Many people wonder why we do not allow students to come in costume on October 31. One of the reasons for this ties into the traditional St. James’ Halloween Mask Parade. While costumes do reveal something about the wearer, oftentimes store-bought costumes of the most recent Lucasfilm Productions do not get to the heart of true expression. On the Preschool campus, we have students make their own costumes and the results are simply stunning. We see how our youngest students interpret the textures and characteristics of the same character in a dozen different ways. Over on the K-6 campus, the mask projects in Mr. Friedman’s art classes tie into larger themes being studied in different disciplines. This gives our students another entree to explore whales for the 4th grade, apple trees in 1st grade, or sugar skulls for our 6th graders (pictured above). Plus it gives our students two Halloween costumes - one at St. James’ and one at home!
Jackie Taylor’s 4th grade class is sometimes reduced to “the Harry Potter class” as though that is all she teaches. This really could not be further from the truth. Ms. Taylor uses Harry Potter as a buy-in for students to get them enthused about reading beyond the J.K. Rowling series. In this photo you can see one of Ms. Taylor’s students beaming with excitement in preparation for being placed in a “Hogwarts House.” This infatuation with British wizardry may fade, but the imprint of zeal for reading and literature that Ms. Taylor leaves on her students is indelible.
An excerpt from Peter Reinke’s homily in K-3 chapel on November 1: “Last week, unfortunately, we had some very mean things happen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So I have asked your parents to talk a little bit with you about what happened in Pittsburgh when you get home tonight, and I shared with them some ideas on how they could do that. But to your point, some really bad things happen, so then it becomes our job as faith-based citizens to be able to roll up our sleeves and go out into this world and say, ‘You know what? I might feel a little fear sometimes.’ Or I might say, ‘I don’t know what’s going on in this world.’ And that is the moment we stand back and say, ‘Oh - this is God telling me this is my moment to show courage.’"
(Link to video of complete homily)