Fr. Clive delivered the blessing, Principal Cyndi Collins gave the word and 8th grader Maggie Wiatr rang the original St. Isidore School (SIS) bell from the 1920s to officially open the 2016-17 school year on August 26. Rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of SIS students who, along with their parents, gathered in the Ministry Center for the traditional ringing of the bell. Our enrollment this fall is 256 students.
SIS Welcomes Two to 2016-17 Teaching Staff
Ms. Sara White joined the SIS teaching staff as the new second grade teacher when school opened, her first teaching position after graduating from Bradley University with a BA Degree in Elementary Education. She has additional certification with a Language Arts Endorsement (Middle School), and did her student teaching in Catholic grade schools prior to graduation.
Mrs. Kim LaLonde has joined the staff at St. Isidore School as a preschool aide following 10 years of education experience, seven of which were in Catholic Schools. She earned her BA degree from Eastern Illinois University.
All Day Preschool Answers Parent Demand
SIS is now offering all-day preschool! Principal Cyndi Collins said that the decision to expand the school’s half day preschool to full day for three and four year olds is in response to demand expressed by current school parents. In a survey conducted last fall, among parents with students in grades K-2, more than 65 per cent indicated they would use a full day preschool.
Mrs. Collins said that parents can have their child attend half day sessions (8:00 am – 11:00 am) three or five half days, mornings only. Those needing full day preschool will be required to have their child attend five days per week. Preschool students will still also be able to attend before (7:00 am until start of school at 8:00 am) and/or after school care (2:55 pm until 6:00 pm) at St. Isidore as well.
Ms. Katie Bocek and Mrs. Jeanine Theobald are St. Isidore’s preschool teachers, with Mrs. Pam Martin and Mrs. Kim LaLonde, as aides.
“Chips & Chili” Major New Fund Raising Initiative
Fund raising is critical for any Catholic grade school in this day and age. It is no secret that tuition and fees and subsidies from our parish do not cover the entire cost of an SIS education. In addition, the Diocese of Joliet requires that a portion of the school budget must be attained through “third party sources” – which means fund raising.
As a result, the St. Isidore School Board and Principal Cyndi Collins announced last spring that a major new event had been added to the school’s annual fund raising efforts, the 1st Annual “Chips & Chili” Casino Night and Chili Cook-Off, which was held Saturday, October 15, in the Ministry Center.
Poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and bingo were the games of choice, with winning attendees able to exchange their chips for raffle prizes.
Contestants in the chili cook-off segment of the evening vied for attendees’ votes for a $100 first prize and “bragging rights” as the top St. Isidore Chili Chef for one year. Winners of the chili cook- off were Reynaldo and Arlene Magsanoc for their “Hawain Heat” recipe.
This year’s School Board President Jennifer McFadden said that the event evolved out of several months of brainstorming on the part of school board members, parents and faculty members to create a school, parish and community event intended to help augment the school’s annual major fund raising efforts: a bi-annual Children’s Clothing & Equipment Resale, the 3-on-3 basketball tournament and its major initiative, an annual Gala/Auction Dinner Dance. These collectively raise upwards of $100,000 annually to support school operations.
“We rely heavily on fund raising events so that we can keep tuition in check and provide an affordable Catholic elementary school education for our local community,” Principal Collins explained. “These events allow the school to provide the critical educational resources that the annual operating budget, tuition and parish subsidy cannot accommodate.”