The 30th Annual St. John’s Student Leadership Retreat

Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins, over twenty 6th,  7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attended a “retreat.”  This year’s retreat was quite unique.  Even with the uncertainty of the details that surround the start of the  2020-2021 school year, our dedicated Student Leaders were able to receive the training necessary to help them lead our school during the upcoming year.  Our Student Leaders were also given the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events they will be hosting during the upcoming school year, including:

  • Spring Spirit Week planning
  • Fall Pep Rally planning
  • Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
  • ASPIRE presentation training with Mr. Mercier
  • Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier
  • Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle

Student Leaders spent time doing team building activities in the gym.  Not only were these activities fun and engaging, but they were designed to help our students experience the power of effective communication.  Good listening, engaged body language, eye contact and being empathic were just a few of the skills that were practiced during our afternoon games.  These games also gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our school’s student body, our congregation and community.  What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2020-2021 school year.

A.C.T.S. of Kindness Week

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Kindness Week is off to a great start! We had speaker, Brian Williams visit St. John’s yesterday and speak to Kindergarten through eighth grade. Every student who left that Auditorium yesterday felt empowered to spread kindness and make a change in the world around them.

Brian Williams, one of the nation’s top youth speakers, has challenged St. John’s Lutheran School to a massiveKindness challenge!! Our goal is to partake in 5,000 acts of Kindness before the end of the quarter on March 20th.

Brian is the founder of Think Kindness, a non-profit that inspires measurable acts of kindness in schools across the country. He speaks to over 100,000 students each year, has documented over 1.5 million acts of kindness, traveled to Africa 14 times and collected over 500,000 pairs of shoes for needy children and families.

Some of the main points Brian shared with the students were:

  1. Start Small
  2. Be Brave
  3. Be Kind
  4. No matter someone’s age, they can make the world a better place.
  5. Being kind starts with YOU!

All students and staff will be working hard to accomplish our goal of 5,000 acts of kindness by March 20th. We can CHANGE THE WORLD!

My: Sara Doyle, School Counselor

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COUNSELOR’S CORNER – October 2019 Edition: A Message From Miss Doyle

Media Use by Tweens and Teens

Youtube, Tik Tok, and Fortnite – Oh my! Entertainment nowadays for tweens and teens is media focused and keeping up to date with the latest and greatest can be daunting. Common Sense Media is a great resource for helping parents, educators, and others remain informed of the day to day changes that technology brings. 

Below you will find a few articles and video clips that touch base on a variety of media your student may be utilizing. Both parents and students provide reviews on these medias and more. 

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Fortnite

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-fortnite

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to TikTok

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-tiktok

Houseparty – Group Video Chat – What kids and parents are saying

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/houseparty-group-video-chat

Help! My Kid Wants to Use Social Media

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/help-my-kid-wants-to-use-social-media

Tweens, Teens, and Phones: What Our 2019 Research Reveals  

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/tweens-teens-and-phones-what-our-2019-research-reveals

Raising Awareness One Student at a Time

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The topic of mental health has become very prominent in today’s society. People of all ages, races, and backgrounds are becoming more and more vocal about their mental health conditions and the everyday battles they are facing. The question is, how can we help those struggling around us continue to find their voice and feel comfortable to do so? How can we foster suicide prevention starting at a young age? 

A stigma has developed over the years towards mental health, causing people to feel shame towards their conditions and in return not wanting to share their challenges with others. When those challenges are not or cannot be communicated, that’s when suicidal thoughts start to creep their way in to someone’s life.

At St. John’s we believe in supporting the whole child, and that includes their social and emotional well-being. We understand that suicide prevention comes in all different forms, especially when working with such a broad age range of students. Educating students on how to express, understand, and control their own feelings is one of the main ways we do this. Instilling problem-solving skills, communication strategies, and fostering resiliency are also crucial life skills that we understand play major roles in student success. And finally, having a Christ-centered environment where unconditional love is practiced, and where students feel safe and confident to turn to the trusted adults around them. 

St. John’s families, we love our students and only want the best for them. We are taking the appropriate steps for each grade level to make sure their social-emotional well-being continues to flourish. If at any time you need a referral for outside resources or additional support, please feel free to email me at sdoyle@stjohnsorange.orgor call the school office and ask for Sara Doyle. 

Blessings, 

Miss Sara Doyle

School Counselor 

Question of the Day

2nd grade is now deep into the curriculum and the “honeymoon stage” of the first couple of weeks has worn off.  Things are starting to get busy and the pressures mount to get everything done and pack learning into the day.  While this stress may have good intentions behind it, it is important for teachers and parents alike to remember to slow down and take time for what is actually important, not just what we think is important.  For Mrs. Morner’s class, this includes spending positive moments together as a class.

Mrs. Morner has created “Question of the Day.”  It is a simple presentation filled with simple questions, but the result has been wonderful.

In addition to beginning our morning with the pledges, a devotion, and prayer, we now also open with the “Question of the Day,” which ranges from questions as common as “What is your favorite food?” and as creative as “If you were given 1,000 acres of land, what would you do with it?”  None of the questions are academic (on purpose) and it has so far allowed everyone to start the day in a relaxed way that also allows knowing each other better as a class.  It’s a period of five minutes where students can talk about their interests and use their imagination a bit.  It opens us up on a positive note and reminds us that, while the day may get busy and our work is incredibly important, spending some time together as a class is just as important and we can still make some time for the fun stuff too!

Mrs. Morner, 2nd grade

Five Bags

QOTD