March 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

None of us will forget the blizzards of 2015! Boston set a record of “breaking records” regarding the amount of snow, extremely cold temperatures, very high tides, and severely strong winds. The tasks of clearing campuses of snow and shoveling school building roof tops, were very challenging.

The burst pipe and flooding at the Columbia building caused extensive damage and necessitated the school to be closed for repairs and the students to be relocated temporarily. As soon as reconstruction has been completed students will return to the Columbia campus.  I am so grateful that no one was injured during these weather related events. With you I am grateful that these hard winter days are behind us (hopefully).

Because of school cancellations and loss of learning time, principals and teachers created “blizzard bags”, also called snow packets, containing appropriate school work for students. I have been very impressed with the creativity of the teachers and the meaningful challenges prepared for students. Also, I have been amazed and edified by the response of students. It is very obvious that time and thought went into the school work sent home. Thank you very much parents for your encouragement and support of this innovative program. Packets will be prepared for the April vacation and will be sent home with students.  A modified calendar is being prepared. Classes will be held on March 17th,

 April 2nd, dismissal at 11:30, and June 17th. The closing date will be determined in the near future.
Our students deserve the best and will continue to receive the best from their teachers and principals. Our goal for all students, teachers, and staff at our Academy remains foremost “always be the best you can be.”
It seems to me that the old Apache prayer applies to us. Looking behind I am filled with gratitude. Looking forward I am filled with vision. Looking upward I am filled with strength. Looking within I discover peace.
The SAT 10 tests will be administered to students during the week of March 23rd. Please encourage your son /daughter to do the very best that they can do. These tests are important indicators of academic progress. A good night’s  sleep and nutritious breakfast are a good preparation for success. Test results will be shared with you.

This is the time of year for re-enrollment to take place for your son or daughter. Please be attentive to the messages your principal is sending home with your son or daughter. We expect that seats will be filling up quickly especially with the renovation of the Lower Mills campus and restoration of the Columbia site.
Also please assist us with spreading the good news of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy to those parents unfamiliar with our special academy. Parents and students are the number one recruiter; spread the good news about SJPIICA or contact Ms. Emeli Valverde , Admissions Advocate for more information on ways to help our recruitment efforts.

The Lenten season is upon us: special liturgies, prayer services, sacramental observances all will continue to be celebrated with students. A special Lenten retreat will take place for 7th and 8th grade students on March 18th. The girls retreat will be held at Fontbonne Academy; the boys retreat will be hosted by Catholic Memorial High School. As a community I ask each of you to pray for our young people on Retreat.

During Lent I often recall the words of a spiritual advisor, Fr. Ed Hayes. “The original followers of Jesus imitated him long before they worshipped him.” The itinerant Galilean carpenter’s first disciples did not change their lifestyle because they thought he was God but because they saw the value in imitating the way he thought and how he lived his life.  He showed them how to change the world around them by integrating his insights into the faith they already professed. Eventually his faith became their faith. Perhaps this could be a message for each of us during Lent 2015: imitate Jesus by the way we live our lives.

May the grace and blessing of Lent be with you and your families.

Sister Ellen Powers, CSJ
Regional Director