From the Principal

November 2017


December 4,, 2017

Dear Ascension Parents and Guardians,


The month of December and the Advent Season bring such anticipation and joy for Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ! Imagine spending your December with 436 preschool to grade 8 children waiting for Christmas. Ascension School is filled with laughter, love, hope and peace. Most importantly, we can pray, serve and remember to act with love, kindness and respect as we prepare for the Christmas Season! Thank you for making Catholic education a priority for your children and your family!

During November, the front bulletin board welcomed visitors with "We believe...." statements. The statements were created by each homeroom. The Ascension School children believe working together makes everything easier, we all need love, everyone deserves a friend, books are nice, everyone is equal no matter what gender or race! The "We believe..." statements are affirming and heartwarming!

We honored St. Luke, with an all school liturgy. Fr. Bob Hutmacher celebrated the liturgy and reminded the Ascension School community that St. Luke spoke of respect and dignity for all of God's creations. St. Luke's Gospel writing told of the importance of prayer and the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus and in the lives of Jesus' disciples. Ascension School and Parish also participated in the Feast of All Saints Liturgy. Fr. Hurlbert celebrated Mass and shared the importance of the Gospel of Matthew.

Grade 3 to 8 students have completed the first computer-based ACT Aspire Formative Reading Assessment. The purpose of the ACT Aspire Formative Reading Assessment is to use the results to help the teachers improve classroom instruction.

On November 3, the Ascension School faculty attended a variety of staff development sessions. An IXL Learning workshop taught the faculty how to help students in kindergarten to grade 8 best use IXL Learning computer software. IXL Learning is a program designed to engage students but success is only earned through hard work and genuine understanding of the math, language arts, Spanish and science concepts.

A CCC Streaming webinar explained how teachers can integrate technology with their curriculum, offering standards-based programs for every grade level and in every subject area. All programs come with Teacher's Guides, Student Activities and Knowledge Checks to aid teachers in presenting the material, and all of the programs are aligned to state standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Congratulations to our Ascension School Academic Bowl team that competed in the Trinity Academic Bowl. Thank you to Katrina Vainisi-Montelaura for preparing the Academic Bowl Team.

Congratulations to our Ascension School Math Team participants that took part in the Nazareth Math Competition and the Fenwick Math Competition. Finley Huggins took 2nd place overall in the Nazareth Competition. The Ascension Math Team took 3rd place in the Fenwick Competition in the small school division and Finley Huggins took 1st place in the small school division! A special thank you to David Schluelter for moderating our Math Team.

Congratulations to our Ascension School Science Team participants that took part in the Fenwick Science Contest. The Ascension Science Team came in 2nd place. Congratulations to Finley Huggins who came in 2nd place overall, Zachery Steinhofer who came in 5th place overall and Rocco Sennello who placed 13th overall. A special thank you to Theresa Szot for moderating our Science Team.


- Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the "Invest in Kids Act," a comprehensive education funding bill for Illinois. The law includes a provision for tax credit scholarships, which provide strong incentives for donors to support non-public school scholarships for low-income students in the state. Illinois students from low-income families may use these new scholarships to attend a non-public school of their choice. If you have questions about applying for the scholarships or a possible donation, please do not hesitate to contact me at 708 386 7282. Attached is an Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship fact sheet focused on scholarships and donations.

The Illinois Invest in Kids website is now live. You may view the Invest in Kids website at: or read more here.

Lastly, a very special thank you to Walter and Maureen Healy, Katie Vanaria, Mary Beth Granholm and the Blue Tie Auction committee and guests! This fundraiser gives us the opportunity to build on our successes and the proceeds directly support our educational program, which benefits each and every student. We are fortunate to have an Ascension School community who are so willing to generously donate time, talent and resources to our school.

At the Blue Tie Auction, plans were presented for the new Ascension School Library Learning Center! The Ascension School Library Learning Center will provide the students and faculty with quality resources, guided access to information, and a flexible and collaborative space that will promote project based learning and technology integration. Thankfully, we raised enough funds at the Blue Tie Auction to begin the process and we are hoping that Ascension School families and Ascension Parish parishioners will step forward to continue the support for the initiative. Please contact Fr. Hurlbert or myself to discuss the Ascension School Library Learning Center and a possible donation to this worthwhile project

As you enter the Advent Season and prepare for Christmas, please take time and enjoy each day. Your children are your greatest blessing and the season is filled with such joy.

Advent Blessings and Merry Christmas,


Maryanne Polega