PA Meeting – 1/6/22

Thanks to Rachael Groark for taking such clean notes. Our next virtual meeting will be on Friday, 2/4, at 8:45am.

Time Stamps:
St. John’s Updated Response to Covid and Our New Protocols
State of the School reminder
Catholic School’s Week – Opportunity to Volunteer
Happy Hour Postponed
Short Auction Update
Ongoing PA Discussions on Various Topics

Updated COVID guidance: Please familiarize yourself with the updated quarantine and isolation guidelines provided by Public Health and communicated by Ms. O’Leary in  NewsViews.

Catholic Schools Week will be 1/31 through 2/4 and planning is in the works! There will be Mass and perhaps some kind of a virtual open house on 1/30 for prospective and current families. This is traditionally a week that PA would show up in force to help and it would be great to give the teachers full breaks by volunteering for lunch duty. On Friday, 2/4, the Kitchen will likely need a little more help and communication will be sent out soon for Vocational Talks, should you be interested in virtually presenting on your careers.

Lunch Volunteers: Help our teachers by volunteering at lunch time. Don’t worry about it if you can’t consistently make it in or are unable to do a full session, just sign up whenever you’re available for as long as you’re available. Give our teachers the breaks they need!

State of the School: Come celebrate what has been accomplished and gain an understanding of St. John’s Fair Share philosophy and the predicted tuition for next year. Attendance at State of the School is required for all families intending to enroll a student(s) in grades K-8 for the 2022-23 school year. This year the event will be offered virtually on Tuesday January 25 and Thursday January 27. 

PA Meeting – 12/3/21

Thanks for being so active on the last call, everyone. We covered a lot of material. Thank you to Stephanie Glassburn for the great meeting notes! Here are the time stamps:

Pablo updates on Construction (79th and Greenwood) and Accreditation.
Construction (79th and Greenwood): This is an active work zone. Remember the sidewalk is closed around this area and students/parents must find other routes. Please follow all signs to keep everyone safe and make sure all caregivers who are dropping off/picking up are aware. We expect this to be a 17+ month project and will require patience and flexibility. 
Accreditation: We are making good progress on the self-study. Thank you to parents who have participated in the mission and philosophy working session. An update is coming soon. Additionally, the survey closed on Friday and will inform the self-study. 

Karen lets us know how we did for the Endowment, and we did GREAT!
The Endowment: The video was a great success and helped encourage giving to this important cause. We raised more than $70,000, surpassing the goal of $50,000. The endowment money is invested with the Archdiocese; a portion each year is withdrawn to be included in the operating budget. 

How is the Endowment invested?

Maggie runs down the process for Christmas Scrip this year.
Christmas Scrip: The deadline for ordering Scrip to include in our teacher appreciation efforts this Christmas season is Wednesday, 12/8/2021. The process is streamlined to ensure we are not carrying extra inventory on our books. Visit the Christmas Scrip site for more details. 

Lunch Volunteers: Help our teachers by volunteering at lunch time. Don’t worry about it if you can’t consistently make it in, just sign up whenever you’re available. Give our teachers the breaks they need!

Checking in with Chris and Hospitality.

Christmas Program going virtual this year.
Christmas Program will be virtual this year. Look out for videos from our music teachers coming your way with our kids. 

Thinking about Catholic Schools Week.
Catholic Schools Week will be 1/30/2022 through 2/5/2022 and planning is in the works! There will be an in person open house on 1/30/2022 for prospective and current families. 

Discussion about Celebrating 8th Grade.

Sara updates us on the PA Speaker Series.

Christmas Scrip

Our amazing Scrip Team has informed us that they’re open for business this Christmas season. However, the process will be much more streamlined than previous years.

  • Parent reps (usually, Hospitality Chairs) may choose to order holiday Scrip to give to teachers/support staff.
  • All orders must be submitted via email to
  • Deadline to place orders is Wednesday 12/8
  • Checks, payable to St. John Scrip, delivered to Parish Office before 12/8
  • Scrip gift cards are available from either Amazon or VISA
  • Order amounts must be in denominations offered individually or in combination by designated vendors: Amazon ($10, $25, $100); VISA ($50, $100, $250)   
  • Parent reps are requested to collect purchased Scrip cards and distribute to teachers/support staff. All orders that meet 12/8 purchase deadline will be ready for pick-up on Monday 12/13.   

Example Work-Flow:

  1. Homeroom X has $300 in holiday funds, already collected, to be gifted to teacher/support staff
  2. Parent rep contacts Scrip via email, before 12/8 deadline, and requests the following: 1 x $100 Amazon, 6 x $25 Amazon, 2 x $50 VISA (total $300)
  3. Parent rep delivers check payment to parish office before 12/8 deadline
  4. Scrip gift cards are available for pick-up on Monday, Dec. 13.
  5. Parent rep distributes gift cards to individual teachers/support staff. Sealed envelopes can be delivered to Mrs. Q in the main office and she can distribute to teacher mailboxes if this is best.

Jessica Sinarski, Brave Brains

Thank you all for joining us! If you’d like to skip straight to the discussion, go to 2:38.

We recently invited Jessica Sinarski of Brave Brains to speak to us about kids and mental health.  
Jessica is a highly sought-after therapist, author, and speaker. Extensive post-graduate training and 15+ years as a clinician and educator led her to create the resource and training platform, Brave Brains. She makes brain science practical, helping parents and professionals become healers for hurting children.

Jessica taught us about brain development in kids, as well as brain function in all humans in a way that was easy to understand and remember – so we can support our kids (and ourselves) in moments of big or hard feelings.  
In this conversation, Jessica shared:

  • The state of our children’s mental health after enduring 20 months in a pandemic
  • How you can be supportive of your child’s emotions and mental health as they navigate big and hard feelings during tough times
  • What anxiety looks like in children and how you can support your child if they are seeming anxious
  • How to use play in small, simple and fun ways across all age groups
  • Simple tools to ground and connect with your kids when they are having a hard time managing emotions
  • The surprising parenting power tool that nurtures healthy brain development
  • Five practical resilience-building strategies

Dave Watson – Guest Speaker

Thank you for joining us, everyone! Dave Watson has been working with our faculty and administration to better understand issues surround Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and this was our opportunity as a community to hear directly from him. This won’t be the last opportunity we have, though, to challenge ourselves to be more inclusive and have a positive effect on communities traditionally left out of the conversation. Below, please find additional resources to continue your own conversations and stay tuned for our next speaker, Jessica Sinarski!

Book Recommendations

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Me & White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad

How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Stamped For Kids adapted by Sonja Cherry Paul

Social Justice Parenting by Dr. Traci Baxley (to be released on October 19)

Podcast Recommendations

Good Ancestor Podcast with Layla Saad
An interview series with change-makers & culture-shapers exploring what it means to be a good ancestor. Hosted by globally respected speaker, anti-racism educator, and New York Times bestselling author of Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad.

First Name Basis with Jasmine Bradshaw
As parents, we all want to teach our kids to be inclusive, but how? Join Jasmine Bradshaw each week as she gives you the tools and practical strategies that you need to talk to your children about race, religion, and culture. If you are a parent who values inclusion and wants to teach your children how to truly love those who are different from them, this podcast is for you!

Seeing White
A fourteen-part documentary series exploring whiteness in America—where it came from, what it means, and how it works.

In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, this is the full story.

PA Meeting – 10/1/21

Thanks for coming, everyone! We’ll see you again very soon when Dave Watson, our first Guest Speaker, hosts a discussion with us on Wednesday, October 6th, at 7pm. Please remind your grades and we’ll have a Zoom link for you very zoon! He’s actually continuing his work with our faculty later today, and they’ve had nothing but the highest praise for how he continues to challenge and motivate them. Here are some time stamps from the meeting:

0:54 – Parking. Bernadette and Pablo really need us to get the word out: Drive more safely, park more kindly.
5:07 – PA Roles Discussion. Chris Sourov handling Hospitality mentorship. New Auction Liaisons should feel free to reach out to Lauren Exnicios for guidance. Room Parents, please feel free to use some version of this email template for your communications. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
17:10 – Scrip is being Discontinued.
19:36 – Managing, keeping track of Donations for grade-level Teacher, Staff, and Parish Appreciation. Here’s an example of a disclaimer we like to use in our communications regarding Teacher Appreciation Donations:

We are gathering funds to gift teachers and staff throughout the year. All funds collected from both [X] grade classes will cover: 1) Teacher and support staff Christmas gifts, 2) Teacher Appreciation Day gifts in February, 3) an event in [ASSIGNED MONTH] honoring the full staff, and 4) End of the year teacher gifts. The suggested donation is a one-time donation of $X. But, please remember that we are a Fair Share school. Donations are voluntary and any amount you can contribute is very much appreciated.  

26:52 – Please be mindful of Fair Share in all communications.
30:32 – Advice on gift-giving for your grade’s month to show Appreciation to all Teachers, Staff, and Parish Staff. Don’t forget Specialists and XDC!
43:04 – We welcome you to schedule monthly check-in’s and community events within your grades. Regular meetings are especially helpful for younger grades.
47:16 – On our first Guest Speaker, Dave Watson, October 6th at 7pm.
52:35 – Pablo on Dave Watson.
54:27 – Setting up regular grade-level community events.

Welcome Back Town Hall and PA Meeting – 9/16/21

5:29 – Town Hall begins
8:13 – Strategic Goals, Academic Progress
11:21 – Accreditation, a large emphasis for Administration in 2021
15:55 – Covid Update – Keep community safe, keep sick kids home, get tested
18:58 – Jog-a-Thon
20:53 – Traffic pattern for Drop-Off and Pick-Up
24:26 – Q/A, Covid
25:36 – Q/A, Accreditation
30:41 – Q/A, School Directory, Preschool Drop-Off, Scouting
33:03 – Q/A, How can parents best support teachers this year
34:20 – PA Meeting begins
Meeting Schedule:
Friday, October 1st, 8:45am
Thursday, November 4th, 5pm
Friday, December 3rd, 8:45am
36:53 – Announcing our lineup of Speakers for 2021
Dave Watson, Seattle Education Administrator previous Law Enforcement Officer, who helps organizations holistically approach Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Jessica Sinarski, Licensed Counsellor and Advocate for Children’s Mental Health, will focus on Parenting and Children’s Anxiety through Covid
Traci Baxley, An Early Childhood and Development Specialist, Coaching Social Justice for Parents, book releasing in October: Social Justice Parenting
41:03 – PA Roles explained
41:56 – What is a PA Rep
44:43 – What is a Room Parent
46:20 – What is an Auction Liaison
49:37 – What is a Hospitality Chair
54:10 – Other Opportunities to Volunteer, some PA Q/A

PA Meeting – 5/6/21

Hi everyone, Thanks for the truly great discussion last Thursday. Sara and I spoke for a long time afterwards, and some of the notes that follow were produced as a result of that offline conversation. For the meeting recording, go here:

– Hospitality Chairs, we’re closing in on the end of the year, and this is typically when we thank our faculty and staff one last time, through Scrip, similar to Christmas.
– Everyone on our school’s staff from our maintenance personnel to our PE teachers has worked tirelessly to safely keep our children in school, and this is an invitation for your grade’s PA/Hospitality team to gift those that you can, one last time.
– A link to our Online Scrip Purchasing Tool will be sent in the next week and orders will be due by May 28th.
– Please direct questions to Chris Sourov,
– She’s the best.
– Enjoy the last week of school and happy Graduation!
– If you have any further feedback regarding PA, please don’t hesitate to email us, and we’ll schedule some time to talk.
– With the cancelation of our June meeting, we unfortunately won’t get a tearful goodbye speech from Tricia. Simply put, though: St. John is better because of her, and she will be sorely missed by anyone who has had the benefit of working with her. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to teach me the ropes and weather the storm that was 2020.
– Thank you for your feedback regarding our meeting time for next year. We won’t make a decision soon regarding this, but it’s important to see how people are feeling right now. We’ll ask again closer to September.
– Responses were mixed and participants hope to be as involved as their work and family responsibilities permit.
– We have to stay flexible to the limitations Covid might project on us.
– If we are capable of having in-person meetings, perhaps there can still be a CSPAN-like live Zoom component?
– If we can, a request was made that we continue recording meetings.
– We’re doing this a little differently this year. For now, we would love to know if you’re interested in signing up for PA for ’21-’22. In the summer, we’ll contact you and your grade’s team, to give you the opportunity to discuss how you’d like to divy up roles.
– This broad initial approach should help new parents feel more welcome to ask questions, contribute, and carve out a role that works best for them.
– We will send a follow-up Sign Up by the end of summer to give you the opportunity to solidify your roles.
– Helping new families navigate life at St. John is fun and rewarding.
Thank you for weathering a pandemic with us, everyone. Your hard work helped our teachers get through some really tough times. The work still continues to keep each other safe, and to remind our staff that we are so grateful for them, but for what it’s worth, I think you’re a truly special group of volunteers. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

PA Meeting – 3/4/21

This month, coming off an applications cycle in which we saw close to 200 new families applying to come to St. John School, we focused on admissions. Jonna Skokan, our Admissions and Development Director, was in attendance and so was our Vice Principal, Paul Kelley. Here are some time stamps to help you skim through:

St. John Welcome Committee
Showing Thanks to PE Staff
Appreciation Webpage