New Director of Admission Announced
As was announced at the end of January, our current Director of Admission, Joan Hester, will be departing for the Seoul Foreign School in South Korea this June. And though we’re sad to see her go, we’re excited to announce the appointment of Sarah Lougheed-Gill to succeed her, effective June 1, 2016.
Ms. Lougheed-Gill comes to us after 5 years as the Director of Admissions and Communications at the Walden School in Pasadena, where her accomplishments included meeting ambitious enrollment benchmarks years ahead of schedule, prioritizing diversity enrollment, increasing student retention dramatically, expanding financial assistance admissions, and receiving major commendations from the California Association of Independent Schools during their accreditation of the Walden School in 2014. While achieving significant success during this posting, Ms. Lougheed-Gill also engaged in frequent professional development, honing a strong portfolio of skills that will serve her well in her new position at St. James’.
Prior to her experience at the Walden School, Ms. Lougheed-Gill served as a recruitment and placement consultant for CalWest Educators, was the Visual & Performing Arts Department Chair at Tarbut V’Torah, and was the Education Director at the Children’s Musical Theater San Jose. As you might guess from those credentials – as well as her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theater from San Jose State University – Ms. Lougheed-Gill shares with many of her new colleagues a love of the theater.
Ms. Lougheed-Gill resides in Pasadena with her husband Joseph J. Gill, the Headmaster of Mayfield Junior School. Please join us in welcoming them both to the St. James’ community!
Cinco de Mayo Festival: May 5
The Hispanic Heritage Committee invites students, parents, and faculty to join the fiesta and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos and mariachis! At lunchtime on Thursday, May 5, authentic Mexican mariachi musicians will stroll through the playground, and delicious chicken or beef tacos and cheese quesadillas will be served.
$10 lunch plates, which include rice, beans, and a drink, can be ordered online through Thursday, April 28. The same-day price rises to $12, cash-only. Either in advance or on the day of, you can double the entree for only $5.
Hot lunch is cancelled that day, so don't forget to place your order!
Free Dress on Cinco de Mayo
On Thursday, May 5, students may wear red, white, or green – the colors of the Mexican flag – in lieu of their uniforms!
Help us warm tortillas, staff the salsa station, and hand out drinks at our Second Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. Sixteen volunteers total in two shifts of 8. The first shift is 11:20 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.; the second shift is 12:40–2:00 p.m. Sign up online to volunteer.
SoCal POCIS Parent Voices Event for Parents, Faculty, Staff, and Administrators: May 14
The Southern California People of Color in Independent Schools organization, in conjunction with St. James’ Episcopal School and many other schools in the region, will hold an event called Parent Voices at Oakwood Secondary School (11600 Magnolia Blvd., Los Angeles) from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
Come engage in conversations with parents from our sponsoring schools. Share experiences and engage in dialogue to effectively foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school communities. Learn best practices. Create new solutions. Build partnerships.
Summer Book Fair: May 16–20
Looking for some good books to read over the summer? Visit our Summer Reading Book Fair in the Library Media Center from May 16–20, 2016, and find all the titles you will need to fill your summer with adventure and fun! View the poster. Sign up next week to volunteer.
Moms’ Night Out: May 20
Mark your calendars! The annual Parent Association-sponsored Moms’ Night Out will take place on Friday, May 20, starting at 6:00 p.m. Mexican Fiesta-themed this year, the evening should prove to be as much fun as in previous years. Keep an eye out for the signup form, coming soon! In the meantime, save the date.
New Collection of Family-Diversity Books at the Library Media Center
We’d like to extend a big thank-you to the Armbruster-Chi family for their donation of a large number of books to the St. James’ Library Media Center. Mr. Chi has written the following, announcing the details of the new collection, but we wanted to preface it with an acknowledgement of the generosity of this tremendous gift! Mr. Chi’s note is below:
Dear St. James’ Community,
Today’s families continue to become more and more diverse, reflecting the many faces of society and setting the foundation for the world to be a more interesting, compassionate, and inclusive place. To help ensure that our St. James’ students have access to the most relevant, up-to-date depictions of family diversity, we’ve identified additional books for the Library Media Center.
Using resources from the Human Rights Campaign, Teaching for Change Books, GLAAD, Little Parachutes: Situation Books for Young Children, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, we’re pleased to share the news that new books addressing family diversity, gender identity, and bias and bullying will be added to the library collection this spring. The subject matter and content of each book has been carefully reviewed and curated before being added to the list.
We invite everyone to visit the library and explore the ever-expanding collection, where you can find these books in the newly created “Family” section. You may also access the new collection using the library’s online catalog.
All the best,
Preschool Celebrates Week of the Young Child with Aerial Arts Program
The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children that celebrates early learning, young children, their teachers, and their families.
St. James’ Preschool has celebrated The Week of the Young Child for the last 12 years with so many fun and educational activities. This year, we chose the Aerial Arts Program led by Kristy Beauvais of FOCUSFish, a very inspirational teacher. Our children, families, and teachers were thrilled with Kristy's teaching strategies and the students’ eagerness to try something new. Even our parents were so intrigued that they had to try it themselves.
During the week of aerial arts, our students were able to work on their flexibility and coordination. They experienced what intrinsic motivation feels like when working as part of a team and individually. They had to use their listening skills to achieve advanced maneuvers, and most of all, they had a sense of self-confidence and were able to trust their own bodies. Our students were able to discover what their bodies are capable of in a new and exciting way. They developed new skills that are complimentary to the ambience of learning that occurs in our caring and loving St. James’ community. Pictures may speak louder than words, especially when it comes to aerial arts. Please see for yourself.
2016–2017 Academic Calendar
The beginnings of next year’s calendar are available here. Holidays, breaks, days off, testing days, and other landmark days for the coming year are listed; additional information will be added periodically throughout the remainder of the year. The online calendars have also been updated with the same information.
Set Up Your FACTS Account for Next Year
Please be reminded that the deadline to create a FACTS account for 2016–17 tuition payments was Monday, April 11. If you have not done so already, please create an account today! Instructions are available at this link. If you are a returning family that has a new child entering the school, please do not create a new account. For your convenience, the school will add the incoming child to your existing FACTS account. If you have any questions, please contact the Business Office.
Rowins Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted, Through April 29
The Father Rowins Scholarship Fund was originally created to help provide financial support for current St. James’ families who have fallen on difficult financial times. Whether a spouse has lost their job, or their business has closed, or a family has suffered other financial hardships, these one-time gifts of financial support help St. James’ families continue attending the school. Current St. James’ families are encouraged to apply for a gift from the Father Rowins Fund. If you have received a scholarship gift from the Father Rowins Fund in the past, you are not eligible to apply.
If you are applying for Tuition Assistance from St. James’ for the 2016–2017 academic year, please contact Najah Lowe in the Business Office to discuss your eligibility to apply for scholarship fund support.
Please pick up an application in the front office or download the attached PDF to apply. Applications may be delivered to the school’s lock-box, located in the front office of the main school building, or mailed to Najah Lowe in the Business Office. Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 29.
ERB Testing Scheduled for April 25–29
As we approach the last leg of the school year, we have a myriad of exciting events, so stay tuned to the school calendar!
One of our important spring rituals at St. James’ is the administration of the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program 4 (CTP4) standardized test. Students in 2nd–6th grades will take this multi-part, multiple-choice test during the week of April 25. Testing takes place from 8:30–10:30 a.m. on all days that week, except for chapel days when it begins at 9:30 a.m. and wraps up around 11:15 a.m.
Over the last two weeks, teachers have familiarized and reacquainted students with the test format and reminded them of key test taking skills. Since the tests are based on what the students have already learned – as well as challenge questions that may be new to them – students do not need to engage in any additional study for the tests. Moreover, the students should not set their sights on achieving a particular score. Students just simply need to relax and do their best.
The ERB CTP4 is designed to accomplish the following:
- Offer students an opportunity practice their standardized test taking skills
- Track individual student progress
- Allow teachers to better understand individual student profiles and class profiles
- Measure the overall effectiveness of the academic program
- Reference our student’s performance along side national, suburban, and independent school norms
- Provide additional information about your child’s academic acumen for the middle school admissions committees
Please make every effort to avoid scheduling any appointments for your children during this time. Be sure to give your child every opportunity to succeed in this test by providing them with plenty of sleep (8–11 hours; seriously!), good meals, ample snacks and lunch, and, most of all, a timely arrival to school in the morning. The ERB also recommends that you avoid arguing with your child on the way to school. :)
We consistently perform well as a school on these important tests. With your assistance, that level of performance will most certainly continue. Thank you.
Free ISEE Diagnostic Exam
Team Tutors of Beverly Hills has offered St. James’ parents free, full-length, proctored diagnostic exams on the following dates at 9:00 a.m.: April 16, May 14, May 21, June 4, June 11, June 18, August 6, August 13, and August 20. Please note that only the diagnostic exam is free; additional tutoring services may be purchased directly (firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-356-6160 ext. 3).
Similar ISEE tutoring services are also available from our very own Math Specialist Ed Hermeno and our former colleague Angelina Arrington, who is now the owner of Academic Savvy (323-252-9937) . For more information, please contact them directly.
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