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STATE OF THE SCHOOL REPORT 2021/2022
Hello SJS Parents,

I hope you are all enjoying your first days of summer. We already miss having the kids in the building and we are looking forward to the fall. 

To start, the state of the schools is excellent. In the sections below you will see evidence of our enrollment growth, new programs, and some updates for next school year. 

We continuously look to improve and make St. James School the best Catholic school and community it can possibly be. The future is very bright for SJS. We are excited to continue along this path and helping raise your children to be young men and women of faith and intellect. 

Just a reminder, we have limited office hours during summer months. If you need any assistance, please email secretaries@stjamesschoolah.org and someone will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.


It's a great day to be a Bulldog!

Mike Kendrick
Principal
TOPICS COVERED:
  • Enrollment
  • Teacher/Staff News
  • i-Ready Results
  • Finances
  • School Day Hours
  • Early Dismissal Changes
  • Updating Curriculum
  • Construction Plans
  • STEM Lab
  • Exterior Signage
SCHOOL UPDATES
Enrollment

Over the last two school years, we have seen large growth in our enrollment. From 2019 to 2021 enrollment has increased by 14%. We ended the 2021-22 school year with an enrollment of 546. That growth trend continues as we already have 555 students registered for the 2022-23 school year. We are still taking tours and have more families looking to join in the coming school year. 
Teacher and Staff Changes

We would like to publicly announce all of our staffing changes for this coming school year. We have some staff shifting roles internally, we have some that will be leaving, and some new faces to announce for the coming school year. We are very blessed to have such wonderful people in the building working with your children. 

INTERNAL STAFF CHANGES

Dr. Gary Moulton: This past school year Dr. Moulton served as the tech teacher. For the 22-23 school year, Dr. Moulton will be transitioning to be the 5th/6th grade science teacher. Dr. Moulton has a PhD in Chemistry and many years of experience as a chemical engineer. Dr. Moulton will be able to bring his knowledge and love for science to the 5th/6th grade students every day. 

Mrs. Karen Driscoll: Mrs. Driscoll will be coming back for her 52nd school year at SJS! She will be transitioning out of her role as 6th grade math teacher and moving to be a math interventionist. In her new role, Mrs. Driscoll will be supporting teachers and students in multiple grade levels with their math studies.

Mrs. Kim May: Mrs. Kim May has been one of the 5th grade teachers for the past two years and will now be transitioning to 5th and 6th grade math next school year. 

Mrs. Larkowski: This coming school year Mrs. Larkowski will be moving from classroom aide to be the lead teacher of one of the sections of PreK 3. We are excited to have Mrs. Larkowski bring her positive energy to the PreK 3 classroom. 

GOODBYE & GOD BLESS

Miss Becky Pontarelli: We want to wish Miss Pontarelli good luck as she transitions out of St. James School. Miss Pontarelli will be getting married this month and will be moving out of the area. Miss Pontarelli will be teaching at a school that will be closer to her new home. 

Miss Caroline Macius: Miss Macius will be transitioning to a school closer to where she lives. Good luck in your transition. 

Mrs. Lauren Madden: We would like to say goodbye to Mrs. Madden who will be transitioning to being home with her grandchildren. Mrs. Madden has served at St. James for over twenty years as a parent and a teacher.

Mrs. Paige Karch: Mrs. Karch will be transitioning to a new school next school year. Good luck in your transition. 

Mrs. Michelle McEnerney: Mrs. McEnerney will be leaving St. James and transitioning to a new role. Good luck in your transition. 

Miss Margarita Stahl: Miss Stahl will be shifting out of the education world and moving into another career. Good luck with your transition to the corporate world. 

Miss Nicole Thomas: Miss Thomas will be moving into another career. Good luck with your transition to the in your new role. 

Mr. Dan Marcotte: Mr. Marcotte will be transitioning to be at a school closer to home so he can be more present to his family/children. Good luck at your new school. 

Senorita Brynn Tomko: We want to wish Senorita Tomko a safe move as she is moving out of the state this coming fall. Good luck in your new school. 

Mrs. Karen Jarosz: Good luck to Mrs. Jarosz who will be taking time off to go back to school and pursuing advanced degrees. Good luck in your studies.

Mrs. Monica Mayer: Happy retirement to Mrs. Mayer who has served as an aide at St. James. We hope you have a great retirement!  

WELCOME TO SJS

Mrs. Stephanie Weaver: We are excited to welcome Mrs. Weaver who is coming to us after teaching first grade at St. Mary's in Buffalo Grove for the past 7 years. Before teaching at St. Mary's, Mrs. Weaver taught 3rd grade in Michigan for 6 years. Mrs. Weaver has a Bachelor's degree in education from Michigan State University. In addition to joining our teaching team, Stephanie's son will be joining our 6th grade and her daughter will attend St. Viator next school year. Mrs. Weaver will be teaching 1st grade this coming school year. 

Mrs. Christine Watson: We are excited to add Mrs. Watson to our Learning Lab team. Mrs. Watson has ten years of classroom teaching experience. Additionally, she has spent the last eight years as a Title I teacher providing differentiated supports to students in small groups. Mrs. Watson has a bachelor's degree from Purdue University and a Masters in Education from Northwestern University. 

Miss. Alissa Muscarello: Once a bulldog, always a bulldog. Miss Muscarello is coming back to the school she graduated from to teach kindergarten. Miss Muscarello is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, where she earned her bachelors degree in elementary education. 

Mrs. Bridget Ziebka: After taking time to raise her family, Mrs. Ziebka is coming back to teaching at SJS. Mrs. Ziebka has previously taught Kindergarten at St. James School for 8 years, is an alumni of St. James School, and has sent all 5 of her children through St. James School, with her youngest going into 8th grade this school year. This past school year Mrs. Ziebka served St. James as a long term sub in 2nd and 3rd grade. Mrs. Ziebka will be teaching 2nd grade this coming school year. 

Miss Cristina Castaldi: Coming back to SJS after a year away is Miss Castaldi. Miss Castaldi will be taking on a new role as the K-8 STEM teacher. Miss Castaldi will be receiving training this summer on how to utilize the new STEM lab to the fullest. Last school year Miss Castaldi taught kindergarten and before that she was a 3rd grade teacher at SJS. We are confident she will make the new STEM lab a place your children will love to go to. 

Mrs. Rebecca Little: After spending the last seven years raising her children, we are happy to announce that Mrs. Little is returning to the classroom as a Kindergarten teacher this coming school year. Mrs. Little has 8 years of experience teaching at another Catholic school. Mrs. Little has her Bachelors degree in early childhood education from Roosevelt University. 

Mrs. Jessica Korab: Returning to teach at SJS is Mrs. Korab. Mrs. Korab has 15 years of teaching experience and is excited be coming back to SJS where she spent 4 years teaching. Jessi is also a member of the SJS community as her children attend SJS. We are very excited to have Mrs. Korab back teaching in our 4th grade. 

Mrs. Maureen Fallon: We are very excited to welcome Mrs. Fallon to the SJS teaching staff. Maureen brings with her 9 years of teaching experience. Mrs. Fallon has a bachelors degree from St. Norbert College in elementary & early childhood education and a masters degree from Northeastern Illinois University with a reading specialist endorsement. Mrs. Fallon and her family are parishioners at St. James and has taught in the religious ed program. Mrs. Fallon will be teachign 2nd grade this coming school year. 

Mrs. Patti Berardi: We are excited to be bringing in Mrs. Berardi as a Kindergarten aide this coming school year. Mrs. Berardi spent the last 18 years as an aide at St. Mary's in Buffalo Grove. 

In addition to these new staff members, we are still in conversation with a few more potential candidates that we hope to have on staff soon.
i-Ready Results

This school year we saw excellent growth in the students academics. After the third diagnostic window, we had 84% of our students test at or above grade level in reading and 82% of our students test at or above grade level in math. 

More importantly, our schools growth metrics were both well over 100%. In a typical school year, we are looking for 100% growth. Our school median annual typical  growth for reading was 153% and math was 114%. That means on average our students grew more than what is expected in one school year. 

This growth is in large due to the incredible work our teachers do in the classroom providing for individual student needs. 

Individual reports for students will be sent home to parents via email in the coming weeks.
Finances/Tuition Assistance

At St. James, we are a financially stable school and parish. This school year we are on target to be under budget. One area I want to highlight from our finances is our tuition assistance program. This past school year we were able to give out $150,000 of student financial aide. That is possible in large to our generous donors and community members who help us to keep Catholic education affordable for all. 

This coming school year, we have already committed to providing $180,000 to families through our tuition assistance and tax credit scholarship programs. If you would like to help support our school's financial aide program, please go to the link in the button below on how you can support our school and receive 75% of your donation back as a tax credit. Your support helps to keep us financially viable and allows us to keep our Catholic school's door open to all who believe in our mission of raising young men and women of faith and intellect. 
Donate to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program
Calendar

We are currently building out the full school year calendar, but you can go to our website under Current Families -> Calendar to see some of the events that have already been planned out. Once the full calendar is ready, we will send it out a separate communication. 

Important Dates for 22-23
Orientation Day - 8/15/22
First Day of School - 8/16/22
Labor Day (No School) - 9/5/22
Professional Development Day (No School) - 9/23/22
Columbus Day (No School) - 10/10/22
Professional Development Day (No School) - 10/11/22
Parent-Teacher Conferences (No School) - 11/21/22 & 11/22/22
Thanksgiving Break - 11/23/22 - 11/25/22
Christmas Break - 12/23/22 - 1/6/23
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No School) - 1/16/23
President's Day (No School) - 2/20/23
Spring Break - 3/27/23 - 3/31/23
Easter Break - 4/7/23 - 4/10/23
Professional Development Day (No School) - 5/5/23
Memorial Day (No School) - 5/29/23
Last Day of School - 6/7/23
SCHOOL DAY CHANGES
Adjusted School Day Hours

For 2022/23 school year we have adjusted our school day hours to 8:20am - 3:30pm. This shift allows us to have more time with your children and to better serve their needs.

The drop-off window for next school year will be 8:00am - 8:20am. 

Students will be dismissed at 3:30 pm.
CURRICULUM REVISIONS

New K-8 Reading Curriculum

We are excited to be adopting a new reading curriculum, McGraw Hill-Wonders, in grades K-6. This program will allow for more continuity in our literacy program and incorporate aspects of reading, writing, grammar, phonics, and spelling.

Updated Junior High Math Curriculum

We are currently in a multi-year shift to provide more advanced options in our math curriculum. Our end goal is that our highest track of math for our middle school students will be 6th grade - Pre Algebra, 7th Grade Algebra 1, and in 8th grade Geometry. 

This shift is going to take a few years as we rework our curriculum mapping of course materials, but we are excited to begin to transition our courses and offer even more rigorous math courses. 

SCHOOL BUILDING PLANS
Interior Building Plans

With our enrollment growing, we need to adjust the interior of our building as well. We are currently working with an architecture firm to rework some of the areas of our school to better accommodate our expanding enrollment. These plans that are being developed would likely be rolled out in a multi-year format, where construction would happen in waves. 

In addition to being able to serve more students, we will be making modifications to keep our building even more secure. The safety of your children is one of our top priorities and will always be on the forefront of our strategic decisions as we plan long term for upgrades on our building. 
New STEM Lab Coming This Fall!

In a world where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are critical to every job, field of study, career, and even home life, it’s essential that every learner has a strong foundation in STEM, not just those who are naturally proficient in math and science. Our program will engage all learners in a hands-on, project-based learning approach in which STEM disciplines are seamlessly integrated. In our lab, learning is highly personalized and empowers students to shape their learning to meet their individual interests, abilities, and learning styles. CLICK HERE for a projected floor plan.
Exterior Signage

We are working to make our school signage more visible to visitors from Arlington Heights Road. This summer will we be working towards constructing a permanent sign in front of our building and other unique signage to catch the eye of prospective families as they travel past our school. 
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Copyright © 2022 St. James School, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
820 N. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

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