This Week's Newsletter





Enrollment season is underway! Parents of incoming kindergarten students are invited to submit the Application for Enrollment (available on the school website or in the office) now so that we can plan for next year. Siblings have first priority in enrollment, and the first important date to note is the Kindergarten Assessment Day on Saturday, January 7th (by appointment only via Sign Up Genius).


Our incoming 6th grade class is currently full. We are accepting applications to build a wait list and may begin tours in the Spring if spots become available.


Tuition Raffle: The first of our FOUR mandatory parent fundraisers is here! This event is very simple: families sell raffle tickets for $5/ticket, $20/book -- if an SFB student’s name is on the ticket, that student wins free tuition for the 2017-2018 school year. Anyone else wins $2500 cash. Tickets will go home with oldest/only students on October 24th. Money is due November 18th.


Staff Updates: You may have noticed some new staff members who have joined the St. Finn Barr Team – thank you for welcoming them:

  • Ula Pyzel: Part-time instructional aide in K/2 classrooms (also, SFB parent to Klara (2nd) and Lilia (5th)
  • Humberto Garcia: Ext. Care Team – SF State undergraduate in Psychology
  • Bianca Martinez: Ext. Care Team – SF State undergraduate in Political Science


Volunteer Lunch Contest: Don’t forget to sign up now for lunch volunteering during the month of your chil(ren)’s class! The class with the highest participation for their month wins a pizza party during the last week of school.  

  • October: 8th
  • November: 7th
  • December: 6th 
  • January: 5th 
  • February: 4th 
  • March: 3rd 
  • April: 2nd 
  • May: 1st 


Men’s Club Halloween Hamburger Luncheon: The Men’s Club is hosting a Halloween Hamburger Luncheon on Monday, October 31st immediately after the parade. A plate including a hamburger, chips, and a drink will be $5.


Middle School Girls, Expand Your Horizons! Consider joining the upcoming exciting event: Expanding Your Horizons, Motivating Young Women in Science + Mathematics, A Conference for Young Women in 6th-8th Grade to Learn About and Experience Careers in Science and Math.  The online registration opens on October 15th (so this Saturday). This is one day seminar on Saturday, November 19th (8:15-3pm).


Here is the link to more info:


Adventures in Music (AIM): Our students in grades 3-5 are again the beneficiaries of the partnership between SFUSD and San Francisco Symphony’s as participants in the Adventures in Music (AIM) program. Now in its 29th year, AIM integrates live music performances with the everyday classroom curriculum. Through AIM, students learn about and experience music from the great wealth of cultural traditions that exist here in San Francisco. In addition to helping broaden students’ knowledge, the AIM curriculum is specially designed to support the ongoing work in the classroom through its interdisciplinary approach.


The theme of this year’s AIM program is “Four Elements of Music:  Composer, Conductor, Musician, Audience!” This theme integrates learning goals in music, visual arts, and language arts, with a focus on supporting Common Core Standards in each of these areas. The AIM curriculum will include special activities and resources for each classroom, and there will be lots of great music. Expert ensembles of AIM musicians will visit our shared assemblies with Sunnyside Elementary School, and a thrilling private concert at Davies Symphony Hall will be performed by the San Francisco Symphony expressly for SFUSD and Archdiocese of San Francisco students.  


Faculty Spotlight: Stephanie Blanch:  Now that you recognize Ms. Blanch as a member of our community, here is a highlight of her path to St. Finn Barr!


Stephanie graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. There she also pursued Early Childhood Education and was an active member in theater arts and cultural dance troupes, and student mentorship programs. She also participated in the UC Education Abroad Program and studied in Rome, Italy.

She began her first teaching job at a private school in Redwood City where she taught Preschool and Kindergarten for two years. Stephanie then taught English abroad in Chile through a non-profit organization based at Harvard University. There Stephanie taught middle and high school students in the city of Valparaiso.

Upon her return to the United States, Stephanie started working for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and grew more passionate for teaching, especially about the Catholic faith. Stephanie also worked in after school mentorship programs in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco while also providing private tutoring in Math, Reading, and Writing for elementary and junior high school students.

In 2014, Stephanie became more involved in the Archdiocese as a volunteer, teaching assistant, and substitute teacher for various schools such as Holy Name, Saint Gabriel, and Star of the Sea. Stephanie then pursued her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Masters of Arts in Teaching at the University of San Francisco.  During her program, Stephanie student taught elementary and junior high school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Lakeshore Elementary. Upon completion of her Master’s degree in 2015, Stephanie continued tutoring as well as teaching within the Archdiocese. Now, Stephanie is very excited to be starting a new chapter in her life as the second grade teacher at St Finn Barr School!

Stephanie has a passion for the Catholic faith as well as for promoting diversity and social justice within education. She loves theater and visual arts, cultural dance, hiking, writing, and spending time with her loved ones, including her newly adopted dog. Stephanie also enjoys traveling, and after living in Europe and South America, her next stop is Asia. As a member of Saint Thomas More Parish since 2009, Stephanie has served as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector and has actively participated in its vibrant young adult groups.

Stephanie is truly thankful to be a part of St. Finn Barr Catholic School, where the community has welcomed her so graciously. She looks forward to giving only her best, as she heeds God’s call to humbly lead her students with compassion, hospitality, and stewardship.


Introducing, Brandie Green, USF School-based counseling intern: Each year we welcome a new counseling intern from the USF School-based counseling program. These members of our team work with specific students and teachers to provide the social/emotional support and insight that has such a huge impact on our learning. A brief snippet of information about Brandie:


My name is Brandie Greene, I am 24 years old and I grew up in Buffalo, NY. I moved to Syracuse, NY to study psychology at Le Moyne College. During my time at Le Moyne I helped co-create the club, Femfessionals. After that, I moved to San Francisco to study counseling psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. When I'm not doing schoolwork I love to go hiking, traveling to different parts of the West Coast, road trips, and learning how to cook!


Dorm Fridge needed: Does anyone have an extra dorm size refrigerator for our science lab? If so, please notify Ms. Jordan Heller at Thank you!  


Seeking Parent Facilitators for Enrichment: Our Fall Enrichment program is underway, but we are still seeking parent facilitators for two of our clubs -- Gaming Club & Outdoors Club. If you are interested, please notify Mele Mortonson at Terms/meeting dates/times are flexible according to your schedule!


  • Gaming Club: Last year, met weekly on Friday afternoons to create a supervised place for students to game together.


  • Outdoors Club: Weekend local hikes for students/parents.


Save the Date:

Oct. 14: Tuition Raffle Kick off

               Student Council Root Beer Float Sale (proceeds to Haunted House)


Oct. 31: Happy Halloween -- 12:30pm dismissal.

  • Halloween Costume Dress Up (Kid friendly costumes only please)
  • Costume Parade 12pm in the Schoolyard
  • Men’s Club Halloween Hamburger Luncheon $5 after school


Nov 1: All Saints Day Mass