WEEKLY NEWSLETTER                                                             OCTOBER 10, 2017




Join the Parents Association for a World of Adventure this Saturday, October 14, 2-6:00 p.m. Ride the Amazon zip line, toss a football on the midway, make a furry friend at the petting zoo, sample delicious barbecue from our pitmasters, and enjoy a delicious Burger House meal. We have a fun day planned for the whole family! Learn more about all the carnival activities. Wristbands and tickets may be purchased at the door. All online purchases of t-shirts, wristbands and tickets will be delivered to lockers and backpacks on Wednesday.


Spirit Day is Friday, October 13. Students may wear this year's official carnival T-shirt (or any St. John's or blue or gold shirt) with jeans, athletic pants or shorts. Free dress guidelines apply, located on page 42 in the school handbook. If your child chooses not to participate, he or she must wear a regular school uniform.

We need the help of all our families at this fun event. Please volunteer to lend a hand with setup before the event and cleanup afterward. We also need help with our class-assigned booths during the event. If you haven't already done so, visit the SignUpGenius and choose a shift. 


Support the bake sale! Homemade or purchased baked goods are welcome. Volunteers will be on hand during morning and afternoon carpool on Friday to accept your nut-free delicacies. Baking not your thing? We also need volunteers to wrap all the delicious treats. Sign up now (scroll to bottom to sign up for a shift).



St. John's is excited to host its first fall open house for early childhood Wednesday, October 11, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. Please invite your friends who are interested in pre-k through fourth grade for their child next fall at St. John's. See open house details and R.S.V.P. information.



If your child has a sibling who will apply for admission to St. John's for the 2018-19 school year, please email



With fall campouts and overnight field trips starting up, remember that it is a time when students can pick up unwanted visitors - head lice! Lice are insects that are dependent on a human host for survival. They cannot jump or fly; they can only crawl. Therefore, they only spread to others by head-to-head contact and or contact with bedding or clothing. An adult louse can only survive for 48 hours without a human host, and eggs (nits) will die within a week if not kept warm by the human head. Read more tips on prevention and treating of head lice, and please let the clinic know if you discover lice so we may step up preventative measures in the classroom to keep it from spreading.



Please continue to refrain from upgrading your child's iPad until you receive an all-clear email from us. Upgrading to iOS 11 before we complete our tests may mean your child will be unable to complete assignments or access school apps. 


We would like to thank the Parents Association, cafeteria committee, and last year's eighth grade "design thinking" club members for their help in making the redesigned cafeteria a reality. After getting input from all groups of the St. John's community, we now have a bright, cheerful, varied space to meet all the students' needs for seating options: round tables for a more community feel and better conversations; booths (including a birthday booth for children celebrating with their parents), and bar seating with stools if they would like a more reflective lunch or to just sit with one friend. There is even a faculty table to encourage teacher-student lunches. Come stop by to see the transformation!





St. John's Book Fair is around the corner! Please come support our library Tuesday, October 17 through Friday, October 20 (Conference Day). Inspire your kids' love of reading with new books, and knock your Christmas shopping out early with something for everyone on your list. (And toss something in the bag for yourself!) Get all the times and details.


A Book Fair tradition, dads and special friends of pre-k through first grade students are invited to Donuts with Dad on Thursday, October 19, 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Enjoy coffee and donuts while shopping the wonderful Book Fair with your child.



Conference Day will be Friday, October 20. Please note that fourth through eighth grade students attend the conference with their parents. There will be no classes on Conference Day; however, After School Program staff will provide childcare for children four years old through third grade in Owen Gym for the duration of your child's conference. Childcare is available between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per child and can be paid by check or cash or billed to your ParentsWeb account. Students may not bring electronic devices to the childcare.



Internationally recognized pediatric physical therapist, sensory integration specialist, author and child advocate Sally Fryer Dietz, has helped thousands of children build better lives for more than 30 years. This workshop will help parents understand what sensory integration is and how it affects us all. You will learn how to recognize red flags associated with sensory motor challenges and ways to help. Sally will also guide parents on how to set the stage for optimal learning and behavior both at home and at school. Please join us Thursday, October 26, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Reserve your seat



See below for details about this year's Halloween celebrations, which will take place Tuesday, October 31. We invite parents to gather outside in the Lower School carpool area shortly before 2:00 p.m. if they would like to view the parade. Because of space limitations, only the designated Halloween party volunteers will be present for the classroom parties. Get all the Halloween details for Lower School.





Kindergarten teachers hosted workshops for parents to provide an up-close look at the three components of the kindergarten reading program: reading work, word work and sound work. They learned and tried out games for learning sight words and developing sound awareness, and practiced techniques for reading side-by-side with their child at home. Some takeaways from the workshops were the reminder that the most effective learning happens in a stress-free and joy-filled environment and, to quote author Emilie Buchwald, the idea that "children are made readers on the laps of their parents." More than 50 parents attended these sessions, and the teachers are very grateful for their enthusiasm and support.


For students who are interested in participating in the jump rope team this year, there will be an organizational meeting/practice for Red Hot Peppers on Wednesday, October 18, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. in Owen Gym. The Peppers will be led by coaches Katie Specht and Morgan Martinez. To qualify, a student must be able to jump 10 "basic bounces" in a row without missing. (A basic bounce is a two-foot jump of the rope with no extra bounces between.) Jumpers will need to bring his or her sneakers and jump rope each time, which may be purchased at practice for $4. Practices will be in Owen Gym Wednesdays from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Jumpers will be picked up from the gym or they will be checked back into aftercare.

The fourth graders spent two days in east Texas last week at Sky Ranch. The students traveled back in time to 1836 to meet Sam Houston and Susanna Dickinson during the Texas Revolution. They studied maps, played with toys popular during this time period, looked through spyglasses, created their own brands for cattle and even tried roping. They also chose products at a general store for a cross country trip and calculated what they could buy for ten dollars. The students also traveled back to 1686 to meet the French explorer, La Salle. La Salle introduced the students to two Texas Native American tribes. The students traded beads to make jewelry, explored native dwellings, learned the meanings behind paint colors, shot bow and arrows, painted their faces, and received a Native American name. The trip was a wonderful learning experience for students and chaperones.



Second graders and their families enjoyed a festive afternoon at the annual guacamole party. Each family prepared their favorite recipe to share with each other and the St. John's community. The party serves as a way to collect avocado seeds for a yearlong project studying the life cycle of a plant. Each student will plant his or her own avocado pit, document the changes of the life cycle, and learn how to care for a plant. They measure the growth in inches and centimeters and take photos throughout the year to add in their personal "Avocado Book" on an app called Book Creator. At the end of the year, the students take their plants home.



Fourth graders recently completed an integrative art project focusing on Texas History. After discussing impressionist painter Julian Onderdonk, often called the "father of Texas painting," students studied the history of bluebonnets. Each student decided how he or she imagined their bluebonnets and created their own works of art using watercolor pencils and tempera paint. The works are displayed in the fourth grade hallway, outside Mrs. Fields' room. Check them out!





Congratulations to our October Box Tops winning class. Mrs. Barrera's homeroom collected 314 Box Tops and receive a free dress day! Runner up was Mr. Telzrow's class. Keep on clipping!



The Parents Association is starting the nominations process for the 2018-19 school year! We are currently forming the nominating committee, which is the committee that helps identify volunteers to serve on the PA Council each year. Consider nominating one fellow parent (or self-nominate) from Lower School and Middle School to serve on the nominations committee. (Nominees will be contacted to confirm they have time and would like to serve if elected.) Please e-mail Kristi Bare with your nominees' names by November 3. Voting for the nominations committee will take place at our next PA meeting on November 7.




>>See full athletics calendar. Contact your child's coach with sports-related questions.



This week is a short week, but a fun one! Monday was a holiday and Thursday is Buddy Day. Students will be making sculptures together as buddies, sculptures that represent what "respect" looks like. Parents, you can help your child get in the mindset by asking him or her what respect looks like to them. And I'm sure they'd like to hear what it looks like to you!


In chapel, we're continuing our series of Old Testament stories that show how God calls us, we respond, and God always keeps His promises. We're especially paying close attention to the characters who are women, because the lessons they teach have sometimes been overlooked. The prophet Deborah is one such character. Unlike many of the other heroes we read about in the book of Judges (chapter 4 if you're reading along), Deborah's leadership has already been well established. When the men of Israel seem to be unable to rouse themselves to action, it is Deborah whose call, proclaiming God's promise, rallies the Israelites to throw off their oppressors' yoke and fight for freedom. Her battle strategy and tactical timing become the tools of God's miraculous action. And God's victory through her and another brave woman, Jael, is total and complete.


God's call can come to anyone, great or small. When we hear it, our job is to respond in faith and follow Him. But whether we are faithful like Deborah or frightened, God always keeps His promises.


St. John's Episcopal School is dedicated to a program of academic excellence designed to train

the mind, strengthen the character and enrich the spirit of each student in a Christian environment.


St. John's Episcopal School | 214-328-9131

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