Blue Ribbon Trip

This Sunday Father Ben and I are taking off for the Blue Ribbon Ceremony in Washington DC.  On the 10th and 11th are two full days of speakers, workshops and celebrations of every school that has earned this distinction.  It is an honor and a privilege to be representing St. Patrick Catholic School on this occasion.  It is not without fantastic effort and support of all that we do that we have earned this very high distinction.  The National Blue Ribbon is definately a symbol of excellence. In an effort to explain what this program truly does, I am printing the purpose of the program for you.  We all should be incredibly proud of this honor and be truly proud of what our students have accomplished.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
Recognizing Great American Schools Since 1982

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. More than 7,500 of schools across the country have been presented with this coveted award. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

I hope this explanation helps you to understand the program and recognize the honor we have received. Please pray for Father and I as we travel, and we promise to come back with many pictures and stories for all of you.

In Christ,
Mr. Lyall

October is Over

LYALL'S LINE:

Wow, where did October go?  I can't believe we are entering November.  November will move just as quickly as many events and activities are planned for this month as well.
Thank you for the outstanding support during conferences.  Thank you for those of you who helped prepare meals for the teachers and thank you for the wonderful turn out for the children.  Conferences are an important part of the communication process.  I encourage each of you to stay involved with your child in their classroom.  Continue to support and collaborate with their teacher.  Success will be the result.  I am so proud of the community that we have here at St. Pats.

On November 9th, Father Ben and I will be traveling to Washington DC to receive the National Blue Ribbon.  The 10th and 11th will be the formal presentations.  I am honored and blessed to represent this school and community at these ceremonies.  We promise to take many pictures and share with everyone.  We are so blessed!  Thank you for all that you do to make our school one of the best in the country.  Great students, supportive parents, super teachers, and outstanding community support equals a superior school.  Thank you to everyone who works tirelessly in support of our Catholic School.

May God continue to abundantly bless our efforts on behalf of our children.

Happy Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Social Medica Part II

Practical Strategies for Protecting your Social Media Presence
Below is Part 2 of my article on Social Media:
Do start early in building a positive online reputation. From the very first post you make on a new social media platform, think about how others will perceive and interpret what you share. Also, actively involve yourself in many positive activities. Get yourself featured in newsworthy projects. Figure out the best ways to create and maintain an online identity that strongly demonstrates integrity and maturity.
Do be considerate of others when posting and interacting. If you message someone and they do not respond, or if someone messages you and asks that you not post about them, take the hint and move on. Also do not post pictures of others without their permission. And if someone asks you to remove a picture, post, or to untag them, do so immediately.
Do not tell the world where you are at all times. Burglars use social media to target victims by reading posts that clue them in as to where you are (and when you are not at home). Checking in while on vacation or posting an update such as "At the beach for the day" or "Be back in town on Tuesday" may be a fun way of letting your friends know what you are up to, but it also lets those with bad intentions know when your home is empty and vulnerable.
Do regularly search for yourself online, just to see what is out there. Start with Google, but also use site-specific search engines on social networking sites, as well as sites that index personal information about Internet users. Some examples are: peekyou.com, zabasearch.com, pipl.com, yoname.com, and spokeo.com. If you do find personal information about yourself, investigate how you can have it deleted. Many sites provide some type of "opt-out" form that allows you to request its removal.
I truly hope these strategies can be helpful for you and your students.  If we, as adults, model the behavior we expect from them, hopefully they will understand the importance of online security.

In Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Practical Strategies for Social Media

Mr. Lyalls Line--

Practical Strategies for Protecting your Social Media Presence
For better or for worse, social media is an integrated part of today's society. Each one of us has the opportunity to use social media wisely, without compromising our safety, privacy or reputation. The following strategies are practical ways that you can improve your social media presence and perhaps share with the youth who are already utilizing these online platforms.
Do not post or send anything you would be embarrassed for certain others to see. Think about what your family, friends or future employers might think if they see it. How would you feel if that statement or picture was forever tied to your name and your identity? Does it really represent who you are? Remember, your keyboard may have a "delete" button, but once online it is often impossible to remove.
Do not compromise your identity. Identity thieves are constantly looking for new ways to obtain your personal information, usually for the purpose of benefiting financially at your expense. Never post your address, date of birth, phone number, or other personal contact information anywhere on social media. Even with restrictions, access can be gained through fraudulent means such as by phishing, hacking or malware.
Do not vent or complain—especially about specific people or organizations, in public spaces online. People will negatively judge you based on your attitude, even if your complaint has merit. Employers, schools and others have access to social media, and they are looking. Is that spiteful comment about your boss or co-worker really worth losing your job over? Be careful, too, about complaining in seemingly private environments or sending direct messages to others you think you can trust. You just never know who might eventually see your correspondence or posts.
Do not post or respond to anything online when you are emotionally charged up. Step away from your device. Close out of the site or app. Take a few hours, or even a day or two, and allow your brain some downtime to think through the best action or response. Responding quickly, based on emotion, almost never helps make a problem go away, and often makes it much worse. Pause before you post!
Do secure your profile. Use complex passwords that consist of alphanumeric and special characters. Avoid using recovery questions that have easy-to-guess or common answers, such as a pet's name. Never reveal your passwords to friends or family, or leave them written down somewhere. Avoid accessing your online profile from devices that are unsecure (like at a library computer), or do not have virus and malware protection.

Congratulatins to Everyone on the National Blue Ribbon

Mr. Lyall's Line

What an exciting week!  The announcement on Tuesday from the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, that our school was named a National Blue Ribbon School for Excellence was fantastic.  This distinction is the highest honor a school can receive. WOW! I am so proud of the students, teachers, and St. Pats community.  This sort of recognition is truly an honor, and we certainly did not earn this on our own.  The tireless efforts of teachers, parents, students, volunteers, committees, and the like have propelled our school to this distinction.  The many, many people who continuously work for the good of our school and community deserve many plaudits.  It is this type of community effort that makes our school great.  Stewardship moves us forward for the good of all.  We are a shining example of what people can do to ensure that every child has an opportunity to be truly successful and important.  I am very proud of this commitment, and I know that you are as well.  St. Patrick Catholic School is being recognized because of this type of support and service.  Catholic education for Catholic Action, our mission, is truly at the forefront of all we do.  Christ is the reason for this school, and I truly believe His presence is what makes us so great.  We can do all things through Christ!
Father Ben, and myself will be going to Washington DC on November 10th and 11th to receive this award for our community and school. I am honored to represent this community. Thank you for all that you do to make our school one of the finest in the country.  I am humbled and honored to receive this award for our school.
If you would like to check out our school profile on the National Blue Ribbon website, please go to nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov.  Our profile and pictures can be found here.  Certainly, we are truly blessed.
Also, this week we celebrated Respect Life Week.  All of the activities and dress-up days were fantastic.  I am very impressed with the Student Council and their sponsors for making this week so enjoyable and teaching us all about respecting all aspects of life.  Events like this definitely make me proud to be a Crusader!  Way to go Crusaders, student council, and sponsors! RESPECT LIFE!
With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Love & Logic

I am very pleased to announce that our Parent Teacher Organization is sponsoring a “Love and Logic” Parenting Session for our school's parents and grandparents on October 8th in the school Library at 6:30 P.M.  You should have received a Sign-up Genius notification in your e-mail from Shelly Harden. I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of this workshop.  It is an exceptional way to parent and guide children in a very loving and respectful way.   I took this training years ago and found it to be invaluable as a parent, teacher, coach, and administrator.  It really does work to build positive relationships within the family and school.  A flyer is also being sent with more information on this program.  I hope that each of you make the time to support this wonderful presentation. CHILDCARE AND REFRESHMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED.

Fall News

Well the weather seems as if it can't make up its mind...it must be fall.  Those very cool mornings last week and this week really hit fast.  Just a reminder, we truly like to go outside for recess if at all possible, so having a jacket on cool days is a must.  Thanks for helping your children remember these things in the morning.

Thanks also to everyone who is volunteering for numerous things at our school. Shelly Harden has made signing up for things simple and easy by using sign-up Genius.  If you are having trouble with this new program, please let us know so we can help. We are very pleased to be able to staff many activities here with volunteers with much ease and less confusion.  Thank you Shelly!

On October 8th we are featuring a class on Love and Logic for everyone.  An email has already gone out for this.  Please sign-up early for this class as we anticipate many wanting to attend.  A Sign-up Genius will be coming as well.  I hope to see everyone there.

Congratulations to all our sports teams thus far this fall.  It truly seems that our students are doing very well.  For schedules of game and events please see the school webpage for details.  Keep-up the good work Crusaders, we are proud of you.

Progress Reports were available this week.  If you need to gain access to Powerschool, or you need to talk with your child's teacher, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful weather.  I will continue to pray for rain.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

New Social Media

Parents,
Recently, an article published by the VIRTUS organization discussed some interesting trends in social networking. I thought this article was very informative and wanted to share it with you.  Many of you may already be aware of these, but if you aren't, it is a pretty safe bet that our children are.  Please take a few minutes to read the attached article and have an honest, candid discussion with your older students.

Homework Tips

Mr. Lyall's Line
With the start of school, I am sure many of you have already seen some sort of homework come through your front door.  Homework should not be a hassle for the the child or the family.  Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.
Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!
Here are some tips to guide the way:  
--Know the teachers — and what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.    Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework.
Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
--Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
--Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
--Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
--Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.
--Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
--Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.
--Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
--If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder. I found this advice to be very sound over the years to end the homework hassle.  Again, children need your support and your active interest, and the rest will take care of itself.
Happy September!

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

September is Here

Well, time flies when your having fun.  This school year has really started very well.  Thank you to each and everyone for helping to make this year start so smoothly.  September is here, and St. Pats is moving forward with learning and fun at a record pace.  We appreciate all that you do to make our school such a special place to learn.
Thank you too to all of the folks who came to Back-to-School Night.  The students really do appreciate and enjoy sharing what they do at school with their parents.  Teachers also appreciate your attendance as they get an opportunity to explain some of the wonderful things that will be taking place in their classrooms this year.  I am so proud to see so many people working together to benefit our students.  This is one of the many reasons our school is so successful.
If you still have a few pieces of paperwork out, please get this information into the office as soon as possible.  We need to report all of our census information this month, and the paperwork plays a major role in the accuracy of this information.
I want to remind all parents that it is necessary to attend a VIRTUS training session before you can volunteer in the school.  This diocesan policy has been in place for many years now and helps to ensure the safety of all our children.  Shelly Harden will be conducting a VIRTUS training session here at St. Pats for anyone who needs the training on Tuesday, September 16th, from 5:45 to 8:45.  If this does not fit into your schedule, please contact the school office for other training dates and times.  Again, to volunteer, that includes driving on a field trip, you must have taken this training.
Happy September to everyone!  Hopefully we will see a good break in the heat soon.  Many blessing to each of you.
With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Welcome Back!

MR. LYALL'S LINE:

Welcome back to all of you!  I am so happy to see everyone.  Once again our enrollment has climbed!  Thank you for sharing the word about our school and encouraging people to become a part of our wonderful school.  Students seem eager and willing to learn and tackle the new school year!  It is so nice to have so many happy children walking the hallways.  Thank you parents for all that you do to help make the start of each school year such a smooth and easy transition.  May God continually bless each of you and your family.
Starting the new school year, I want to remind parents to make sure students leave the house with everything they need for a successful day.  Backpacks can be packed and ready to go before each child goes to bed. Don't forget the water bottle and the sunscreen for students who need this.  We are happy to let students have a water bottle that can be filled at anytime during the day.  We encourage drinking water so we can remain hydrated and feeling good.  With the heat of August, students should be drinking quite a bit during the day. If you should need something, please do not hesitate to contact the school office or your child's teacher for assistance.
I would also like to remind everyone to get the last minute paperwork into the office.  Immunization forms, Form B's registration forms, physicals, health assessments, and the like are all due to the office as soon as possible.  Please help us have all of this paperwork complete so we can move forward with the school year. Individual e-mails and phone calls have been placed if you need to turn something into the office. Thank you for making this a priority.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to remind everyone of our Back-to-School Night.  We have that evening scheduled for August 27th at 6:30 P.M.  We will start in the gym and we will send you off to visit with your child's teachers after that.  The students look forward to sharing with their parents their classroom and all the fun learning activities that have accomplished thus far.  See you there!
Welcome back to school!  We are so blessed to have each and everyone of you as part of our family. I am looking forward to yet another hugely successful and fun school year.
With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Have a Wonderful Summer!

Well we have arrived at the end of another school year.  This year has been filled with much success and hard work, and I am very proud of every student for all that they have offered this year.  As I reflect on this school year I see an extraordinary effort put forth by teachers and students in a time of many changes.  I am so happy to say that we accomplished the many great things this year because we ALL work together to make St. Patrick Catholic School one of the finest places to learn in the state.  Thank you too to the parents.  Your efforts to assist us are tremendous.  Thank you volunteers, we could not do half of what we do without you.

Speaking of volunteers, St. Pats is always seeking volunteers.  Uniquely, we will be asking more of you to enter the classrooms in this coming school year for assistance.  I invite you to take a each week to assist our teachers in their classrooms.  This is a wonderful opportunity for you to help as well as support your children and school.  More information about this program will be coming soon.

Congratulations goes out to our 8th grade students.  On Thursday evening they were promoted to high school.  This class was an exceptional example of academic and personal success.  Every single student earned some sort of academic award.  These students also demonstrated the meaning of stewardship and character as they were always ready to lend a helping hand.  Good luck to each of you.  I am certainly proud of all that you did while you were with us here at St. Pats.  Good luck in high school, and always keep your faith close to you.  Don't forget to come back and see us!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful summer.  We will be seeing some of you soon for our summer Kick-Start program which begins on June 9th.  If you should have questions or need anything during this break, please do not hesitate to contact the office.  Beginning in June our office hours will be Monday through Wednesday 8:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m and Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 12 noon.  

God Bless each of you.  Happy summer.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

On the Home Stretch

Mr. Lyall's Line
There has definitely been a whirl wind of activity here at school.  Numerous celebrations, like the ice cream party for ticket sales from the St. Pats dinner and auction, lunch with Mr. Lyall, field trips, track meets, the Accelerated Reader event, and finishing our Religion and Science testing have all been a huge part of our week.  Wow, I don't think we could put one more thing into the schedule!  To be sure, we had a blast and are gearing-up for more fun and excitement next week.

Our teachers who "lost" and had to be bubble-wrapped and rollerskate were certainly very brave, good sports during the Accelerated Reader event.  It was quite fun. We are looking forward to more field trips, movie day on Tuesday, and promotion on Thursday for our 8th grade students.  I guess the moral of the story is that numerous things are happening here at school and it is important that we stay on top of all of them. We certainly don't want anyone to miss out on anything. Staying focused and paying attention is truly important this time of year.

Thanks to everyone who make all of these things possible for our students.  Thanks also to the students for working hard and accomplishing great things.  We truly are blessed.
Here's to a great end to a great year.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

May Has Arrived

May has arrived.  The crisp air does not remind us of May, but Nevertheless it is here.  Hopefully we will start to see some of those May showers.  I will continue to pray for moisture.

We are very proud and honored to announce that Bishop Carl Kemme will be ordained today at 2:00 P.M.  Please pray for our new Bishop as he assumes his duties in our diocese.

Congratulations also go out to our second graders.  On Sunday they make their first Holy Communion.  We truly are proud of each of you.  God bless you second grade.  We are proud of you!

With the arrival of May many events accompany these days.  Confirmation, field trips, promotion, testing, and end of the year meetings are all scheduled for this month.  First, Confirmation is today.  Please let all of these fine young people know how proud of them we are for this strong choice in their faith. Please remember that if your children are going on a field trip for a day, and a lunch is required, to please send a sack lunch with them.  This is a change from past years.  If you are a driver you will need a lunch as well.  Additionally, don't forget the sun screen.  Even though we have had cloudy days and cooler temperatures, we still can get burned by the sun.  Next, 8th grade Promotion is scheduled for May 15th at 7:00 P.M. in the Church.  Please join me in congratulating our 8th graders.  We truly are proud of each of them and all of their accomplishments.  This class truly has demonstrated the meaning of being fine young men and women.  I am very proud of them and wish each of them well.  Next on the list is testing.  We have completed all of the state testing and will begin religion testing next week.  Please keep reminding the students to do their best, and keep working hard, as well as patting them on the back for their outstanding effort,we are almost finished with this necessary testing.  Lastly, I want to remind all of you to talk with your teachers if you need to find out what students can do for the summer.  Each of us is glad to help promote learning over the summer.

I also want to remind everyone that the ice cream party for the students for selling tickets to the St. Pat's raffle and auction is May 7th in the afternoon.  Additionally their earned Movie day will be May 13th, also in the afternoon.  Permission slips with the titles of the movies will be sent home next week.

Happy spring...happy May!  It is a busy one.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Well the weather has started to warm-up and I see the tulips popping-up, so that must mean that spring has arrived.  I really enjoy this time of year as it reminds me of the cool days of summer in Denver.  I keep praying for more rain, I hope this starts soon for all of us.

Testing is still in full swing and our students are accomplishing some major tasks right now.  State testing should be completed by the first week of May.  Our students, as usual are responding very well.  Please keep encouraging your children to do their very best on the assessments.  After State Assessments we still have Diocesan assessments to accomplish.  The Religion exam will be given in the second week of May.  Again, your encouragement means a lot in these final days of testing.

On May 1st, our new Bishop, Carl Kemme, will be ordained at the cathedral in Wichita.  Bishop-elect Kemme has declared a Diocesan Day of Thanksgiving and Praise for May 2, 2014.  As his first official act, he has announced that the diocesan offices will be closed as well as all grade schools and high schools.  We will be honoring this request here at St. Patrick.  School will not be in session on May 2.

Please take some time to pray for our new Bishop as he assumes all the leadership roles of our diocese.

A few pre-enrollment forms still have not been returned.  PLEASE return these as soon as possible.

May the risen Christ fill you and your family with much Easter hope and joy.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

March is Here

March has definitely arrived!  We have so many things to accomplish before the end of this month that I thought I would give you a few reminders.
Kindergarten Screen took place on March 6th and 7th.  If you still would like to get a student into kindergarten, or know someone that would, please contact the school office as soon as possible so we can make the proper arrangements to accomplish this for you.  All pre-enrollment paper work is due very soon.  Please complete this paperwork and return it to the office so we can have accurate counts for next year.  This information is invaluable to us, as well as make the process of registration move so much more swiftly.  Please get this paperwork back to us as soon as possible.

On March 14th we will be having conferences by appointment or request.  If you would like a conference with a teachers to talk about progress or concerns, please contact that teacher and set-up an appointment for this day.  Teachers may be contacting parents as well.

St. Patrick will be hosting a Summer School Program this year.  This program will run from June 16th through the 19th and June 23rd through the 26th. This program will offer individualized instruction in math and English/Language Arts.  Both weeks will cost $100 per student.  Please contact Trisha Moritz for more information.  Spots are limited so please register as soon as possible.  This would be an excellent way to keep the brain active, and have some fun while learning as well.

The annual St. Patrick Catholic Church Dinner is on March the 9th.  Great food, a raffle, and a live auction are sure to make this event very special this year.  While you are there, don't forget to check out the Shamrock Shop for some homemade goodies!  Please come and enjoy a wonderful day while supporting our parish and school.  Prizes this year seem to be especially nice, and the basket auction is gearing up to be one exciting event.  A little birdie told me that the total worth of some of the baskets is exceeding $1000.00.    I hope to see everyone there!  Thank you to the many individuals who put in so much time to make this a success every year.  I truly appreciate it.

Lastly, Spring Break will be March 17th through the 21st.  Classes resume on the 24th.  Happy Spring!

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Winter Has Hit

Old man winter finally has arrived.  I hope the winter storm did not cause too much chaos for all of you.  Now is the perfect time to make sure that we have all the correct phone numbers for our School Reach System.  If you received the messages about cancellation, then you are in the system.  If you would like to add phone numbers, please let the office know as soon as possible.  Currently we are concerned about the dangerously low temperatures. Please send your children to school with the proper warm clothing.  We will make sure each student puts it on before they venture outside.  With that thought in mind, I would like to remind all parents that the girls may wear blue uniform pants, or sweat pants under their skirt or jumper.  Tights are appropriate as well.  Covering the skin is the main concern.

Losing two days this week, we have plenty to make up.  The County Spelling Bee is February 13th at the high school.  It will start at 9:30 A.M.  The Valley Nine Spelling Bee is at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Goddard at 12:00 on February 27th.  Please mark your calendar for these events.  Also, donations for the basket auction have started.  Please contact the school office or Tracy Rohlman if you have questions about this process and project.  St. Pat's Dinner is approaching, and preparations for this major event have already begun.

Lastly, I wanted to let everyone know that on Thursday, February 30th, St. Patrick Catholic School was honored again by receiving its 6th Governor's Award for Academic Achievement and its 5th Banner School Award.  Both honors are an outstanding achievement and I am very proud of the exceptional honors we have received.  Our students, faculty, parents and parishioners should also be proud of these outstanding marks of success.  Way to go Crusaders!

I am praying for all of you.  Keep up the great work.  Stay warm.

With You in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Catholic Schools Week is a Whirlwind

Mr. Lyall's Line

This week has been a whirlwind of great activities in celebration of our Catholic School.  I would like to thank the student council and its sponsors for all of the fun activities that they planned.  We truly have a fantastic school and I am very proud of all of our accomplishments.

As I mentioned last week, our school was honored for the fourth consecutive time by the Diocese of Wichita as a Banner School.  This distinction comes to us because of all the hard work and dedication from each person in our parish and school.  Together we can accomplish anything.  This honor recognizes us for the outstanding contributions to education academically, physically, and spiritually.  It says that we are honoring our mission to teach and live a Catholic life, and understand that we must share our gifts with others.  Thank you to everyone who has helped, volunteered, donated, and participated in any way here.  You truly are appreciated.  "We have dynamic, creative Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wichita. Our principals, teachers and students inspire one another with Christ's love. I take the opportunity that Catholic Schools Week affords me to thank the principals, teachers and students for all that they do and to thank the parents of our students for the sacrifices they make to provide their children with the treasure that is a Catholic education." (Bob Voboril, Superintendent, Catholic Diocese of Wichita)

May God continue to bless us abundantly!

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2014 is January 26 to February 1. Schools typically observe National Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open house and other activities for students, families, parishioners and
community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

"Catholic Schools…Building Communities of Faith, Academics and Service" is the theme for the 2014-2015 National Catholic Schools Week. Our school will be celebrating Catholic Schools Week as well. We will join the more than 2,000,000 Catholic school students in more than 7,800 Catholic schools across the nation to celebrate how our schools teach students to join their hands and hearts to build a better world community through faith, academics, and service to one another.

At St. Patrick, we are gearing up for a very good week. Multiple activities have been planned to make this week very special for the students. We are very proud of all the wonderful accomplishments of our students and school. In fact, we just received word that we will be named Banner School in the Diocese of Wichita for the fourth consecutive year on Thursday January 30th. To earn this distinction four times says a lot about the quality of education and
character of our school. We are honored to be named Banner School as it reflects the hard work and dedication everyone puts into our parish school. I am honored to accept this distinction for our school.

Please enjoy this week’s activities and participate fully. We certainly look forward to seeing everyone at the Grandparents lunch on Friday, January 31st. Please make sure that you return your RSVP note so that we can save you a spot. I hope to see everyone there! Thank you also to
everyone who makes our Catholic School a model of faith, knowledge, and service.

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

What Is Being Catholic

Mr. Lyall's Line

People have chosen to enter the Catholic Church for various reasons.  Members of the Church have different understandings of what makes them Catholic or why they are Catholic.  However, there is a common thread that binds all Catholics together.  Catholics belong to a Christ-centered faith community that views Jesus Christ as the foundation.  Catholics share Jesus’ vision and model their lives after Jesus’ example of love.  Catholics are called to care for one another and to use their unique gifts and talents for the good of the community and the world.  Below is a listing of some of the basic beliefs and values of a Catholic, and what we teach here at St. Patrick Catholic School, no matter what standards are presented:

  • We believe in God who is our loving Father and creator.  God’s love is limitless and overflows into our hearts and lives.  God has created us out of His love that sustains and supports us daily.
  • We believe that God sent us his own beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who suffered, died, and rose from the dead, to save us and offer us the gift of eternal life.  We profess faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the son of God.  Jesus is our Lord and Savior, our Shepherd and King.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit and in the Spirit’s powerful presence in the Church today.  The Spirit, given by Jesus to the Church at Pentecost, enables the Lord to continue to be present with us today and to continue his saving mission.  The Spirit imparts wisdom and knowledge to us and gives us our various spiritual gifts, which are found in the Bible.  We are called to recognize and share these gifts with the community.  The Spirit helps us to continue to develop our faith and to grow in our relationship with God.
  • We strive to follow Jesus’ teachings in our lives: to love God above all else and to love others, to practice forgiveness and mercy, to care for the poor and helpless.
  • We work for peace and justice in our world. We bring God’s kingdom of peace, unity, and love to a world faced with conflict, division, and strife.
  • We worship and praise God by living a sacramental life.  We recognize the need for forgiveness and see the sacrament of reconciliation as a means to receive this great gift of forgiveness.  We recognize that our sin harms the community in some way and the sacramental gift of reconciliation helps heal our relationships with others, the community, and God.  We also encounter the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and are nourished and fed by the Eucharist on a weekly basis.  The Eucharist binds us together as a community and with God.  We believe that the Eucharist is not merely a sign or symbol of Jesus, but rather the real body and blood of Christ.  We are open to receiving this real presence and to becoming the body of Christ in the world.
  • We recognize the importance of prayer and take time to develop an active prayer life.  Prayer strengthens and defines our relationship with God.  Without prayer, we lose touch with our loving God and we isolate ourselves from a God who desires intimacy and closeness.
  • We recognize the importance of reading and praying the Sacred Scriptures.  The Bible is God’s word and we strive to learn and understand the word of God by applying the Scriptures to our lives today.
  • We acknowledge the primacy of the Pope and respect the office of the papacy as the true teaching authority of the Church.  We seek guidance for moral decisions from the pope and the bishops in communion with him.
  • We recognize the importance of service to others.  Believing that Jesus came to serve and not to be served, we strive to follow the example of Jesus and spread his message of love.  We try our best to live lives centered on the Gospel and to live for others, rather than just for ourselves.
  • We preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, both in word and in action.  We are willing to stand up to opposition and preach Gospel values in a world whose values are often contrary to the message of Jesus.  We are willing to endure suffering and rejection, as did Jesus, for the sake of the Gospel and to speak up for what we believe to be right, just, and true.
  • We are devoted to Mary, the Mother of God, and see the saints as true examples of holiness and faith.  We pray through Mary and the saints and ask them to intercede for us.
  • We are committed to the protection of all of life, in all stages.  We pray for the protection of all of human life, from the moment of conception until natural death.  We also work to strive to respect the dignity of every human being and to eliminate prejudice, oppression, poverty, violence, and injustice.
  • We are a community of believers united with Catholics from around the world.

With Jesus infused into all that we say and do we are confident that we are striving to produce disciples of Christ, and believers who will make a real difference in our community and world today.

As always...

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Bob Lyall