Principal’s Post 11.29.18


Thank you to Mrs Seibert’s class and our students from various grades for their leadership with liturgy and Mass today.  Thank you to everyone who joined us for Mass. This week Fr. Jerry reminds us we are God’s harvest as we prepare for Advent.  Please know all are welcome each week.

Advent starts this Sunday.

*Request and Reminder from St. John’s: please do not bring food or drink (coffee) into the Cathedral.  You can leave these items on the table in the foyer/entrance. Thank you, St. John’s


Kevin Richert’s Idaho Statesman article “Idaho K-3 students took a new reading test this semester.  Here’s how they did.” (November 12, 2018) states: “SDE officials say the old IRI was limited in scope, measuring only reading speed. The new test is designed to assess phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension.”  

St. Joseph’s has also switched from the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) to the State of Idaho’s adopted Istation.  We did this to have routine data to monitor growth in reading comprehension for our early readers. We are also piloting the use of Istation for both enrichment and intervention to meet needs of all students.  This testing also provides data for direct comparison.

The Istation categorizes students into three levels: Tier 1 (at grade level), Tier 2 (near grade level), and Tier 3  (below grade level). The table below shows the percent of students who scored, on their first test of the year in August or September, at grade level. Aside from the Boise School District as a whole, two individual schools are also included for comparison too.

Grade St. Joseph’s Hillcrest White Pine Boise School District State of Idaho
Kindergarten 63% 39.1% 58.3% 53.1% 45%
First Grade 90% 20.6% 37.9% 43.9% 42.9%
Second Grade 80% 49% 70.5% 64.5% 60.3%
Third Grade 93% 38.6% 68.7% 66.1% 61.9%
Overall 81% 38.2% 60.2% 57.3% 52%

Idaho Education Tax Credit

We are blessed to have a donor who will match the first 10 people who have not taken advantage of the Idaho Education Tax Credit yet in the 2018 calendar year.  This means if we can get 10 people to donate $2,000, the donor will match each donation.  This can lead to $40,000 for St. Joseph’s Catholic School. For those who itemize, a $2,000 donation could only end up costing  between $300-$500.

The Idaho Education Tax Credit letter describes the Idaho State Tax Credit for donations to St. Joe’s. 50% of your donation comes back to you as a tax credit (50 %!)  And, if you itemize, another 35% credit, depending on your tax situation.

Please consult your tax advisor and consider your tax donation contribution during this time before December 31st.

For those interested in taking advantage of the donation match, please email Anita Miller ( or call 208-342-4909.  Thank you for your consideration.

5th/6th Grade Boys Basketball

  • We have a lot of interest, but the number of coaches will drive the number and size of teams.  We would love to have 3 teams to increase playing time for the students, but this means we need 3 coaches.  Teams will practice at the same time and coaches can divide for games to make it more manageable.
  • Forms to play have been give to the boys are and due back by December 12.
  • The boys’ season will begin January 8th with practices.  The first set of games will start the week of January 28th.  The last games will finish on or before March 7th.
  • Please email Tony Quilici, if you are interested in coaching. We need to have coaches in order to have a season.  Thank you for considering.

SCRIP and Lands’ End

Many families are buying uniforms this time of year.  This is a reminder that when a $100 Land’s End gift card is purchased from the school, the school makes $16.  This is one of the highest SCRIP return rates. When buying your next set of uniforms, please consider getting a gift card. SCRIP order forms are available outside the front office and in the PDF attachment in the Braves’ Bulletin.

Christmas Around the World

After the 5 pm Mass Saturday, December 8 all are invited to St. John’s Christmas around the World.

St. Joseph’s Music Program

This week the piano we use for music, choir, and band reached a state beyond repair.  We are replacing it with a new piano from Welch Music. The new piano cost $3,500. If you would like to contribute to the purchase of the new piano, please contact Anita Miller at


Are you aware of the dangers of vaping?  According to the American Psychiatric Assoc.: “About 13 percent of 8th graders, 24 percent of 10th graders, and nearly 28 percent of 12th graders at U.S. schools reported using a vaping device in the past year, according to data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. The survey results, which were released in December 2017, found that while most of these students said they mostly vape flavoring liquids, 1 in 10 reported vaping nicotine, and 1 in 20 reported vaping marijuana.” Please talk with your student(s) to see what they know about vaping and to share the dangers of vaping.

SafeStudents Online (More of you are signing up, thank you!)

This is for our families with students in grades 5-8.  Thank you to those who have joined, and for those who have not, it is never too late.  These accounts are per family, so if you have older students in high school, you can add these students as well.  This will provide families feedback on topics including vaping.

This is a program that Catholic schools back East have been using for grades 5-8, and their families love it.  This is to build trust between parents and students. The goal is to coach and provide students a safer and healthier online experience and provide open communication between parents and students.  All you need to do is sit down with your student(s) and take less than 5 minutes to set it up.

If you still have questions, please feel free to view the video link below and call or email questions to myself ( or our counselor Mrs. Porter (

Link to Video Explanation



Link to Resources


Quick reminder: after Thanksgiving (next week) students cannot wear shorts to school until we return from Spring Break. Girls wearing skirts should wear tights/leggings.


Please send your students with coats.  As temperatures drop to the 20s and below, we want students to have coats on to go outside.  Playing outside is important and healthy. We want the students to be comfortable and enjoy being outside.

Student Safety

See something, say something.  I would like to remind and urge everyone if you see something out of place, please report it to the Office as soon as possible.  It is much better to be safe and say something than to worry about it.

Today I was meeting with Cathedral of the Rockies to establish a close, safe, and user friendly site for reunification should we ever need to move our students from our campus.

For information on our current terminology and practice, please refer to our

Safety Parent Letter.

Idaho Education Tax Credit

St. Joseph’s annual appeal for the Idaho Education Tax Credit has kicked off!

Micron 2 for 1

First and foremost, thank you to all Micron employed families who utilize Micron’s

donation matching.  For those interested, I have been asked to share:

Here is the info from our CEO Sanjay Mehrotra about matching funds, a Micron employee can donate up to $4,000 to St. Joe’s between Nov. 25th and Dec. 31st and get a 2:1 match:

“As a global team you have contributed a great deal to charities and schools through Micron Gives this year, and Micron has matched a little more than $600,000 to date. We set aside a total of $2 million for this program, and I would love to see all that money given to charities that our team members support. In recognition of your many hours of commitment, we will be offering a 2:1 match on all donations made Nov. 25 through the end of 2018. (Or until the $2 million match fund is exhausted.) To make sure every team member can take advantage of this offer, we are raising the individual cap for company match contributions from $2,000 to $4,000 for the remainder of the year.”

Even if a Micron employee made a previous donation this year to St. Joe’s and they have not turned that receipt into the Micron Gives employee portal, they can do so and St. Joe’s will receive a matching 1:1 donation.

In thanks, -Deacon Mac

IDeal 529 College Savings Program funds- use them to pay for K-12 tuition!

What is a “529 plan”?

Named for Section 529 of the U.S. tax code, a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged investment plan operated by a state to encourage saving for education expenses. As there is risk when investing in a 529 account, we are required to advise readers talk to a financial advisor.

Click here for a link the the 529 Frequently Asked Questions and other resources

There is also a $25 incentive for those to start saving and a chance at $800

Bravely act like a Saint today!

We are blessed to have a loving and supportive community.  As a Catholic community, we hold ourselves to a higher standard.  When you see someone in our community going above and beyond leading by example and bravely acting like a saint, please let me know using the following link.