April 2015

posted Mar 27, 2015, 7:47 AM by Matt Belsterling

March 25, 2015

Dear Parents,


April begins with the most solemn week of the year as we remember Jesus’ Passion and Death – but it ends with the joyful celebration of Easter!  With the whole church, we celebrate His triumph over death and join in the Alleluia!


CALENDAR:  School is closed on April 1 through April 6.  We will open at the normal time on Tuesday, April 7.


SACRAMENTS:  On Saturday, April 18, there is retreat for eighth graders to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, which they will receive in the fall of ninth grade.  Our second graders have a retreat on Sunday, April 12, and   will have practice for First Communion on Wednesday, April 29.  They will receive the sacrament on Sunday, May 3, at the noon Mass.  Please keep these children in your prayers as they prepare for these special events.


TERRA NOVA TESTS:  Students in grades K through 8 will take the Terra Nova tests the week of April 13.  It is very important that your child be in school and on time.   Students perform much better on the tests when they take them in the normal, structured testing environment.  We make every effort to minimize noise and movement throughout the school on these days and there are fewer distractions.    And, it is very important to see that your child has plenty of rest and a good breakfast.


ANOINTING MASS:  On April 21, the parish will host an Anointing Mass for those members of the parish who need the sacrament. The Mass will be held in our gym and students in 4 through 8 will attend.  The eighth graders will then serve lunch for our guests.


NIGHT AT THE RACES:  The races will be held on Saturday, April 11.   This is always a fun evening at a very minimal cost.  I hope many of you will attend the evening or, if you can’t make it, please support it by buying a horse or two!


TALENT SHOW:  Mrs. Maloney and Mrs. Faber have been working with the students for their performances on Friday,  April 17, 7:00 p.m.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!


Other April notes:  Easter Egg Hunt – K-3rd , 4/7

                            Raffle w/cake – 4/17

                            Spring Dance – 6th-8th, 4/25.

Blessed Easter,

Mrs. J

March 2015

posted Mar 3, 2015, 6:04 AM by Matt Belsterling   [ updated Mar 3, 2015, 6:05 AM ]

March 2, 2015

Dear Parents,

Somehow February slipped away from me with delays and cancellations.  I apologize for the lateness of this letter!


SPRING PICTURES:  Students may wear their favorite outfits for these pictures – either dress up or down in clothes appropriate to school.  The pictures are tomorrow, March 3.

FIRST RECONCILIATION:  Our second graders will receive the special graces of First Confession on Wednesday, March 4.  Please remember to say a prayer for these little ones for this special event.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS:  All students in grades K-8 are participating in this special Lenten observation.  Father Mike has arranged for separate booklets for the younger students (K-4) and he is leading them for us as his schedule permits.


The PTG has arranged a program by a professional STORYTELLER about an Irish girl named Fiona.  Students in grades K-4 will attend the presentation on Monday, March 9.

CONFESSIONS for all students in grades 2 through 8 will be on Thursday, March 12.

Students in grades 5 through 8 will participate in science activities on the PITT MOBILE SCIENCE LAB on Monday, March 23.  You will see the large van in our lot – it’s very impressive inside.

All students in grades K-8 will receive special lessons on JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT DAY, Friday, March 13.  The classes are conducted by students from Duquesne University and always enjoyed by the kids.

Students in grades 5 and 8 will take the ACRE test of knowledge on religion during the week of April 16.

Our very successful Forensics Team will have a FORENSICS FAMILY NIGHT on Wednesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m., in the school chapel.  This will give parents the opportunity to hear the pieces the students presented in competition.  Anyone who is interested in hearing these performances is welcome to attend.


Parents and others who are interested in volunteering in the school or parish are reminded that they must be in compliance with the diocesan Safe Environment Policy.  The policy requires registration on the Safe Environment Database, acquiring Child Abuse Clearance, and attendance at a Protecting God’s Children Workshop.  Our DRE, Meghan Reidy, will present the workshop on Wednesday, March 18, 6:30, in the school chapel.  If you plan on attending, please call the Faith Formation office to register, 412-561-0101.

Tuition is due in March 10.

Market Day pick-up is March 17.

Don’t forget to support the fish fry, every Friday of Lent except Good Friday.

HOLY WEEK:  School will be closed on April 1 through the 6th.  On April 1, the teachers will be attending a retreat.  April 2 and 3 are Holy Thursday and Good Friday, two of the holiest days of the church year.  Please consult the parish bulletin for the schedule of observances of these days and make every effort to attend with your children.  These special days lead us to a greater appreciation of the miracle of Resurrection and, with the universal church, we proclaim Christ’s triumph over Death.
Alleluia!  He is risen!  Alleluia!

The faculty and I extend our wishes for a blessed, happy Easter!

God bless,

Mrs. J

February 2015

posted Feb 2, 2015, 5:16 AM by   [ updated Mar 3, 2015, 6:05 AM by Matt Belsterling ]

January 31, 2015

 Dear Parents,

 Thank you to everyone who helped with the events of Catholic Schools Week.  Fortunately, this year the weather cooperated enough that nothing had to be cancelled.  The kids seemed to really enjoy the week as well!

 On Monday, February 2, some of our alumni who attend Seton-LaSalle High School will be bringing lunch for our 7th and 8th Graders.  They will talk with our students about their high school experience.

 PJAS:  ON Saturday, 2/7, Mrs. Laird will be taking a group of the 7th and 8th graders to the regional competition of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science.  The students (and Mrs. Laird!) have put a lot of time into their experiments and presentations.  Good luck!

 DRESS DOWN:  Students may dress down – red and white, I hope – for a donation to the American Heart Association on Friday, February 13. 

 VALENTINE PARTIES:  Also on Friday, the 13th, classrooms will have parties from 1:30 – 2:30.  This is a change from the original date of the 12th because the half-day scheduled on that date was cancelled.  It just seemed to make more sense to finish the week this way.

 ATHLETICS:  Eighth Grade recognition will be held between games on Saturday, February 14 – probably between 5:30 and 6.  I hope many of you will join us in recognizing our eighth grade athletes and their parents.

 LENT:  There will be Mass and Distribution of Ashes on Wednesday, February 18, in the gym at 10 a.m.  We will have meatless lunches on that day and through all the Fridays of Lent.

 FISH FRY:  The first fish fry will be held on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent, except Good Friday.  This year, the parish has designated the fish fry as a school fund raiser to help us offset our budget fundraising requirement.  Please help in any way you can – working, donating baked goods, or attending. 

 Other February events include the second grade church tour on the 23rd and our final Forensics Meet on Saturday, 2/28.  Our team has had a good season – thank you, Mrs. Jackson!

God bless,

Mrs. J

January, 2015

posted Jan 14, 2015, 5:28 AM by Matt Belsterling   [ updated Jan 14, 2015, 5:31 AM ]

January 13, 2015

Hi Parents,

I wanted to give you a run-down on the events planned for Catholic Schools Week this year.  

Sunday, Jan. 25:        
    Opening Mass at 10 a.m. at the church. 
            We are asking that ALL families attend this special Mass.  
            There will be a special reward for good attendance.
    Open House 1-3
    Spaghetti Dinner 3-7

Monday, Jan. 26:      
    Mismatched Dress Day
    Book Fair

Tuesday, Jan. 27:     
    Special Guest Luncheon 
            Details and RSVP follow
    Book Fair

Wednesday, Jan. 28:
    Day of Service
    Radical Reptiles Assembly

Thursday, Jan. 29:
    4-8 Conferences; no school 4-8
    Winter Carnival for grades K-3
            Wear red and white.

Friday, Jan. 30:          
    K-3 Conferences; no school K-3
    Rockin’ Jock for grades 4-8
            Wear “class” color

No wonder the kids look forward to this week every year!

God bless,

Mrs. J

December, 2014

posted Nov 26, 2014, 6:40 AM by

November 26, 2014

Dear Parents,

 This “last” Wednesday of the month has really come quickly!!  And December promises to be so busy that I’m sure that one will be on me even faster.

 In December…

 Don’t forget to support the school by eating some really good food at Gianna Via’s restaurant, Caste Village, on Monday, the 1st.

 Santa Workshop is Friday, 12/5.  You will be sent envelopes for your child’s purchases.  The kids really enjoy the grown-up experience of choosing and buying gifts for special people.   Breakfast with Santa is the next day and that is always a very popular event.

 There will be an all-school Mass in the gym at 10:00 on Monday, December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and a Holyday of Obligation.  You are welcome to come and pray with us.  Students in 3-8 will have Confession on 12/18.

 And Christmas Programs abound…

            Band Concert, 7:00 p.m., 12/16 at Saint John Bosco           

            Preschool 4, 10 a.m., 12/17, chapel           

            Preschool 3, 10 a.m., 12/18, chapel

            Grades K-8, 1:30 p.m., 12/19, gym

If you plan to attend the K-8 program, you may take your child/ren immediately following the performance.

School will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 12/23 , for the Christmas break .   We will reopen on Monday, January 5.

 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I hope to see many of you at the Turkey Shoot this weekend.  

 God bless,

Mrs. J


posted Oct 29, 2014, 8:24 AM by

October 29, 2014


Dear Parents,

 It’s hard to believe that we have completed the first quarter already.   Report cards have been sent home and parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for November 3 and 4.  Now we are looking forward to the arrival of Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and the formal anniversary celebration on November 15.  I hope that many of our school families will join in the Mass celebration at 4 p.m. on that day.  It’s not every school that can boast of a Cardinal as a graduate!

 CALENDAR:  Please remember that you were sent a revised yearly calendar and there were some changes from the one sent in May of last school year.  For November, there is still an early dismissal on Wednesday, November 26, at 11:30.  There is no school on November 27 and 28 and December 1 for the Thanksgiving break. If you no longer have the revised calendar, you can still check specifics on our website.

 TURKEY SHOOT:  Our annual basketball tournament is held on Thanksgiving weekend.  This is a very popular event and also the time when both our Spirit Squad and Little Dribblers will perform.  The Athletic Association will send a schedule home in the next few weeks for these very special activities.

 PICTURE MAKE-UPS:  The photographer will return on Tuesday, November 18, to take pictures of the students who were absent for the first session – and, of course, for our three year old preschoolers.

 CHROMEBOOKS:  In September, the diocese allotted us some funding to purchase Chromebooks for our 7th and 8th graders.  Thirty-four of them and a charging station were delivered this past week and we are looking forward to have them up and running shortly.  We are waiting for the installation of a broadband wireless system that will allow the machines to be used at full capacity.  The equipment was delivered and that should happen sometime soon!  

 Some exciting new developments have been happening in recent weeks!  Father Mike met with the members of the Advancement Committee of the school and this group, with Father, is developing a five-year plan for our future.  To further Father’s mission to ensure Catholic education at our parish, he has hired Yvonne Creehan as Director of School Advancement.  Yvonne’s father-in-law, husband, and sons are all graduates of our school and she brings a multitude of skills from her business education and experience.  Yvonne will work closely with Father and me to keep the strategic plan on track.  Also, the Advancement Committee will be the nucleus of an Advisory Board for the school. 

Also, I have to tell you how proud I am of our children!  As part of our anniversary year, we invited some of the parish seniors – those 80 years old and over – to lunch to say thank you for their years of supporting our parish and school.  Over 60 attended and they were overwhelmed by the graciousness of our children, who made placemats and welcome cards, served the luncheon, and entertained our guests.  Thank you notes have been arriving every day and they all mention the great job the kids all did.    One of our guests wrote, “The best part was seeing the children of Saint Anne’s School.  We left the school feeling very proud to be members of the Saint Anne community.”

 Thank you, Rudy Richtar, Michelle and Russ Logan, Lynn and Kevin Keyho, Rich Unger, and Nick Waskiewicz!  Our Golf Outing promises to be a very successful fundraiser for the school.  We haven’t received the final bill from the country club yet, but we know it raised over $10,000.  And, it was a really nice event as well!  Our golfers certainly enjoyed the day and the dinner was excellent.

 Thank you, too, to Colleen Reyes, Becky Laverty, and all the workers who made the Fall Family Night so special.  The children are still talking about the fun they had! 

 The faculty and I extend our wishes that you have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. 

“I thank my God for you every time I think of you;

and every time I pray for you all,

I pray with joy…”

                                                Philippians 1


God bless,

Mrs. J




October, 2014

posted Sep 24, 2014, 10:55 AM by

September 24, 2014

 Dear Parents,

 Fall already!  It will be a pleasant relief for our children to have the building cool down a little.  We have been fortunate that there weren’t TOO many really warm days and the children have been great about coping with the ones we have had. 

 EARLY DISMISSAL:  All grades, preschool through 8, will be dismissed at 11:30 on Friday, September 26, for a teacher in-service. 

 In October…

 Picture Day is Wednesday, October 8.  You will receive the order forms from the studio.  Students are permitted to wear DRESS CLOTHES for these pictures.  Please, no elaborate hairstyles or ornamentation.

 Volunteers:  Anyone who wishes to volunteer in the school or parish must:                 

            register on the diocesan database,

            submit a completed Child Abuse Clearance application, and

            attend a Protecting God’s Children Workshop.

This workshop will be offered here at the school on Thursday, October 9, 6:30 p.m.

 No school on Monday, October 13.  The teachers will be attending an in-service.  This is also the day of our Golf Outing at Valley Brook Country Club.  If you don’t golf, you certainly can still join us for a wonderful dinner that evening.   This is a very important fundraiser for the school and your participation is important to its success.

 The October Raffle – with cakes – is Friday, October 17.

 Bishop Zubik will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on parish ninth graders on Tuesday, October 21, at 7p.m.

 Fall Family Night is Friday, October 24.  The PTG will be sending out info about this very special party – so start planning your costumes!

 Report Cards will be distributed on Tuesday, October 28.  You are reminded that you can always check your child’s progress on Option C.  There should be no surprises.  Conferences will be held on November 4 and a request form will be sent with the report card.

 Classroom Parties are on Friday, October 31.  The children may dress down on this day – but their dress needs to include orange or black!

 Other notes…

 We are very blessed to again have a pastor who is a strong advocate of Catholic schools and who genuinely enjoys our children.  Father Mike is very committed to the school’s mission and to its future.  

 Thank you for your support of our recent Dress Down to sponsor Father Lang and the Love Walk for the Poor.  Our donation of $325 has been given to our local conference and will be used to meet the needs of people in our community.  Father Lang, in a note to the children, wrote, “May God bless your generous spirit.”

 Have a wonderful fall – enjoy the beauty that God surrounds us with during these weeks!

 God bless,

 Mrs. J



posted May 7, 2014, 6:51 AM by

April 30, 2014

 Dear Parents,

 And so it is May… and as you can see from the calendar, it’s a very busy month!

 SCHEDULE:  There is an early dismissal on Friday, May 9.  Also, there is no school on Tuesday, May 20.  There will be voting in the school on that day.  Teacher conferences are scheduled for that day and Terra Nova tests will be given to you at that time – IF THEY HAVE ARRIVED.  And, of course, no school on Memorial Day, May 26.

 SECOND GRADE:  The first week of May is a very important one for our second graders.  They will celebrate a Seder with Rabbi Mahler on Thursday, May 1, and the next day is their all day retreat.  All of the school children have chosen to receive First Communion on Sunday, May 4.  Please pray for these children as they celebrate this special day in their lives.

 BAND:  Our band students will participate in a combined band with students from Saint Sylvester, Saint Gabriel, and Brookline Regional and on Wednesday, May 14, this band will travel to all four schools. They will be at Saint Anne that day at 1:45.    This combined band will also hold an evening concert on Thursday, May 15, at Saint Sylvester.

 OPEN HOUSE: We will host another open house for people interested in registering in our school.  Please ask friends who may have expressed an interest to come and meet us on Sunday, May 18, from 1 to 2:30.  You might also remind them that next year we are offering full day preschool for four year olds and we do have all day kindergarten.  You are our best ambassadors!

 BIG RAFFLE: The raffle will be held on Thursday, May 22.  It is a “Chinese Auction” style raffle where the students choose which bag they will put their tickets in.   Last year, we had nearly 100 different prizes and the students really enjoy this event!

 ATHLETIC BANQUET:  The Athletic Association will hold the sports banquet on Sunday, May 18, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  All students who participated in any of the sports programs this year will be guests of the Association.  Family members may attend for a minimal cost.

 PICNIC:  K-8 students will attend the all day picnic at South Park on Friday, May 23.  You will receive information and the required permission forms in May.

 EIGHTH GRADE:  Our eighth graders and Mrs. D. have been visiting the Gracious Living Nursing Home located on Willow Avenue almost every month this school year.  Their last trip will be on May 7th.  This has been a wonderful experience for our students, who play games, do crafts, or just visit with the elderly residents.    The residents love to see the students and we hope to continue this partnership for many years.

 Also, the eighth grade will have a final Mass and their graduation on Wednesday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. at the church.  Please join us as we pray for these students as they prepare to move on to high school.


                        Ascension Thursday, May 29, Mass, 9:00 a.m., gym

                        Eighth Grade trip, May 30

                        Preschool 4 Closing Program, June 4, 10 a.m., gym

                        Kindergarten Closing Program, June 5, 9:30 a.m., gym


THANK YOU:  Thanks to everyone who worked or supported our Night at the Races and the Vera Bradley Bingo.  The races netted $5,440 and the Bingo netted $7,971.  Proceeds from both these events will be used for technology upgrades for the 2014-2015 school year.

 REMINDER:  Tuition should be paid in full by May 10.

 God bless,

 Mrs. J















posted Mar 26, 2014, 10:13 AM by   [ updated Mar 27, 2014, 7:45 AM ]

March 26, 2014

 Dear Parents,

 Happy Spring!  Now all we need is spring weather to be here and stay.

 IMPORTANT:  If you have not yet returned your registration for next school year, please do so as soon as possible.  We are beginning the process of ordering books and materials and those numbers are the basis for the orders.

 Also, tuition should be paid in full by May 10.


 EASTER VACATION:  Wednesday, April 16, is a full day.  Students will be off beginning on Thursday, April 17, through Thursday, April 24.  This extended vacation allows the faculty to attend the NCEA Convention, which is in Pittsburgh this year. 

 MAKE-UP DAY:  Because of weather closings, we will have school on Friday, April 25.  If there are no further unplanned disruptions to the schedule, this day will give us the time to meet the state mandated hours and we will be able to close on June 6.  I know that a few families took advantage of the planned long vacation and will be out of town on this day.  I certainly understand that changing travel plans can be expensive. 

 STATIONS OF THE CROSS:  Every Friday, the eighth graders lead the celebration of the Stations for the students in grades 4 through 7.  These eighth graders are doing a wonderful job in sharing this practice and you are welcome to join us in the chapel.  They will be at 8:30 this Friday and at 12:30 on the 4th and 11th.

 TESTING:  Students in all grades will take the Terra Nova tests on Tuesday, April 1, through Thursday, April 3.  Please make every effort to have your child here, on time, following a good breakfast.  Children tend to do better on the tests when they are in the normal classroom setting and on the normal testing schedule.    If absence is unavoidable, there is some time allotted for make-ups but your child will be removed from the class to complete them.

 SPRING PICTURES:  The more casual spring pictures will be taken on Tuesday, April 15.  Students may “dress down” on that day – although clothes should be appropriate to school.  Also, students are permitted to bring some object (favorite stuffed animal, ball, etc.) for inclusion in the photo.  Siblings can be taken together but parents should send a note on the day if that is desired. 

 TWO IMPORTANT FUNDRAISERS:  Don’t forget to sponsor a horse and get tickets for our Night at the Races on Saturday, April 5.  This is a really fun evening for very low cost!  I hope to see you there.  At the end of the month, April 25, we will have a Vera Bradley Bingo.    I didn’t realize the hype this event would cause – but it looks like the ladies will have a great evening.

 Proceeds from both these events will come to the school and offset the costs for some exciting new plans for technology that are in the works for next year!  Please support these events.

 ATHLETICS:  Thank you, Coaches, for a very exciting basketball season – and more trophies!  We all appreciate the many volunteer hours you give for our students.  Thank you, Mr. Waskiewicz, the Director of the very successful Miracles in March Tournament.  Thanks to the Board and to all of you who were able to give your time to the program this year. 

 Please join us as we celebrate a Lenten Mass on Wednesday, April 16, 9:10, in the gym.  On Thursday, we begin the Triduum and remember the events of Jesus’ last days.  The times for the parish observations can be found in the church bulletin and I encourage all of our families to attend.  It is in the observations of Holy Thursday and Good Friday that we come to fully appreciate the miracle of Easter.

Have a blessed Easter!

 Mrs. J











posted Feb 25, 2014, 1:14 PM by   [ updated Feb 25, 2014, 1:20 PM ]

February 26, 2014

 Dear Parents,

 The end of February is full of activity – JV Girls and Varsity Boys playoff games, Talent Show, the opening of the Miracles in March Tournament – and all of that before March 1.    Good luck to our athletes and to our talented performers!

 MARCH CALENDAR:  We have an early dismissal on Friday, March 21, at 11:30 a.m.

 SECOND GRADE:  The second graders will go on a church tour on the afternoon of March 3.  This will give these little ones a chance to see the confessionals before their big evening on March 11.  Please pray for these children as they receive the Sacrament of Penance for the first time on 3/11.

 LENT:  Lent begins on Wednesday, March 5.  There will be an all school Mass with the distribution of ashes that morning at 9:00 a.m.  Because the ashes are a reminder to turn away from sin and repent, they are only distributed to those who have or will soon receive Reconciliation – grades 2 through 8. 

 Also, just a reminder – the Saint Anne Fish Fry begins on Ash Wednesday and will be held every Friday in our gym throughout Lent.  This is a great way to support the parish that is so generous to the school!

 REPORT CARDS:  Report cards will be distributed on Tuesday, March 25.  If you would like to speak to a teacher, please send a note or call the office and she will get back to you.

 ACRE TEST:  The ACRE test of knowledge of religion will be given during the week of March 16.  These tests are given to students in grades 5 and 8.

 JA DAY:  On March 14, students from Duquesne University will conduct Junior Achievement classes in all grades.  The DU students and ours really enjoy the experience. 

 MOBILE SCIENCE:  The University of Pittsburgh Mobile Science Lab will be here on Tuesday, March 25.  Students in the upper grades will engage in real world lab investigations to explore the world of microorganisms in a program called “Living with Bugs”.   The lab is that big truck that will be parked in our lot for a day or two around that date!

 MIRACLES IN MARCH:  For several years now, Mr. Nick Waskiewicz has directed this very popular tournament for Nativity and then St. Katharine Drexel Schools. This is a MAJOR undertaking and he has generously offered to continue that tradition here at Saint Anne.  Many hands are needed to keep the program at its previous high quality.  If you can help, either with your time or your cooking or your baking, please let him know,

 THANK YOU:  We have had many volunteers in the past month – Catholic Schools Week events, the Presidents Day Tournament, the basketball program, forensics – thank you all.   The students really look forward to all these events and we honestly couldn’t do it without you!

 I hope to see many of you at either a game or the Talent Show in the next few days.

 God bless,

Mrs. J












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