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January/February 2024


General Info

This newsletter is meant to keep you up to date on our progress in music class. Aer a successful Christmas concert and what I hope was a restful holiday season for all of you, we are back!


Class Activities


Kindergarten & First Grade have been continuing to establish a firm foundation in understanding steady beat (tempo) and have been delving more into rhythm. We practice rhythm through establishing patterns using syllables that go on top of the beat. Mostly focusing on Ta (quarter notes, one syllable) or ti-ti (eighth notes, two syllables). We practice using a variety of different percussion methods. In addition, students are continuing to learn about pitch through singing songs and boomwhacker activities. Students were also recently introduced to the music staff!


Second through Fourth Grade students have learned about ostinatos, steady beat, tempo, simple meters, identifying pitch and improvisation in the first trimester. This trimester we have been focusing on learning the music staff, treble clef, major vs minor sound, and the beginnings of music history. As we progress in learning the treble clef, I plan on teaching the students mallet instruments. Hoping that we can perform some beginner ensemble music together by spring break. Lastly, we have been digging into the periods of music history. Thus far digging into Baroque music and learning about Bach, Vivaldi and Handel.


Fih through Eighth Grade this trimester the students have been working on creating their own podcast on a music topic of their choice. The students have been allowed to work in groups of up to three while some have chosen to work independently. We began this journey doing a couple of podcast listening assignments. This allowed for the students to hear a couple different styles of podcasting to model their approach aer. At this point they have picked and refined their topics of interest and will begin compiling research. Over the next few weeks we will be creating outlines, scripts and then finally recording our episodes. We hope to create either a landing page or at least a google drive that will allow for you to listen to your students work!


Sincerely,

Chris Misch-Bloxdorf

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January 30, 2024


Dear Parents,


OLC is having a Father Daughter Dance for Valentine’s Day this Friday night, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM in Halpin Hall. All OLC girls and their dads/uncles/big brothers/family friends are invited.


Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, February 8, from 12:30 - 6:00. Students will be dismissed at 11:30, and no lunches will be served. Mid-year conferences are optional and are virtual or in-person, whichever you prefer. Sign up information was emailed to you last Monday.


Don’t forget that there is no school on Friday, February 9.


All school Mass on Sunday, February 11, at noon. The 3rd grade class will serve refreshments after Mass in Halpin Hall. All OLC families are encouraged to join us for this liturgy. Schoolbelles gift certificates will be presented to any parent at the Mass.


Several parents have asked me about Covid protocols, as the virus appears to be going around again. Please bear in mind that there are no longer any reporting requirements, so we in the school office are not always aware that a child has the virus. As a reminder, here is the policy: The Archdiocese of Chicago lifted all COVID-related restrictions and protocols following the May 2023 expiration of the public health emergency. For the 2023-2024 school year, schools should treat COVID like other similar viruses. If a student or staff member experiences symptoms of any virus, they should stay home until symptoms have resolved for 24 hours. There are no minimum exclusion lengths, masking requirements, or reporting protocols.


Did you know?

  • Students who attend Catholic schools are more likely to attend church and remain Catholic as adults.

  • Latino students who attend Catholic schools are 42% more likely to graduate from high school and 2.5 times more likely to graduate college.

  • Over 80% percent of students who graduate from Catholic schools attend college, compared to 44% of students in public schools.

  • In Catholic high schools, 98% of minority children graduate. 

  • Catholic school students are exposed to a wide variety of views, more likely to vote, more likely to be civically engaged and more likely to earn high wages than their public school peers.


Yours in Christ,


Frank S. Zarate, Jr., Ed.D.

Principal

(708) 652-0262


*Source: Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso

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January 11, 2024


Dear Parents,


OLC is having a Father Daughter Dance for Valentine’s Day on Fri., Feb. 2, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM in Halpin

Hall. All OLC girls and their dads/uncles/big brothers/family friends are invited. We will have flowers, photos,

pizza, cake, and a craft to do together. The cost is $5 per person. A flier was distributed this week, or see Pedro

for more info.


Don’t forget that there is no school on Monday, January 15, in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


All school Mass on Sunday, Jan. 21, at noon. The 4th grade class will serve refreshments after Mass in Halpin

Hall. All OLC families are encouraged to join us for this liturgy. Any student who is present will receive a one

day dress down pass for the following week.


We will be completing “iReady” standardized testing of all students in grades K - 8 in math and reading from

Jan. 22 - Feb. 2. You are welcome to contact your child’s teacher after testing is completed to see your child’s

test results. Compared to other standardized tests, iReady results are quite easy to understand.


We are having a free parent workshop at 6:30 PM on Thurs., Apr. 11, so mark your calendar. Mr. Ferney

Ramirez, who has presented at numerous west suburban schools, will speak to parents on the importance of

parents in their child’s success, how to build children's self-esteem, motivation, and values. You will like

Ferney! Invite your friends and neighbors, too. The presentation will be in Spanish, with English translation

available.


Have you seen our renovated school library? Stop by and check it out any day after school. We have purchased

hundreds of new, high interest books over the past two school years. According to the Illinois Heartland.


Library System, when you have a school library…

  • Students read for fun;

  • Students have greater academic success;

  • Students master writing and English Language Arts standards;

  • Students read more;

  • Children from low-income families read more;

  • Students achieve higher advanced reading scores;

  • 67% of children ages 6 - 17 find books to read for fun from libraries;

  • Kids who read for pleasure have more academic success.


Yours in Christ,

Frank S. Zarate, Jr., Ed.D.

Principal

(708) 652-0262

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