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Principal's News

"He Calls Us By Name"

The message in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young today is one of comfort. We are comforted by God and blessed with the ability to comfort others. Today, I found great comfort in this beautiful prayer by Austin Fleming, the Concord Pastor:

In how many ways, Lord, might I mirror your love in my life today?
How might I reflect more clearly, today, Lord, the peace your presence brings?
Calm and still the river of my soul and let your light shine through my thoughts and words and deeds...
As the waters mirror your beauty let my life reflect the grace that flows within my heart...

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"He Calls Us By Name"

The faculty was gifted with a presentation by Martha McRoskey on the rosary to begin our meeting last Friday. She is an inspiring and challenging friend to us. Her topic was particularly pertinent as October is the Month of the Holy Rosary and holds the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which falls on October 7. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrates the protection of Christians through the intercession of the Mother of God. As Martha reminds us, Mary takes our prayers directly to her Son for us. I also love the words of author Matthew Kelly on the rosary: The actions of your life are determined by your most dominant thoughts. So turn your mind to those things that are good, true, beautiful, and noble, and your life will be a reflection of these things. A calm mind is the fruit of wisdom. Calmness of mind is the result of the patient practice of self-control. I know few practices that will help you acquire this calmness of mind, heart, and spirit like the rosary will. And by learning to direct your thoughts toward God, you will learn to direct your life toward God.

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"He Calls Us By Name"

cupcakes

Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear,
To whom God's love,
Commits me here.

Ever this day,
Be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.

Amen

Did you know that today is the Feast of Guardian Angels? Your children do, and were part of a special feast day celebration courtesy of Parents in Prayer! Each year our wonderful "angels" bake angel food cupcakes for each student to remind them of this special day and the presence of a guardian angel in each of their lives. We use this day to share with the students that Parents in Prayer prays for their needs weekly, to encourage them to write in the book of intentions by Mary's statue in the library and to remind them to ask their Guardian Angels to watch over them and their classmates every day. Guardian angels are not only for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death. I think you may recognize the prayer above and invite you to pray it together as a family.

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"He Calls Us By Name"

Wow, a surprise offer of free dress earned me almost triple the Twitter followers! Thank you! If you missed it, please consider setting up an account and following me: @principasja. This is such an easy way for me to communicate with you in short, sweet "tweets."

Thank you for responding to my efforts to increase student safety at morning drop off. Please keep up the good work-even when I am not standing there watching!

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"He Calls Us By Name"

One more plea-when dropping students off in the back of the school YOU MUST PARK!! It is a terribly dangerous situation right now. I don't want an accident to be what changes our behavior but instead, care for our student's safety. Either pull into a parking spot on the church side (at the sidewalk) and let your child walk up to the gate or park in one of the middle slots and ESCORT your child to the gate. These are your only two options for back drop off!!

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"He Calls Us By Name"

Good Gosh! I had planned to begin my news with a prayer for peace today and I will add that next, but after spending time in the back of the school for morning drop off-we need a word about that first! I know most of you know the drill. In fact, I think some of you had to make a quick change of plans when you saw me standing there. Please, please follow the rules set up for student safety. The only drop off in the back is if you park your car in a designated spot. If you park along the sidewalk and your child is old enough, he or she may walk up to the school. If you park in one of the center spots or you have a younger student, you must get out of your car and walk your child to the gate. Please don't let there be a tragedy to get back in the swing of safety first.

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"He Calls Us By Name"

This week we introduced our new positive reinforcement "tickets" to the students. The front shares our theme for the year and the back lists the five main SLEs or School-wide Learning Expectations for St. James Academy. Some of you may remember me introducing the revised version to you last year. The back of our "ticket" states: Today I was a model… Faithful Catholic, Lifelong Learner, Responsible Individual, Effective Communicator, Globally Aware Citizen. These SLEs form the basis for our curriculum and programs and we are pleased to be recognizing students for these. Please reinforce the good behavior/news your student has been commended for when he or she shares with you about receiving a neon green "ticket"!!

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"He Calls Us By Name"

What a beautiful start to the new school year! Thank you for your amazing generosity and warm welcome to all, returning and new. The spirit in this St. James community is truly unique and I am so proud and fortunate to be a member! It might surprise you to know that our theme this year actually evolved from words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis. In an address in St. Peter's Square this summer he offered a meditation dedicated to the life of Mary and how she faces life's journey with great sensibility, humanity and care. "Three works sum up Mary's attitude: listening, decision, and action. They are words that also show us the path before us of what the Lord asks of us in life….the Lord is at the door in our lives and He calls in many ways…" Much more to share on this, but much business too! Please keep reading and at the end find a special Parent's Prayer for Students.

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"He Calls Us By Name"

Earlier this summer Pope Francis offered a meditation dedicated to the mystery that shows how Mary faces life's journey with great sensibility, humanity and care. "Three words sum up Mary's attitude: listening, decision, and action. They are words that also show us the path before us of what the Lord asks of us in life," the Holy Father said. These are words you will hear frequently this year as we make them an integral part of our theme. During the same meditation the Pope mentions that God calls us in many ways. We have chosen "He Calls Us By Name" as our theme this year. I look forward to sharing much more soon and for now say: Welcome Back!

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Wow! So hard to believe, yet so exciting, that I am writing to you to kick off the 2013/2014 school year. I hope that you have enjoyed a restful, relaxed summer filled with family fun. We are looking forward with great anticipation to a new school year and it will be a busy one! As many of you know, this is our "WASC" or accreditation year. The faculty has been diligently working on our support document and I appreciate the input from each of you. We will look to you for continued support as we move through the process. It is exciting to know that we will be able to share the many things we do so well with the visiting committee-truly a celebration of a wonderful community and place dedicated to academic excellence.

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principal
Kathy Dunn & Christine Lang
Principals, St. James Academy

Kind Words About Us...

"One of the greatest benefits of a St. James Academy education is the commitment of faculty to continued personal growth."

"St. James Academy promotes a spirit of enthusiasm that fosters a sense of community thereby maintaining a strong Catholic mission."

"St. James Academy did an excellent job at incorporating a variety of supplemental texts, materials and methods to meet the needs of the students and their various learning styles!"

"They integrate Christian values into the curriculum, with an emphasis on spiritual development, positive approach to discipline and community building activities."

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