Family Communication (eFC) 10-1-2015

Principals Newsletter
S.T.E.M. PLUS is alive and well

Last week I began my official teacher observations for the year. I could not believe everything I saw in one short day. This truly is a fantastic school and our S.T.E.M. PLUS program is vibrantly alive and well.

I observed a kindergarten classroom working on a project to design something that would allow them to carry a specific amount of weight for a distance of ten feet. They would have to carry it by a handle they were going to make. Weight, proportion, and containment were among the many topics they discussed. An eighth grade class was in the room helping them. It was basically a one-to-one student teacher ratio in a multi-age setting! Great discussions were taking place in a very orderly fashion.

I was with another kindergarten class during their art class. The children were asked to explain what an engineer was. (I was immediately thinking about the person who drives a train.) The students raised their hands and one after another said: “Someone who makes something —- Someone who creates something —Someone who solves a problem —-and my favorite “Someone who imagines a way to do something”. Those responses alone made me realize how STEM was oozing into the entire curriculum. The teacher explained how they were going to build a building with aluminum foil and pipe cleaners. The concepts on one dimensional, two dimensional, and three-dimensional works were discussed and demonstrated. The children understood and offered explanations and demonstrations with their foil. That really impressed me as they went about their task.

During eighth grade science, I watched and listened as the instructor introduced an overview of Chemistry. He passed out foil that the students worked with while attempting to understand “purity” and “lack of purity”. The concept of dividing something into the smallest possible pieces was reviewed. Atoms, electrons, protons, and neutrons were reviewed in a participative discussion. Even the evolution of the Periodic Table was explained. The instructor used personal life experiences and video to explain and captivate inquisitive and energized minds. Dynamic discussions followed.

In a seventh grade math class I was introduced to our new ALEKS online math program. And the instructor, along with the expectations for the class, gave the introduction. Then the children were released to work on the program. Each had his/her own laptop. Each program was developed to allow the child to work at their own rate and it switched to problems that would help them reinforce their knowledge base in areas that they were diagnosed to be a bit weak in. It was amazing.

Finally, in a third grade class I watched a class on the “Force of Motion”. Demonstrations were given and made on gravity and slope and speed. Air pressure and the difference between pushing and pulling were discussed and demonstrated. The children watched a short video on the topic and then broke into groups of two. They were given a few items to work with (empty paper rolls, tape, marble etc.) as they started to develop their own snowboard racetrack. They were all excited and on task.

It was a great day. I saw a new, deeper level of engagement and excitement. Teachers and children were all learning and totally involved. What a school!


3rd Graders Design A Snowboard Racetrack

NO SCHOOL FRIDAY – Remember there is no school tomorrow —- Friday. The teachers have their yearly Archdiocesan Teacher In-service. Our entire staff will be at Blanchet High School.

SCHOOL ACCREDITATION PROCESS – Accreditation is a process of ongoing school improvement. Our ultimate goal is the highest student achievement for our students, and we strive to always be on the road to improvement. Holy Rosary School is always seeking the best and most effective ways to educate our children, while maintaining a strong and vital Catholic identity, and supporting parents in their role as the primary educators of their children.

Every six years we have the opportunity to participate in a detailed Self Study process leading to the re-accreditation of the school. During the 2015-16 school year, Holy Rosary will involve all of its shareholders – parents, students, faculty, staff and parishioners – in this process using a specific protocol outlined by the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA). In the spring of 2017, a Visiting Committee from WCEA will review our Self Study document, including our Action Plan, for ongoing improvement, and will determine our accreditation status for the next six years. Throughout the year, we will be keeping you informed about this Self Study and Accreditation process.

Parents Club

PARENTS CLUB MEETING MINUTES – September 10, 2015. Download the minutes below.

Board Members in attendance: Alison Morton (President), Joellyn DeRonghe (Vice-President), Laura Meyer (Treasurer), Emily Paulson (Room Parent Coordinator), and Claire Fitterer (Secretary

OPENING PRAYER – Father Oakland

Special Topic – STEM PLUS Curriculum – Mary Jo McFaul (Vice Principal), Autumn Helling (3A), David Schreck (5B), and Mike Ritscher (7A).

  • STEM is a culture, not a class. STEM will be taught by all teachers in all subjects. STEM PLUS includes our Catholic identity. Our children will be problem solvers and innovators with hands on projects that connect to the real world. We will be reframing the questions.
  • The presenters gave various examples of what some of the grades will be working on:
    • K – Engineer of the Week
    • 2nd – Communities Projects
    • 3rd – “Crabitats” – habitats for hermit crabs.
    • 5th – Invention Convention
    • 7th – 8th – Popsicle Bridge Challenge, “Newton’s car” race, 3-D Printing, Robotics Elective; Catapult Making; and Rocket Challenge.
  • STEM:
    • S – Students
    • T – Teachers
    • E – Engaging
    • M – Minds
  • 5 C’s:
    • Critical Thinking
    • Communication
    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Catholicism

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT – George Hofbauer

  • We are off to a good start!
  • No money, no mission. Bill Sullivan
  • This summer we received a new roof, new camera system and the sewer system was fixed. Money is an underlying factor that will not go away. We have had grants that have helped with our new windows.
  • Our goal for the Centennial Campaign is $2 million.
  • We have received large grants that helped us with our new windows.
  • Next big thrust:
    • Technology
    • Play Structure
    • Endowment
  • There will probably be a new collection system starting in July. 40% of Catholic schools use a collection system. It alleviates confusion between the parish and the school.
  • Goals:
    • STEM
    • Accreditation next year
    • Technology Plan
    • Development


  • Ms. Kennedy welcomed all of the new parents to the meeting.
  • Annual Fund – Goal is $200,000. Donations are given between $25 and $10,000.
  • See the Give Page on the website which has links to all of the fundraising areas for the school. [LINK]
  • We would like to see 100% participation.
  • Last year 100% of the teachers donated to the Annual Fund.


  • Pancake Breakfast: September 13
  • WestFest: September 18 & 19
  • Golf Tournament: October 10
  • Italian Dinner: October 10
  • Mother Son Glowbowl: October 23
  • Magazine Drive is in full force!
  • Raffle – Kale Paulson was the winner of the Dennis Uniform Gift Certificate.
  • The classroom with the most attendance was Mrs. Simpson’s class (4A). They won an ice cream float party and a coffee for Mrs. Simpson.

The next Parent Club Meeting is on November 12, 2015 at 6:30.

Respectfully Submitted, Claire Fitterer, Secretary

Here is the Parents Club Meeting Minutes – September 10, 2015 pdf.

Save the Date:

  • 10/10 – Golf Tournament
  • 10/10 – Italian Dinner
  • 10/23 – Mother Son Glow Bowl
  • 11/12 – November Parents Club Meeting. What do you want to hear about? How can we help make HRS even more exciting? Let us know what you think in this 3-minute survey.
Annual Italian Dinner

Mangia Bene, Vive felice! – “Eat Well and Live Happy”. The Holy Rosary Annual Italian Dinner is Saturday, October 10th! Everyone is welcome! Please join us in the school hall for this annual event. There are two seatings – 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Please mark your calendar and we look forward to seeing you. Flyers will be sent home today or click here to download a copy.

Golf Tournament

Please join us for the 14th Annual Holy Rosary Golf Tournament to benefit the Father James Mallahan Endowment Fund on October 10th. It will be a great day of golf at the West Seattle Municipal Golf Course. The event includes a 4-person scramble, lunch, and an awards reception following the golf. The golf tournament is the primary “driver” of revenue for the Father Mallahan Endowment Fund! Learn more about the fund by clicking here! Book and reserve a spot today by clicking this link. We are always looking for new sponsors so contact the golf committee for more information on how you can sponsor.

Magazine Drive Update

WOW! Way to GO BIG, HRS! We had a FANTASTIC week of sales! The 4th graders went BIG this week and sold the most subscriptions! Congratulations to grade 4! We’re not done yet, though! KEEP SELLING! We all want that half-day off for making our goal of $125,000….WAHOO! Next week is the LAST week to get the orders/donations in to count against individual prizes!

This week we had 143 students reach three or more orders and they earned a yard of gum! WOW! Way to GO BIG and participate. The yard of gum will be distributed on Thursday, October 1st at the end of the day. We’re so proud of this community!

Now, lets kick this up a few levels again this week…a new prize incentive:

  • 1 FREE dress pass – Get three new subscriptions or more “this week only” 9/29 – 10/06 (8 a.m.)

Next week is the last TALLY Tuesday! so make sure to get all your online sales and your own family subscriptions in by Tuesday, October 6!

Monetary donations (instead of subscriptions) – Each $25 donation counts as a subscription for prizes.

Cash Donations How To:

  • Check made out to: Holy Rosary School (memo line: magazine donation)
  • Send to school office labeled “Magazine Drive Donation + last name”
  • Clearly specify what child(ren) the prize credit(s) goes to

Note: Subscriptions that cost $100 or more count 5 for prizes only.

Family Fun Center Prize – To qualify, students need to sell 25 magazines (or 40 for families/siblings) or more. Date TBD. This super fun field trip usually happens in November and will require chaperones.

Cut Off Date for Prizes – October 6 is our last Turn in Tuesday and the last day for sales to count for prizes.

Prizes – Remember that prizes are cumulative, meaning that if your student sells 20 magazines she/he would get all prizes up to 20.

Discovering Chess

Holy Rosary will have its 15th year of an after-school chess class starting in October. We’ll meet in room 7A on Thursdays every week until February when we’ll start meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of the year. Times will be 3:00-3:45 and cost will be $12.50 if attending one day a week and $25 if twice a week. (Please make checks payable to Mike Ritscher). Younger kids and beginners are welcome, but please make sure they can concentrate for another 45 minutes after the school day. Thank you. ~ Mr. Ritscher


AUCTION COMMITTEE IS STILL LOOKING FOR NEW MEMBERS – Believe it or not, the auction leadership team is already planning for next year’s Auction and we are looking to fill the following positions:

  • Procurement Chair – (a two-year commitment)
  • Procurement Shadow 2016-17 – shadow for next year
  • Receiving – “receive” and enter family donations into the auction software (not limited to these tasks).
  • Operations Co-chair
  • Communications
  • Decoration Shadow 2015-16 (becomes Decoration Chair 2016/17 and 2017/18)

If you would like more information about any of these positions please contact Kamila Kennedy at


Have you pledged yet?

ANNUAL FUND 2015-16 – We need 100% participation!

What is the Annual Fund?
It is an annual pledge drive that runs from July 1 – June 30.

What is the Annual Fund Goal?
Our goals are $200,000 and 100% participation from Parents and Staff members.

What does it fund?
In order to sustain this excellence, the school relies on support from alumni, parents and friends to meet its operating needs each year and bridge the gap between tuition charged and the actual cost to educate a child.

What is a pledge?
A pledge is a promise to pay a certain amount until the end of the drive (6/31/2016)

Can I pledge and pay at the same time?
Absolutely. No amount is too small – pledges vary from $5 to $10,000.

How do I pledge?

Does my employer have a matching program?

Check with your company’s HR department to see if they match your donation.

If you have further questions about the Annual Fund, please contact Kamila Kennedy, Development Director.

After-School Art Workshop

A new six-week after school Art Workshop session will begin on Oct. 20! Projects will include: Giant cookie frosting paintings, Sculpey figurines, the Upcycled materials inventors’ challenge, ceramic sculpture, and more! This class is held on Tuesdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. All 1st-5th grade students are welcome to join. The cost is $160 and includes all materials, snacks, and fun prizes. Scholarships are available based on need – please inquire at time of registration. This is an invaluable opportunity for kids to gain additional arts exposure, explore their creative side, and create lasting memories! For more information, or to register, contact Lacey Reuter at

Art Room Materials Needed

Kleenex is the perfect consistency for wiping out the lids to our watercolor trays when we are finished with the colors we have mixed. For this reason, we tend to go through Kleenex pretty quickly in the Art room. If you would like to donate boxes of Kleenex to our Art department, please bring them by the school office. If you are interested in donating additional materials to the Art room, please contact Lacey Reuter at Thanks for your support!

Mother-Son Glow Bowl

The Mother-Son Glow Bowl will be Friday, October 23 at 5:00. See attached flyer here. The forms should be turned into the office no later than Friday, October 9.

Sponge After-School Spanish and Mandarin Classes

Learning a language is like getting a passport to global citizenship. We want to help your student grow and learn, so they can achieve cultural competency and confidence in their ability to learn a language! Starting young is the best way to give your student an edge. We offer Spanish and Mandarin after school at Holy Rosary on Wednesdays from 2:20 – 3:20. Spanish is NEW for 2015-16! Classes begin on October 7 and there is still space! Register here. Payments will be made through your account on the Holy Rosary website.

Join us on Monday, October 12, from 7-9 p.m. in the cafeteria at Medina Elementary, or on Tuesday, October 13, from 7-9 p.m. in the library at Island Park Elementary. We’ll be discussing our program in detail and answering any of your questions during our Sponge Curriculum Night. Questions? Send us an email at or call 425-274-5188. We’re here to help!


Greeting basketball coaches, It is once again time to get ready for the 2015/2016 basketball season. If you are interested in coaching a CYO basketball team again this year, the online registration site should be open by this Friday, October 2 to go in and register as a coach and for players to start registering. Please reply back if you are going to coach. If you are not interested in coaching, please let me know and I will take you off the distribution list.

Basketball team registration is due into CYO Athletics by Friday, October 16. That is when I need to inform CYO how many teams we will have by grade and by gender so start spreading the word among your son’s or daughter’s classmates in order to insure enough kids register to field teams. Also, if you know of someone else interested in coaching, please forward this message along to him or her. I need 4th grade coaches.

Special Note: If you have any basketballs from last year, please return them to Bruno. We purchased several new ones and are missing a few.

Tentative Beginning Schedule for this Basketball Season:

  • October 5 – Registration on Bonzi is Open
  • October 14 – Basketball Coaches Meeting at 7:30 in Lanigan Gym
  • October 16 – Player/ Coach Registration Deadline
  • October 23 – Team’s Practice Schedules will be decided
  • October 26 – Practices will begin
  • November 11, 14 & 17 – Coaches Meeting (attend one)
  • November 11 & 17 – Coaches PLACT Training (attend if needed)
  • November 14 – Basketball Jamboree (for those interested teams)
  • November 23 – Team Rosters Due
  • December 5 – Basketball games begin

You need to attend one of the two Basketball Coaches Meetings:

  • November 11, 14 & 17 – Coaches Meeting (attend one)
  • Where: 910 Marion Street, Seattle, WA 98104 – Isaac Orr Conference Room (map)
  • November 11 & 17 – Play Like A Champion Today Coaches Training (if you need it)
  • When: Sun, November 17, 8:30pm – 10:00pm
  • Where: 910 Marion Street, Seattle, WA 98104 – Isaac Orr Conference Room
  • I will send out a follow up email letting you know when basketball registration is open. Sometime between Oct 2nd – 5th. I will submit a posting in the schools EFC and the Parish Bulletin. However, again, please start contacting parents directly if you have teams from last year.

For more detailed information about the overall CYO basketball season, go to . Any questions regarding the Holy Rosary program please send me an email or give me a call. Thank you, ~Kale Paulson

NEW HOLY ROSARY GATOR BAGS – Gator Gear! Are you geared up for sports? Don’t forget to order your new Gator Gear Duffel Bag and show your support with an adult Gator Gear Jacket! We are now taking orders. All proceeds benefit our CYO sports and scholarships! Find the order form here.Parish (new)


Laudato Si – I hope you are just as excited as I am that Pope Francis has journeyed here to the U.S. It’s just too bad that he didn’t make it out here to Holy Rosary! Over this past summer, he released his encyclical Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home that integrates Care for Creation with the relationships we have with one another, our sisters and brothers throughout the world, and our economic structures. Starting in October, Holy Rosary will have small groups that will meet monthly to read a chapter of the encyclical and to discuss other relevant themes posed by our U.S. bishops. We will begin with a large group kick-off on Sunday, October 4!

I’m inviting you to join, and would also ask that you invite the groups you are a part of to join too! Your groups could even use the Laudato Si small group program within your own meetings as a form of spiritual enrichment. This is an exciting opportunity to deepen our awareness of how our actions impact the lives of others and the common home that we share.

If you would like to join, or if you want more information, please visit our website here. Thanks everyone! Peace, ~ Patrick Barredo

GOT LUNCH? – Not everyone in Seattle knows what they’ll have for lunch today. But, Holy Rosary has a ministry that prepares fresh sandwiches for the homeless men at St. Martin de Porres shelter. If you have a couple of hours after morning drop-off on the 1st Tuesday of the month, then you can help out! To get involved, contact Susan Strmich at 932-8647.

BAPTISM FOR CHILDREN – If you are interested in Baptism for your infant or child at Holy Rosary, please contact Deyette Swegle at 206-937-1488, ext. 251 or at We welcome your child to a life with Christ!

ALTAR SERVERS – One of the great services that young people can provide is to participate as altar servers at Mass. Girls and boys in fifth grade and above can become altar servers, to assist the priests and other liturgical ministers. New servers must take part in one of the two training sessions, which begin on September 14 and October 5. To learn more and to sign up for training sessions, click here.

WALKING WITH PURPOSE REGISTRATION – Walking with Purpose is for all women and is a scripture-based program that’s fresh, relevant and easy to fit in with a busy schedule.

  • Women of all ages are welcome! No prior experience necessary!
  • The 22-week course starts October 14.
  • Two group options: Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings (childcare provided Friday morning).
  • $90 registration fee covers study guide and hospitality.

To register or find more information, visit here. For Scholarships, contact Deyette at We hope you’ll join us!

JUNIOR HIGH CHOIR – Junior High Choir sings to celebrate Pope Francis and St. Francis! The Junior High Choir is ready to sing to celebrate Pope Francis & St. Francis on October 3rd at the Saturday 5 p.m. mass! We’ll be celebrating Pope Francis after his recent visit and also St. Francis of Assisi (feast on October 4) with special songs and music!

NEWS FLASH: JHC is FREE! There is no charge to participate! Register using the link below. Singers from grades 6-7-8 provide music leadership, joined by a praise band of talented musicians! Teens are mentored to become their best musical selves, whether singing or playing an instrument. This is a praise and performance opportunity for our young teens – lots of opportunities to shine!

Register for JHC here

Weekly rehearsals are available after school on Thursday. We also rehearse on Saturday at 4 p.m. Attendance at one rehearsal is necessary to sing/play well! Thanks for your support of the Junior High Choir!

JHC Fall practice & performance schedule:

  • Oct. 1, Thursday, 3-4 p.m. in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Oct. 3, Sat., 5 p.m. mass. Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.
  • (Come Saturday 4 p.m. for rehearsal, even if you missed Thursday!)
  • Nov. 5, Thursday, 3-4 p.m. in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Nov. 7, Sat., 5 p.m. mass. Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.
  • Dec. 10, Thursday, 3-4 p.m. in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Dec. 12, Sat., 5 p.m. mass. Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.

FIRST RECONCILIATION AND FIRST COMMUNION REGISTRATION – If your child is in 2nd grade or older and you would like them to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and 1st Holy Communion (SAC 2) please click on this link for the online Registration. Please note, Holy Rosary Church follows the Archdiocese of Seattle’s guidelines that all children must have one year of religious instruction before being prepared for the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion. Preparation can take place in a Catholic School or during Catholic Sunday School Faith Formation.  Children are normally prepared for these two Sacraments in the second grade. If you have a first grader who is not attending a Catholic school, please make sure you have your child enrolled in Sacramental I of our Faith Formation program and regularly attends the class. If you have older children who have not yet received either of these two Sacraments, please call so we may arrange to have them prepared.  For any questions, please contact Sr. Stella at 206-937-1488, ext. 252.

Upcoming Dates to Remember
  • 10/2 – No School – Archdiocese In-service Day
  • 10/10 – Golf Tournament
  • 10/10 – Italian Dinner
  • 10/16 – Closing Assembly for Magazine Drive at 2 p.m.
  • 10/23 – Mother/Son Glow Bowl
  • 10/29 – Picture Retake Day
  • 11/11 – No School – Veteran’s Day
  • 11/23-25 – No School – Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
  • 11/26 – 27 – No School – Thanksgiving Break