Dear SKS Families,

It’s been nice seeing some sun this first week of October and I hope that you and your families are enjoying the fall season. In the slideshow above, it looks like our new kindergarten Class of 2027 enjoyed the sun too! We also welcome our new faculty/staff members Kristen Walheim, Suzanne Manion, Adria Crowley and Alexandra Quigley. Fortunately  Mr. Gavin and the 3rd grade survived Natural Disaster Day in 3rd grade where they created their own tornado!

Home & School Speaker Series – Positive Coaching Alliance

       How often have you seen a coach or a parent on a playing field or gym at any athletic contest that was out of control and behaving badly? Are you a good role model for your child as a spectator? Are you guilty of Post Game Analysis (PGA) with your child as soon as they get in the car? What are some ways in which we can help and encourage our children in athletics or activities?  I would like to thank those parents who were able to come to the Home and School Speaker series  last night, where these questions were addressed. The presenter, Jim Osborne, gave some excellent advice to parents on how to support their children playing sports.

For those unable to attend, in the next blog, I will touch on a few important points and some of the excellent advice that Jim Osborne presented at the meeting. There is a wealth of information that can help you navigate the coaching/parenting aspect as your child plays sports at different levels.  You can find a ton of information on the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) site at Parents.

Dress Code Addition

      There was confusion about the use of the new SKS ¼  zip long sleeve sweatshirt  from the outset of the school year. I take responsibility for not communicating properly last spring into the summer.  Originally, the ¼ zips were intended just for the gym uniform as a choice other than the hooded sweatshirt. After discussing a change in the SKS Dress Code with Msgr. Brouwers, the teachers, Student Council, and a straw poll of parents, we are  making an addition to the dress code allowing the SKS ¼ zips to be worn. Besides using it for gym as an option instead of the hooded sweatshirt, the quarter zip can be worn as part of the regular school dress code.  For Spring Dress Code, it can be worn over the golf shirt. For Winter Dress Code it can be worn as a replacement for the school sweater vest or long sleeve sweater.

I have advised students, especially our upper grades students, that the wearing of any other non-SKS ¼ zips, hooded sweatshirts or jackets inside the school building is NOT part of the school dress code.  Violators will be prosecuted.

UIF Grant, Teacher Recognition, 3-D Printing, Virtual Reality and Ozobots

         I am pleased to tell you that we have a featured teacher in this month’s Archdiocese of Philadelphia Technology Magazine. Christina Elisio has been featured for her work with UIF in 3-D printing. Click on Ms. Elisio’s photo to read the full article at


Two years ago we received a $25,000 grant from our friends at the Uncommon Individual Foundation (UIF). We have spent some of this grant money buying the two 3-D printers that we have in the media center and some smaller price tag items for science and technology. Our next purchase has been approved, we will be using grant money to purchase a 20 unit Magellan Virtual Reality (VR) Kit. It is the first purpose-built device for Google’s Expeditions VR Kit. This Android device is designed with students in mind to optimize the virtual reality playback and viewing experience allowing our students to experience all that Google’s Expeditions VR Kit has to offer. We experimented with these kits last year on a trial basis and our students, teachers, and the principal were amazed at the 3-D real life experience.  When I came face to face with the T-Rex I met via the VR goggles,  I nearly jumped out of my skin! Another future purchase will be a set of Ozobots. These mini robot devices, which we also tried last year, will be used to teach coding to our students. The total cost of these two are not cheap – $9,000! The VR Kits are very expensive.  We are blessed with our relationship with UIF and the funding they have provided us.

UIF/BSD Providing Professional Development for Teachers

          Here is more great news for our school:  Our partnership with UIF, in conjunction with BSD Education, a code and design academy, will be providing professional development and instruction for several of our teachers on project based learning.  At the start of the school year, UIF and BSD gave our teachers an introductory workshop on 3-D printing and coding.   We have several teachers about to begin the exciting process of integrating project based learning within their curriculum.  BSD will take a lesson plan from these teachers within their curriculum and design a project for each teacher  using the 3-D printer and coding.  This professional development will continue with other teachers as well as the year unfolds. All this professional development cost is being paid for by UIF.

We’re excited to incorporate current technology and continue to innovate in the classroom with our partners like UIF and BSD.

Take care,