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Dear Holy Spirit Prep family,
Happy Advent! We're in the midst of a season of hope and joy, and I certainly feel both after this November at HSP. I was proud to see the record-breaking attendance we had at this year's Grandparents and Special Friends Days, when family and friends came to campus to celebrate Mass and spend some time with our students. The investment our families make in our school and in our students is so important to our students' formation. I'm proud to partner with each of you in the development of your children.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the success of our fall play this November. Under the direction of Tommy Curtin, the Upper School's Performing Arts department tackled A Man for All Seasons, a timely play about the martyrdom of St. Thomas More that tackles questions of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. I continue to be impressed by the talents of our students, who tackled serious subject material with gravitas and skill.
We have a number of performances ahead of us as we await Christmas this Advent season. Tonight, 4th-12th grade will celebrate the Advent season with a traditional Lessons and Carols concert, singing hymns and reading Scripture that outline the promise of the coming Messiah. Next week, before we dismiss for the Christmas holiday, our Preschool and K-3rd grades will have their time to shine at their respective Christmas concerts. I'll hope you'll join us for one or several of these events!
The holiday season is always a time for generosity, and I'm proud of the number of charitable drives happening on our campuses, most of them led by our student apostolates, those after-school clubs dedicated to service. This week, St. Joseph's Cohort will send ambassadors to Kentucky to drop off the fruits of its Appalachian Christmas Drive, which collects gifts for underserved children. At the Lower School the House of Chalcedon is sponsoring a coat drive for the students at the Solidarity School. The ONE apostolate is packaging hygiene kits for the guests of a local homeless shelter, and the Preschool is collecting gifts for children in partnership with the Missionaries of Charity. Our students truly embody our motto, "to serve and not be served."
With the year coming to a close, there are several opportunities for year-end giving. The primary gift we ask of our families, is, of course, a gift to the Annual Fund. We intend to raise $540,000 in pledges and gifts, and have already seen 93% participation from our families. You can make a gift online.
It is my hope that every qualified HSP family will participate in the GOAL Scholarship tax credit program by December 15. Families can redirect up to $2,500 of their state taxes to HSP scholarships, and LLCs can redirect up to $10,000 of their state taxes to HSP's scholarships. We support 32 qualified and very deserving students this way. Pledging your tax redirection takes just a minute or two on GOAL's website; please do so now.
Before Thanksgiving, I sent you an email reminding you that we will begin processing enrollment transactions for the 2017-18 school year in the next few days. Because our school operates under a continuous enrollment system, no additional paperwork is required to maintain your enrollment for 2016-17; it will automatically renew. If you have questions about enrollment for next year, or want to change your payment options, please contact Debora Brown at email@example.com.
We have also just announced our key operational and sacramental dates for the 2017-18 school year. You can review those dates here.
Yours in service,
P.S. I expect another excellent season from our Cougar basketball teams as they make their way towards this year's state tournament. Take a look at our athletics schedule for upcoming home games and plan to cheer on the talented boys and girls of varsity Cougar basketball. C-Pride!
The GOAL Scholarship program is essentially free philanthropy for HSP, a tax credit approved by the state of Georgia.
The state of Georgia permits taxpayers to redirect some of their state taxes through the Georgia GOAL Scholarship program to a private school of their choice. You are asked to make a payment to GOAL in March 2017, and the state of Georgia returns the money to you in your tax credit for your 2017 tax return. With these funds, Holy Spirit Prep is able to provide tuition assistance to 32 qualified students.
If you pay state taxes, either through your payroll deduction or a personal check with your tax filings, you qualify to participate. Individuals, partnerships, LLCs, S-Corporations and C-Corporations all qualify for this tax credit.
Our Goal for GOAL
It is our hope to have every qualified HSP family participate in GOAL by December 15, 2016. Our goal for GOAL is to secure $650,000 in pledges from our families.
Last year, the demand for this tax credit across the state was so high, that only 66.3% of each pledge actually went to the school of the pledger's choice. If you pledged $1,000, the state only allowed you to contribute $663. This year, we expect the same 66% pro-rating. Please keep that in mind as you make your pledge, and be generous in redirecting your state taxes to deserving HSP students!
If you have any questions, please contact the school's GOAL coordinator, MaryLynn Llop, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following dates are the key operational and sacramental dates for the 2017-18 academic school year.
Download the 2017-18 Key Dates
We asked students, parents, and teachers to open up about why they chose HSP and why they continue to choose HSP year after year.
On Monday, December 5, Holy Spirit Prep updated its online family directory (accessible via PlusPortals under the Directory heading) to include contact information for every family. Previously, families had to opt into the directory.
The initial opt-out period has closed. If you prefer not to include your contact information in our PlusPortals family directory - mailing address, email addresses, and phone numbers - you may still complete the Opt-Out Form.
You can also update your contact information on file with the school through PlusPortals. Click on your name in the top right corner of PlusPortals and select "Edit Demographics."
Enrollment transactions for the 2017-18 school year have begun processing. Because our school operates under a continuous enrollment system, no additional paperwork is required to maintain your enrollment for 2017-18.
Families seeking financial assistance need to submit a regular, updated financial statement, linked below.
Log in to PlusPortals to view 2017-18 tuition rates and payment schedules. Once logged in, click on "School Announcements" in the header menu to view.
For students currently enrolled under the one-time payment per year, the business office will process your payment in the same week of December as last year, but no later than January 1, 2017.
If you wish to change to or from the one-time payment per year, please send written notification to Debora Brown at email@example.com prior to January 1, 2017.
Please note that your required first payment for the two- or ten- payment plan will process the same week it did in 2016, but no later than February 1, 2017.
It is important to keep your payment information with the school current so that your students’ tuition payment is processed. Any tuition plan chosen but not met will automatically default to the next available payment plan.
Financial aid funding for 2017-2018 is limited and will be allocated to current families on a rolling basis as financial aid requests are received. Therefore, if you wish to apply for financial aid, please complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) of School and Student Services (SSS) as early as possible but no later than January 11, 2017. Need-based financial aid information is available here. Any questions regarding financial aid may be directed to Kelly Sickafoose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families expecting to withdraw from the school can access details on that process here.
The prayer intentions below have been compiled by the volunteers of Connections for Women and Cougars Care. Please consider adding the following intentions to your prayers:
Junior varsity boys, varsity girls, and varsity boys established winning streaks in their second game of the season against Bethlehem Christian last Friday, December 2. JV closed the 4th quarter 69-51, while varsity girls and boys took decisive victories with final scores of 42-17 and 59-37, respectively.
Come cheer the Cougars on at an upcoming home game!
Their upcoming home games include:
Friday, December 9 vs. Cristo Rey
Saturday, December 10 vs. Milton High, McEachern
All games start in the Upper School gym with JV at 4:30pm, varsity girls at 6:00pm, and varsity boys at 7:30pm. On December 10, varsity girls start at 3:00pm; boys start at 4:30pm.
Little Cougar Basketball
For Girls and Boys
in Holy Spirit Prep School Kindergarten, Pre-first, 1st and 2nd Grades
and/or Holy Spirit Church Parishioners in Grades K-2
Start Date: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Location:Holy Spirit Preparatory School Lower School Gym (4820 Long Island Dr.)
Registration Deadline: Friday, December 16th 2016
Registration is ONLINE ONLY: Click Here to Register Online
Download the December enrichment newsletter
Preschool Christmas Concert
Coffee at 8:30am in McDonough Hall
Concert at 10:00am in St. Mary's Chapel
The Preschool is having a Christmas drive for the Missionaries of Charity, who serve families throughout the metro area. This year, they have an extra 100 children who need to be served. If you would like to sponsor a child, please visit the Angel tree in the Preschool hallway to pick a name, then come by the Preschool office for the information packet. Be sure to drop off gifts at the Preschool the week of December 12, so we can get these items to them by Christmas. Thank you so much and have a blessed Christmas season!
Progress reports will go home in tote bags on Wednesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 15.
Lower School report cards for the second quarter will be released on Tuesday, December 27. Report cards will be sent to parents by email.
This year, the Lower School’s House of Chalcedon is sponsoring a Coat Drive for all the students at the Solidarity School. With each $30 donation that we receive, a coat will be purchased on your behalf for a Solidarity School student. Please consider giving the gift of warmth this season and make a Solidarity School student’s Christmas extra special.
All you need to do is visit the front lobby at the Lower School, pick an angel gift tag from the Christmas tree and give your $30 donation and angel gift tag to Mrs. Maranville (front office) before December 14. The coats will be purchased on your behalf and given to the Solidarity School students at their Christmas performance on December 15.
Any Lower School student that purchases a coat will be allowed to go with the 5th grade to the Solidarity Christmas Concert on the morning of December 15.
Next week your student(s) will have the opportunity to take care of all of their Christmas shopping at Santa's Secret Store. This store, located in the loft area of the cafetorium, is a chance for HSP’s students and families to shop for all their loved ones and come home with them wrapped and ready to put under the tree.
A shopping list will come home this Friday, December 2nd, to be filled out with whom they will be shopping for and their shopping budget. There are a variety of items available, ranging in price from $2.00 to $50.00, and items covering everyone - dad, mom, grandparents, siblings, and everyone else on the list, including the family dog. The money will be collected on the day your child visits the shop, so please send in their payment with their shopping list. All checks should be made payable to HSP with "Santa's Store" in the memo line. Below you will find a listing of all the shopping days for each class.
Oh and here’s the best part: students aren’t the only ones that will be able to shop! You can shop at any time during the day Friday, December 9th. So please come start your Christmas shopping or finish up with us. We have some awesome stuff this year!
Jump to the shopping days schedule and photos
-Kiley Nardelli and Jamie Neff, event co-chairs
Shopping Days for Secret Santa Store
Monday, December 5th
Kindergarten, Pre-1st, and 3rd grade
Tuesday, December 6th
2nd grade and 1st grade
Wednesday, December 7th
4th and 5th grade
Thursday, December 8th
Friday, December 9th
K-3rd Grade Christmas Concert
Who: K-3rd Grade, plus the Elementary Chorus and Orff Ensemble
Time: Wednesday, December 14, 6:30pm
Place: Lower School cafetorium
It is that special time of year when our K – 3 students are preparing their hearts for Jesus through song in the performance of an annual Christmas concert. All family and friends are welcome to attend.
On the night of the concert, all K-3 students, Elementary Chorus, and Orff Ensemble performers should arrive to school by 6:00pm and go straight to their homerooms. The cafetorium doors will open at 6:00pm.
Kindergarten and Pre-1st: wear angel costumes.
Grades 1, 2 and 3: wear Sunday best or nice Christmas clothes.
Character Performers: character headpieces are provided.
Elementary Chorus and Orff Ensemble members: wear red shirts, black pants, dark shoes.
I look forward to seeing you at the concert!
Sew Fun Studios
Upper School report cards for the first semester will be released on Tuesday, December 27. Report cards will be sent to parents by email.
This week, the ONE apostolate holds a toiletries drive, in the form of a homeroom competition, to collect the supplies needed for our Santa sacks (treat sized bags of toiletries and candy), delivered to the Christmas celebration at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception's Night Shelter. We hope to collect enough supplies for 100 bags (one for each resident) of the shelter.
We're asking your homerooms to collect the following items:
Chalcedon: bars of soap
Nicaea: hand sanitizer
Trent: toothbrushes and tooth paste
ONE will provide breakfast to the homeroom that brings in the largest number of individual items. The final count is due this Friday, 12/9.
ONE is also collecting men's socks for the drive. They can be dropped off in the faculty work room at the Upper School.
From Monday to Wednesday, students may stay until 3:05pm for optional tutorial sessions or be dismissed early at 12:30pm. For students that stay for tutorial, lunch will be provided. If your student is leaving at 12:30pm, please make sure to send an email notification to email@example.com. As always, telephone calls are not accepted as a means for early dismissal. If you send an email after 12:00pm the day of an early dismissal, please know that it will not be received until 1:00pm.
On Thursday and Friday, students will be dismissed at 12:30PM and no lunch will be provided.
Final exams will start on Monday, December 12 and continue through Thursday, December 15. Review day for E and F periods will be on Thursday, December 8; for the remaining periods, Review Day will be on Friday, December 9. The exam schedule for this year is as follows (listed by period):
You are invited to join us on Monday at 10:45am for Mass to celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Preparing for Exams
Please make sure that your student brings a good, substantial snack; a water bottle; two #2 pencils; and a calculator (if applicable) during final exams. Students need to be at school on time as the first exam starts at 8:00am. If a student arrives past the start time, he/she will run the risk of not being able to take the exam that day and need to make it up at an alternative time.
The first exam each day starts at 8:00am and the second exam starts at 10:45am. Students taking exams on the regular schedule will be dismissed at 12:30pm and students taking exams with extended time will be dismissed at 12:45pm. There will be tutorial from 1:05pm to 3:05pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Tutorial is optional, but recommended for students that need teacher support studying for final exams. Lunch will be served for students staying for tutorial, but not for students leaving at 12:30pm. The tutorial schedule is as follows:
Please note that tutorial times are assigned to these specific periods. Only students from that period will be allowed in classrooms, as we want teachers to be able to devote their undivided attention to the students that belong to that class. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation on this.
Winter House Day
Students will have Winter House Day on Friday, December 16. Please note that all students will be dismissed at 12:30pm on Thursday, December 15 and Friday, December 16. There will be no lunch service on these days.
Junior High vs. High School Exams
This year, 8th grade students will take a quarterly final exam in each class, which will include material studied during the last nine weeks of school (2nd quarter). The exam will count as a regular test grade, not a final exam grade. The idea is to have them experience a cumulative exam before they start taking final exams in 9th grade. During final exams week, the 7th grade students will take a test that will include the last two units studied in their classes and will count as a regular test grade.
For high school students, exams, as always, will last an hour and a half. Exams count as 20% of their final class grade.
In Case of Illness
If your student is sick during final exams, please email the Front Office at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Your student will need to take the exam when school resumes in January.
With any questions, please contact Jocelyn Sotomayor at email@example.com.
December 15, 2016
HSP 5th-8th Graders, chaperoned by House of Trent faculty.
$20 from House of Trent leadership during lunch and after school; $25 at the door. Includes 2 hours of jumping, sky socks, 2 slices of pizza and a drink.
Parents must sign waivers before students can jump; these are available at school and at the door.
Students will be responsible for their transportation to and from this event.
A special Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass will be celebrated at 10:45am on Monday, December 12. Hot chocolate and churros will be served during lunch in the Holy Spirit Prep cafeteria.
Vouchers will be sold by Spanish Club members December 1-9 for poinsettias for the Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass. Students, parents, and faculty may make a purchase in honor or memory of a loved one. These poinsettias will be placed on the altar before Mass begins. Students/faculty may take their poinsettias home after the Mass. Poinsettias cost $7.00 and all proceeds will benefit the children at Montana de Luz HIV/AIDS orphanage.
Please join us in celebrating this special mass. Students may see Mrs. Askins if interested in participating.
All parishioners are invited to the annual Celtic Christmas party on Saturday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m. in McDonough Hall. The concert/dinner this year is in gratitude of our ministry leaders and volunteers and, as such, will be free of charge. However, donations will be accepted.
Enjoy a family friendly evening of Irish, Southern and Traditional Christmas Songs presented by Harry O’Donoghue and Carroll Brown at the Annual Celtic Christmas party. In addition, all ministry leaders will be recognized for their service during the 5:30 p.m. Mass prior to the Christmas party. This year's Parish Christmas Party and Concert is hosted by Holy Spirit's Knights of Columbus. Please RSVP online.
All Holy Spirit parishioners are invited to attend Centro Católico’s celebration of the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monday, December 12th. The festivities will get underway at 6:00 p.m. and last until midnight. Gather a group of friends to attend Mass and celebrate Mexican fun, food, native dance, and mariachi music with the parishioners of Centro Católico del Espíritu Santo.
*All activities will take place outside in the parking area surrounding the Mission. You can come and go as you please, but we will need an RSVP so we have a count for food and for those who might want to ride the shuttle from the Holy Spirit Parking lot.
Enjoy a fun-filled evening of fun on Wednesday, December 14th, for our 3rd Annual “Caroling on the Quad.” A pizza and salad dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. in McDonough Hall, with a Living Nativity and caroling beginning at 7:15 p.m. on the HSP Quad. A festive dessert will also be served. You don’t want to miss out on this popular Holy Spirit tradition. Please RSVP by Monday, December 12th. There is no charge for dinner.
**Volunteers are needed to make this event a success. Please sign up here if you are able to help.
All Kindergarten children are invited to join our Angel and Shepherd Choir on Christmas Eve at the 4:30 p.m. Mass. Children are required to RSVP on the website and attend a mandatory dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 17, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Church. A parent is REQUIRED from each participating family to volunteer for the dress rehearsal or for the Christmas Eve Mass. For additional information, please contact Clara Olguin.