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Principal's News

“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

We are so blessed here at SJA! We are fortunate to take our cares and concerns to God, and frequently to Him through our Blessed Mother Mary. This morning our entire student body joined Parents In Prayer to pray the rosary for the many intentions of this community. Foremost in our minds right now is Isabelle Oldham and her family. We send strength to Isabelle as she fights to recover from multiple surgeries in the last week and to her family as they work non-stop to support her in this battle. Many others in this community are in need of our prayers. Please join us.

Open House This Sunday, January 24th - Our kick-off to Catholic Schools Week, is this Sunday, January 24th! The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. The theme celebrates the heart of a Catholic education: a strong Catholic school community, and that the foundation for that community is faith. Please plan to join us in celebrating Catholic education and St. James Academy on Sunday. Our doors are open from 8:30-11:30 for our Open House. We invite you to join us for a special liturgy in the church at 9a.m. (All SJA students wearing their complete academy uniform and attending 9:00 mass may go to their classroom after mass to receive their free dress pass valid only for Monday, January 25th.) Invite a friend to see this wonderful faith community that is the place for your family to grow both academically and spiritually.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Extra Special School Family Activity! This year during our monthly School Family Activity the SJA student body is focusing on acts of service. Each month we are focusing on a different cause to help our community and allow us to live our faith through kindness and service.

This month, St. James Academy is joining the Red Shoe Crew to support Ronald McDonald House Charities® of San Diego in honor of the Grimmer family on Friday, January 15th! St. James Academy is helping Ronald McDonald House Charities® of San Diego provide a “home away from home” to families with children undergoing treatment for serious medical conditions at local hospitals. This Friday, students will participate in activities that encourage them to help others. The Grimmer family are long-time supporters of the Ronald McDonald House and this is a charity dear to them. We are excited to honor them in this way.

Red Shoe Crew
Red Shoe Day

During Family Activity: Students can write words of encouragement on a poster of Ronald’s shoe. The poster will be hung at the Ronald McDonald House the following week to let families in need know that St. James Academy students care for them. Students can also decorate pictures of Ronald’s shoes. These pictures will be included in Welcome Bags given to every family when they check into the House.

During Before School Drop-off and After School Pick-Up:  St. James Academy will hold its very own Red Shoe Day! Student Council leaders will collect money after school to help provide lodging and care for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House during a medical crisis.  Please bring in a donation to put in Ronald’s size 14 red shoes! Students will be standing in front of the school and church (in the morning) between 7:45am to 8:00am and 2:30pm to 3:00pm during afternoon pick-up to collect your donation. Please make checks payable to Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego or RMHCSD.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

I have enjoyed this poem often during Epiphany over the last few years. And hope you do too. Thank you for the wonderful generosity to me and to the staff this Christmas. We are blessed by you! I look forward 2016 with all of you:)

The Queens Came Late

The Queens came late, but the Queens were there
With gifts in their hands and crowns in their hair.
They'd come, these three, like the Kings, from far,
Following, yes, that guiding star.
They'd left their ladles, linens, looms,
Their children playing in nursery rooms,
And told their sitters:
"Take charge! For this
Is a marvelous sight we must not miss!"
The Queens came late, but not too late
To see the animals small and great,
Feathered and furred, domestic and wild,
Gathered to gaze at a mother and child.
And rather than frankincense and myrrh
And gold for the babe, they brought for her
Who held him, a homespun gown of blue,
And chicken soup--with noodles, too-
And a lingering, lasting, cradle-song.
The Queens came late and stayed not long,
For their thoughts already were straining far-
Past manger and mother and guiding star
And a child aglow as a morning sun-
Toward home and children and chores undone.

–Norma Farber in When It Snowed That Night

Please join us at 11am Mass this Sunday, 1/10, at St. Elizabeth Seton. Thank you to Mrs. Oldham for leading our choirs in this special outreach. I invite you to help spread the good news about St. James Academy. This is a special treat for us and wonderful opportunity to share our gifts! We are busy preparing for our annual Open House on Sunday, January 24th, from 8:30-11:30. All are welcome. Please invite your friends and neighbors to visit!


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Please enjoy this beautiful poem by American Catholic Thomas Merton:


Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,  Skies, and be perfect!  Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,  And disappear.  You moon, be slow to go down,  This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence  Towards the four parts of the starry universe.  Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.  We have become more humble than the rocks,  More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent, holy spheres,  While minds, as meek as beasts,  Stay close at home in the sweet hay;  And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.


Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our solemn valleys,  You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,  Toward the planets' stately setting,  Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!

I wish each of you a blessed Christmas filled with family and friends. I hope you have time to laugh, play, relax, be filled with the spirit of this special season. I am grateful to be in this beautiful community and look forward to seeing you in the new year.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

An Advent message from author Matthew Kelly:

Too often the world we live in is cynical and skeptical and filled with negative humor, but among people of all faith, and even among those of no faith, the mood in our culture warms in these weeks leading up to Christmas. Somewhere deep inside, we all hope. The world sends us messages like, “hope is for fools,” or “don’t hope and you won’t be disappointed.” But hope is central to the Christian life.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. Hope is one of those things that you can’t buy, but that will be freely given to you if you ask. Hope is the one thing people cannot live without. Hope is a thing of beauty. I hope . . .

I hope I can live up to the gifts and talents God has given me. I hope I can have the courage to be a true friend, a good father, and a loving husband. I hope I never stop striving to become the-best-version-of-myself. I hope I will continue to take time to listen to the voice of God each day. I hope I will have the courage to follow where his voice leads me. I hope we can build a world where our children can grow free and strong. And I hope we grow wise enough to realize that we have no better ally than Catholicism in achieving these hopes.

I hope . . . and that is a wonderful thing. Join me in that hope and together we will awaken all men and women to discover the incredible dream God has for their lives and for the world.” Everything we do offers people hope or robs them of hope. Our virtue conveys hope. Our generosity, kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness all convey hope to a world desperate to believe that the things God promises can and should be hoped for.

This Christmas, let us, as Christians, once again bring hope to the world in our own way and in our own place. May God bless you and all those you love


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32


Monday morning at assembly we began our celebration of the season of Advent. Our students were reminded that the liturgical church year begins with Advent, a time of waiting, hoping and preparing for the coming of Christ. We began with one of the many special Advent customs and traditions, the Advent wreath. We blessed our wreath and then prayed the prayer for the first week of Advent. I invite you to include this custom in your family tradition if you do not already do so. Here is a link to some unique Advent practices from the University of Notre Dame: http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=22871. Also, please see the Advent Calendar included in your envelope for further suggestions.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

before I bake a pie or stuff a turkey next week, I want to take some time to ponder all my reasons to be grateful...

Help me remember, by name, the most important people in my life, on whom I depend for so many things, who support, comfort and challenge me, who help me make it day to day and through the night,  one day at a time...

Help me remember, one by one, all the gifts I have: the gifts of faith and hope and love, the gifts of wonder, tears and laughter,  the gifts of friendship and affection, the gifts of peace and quiet and the gift and grace of prayer...

Help me remember, Lord, all my talents and my skills: the ones I use every day, and the ones I hide from others, the ones I need to learn to share...

Help me remember what I often take for granted: my liberty and freedom, the right to speak and write and vote, the opportunity to seek my heart's desire and to go where you may call me...

Help me remember all that I've forgotten, all I should be grateful for, all for which I owe you thanks and praise...

Help me remember, Lord,  so that on Thanksgiving I'll know why I bow my head in prayer and whisper, "Thank you, Lord my God!"

I wish you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving holiday. I have much to be grateful for, and I say “Thank you, Lord my God!” for each of you. Enjoy your family and friends during this special time away from school.

Parent Teacher Conferences are this week. This is an important time to discuss your child’s progress and set goals for moving forward. We look forward to seeing you.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Veteran's Day
Veteran's Day Assembly

Veteran’s Day—I hope you were able to join us for our special morning assembly today in honor of our veterans. Thank you to the Young Marines Color Guard and to veteran Taylor Campbell who spoke to our students about his experience in the Army and now. Also, Veteran, Andrew Robinson, spoke with our Jr. High last Thursday. He had a special story to share and we were happy to welcome him in preparation for Veteran’s Day today.

Prayer for Veterans Day

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation, who laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom...

We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war and whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day...

We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm's way: shield them from danger and bring them home, soon...

Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace...

May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us! Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!



“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Endow Girl's Group

I am thrilled that our 6th-8th grade girl’s group begins again this morning! We are so fortunate to have two loving, faith-filled teachers happy to give of themselves to our young women. Thank you Ms. Williams and Ms. Nielsen for sharing yourselves and your faith with our students and for the many extra hours you give in order to make this happen. We are all blessed by you.

This group follows a study guide developed by three Catholic women for a program called Endow: “What is my worth as a young Catholic woman?  This course explores the teachings of Pope John Paul II on the feminine genius and the authentic dignity each young woman has been given by God.  The world tries to convince young women that their dignity comes from having the right body type, hairstyle, clothes, athletic talents, or academic abilities. But in truth, they have dignity simply because they exist as human beings created in God’s image and likeness. Their intrinsic dignity is given to them freely as a gift from God, and nothing they do can ever add or subtract from this gift. Isn’t that amazing? They cherish God’s gift by choosing to live in a way that upholds their dignity.”

Please see the note from the President of Endow below and visit their website: endowgroups.org for more information.

Dear Mothers and Daughters, Sister and Friends – We are blessed as women. And our blessing contains many mysteries that God reveals to us along our journey of life and faith. I still remember my “aha” moment when I read Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Women and realized that God made every woman, including me, with dignity and worth. That defining moment over a decade ago was a revelation that moved me to help establish Endow. Since then, I have been thrilled to meet Catholic women and girls who are discovering the fullness of our faith—perhaps for the very first time. Your defining moments give me confidence that the mission of Endow is deeply relevant and desperately needed. I hope through our website you will be encouraged and inspired to continue your journey with us as you learn more about Endow and consider the wealth of opportunities to learn, and participate in our mission!

Yours in Christ,
Therese A. Polakovic
Co-Founder and President


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

TODAY! Extended School Day—Today, Wednesday, October 28th, the bishop will be visiting us.  We will have an extended day.  All students will be dismissed from the church at approximately 3:20-3:30. All parents are invited to join us!!  This is a unique and wonderful opportunity for us.

Text Alert—Hopefully, you received our school-wide text yesterday, reminding you of the extended day today. The display shows the text coming from number ‘313131’. If you did not receive this text, it is very important that you register your cell phone today as this is a critical tool we use in case of an emergency. Please follow these instructions to register your cell phone.

  1. Go to http://www.saintjamesacademy.com
  2. Click on Resources and then on Miscellaneous Forms
  3. Click on Emergency Text Messages Form
  4. Complete your information
  5. Click Join Now
Please let the school office/preschool know if you do not have a cell number that can receive texts.


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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St. James Academy is a private Catholic school in North County, San Diego. If you are searching for the premier preschool, elementary school or junior high school in proximity to Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, contact us today!