From the Principal

September 27, 2018


September 2018




Dear Ascension School Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to Autumn! The 2018 – 2019 school year is moving quickly and has included many changes! Ascension School welcomed eight new faculty and staff members and six returning faculty members now fill new positions. We welcomed 430 Ascension School students. The early childhood center has a bursting enrollment of 105 Mini Chargers and grade 1 to grade 8 has a strong enrollment of 325 students. We are proud to have welcomed 29 new grade 1 to grade 8 Chargers!

The Empower Illinois Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program has awarded 5 Ascension School students full scholarships! As an Ascension family, there is still time to help students on the waiting list for the 2018 – 2019 school year. The attached letter explains how Ascension families can have a positive effect on the lives of children in our school.

Ascension School is ready for learning. The new Library Resource Center will be completed by October 1 and will house the extensive Ascension School library and also serve as a technology center for the entire school – PK 3 to grade 8! The 2018 – 2019 school theme is Love, Kindness, Respect and we have added Service as the fourth pillar to the values that the Ascension students live out each day!

On Friday, August 31 the Ascension School community gathered for the Opening School Year Prayer Service celebrated by Fr. Bob Hutmacher. The prayer service welcomed the faculty, staff and students back to school and also celebrated the 2018 – 2019 school theme of Love, Kindness, Respect and Service. The pantry director from the sharing parish, St. Martin de Porres, spoke to the school community about the importance of donations of non-perishable food items. He also told the students how the parishioners of St. Martin de Porres value the fresh produce that the Ascension Parish gardens supply to the pantry. The empty boxes that surrounded the altar were then filled with the generous donations from the Ascension School students.

On Tuesday, September 12, Ascension School celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The liturgy reminded the Ascension School community to call upon the Holy Spirit to fill us and bless our work. Ascension School Student Council officers and representatives were also recognized. Fr. Hurlbert blessed each officer and representative and asked that the Spirit of God work through them during the 2018 – 2019 school year to create a community in which all are welcome and everyone is treated with love, kindness, respect and service. 

Thank you to the parents/guardians that attended the Early Childhood Back to School Night on September 6. The evening began in the gym where the Ascension early childhood families were welcomed. Katie Vanaria explained her role as Director of Institutional Advancement and her recruitment and fundraising efforts, Mona Stepansky discussed her role as a School Board member and the purpose of the Ascension School Board and Jessica Nowicki talked about the programs, fundraisers and volunteer opportunities within the Ascension Home and School Association. The parents/guardians then visited the early childhood classrooms.  

On Thursday, September 13, Ascension School held its Grade 1 to Grade 8 Back to School Night. The evening started in the church with presentations by Katie Vanaria, Meg Nelligan and Audrey Brady. Grade 1 to grade 5 parents/guardians then moved to school for classroom presentations and to meet with teachers. The junior high faculty introduced themselves and gave a quick overview of their curriculums. The parents/guardians and faculty then moved on to the school for classroom visits.

During the September Staff Development Day, the Ascension School early childhood and primary faculty took part in a Wonders! by McGraw Hill workshop. The morning was designed to provide the teachers with an overview of the program’s components. The intermediate, junior high and fine arts faculty members took part in the Rush NeuroBehavioral Executive Functioning workshop. The workshop helped the faculty develop daily teaching practices utilizing executive skills in the classroom. Executive functioning skills are essential for students to succeed in school.

Friday, September 28 marks the mid-point of trimester 1. Ascension School grade 4 to grade 8 parents/guardians, please check your child’s PowerSchool account. If you need help accessing you child’s PowerSchool account, please contact Laura Allen at  If your child is receiving a “C-“ or lower, you can expect an email from your child’s teacher. An email indicates how your child has performed so far and what final grade they can expect if they continue with the same level of performance. A poor grade at this time is not a final matter. There is time to improve before the end of the trimester on November 9.


At the September Ascension School Board meeting, the School Board approved the updated cell phone policy. It provides:

No cell phones are allowed in a student’s possession during the school day. Students must turn in cell phones to the homeroom teacher upon entering the classroom each morning. Students are not allowed to use cell phones during the hours of 7:45 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Any cell phone found on a student will be confiscated and returned only to the parent/guardian.

Please mark your calendar….

Grade 8 Parent Meeting October 1, 2018 7:00 p.m. Pine Room

Catholic High School Night October 3, 2018 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pine Room

Grade 6, 7 and 8 students and parents/guardians are invited

Mass of St. Francis of Assisi October 4, 2018 9:30 a.m. Ascension Church

Columbus Day/NO SCHOOL October 8, 2018

Grade 7 Living Rosary Prayer Service

October 16, 2018 2:15 p.m. Ascension Church

Grade 8 Confirmation October 20, 2018 10:00 a.m. /2:00 p.m. Ascension Church

Ascension School Library Resource Center Dedication Mass

October 21, 2018 11:00 a.m. Ascension Church

Ascension School Library Resource Center Dedication Celebration

October 21, 2018 12:00 p.m. Ascension School

Ascension School is a special place. I am so proud to be part of it! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Maryanne Polega, Principal