Family Communication (eFC) 9-3-2015

Principal’s Newsletter

WELCOME BACK! We are off and running. Tonight is our biggest gathering of the year. And no, I am not talking about the Seahawks’ pre-season game. I am referring to something even more exciting —– our yearly “Back to School Night”. Remember it takes place in the school gymnasium. Our new Pastor, Father Oakland will offer a prayer and some opening remarks. All of our staff will be present, including our three new staff members: Nikki McNerney – 1st grade, Macaire Walder – 4th grade, and Maria Brodahl – Spanish. When the general meeting comes to an end parents will be dismissed to their children’s classroom teachers. There will be three different sessions for our parents. Each will be about 20 minutes long. Come and join in on the excitement. Come and meet your children’s teachers and hear about what will be happening this year. Come and learn about S.T.E.M. Plus —- and the exciting adventure we are embarking upon.

Last week sixteen of our teachers and specialists attended the Discovery Ed. STEM Academy workshop in Tukwila. They all considered it to be excellent and worth their time. The day was both informative and enjoyable. Each member of our team came away with a much broader vision of STEM, hands on activities and resources. During the summer we also sent two of our teachers to special STEM programs. David Schreck went to Boston’s Museum of Science “Engineering is Elementary Program” and Mike Ritscher attended the same training in Rocklin, California. Together they taught a one day class to all our science teachers on STEM teaching. Creative thinking, cooperative teamwork, communication, imagination, engineering technology, and the modification of technology were basic concepts that were introduced ——– along with many “hands on” activities. The reality and demonstration of “failure” as one of the steps in the process of learning and discovery, was stressed. This was explained as a step in the discovery process that leads to an understanding of the need —– and the desire —— on the part of engineers, to constantly strive to make things better, especially when they did not work out well, or achieve the original intended results. It is an exciting approach to education. It develops different, as well as underused, parts of the brain.

The J & L Wiegand Family Foundation provided a grant to support our math and science curriculums, which enabled us to purchase an online learning system ( for all of our 6th-8th grade students. ALEKS is a learning system that is built on the Common Core standards and uses the same standards and topics as our current curriculum. It uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and does not know. Each student will take an initial knowledge check at the beginning of the year, and an individualized program will be created for that student. The student will work through his/her program and will periodically be re-assessed over the course of the year. We are very excited about the increased and deeper learning that this program will provide.

During the conference week, our 6th-8th grade teachers participated in a webinar led by an ALEKS specialist and trainer. We learned the research behind the program, how the program works, and how to best use it in our classroom. After the webinar, we met to decide how we will use this resource in our classrooms. We cannot wait to see our students’ progress with this reputable program.

Margaret Whetham prepared herself throughout the summer to introduce the staff to the new religion program that has been developed by the Archdiocese of Seattle. She worked with the Archdiocesan Committee for the past two years on the evaluation and revision of the Archdiocesan Religion Standards. Margaret explained the development of this new approach that offers a refreshing and more logical and chronological approach to the teaching of religion in the Catholic School System here in Seattle. Her presentation was inspirational and it offered some very important foundational history of the Catholic Church. Teachers left the workshop refreshed, informed, prepared, and ready to do their catechetical work.

Hopefully from the above paragraphs it is obvious that not only are our teachers prepared to teach the students —- they are also prepared to teach the teachers (who tend to be much more demanding and judgmental). A good and productive time was had by all.

Every member of our staff will be at “Back to School Night” so come, listen, learn, get charged up, ask questions, and make new friends. We will all be here for you.

THIS YEAR’S THEME – The theme for this school year is “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. The In-Service week for the staff started out with an hour long prayer service on the theme. It forms a foundation for the school year for all of us that will be continually and repeatedly shared with the children. That fact that Our Lord is constantly present in our lives, carrying us and caring for us will be repeatedly offered as points of reflection. The fact is, that each of us is the hands, voice and physical energy of the spirit of God within us. We are called to do His work and help hold the world and the people of the world in our hands and that idea will be developed with the children. We are all on a journey throughout the great world. Where we have been and what we have done has a great deal to do with where we will go and what we will do. Along that journey we end up filling our luggage with a multitude of things. Some are good and some are bad. So we should take time to stop and clear out some of what we are carrying. That will lighten our load. We should help others to do the same. And when we hold others in the palm of our hands because they want to be in relationship with us —– well let’s hold each other with great care, love and respect. Remember “Love Makes The World Go Round” and after all “We Are The World”!

SUMMER PROJECTS – The summer was filled with activity, and all of that activity helped improve our institution. We have our new school roof at a cost of around $350,000. (We have not actually received the final bill yet). We put in a new connection to the sewer system for about $30,000, the camera security system was installed for around $10,000, and all of our broken and cracked windows were replaced. That final bill is not in but it will be around $4,000. We have not seen a summer —– or bills like that for quite a while. Pledges to the Centennial Campaign are approaching $580,000. The payments on those pledges are coming in regularly. Hopefully we will have enough cash from those pledges to pay the bills on the roof and the security system —- when they come in. And remember —– those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to pledge to the Centennial Campaign —– please feel free to contact Kamila at 206- 937-7255 ext 223 or me (George) 206-979-2620 —— ASAP!!!!!

TAKE A LOOK! – For those of you who have not looked at our Homepage for a while —- check it out. All of our staff members have videos posted here. They talk about their classes and the curriculum. I think it is a good look at Holy Rosary School. Make sure you encourage potential future parents to check them out.

FAMILY HANDBOOKS – We will not be printing the Family Handbook this year, we are trying to be green and save money. The handbook can be 2015-16 Family Handbook. Please print the first page of the handbook, sign that you have read it and turn into the office if you have not done so yet.

VOLUNTEER PLAYGROUND MONITORS WANTED NOW!!!! – The school has two paid staff on the playground —- Bruno Tarabochia and Maggie Judd and one fulltime volunteer Dave Bauman, who is our “Centurion Volunteer”. He is the Grandfather of three students who all graduated last year. Thankfully he is continuing to give of himself to the school for the sake of our children. Then we have at least two or three parent volunteers. They all monitor our playground during recess time. Some are there for the entire time and some are there for a portion of the time. Maggie Judd oversees this and coordinates it for the school. She can be reached at 206 – 937-7266 ex221. Please sign up. Come and help us. We are always looking for people. The beginning of the year is a great time to start because the weather is so beautiful. Our rules and procedures for the volunteers are simple. Everyone is asked to have their cellphone. They are given a laminated card that states:

  • First – We Thank You For Being Here.
  • Second – Please wear your school provided safety vests at all times so the children know who you are and where you are.
  • Third – Carry your cellphone while supervising and make sure you know how to quickly take a photo.
  • Fourth – PLEASE do not talk on your cellphone while supervising.
  • Fifth – If the “Flasher” is reported or seen, see if you can see him or his car and take a photo for the police. Call 911 and report. Call the main school office. Inform the other supervisors on the playground.
  • Sixth – Bring the impacted children who actually saw the “offender” to the office and the office staff will call the parents and start our internal action. One of the Administrators will talk to the children while waiting for the police This year we are going to ask people to rotate the positions they are in every ten minutes and that one of the rotations has a person walking on the outside of the fence. Maggie will organize this. But we really need volunteers to sign up —— and SHOW UP.


  • BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT – THURSDAY, SEPT 3 – Doors open at 6:00. Program begins prompt at 6:30. – GYM
  • WESTFEST CELEBRATION – FRI & SAT SEPT 18 & 19 – 6:00 -10:00 & 10-10

Friday, September 18 from 6-10 pm and Saturday, September 19 from 10 am – 10 pm. It’s time for that great fall tradition – WestFest! Your WestFest committee has been working hard all summer to prepare a wonderful event. We are reaching out to the larger West Seattle community via the local schools, as well as the West Seattle Blog and Facebook. Tell your friends and family and help us welcome our school and parish members, neighbors, friends and families from all over West Seattle!

SPONSORSHIPS – We need your help to make this event a success! We stretch our costs as far as they can go, but we need business sponsorships to bring the event to the community. Sponsorship has a new look and format! If you have (or know of) a business that would like to sponsor WestFest and Holy Rosary School, let us know! Click on “Sponsorship” on the menu bar at the top. Or contact Annabel Quintero

VOLUNTEERING – Volunteer positions are open and posted-sign up now for the best shifts! There are two different links to choose from – one for the parents, and the other for 7/8th graders. Please look for the appropriate one; a parent can’t work a student shift, and vice versa. Thanks! Be mindful of what shift you sign up for – we need everyone who volunteers work their shift. If, for some reason you are not able to show up, you must find a replacement to work your shift for you. Thank you!

PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Yum, it’s the WestFest Pancake breakfast! Come and enjoy a stack of pancakes, along with ham or bacon, served before or after Masses on Sunday 9/13, 8:00-12:00. Bring your appetite across the street to the school hall, along with $20 for families, $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for kids, and eat your fill!

SHIRTS – Style-up your – and your kids’ – wardrobe with a WestFest T-shirt! There are three colors to choose from to spread the WestFest spirit. Holy Rosary students can enjoy free dress with their t-shirt on Spirit Day (Friday 9/18). Shirts may be ordered using the order form that was mailed to you in the back to school packet, or at the Parent’s Club Meeting on 9/10, or at the Pancake Breakfast on 9/13, and at Back to School Night tonight.

WRISTBANDS – There are three different ways to secure wristbands – the gold order form mailed to you in your back to school packet, at the Pancake Breakfast, or at Back to School Night tonight. Wristband prices at the event go up, so take advantage of the savings and get your bands early! We are bringing back the Toddler Time option where kids age 4 and under get exclusive access to 3 of the rides from 10 am-12 pm on Saturday the 19th, for a reduced price. Enjoy the option that best fits your family and come join us!

RAFFLE TICKETS – We are offering great baskets of prizes – tickets are only $1 each and will be on sale at Back to School Night tonight, at the Parent’s Club Meeting on 9/10, as well as at the Pancake Breakfast on 9/13. Load up on these affordable tickets to try your luck at winning! Bring cash to make ticket buying easy! Donate to the WestFest raffle baskets. How about those new but unused items taking up room in your house…add it to one of the baskets! Contact Lori Draper

EARN FUND RAISING VOLUNTEER HOURS – Get a head start on earning those fund raising hours early in the school year! Shadows are needed for:

  • Stage Management
  • Decorations
  • Raffle Donations/Ticket Sales

Contact Kara Klem

OVERNIGHT SECURITY – WestFest needs overnight security for Friday night. Contact Jessica Murphy

CALLING ALL PERFORMERS, PEOPLE AND PETS! – West Seattle’s Got Talent! Sing, dance, juggle or joke your way to fame this Saturday at the WestFest Talent Show! Join us for the West Seattle Idol, Saturday at 6:00. To sign up, just visit us near the main stage Friday or Saturday and get your name on the list. Kids and teens of any age or welcome. Best In Show! Cavalcade of Pets – All pets welcome, with prizes for everyone. Bring your dog, fish, goat, ferret, cat to the WestFest stage Saturday at 4:00. Costumes are optional but encouraged. Every pet is special, so bring yours onstage and introduce it to the world! To sign up contact Tiffany Fuentes

COFFEE PLEASE! – WestFest needs ground coffee! Seeking donations of mark outs from all of our Starbucks families. Help keep costs down and WestFesters awake! 🙂 Contact Melissa Ardales

WESTFEST USED BOOKS/DVD/VIDEO SALE – We are currently rebuilding inventory for the upcoming WestFest used books/DVD/Video sale (September 18th and 19th). Please bring your donation to the boxes under the table in the church (at the side entrance). If you or your business need to have your donation picked up, or if you have any questions, please contact Shaughn FitzGerald by email at This is a great way to find a new home for your pass-along books and DVD’s while helping to support WestFest!

Magazine Drive

MAGAZINE DRIVE 2015 KICK-OFF! LET’S GO BIG!!! – The Magazine drive has kicked off. Our goal is $125,000! Official kick-off assembly will be on Friday, September 11. Please look for the catalogs, prize sheets and last year’s orders, which will be coming home with your eFC carrier this Friday September 4.

We’re moving to 100% online ordering. We’ll still accept cash donations on “tally Tuesdays ($25 = 1 order credit), but there will be no more paper orders. First “tally Tuesday” will be on 9/15! We realize that there will be customers not ready to move to online ordering. Please know that you can still bring them over the paper catalog, have them chose the magazine(s) they want to order, and place the order on their behalf. That time you spend helping others order magazines online will count as fundraising hours.

Please remember to create a seller profile online for your child(ren). That is the best way to make the most of all the selling tools available on AP Hearst. It is so critical that we will be offering a bonus prize to be handed out after the first Tally Tuesday for those who complete ALL of these steps: create a seller profile, create an avatar, send emails & share their store front on social media. Please complete those steps by Tuesday 9/15 to get the bonus prize!

To register your child on AP Hearst, please follow these easy steps.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “I am a parent/guardian or student”
  3. Select your school. Use the school code: ROSARY when searching for Holy Rosary
  4. Follow the steps to create the account
  5. Once acct is created, get familiar with the various selling tools available: avatars, e-mail blasts, printable flyers, social media etc.
  6. Complete all steps needed to quality for the bonus prize

How to order online:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “SHOP NOW”
  3. School code: ROSARY
  4. Students’ First and last name
  5. Shop magazine titles
Parents Club

Join us for the First Parents Club Meeting on September 10. Please save the date for our first Parents Club meeting for the 2015/2016 school year. All parents are invited to attend and children are welcome to come to the PC complimentary childcare in the school library and computer lab. The class with the most parent participation will enjoy an ice cream float party and a coffee for their teacher for encouraging you to spend your evening with us. Thank you!

We look forward to hearing about all of the incredible things happening at HRS this year including a presentation by Mary Jo McFaul and the HRS staff. Those that attend will have the first glimpse at the exciting overview of our new STEMplus curriculum and classroom plans for the year! We are excited to offer a new volunteer opportunity this year! Volunteers needed for Parents Club child care. Please see link below to sign up:

Remember, you can always email us at, drop a note in our box located in the office or email if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Thank you for sharing your ideas and for sharing our commitment to continuing the success and memory-making at Holy Rosary!

Milk Volunteer

The office is looking for a volunteer to help distribute milk during hot lunch between the hours of 11:00 and 1:00 on Wednesday and Friday. Please contact Janise in the office at 937-7255 or if you are interested.

Picture Day

Picture Day is September 22. Your children may wear free dress on that day. Ordering online is available please click on here or you can place your order here with a picture day envelope. The envelope will be distributed next week. Siblings payments cannot be combined in one envelope, each student must turn in an envelope and a check.

Morning Drop Off Reminder

Please do not park your car on 42nd Ave in front of the school if you plan on walking your child into the building. It causes a traffic jam for all the other cars trying to drop their children off. Thank you

Annual Fund

Have you pledged to the Annual Fund yet? Help us meet our goal of 100% participation and $200,000. To download a pledge form click here. Holy Rosary School has been delivering excellence in education since 1913. 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.

The School Commission has established an Annual Fund goal of $200,000 with 100% participation from enrolled families. We need the full participation of the Holy Rosary School community and beyond to not only meet, and hopefully exceed this goal. The Annual Fund drive is the cornerstone of the school’s fundraising efforts. It is vitally important to the school’s ability to meet operating costs and balance the budget. Gifts to the Annual Fund provide unrestricted monies to help fill the gap that tuition alone does not cover. Others in the community including Holy Rosary parishioners, Holy Rosary School Alumni, and Holy Rosary School grandparents made generous contributions as well. We are very grateful for each and every one of these gifts.

Recognizing that you may not be fully aware of what the Annual Fund is and its importance and impact on our school, we offer the following FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). If you have further questions about the Annual Fund, please contact Kamila Kennedy, Development Director.

Holy Rosary Band News

Band dates for 2015-2016:

  • First day of band is Wednesday, 9/9 for both groups
  • Instrument Rental Meeting – Saturday, 9/12 at 12 pm in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall
  • Christmas Program – Thursday, 12/10 at 6:30 pm
  • Honor Band Tour – Tuesday, 5/10 – All day for honor band students
  • Talent Show – Friday, 5/13
  • Band Festival  – Wednesday, 5/18 at 7 pm in Kennedy High School. Required for grades 5-8.
  • Kennedy spring Instrument Program – Monday, 5/23 at 7 pm. Honor Band only.

Band schedule for 2015-2016: (Mondays practice in School Hall. Wednesdays practice in Parish Center)

  • Beginning Band (Grade 5): Mondays, 10:45-11:30. Wednesdays, 1:45-2:30.
  • Band (Grades 6-8): Mondays, 10-10:45. Wednesdays, 2:30-3:15

Hola! Ni Hao! At Sponge, we see language as a passport to global citizenship. Students learn to see the world through a different lens while acquiring language skills and the confidence to use them. Young learners are especially primed for language learning – research shows that students are 70% more likely to gain fluency when they begin in elementary school. We are excited to offer Spanish and Mandarin at Holy Rosary this fall, with our engaging, research-driven curriculum, taught completely in language. Students learn important, everyday language through exciting thematic units and a wide variety of interactive games, activities, songs and art projects. Our goal is to build a strong foundation of comprehension and communication skills, all while having fun! Spanish and Mandarin classes for K-5th grade are held after school on Wednesdays at Holy Rosary from 2:20-3:20. Register online at Payments will be made through your account on the Holy Rosary website. Questions? Contact us by email at or give us a call at (425) 274-5188. Sign up today to save your spot. Classes begin October 7!


Registration is now open for dance!  Please find class times, rates, and registration forms on our dance brochure.  To reserve your spot please email Ms. Dawn at registration can be turned into the main office or sent with your child on the first day of class.  Classes start September 9!


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.

CROSS COUNTRY – They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagle’s wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. (Isaiah 40:31). I’m excited that my second season of leading the Holy Rosary Gator cross country team is about to commence! Our practices will start Tuesday, September 8th and will continue every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5 pm. Please note that we meet at the south end of Lincoln Park, the parking lot closest to the ferry terminal. This newsletter may be review for many of you but I want review my goals for the team, introduce the coaches, the CYO sports philosophy, and the expectations for practices. If you have not yet signed up your child(ren) please do so via this link on the HRS website: For more information on cross country please go to this link.


BACK TO SCHOOL BLESSING – Come to any of the Masses this weekend to receive a special back-to-school blessing from Fr. Oakland!


Volunteers are needed for this Welcome Reception. We need help decorating the gym on Saturday, September 26 and serving and/or cleaning up at the party on Sunday, September 27. If interested, contact Virginia Radel at 206-658-3680 or

YOUTHCHOIR!Rehearsals on Wednesdays 2:30-3:15. Start September 9th! Come and check out the new YouthChoir! at our convenient Wednesday rehearsal! Choir rehearsals end at 3:15 – a convenient pick-up time similar to the rest of the week. Fifth graders who are in HR band can come directly to the chapel at 2:30. We also escort kids back to BASE after choir! Religious Education students from other schools are invited to the Sunday pre-mass rehearsal at 9:30 on September 27 in the chapel. We’ll go over all the music so they can also sing at the mass!

  • Remember that music helps kids become better learners! Choir helps kids become more confident persons!
  • YouthChoir! is open to all students in grades 3-5.
  • Practices are September 9, 16, 23 (Wednesdays, choir 2:30-3:15 in chapel; cantors continue 3:15-3:40)
  • Mass:  Sunday, September 27 @ 10:30 mass (Sunday rehearsal 9:30 in chapel)

PARENTS – Please volunteer! Volunteer time counts towards school hours! Help to support YouthChoir! by volunteering your time and fun ideas or resources (t-shirts, video recording, website, field trips, community performances, pool/karaoke parties, etc.) Contact Paul Dolejsi, director at to register, volunteer or for questions. Thanks for your support!

JUNIOR HIGH CHOIR – Fast Start: First Mass September 12 @ Saturday 5:00 mass  (Please RSVP. Thanks!) The Junior High Choir is ready for a fast start this year – coming together to lead the music on Saturday, September 12 at the 5:00 pm mass! Singers from grades 6-7-8 will provide the 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! Students sing together as a choir, and are trained to add solo’s and harmonies!

Weekly rehearsals are available after school on the Thursday prior to the Saturday mass. The JHC also rehearses one hour before mass at 4 in the chapel, then moves to the church to set up.

JHC Fall practice & performance schedule:

  • Sept. 10, Thursday, 3:00-4:00 in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Sept. 12, Sat., 5:00 mass.  Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.
  • Oct. 1, Thursday, 3:00-4:00 in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Oct. 3, Sat., 5:00 mass.  Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.
  • Nov. 5, Thursday, 3:00-4:00pm in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Nov. 7, Sat., 5:00 mass.  Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.
  • Dec. 10, Thursday, 3:00-4:00 in chapel. Voices & instruments.
  • Dec. 12, Sat., 5:00 mass.  Rehearse in CHAPEL from 4-4:40.
  • Students may offer to sing or play an instrument (some competency expected—a great learning experience!). Music will be geared to emphasize the talents and abilities of those involved.

Parents can assist (for volunteer hours):

  • Offer to assist in organizing activities (pizza, cookies),
  • Set-up before mass, storage after mass,
  • Video or audio capture of singing performance.

RSVP your student’s participation (sing/play) to: Thanks for your support of the Junior High Choir! ~ Paul Dolejsi, Director YouthChoir!

MASS FOR THE SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY  September 5, 2015, Archbishop Sartain invites us all to celebrate a Mass for our special needs community, including families, friends and our faith communities on September 5 at St. James Cathedral. 10:00 Mass with reception to follow.

WITNESSES OF THE FAITH MASS AND RECEPTION – September 6, 2015, Archbishop Sartain will honor, recognize and bless Catholics who teach at local public and non-Catholic private schools, colleges & universities on September 6 at St. James Cathedral. 12:00 Mass with reception to follow. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Dates To Remember
  • 9/3 – Back to School Night – Doors open 6 pm. Program begins 6:30 pm sharp
  • 9/4 – Noon Dismissal
  • 9/7 – Labor Day – No School
  • 9/10 – Parents Club Meeting 6:30 pm
  • 9/17 – 7th Grade Pilgrimage
  • 9/18 – WestFest Begins 6:00 pm
  • 9/19 – WestFest 10:00 – 10:00
  • 9/22 – Picture Day
  • 9/29-10/1 – 8th Grade Ropes Retreat