Optimizing Online Safety with Christy Keating

The St. John Parent Association recently hosted a profound Parent Education Night featuring Christy Keating, the founder of The Heartful Parent Collective. Keating, a licensed attorney with extensive experience in prosecuting sexually violent predators, shared invaluable insights into optimizing online safety for children.

Click here to access resources, including discount codes for purchasing tools, Keating shared with us.

Click above to view the recording of this event.

About Christy Keating: Christy Keating brings a wealth of expertise to the realm of parenting in the digital age. As the founder of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes various platforms such as Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, and The Heartful Parent Podcast, Keating is dedicated to empowering parents and educators. With over 25 years of experience as a public speaker and group facilitator, she passionately advocates for creating safer online environments for children.

Key Themes and Questions: During the Parent Education Night, Christy addressed critical themes and answered thought-provoking questions from participants. Key topics included setting ground rules for online behavior, understanding the risks associated with online activities, and empowering children to become responsible digital citizens.

Advice by Age: Keating provided practical advice tailored to different age groups, emphasizing the importance of constant supervision for younger children, open communication for preteens, and setting boundaries for teenagers. Additionally, she highlighted the significance of waiting until 8th grade before providing unrestricted internet access, as advocated by the Wait Until 8th organization.

Online Risks and Strategies: Participants gained insights into identifying and mitigating various online risks, including exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and predatory behavior. Keating emphasized the role of parental controls, monitoring software, and open dialogue in safeguarding children’s online experiences.

Empowering Digital Citizenship: A central theme of the discussion was the importance of fostering digital empathy and responsible online behavior. Keating encouraged parents to model good digital citizenship and engage in ongoing conversations with their children about the impact of their online actions.

Resources and Recommendations: Keating shared valuable resources, including books such as “Good Picture Bad Picture Jr.” and “Good Picture Bad Picture,” as well as organizations like Culture Reframed and Common Sense Media. Additionally, she provided practical tips for addressing safety concerns during playdates, such as discussing safety rules and supervisory arrangements with other parents.

Conclusion: The Parent Education Night with Christy Keating was an enlightening and empowering experience for the St. John School community. As we continue our journey towards enhancing online safety for our children, let us remain vigilant, informed, and supportive of one another.

Thank you to Christy Keating for her invaluable contributions, and to all participants for their active engagement and commitment to creating a safer digital environment for our children.

If you were unable to join the talk live, the recording is available here.

St. John Parent Association

PA Meeting – 5/3/24

Thanks for joining us at the last PA meeting of the year. We celebrated a successful year with coffee and sweet treats. We want to thank you for your support of the PA and all your efforts to enhance our amazing St. John community. Below, please review a summary of the topics we covered during the meeting.

See you next year! We won’t have another PA meeting until September 2024.

Volunteer for Principal O’Leary’s Celebration, Sunday, May 19. We need your volunteer support to make sure Principal O’Leary’s celebration is a success! There are opportunities to complete preparations on Saturday and Sunday as well as work the event on Sunday. Please consider signing up. Check our event website for full details and make sure that you:

  • Sign the kudoboard by May 6 to celebrate, thank, and say goodbye to Principal O’Leary.
  • RSVP by May 6 here.

Father Crispin’s Celebration, Sunday, June 30. This event will honor Father Crispin and will include Mass and a picnic with the Parish. We acknowledge this is a holiday weekend, but we really want to get as much school family involvement as possible. If you are in town, please come!

  • Sign the kudoboard here.
  • RSVP by June 17 here.
  • Volunteer here.

Auction Update:

  • Skipping School for Sundaes: All students will participate in Skipping School for Sundaes on Friday, May 24. Thank you to Nutty Squirrel for their generous donation to help make this event so special. You can donate to support St John School and offset any additional costs associated with this summer celebration. Payments can be made here. Select “Other” and note “Skipping School for Sundaes”. The recommended donation is $10 per student.
  • Auction Team: Lauren and Andrew Exnicios will again lead the 2025 Auction team. We are also looking for new members to take the lead in the Auction in the future. It would be great if they could shadow our leads this year. Please email Lauren at lexnicios@gmail.com if you are interested.

Last Day of School Class Gatherings: PA Reps – remember to consider plans for the last day of school’s early release. If your class will have a meetup, please add the information to this spreadsheet and communicate it out to your class. If you choose not to have a meetup, it would be helpful to communicate this as well.

Immediately following the 10:30am dismissal on the last day of school, there will also be popsicles on the blacktop.

Recess Monitoring: Malen Musgraves will return as our Recess Monitor Coordinator for the 24/25 school year. We are looking to recruit new volunteers for next year. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Malen at malen.musgrave@gmail.com.

Parent Ed Night: Join us for our last Parent Ed Night on Tuesday, May 21, at 7pm when Christy Keating will join us virtually. Her talk, Savvy Parents, Safe Kids – Optimizing Online Safety: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Them, is sure to provide helpful tips and thoughtful guidance. Click here for more information.

Emergency Communication Plan: Remember to review the Emergency Communication Plan. Pablo shared with us that there was a “stay put” hold recently when a student was injured in the Play Pit and everything went really smoothly. The school continues to work with Highlander Six Consulting on emergency preparedness.

The Back to School BBQ will be Friday, September 6 and we will be kicking off planning in May. This event will welcome us all back to school and incorporate a warm welcome to our new school and parish leadership. The Planning Committee will meet approximately once a month until school starts.  If you are interested in joining the Planning Committee, please email Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

Hospitality Update: Thank you for all your efforts to make Teacher Appreciation Luncheons and Coffee & Donuts a success this year. If you are interested in giving Scrip this year for teachers’ end gifts, look out for information coming soon. If you have any questions, please email Chris at csourov@st-johnschool.org.

The 2024 Jog-a-thon: All preschool through 7th grade students are encouraged to submit artwork for the 2024 Jog-a-thon art contest. More details to come. We are also looking for sponsors this year. Please email Chris at csourov@st-johnschool.org.

Welcome Committee Update: We will be full in every grade except First Grade. If you know any families with 2024-2025 First Graders who might be interested in St. John, encourage them to reach out to Jonna Skokan at jskokan@st-johnschool.org.

The Welcome Committee Happy Hour to welcome new families will be held Thursday, May 16, 5:30pm in Egan Hall. The event will include beer, wine, light appetizers, socializing and a quick presentation to welcome and acclimate parents to some key information. Buddy families are asked to attend this parents only event.

Volunteer Opportunities: Jonna Skokan shared the following additional volunteer opportunities for next year. If you are interested, please email Jonna at jskokan@st-johnschool.org.

  • Sports Uniform Ordering: Help coordinate the sports uniform ordering and distribution processes.
  • Social Media Support: Upload high quality pictures capturing special moments for each grade. Look for more information in NewsViews.

Thank you to our PA Leadership Team!

  • Auction Chair Lauren Exnicios
  • Welcome Committee Co-Chairs Julia Tsurusaki and Kirsten Evangelista
  • Volunteer Lead Amy Vithayathil
  • Events Lead Madeline Pennington
  • Hospitality Lead Chris Sourov
  • Communications Lead Stephanie Glassburn
  • And, of course, our amazing PA Co-Chairs, Rachael Groark and Maile Sullivan

PA Meeting 4/12/24

Welcome back from Spring Break! Thank you to those who joined the April 2024 Parent Association Meeting. Below, please review a summary of the topics we covered during the meeting.

Our next meeting will be Friday, May 3, 2024, at 8:30am in Egan Hall. (*Note the date change from previous communications.)

Welcome back, Rachael and Happy Birthday, Maile! During our meeting, we were so happy to welcome back Rachael after being on leave and celebrate Maile’s birthday. Lots going on for our PA Co-Chairs!

Parent Ed Night: We are rescheduling our Spring Parent Ed Night to early May. Look for the date to be announced soon. We will feature a speaker discussing how to navigate the topic of screens and screentime. Our intent is to bring the conversation to the next level – a 2.0 version of what we have heard already – including helpful tips and resources. This is a topic requested by many, so PA is happy to bring it to you.

A Fete for Principal O’Leary, Sunday, May 19. Plans are fully underway to celebrate Principal O’Leary and honor her many years of service in Catholic education. We hope you join us for Mass and a “Brunch Bites” reception afterwards. This event is family friendly and will include food, beverages, and a short program. Check our event website for full details and make sure that you:

  • Sign the Kudo Board by May 1 to celebrate, thank, and say goodbye to Principal O’Leary. She will receive these messages as a printed book as well as online. Make sure you add your contributions here.
  • RSVP by May 6 here.
  • Volunteer! There are many ways to help us make this an amazing event to honor Principal O’Leary. Check out the options and sign up here today.

A Jubilee for Father Crispin, Sunday, June 30. The planning committee is also busy organizing a celebration for Father Crispin.This will include Mass and a picnic with the Parish. We acknowledge this is a holiday weekend, but we really want to get as much school family involvement as possible. If you are in town, please come! More information and volunteer opportunities will be announced soon.

Last Day of School Class Gatherings: This year, we are again asking PA Reps to think about plans for the last day of school/end of year meetups. The intent is to ensure that, if there are planned meetups, they are inclusive and communicated broadly. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan (hosting and child supervision are out of scope and not expected.) If you choose not to have a meetup, it would be helpful to communicate this as well. Here is the spreadsheet. Please use the 2023 tab for ideas and then include your class’s plan on the 2024 tab.  

Immediately following the 10:30am dismissal on the last day of school, there will also be popsicles on the blacktop.

The Back to School BBQ will be Friday, September 6 and we will be kicking off planning in May. This event will welcome us all back to school and incorporate a warm welcome to our new school and parish leadership. The Planning Committee will meet approximately once a month until school starts.  If you are interested in joining the Planning Committee, please email Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

Auction Update: Thank you to our amazing community for coming out and supporting the Auction this year! If you have feedback about the Auction, please email Lauren at lexnicios@gmail.com or Chris at csourov@st-johnschool.org.

There are two opportunities still available to contribute to the Auction:

  • Fund-a-Need: $125,000 was raised for Fund-a-Need. There is still time to make a gift if you would like to help us reach our goal. Donate HERE.
  • Matching Donations: Does your company participate in corporate matching? Please consider submitting a matching donation request to your company. The school, students and teachers all benefit from those extra donations!

We are already looking ahead to our 2025 Auction which will take place on April 4, 2025. If you are interested in taking a leadership role in the Auction, please email Lauren at lexnicios@gmail.com or Chris at csourov@st-johnschool.org.

The 2025 Jog-a-thon planning efforts will kick off in May with the art contest and sponsorship recruitment. The team is looking for the next generation of leaders to spearhead this effort. No running required! If you are interested in joining the Jog-a-thon committee, please email Chris at csourov@st-johnschool.org.

Welcome Committee Update: St. John will welcome 50-60 new families in the fall. We will be full in every grade except First Grade. If you know any families with 2024-2025 First Graders who might be interested in St. John, encourage them to reach out to Jonna Skokan at jskokan@st-johnschool.org.

The Welcome Committee is currently focused on the following:

  • Buddy Families to be matched with new families. The need is greater for families with younger children. Please express interest in being a Buddy Family here.
  • The next Welcome Committee meeting will be held Tuesday, April 23 and will focus on writing letters to welcome new families and assigning Buddy Families.
  • The Welcome Committee Happy Hour to welcome new families will be held Thursday, May 16, 5:30pm in Egan Hall. The event will include beer, wine, light appetizers, socializing and a quick presentation to welcome and acclimate parents to some key information. Buddy families are asked to attend this parents only event.

Admin Update: Pablo shared the following updates with us:

  • The American Heart Association fundraiser is coming soon. Check out the NewsViews post for more information. We look forward to participating again this year!
  • Principal Transition: Thank you to the Principal Search Committee for their hard work resulting in the selection of Ms. Mansfield as our next principal. Currently, the Admin team is working through the transition and integrating Ms. Mansfield into the team.
  • As part of the Partners in the Gospel work, our new priests were announced. Father Colin Parrish will be the new pastor for our parish family which includes St. Alphonsus in Ballard and St. Benedict in Wallingford. Our parochial vicars will be Father Justin Ryan and Fr Kyle Poje. When they come together to lead our parish family beginning in July, their first step will be to determine a Mass schedule and where the priests will live.

Online Uniform and Spirit Store: The last day to order spirit gear for the 2023-2024 school year is Monday, April 15 for a mid-May delivery date. The spirit gear store will be updated with new gear and will reopen June 1-July 31, for an August 29 delivery, just in time for the start of 2024-2025 school year.

PA Meeting – 3/1/24

During our March PA meeting, we enjoyed the stage decorations for the Middle School Musical, Frozen, Jr. Hope you got to see the amazing show over the weekend!

Thank you to those who joined the March 2024 Parent Association Meeting. Below, please review a summary of the topics we covered during the meeting.

Our next meeting will be Friday, April 12, 2024, at 8:30am in Egan Hall. Please note this meeting occurs out of our normal schedule due to Easter holidays and school closures.

Admin Update: Pablo shared the following updates with us:

  • Playpit renovation is underway! Cement will be poured the week of March 4. Thank you for your support of this effort through last year’s Fund-A-Need.
  • This year’s Fund-A-Need will continue to raise money for the Playpit updates, including new fencing. If there are funds left over after the Playpit is complete, they will go toward updates to our intercom system.
  • Admission Update: We have space available to welcome more First Graders for the 2024-2025 school year. Please spread the word.
  • Principal Search Update: Our rigorous and thoughtful process has resulted in two final candidates. Father Crispin interviewed them last week and is currently in the discernment phase of our process. He should have a final decision soon. The decision will be announced via email and NewsViews. There will be an opportunity to meet our new Principal before the beginning of next school year. More information to come.
  • Volunteering Update: Admin is currently reviewing the new Volunteer Handbook. We expect this new resource to be available to families this Spring. If you have any questions or additional volunteer opportunities, please reach out to Amy Vithayathil at Amy.Vithayathil@gmail.com.

Save the Date!

  • A Fete for Principal O’Leary, Sunday, May 19. This celebration will include Mass and a reception.
  • A Jubilee for Father Crispin, Sunday, June 30. This celebration will include Mass and a reception.

Note: To properly celebrate our school and honor Principal O’Leary and Father Crispin, we will take a hiatus from this year’s end-of-the-year School’s Out, Grills Out BBQ.

Auction Update: Here’s what you need to know about the Auction:

  • Tickets: It’s your last chance to get your Auction event tickets! Purchase tickets here no later than Wednesday, March 6.
  • Book Release Party Auction Preview: Join us on Wednesday, March 13, 2:30-5pm for a chance to preview the class art projects, turn in raffle ticket, and purchase Mexico raffle tickets. There will also be a chance to purchase class art projects at a special “Buy It Now” price. Bring your kids after pick-up and see what’s in store for us at the Auction this year.
  • Raffle Tickets: All cash and unsold raffle tickets must be turned in by Friday, March 15. Students of families who complete their raffle contributions by March 15 earn Free Dress that day.
  • Costumes Encouraged! Looking for outfit inspiration? Check out the auction website for ideas.

Groark Update: Last month, our PA Co-Chair, Rachael Groark and her family welcomed twins, Mimi and Micah. Everyone is now home from the hospital and doing well. Thank you for all your love and support.

The Groark Twins – Mimi and Micah

We had a brief Spirit Day Recap and discussion about changes for next year. The kids are still talking about this cozy and fun event. If you have any feedback, please email Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

The new Welcome Committee leadership team is busy planning for this Spring and Summer’s activities to welcome our new families. More information to come! If you are interested in joining the Welcome Committee, please reach out to Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

Heart Health Alumni Event: Amy Gentzkow, mom of St. John alumni Mili and current 6th grader Audri, joined our meeting to tell us about an exciting community event. Mili, who was born with a congenital heart defect, was nominated as a Teen of Impact for the American Hearth Association this year. As part of her efforts to support AHA, Mili is partnering with the Ballard Elks and Barre3 Ballard to host a FREE Barre3 class on March 10 at 2pm at the Ballard Elks Lodge. Entrance to the class is free! Register for the event here. Please bring your own yoga mat and water bottle. We will be hosting a raffle (prizes will include a month of free classes and Barre3 swag). Come for a free heart healthy exercise class (great for all fitness levels) and learn about all the great things the American Heart Association is doing for you! 

PA Meeting – 2/2/24

The Groark Twins – Mimi (Left) and Micah (Right). Welcome to the St. John community!

Thank you to those who joined the February 2024 Parent Association Meeting and for your extra effort to transform Egan into a winter cozy cabin for our Spirit Lunch. The snowflakes were shimmering, the tabletop faux fires were crackling, and the trees were glistening with snow. What a great group effort! Below, please review a summary of the topics we covered during the meeting.

Our next meeting will be Friday, March 1, 2024, at 8:30am in Egan Hall.

PA Update – The babies are here:  Our PA Co-Chair, Rachael Groark, and her family welcomed their twins – Micah and Mimi – on February 1. Just in time for the PA meeting! Babies and moms are all doing well. A big thanks to Lauren Exnicios for organizing a baby shower during our February meeting. We collected donations in honor of the Groark twins to benefit Westside Baby and signed some books to add to the twins’ nursery library.

PA Spring Event: Rather than hosting another PA-specific event in the spring this year, we have decided to shift our energy to support Ms. O’Leary’s send-off and help ensure we honor our principal in an amazing way. The date of the event will be Sunday, May 19. We are beginning to form a subcommittee to lead this effort. If you are interested in joining, please come to the first meeting on Tuesday, February 6 in the Admin Building after drop-off. Can’t make the meeting? Reach out to Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org to express interest. We will also be organizing a send-off for Father Crispin on Sunday, June 30 and asking for help to plan this event.

Admin Update: Pablo shared the following updates with us:

  • We received great feedback on State of the School. People appreciated having the virtual option, showed a high level of understanding of our Fair Share model, and requested a chance for Q&A.
  • Safety Update: The Teacher In-service Day on February 9 will be used as a Professional Development Day focused on safety. Teachers will review the three levels of lockdown and participate in a drill, with our partner Highlander 6, simulating the highest level of lockdown when there is an active threat on campus.
  •  Playpit construction will begin the week of February 5! The playpit will be closed for a number of weeks during construction. Thank you for your support of this effort through last year’s Fund-A-Need.

Box Tops for Education: Grab your phone and download the Box Tops App to help our school raise money! This is super easy and the funds benefit out playground and play equipment. Click here for more information. *Room Parents* Please share this information with your classes.

Catholic Schools Week: Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Catholic Schools Week such a wonderful celebration. Between creating s’mores kits, cutting snowflakes, helping your kids dress up, bringing flowers for our teachers, sharing your vocations, and more, this community has done so much to make this week extra special for our kids. Your efforts are appreciated!  

Volunteering Update: Amy Vithayathil, PA Volunteer Lead, is working to include as many volunteer opportunities in the new volunteer handbook as possible. *Room Parents* Please connect with your teachers to determine what volunteer opportunities are available and then pass the information along to Amy at Amy.Vithayathil@gmail.com.

Auction Update: Raffle tickets were sent home with the youngest sibling on Thursday, February 1. Families must turn in cash or unsold raffle tickets by March 14. Completed turn-in equals a free dress day for students on March 14. Event tickets are also on sale now. *PA Reps and Room Parents* Please help make the auction an inclusive experience and be a contact for people. You can reassure people, especially new families, if they don’t have a group to sit with, they will be grouped by grade and class. Just include this information when purchasing tickets. Looking for outfit inspiration? Check out the auction website for ideas.

Hospitality Update: Thank you for all your efforts to appreciate our teachers and staff. This really means a lot to our community! We are looking for someone to take the Hospitality Lead position for next year when Chris steps down. If you are interested, please email Chris at Mr_and_mrs_so@hotmail.com or Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.  

The Welcome Committee now has a group of parents who will lead this work for the upcoming school year. More information to come! If you are interested in joining the group, please reach out to Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

Spirit Lunch Set-Up

PA Meeting – 1/5/24

Thank you to those who joined the January 2024 Parent Association Meeting. Below, please review a summary of the topics we covered. Our next meeting will be Friday, February 2, 2024, at 8:30am in Egan Hall. Following the meeting, we will hold a work party to set up for the PA-sponsored Spirit Lunch. Please consider staying and lending a helping hand.

PA Leadership Update: Rachael Groark, PA Co-Chair, who is currently pregnant with twins, experienced complications that resulted in hospitalization over Christmas break. She has since stabilized and returned home with limited activity and will step back from her PA duties. Both babies are healthy and thriving. We had already planned for Rachael to be on maternity leave starting in February, so this is a small change to the existing plan. She will return to her PA role once the babies are settled at home and she is comfortable doing so.

Principal Search Committee Update: Our principal position has been posted since mid-December and we are actively searching for candidates locally and nationally. There is lots of interest in the position and we are confident we will get a quality pool of candidates. The Office of Catholic Schools is the first to review applications; then, applications are passed along to the Committee. The Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 9 and hopes to review the first round of applications. There will be a broader Principal Search Committee update included as part of the State of the School.

State of the School attendance is required for all families intending to enroll a student(s) in Grades K-8 for the 2024-2025 school year. The State of the School will be presented on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 23, Virtual, 7pm
  • Thursday, January 25, In-person, Egan Hall, 7pm

Catholic Schools Week will be January 28-February 2, 2024. Here’s some highlights for the week and the theme for each day. Dress code for each day is underlined.

  • Sunday, January 28: The week will kick off with a student-focused Mass at 10:30am and All-School Open House. The Open House for new and current families will be held 12pm to 1:30pm and is a great time for you to visit your students’ classrooms, chat with teachers, and connect with prospective families.
  • Monday, January 29: Hearts Transformed – Thank You to parents, volunteers, community, and neighbors. School Uniform for students.
  • Tuesday, January 30: Minds Prepared – School Spelling Bee (Grades 3-8). Dress Uniform for students.
  • Wednesday, January 31: Staff Appreciation Day – Lunch provided for all staff. Students bring flowers from home.  Book It- Dress as your favorite book character and support our School Auction theme.
  • Thursday, February 1: Mission Ready, Vocation Day – Father Crispin will conduct an adoration tour and class visits. Teachers invite parents to come and speak about vocations (ongoing invites all week). Students dress as a teacher or future self.
  • Friday, February 2: Spirit Day – All-school Spirit Lunch sponsored by the Parent Association. Dress in your Purple and Gold spirit gear. Check out the volunteer opportunities to support this fun tradition and sign up today! There’s even a chance to support this event at home on your own time.

Uniform and Spirit Store – Order Today! Get ready for Spirit Day by placing your order for spirit gear at the Uniform and Spirit Store. Orders should be placed by January 10 to receive items by the end of the month. Uniform items may also be purchased through this site.

Volunteering Update: Amy Vithayathil, PA Volunteer Lead, presented to us about the work she’s been doing to support volunteering in our community. She has created a Volunteer Handbook to help families get information about volunteering expectations, how volunteering supports our faith, what volunteering opportunities are available, and tools to make a volunteering plan. **Room Parents** Amy is looking for your help to gather classroom-specific volunteer opportunities. Please email her at Amy.Vithayathil@gmail.com and provide her with information on any existing volunteer opportunities or future/recurring known opportunities. She will work with you to get the details on each opportunity. The Volunteer Handbook will also be highlighted at State of the School.

Auction Update: Make sure you read the Auction emails to get all up-to-date information about our upcoming Auction – A Novel Soiree on Friday, March 15. Tickets will go on sale on February 2 and costume/dress-up ideas will be provided in future communications. You know how much St. John loves to dress up! But, right now, we are focused on Procurement. There will be an opportunity to drop off procured items on Friday, January 12. The FINAL Procurement Date and Sponsorship due date is Friday, January 26.

Hospitality Update: Thank you for all the grades who have provided amazing luncheons to show appreciation for our teachers and staff this year! Keep up the good work. 2nd Grade will provide the luncheon for January which coincides with Teacher Appreciation Day during Catholic Schools Week (January 31). Also on January 31, remember to send students to school with a single stem flower to include in arrangements for teachers in their classrooms.

Admissions Update: New family applications are currently open through the end of January. Acceptances will go out in March. Current family re-enrollment will open after the State of the School has been delivered. If you are a current family with a new student, please remember to submit your re-enrollment first; then you can add your new student.

Admin Update: Principal O’Leary shared the following updates with us:

  • Progress Reports will be sent home January 18 for Grades 3-8. This is a great time to reset/refocus on current goals and set new goals.
  • Ms. Shaw is back! Thank you to Mrs. Manley who served as our School Counselor while Ms. Shaw was on maternity leave. They created a seamless transition to support our students.
  • High School applications are submitted and we will receive results in February.
  • If you have an idea for an Elective Class you think our Middle School students may have interest in, please reach out to Admin about and share your skills by volunteering to teach. We are always looking for new ideas.

The Welcome Committee is looking for new co-chairs. If you are interested in leading this important effort to make new families feel a part of the St. John community, please email Julia Tsurusaki at julia@thesakigroup.com or Kirsten Evangelista at farg03@yahoo.com.

PA Meeting – 11/17/23

Lauren Exnicios and Chris Sourov from our 39th Annual St. John Auction leadership team

Thank you to those who joined the November Parent Association Meeting. Below, please review a summary of the topics we covered. Our next meeting will be Friday, January 5, 2024, at 8:30am in Egan Hall.

Principal Search Committee Update: The Principal Search Committee is currently working on the job description with the goal of posting the job in early December. They are working closely with a representative from the Office of Catholic Schools. Thank you for the more than 150 surveys that you submitted, providing feedback on what is important to you in our next principal. The target start date for the new principal is July 1, 2024. If you know anyone who would be a good fit for the position, please encourage them to apply. Assistant Principal Paul Kelley will continue in his position for the 2024-2025 school year. The Principal Search Committee will provide progress updates and information as quickly as they can. Teachers and staff are also receiving updates from the Committee.

Auction Update: Our Auction Co-Chair Lauren Exnicios provided us with an informative presentation on all things auction. Mark your calendars and start thinking about your outfits – the 39th Annual St. John School Auction will be held on Friday, March 15, 2024. The theme is A Novel Soiree. Check out Lauren’s presentation for more details and ways to get involved.

The Wellness Committee held their first Try Me Day of the year on Friday, November 17. They served students popcorn with healthy toppings like nutritional yeast. Look for more information on how the day went in a future NewsViews update.

Thank you to Sara Dean for facilitating our first Parent Education Night on Tuesday, October 24. We had over 70 participants attend who learned about executive function from Dr. Erin Gonzalez. If you missed it, check out the recording here as well as a list of resources. We will hold another Parent Education Night in the Spring and are finalizing the topic now. Please send any topic suggestions to Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

Catholic Schools Week will be January 28-February 2, 2024. The week will kick off on Sunday, January 28 with Mass and an Open House for new and current families. The Parent Association will host a Spirit Lunch on Friday, February 2 to add to the festivities. We are currently assembling a subcommittee to plan this event. If you are interested in joining, please email Parent_Association@st-johnschool.org.

Hospitality Update: If you are planning to include Scrip gift cards in your holiday giving to teachers and staff, the deadline to place orders is December 8. Scrip is available from a list of vendors in specific denominations. For more information, click here. If you are a Hospitality Chair and looking for more support in your position, check out the resources available on the Parent Association website.

Admin Update: Assistant Principal Paul Kelley shared the following updates with us:

  • The 6th Grade’s Fund Drive to support St. Vincent de Paul is going on now. Instead of a food donation this year, please consider donating the cost of the food to help keep our neighbors sheltered.
  • 7th Graders will be hosting a Thanksgiving meal for Residents of the Martina Apartments on Tuesday, November 21.
  • 4th and 5th Graders are continuing their efforts to provide hygiene kits within our Seattle community.
  • School Open House: Our Open House for new and current families will take place as part of Catholic Schools Week on January 28, 2024. Spread the word to prospective families, especially with younger children.

The Welcome Committee is looking for new co-chairs. If you are interested in leading this important effort to make new families feel a part of the St. John community, please email Julia Tsurusaki at julia@thesakigroup.com or Kirsten Evangelista at farg03@yahoo.com.

Parent Ed Night with Dr. Erin Gonzalez on Executive Function

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first Parent Ed night of the 2023/2024 school year. We were honored to have Dr. Erin Gonzalez join us to share her professional insights on executive function. Below you will find the video as well as helpful links shared by Erin during the session.

Links to Resources mentioned in Dr. Gonzalez’s presentation:

What is ADHD – Challenging Child Behaviors and the Family Cycle –  video by Dr. Gonzalez  

Time timer – Recommended tool for helping kids (and adults) to visualize time and manage transitions 

Family Media Use Plan – online toolkit to create media usage plans with your kids

Seattle Children’s Hospital Mental Health Referral Service – site that connects families with mental health providers accepting new patients, that work with your insurance and fit your child’s treatment needs

UW Psychological Services Center “The Clinic” – Graduate student therapists provide therapeutic services and are supervised by licensed psychologists and other experienced mental health professionals

Care Solace (Resource provided by Bernadette O’Leary) – St. John families can be connected to mental health services through this network

Book Recommendations

Benji’s Busy Brain by Dr. Gonzalez 

The Incredible Years by Carolyn Webster-Stratton