Busy Time of Year

Mr. Lyall's Line
The weather certainly has gotten cold these past few days, and I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to send winter coats, hats, and gloves with students to school.  If the temperature is above 25 degrees, we try to take the students outside for their recess or break.  It is just wise to have this gear here just in case.  Thanks.

We had a beautiful Advent prayer service on Tuesday.  This surely is preparing our hearts and minds for Christmas.  Thank you to the Student Council and Mr. Arnold for preparing this service.

Please, don't forget the Christmas store this weekend.  Please let everyone know that all are welcome to help, shop, or participate.  We have a lot of items this year.  The shopping day is Saturday the 10th at the house that used to be the Adoration Chapel.  Please feel free to share the news of this store to any and all.  Thank you to everyone who donated items or their time.

Basketball season is underway.  Our boys team started the home games last week with a win against St. Paul.  Both the boys and the girls played a new team here on Tuesday, St. Mary, Newton.  Both teams did a great job and we are pleased that we were victorious in both games.  Keep-up the great work Crusaders.

Class pictures and Winter Sport pictures will be on December 14th.  These pictures are taken in the school uniform, and the basketball players will be given an opportunity to change for their team picture.

Our Christmas program will be Thursday, December 15th, 7:00 P.M. at the high school here in Kingman.  Mrs. Molitor and the students have been practicing very hard for this performance, and I am personally looking forward to seeing it.  Hope to see all of you there.

Everyone should have received a phone message reminder from our School Reach System about the parade on last Saturday.  If you did not receive this message, please let the office know so we can verify and correct any incorrect phone numbers.

Last, but not least, don't forget that the 21st, our last day before break, is a 12:30 dismissal.  Please mark your calendar.

I am wishing all of you a happy and  prayerful time this Advent season.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Advent Begins

Mr. Lyalls Line

Advent is upon us.  The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That acknowledgment provides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from a profound sense that we live "between the times" and are called to be faithful stewards of what is entrusted to us as God’s people. So, as the church celebrates God’s inbreaking into history in the Incarnation, and anticipates a future consummation to that history for which "all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption," it also confesses its own responsibility as a people commissioned to "love the Lord your God with all your heart" and to "love your neighbor as yourself."

To increase this understanding of Advent our students will be participating in many activities here at school.  This is to will allow students to fully participate in the preparation for Christmas.  One example is the Advent prayer services that are planned for each week.  A note went home on Monday explaining the many items that we will be doing as a school.  Additionally each teacher has prepared classroom activities.  This truly will be a beautiful celebration in preparation for Christmas.

Next, I would like to remind everyone of some items for next week.  Thursday December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and therefore school will not be in session.  The next day, Friday, December 9th, we will not have school as the teachers will be in a required inservice in Wichita on that day.

The next reminder that I would like to relay is that we are still looking for items for the Christmas Store for the community.  You may send these items to the school office or church office through December 7th .  Your assistance is very much appreciated, and I am sure your donations will go to good use.

Happy Advent everyone.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Mr. Lyall's Line
I asked the teachers a few months ago if they wanted to write an article for the POST. This week Mr.Arnold has a wonderful offering that is very fitting for this time of year.  Enjoy.
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, November has always been a time to reflect on the people and things in our lives that we are grateful for. At the top of my list of thanks is my faith. Simply put, it gives my life meaning, direction and peace. In particular, I am thankful for the Wichita Diocese and how it enables us to live our Catholic faith. When Mr. Lyall asked us teachers if we would take a turn writing the Post message, our Diocese came to mind as a topic. Often, I think we forget how blessed we are in this corner of Kansas.
My appreciation for our diocese began when I was a teen. The Wichita Diocese provides many opportunities, such as CYO and Totus Tuus, to help its youth navigate these turbulent years. It was at retreats like Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) that I came to love our Church. These programs also helped my friends and me to discern our vocations. For such a small diocese, we are very blessed with the number of young women answering the call to be sisters and young men having the courage to discern at the seminary.
I believe this openness to totally giving your life flows from our attitude of stewardship. This philosophy of giving God your time, talent and treasure is unique within our diocese. Stewardship is the engine that keeps our Catholic schools strong and running. When I taught in Ohio, the Catholic school charged $800 a month per child. I have visited with friends in other cities where their Catholic school tuition was even higher. A Catholic education is a great gift to give to our children, and this diocese is the only place that makes doing so affordable.
Many Catholics across the United States have marveled at our thriving Catholic schools and our number of seminarians. For such a small diocese, our success seems near miraculous. Other dioceses wonder how we do it. What is our secret? I believe our attitude of stewardship is rooted in prayer, specifically in Eucharistic Adoration. One of my best friends moved to the third largest city in Michigan. She had to drive an hour to the nearest church with Adoration.  But no matter where you are in Wichita, you are within 10 minutes of the nearest chapel; there are over a dozen. And when you multiply those prayers being offered by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, you begin to understand the force behind stewardship. Grace flows through our diocese from our devotion to the Eucharist.
It seems to me that the challenge in our diocese is not finding a way to live our faith-our Church has provided so many avenues to grove in love for God. Rather, I see the challenge as not taking all these blessings for granted. Advent will be here soon and with it a chance to renew our commitment to stewardship, to prepare our hearts through prayer. I want to encourage our school families to try something new and bold for the 4 weeks of Advent. Perhaps you will pray each night with your children that they may know their vocations. Maybe you’ll give your time and talent at the Lord’s Diner or another worthy cause. Or perhaps you’ll commit to an hour each week at our parish’s own Adoration chapel. This is a chance each week to spend time before God, soaking up his grace. In our world of constant noise, what a gift God gives us to let us come into His presence to hear Him in the silence. I hope that you will find that these efforts, rather than take away precious time in your life, actually seem to multiply it because now your focus has been renewed. But be careful in what you decide to do this Advent-it just might be life-changing. And you could t find yourself the newest member of the Wichita Diocese Fan Club.

Improving Communication

Mr. Lyall's Line
Well the weather certainly did change this week.  I suppose that the old Kansas adage applied, "If you don't like what is happening with regards to the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it will change."  I know the rain was a welcome blessing.  Many students pray continuously for rain, and certainly their prayers are being answered.  I know some students pray continuously for snow and a snow day, but that is another story.

All of you should have received a some important paperwork that needs to be returned to school as soon as possible.  This paperwork will allow us to create the data base for the School Reach program that we are participating in this year.  This will allow the fastest and most efficient communication to all of you.  Thank you for making this a priority.  In addition you should have noticed that reminders are arriving by e-mail as well.  If you are not receiving e-mail notifications and want them, please contact Pam Hein in the school office and provide an e-mail address so you can receive these updates.  These two items, coupled with the updates on our web page, are really enhancing communication.  Thank you for your support.

Speaking of e-mail, you should have received notification that we will not be having school on December 9th.  A mandatory inservice for the teachers in Wichita on Common Core Standards has been mandated for this day.  On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we do not have school so that families may attend mass in honor of the Holy Day of Obligation.  So to summarize, there will be no school on December 8th or 9th.  Thank you for making this change to your calendar.

November is the perfect time to pray in thanksgiving for the many gifts that God provides for each of us.  I am thankful for all our students, parents and all the wonderful support we receive here at our school.  God truly has blessed us.  In the month of October we raised enough money to complete the purchase of stools for the Science/Art lab, and finish the plans for the outdoor planting area.  Much hard work and effort as well as support went into the events that led to the completion of these projects.  It is the combined effort of our community that truly shines for the good of our students.  These actions go above and beyond stewardship, truly proving that Jesus is at the center of our school.

You will have the entire week, November 21st through the 25th off for Thanksgiving.  Monday and Tuesday the teachers must attend a religious certification class, and then the rest of the week is for the holiday.  This has been on the calendar since it was released in May, I am just reminding all of you.

May God continue to abundantly bless all that we do for the good of our children.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

Whirlwind of Activity

Mr. Lyall's Line

We have had a whirlwind of activity these past few weeks here at school.  The students are responding very well, and I am very proud of their participation in all of these activities.  With Respect Life Week and Red Ribbon Week activities the students had an opportunity to earn a traveling spirit trophy.  The 4th grade won it during Respect Life Week, and I am proud to announce that 6th grade is the current holder.  The participation for all of these wonderful learning activities is at an all time high.  Keep it up Crusaders! 

Next I wanted to let everyone know that basketball for our students officially started this week. Parents, We have posted a schedule on the web page, sent one home with the players, and look forward to seeing you at the games.  Our players will enjoy a full schedule this year.  We have them playing in 16 games this year including tournaments.  Good luck Crusaders, make us proud!

Hopefully everyone got to meet with their child's teacher during conferences.  Please stay in touch with your child's teacher as they really do know how to help and provide support for the individual needs of students.  Working together to create a collaborative learning environment is what makes for a successful experience.  Please continue to strive for this relationship.

In other news, the Chili Supper, trash bag sales and Shamrock Triathlon were very successful.  We have already ordered the stools for the Science/Art Lab and they should be here any day now.  Additionally, we are adding an outdoor planting area and finishing around the flagpole with these funds.  Thank you for your overwhelming support of our school and students.  As I mentioned before, this is the type of action that allows us to provide the highest quality of education for our students.  Our Parent Teacher Organization as well as all of the participating parents and students deserve all the credit.  Thank you!

I would also like to remind everyone that we still are collecting money for the Drexel fund.  Every classroom has a box for this specific reason.  The students should be able to explain this campaign.  Please participate, as this directly benefits our school.  The next activity that will benefit this is the sale of hand made Christmas Cards. Pre-order forms for these cards will go home next week. The cards were a huge hit last year, and I am sure they will be even better this year.  Thank you for your support.

A note went home this week telling all of you about the new program which our school has become involved with in order to continue to improve communication.  School Reach will be an excellent asset for all of us to notify everyone quickly, by phone of cancellations and other necessities.  Please be assured that the numbers you provide are secure and are only used to notify you of important items in our school.  Please return all of this information as soon as possible so we can transfer this information to the system and make it fully operational by November 28th.

November is here, soon it will be second semester....I am thankful for all of you.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

A Time To Reflect

Mr. Lyall's Line
As we move into the gorgeous fall season and enjoy these cool, crisp mornings, it seemed liked the perfect time to sit back and reflect.  All of us here at St. Pat's want to thank you for the gift of your trust in us to assist in the education of your child.  We understand that the job of parenting can sometimes seem a daunting task, but know that you are not alone.  We want to share with you in their successes and help you through their difficult times.  Please take a few moments to enjoy some quotes from others that can help give us all a fresh insight into parenthood.

Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here for an hour old I would die for you. This is the miracle of life. --Maureen Hawkins

If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings. --Brian Tracy

Our children are watching us live and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say.--Wilfred Peterson

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. --John Lubbock

Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.--Jess Lair

Fifty years from now it will not matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much you had in your bank account or what your clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better place because you were important in the life of a child.--Unknown

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.--David Bly

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.--Charles Swindoll

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Mr. Lyall's Line

I have a few reminders this week.  First, please call and make
an appointment for conferences if you have not done so yet.
This is a very good opportunity to spend time with your child's
teacher, and understand what is happening at school. We will
be available to take calls on Tuesday, even though students are
not in school.

Next, I would like to remind everyone that the deadline for
records and immunizations is fast approaching.  With the days
off of school we have for inservice and workdays, this would be
the perfect opportunity to get all of this paperwork finalized. If
your child's immunization records are not complete, we
cannot allow them to attend school. This is a STATE AND
FEDERAL regulation. If you need assistance, please call and
visit with Pam Hein so we can accomplish this important task.
The deadline for this paperwork is October 21st.  The office will
be open during conferences so that you can turn these in.

On Tuesday I received notification that our students
received the Standard of Excellence from the State of
Kansas in every testing category and in every grade. This is
FANTASTIC news! Keep up the excellent work Crusaders.
I am very proud of each of you!

I do not know if you have noticed, but our web page is slowly
but surely getting more information. We are diligently trying to
utilize this resource to its fullest potential. If you should have
suggestions on how to make this better, please feel free to
contact us so we can incorporate your ideas. You may have also
noticed that you are receiving more school e-mails as well. This
too is another way we are trying to keep you informed. Both
improvements have become welcome changes. I appreciate all
the input as we continue to make better use of all our resources.

First quarter ends today, and report cards will be sent home
On Wednesday, October 19th.

May God continuously bless you and your families. We feel truly
blessed here at St. Patrick's.

With you in Christ,
Mr. Lyall

The Gift of a Catholic Education

Mr. Lyall's Line
This week I would like to focus on some information that I have gathered in my administrative meetings this year.  I feel it is important to share this with you, as the news really reflects the effectiveness of our school and diocese. Across the United States, Catholic Schools are facing financial uncertainty, and many have closed during this recession, or a catholic education is only for the wealthy.  In contrast, the Diocese of Wichita is thriving. Of course, this is due to Stewardship. Whereas 67% of elementary costs and 80 % of secondary costs were funded nationally by tuition, in this diocese, only 8% of the costs were covered in the same way.  What is the difference? The effectiveness of the parish.
Our parish is filled with strong disciples, those who have experienced a conversion of heart, have embraced the teachings of the Church and choose to follow Jesus through acts of Stewardship. These people live what they believe in service to the parish community, the wider church and the entire human family.  This is a response to God's generosity to us. Together we accomplish the church's mission of education.
Our school is thriving spiritually, academically, and physically. Many parishes are thriving in this diocese because of the premise of stewardship. No where else in this country are catholic schools thriving in this matter. No where else in the country can people make this claim for all catholic children. Our schools are more than a “better choice” they are places of faith and are committed to a mission of discipleship. Every catholic parent should want this for their children.
I am sharing this with you because I want you to know that it is our mission to serve in this way, and we do it at the highest levels in the diocese, and in the state. Nationally, we are recognized as part of the best catholic school system in the country.  St. Patrick Catholic  School is serving its members with faith and diligence, providing the highest quality education for every child. We should be proud of this and share this news with others. In contrast, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must reach all who wish to be a part of this, and we are called to spread this news and form disciples. I have had many conversations with people who want to know why we have such great success here. It has to be the parish and the spirit of stewardship. Thank you for all that you do, and for helping us spread this way of life to all who seek this relationship with Christ.
Additionally, I would like to remind everyone to please call and set your appointments for parent/teacher conferences. Conferences will be held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evening, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., on October 19th and 20th. We look forward to seeing all of you.
We are trying very hard to keep the web page as current as we possibly can this year, please refer to this communication tool for information.

May God continue to bless all that we do.
With you in Christ,

 

Mr. Lyall

MAKING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE A PRIORITY

MAKE SCHOOL ATTENDENCE A PRIORITY   
Your child's teachers will do their best to help your child learn and succeed in school.  But there's one thing only you can do—get them to school every day ready to learn.
Children who don't attend school regularly fall behind and score lower on tests.  They can have a hard time making and keeping friends—especially in elementary school.  
A study of the nation's fourth graders, conducted by The U.S. Department of Education, showed that almost one in four (19 percent) had been absent from school three or more days in the last month.
Show your child and his teachers that you know attendance counts:
Tell your child how important school is.
Make dental and other appointments during non-school hours when possible.
Don't let you child skip school for reasons that wouldn't prevent you from going to work.
Avoid taking your child out of school on exam days.
Keep track of your child's absences.  See if there are any patterns that need to be changed.
Discuss the consequences of missing school.  Not understanding. Needing to do make-up work.  Missing out on friends.
Talk to the teacher if your child regularly doesn't want to go to school.  
We are all working together to ensure the success of every student here at St. Patrick's.  Regular attendance is a key component in making each student's success a reality.  Thank you so much for partnering with us on this important matter.
In Christ,

Bob Lyall

Building Our Future

Building Our Future
This school year is off to an excellent start and promises to be one that will see historic events unfold.  The excitement and anticipation of the completion of the building project as well as the awareness of a clean and safe learning environment enhanced with state of the art furnishings, textbooks, and technology certainly add to the high expectations.  I too must admit that I share the same excitement and exhilaration at the thought of all the new possibilities that we have before us.
 
Our Catholic school is very blessed to have a multi-talented and vastly experienced faculty and staff that greet each new year with enthusiasm and vibrancy.  This type of enthusiasm, I am proud to say, is always part of our school, and is a beacon of professionalism that shines brightly in all that we do for this community.  With our multiple academic and athletic achievements we see our mission, Catholic Education for Catholic Action, as our driving force in our success.  We certainly are proud that we have achieved the Governor's Award for Excellence, as well as scoring in the standard of excellence in every testing category, which places us in the top 3% of all schools in Kansas.  Additionally we rank number one among all diocesan schools when it comes to academic testing.  These accomplishments are a testimonial to our mission and purpose for the glory of God.  We continuously strive for this type of excellence, and are never satisfied to rest on our laurels.  Our Christ-centered vision provides the foundation for this success.
 
We cannot do this alone.  In order for all of this to come to fruition, we must recognize the generosity of our parish and community.  Countless volunteers, parents, grandparents, and friends offer their time talents, and treasure to ensure this continual success.  We are very grateful to everyone who gives so freely to invest in our mission and vision.
 
So, as we take the next step into this new year we have even greater confidence that we we continue to grow spiritually, academically, and physically for the greater glory of God.  Thank you for all of your support and effort.  We are blessed to have you with us.  We are truly building our future! 
 
With you in Christ,
Bob Lyall
Principal

Mr. Bob Lyall