isabella, Ariana
  • Reading: Julia, Trace
  • Math: Julia, Jasmine
  • English: Julia, Sean
  • Social Studies: Trace, Jasmine
  • Science: Eric, Emilia
  • Art: Jayden, Ariana
  • Physical Education: Sean, Angel, Isabel
  • Technology: Sean, Julia
  • Music: Emilia, Angel
  • Perfect Attendance Marking periods 1 & 2: Danny, Isabella, Mathieu, Julia, Olivia
  • Outstanding Effort: Isabel, Ariana
  • Special Christianity Award: Eric, Jasmine
  • Altar Server: Jasmine, Sean
  • Student Council: Julia, Angel

Lastly, St. Celestine School families can continue to order school supplies and have them shipped to their homes. Simply visit www.shopttkits.com and use account #20702 for convenient, contactless shopping.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 9, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

The beginning of June is always an exciting time, filled with celebrations and natural transitions. This year, because of COVID-19, we are celebrating in different ways, but appreciating our relationships on a deeper level and treasuring the support we have around us.

As we complete the academic year in our Catholic schools, your children and our educators and you adults who have helped them deserve a round of applause for enduring difficult challenges in these unprecedented times. It wasn’t easy, but thanks for your dedication and the support you have given to your parish and your school. We helped lead the way in responding quickly when school buildings were closed and we adapted to e-learning. Our teachers showed great creativity in providing the kind of quality education that distinguishes Catholic schools. In fact, in a recent survey, parents evaluated the effectiveness of our e-learning efforts very favorably.

However, the question on everyone’s mind is: Where do we go from here?

Cardinal Cupich and our school administrators want you to know that we have every expectation that our schools will be open in the fall. And that we will employ measures that keep the safety of your children a top priority. We are working with experts in this area, as well as state and local public health officials. Anyone returning to one of our school buildings can have confidence that we have taken every measure we can: enhanced regular cleaning and disinfecting of high contact areas, the use of plexiglass barriers in common spaces such as main offices, the availability of adequate supplies of sanitizer and PPE, and temperature checks on anyone showing symptoms.

We also know that some will prefer or need to stay at home. Remote learning will be available for these students, so they can keep pace with their class.

Our decision to plan aggressively for reopening our schools this year is based on the value we place on face-to-face instruction and the community learning environment that has been a hallmark of Catholic school education over the years. Over the summer we will keep you up to date as our plans develop, but we are sending this first message to assure you we will do whatever is needed to open our schools this year.

We can only do this with your continued support. So, if you have not yet registered at your school for this coming year, please do so immediately.

Please use this link to do it over the computer - https://stcelestineschool.org/forms/

We are only as strong as the partnership we have with parents who enroll their children in our schools. We have a proud history of education and we should not allow this challenge to undermine or diminish that tradition. What we do in this moment will have an impact on Catholic school education for years to come.

The cardinal and I will pray for you and your families, asking God to keep all of you safe over the summer months. We want to see everyone return to our schools this year, healthy and ready to get to work. God bless you all.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 8, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

I hope you are enjoying these first days of summer.

I am sharing the 6th grade awards with you, as I have shared the other awards. Please note that much of the work in creating these lists was done remotely. As I have been sharing names and awards, I have been notified that a name or two has been missing. That is not intentional and I have been circling back when any oversights have occurred.

Our 6th grade awards go to...

Teacher: Niemczyk - Room: 213

  • Religion: Michael, Joseph
  • Reading: Ximlu, Anastasia, Michael
  • Math: Ximlu, Michael
  • English: Michael, Madeline, Ximlu
  • Spelling: Madeline, Anastasia, Iris
  • Social Studies: Michael, Laura, Madeline, Joseph
  • Science: Ximlu, Cady
  • Art: Jenny, Lilah, Natalie
  • Physical Education: Natalie, Joseph, Damian
  • Technology: Elinor, Michael, Ximlu
  • Music: Iris, Arthur
  • Perfect Attendance Marking periods 1 & 2: Michael, Cady
  • Outstanding Effort: Lilah, Joseph, Natalie
  • Special Christianity Award: Ximlu, Lilah, and Joseph
  • Altar Server: Jenny, Lily, Elinor, Madeline
  • Student Council: Ximlu, Julia
  • Drama: Isabella, Elinor

Teacher: Russo - Room: 211

  • Religion: Milana, Elena
  • Reading: Milana, Claire
  • Math: Claire, Albert
  • English: Claire
  • Spelling: Claire, Albert
  • Social Studies: Claire, Albert
  • Science: Claire, Albert
  • Art: Tabitha, Albert
  • Physical Education: Ashley, Albert
  • Technology: Jackson, Samantha
  • Music: Gabriella, Robert
  • Perfect Attendance Marking periods 1 & 2: Jackson, Eric
  • Outstanding Effort: Diana
  • Special Christianity Award: Claire, Ashley, Jackson
  • Altar Server: Gabriella
  • Student Council: Gabriella, Claire
  • Drama: Gabriella, Gianna

I also want to mention that two wonderful 8th grade students were not included in the list for Student Aides. They were Michael R. and Jake M. Both young men worked tirelessly to help create a positive welcoming environment for our students and we are very proud of them!

As we continue to work through recent world and community events, the staff and I continue to pray for peace, for the sake of everyone around us. This prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a lovely prayer.

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/prayer-of-the-faithful-day-of-prayer-for-peace-in-our-communities.cfm

May your day be filled with love and peace!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 5, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

We did it! It is the last day of the school year... a school year that will be in history books for generations to come.

One of my deepest beliefs about teaching and learning is that it doesn’t work as well if there isn’t a partnership between families and schools. This year that partnership worked in different ways than in years past. While we were all thrust into a different school experience, I am so grateful for the many positives and blessings that came from that experience. We are a great team! We are a great community!

One of the many positive things is that families are welcome to drive by and honk or wave at Mrs. Pharis on her last day. That can happen between 11 AM and 12:30 PM next Wednesday, June 10. She’ll be outside her classroom in the parking lot for that time.

I am going to continue to celebrate our many victories by mentioning our awards for 7th Grade. Please see them below.

Teacher: Cindy Hamilton - Room: 7-203

  • Spanish: Adrianna and Max
  • Religion: Jacklyn, Maximillian, and Andre
  • Reading: Mari-Rosa, Addison, and Ryan
  • Vocabulary: Simon, Megan, and Alexa
  • Math: Simon and Megan
  • English: Simon and Megan
  • Spelling: Andre and Frida
  • Social Studies: Ryan, Max, and Simon
  • Science: Megan, Max, Mari-Rosa, and Ryan
  • Art: Alexa and Max
  • Physical Education: Max, Addison, and Megan
  • Technology: William, Ryan, Max, Addison, Megan, Jack, Simon, and Alexa
  • Music: Frida and Chris
  • Outstanding Effort: Megan, Andre, Simon, Addison, Mari-Rosa, and Ryan
  • Special Christianity Award: Megan

Teacher: Amy Roberts - Room: 7-205

  • Spanish: Alejandra and Jamie
  • Religion: Mikenna, James, Vanessa, and Jaclyn
  • Reading: Jamie, Alejandra, Mikenna, and Abraham
  • Vocabulary: Alejandra, Abraham, and Jamie
  • Math: Jamie and Alejandra
  • English: Jamie, Mikenna, and Alejandra
  • Spelling: Sarah, Alejandra, and Thaddeus
  • Social Studies: Jamie, Mikenna, and Alejandra
  • Science: Mikenna, James, Jaclyn, and Alejandra
  • Art: Krist and Jamie
  • Physical Education: Kaitlyn, James, and Sean
  • Technology: Nico, Kaitlin, Abraham, Michael C, Jamie, Mikenna, Sarah, Ethan, Thaddeus
  • Music: Sarah and Abraham
  • Student Council: Mikenna
  • Drama: Ewa
  • Special Christianity Award: Alejandra

As we read these names and feel pride and appreciation for these great students, I want to mention a terrific 8th grader (now graduate) who did not get the full recognition he deserved. Joseph H. was not included in yesterday’s list for Altar Servers or for Drama. He shared is talents on both.

Lastly, some of you have reached out to me about i-Ready and having your children continue on it. It will be available for your child through early August. While not mandatory, i-Ready is a terrific way to avoid the summer slump.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 4, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Loyola Press shared this wonderful prayer and I thought I’d pass it on to you.

A Prayer for Hope and Peace - Heavenly father, I am your humble servant, I come before you today in need of hope. I need hope for a calm and joyful future. I need hope for love and kindness. I pray for peace and safety. Some say that the sky is at its darkest just before the light. I pray that this is true, for today seems stormy and dim. I need your light, Lord, in every way. I pray to be filled with your light. Help me to walk in your light, and live my life in faith and service. In your name I pray, Amen.

We have so much to celebrate. Among the many things to celebrate are the awards we announce for our students. For today, I’d like to share those given to our 8th graders. The other grades will be shared in the days ahead.

Teacher: Maureen Detty - Room: 8-202

  • Spanish: Nina C and Gianna D
  • Religion: Gianna D and Veronika S
  • Reading: Nina C and John N
  • Vocabulary: Olivia C and Maggie T
  • Math: Corey B, Nina C, and Jack C
  • English: Corey B and Nina C
  • Spelling: Dominic P and John N
  • Social Studies: Corey B and Nina C
  • Science: Gianna D, Corey B, Nina C
  • Art: Isabella A, Olivia C, Paul M
  • Physical Education: Isabella A, Veronika S, John N, Joe K
  • Technology: Luke G, Isabella A, Jack C
  • Music: Margaret T and Corey B
  • Outstanding Effort: Olivia C
  • Special Christianity Award: Gianna D
  • Altar Server: Isabella A, Gianna D, Dominic P
  • Student Aide: Krystian P, Elias G, Joe K, Klaudia K, Isabella A, Marinel S, Nathan M, Margaret T, Nina C, Rylee G, Gianna D, Joseph H, Isabel E, Olivia C, Omarr R, Jake M, Ryann J, Victoria P
  • Student Council: Dominic P, John N, Gianna D, Maggie T
  • Drama: Isabella A, Jack C, Gianna D, Luke G, Paul M, Dominic P

Teacher: Mr. Sean Creagh - Room: 8-204

  • Spanish: Marinel S, Nicholas U
  • Language Arts: Omarr R, Marinel S
  • Science: Omarr R, Nicholas U, Klaudia K, Marinel S
  • Social Studies: Marinel S, Omarr R
  • Physical Education: Rylee G, Omarr R, Jake M
  • Music: Omarr R, Rylee G
  • Art: Nicholas U, Ryann J, Elena S, Krystian P
  • Math: Klaudia K, Marinel S
  • Religion: Klaudia K, John M
  • Spelling: Elena S, Marinel S, Jake M
  • Vocabulary: Marinel S, Omarr R
  • Drama Club: Michael R, Nicholas U, Omarr R, Krystian P, John M, Klaudia K

Congratulations to our wonderful students in the Class of 2020!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 3, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the retirement of Mrs. Karen Pharis, our wonderful PreK teacher. Please join me in thanking her and congratulating her for her many years of service to the youngest members of the St. Celestine School community. Her gentle, kind nature has influenced and improved the lives of countless students and we will miss her.

Preschool at St. Celestine School is the beginning of the educational careers of many of our students. This is where the foundations of academic excellence begin. With this in mind, I congratulate and thank Mrs. Ann Jandrists for moving to PreK and using her many talents as a teacher for our youngest school students. Mrs. Jandrists is an experienced and patient educator and will provide the very best educational experience for our PreK students during the 2020/21 school year.

I am in the process of looking for a First Grade teacher and will keep you up to date on my search. A number of highly qualified educators have already expressed interest in joining our staff. They have all expressed a desire to be a part of the St. Celestine School community.

I addition to this news, I also share that St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish is moving towards reopening in accordance with the regulations and expectations set forth by the Archdiocese of Chicago. A number of volunteers are needed to make that happen. If you have any ability to volunteer, please click the link below. Thank you, in advance, for your willingness to help the parish and school community.

https://forms.gle/jHRaZpG7FUNgErDw9

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 2, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

I think to say that 2020 has been a challenging year is an understatement. On January 1, I could have never imagined the events that would come. That said, we are weathering them together, as a family rooted in faith and commitment to each other. I am so very glad we are in each other’s lives and you are all in my prayers as we navigate a way to peace, safety and health.

While recent events have overshadowed what lies ahead for planning for the school year, rest assured that the school is deeply invested in planning for a safe, healthy and happy Fall. Some time ago, I mentioned a committee being formed to prepare for the 2020/21 school year. I am very happy to share the following Fall Planning Committee members who have dedicated themselves to work all summer in preparation for the 2020/21 school year. Teachers on this committee include Mrs. Maureen Detty, Ms. Cindy Hamilton, Ms. Alyssa Russo, Mrs. Michelle Doyle and Mrs. Cindy Gallagher. Parents on the committee include Mrs. Jamie McGarvey, Mrs. Richelle Rominski, Mrs. Tracy Benetatos, Mrs. Aimee Parks and Ms. Beth Ann Swetland.

The areas of Safety, Health, Social/ Emotional Learning, E-learning, Early Childhood, and Transition to a New School Year are areas of focus, because all of them will require focus and attention. The Committee will guide me through the expectations of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the State of Illinois as we plan ahead. St. Celestine School, being a strong and safe community, will be ready for the Fall, because we are in this together and are creating a plan with its children in mind. Please pray for us as we embark on this important work.

I’d like to close today’s email with works of beauty. Our students continue to focus on all that is good in the world and works of beauty. Here are two wonderful pieces of artwork that show this.

They are by Gabriel and Mia. Thanks to them for sharing their creativity.

Thanks to our families for their faith, dedication and fortitude.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


JUNE 1, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

As we finish grades and report cards, many teachers, students, and parents had questions about the Honor Roll. Due to the changes to grading and grading structure, the Archdiocese created a COVID-19 report card. Since we are using a different report card, a decision was made that we use a different approach to Honor Roll.

St. Celestine School is amending its Honor Roll to reflect the challenges and changes brought about by the COVID 19 virus and subsequent e-learning that occurred between March 16 and June 5. There are to be 3 levels Honor Roll and the calculations for the levels are different than previous honor rolls.

1st Honors - A’s in Social Studies, Science, Religion, Math, Reading and English

2nd Honors - A’s and B’s in Social Studies, Science, Religion, Math, Reading and English

3rd Honors - B’s in Social Studies, Science, Religion, Math, Reading and English

No Passes in any Regular Subjects

No Incompletes in Any Specials classes.

Thank you for your teamwork as we enter the last week of the school year. You are in the prayers of every teacher and staff member in the school and we thank you for your prayers. I share one of my favorite prayers with you, with the promise that I will be saying it for you every day this summer.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved, as to love; For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.

As we continue to navigate frightening and uncertain times, please reach out to me should you need anything from the school. I can be reached by calling the school office or at sklich@stcelestineschool.org.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 29, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

We have so much to celebrate! The eighth grade families celebrated a Zoom Graduation yesterday evening. Yesterday would have been their official graduation. Don’t worry, we have a plan for the early summer for a way to recognize them more publicly. Details are coming soon!

Our wonderful track and field coaches made this video to share how much they are thinking of you. ALL of the school volunteers miss and appreciate you! Enjoy this and think about how much you are appreciated.

https://youtu.be/ZCdSG_wI61A

Also, as we think about next year, you do have a way to order school supplies and continue to practice social distancing. School supply packs can be ordered and shipped safely to your home!

https://stcelestineschool.org/2020-supply-kit-online-order

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 28, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Teachers will be sending you schedules for picking up student items and dropping off school materials. We created the schedule to allow for social distancing and safety. No one will be allowed into the building without a mask. Report cards will be included in the materials.

Some of you have reached out to me about ordering yearbooks. This is the link for ordering: https://stcelestineschool.org/school-yearbook-2020

While this time has been stressful for families, these pictures show that even at our most stressful moments, we are working as a community to bring out the best in our children.

It is an honor to work with every parent, every teacher and every staff member during this time. We are a strong community, with a firm foundation and a strong future. This is because of the hard work of every single member of the community.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 27, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Join me in celebrating the remaining May birthdays with this video from Mr. Bob - https://flipgrid.com/s/745915a7b258

Celebrate the wonderful class of 2020 by CLICKING HERE and reading about some of the many things we love about them.

Thank you for your support and attention as we move towards the end of the school year. The teachers are working on getting missing work from some students, with the last day of that work being May 28. Details about dropping off school items, picking up materials and getting report cards will be shared by teachers over the next week.

Currently, we are in the process of reopening the church and volunteers are needed. We will need them to assist with various aspects of our parish reopening plan. Importantly, leadership team members and volunteers must not be part of a “vulnerable population” (that is, not over the age of 65; no underlying medical condition such as diabetes; lung disease; undergoing cancer treatment, etc.). I ask all of you who are younger than 65 and healthy with no underlying health conditions to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams. We really need you!

Set-up team. Sample duties include ensuring that all supplies needed for each sacramental celebration/gathering are ready for use, entrances and exits are marked and propped physically open prior to attendees’ arrival/departure, etc.

Greeting team. Sample duties include assisting in managing the flow of congregants as they enter the church, making sure attendees use hand sanitizer upon entering, are wearing a mask, and are reminded not to enter if ill; directing people to appropriate seating/waiting areas, etc.

Cleaning team. Sample duties include maintaining and cleaning essential and trafficked areas of the church before and after the church has been used. Masks and gloves will be provided, if you do not have your own, in addition to approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies.

The Reopening Leadership Team and Fr. Paul will make sure that all volunteers are properly trained. Please send a message to lauriedepillo@stguerinparish.org to indicate your willingness and ability to volunteer. From those that step forward, we will also request that some act as volunteer captains to help lead each of the three teams. Think of this as a way to serve God during this challenging time. Thank you for anything you can do for the church.

You are in my prayers. Please keep me in yours.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 26, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Parents and Guardians,

Grading and assessment are key components of how students learn during any situation. This time of remote learning does create a challenge in the way teachers have traditionally communicated feedback to students. Student learning and demonstrations of learning in a remote setting looks different than in-person work, and requires flexibility on the part of teachers and families.

Varied assignments and assessments ensured that students had ample opportunities to improve grades and receive feedback on their progress in learning standard-based content. Work has been graded and feedback given by the teachers regularly and consistently.

Furthermore, teachers have been working with families to determine why a student might fail to complete assignments or other related assessments during this period, the school engaged in a series of steps to determine the cause of the missing assignments. Teachers took positive steps to assist students and families in situations which required additional supports. The school then documented the cause of the missing assignments and how they were resolved.

For report cards, St. Celestine School will be issuing grades for their students in their core content areas. If a child was significantly impacted by issues beyond his/her control, the child may receive a Pass in a subject area. If there were no issues impacting the completion of work and work was not done, an Incomplete may be issued.

The Archdiocese has recommended using Pass/Incomplete for special area subjects such as PE, Art, Tech, Spanish and Music where measurement of skill acquisition was more difficult to determine, than that of the core subject areas. St. Celestine School will be following those recommendations. Students will receive a score of Pass if they have submitted their work and shown consistent effort and a solid understanding of key concepts. A score of Incomplete will be given if work was not submitted and school expectations were not met.

Above all, students are to be commended for their efforts and achievements during this historical time in education. SCS students have stepped up to the challenges placed before them with grace, dedication and fortitude. We are very proud of them, especially the students in the graduating class of 2020. Their ability to adapt to change and navigate the world around them are skills they will carry with them the rest of their lives.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 22, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Today I am sharing some important information about ongoing efforts to reopen our parish. This information is from Fr. Paul Cao, our Pastor.

REOPENING PLAN FOR ST. CELESTINE AND ST. CYPRIAN CHURCHES AMID COVID–19

I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. As you may have seen, Cardinal Cupich recently shared our multi–phased plan for reopening churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Specifically,

  • Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees.
  • Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees.
  • Phase II allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state and the capacity of the church building.

Our ST. MOTHER GUERIN Reopening Plan - First and foremost, it is important for everyone to understand that our efforts will prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and liturgical norms of our faith.

I will assemble a Parish Reopening Leadership Team with parishioner co–captains to lead our efforts. Together, we will attend required training from the Archdiocese to ensure that our parish reopening plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the Archdiocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities. We will also receive a starter kit of protective and cleaning supplies, as well as guidance on purchasing and maintaining supplies ongoing.

Volunteers Needed - We will need volunteers to assist with various aspects of our parish reopening plan. Importantly, leadership team members and volunteers must not be part of a “vulnerable population” (that is, not over the age of 65; no underlying medical condition such as diabetes; lung disease; undergoing cancer treatment, etc.). I ask all of you who are younger than 65 and healthy with no underlying health conditions to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams:

  • Set-up team. Sample duties include ensuring that all supplies needed for each sacramental celebration/gathering are ready for use, entrances and exits are marked and propped physically open prior to attendees’ arrival/departure, etc.
  • Greeting team. Sample duties include assisting in managing the flow of congregants as they enter the church, making sure attendees use hand sanitizer upon entering, are wearing a mask, and are reminded not to enter if ill; directing people to appropriate seating/waiting areas, etc.
  • Cleaning team. Sample duties include maintaining and cleaning essential and trafficked areas of the church before and after the church has been used. Masks and gloves will be provided, if you do not have your own, in addition to approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies.

The Reopening Leadership Team and I will make sure that all volunteers are properly trained. Please send a message to lauriedepillo@stguerinparish.org to indicate your willingness and ability to volunteer. From those that step forward, we will also request that some act as volunteer captains to help lead each of the three teams.

Timing for Our Reopening - The Parish Reopening Leadership Team members and I will complete required training. After the training, we will need to review and complete tasks assigned to all parishes as part of a reopening certification process to be approved by the Archdiocese. Following our training and certification approval, at St. Mother Guerin, we will only open our church once the Reopening Leadership Team and I feel confident that we have the right volunteers in place to make it possible to reopen. Again, the need for parishioner assistance cannot be overstated.

The guidelines and measures required to reopen are designed to protect our wellbeing and that of the of our broader community. As Cardinal Cupich has noted, from the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper.” Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed, “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) and commanded us “love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). Our collective patience, willingness to help and the care we take to reopen is a demonstration of our unity and love for one another.

May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions, please contact me at 708–453–2555, and watch the parish website and Facebook page St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish, for updates.

Sincerely yours in Christ, Fr. Paul Cao - Pastor, St. Mother Guerin Parish

I look forward to when we can pray together in our parish worship sites.  In the meantime, all school community members, especially those directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus, are in my prayers and the prayers of our school staff.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 21, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Please remember that Monday is Memorial Day and that students have the day “off” from work. While it may be a different Memorial Day than any of us have ever experienced, I hope it is a wonderful holiday for you.

If you have not registered for next year, please use this link for contactless registration. Every family is an important part of the St. Celestine School family.

https://forms.gle/fnuAHwBBkyF4R1Qy8

Please also remember that if a new family comes to us because you have recommended them and they let us know that at the time of registration, you will get a $150 credit on your April 2021 tuition.

While e-learning has been a challenge, students have risen to it.  Here are a few pieces of artwork they have done for Art.  Their ability to tap into their creative side truly shines through and their work is beautiful.

Susanna

Kris

As always, I am available to answer any questions you have. Please contact me at sklich@stcelestineschool.org.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 20, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

As we continue to navigate the world we are in, I have been looking for resources to support families and help with some stress relief. This article shares several links to help with that.

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/practical-parenting/2020/03/56-covid19-resources/

If you have not registered for the upcoming school year because of concerns regarding either finances or how we will approach the 2020/21 school year, please reach out to me via email at sklich@stcelestineschool.org. I want to discuss your concerns and work with you. Over my career of 25+ years in Catholic education, I have been in a variety of schools and parishes. St. Celestine School is unique in the dedication of its faculty, its drive for excellence, and its deep roots in faith. We are all a part of that. We are a family.

The school community is nearing the end of the 2019/20 school year. It is most definitely a different year than any of us could have pictured. We emerge from this time period as a stronger community, grounded in faith and a deeper sense of gratitude for the blessings God has given us in our lives. The teachers may be reaching out to you regarding your child’s progress if they have concerns. Please reach out to them or to me, if you have any questions. We are here for each other.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 19, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Thank you for your continued help and support as e-learning continues. The teachers have been working very hard on lessons, providing direction, and assessing student progress. We are just weeks away from the end of the school year. Please, if you have any questions at all about your child’s progress, reach out to the teacher. The teachers will reach out to you if they are at all concerned about your child’s progress. Plans are being developed for dropping off and picking up materials, as well as getting report cards. Details will be shared early next week.

This is a reminder that Summer Camp will not be provided this summer due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID 19 and social distancing. As soon as the building reopens, refunds will be sent to families who registered for camp. The school’s goal is to provide summer camp in 2021.

The virtual Scholastic Book Fair continues. Please use this link to access the site and have books sent to your homes. There are many, many wonderful selections available.

https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=stcelestineschool1

Lastly, please join me in congratulating Isaac R., a SCS Prek 4 student. He won first place in the Illinois Masonic Student Assistance Programs first STEAM competition. He designed and built a birdhouse out of nature items. His creativity in this project is indicative of the many wonderful things happening in the Early Childhood Program even during e-learning.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 18, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

I am sharing information from the Archdiocese regarding the reopening plan for churches. The following is a letter from Cardinal Cupich, dated May 13 and included in the bulletin for this past weekend.

Dear Friends in Christ,

These fifty days of Easter, leading to Pentecost, are marked by unprecedented suffering, as humanity has fallen victim to a perilous contagion. In addition to the threats to our physical well-being, we are suffering spiritually as the Covid-19 pandemic has required restrictions of our worship and active participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Surely, there have been moments in history when governments and rulers have persecuted Christians and banned their public worship. This is not one of them. Rather, the present restrictions come in response to an extreme medical emergency as local, state and federal authorities – specifically public health officials – legitimately fulfil their responsibilities to safeguard human life and the common good. They have based their reasonable guidance on careful consideration of empirical data and the best available disease-mitigation practices as they seek to contain the pandemic’s rampage through our communities.

While everyone must exercise good citizenship in observing these restrictions, I call on the Catholic faithful, as advocates for justice and charity, to comply with these regulations. From the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper,” a truth that must inspire us as we are called to sacrifice. We should also be motivated to cooperate with public safety norms, given our reverence for life and human dignity. This is, at its heart, a moment to proclaim the breadth and depth of what it means to be pro-life, particularly as this virus preys on the most vulnerable in our midst.

The good news is that a plan for a gradual reopening of our churches has now taken shape, as I note below. However, since our movements will be restricted as that plan unfolds in different phases, your pastors and bishops will continue for the present time to offer Mass in private each day and to livestream and broadcast Masses from our parishes and the archdiocese. I am particularly grateful to ABC-TV, Univision and Polvision in Chicago for giving us airtime every Sunday. These celebrations surely are not the same as gathering in our churches for Mass, but I know from hearing from many parishioners that they provide a great deal of solace and support in this time of uncertainty.

We must be honest. We expect this situation to continue for some weeks, and any plan for reopening our churches for public worship must include every precaution to ensure public gatherings do not create a second wave of contagion, thus squandering the gains made through our sacrifice in these days.

With those realities in mind, I am heartened to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Office of the Governor on a multi-phase Plan for re-opening our churches for the celebration of the sacraments, private prayer, adoration and Mass. As I share the Plan with you, both by way of an Executive Summary and the full Plan in the following pages, I want to assure you of my prayers for you and your family’s personal, material and spiritual wellbeing. I also express my appreciation to the many people on the archdiocesan staff and in the Office of the Governor for the many hours they have given to designing and fine tuning this agreement. Again, I call on all Catholics to seize this moment to exercise faith-filled citizenship in a way that reflects our deep regard for life, our calling as disciples of Jesus and our love of country.

Sincerely yours in Christ, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

Very important work is underway to eventually open the church when the time is right, while keeping everyone safe. I ask you to join me in prayer for everyone involved in this process. Never have I personally missed Mass so much and I look forward to a time where we can be together worshipping the Lord.

Thank you for everything you are doing for St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish and St. Celestine School.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 15, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Enjoy your day today and pray for the teachers as they spend their time preparing for the 2020/21 school year.

If you are looking for something fun to do today, Wonder Works Children's Museum in Oak Park continues to engage families and young children while they are home. They offer daily story time sessions for children. Enjoy two stories about creating, making and being unique by Diane Alber and a birdhouse building activity. https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=506676036906809&ref=watch_permalink

Follow them @WonderWorks A Children's Museum in Oak Park for new stories every day plus activities for families. http://www.wonder-works.org

Should shopping be on your agenda, here is the link for the Scholastic Book Fair. https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=stcelestineschool1

I am also including another essay from Carol Morrone, MSW, from Mobil Therapy Centers (MTC). MTC has provided support for the St. Celestine School community all year. This essay is about the importance of self care.

Parents have been trying to juggle all the responsibilities of parenthood, employee, and teacher while the stay-at-home order has been in effect. Many have wondered when they will be able to have some “me” time. While finding time for yourself during the Covid-19 pandemic can be difficult, as restrictions are beginning to ease, the challenge remains. Perhaps fitting as we end the Covid-19 parenting series of articles, in this last installment, let us look at how parents can find time for themselves to practice self-care.

Once you became a parent your life changed forever. You added a responsibility to your growing responsibilities as an adult. When your first child was born most likely you experienced a shock at how much more complicated your life became. The need for self-care is not a Covid-19 issue, the need is a parenting issue and a personal issue. To practice self-care, you need to be purposeful, make a plan, and continually adjust and re-evaluate your options.

Making a plan as to how you can maintain and grow as a person when you are a parent may seem silly and unnecessary. After all, you wanted children. True, but losing your personal identity happens so subtly when you are caught up in parenting. Your life necessarily revolves around taking care of your child in so many ways that, if you neglect to purposefully care for yourself, you may find that you forget who you are outside of being a parent. Start by developing a personal plan for growth. Recognizing that your life has changed, plan for how you can have some time for you. Write down goals for yourself, in short-term, long-term, and “maybe one day” format. For example, an initial goal may be to connect with an old friend; that can evolve into a dinner out, then a weekend away, maybe a dream trip once your children are grown and gone. Be sure to plan to work in activities and interests that you enjoy and that you want to develop. Finding time may be a challenge, but not impossible. Even five minutes a day for self-reflection after the children are in bed keeps you focused on incorporating your needs into your life plan. Recognize that some days you will have more time and some days less, but you will never seem to have any time if you do not make a dedicated effort.

Check your list periodically to see how you are making progress. Look for progress in steps, not full accomplishment of entire goals. For example, if you want to connect with an old friend, have you found a way to locate that person? What avenues have your tried? If your goal is to read more, you can start with thirty minutes a week and work up to thirty minutes a day. Recording the steps you have taken helps you to recognize the progress you have made towards your goal and keeps self-care on your personal agenda. Short-term goals should show progress within weeks or months, long-term goals within months or years. Your “maybe one day” goals are your dream goals, so while progress may be years away, you need to review these items on a regular basis to be sure you remember what you hope to achieve and to keep your dreams alive. Keeping both a short-term and a long-term focus on yourself helps you to prioritize your time by reminding you of progress made and your growth and importance as an individual.

Let’s face the facts – life happens, and our goals and priorities can change. That’s OK. Raising children takes away from free time we had in the past. That’s OK, too. The important point is to purposefully include ourselves in our life plans. Parents often experience guilt if they spend time doing things for themselves, putting themselves last. Taking time for yourself does not make you a bad parent but does make you human. By modeling self-care, you are teaching your children these same skills by example. Developmentally, a child is born dependent and goes through formative years with a self-centered mindset. This mindset serves a purpose of survival when a child needs our guidance. However, as a parent preparing our children for adulthood, we need to be sure we are also teaching them self-care. Studies have shown that a parent’s satisfaction with life is a predictor of a child’s success and satisfaction as an adult. Finding time to be a family, to be a parent, and to be you takes effort, but the outcome is well worth the time. One day your children will be grown and gone, and you want to know that person who is looking back at you in the mirror.

Regardless of how you spend your weekend, enjoy it and stay safe.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 14, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

St. Celestine School has been working with Mobile Therapy Centers to provide services and support for all of our learners and their families. During this time, Carol Morrone, M.S.W., has provided us with some tips and ideas to manage the many stresses we are experiencing. Her article below includes many of those tips.

Spring is a time of renewal. As the weather warms and we continue to live under a stay-at-home order due to public health concerns, there are ways we can help ourselves and our children fight depression. While no substitute for professional help, these five easy tips can benefit everyone:

1) Exercising your brain with mental activity, such as reading, learning a new skill, even doing a puzzle, helps your brain continue to make new connections. There is research to support mental exercises as a key component in helping keep our brains young and in improving our moods. To help you get started, I will be offering key phrases after each tip which will help you learn more on each of these suggestions. (online search phrase: “mental stimulation”)

2) Physical exercise for your body is known to release endorphins in your brain, which is one of the neurotransmitters (chemicals) which help us to regulate mood. Other neurotransmitters released during physical activity include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, the same chemicals targeted in prescription medications given to help patients stabilize their moods. (online search phrase: “exercise and endorphins”)

3) Get some sunshine by going outside as many days as possible. Stay-at-home is not the same as stay-in-your-home. Emerging research leads to support the theory that an adequate level of Vitamin D is necessary to elevate mood and fight depression. Studies have shown that people can significantly increase their levels of Vitamin D naturally by going outside for just 10-15 minutes a day, three times a week. Why not combine this fact with tip #2 and take a walk? (online search phrases: “Vitamin D and depression” and “sunshine and Vitamin D”)

4) Humor, including a good laugh, stimulates blood circulation. Increased blood circulation helps all organs in our bodies function more efficiently. When our bodies are functioning optimally, stress levels are reduced. Although we are dealing with a serious public health concern, we need to take time to remind ourselves that laughing is still OK. (online search phrase: “humor to cope with stress”)

5) Just smile for no reason at all. The physical act of smiling, even if you force yourself, has been shown to elevate mood. Elevating your mood provides stress relief and a strengthened immune system, among other positive benefits that we all need. Smiling is such a simple act that we can all do whenever we are feeling down, and a smile is easy to pass on to others. (online search phrase: “smile health benefits”)

Depression is a serious mental health condition that can easily escalate during trying times. The tips included in this article are offered to help but are no substitute for professional intervention. If you feel like you or a loved one need something more, please contact your doctor or a qualified mental health professional.

Since movement is a significant way to manage stress and maintain a positive mood I am sharing this link which shows DePaul student athletes in movement videos. They are made specifically for children.

http://x.paciolanmail.com/ats/msg.aspx?sg1=6708be1c5f253ae72074bc485ba197b7

Lastly, please remember that Friday is a professional development day for teachers. Students will have the day to enjoy. The teachers will be doing work remotely.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 13, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Parents and Guardians,

I think this is a great time to recognize our 8th grade students. They are a memorable group, as this video truly shows...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15ZjForzOwj4V2CbcfDAL65TJ1pDZzTB4/view

(Special thanks to the Park Family and Ms. Vessini for putting this together...)

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 12, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

Today is going to be very exciting. The Blue Angels will be flying over the area in support of health care workers who are working so hard during this COVID 19 pandemic. Hopefully, you will be able to see them during the day.

Here is a link to learn more:

 https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/05/11/u-s-navy-blue-angels-to-fly-over-chicago-to-honor-health-care-workers/

The Book Fair is another opportunity I have to share with you. We are doing a virtual book fair, where books can be ordered and sent to your homes. This link brings you right to the website with all of the information:

https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=stcelestineschool1

Lastly, as the year comes to a close and more and more attention is given to the Fall and the new school year, I have been asked many questions about the 2020/21 school year. All along, I have been following the expectations and procedures established by the Office of Catholic Schools, which is informed by the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health. I will continue to do so as the 2019/20 year ends and the 2020/21 school year begins.

The creation of a safe, productive learning environment is at the goal of all my efforts and my deepest desire is that we start school together, seeing each other once again. For the benefit of all involved, I have created a committee composed of teachers and parents to prepare for the year ahead. Work will focus upon instruction, facilities and communication as we move ahead. Progress on a cohesive, focused plan for the Fall will be shared with families as it is developed. Please pray for us as we work, for schools everywhere and for all whose lives have been impacted by COVID-19.

Thank you...

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 11, 2020

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

I hope you and your family are remaining healthy during this time. Since the move to e-learning on March 16, I have been amazed at the hard work of our students in completing lessons and engaging in learning. I sincerely appreciate your efforts in supporting your child during this time.

One of the strengths of our school is the sense of partnership that exists between our educators and families. I am deeply appreciative of our partnership, and for your efforts to support the learning of your child.

Thank you, families, for the messages of appreciation and kindness shown during Teacher Appreciation Week. Your acts of kind generosity boosted the spirits of the entire SCS community.

I am extremely thankful for the hard work of our teachers in implementing e-learning. At our school, we believe passionately that our students deserve the very best education, and our teachers are striving to provide them with engaging and creative lessons, innovative platforms and continued support of learning. They are ready to help in every way they can.

Many of our families may be experiencing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. If you are having difficulty paying tuition, I would encourage you to reach out to me or our pastor, Fr. Paul. We do not want these difficult times to impact the education of your child.

I am incredibly grateful for your ongoing support of our school. May God continue to bless your family and keep you safe and healthy. We are weathering this storm together and will enjoy brighter days to come...

Please enjoy this video of this week’s birthdays - https://flipgrid.com/s/54f1270f2c6f

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 8, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Thank you for the wonderful messages of appreciation, memories, and the video you made for me this week. All of these things serve as a constant reminder that the St. Celestine family is like no other. Even during times of adversity, we support each other. I am so grateful for every member of our community.

The entire St. Celestine School thanks the teachers for the amazing work they do with this video. Teachers, you are appreciated and loved very much! - https://youtu.be/C5e44af8UJY

As (hopefully) everyone knows, Sunday is Mother’s Day, a chance to celebrate many, many strong women in our community. Awhile ago, I received this song link and am happy to share it with you today. It is from a musician in Australia.

https://youtu.be/ADG4TkvkEwU - (YouTube link for 'Mum, I Love You Every Day')

I’d also like to wish every mother and grandmother in the SCS community a warm and loving Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for your selfless love and dedication to your family and to the SCS community.

Managing stress and self care are important components during this crisis. I hope this article provides parents with some ideas that help. For me, the reminder that we don’t have to be perfect is a huge help. The demands everyone is facing right now are overwhelming.

https://childmind.org/article/self-care-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/

If you are struggling during this time and need help from me or from the teachers, we are here for you. Please reach out to us. We are not just a community, we are a family.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


A THANK YOU NOTE TO MRS. KLICH!

Before we bring you Mrs. Klich's message today, we wanted to show our appreciation - please join us for Teacher Appreciation week in thanking Mrs. Klich for moving us forward... together!

WATCH OUR THANK YOU VIDEO!


MAY 7, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Teacher’s Appreciation Week continues with #ThrowbackThursday. Share your favorite school memory of one of your teachers. It can be from this year or previous years.

If you would like to listen to something as you write about your favorite memory or find a favorite picture, here is Mr. Kamptner and Mrs. Jandrists with a song about staying safe.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KhdxMhPqwqM7o5ifX3q8v20jukk4_8Rc/view

If you are looking for another thing to bring a smile to your face, here is the Elm Leaves coverage of Friday’s reverse parade, with some absolutely wonderful pictures.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elmwood-park/ct-elm-celestine-parade-tl-0507-20200505-5tu4cjohfrdnjhmfukqeh2v3ji-story.html

We are hosting a Virtual Book Fair from May 11- May 24. This allows you to shop from the comfort of your home. All orders ship directly to your home. All book-only orders of $25 or more ship for free. The school gets 25% in rewards for all orders sold. This is in place of our annual Spring Book Fair.

Finally, don’t forget about the May Crowning which will be Facebook live-streamed today at 10 am. It will also be available for everyone on the website afterwards.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 6, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Hopefully, you are doing well during this time. It is a challenging time and I want you to know that the school is here to help you in any way we can. The biggest challenge and concern is for our families who are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If you or your child is struggling, please reach out to me or to a teacher. No one is in this alone. We are a family...

With this in mind, I am sharing a few resources. The first is to a webinar given by Mobile Therapy Centers, a company with whom the school works. It is about navigating these challenging times - https://youtu.be/Rv-4PcOs5w8

The second resources come courtesy of Mrs. Gallagher and it includes children’s books and videos that help explain the quarantine.

https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/video/christianne-klein-book-anna-germ-visit-70493897

https://www.google.com/amp/s/redtri.com/social-distancing-story-children-time-to-come-in-bear/amp/

In terms of upcoming events, that may offer solace during this time, there will be a Facebook live stream of our May Crowning at 10 am on Thursday, May 7. The video of the May Crowning will be posted to the website so you can watch it later as well.

Since it is still Teacher Appreciation Week, here’s a question… “What do you miss most about your teacher?” Let him or her know with a post or a comment to the Facebook page or you can email them directly. All the teacher's emails are on the website. It will make their day. I guarantee your teacher is missing you, too!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 5, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

We are off to a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week! Just look at this great video from Juliana in First Grade - https://youtu.be/uGUeuVFGhqU

Please send your special thoughts and good wishes for the teachers and I will include them in the email all week long! In particular, post a thank you comment or picture to thank a "specials" teacher (PE, Technology, Art, Music, Spanish, etc).

We have a wonderful Birthday Video with Mr. Bob, as well. It is very entertaining! - https://flipgrid.com/s/4f03c9db63b1

As Catholics, we know that May is the month of Mary. This article reflects on how the Pope encourages us to pray to her during this chaotic time in the world. There is also a lovely Litany to Mary video included in the article.

https://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=84707

Be well and enjoy your day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 4, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Families:

Happy May 4th... May the fourth be with you all day today!

In honor of today, I have 4 things we can celebrate and suggestions of how to celebrate!

First of all, it's Teacher Appreciation Week! Post a picture or comment of you thanking your teacher today on the school’s Facebook page!

Secondly, let’s celebrate our wonderful and patient Second Grade students. They would have had their First Communion this past weekend. It has been postponed. These kids are a special & wonderful group and we know that the whole community will come together for them when the time is right. In the meantime, let’s give them a shout out and recognize what a great group of kids (and parents) they are!

Next, let’s celebrate the fact that we have our registration link up and running! It is https://forms.gle/fnuAHwBBkyF4R1Qy8.

While this is a time of uncertainty, please be certain of the fact that St. Celestine School is here for everyone. If part of the uncertainty involves financial concerns, there are things in place for that. Please contact me at sklich@stcelestineschool.org to learn more about that.

Finally, let’s celebrate the Reverse Parade with a number of pictures celebrating it!

There are a lot more pictures on the St. Celestine website - CLICK HERE to see more pictures.

Thanks to the families, teachers, Fr. Paul, Fr. Brendan, NBC, the Chicago Catholic, the Elmwood Park Police Department and the Village of Elmwood Park for making this such an amazing event!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


MAY 1, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Today is the big day!

The “Reverse Parade” is today at 4:30 pm. It will run until 5:30 pm. Please wear masks and your Spirit Gear as you drive around our block. We are keeping a social distance space of 6 feet apart. We are so excited to see you (even from a distance). It will be crowded, so please be patient and drive carefully!

In addition to the parade, the parish continues to provide spiritual and emotional support during this time. Please use the link https://stguerinparish.org to see the many ways the church can help during this time. Even during this time, there is a lot going on…

Lastly, Mundelein Seminary is honoring the Virgin Mary by providing a virtual May Crowning ceremony on May 3 at 1 pm. The ceremony will be streamed online and led by rector Father John Kartje, featuring contributions from seminarians across the country who are currently at parishes in their home dioceses. Sign up at www.usml.edu/maycrowning to receive a link via email to the online stream. It will also be posted on the Mundelein Seminary website and social media channels.

Thank you for all of the ways you support the school and parish!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 30, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

I am reaching out with a few reminders about the “Reverse Parade” on Friday. The teachers will be showing social distancing and will be standing 6 feet apart while wearing masks. They will either have costumes or will be wearing SCS Spirit Wear!

  • Please drive safely and carefully; it will be congested, but it will also be fun!
  • Please wear masks if you have the windows open. It is what the Archdiocese recommends.
  • Please remember that we miss you and look forward to seeing your smiling faces!

As we have been spending this time learning remotely, I have seen such beautiful artwork created by our students. Enjoy this masterpiece created by Jayden. We have such talented students and teachers!

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 29, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Here are some important Birthday announcements for our April birthdays.

https://flipgrid.com/b294cfc0

Also, please remember our Reverse Parade on May 1 at 4:30 pm. Wear your St. Celestine School Spirit Wear and a mask. That's what the teachers will be doing! Also, masks should be worn if car windows are open.

Please remember to register using this link. This is a safe way for families to register while we are still doing e-learning.

https://forms.gle/fnuAHwBBkyF4R1Qy8

Lastly, I am including a picture of one of the most sacred places I know. It is the Grotto at the University of Notre Dame. Every time I visit Notre Dame, I light a candle there for the St. Celestine families and pray for you. This is a place that brings me peace and I am sending you peace and prayers for a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 28, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

I hope you are doing well. I have had multiple virtual meetings with the teachers and we are all looking forward to seeing you on Friday. We will be outside from 4:30 pm until about 5:30 pm. The teachers miss your children tremendously.

Also, I am attaching the link for online registration. Many people have mentioned not being able to register before we went to remote learning. This a socially-distant, safe way to add your name to class lists and get situated for the 2020/21 school year. The link is:

https://forms.gle/fnuAHwBBkyF4R1Qy8

As always, I am available for any questions you may have.

A student shared this beautiful window art with me today. The banner on the plane reads, “Nothing lasts forever.” It is with this in mind, that I know better days are ahead and we need to work together to reach them.

Part of that journey includes continuing to socially distance ourselves. Therefore, Summer Camp will be cancelled for this summer. Those parents that submitted payments will have them refunded once we can return to the building long enough to write checks and mail them.

Summer Camp will be offered in 2021, since it was received with a great deal of enthusiasm. Better days are ahead and we are in this together!

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 27, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

This is going to be an amazing week! Mark your calendars for the Reverse Parade on Friday, May 1!

The teachers will be standing at a social distance, spaced around the block. Please drive around the school and church and see us between 4:30 and 5:30 pm on Friday, May 1. The weather looks like it will be cooperating for this wonderful chance to see each other!

If you still need to register for next 2020/21 school year, we are making that easy for you. Please click the link below and complete the registration form. It is a safe way to get situated for next year.

https://forms.gle/fnuAHwBBkyF4R1Qy8

Finally, SCS students continue to be busy dressing as their favorite book characters and making wonderful pictures for us. Here are just a few.

We are so very proud of the many creative things our students do!

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 24, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Many of you have asked about registration. I will have a link available for you on Monday if you have not registered. Obviously, we want every family to stay a part of the SCS school family! Please reach out to me at sklich@stcelestineschool.org if you have questions or if there is anything I can do to help on this.

I have a few more wonderful book-related pictures to share. Here is Hailey as her favorite book character and the world’s smartest cat, Millie Doyle.

Here are some silly jokes to start your weekend!

https://www.care.com/c/stories/3776/101-funny-jokes-for-kids/

Have a wonderful day and keep your eyes and ears open for updates on our Reverse Parade next week.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 23, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

I have lots of good news to share with you today!

First, a wonderful opportunity has come to our teachers.  We are doing regular Friday PD sessions with the other schools in our council.

What does this mean for my child’s learning schedule? Nothing.  Friday is a day of mandatory i–Ready work, catching up on missing work, and doing Technology enrichment activities.  For students in PreK, the teachers will share work for them to do, just like always.  Nothing changes with these new meetings, the work stays the same.

What does this mean for the teacher? The teachers now have a coordinated opportunity to broaden their skill base and work with other professionals in the field.  They will learn about new strategies, new platforms and new approaches beyond that which they are already doing.  This is a way for teachers to grow and improve how they serve your child and this is too good an opportunity for them to pass up.

If there are additional questions, please reach out to me via email.  I can respond through an email, give you a call, or find other ways to get questions answered.  My experience has always been that it’s best to go to the source rather than sit with questions or rely on things posted or heard “through the grapevine.”  I am available morning, noon and night to support families during this trying time, as are the teachers.

More good news includes students actively doing things to bring our community joy.  We really have the best students!

This includes a wonderful song from a PreK student - https://youtu.be/Sqo24-ooh5U

We also have a student dressed as a favorite book character!  Mason S. is dressed as Big Nate. Great idea!

Lastly, the biggest piece of news!  If the weather permits, on Friday, May 1, we are having a “Reverse Parade!”.  You may wonder what that is.  Starting at 4:30 pm and running through 5:30 pm on May 1, teachers will be spaced around the St. Celestine School / St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish block.  We will have posters and signs and will be so happy to see you!  All you need to do is drive around the block, wave, beep your horn and know that we love you!  It will be so much fun! If the weather is not cooperative, we will reschedule it for a different day! I will be watching the weather Monday and much of next week to let you know. I am so glad we will have a chance to see each other!

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 22, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Today is Earth Day! Hopefully it will be a nice opportunity for you to enjoy some sunshine while social distancing.

Also… please send me pictures of you as your favorite book characters & videos of you reading stories. These are the things that brighten everyone’s day!

I am happy to share the good news that the 2019-2020 yearbook is being finalized. All orders for the yearbook will be online and the books will be delivered to your home! The price of the yearbook is $20 and shipping will be $2.99. Due to the current situation, Treering (our yearbook company) is decreasing the ship-to-home cost from $7.99 to $2.99.

To order the yearbook, go to www.treering.com and the passcode is 1013796932853454. The books will be shipped during mid to late May. If you have already ordered a yearbook, please log in again and update your address so that the yearbook will be shipped to the correct address. If you have any questions or concerns about the yearbook, please contact Mrs. Doyle at mdoyle@stcelestineschool.org. I’d like to thank Mrs. Doyle for her hard work on the yearbook. These last weeks have presented a unique challenge and she managed to overcome it to help create a beautiful yearbook.

I’d also like to remind you about the Catholic School Mass being streamed on April 22.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 20, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Community:

Welcome Back from Spring break! We missed you!

Here are some birthday greetings from Mr. Bob - https://flipgrid.com/s/f6e42b679980

This week, we have a truly wonderful theme... Books!

We will have teachers read some stories, have teachers dress up as their favorite book characters and we want you to send pictures of you as your favorite book character and/ or you reading stories. Some will make it into the week’s emails and …. We can’t wait!

To get us started… Here I am as none other than JUNIE B JONES, one of my favorite characters ever!

While we will be finishing the year with e-learning, rather than face to face instruction, we can take comfort in our Lord and know that He is with us during this time period. Through Christ all things are possible and we can take heart in knowing we will get through this together. I sincerely hope that you were able to find ways to relax and enjoy the simple things in life over our Easter break and that you and your family are healthy.

St. Celestine teachers moved into e-learning action on Monday, March 16th, establishing Google Classrooms, padlet assignments, SeeSaw activities, Google Meetings, and daily communication with our students. The goal to successfully implement remote classroom instruction for each grade in a whole new learning environment was a challenge each teacher readily took on. Teachers continue to add new remote learning strategies that help to meet the needs of every student and continue to participate in virtual professional development in the weeks ahead. We continue to support teachers in best practices in asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning, and data driven instruction - all in a virtual context. Serving your child’s academic needs, supporting their emotional needs and communicating with you are our top priorities as we continue through the year.

Many people are dealing with financial changes and job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to pay tuition. If this applies to you, you may qualify for financial support through the Archdiocese of Chicago. Please reach out directly to Mrs. Klich with any inquiries. We know we will get through this together and will be as responsive as possible to our parents’ and students’ needs. We want to keep all our families right where they belong… in the care of the St. Celestine School community.

Please keep St. Celestine and our teachers and staff in your prayers, just as we are daily praying for your children, whom we have the pleasure and the responsibility of serving. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I can be reached at sklich@stcelestineschool.org.

Thanks!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 10, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

First a little business, I have had parents ask about March and April lunch payments. I am in the process of seeing about March. The payments for April will be refunded once the building is reopened. If a check was written, it will not be cashed.

From the entire staff of St. Celestine School/ Mother Theodore Guerin Parish, I wish you a wonderful Easter. We pray for your health, happiness and well being.

Holy Week services and Easter Mass will be streamed. Please go to https://stguerinparish.org/

Please reach out to me if you need anything at all over break. I will be checking my emails over the course of break and am happy to answer any questions you have. I can be reached at sklich@stcelestineschool.org.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 9, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you, parents, as we support the children and work together. We are together in spirit and that means the world to me and to the entire St. Celestine School staff. You are a blessing to the SCS community and I thank God for you every day.

Ms. Vessini reminds me every day of how the arts help people in times of stress. Because of her constantly sharing ideas, videos and resources, I learned about St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest church building in Manhattan. It’s less than 100 yards from where the World Trade Center stood and it survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. It is believed that a giant tree protected this Episcopalian chapel during the collapse. After the collapse, volunteers came together to serve rescue and recovery workers. A child’s book with beautiful pictures had been written about this.

Why am I mentioning this? I am mentioning it because even when things feel like they are falling apart, we are protected by God’s love, much like the chapel was protected by the tree. Furthermore, we are called together as a community to care for each other. I see St. Celestine School and the St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish in this story because of our faith in God and our sense of service to each other even in times of trouble. I am so grateful for that in my life and in the lives of our school children.

Hopefully during this Holy Week, you have been able to spend some time in calm prayer seeing God’s love in our lives. The parish is live streaming Holy Week services. This link https://stguerinparish.org/ will take you to the website to see them and I hope they fill you with hope, peace and a deeper faith.

May God bless you in everything you do!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 8, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Here are some more wonderful birthday greetings from another SCS person who loves you very much! - https://flipgrid.com/s/9f46800aded5

We hope you are doing well. Please take a look at the opportunities for spiritual reflection and prayer offered by St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish, especially the virtual labyrinth opportunities - https://stguerinparish.org/

Please also remember that students have a “half day” of e-learning on Thursday and then are on Spring break until we resume on April 20. I will be checking emails daily and will be available if you have concerns over break. I am happy to help in any way I can while we are on break.

The teachers, staff and I miss you all and are praying for you daily.

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 7, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

Join me in celebrating our belated April birthdays! I have a special birthday greeter for you today, too! - https://flipgrid.com/s/9dc2923a1a6b

The second grade also put together a short video of some of the things they enjoy the most. We hope it makes you smile! - https://spark.adobe.com/video/ZuGpfTbVsrgK2

Lastly, this is Holy Week and, while it looks different than years past, we have some very important faith opportunities. The Labyrinth is a calming prayer experience. Visit https://stguerinparish.org/labyrinth for your 2020 virtual Labyrinth experience.

You will find on the website PDF files you can download and print including: finger labyrinths, text, readings, music and video suggestions. There is also a new video which shares our Labyrinth with you to watch and relax.

Please go to the St. Mother Theodore Guerin website (https://stguerinparish.org/) to learn about more Holy Week events, virtual prayer opportunities, and things you can do during this time.

This is the most holy week of the year. We are praying that you are safe and well. Please keep us in your prayers.

Thanks!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


APRIL 6, 2020

Dear St. Celestine Parents and Guardians:

One of the things I think everyone misses is the routine of school. Things like Mr. Bob opening car doors and birthday announcements...

As I thought about those things, I realized that I could sort of combine them, so no one feels isolated. Watch the following video celebrating March birthdays - https://flipgrid.com/s/bf1b0d00256d

Celebrate and remember what makes us a community. Included in this are our pets and those we care about. Here are some pictures from last week...

Or spring flowers...

Lastly, this is Holy Week and, while it looks different than years past, we have some very important faith opportunities. The Labyrinth is a calming prayer experience. Visit https://stguerinparish.org/labyrinth/ for your 2020 virtual Labyrinth experience. 

You will find on the website PDF files you can download and print including: finger labyrinths, text, readings, music and video suggestions. There is also a new video which shares our Labyrinth with you to watch and relax.

Please go to the St. Mother Theodore Guerin website to learn about more Holy Week events, virtual prayer opportunities, and things you can do during this time.

Please pray for the parish and school community during this time. We are praying for you!

Sincerely and With Gratitude and Blessings,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal - St. Celestine School


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