Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12

Strong Catholic Families - 
I hope that you enjoyed our first Family Night.  I loved blessing our Christmas tree. We hope to have another night before or at the beginning of lent. The Diocese of Sioux City has created a website with resources for teachers and families to use.  Please check out this website. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bonus Blog - December 2

I read this in the Seton newsletter and I thought that it was great!

The Iowa Core standards are statewide expectations for what students should know and be able to do in English, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Stud-ies, and 21st Century Skills, such as financial and civic literacy. The goal of the standards is to make sure students are prepared for college or career training after high school. The standards establish what students need to learn, but not how they should be taught. Local schools and educators continue to set and oversee decisions about classroom instruction.

Many emotions surround the term "Iowa Core".  The state recommends the following site to help parents have accurate information.

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21


We have a technology fundraiser coming up on December 5.  You received an email asking for volunteers and donations.  This week I would like to share with you how the technology meals and Cash for Classrooms (Gala) help our students and teachers.

In the past 4 years we have purchased:
48 laptops with two carts for the Garrigan building
11 Chromebooks for the Garrigan building
20 Chromebooks with a cart at Seton
11 Ipads for Seton
Each classroom at Seton has some form of an interactive whiteboard (Mimio or Smartboard)
Each classroom at Seton has a mounted projector
Updated approximately 25 teacher laptops
Added access points making both buildings wireless
7 new printers between the two buildings
This list does not include the yearly maintenance.

We hope to purchase:
Updated technology for the Mrs. Vaske business lab.  (24 laptops and software updates)
20 Chromebooks for grades 2/3
5 Ipads for grades K/1
20 Chromebooks for grades 5/6
Increased bandwidth to 100 mbs

You can come and eat even if you don't attend the game!  Thanks for your support!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 6

Hello again,
Congratulations to all of the fall activities.  I am so proud of how hard our students work both in school and outside of school.  Did you know that about 95% of BG students participate in an after school activity and over 85% of our students are in more than 2 extra-curricular activities?  Most of the students who are not involved in extra-curricular activities hold jobs or work for their families.  This makes me think twice when I say, "I am SO busy!"

Thank you to all of our students, parents, and community members who make it all work!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16

Today the administrators are in Irene, South Dakota at a Diocesan Retreat.  Usually we do not have internet access, but this year we are lucky enough to have it...or are we?  This week's blog is inspired by our recent work with Strong Catholic Families, many discussions that I have had with parents, and my struggle with "being unhooked" for two days.

We have the world at our finger tips, but how are we using it?  Are we creating balance in our lives?  Are we creating balance for our children?  I would like to encourage everyone who reads this blog to encourage others to shut down for a little bit each day, but more importantly to help our children have some time without electronics.  I am not writing this from the perspective of a perfect parent, instead quite the opposite.  My children watch too much TV and they are on the Ipad too much.  Let's commit together to help our children learn balance.  Are you aware how much texting your child is doing from 8:00 - 12:00?  Just look sometime and see what happens during those hours.  I would encourage you to take away the phones at night.  Help to give them permission to just tune the world out so they can slow down before another day begins.

Can a push a step further?  Can we challenge ourselves to turn off the TV, put down the electronics and talk about God?  As a parent,  I might need help with this.  One of our goals as a result of the Strong Catholic surveys is to help create a list of resources for parents to use at home.  Hopefully, we can have some ideas put together before Lent.

I am only beginning to experience how hard parenting can be.  It takes a village, but I for one, am glad that my village is BISHOP GARRIGAN!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October 4

Thank you to Erpelding Voigt for donating chocolate shakes on Friday.  What a great way to end the week!

This week the Department of Education and the Diocese of Sioux City will be in our buildings, Seton and Garrigan, for our 5 year accreditation visit.  I am so proud of who we are and I can't wait to share our successes with them.  

What do you want the state to know about Bishop Garrigan?  One question on the list is "Please share what changes you hope your school will achieve in the next five years."  How would you answer that question?  Feel free to post general comments or email me your thoughts.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Friday, September 26

Homecoming..what a great week.  There is nothing better than spreading black and gold pride across Algona.

Please encourage parents to ask questions via the blog.  I know that Mindy tries to answer questions that are posted on Facebook, but she does not always see the questions if BG is not tagged.  The purpose of this blog is to not only to keep parents informed, but also to answer your questions accurately.

Can I wear...?  I have decided that "out of uniform" days can be the most stressful days for our students (and parents).  I will be creating a quick reference page for students, so that they can stop stressing.  I really want them to enjoy these days, not dread them!

Mrs. Roether will be placing another Chromebook order soon.  Contact her tomorrow (Monday) if you would like to place an order.  She will not place another order until November 1.  There are still MANY questions regarding technology, so please post your great questions.

We are officially one week from our Site Visit by the Department of Education and the Diocese of Sioux City.  This visit will allows us to continue to be an accredited school by the state. There is a lot of paperwork, but we will shine in the end!

Enjoy the beautiful weather and remember to BE THE GOOD!

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19

Thank you to everyone who attended the Strong Catholic Families presentation on Wednesday evening.  I believe that Sean brought up some very interesting points that created quite a buzz.  Just remember that we are a partnership.  We hope to support you in any way that we can, so feel free to give some suggestions as to how we can help your family in their faith journey.

Next week:  HOMECOMING

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Well, I guess that I will have to give the students a pass on their homework because I did not get mine done on Friday!

Communication...What is too much?  Is it possible the we have too many ways to communicate with parents?  Remind101, email, Facebook, website, surveys, blogs, Twitter, phone, text!!!  I don't know if I have the answer to that question, but I will continue to say that I think that communication is so important.  Please spread the word that Mrs. Hough and I love to hear from you.  We can't always change things immediately, but we are listening.  New people bring new ideas, but parents and community members bring the best ideas.  If you have concerns or ideas, please share them with us.

Have a great week and as always GO BEARS!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014

Things are rolling here at our building!  I forgot to mention that Bishop Nickless LOVES the changes at Bishop Garrigan.  He was very complimentary of our representation of Catholic Identity.

Some people have been asking about the hot lunch Class Action lawsuit.  Follow this link to submit your request for reimbursement. All Bishop Garrigan families should apply under Bishop Garrigan, not Seton


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29

Creating a positive student culture is an essential part of every school.  This year we will be adding some programs for students.
  • Freshman Academy - A support system for freshman.  
  • Tuesday Assemblies - 15 minutes a week to present positive messages to the high school student body.  Mr. Bode is leading the efforts in this area.  We will talk about digital citizenship, how we treat each other, build school spirit and highlight some of the awesome activities that happen at Garrigan.
  • Digital Citizenship Program - Grades K -12 will learn about many aspects of online safety, appropriate use, and cyber-etiquette.
  • Keeping our "anthem" front and center.  BE THE GOOD...IT"S WHO WE ARE!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Can we still order a Chromebook?

The first order of Chromebooks came in today.  We will be ordering another set tomorrow.  We will try to order every two weeks, if the need arises.  Remember that the Chromebooks are back-ordered so it may take up to 8 weeks to arrive.  Email or call if you want to order ($350).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

We Made It!

Happy First Friday -
It feels so wonderful to have students back in the halls of Bishop Garrigan.  Thanks to the Parents in Action group for providing donuts and juice for the first day of school.  Has your child received a postcard?  Each 7-12 student will receive a positive postcard sometime this semester.  Watch for it in the mail!  

Supper Time Discussion:  What does this statement mean?  Be the good...It's who we are!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are we getting out early?

Question:  Is it possible that we will get out early due to heat?

Answer:  That is possible.  If we get out early there will be parish busing.  Please watch the website, listen to KLGA, or sign up for School Alerts at to receive all weather related news.  High school parents can also sign up for reminders via Remind101.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Seton Uniform Shirts

Question: Can Grades K-6 wear dri fit shirts?
Answer: Yes, Grades K-6 may wear black or gold dri fit shirts. Black dri fit are available in youth sizes. Gold are only available in adult sizes. You may still have to wear the gold cotton shirts in the youth sizes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Junior High - Drop Off and Pick up

Bus - All students will be dropped off and picked up at the main entrance.
Cars - Parents may still drop their students off at the north junior high door.
Pick-up for appointments - Students need to check out in the office and be picked up at the main entrance. Parents do not need to come into the building.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sweatshirts/Lockers - JH/High School

Question:  Can students were sweatshirts during the day?
Answer:  No.  Only fleeces purchased at Diamonds may be worn during the school day.

Question:  Can students leave lunches or healthy snacks in their lockers?
Answer:  Yes

Monday, August 4, 2014

Question from JH/High School Parents

Question 1:  How do I ask a question on this site?
Answer:  Just click on the comment/no comments button at the bottom of this post.

Question 2:  Is there a school supply list for freshman?
Answer:  There is not a school supply list for high school students.  We will have a jeans day to collect Kleenex.  Other supplies will be determined by your child.  Some students choose to use folders with paper while others use spirals.

Question 3:  When is open house?
Answer:  Monday, August 18th
Seton - 4:30 - 5:30
Junior High - 5:00 - 5:45
Groundbreaking Ceremony - 6:00 on the west lawn

Question 4:  Can students bring their own device such as a laptop?
Answer:  Yes...stay tuned for more details

Questions answered by Mrs. Peterson

Who has questions?

Mrs. Hough and I have noticed that many parents are calling, emailing, or posting on Facebook with similar questions.  We want to be able to quickly reach parents who have similar questions.  We will continue to send mass emails from the office, but this might be a quicker and more efficient way to communicate.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bring Your Own Device

This concept seems to be of interest to many people.  The tech staff and I have been exploring this option.  As of now, we think that we can schedule a time in August for students to bring their device to library so that we can install a printer and an anti-virus program.  It should work!  I will keep working on this.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday's Questions

Q:  What is the purpose of this?
A:  Students are using more technology in the classroom.  They are submitting papers and collaborating with classmates via GoogleDocs, watching short video clips and responding, using websites for practice and gathering information.  The integration of technology is changing and growing every day, so this is a tough question.

The purpose of offering this that parents often ask what I would purchase my child (Ipad, Ipod, laptop, Kindle, etc.)  We just wanted to make you aware of what we will be using and offer a way to make it easy for your child to use a personal device at school.

Q:  Can my child bring something else like an Ipad, Ipod, or laptop?
A:  Yes!  The convenience of having a similar device is that teachers can help problem solve and are familiar with the technology that we own.  Your child's teacher will not be expected to know how to use your personal device.  (In the past I can say that passwords have been the major problem.)  Ipods would not be a good choice for grades 7 -12, but may be used in some situations.

Q:  What grades will be using Chromebooks (electronic devices)?
A:  Grades 4 -6 will mainly be using the Chromebooks in a large group setting.   Grades 7 - 12 are using the technology on a more individual basis.

Q:  Should I buy a Chromebook for a younger student?
A:  I would wait.  We will order again closer to Christmas, so you can wait and see how much your child uses the technology in their classroom.  Of course, if you don't have a computer at home this would be an inexpensive option.  Also, if your child tends to be impatient or uneasy when might want to get them their own.  

Q: What if don't purchase a Chromebook and we don't have technology that our child can bring to school?
A:  They can use that we have available.  It is not a big deal.  Just like anything in life it is sometimes nice to have our own, but sometimes learning to share is a valuable life skill.

Enough for today.  Look back on Monday!!  I think you can make comments on this page, so feel free to keep the questions or comments coming!!