Jaguar Journal - 12/13/19
St. Matthew Elementary Jaguar Journal
December 13, 2019
St. Matthew Elementary
This week's to-do list:
1 Monday left to order SCRIP - order by 12/16 at 10AM
Reminder that we have an Early Dismissal on Friday, December 20th - dismissal at 12:05PM
Christmas Break is from December 21st through January 1st
Classes resume on Thursday, January 2nd
Niall Tertinger Gavin Mohr
Hannah Feller Nicholas Larson
Oliver Wood Nate Coates
Emmett Lyon Elsie Paricka
Ruby Maybanks Jeffrey Barton
Jackson Owens Charlee Eichhorn
Teresa Tyler Colin Kidd
Liberty Summers Max Jusyczyk
Adele Pfeiffer Violet Vedepo
Liam Konzen Madeline Halverson
Lauryn Jeffrey Gavin Ireland
Emiliano Baez-Perez Natalie Pruden
Mrs. Driscoll's WIN group
Important Upcoming Events
Wed, Dec 18
- 8:35AM Mass - 4th Grade (Smith)
Fri, Dec 20
- Early Dismissal at 12:05PM
Mon, Dec 23 - Jan 1
- No School - Christmas Break
Thur, Jan 2
- School Resumes
Fri, Jan 10
- End of 1st Semester
Sun, Jan 12
- Jump Into St. Matt's
Mon, Jan 13
- No School - Professional Development
Mon, Jan 20
- No School - Professional Development
Fri, Jan 24
- Sock Hop
Jan 26 - Feb 1
- Catholic Schools Week
A message from the Principal
Thank you for your flexibility this week as we work through a very short-handed lunch staff. Many people worked together to ensure that the lunch program continued without interruption. Thanks today to Karla Schuff, Jana Freeman, Angie Steffen, Jessica Pfeiffer, Kay Staudacher, Shelly Adams who all jumped in to help! A huge thank you to Jackie Barnum for holding up the fort and Gabe Coates for assisting today. Jackie Barnam also stopped by my office to express her gratitude. She was moved to tears with everyone's willingness to help especially the staff and parents. The students showed their gratitude as they went throught the line today. And she said she really saw God at work in our school community. Thank you!
I also wanted to let you know that Ann Waltermyer will be leaving her position as our School Secretary at the end of this calendar year. Ann is a making a career change that she has long been passionate about. Of course we wish Ann the best but she will be greatly missed here at St. Matthew School! She has been and will always be an exemplary Jaguar! We thank her for her 20+ years of service to St. Matthew and to our countless families.
More details on the school secretary position will be forthcoming.
Next Week's Dress Code
Your student(s) have been working very hard this year and I appreciate all they have done to help make St. Matthew such an amazing place. To reward them for their hard work and the amazing test results (we will share these school-wide in an email in early January), we will be having a Christmas celebration week with a fun activity planned for Friday morning as well. I am grateful for all they do and the work they put in. Thanks also to you for your partnership in this effort.
Christmas Socks (in dress code)
Holiday Hat/Headband Day (in dress code)
Christmas Shirt with dress code bottoms
JK = Pajama Day; K = Polar Express Pajama Day; 1 = Pajama Day (they may also bring a stuffed animal); 2 = Grinch Day; 3-5 = Pajama Day
(Please remember that for all grades, casual dress rules apply. They will still be going out for recess and need appropriate clothing and shoes)
Ugly Christmas Sweater Day with any bottoms (casual dress rules apply)
Student Tuition Organization (STO)
I have been putting a note about the STO program for the last couple of weeks but wanted to share some insight to help you understand the magnitude of this program. For this school year, 2019-2020, the STO program has helped 50 students across 43 families for a total of over $106,000 to help make St. Matthew affordable. This is an amazing benefit to our community, but this program needs your help.
Please consider making a donation to this cause by visiting the website below. One easy click provides you the opportunity to make a donation that benefits students at St. Matthew, while also providing a tax incentive to you as well. Your support of this organization helps so many of our families. Please join me and give today, there is no amount too large or too small. Please prayerfully consider, the deadline to take advantage of this opportunity is December 31, 2019.
St. Matthew Strategic Planning
As we shared earlier this year, St. Matthew (along with many other Xavier Catholic Schools) is participating in a long-term strategic planning process for the betterment of our school. Throughout this process we will look at a variety of factors from admissions to marketing to financials, etc.; one of our first steps is to review and update our mission and vision.
Thank you to Lauren Shovein and Eric Thuente for their assistance and work on this committee. Below is the most recent version of our updated mission and vision; we would love your feedback. Please use the link below to solicit any updates or changes by Wednesday, December 18th. This will be a discussion item at the board on Thursday, December 19th with approval to follow.
If you are interested in helping out, we are always looking for additional assistance. One of our next tasks is a marketing committee that is part of our strategic plan. Please email Amy at
to indicate any interest in helping out. The strategic planning committee meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 11-12AM.
To grow young people in education, faith and as disciples of God.
We exist to provide a safe and accepting community to develop young people in education, faith and as disciples of God. Serving families and students from preschool to fifth grade, our collaborative work environment helps students to be the best they can be. As a legacy school system, we attract students from the Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. Through faith based practices students engage in progressive and relevant academic endeavors designed for individual needs. Our dedicated faculty and staff integrate technology for needs today and to be future-ready. The fundamentals of education are installed through a STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, Math) approach infused daily. Through everyday interactions students model discipleship through their faith and relationships with one another in the communities they live. We empower our students to create a lasting legacy by being innovative thinkers, morally responsible and by giving back.
Provide Feedback Here
Don't Forget Your Winter Gear!
This month in Character Counts we are talking about RESPONSIBILITY. In order to help the kids be responsible and have all the things they need to go out for recess each day, we created this little reminder chart for you to print off at home. Please use it to help your child remain responsible (and warm) during the coming weeks and months. Thank you!
We are in Need of any old cell phone devices - Android 4.4 and iOS 8.0 or later
Thanks to the generous donation of virtual reality headsets, we are needing old phones! If you have any old phones around your house that are not being used, we would gladly take those off your hands and use them in our VR setting. This is a critical part of our implementation.
Looking for an opportunity to work in the St. Matthew Kitchen?
We have an immediate opening for a kitchen staff member or co-director. The hours for this position are approximately 715AM-115PM, Monday through Friday. Responsibilities for a food services staff member include the preparation and serving of meals for breakfast, lunch and snack for school age and early childhood center students. Individuals interested in the co-director position would also be responsible for the planning of meals and the ordering of ingredients. Interested individuals, please submit letter of interest and resume to Amy Conlon at
During the month of December, for each family who makes a SCRIP purchase, their name will be placed on a paper ornament. These ornaments will decorate our Christmas tree, located on the wall of the main entrance. Our goal is for 60 families to participate in SCRIP this month.
We have 35 families who have made a purchase in the last 13 days; that over 58% of the way! We can do this!
If we reach this goal, there will be a school-wide treat provided on Friday, January 3rd.
Families in Need - Last Chance (DUE MONDAY)
In the spirit of giving, we would like to continue our tradition of helping those in our community with some Christmas gifts. We ask for a $2 donation for each family as a way to provide a little Christmas to fellow Jaguars. Money can be delivered to the main office.
St. Matthew Reverse Advent Activity
Please provide as you can; we do NOT expect families to give every day! Next week's items are:
Tuesday: Canned or box soup
Wednesday: Pancake mix (the kind where you just add water)
Thursday: Toilet paper
Friday: Mac & Cheese
Reverse Advent Calendar 2019
Advent Readings 2019
SAVE THE DATE - SUN, JAN 12th
Please join us the for the 1st annual "Jump into Matt's" event that will be hosted at St. Matthew Elementary. This opportunity is the perfect way to visit the various components of the St. Matthew community to learn about the amazing things happening, while also being able to see ways in which you can help. There will be activities for the kids while adults visit the places that make our community unique.
Congrats to the Knights of Columbus
"Keep Christ in Christmas" Poster Contest
Congratulations to all the winners of this years contest and thanks to all who participated.
5-7 age group:
1st - Lila Thuente / St. Matthew
2nd - Joseph Clausen / St. Patrick's
3rd - Oliver Kelly / St. Patrick's
8-10 age group:
1st - Evan Thuente / St. Matthew
2nd - Thomas Clausen / St. Patrick's
3rd - Grace Leland / St. Patrick's
11-14 age group
1st - Hayden Jensen / St. Matthew
2nd - Kyra Kauder / St. Matthew
3rd - William Clausen / St. Patrick's
Giving Tree Luncheon
There is a luncheon for the families whose names were on the Giving Tree at church. The luncheon is on Sunday, December 15 and they are in need of volunteers for various duties. If you can help it would be very much appreciated! The link below will take you to the sign up page.
Sign up here to help
Xavier Basketball Game - Alzheimer's Awareness Night TONIGHT @ Linn-Mar
On Tuesday December 13 Xavier will be playing a basketball double header at Linn Mar: Girls at 6:00PM/Boys at 7:30PM. This is designated as an Alzheimer's awareness and fundraising event. Fans are encouraged to wear purple. There is currently a web store open for the purchase of t-shirts at a cost is $12. The web store is open until November 20. The link to the web store is below. When checking out, in the address section indicate YOUR SCHOOL NAME. On the following page, select Xavier High School as the delivery location. Shirts will be brought to the school for pickup and then we can arrange to have all shirts arrive at St. Matthew for distribution.
T-Shirt Web Store
Tired of Cutting Box Tops
1. Simply download the app
2. Select St. Matthew School
3. Scan your receipt within 2 weeks of purchase
The school will automatically get a check twice a year!
Download the Box Tops App
St. Matthew Parish News
We are now using Flocknote to sign up for bringing food (salads and desserts) to funeral luncheons hosted here at St. Matthew Church. If you would like to be a volunteer in this capacity and receive notifications when we need contributions, please sign up here.
Funeral Luncheon Volunteers
Regis Middle School News
Families of Fifth Graders --
Save The Date to Explore Regis!
9-11 am, Saturday, Jan. 25th
on your calendars to come and
at Regis Middle School, 735 Prairie Drive NE, Cedar Rapids. You and your fifth grader will have a chance to learn about all the opportunities Regis offers and will get to meet Regis students, parents, teachers and staff. More information will be coming soon, but you may contact Dianne Clarke at
319-363-1968 if you have any questions.
So SAVE THE DATE -- January 25th to Explore Regis!
Xavier High School News
Congratulations to the Xavier Dance Team on earning a state championship at the 2019-2020 ISDTA State Dance Competition last week! The Saints placed in the Top 3 in all categories (1st place in Pom, 2nd in Hip Hop, and 3rd in Lyrical). Way to go!
We have some joyous news on the alumni front! The number of XHS alumni who are now pursuing/living religious vocations has grown to 16! This fall, Jonathan Francois (X16) entered St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver and Peter Binder (X18) began work at Loras College. We continue to pray for ALL men and women who are discerning religious vocations, and for the daily work of those who have taken their vows. We also encourage you to write/email them or visit with them in person to remind them that they are appreciated and always thought of.
Xavier Alumni Religious Prayer Card
Message from the Principal
See message above! Have a great weekend!
Essentials Team Highlight
In PE, we are continuing cup stacking until Christmas break. The kids are having a great time!
In music, we are doing activities using music from The Nutcracker. The students enjoy using some materials we don't normally use!
In art, we had a messy and good time in 5th grade art club! We made slime and Christmas ornaments!
--from your Essentials teachers
Link to Cup Stacking
Next Week's Birthdays
December 14th--Jaxon McComb
December 16th--Hugo Ramirez
December 18th--Big T
Make sure to follow us on social media:
on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 3:30PM