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OLC Weekly Newsletter

October 15, 2021

Dear Parents, Here is an interesting question I have heard many times in my career: Why should students study Spanish when they already speak it at home? The answer to the question is simple. In the first place, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language on the planet, and while many of the young people I have encountered working here in Cicero and in Berwyn can communicate in Spanish, often times their ability to carry on a real, in-depth conversation is limited. It’s one thing to talk with mom about dinner or what they’re doing after school, and it’s quite another thing to carry on a sophisticated conversation about current events or politics. Furthermore, let’s face it, being bilingual is an asset here in the Chicago area, and speaking Spanish will open up many additional job opportunities for students. Spanish also helps many of our OLC students connect with their parents or grandparents and their Latino culture. Our students need to study Spanish so that they can not only speak, but also read and write the language. Here at OLC students in grades 3 - 8 receive a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or F in Spanish, so the class is important. If they do well at OLC, they will be able to test into advanced level Spanish classes in high school. Many colleges and universities still require “two or more years” of foreign language study in high school. If you speak Spanish, use it with your child, and make sure he or she responds to you in Spanish, too. Many students are “shy” about doing that. If you have any questions about your child’s performance in Spanish class, email the teacher, Ms. Ana Alvarez:

Thank you to all the 5th grade and 8th grade parents who have assisted us with lunchroom supervision — and I know the 3rd grade parents are coming up in November. It’s important for our teachers to have that extra break at lunchtime, and it’s happening because of you.

Coding Club is a hit! We could use one more parent volunteer to sponsor the 3rd and 4th grade club on Mondays, 2:45 - 4:00. Please let me know if you would like to learn how to do this. You will be trained!

Popcorn Sale! For the 2021-2022 school year, there will be three mandatory fundraisers: popcorn sales in the fall and spring, and chocolate sale at Christmastime. Each family is responsible for selling $100 of popcorn in the fall and $100 of popcorn in the spring ($200 of popcorn in the school year). The fall sale begins Oct. 18: details will be sent home soon.

Lockdown drill: We are required by State law to perform a lockdown drill within the first 90 days of school that addresses an active threat within the school building. This year students will be informed about the drill ahead of time in a manner that is age appropriate. There is no longer any sort of “simulation” whatsoever, and students are allowed to ask questions before and during the brief drill. Our drill will take place at around 9:00 on Tues., Oct. 19. If for some reason you do not want your child to participate, please plan on bringing him or her to school at 10:30 that day.

1st holy Communion will be held on Sat., May 7 (time TBD) for OLC students. First Communion photos will take place on Sat., Apr. 9, at 9am. Get your first holy Communion apparel on time for pictures!

Volunteer hours are mandatory. Go to our website for all the info:

Important dates: Wednesday, October 20: Early dismissal (30 minutes before the regular time) Thursday, October 21: 8th grade trip to Springfield. Wow! Wednesday, October 27: 8th grade field trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. Wednesday, November 3: Early dismissal (30 minutes before the regular time) Wednesday, November 10: VanGogh photo retakes Thursday, November 11: High School Fair at OLC, 6:00 - 7:30 pm. All the area Catholic high schools will have representatives to talk to parents and students in Halpin Hall.

Yours in Christ, Frank S. Zárate, Jr., Ed.D. Principal (708) 652-0262


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