May 1st, 2015

Save the Date! Mandatory General Parent Meeting May 13th: Please mark your calendar to ensure that at least one parent is in attendance to the Spring General Parent Meeting on Wednesday, May 13th at 6:30pm in Goode Hall. The newly elected Executive Parent Board will be announced, and I will share the results of our recent WASC/WCEA Accreditation Report along with some important information for the upcoming school year.

Registration/Tuition/Financial Aide: Thank you so much to all parents and families for your cooperation with notifying us in a timely manner of your plans to re-register for the 2015-2016 school year. While we recognize that any increase in tuition can create a hardship for many families, we are proud to have reduced the tuition increase from 3% last year to 2.5% this year, while still supporting the robust, varied, and high-quality educational program that our school is known for. All families who applied for and qualified for financial aide were awarded scholarships during our first round of grant distribution (from $30K in funds recruited for us this year by the Alliance of Mission District Catholic Schools), and in the next two weeks many of our families will receive notification from the Basic Fund and the Archdiocese of San Francisco for further tuition assistance.

Faculty/Staff News: Every year, I am sorry to say farewell to one or more members of our talented faculty and staff who are moving on from our community and into the next steps in their lives and careers. Thankfully, our community has been blessed with a vibrance that attracts highly qualified and compassionate Catholic educators to vacant positions. This year is no different:

·      After more than 30 (wow!!) years of service as an instructional aide in the primary grades, Mrs. Vicky Bruce is retiring. Her incredible artistic talent and no-nonsense, loving sensibility has fostered multiple generations of St. Finn Barr students who adore her and follow her every move. Her presence will be sorely missed -- as a Sunnyside neighbor and St. Finn Barr parishioner, we look forward to her visits to campus and church. Thank you and God Bless you, Mrs. Bruce!!

·      After ten years of service as the 8th grade homeroom and middle school language arts teacher, Mr. Michael Dinubila is relocating with his wife Emily and growing baby daughter Olive to the north bay. He will continue to share his gifts as a Catholic school educator, working alongside vice principal (and former St. Finn Barr first grade teacher) Alex Jacobson at St. Anselm’s school in San Anselmo. His terrific sense of humor, creative teaching style and ability to connect with children, and innumerable other gifts will be missed. We wish him the best on this next adventure in life and work!

·      I am proud to announce that Ms. Patsy Bouvet will take over the role of 8th grade homeroom teacher and middle school language arts instructor this fall. After several years of sharing in the splendor of social studies with our middle schoolers, Ms. Bouvet will bring her years of experience working with our diverse community of learners, along with the new insights gained from her recently earned Masters in Education from San Francisco State, to this very important new role. As the middle school coordinator, she will continue to collaborate with the entire middle school team to develop a rigorous and relevant middle school program for our families. We are privileged to benefit from her well-earned new position of leadership and influence.

Spring Raffle: Don’t forget, our final participating parent fundraiser is underway with just a few weeks to go!! Every family is responsible for selling $100 worth of tickets, the last of which are due by Friday, May 8th. Either one lucky school family will win free tuition for next year, or a Friend of St. Finn Barr will win $2500 in cash!!

Talent Show & Spring Music Showcase: Thank you to all of the students and teachers who participated in and organized two of our spring performance traditions – the talent show and spring musical showcase. I am always amazed by how well our students “shine their light” on stage or otherwise, and these two events were no exception!! Special thanks to:

·      Mr. Dinubila, Talent Show Coordinator

·      Mr. Ed Campos and Mr. Francisco Lopez, sound specialists for the Talent Show

·      Mr. Elliott, Choir Director and Piano Teacher

·      Mrs. Caryn Matter, Volunteer Choir Director

·      Mr. Lawrence Paul, Guitar Teacher

Discipline Policy: As most of you know, our school emphasizes the development of the self-discipline skills beginning in Kindergarten in order to help children successfully contribute to their family and society throughout their lives. Part of this process includes a formula for implementing consequences when appropriate to establish boundaries, provide opportunities for improvement, and maintain a safe environment for learning.

If you are curious about our official school discipline policy, please refer to the “Student” and “Parent” sections of our school website.

Help for Mr. Paul (Guitar): Our guitar teacher, Mr. Lawrence Paul, lost an HP laptop around 430pm on Friday, April 24th in front of the convent. He set the device down on the sidewalk while loading items and left for 20 minutes before discovering that it had been left. If you have any information about the laptop please contact the school office ASAP.

Science Program News: We now have premium access to all FOSS (Full Option Science System) web resources for ALL of our FOSS kits.  Up until now we have had a limited number of premium kits. 

For the K-5 kits, in addition to all of the FOSS web resources (eGuide, eBook, multimedia, videos and more) students will now have access to the eBook (the student resource book) which, prior to this, was only teacher accessible for most kits.  These eBooks can be read in the classroom or at home (a great resource for students who are absent or need a second book at home or for homework assignments).  Some of these are iPad ready and are also in Spanish.

For the Middle School kits, premium access will give us electronic eGuides in addition to student eBook access for all kits.

Scrip Reminder: All participating parents should note that deadline for fulfilling Scrip obligations for the current school year has now passed. Any remaining balances for Scrip will be added to your FACTS tuition account for the current school year, and any new Scrip purchases will be credited towards the 15-16 school year. If you have any questions about how to fulfill your scrip obligations, feel free to contact the Parent Board Scrip Coordinator, Sara Mireles at

On-Campus Summer Camp Information: We are excited to host several enrichment camps on campus this summer. As of today, the following camps are scheduled:

Drawing Camp (Mr. Talamantes/Mr. Poland): June 15th - July 3rd

·      Incoming Grades 2-7th

·      8:00am - 3:00pm Monday through Friday.  

·      The weekly rate =  $112.00 + $50 materials fee and $12.99 field trip cost.

·      Lunch will not be provided and must be brought from home.

·      The total cost for all three weeks is $398.99.  

·      Aftercare will be offered from 3:00pm to 5:00pm for an additional $6.00 per hour.

Spanish Camp (Mrs. Herzstein): June 15-July 3rd

·      Open to rising 1st to rising 5th 

·      Three Weeks: June 15 – July 3rd

·      8am-3pm + Ext. Care 3pm-5pm

Linda’s Musical Productions (Linda Bulgo): June 8-July 31st

·      All grades welcome

·      Each week focuses on a new production

·      Register at


5.4      Teacher Appreciation Week Begins


5.7      St. Finn Barr Spanish Festival (1:30pm in Goode Hall)


5.9      Mother-Son Dance


5.8      May Crowning Mass @ 9am


5.11     Archdiocese Family Grant Results to applicants


5.12    Student Council Election Day


5.13    Mandatory General Parent Meeting