Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing time with your family over our Winter break. With any luck, as we return to school, we can leave behind the sore throats, body aches, fevers and stomach bugs that have been plaguing our Winter months. It’s time for fresh air, sunshine and an end to illnesses! Bring on Spring!
Just prior to Winter Break, our eighth graders received letters from the Catholic high schools about acceptance for next year. We are so proud of our students and how well they did getting into these schools. Students were accepted into multiple high schools, many with honors, and we couldn’t be happier for them. I’m sure it is a great relief for all of them and their families to have this part of their 8th grade year behind them. Now they can focus on enjoying the remaining months with a sense of pride in how well they have done. Congratulations!
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the season of Lent. It is a time in our liturgical year when we pause to reflect on the life of Jesus leading to his Passion and Resurrection. It can be a dreary season if we see it as a time of adding burdens and then carrying them day after day for 46 days. But prayer, fasting and almsgiving are meant to clear our inner spirit to open up limited views and get in touch with the great mystery who is God. Our parish has some excellent resources and activities for you and your family to make the season more deeply meaningful. Begin by joining us tomorrow morning, as together with the parish community, we celebrate the start of our Lenten journey at Ash Wednesday Mass at 8:45am in the church. The fifth graders will be participating as Greeters, Readers, Praise Singers and Gift Bearers.
Finally, an idea came up through School Commission as a result of the feedback received at our Town Hall meeting. It is to start a “Weekly Why?” section in this post. We will collect questions via e-mail or dropped off in the office. Each week, we will choose a question and provide an answer that hopefully allows people to understand some of the goings-on at the school.
So, this week’s question… Why don’t we have full-day PreK? It would be so much easier on families with multiple children to not have to pick up a child at 12:30pm and return at 3pm to pick up another.
Answer: There are strict laws prohibiting anyone under five years old to remain in a PreK/Preschool longer than four hours per day. We would have to license the program basically as a daycare in order to keep them until 3pm. Getting that license would involve moving plumbing into the PreK room for age appropriate sized toilets and sinks. There are also regulations about square footage per child, rest areas etc. that would require us to reduce the number of students we currently serve. While our program is approved by the State of Washington as a PreK, it is not a daycare and therefore we cannot keep students until 3pm. If in the future, the House of Prayer could be renovated to accommodate a licensed daycare, the PreK program could run from 8:30am until 3:00pm.
Send us your questions and we’ll hope to answer them!
Have a great week