Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In 2010 Vow to Teach your Children How to be Heatlthy

Research indicates that physical activity and good nutrition are linked to better academic performance, in addition to better physical and mental health. They can also help prevent and fight overweight and obesity, which currently affects one in three children in the U.S.
Parents and caregivers can make simple changes that go a long way in helping children:
#1 Be active as a family: Take a walk, ride bikes, play at the park
#2 Be a Good Role Model: Show your kids how to eat healthy foods by eating them yourself
#3 Add more fruits & vegetables to your family's diet: Have your kids help prepare meals, they'll be eager to eat the food they fix
#4 Offer non-food rewards: Play a game, offer a small trinket from a treasure chest
#5 Support Healthy practices at school: Offer to bring fruit & vegggies to offer alongside cookies and cupcakes at class party. Support non-food rewards such as extra recess.

Santa Sale 2009

Thank you to Mrs. Marmolejo and Mrs. Morales for planning and organizing our annual Santa Sale sponsored by the Parent Club. These two energetic women shopped and decorated for the day so that our students could purchase gifts for their family and friends. The children enjoy this day and feel special walking away with a "surprise" for mom and dad, brothers and sisters. Each year Mrs. Morales and her daughter Marissa (Class of 2008) create beautiful jewelry for the sale and other items are purchased. This is not a fundraiser simply an opportunity for the children. We hope you enjoyed your gifts! If you would like to volunteer to help with the sale next year attend a Parent Club meeting and volunteer. We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mrs. Vela is our Music Teacher

This is Mrs. Elaine Vela, our music teacher. Not only does she prepare our students for Mass each Friday, but she teaches music on campus each week as well.

Mrs. Vela is currently working with students on the Annual Christmas Program to be held in Notre Dame Hall on Thursday December 17th at 6:30 pm. All are welcome!

Thank you Mrs. Vela. We love you~
(pictured with students from 5h grade)

OLPH Choir sings for KNXT

Make sure to tune in to KNXT Channel 49 on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to watch our OLPH Choir singing beautiful Christmas songs. We thank Mrs. Vela for preparing the students and the San Joaquin Memorial Choir for inviting us to join them. Along with the choirs from St. Helen's & Our Lady of Victory our children gifted us with song. We are very blessed with Catholic Education here in the Diocese of Fresno. (pictured: John Walker-SJM Development Director)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Nativity

Today our 8th grade class visited the computer lab to create powerpoints about the Nativity. Using their creativity and knowledge they produced slides filled with great graphics, beautiful words and most importantly knowledge of the true reason for our Christmas season.
As we continue to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ may we remember to love one another and tell someone we love them each day. Share your love of Christ!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Vacation is over

Welcome Back to school after one week of family, friends and food. Lots of smiles came across the blacktop this morning from both students and parents. Some faces were a little more groggier than others, but overall everyone looks happy to be back. During the week we were away, hopefully you worked on your homework packet. All teachers sent Math, Writing, and Reading to accomplish so you made sure to keep up your skills and make it easier to move right into their lessons for this week. Let us all continue to pray for families that do not have enough food to eat or struggle with loneliness.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cookie Dough Time

Yummy cookies! This year our Parent Club is presenting us with a challenge to get out and sell to raise $10,000 from our cookie dough sale. There are great prizes to be had for the top sellers in K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.
Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough comes in tubs already portioned out. All you have to do is turn on the oven and place the cookie on the cookie sheet....and of course, get your milk ready to enjoy the delicious cookies!
Sale began last week and all orders are due no later than Tuesday November 17. Since our 5th-8th grade classes are gone today on a field trip the due date has been extended. Cookies will be ready for pickup Monday December 7th at Notre Dame Hall after school. Thank you for supporting the Parent Club.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Math Everyday

For many children, encounters with math can generate a certain degree of distress. Many wonder, especially in an age of technological advancement and computers, is knowledge of math really that important? The answer is a resounding yes. The importance of math should never be underestimated, and it is essential to impress this fact upon your children while they are young. Whether we realize it or not, we use math every day in our jobs, while driving to work and at home. Virtually every occupation, in some way, involves the use of math, whether you are a secretary, athlete, musician, doctor or social worker. Many children do not understand that no matter what occupation they choose, they will need to use math in some capacity.

It is a good idea to sit down with your children and discuss the importance of math. Ask questions about the subject: what do they like about math? What kinds of challenges and difficulties do they experience when solving mathematical problems? You can remind your child that math teaches them important skills like logic and problem solving, skills that they will be able to apply to a variety of situations throughout their lives.
If you are concerned that you may not know enough about math to engage your children in this kind of discussion, you can rely on the many math websites online and familiarize both you and your family on the subject of math. Remember, no child (or adult) is alone in their challenges with math. By simply discussing the subject with others and utilizing the wealth of information your teacher can share with you, both you and your children can learn the vital skills necessary to approach and embrace math in your everyday lives.

Veteran's Day on November 11

On Wednesday November 11 school will not be in session as many of us will head to downtown Fresno for the 90th Fresno Veteran's Day Parade, Honoring the US Navy this year. The parade begins at Fresno City Hall at 10:30am.
This morning at prayer service our Student Council led us in song and we offered a moment of silence in front of the US flag flying at half mast in honor of all fallen soldiers.
We will continue to keep all our soldiers in our prayers. God bless the USA~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holiday Boutique December 5th

Our Parent Club is organizing it's first ever Holiday Boutique!
They are looking for vendors to sell their wares. Vendors may visit our school website to get more information. We look forward to an event filled with Christmas spirit and a grand opportunity to finish up Christmas shopping.

Plan to attend and...

Bid on items in the Silent Auction

Support 6th grade Science Camp by purchasing baked goods

Take a picture you can treasure for years to come

Support our school!

Learning Begins Early

The road to success in school begins early. Good health, loving relationships, and opportunities to learn all help preschool children do well later in life. But many parents wonder, "How can I give these things to my child?"
Parents and caregivers are busy people. Most of us have many responsibilities: jobs outside the home, laundry to wash, and groceries to buy. When we are tired and under stress, it's often hard to feel we are being the best parents. But however busy we may be, there are lots of things we can do to help our children get ready for school--little things that make a big difference. Many of them cost little or nothing and can be done as you go about your daily routines.
Mothers and fathers aren't the only people who help children get ready for school. Entire communities share this job. Businesses, schools, government agencies, and religious and civic organizations help out. So do day care providers, doctors and other health professionals, elected officials, relatives, and neighbors. But no one is more important than parents, because life's most basic lessons are learned early and at home. The first 5 years are when the groundwork for future development is laid. Here at OLPH School we strive to continue the work parents do at home during the school day each and every day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Office Wish List

Thank you to our generous families for donating items from our office wish list:

Cotton Balls, Band aids & Liquid Tylenol

File Folders, Dry Erase Markers & Post it Notes

Games have also been donated for Day care and the kids have been enjoying them! We appreciate our families.

We Miss You Paolo

There he is with the big smile on his face (in the brown shirt) our friend Paolo. After two weeks in the hospital and one week at home, Paolo will be coming back to school soon. He was hurt during a soccer game and spent some time getting poked and prodded at Children's Hospital. They took great care of him while we prayed for him. God watches over all of us and always answers our prayer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lunch Time

Monday through Friday at OLPH School our students each healthy lunches (sometimes hotdogs, rarely fries, and always milk!) provided by mom and dad, Moving Feast, Flamous Grill, My Slice Pizza, or maybe another vendor or two. Our wonderful Hot Lunch Coordinator, Ms. Chavez makes sure to provide students with enough food to fill them up until 3:00 but not too much so tummies don't ache. She is always open to suggestions for new lunch items from students and parents. Lunches cost $3.75 per day per student and can be ordered at the beginning of the month. Look for September menu and order form to be posted on our school web site soon.

Library Visits

This week I have been visiting our school library during class time and today I read a great book by Ruth Heller to the 2nd grade. We are very blessed to have such an abundant supply of books in our library. Whatever you like to read from fiction to non-fiction can be found on the shelves. Right now Mrs. Sonkoly has Halloween books displayed for you to enjoy! So far this week, two students have been caught doing a great job in the library and been given a FREE CONE from Foster Freeze. I'll be on the lookout for more ready readers tomorrow! Readers are Leaders~

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Support Our School

In Many Ways...
a) Donate your time & volunteer to read with a child or help out with math

b) Donate money towards a fundraiser

c) Donate your skills as a plumber, painter, handyman, gardener, etc.

d) Spread a good word

e) Donate board games & puzzles to Day Care

f) Save Box Tops and Campbell's Soup Labels

g) Volunteer in the Library or Computer Lab (on the job training!)

h) Pray for our students, staff, and families

Visit our school website or call the school office to find out how you can serve~

Blessed Pets

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eucharistic Adoration

On the first Friday of each month, Father Robert leads us in prayer and benediction of the Holy Eucharist. Our alter servers assist him in preparation and the rest of the church sings special songs. Eucharistic Adoration is the adoration of Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. In the many Churches that have this adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus continually throughout the day and often the night. Christ’s great love for us was shown when he was crucified on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and give us eternal life. He loves us without limit, and offers Himself to us in the Holy sacrament of the Eucharist. Spend an hour with Jesus this week.

Pet Blessing in Honor of St. Francis

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the ecology, was a Roman Catholic saint who took the gospel literally by following all Jesus said and did. Christians everywhere celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 by having their pets blessed in the spirit of this patron saint of animals and ecology. This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love. No wonder people enjoy the opportunity to take their animal companions to church for a special blessing. Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated. We thank the Ms. Garcia and the 4th grade class for preparing a prayer service for us and Father Robert for blessing the many pets that visited our school.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pinwheels For Peace 2009

Imagine "whirled" peace! In today's world, peace needs to be more than just a word. All over the world millions of pinwheels were spinning in the wind on Monday September 21, the International Day of Peace. Everyday we are bombarded with video games, television images, music, and newspapers that give us evidence of the conflict in the world. Violence has become commonplace and accepted in our society. Students at OLPH School took time to make a sign that peace is not political but simply a state of calm; free of anxiety. Peace be with you~

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Literature Circles in 6th Grade

This year in 6th grade Ms. Lucas has introduced literature circles in Language Arts. This collaborative and student-centered reading strategy begins with students reading a book together and then meeting together in groups with each student having one of four jobs in the Literature Circles: Discussion Director, Literary Luminary, Vocabulary Enricher, and Checker. Last week Ms. Lucas invited Mr. Dodd, Mrs. Forcey and myself into the classroom to model the task for each of the four roles. My job was to read about 40 pages and then find vocabulary words I thought were interesting or did not know the meaning to, mark them with a post-it note in the book, and write a definition for each word. Well you guessed it, my job was Vocabulary Enricher. The class will continue to practice the strategies we modeled for them as they read and learn more about literature circles. Enjoy the book!

Iowa Test of Basic Skills

This week our 2nd-8th grade students are taking the ITBS standardized test. For most students, the scores provide feedback about how much they know and how effective their efforts to learn have been. Like the results from classroom assessments, the results from the ITBS can help students determine how complete their learning has been, which areas can be regarded as strengths, and which areas may need the most extra attention. Such feedback is essential if students are expected to be partners in managing their own instructional time and effort. Results from tests like the ITBS are one type of useful information students can draw upon in their decision-making. Results will be available to parents at Parent Teacher Conferences in November. Make sure to eat and sleep well this week!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Dress on your Birthday

Just a reminder that all students may have a Free Dress day on their birthday or the day closest to their special day. Summer Birthday people may arrange a Free Dress day with your teacher. Free Dress is a privilege and students should still come to school dressed appropriately and following guidelines in Parent Student Handbook. Happy Birthday Cristian!

Chess Club

Seqouia Chess Club is back on campus with Morgan as Lead Instructor for our 20 eager chess team members. Our top ranked chess player is Matthew in 8th grade. This year we have more girls on our team than ever before and we look forward to our first official team tournament to be held at the Newman Center.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We Remember

On Friday September 11th our school flag flew at half mast in honor of all people that suffered during the tragedy that occured eight years ago and those that still suffer because of their grief. From one side of the world to the other we have all been affected by the shocking events of 9-11-01. At OLPH School we pray for all men and women who continue to put their lives on the lines in our war on terrorism. We pray that moms and dads, sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts sent overseas return safely to their families. We pray for the opressed peoples in nations at war that they may be able to find peace, rebuild their lives, their towns, and their countries. May God break the cycle of violence to make a difference for His Peace and Grace in this sinful world. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

Prayer to Our Lady
Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we turn to you, O Virgins of virgins, our Mother. To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, do not despise our petitions, but in your mercy hear us and answer us. Amen.

A Surprise for Sister Isabel

On Saturday our OLPH School and Church Community celebrated with Sister Isabel on the occasion of her 50th Anniversay of her Profession of Faith. In 50 years she has touched so many lives and we are all blessed to know her and have her love us as much as we love her. The day began with mass celebrated by Bishop Steinbock at 2:00pm. With many priests and the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception from both Madera and San Francisco in attendance, the mass was a beautiful celebration. We thank Sister Pilar, Ms. Sanchez, Ms. Forcey and our students for planning and reading at mass. We also thank Mrs. Vela and our choir for the beautiful music during mass. After mass everyone in attendance was invited to visit the backyard of the convent to see the art on tiles painted by my mom, Rose Hull, and Krisann Esquivel. The two spent the last few months completing the tile for Sister Isabel. Dennis Esquivel set the tile on the wall and what a great he did as well!. Sister Isabel will continue to enjoy the artwork given as a gift from the school.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lots of Smiles

Mr. Washington and his 3rd graders did a great job preparing and singing for our first school mass. Mr. Washington and Sister Monica share the 3rd grade class with Mr. Washington teaching in the morning and Sister in the afternoon. This class of 3rd graders are enthusiastic and love to learn. Mrs. Cochran is wearing our new Thursday Spirit shirt! This year we welcomed back many of our old friends and many new ones. We are looking forward to a great year filled with all our students in grades Kindergarten to 8th grade.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Welcome Back to School!

Today was the big day! 200+ kids came to school with bags of school supplies in hand and parents in tow. We started the day with Prayer Service led by Student Council. We have a great group of Student Council members this year & I know they have lots of great ideas for our school. I'm excited for the year! Father Robert was here to bless our teachers, students, and our year of learning. He brought his dog Bosco. She's a good girl and stayed on the leash today. Mr. Baker, our wonderful camera happy dad-to-Alex, took lots of pictures so I'm sure I will get a disk tomorrow. So expect to see some pics soon of kids and OLPH School Life soon. I'm teaching 8th grade Religion this year with Father Robert. I feel very priveleged to have this opportunity & look forward to my time with a great class of students. Sister Pilar has been teaching 8th grade Religion and is now needed in 6th grade to teach Spanish. Did I mention we have a great staff?! So many smiles on faces today. I love our school~

Thursday, August 20, 2009

After School Program

Registration prior to attendance is required for all students attending OLPH School Before and After School Program. The program provides a supervised framework of academics, crafts, creative activties and games for students. The program is for parent convenience as well as student safety. Enrollment and emergency forms can be found on our school web site and must be returned to the school office along with registration fee of $40.00 per family prior to attendance. Parents are encouraged to register their children for the program in case of emergencies. The Before School program is mandatory for ALL students who come to school prior to 8:00 am. The After School program is mandatory for ALL students that do not leave OLPH School at dismissal time. The After School program is open until 6:00 pm. Before & After School Programs begin on August 24th.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What makes our School Catholic?

Our Catholic school is an integral part of the Church's mission to proclaim the Gospel, build faith communities, celebrate through worship, and serve others.

The commitment to academic excellence, which fosters the intellectual development of faculty and students, is an integral part of the mission of our Catholic school.

Our Catholic school is an evangelizing, educational community.

The spiritual formation of the entire school community is an essential dimension of our Catholic school's mission.

Our Catholic school is a unique, faith-centered community which integrates thinking and believing in ways that encourage intellectual growth, nurture faith, and inpsire action.

Our Catholic school is an experience of the church's belief, tradition, and sacramental life.

Our Catholic school creates a supportive and challenging climate which affirms the dignity of all persons within our school community.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dad's Work Day at OLPH

This morning six energetic dads made their way to campus at 6:00 am to begin some improvements before school starts on August 24. They replaced celing tiles in the computer lab, attached new bulletin boards outside each classroom, changed out light bulbs & ballasts, and gathered up odds and ends lying around that needed to be dumped. Thank you Dad's, you did a great job: Mr. Farley, Mr. Carrizalez (alumni dad), Mr. DiViccaro (school board dad), Mr. Dias, and two of our newest dads on campus: Mr. Nash & Mr. Huber. Thank you Mr. Farley for organizing this day for us. Look for the next Dad's Work Day date to be announced on our school web site. Mr. DiViccaro is currently compiling a list of people and businesses available to us when we need a plumber, painter, tree trimmer, locksmith, and more. We always like to utlize the talents of our own families when possible, so if you would like your name on the list, make sure to let us know in the school office and we will make sure Mr. DiViccaro gets your information. Future jobs to do: replace ceiling tiles in the office & spread and add blue chips in playground areas.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Parent Orientation

On Wednesday night several of our new families met in Notre Dame Hall to get a jump start on learning more about our school. Our School Board Development Chair, Carlos Flores, began the evening with a prayer. Next I shared some information about our school and the WASC process and our Self-Study and Curriculum Guidelines. Next our Parent Club members shared some information about our fundraisers and monetary commitments parents are required to meet throughout the school year. One name you should be familiar with is Cathy Basham. She is our mom that takes care of logging all of the volunteer hours parents and family earn. All families are required to earn 30 Hours before May 2, 2010 in order to avoid paying $10 per hour not completed. This is really quite easy to do! Make sure to sign up for all of the events you would like to participate in this year. (form included in the summer packet) A chairperson will call you as the event is planned. More information about our Parent Participation Program can be found on our school web site. Our School Board Members introduced themselves lastly & our President, Shannon Farley, welcomed our new families. All families new to our school have been assigned a mentor family. Please be sure to communicate with them often and always when you are unsure about a school policy or procedure. This is going to be a great year!