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Mr. Lootens' Blog

  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE – JANUARY 12/13, 2019

    Posted by ML on 1/9/2019

    The following appeared in Today’s Catholic Teacher in the April/May 2015 issue.  The article, by Dr. Louise Moore, extols the benefits of laughter.

    A big component of living a joyous and healthy life is embracing laughter.  Research has shown that laughter can relax your body and relieve stress and physical tension. It can boost your immune system and can contribute to a more positive outlook on life.

    As parents (and as a school) how can we teach children to be joyous and embrace laughter to help them lead happier lives?   

    • You and your children can embrace joy by sharing it with others. Smile at the people you pass in the hallway, and ask your children to do the same.  Having a smile and sharing it is a simple and effortless way to spread joy every day.  Teresa of Calcutta said, “Peace begins with a smile.”  How very true.
    • Read humorous and fun books with your children often. 
    • Plan a game night with your family.
    • Make time to be silly with your children often. Allow yourself to enter into their make-believe scenarios and enjoy laughing with them.
    • Look for humor in everyday situations. When you make a mistake or do something silly, laugh at yourself and admit to your mistake.  Your children will learn from this and will learn that it is okay to laugh at yourself.   

    Teaching our children the importance of laughter and joy will encourage them to have a positive outlook on life and will help them to better cope with future struggles.  Living life as a joyous person will make life’s challenges a little easier for all of us.   

    I wish you a very happy New Year; may God’s blessing continue to be our parish and you family in 2019.

     

    Mike Lootens

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  • Principal's Message

    Posted by ML on 12/19/2018

    Dear Epiphany School Families, Members of the Parish, and other Friends,

    Merry Christmas!  The School Faculty and I join Fathers Eric and Joe in praying that your Holidays will be spirit-filled and filled with love for Jesus, Emmanuel, truly and awesomely—God Among us!

    As we prepare for Registration for the next school year and as we gather materials together, I would like today’s message to speak to parents considering enrolling their kids at Epiphany Catholic School. 

    The decision on where to send your children to school perhaps may be one of life’s most important; the advantages of a Catholic education are centered in our emphasis on the teaching of Jesus Christ.  As I have said many times, everything we do, all of our programs, and all of our efforts must keep this as our primary focus.  

    Again, please know of my prayers and warm best wishes for Christmas and the Christmas hiatus.  Go Knights!  Blessed Mother, pray for us!

    —Mike Lootens

     

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  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE 1215-12/16

    Posted by ML on 12/12/2018

    On Tuesday, November 20th, over 300 people, members of our faculty, staff, student body and guests, sat down together in the Parish Hall for Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was so very special to see all of our K-8 students sit with other students of different grades and share stories and the experience.   I sincerely hope that this event creates cherished memories for those that attended as it did for me.

    At the dinner,  we also recognized members of the Faculty/Staff for their years of service to Epiphany.  The following staff members were recognized:

    5 YEARS

    Barb Hunter                                       Stephanie Manuel                           Amanda Sanders

    10 YEARS

    Molly Nixon

    25 Years

    Judy Lauritson                                   Lisa Simpsen                                      John Smyth

     

    We are so very fortunate to have such a dedicated and professional staff.  Thank you for your commitment to excellence and the passion that you hold for Epiphany Catholic School.

     

    The dinner, complete with prayer, games, song and good food was a truly memorable event. Thanks to everyone who made this a very special day. 

    May God bless and keep us all during the holiday season.

    Mike Lootens

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

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  • Principal's Bulletin Message December 8/9, 2018

    Posted by ML on 12/12/2018

    The following is an article that I ran across, in the attempt to catch up on my professional reading. (Today’s Catholic Teacher, August/September 2012)  The article offers parents tips on simple routines that can be established in your home, to better prepare your child for success in school

    As your child begins another school year (I told you I was behind), commit yourself to practicing the three “B”: breakfast, backpack, and bedtime.

    1. Breakfast: Medical research clearly supports the positive value of a healthful breakfast. Benefits include the ability to be more alert and focused, improved stamina, and a sense of well-being.

     

    1. Backpack: Always check your child’s backpack every day as soon as possible after he or she arrives home from school. You will find important announcements, notes from the teacher, and other communications from school to parents.  That way, there will be no “surprises” or last-minutes crises in the morning.  In addition, checking your child’s backpack daily will ensure that it does not become a black hole for school papers and forgotten items.

     

    1. Bedtime: The value of a good night’s sleep is well-documented. Develop not only a regular bedtime for your child, but also a bedtime routine.  For example, provide a wind-down time prior to putting your child to bed for the night.  You might read together or encourage some time for an older child to read prior to turning out the lights.  A calm and routine end to the day matched with an appropriate amount of sleep will reap many positive benefits that support a more alert child and increase the likelihood of school success,

    Making these habits household routines can help everyone and help your child feel better prepared to meet the challenges of the day ahead.

    We pray to our Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede on our behalf to her son Jesus Christ,

    Mike Lootens

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

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  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE – NOVEMBER 17/18, 2018

    Posted by ML on 11/21/2018

    Epiphany Catholic School offers a wide-range of extra-curricular activities that it's students can participate in.  Our school has a history of very successful extra-curricular activities, recently highlighted by a dominant performance by our Speech Team at the IESA Event at Parkside Junior High, in early November.

    Being a former secondary school activities director, I have witnessed first-hand the benefits that these activities provide, to the students who participate in them.  Countless research studies have presented data that confirms the positive effect that these activities provide for students.  Attendance, class participation, and academic performance are enhanced, by participating in these activities.

    That being said, I have listed a few other benefits for students, who participate in these activities offered by our school:

    Learning Time Management and Prioritizing  Students will need to learn how to manage and prioritize their time which is a key to success; this often is a student’s first experience with this valuable trait.

    Learning About Long Term Commitments  When students take on an activity they learn the value of commitment and responsibility and the participation in a something that is bigger than themselves. 

    Learning About Social Relationships  Extra-curricular activities provide students a chance to get involved and learn how to act appropriately in social situations and these activities give them a chance outside of school to do this.

    Of course, while there are a great many reason to participate, as parents, you need to consider how much is too much.  It is important that kids don’t try to do it all, but that they have a passion and commitment to the activities they choose.  Please discuss these opportunities with your son/daughter and let us know, if there is any other information that we can provide you with. 

    Make God bestow His abundant blessings to all of the Epiphany family,

    Mike Lootens

    Go Knights!!!

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  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE – NOVEMBER 17/18, 2018

    Posted by Kristen Bickett on 11/14/2018

    Included in my bulletin message for this week is a chart which compares our school’s scores on the Iowa Assessments with the 37 other diocesan grade schools that also took the tests in September.  All schools in the Diocese of Peoria have to take the tests in Grades 3, 5, and 7; most also take these tests in the other grades.

    Some observations from the accompanying chart:

    • Epiphany students averaged at least three points higher than they did in 2017. Averages in Math and English Language Arts averaged over five points higher than last year.

     

    • Epiphany Catholic School students scored above diocesan averages in every test taken in the assessment.

     

    • The Composite score for each class was at a Grade Equivalency of at least a grade and one-half over their present grade.

     

    • The Composite score for each class was above the 70th percentile; this was the first time for this to happen since the assessment was re-normed in 2011.

     

    • Special kudos to our 3rd Grade Class; their Composite scores placed them in the 87th This is the highest score of any class in my eight-year tenure at Epiphany.  Of the 29 students in the class, 14 scored above the 90th percentile.

     

    I could go on and on about how well our kids did, but we also realize that we will have opportunities to do even better.  Thanks to our STAFF for their dedication and hard work. Thanks to our PARISH and FAMILIES for their support. And finally, thanks to our STUDENTS for their hard work.

    May God Bless Our Parish Family!!!

    Mike Lootens

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

    COMPARISON EPIPHANY CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND DIOCESE OF PEORIA

    Iowa Assessments – September 2018

     

     

    READING

    ELA

    MATHEMATICS

    SCIENCE

    COMPOSITE

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    8th Grade

    59

    (9.1)

    58

    (9.0)

    +1

    (+0.1)

    73

    (10.5)

    71

    (10.2)

    +2

    (+0.3)

    70

    (10.2)

    62

    (9.2)

    +8

    (+1.0)

    70

    (10.9)

    64

    (9.8)

    +6

    (+1.1)  

    70

    (10.5)

    64

    (9.7)

    +6  

    (+0.8)

    7th Grade

    74

    (9.5)

    59

    (7.9)

    +14

    (+1.6)

    81

    (10.0)

    69

    (8.7)

    +12

    (+1.3)

    69

    (8.6)

    57

    (7.7)

    +12

    (+0.9)

    67

    (8.8)

    62

    (8.2)

    +5

    (+0.6)

    73

    (9.3)

    62

    (8.2)

    +11

    (+1.1)

    6th Grade

    69

    (7.6)

    55

    (6.6)

    +14

    (+1.0)

    81

    (8.5)

    65

    (7.1)

    +16

    (+1.4)

    62

    (6.8)

    49

    (6.2)

    +13

    (+0.6)

    75

    (8.4)

    65

    (7.3)

    +10

    (+1.1)

    72

    (7.8)

    59

    (6.7)

    +13

    (+1.1)

    5th Grade

    71

    (6.5)

    64

    (6.0)

    +7

    (+0.5)

    82

    (6.8)

    71

    (6.2)

    +11 

    (+0.6)

    72

    (6.4)

    58

    (5.4)

    +14

    (+1.0)

    73

    (6.8)

    66

    (6.3)

    +7

    (+0.5)

    73

    (6.6)

    64

    (5.9)

    +9

    (+0.7)

    4th Grade

    80

    (6.0)

    64

    (4.9)

    +16

    (+1.1)

    83

    (5.8)

    69

    (5.0)

    +14

    (+0.8)

    72

    (4.8)

    56

    (4.3)

    +16

    (+0.5)

    74

    (5.5)

    70

    (5.2)

    +4

    (+0.3)

    78

    (5.5)

    64 (4.7)

    -+14

    (+0.8)

    3rd Grade

    88

    (5.2)

    61

    (3.6)

    +27   

    (+1.6)

    87

    (4.8)

    62

    (3.6)

    +25

    (+1.2)

    84

    (4.5)

    55

    (3.3)

    +29

    (+1.2)

    84

    (4.8)

    66

    (3.7)

    +18

    (+1.1)

    87

    (4.8)

    60

    (3.4)

    +27

    (+1.4) 

     

     

    COMPARISON BY TEST AREA EPIPHANY CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND DIOCESE OF PEORIA

     

                                  EPIPHANY                 DIOCESAN        DIFFERENCE                  DIFFERENCE

                                   AVERAGE                  AVERAGE                                         GRADE EQUIV.

     

    Reading                     73.5  (69.7)                 60.1  (60.3)       +13.4  (+9.4)                 +0.98  (+0.68)      

     

    ELA                           81.2  (76.0)                 67.8  (66.1)       +13.4  (+9.9)                  +0.93  (+0.67)     

     

    Mathematics            71.5  (66.0)                 56.2  (54.4)       +15.3  (+11.6)               +0.87  (+0.59)

     

    Science                     73.8  (70.4)                 65.5  (63.4)       +8.3  (+7.0)                    +0.78  (+0.52)

     

    Composite                75.5  (71.1)                 62.2  (61.3)       +13.2  (+9.8)                  +0.98  (+0.55)

     

    Numbers in parenthesis are averages and equivalencies for the September 2017 assessments.ITB

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