December 5, 2023
As the first week of Advent begins, I pray that you and your family are experiencing the hope of this
season. This is a busy season with many school events, and the students are looking forward to the
Christmas break which will be here soon. Today, I wanted to share an update about a few important
things that have been happening on campus.
Play Space Update
The beautiful green space is now ready for students to use! Following the Thanksgiving break, the
students have been using the new play space for their recess.
Yesterday, we received word from the playground company that our playground has not shipped yet.
The company stated that the structure is taking longer to build due to the high number of playground
orders. The company has promised to communicate as soon as the structure has been shipped. Once I
have received word that the product has shipped, I will share that with our families.
Following the confirmation that the structure has been shipped, the next step will be to confirm the
installation of the structure. The installation will include the playground flooring, play structure,
sunshade, and gaga pit. I enjoy seeing our students use the field, and I am excited to see the completion of the play structure.
Music Program Additions
Due to generous donations from a previous Fund-A-Need for the arts, 2 beautiful pianos have arrived
to campus. Additionally, we have purchased a rolling stand for the xylophones, metallophones, and
glockenspiels. This allows for students in both music rooms to use these great instruments.
Campus Safety Update
Due to a federal grant called GAPS funding, our school has been able to upgrade our security.
When visitors come to campus, they are now asked to login using SchoolPass. Volunteers and visitors
will receive a printed visitor badge that has a photo as well as a clearly printed label with the
individuals name, intended location, date, and time.
Additionally, the school has been upgrading the camera security system. At Holy Family, an audit
identified blind spots as well as cameras that were no longer working. Over the past few weeks, many
of the new cameras have been installed. The project is not completed yet, but during the next few
weeks, the final cameras will be installed.
The cameras will now be combined on one network which can be monitored by designated staff to
support the safety on campus. The cameras capture the movements of individuals on campus. The
security team has access to the cameras to monitor the campus in real-time, and recorded
footage can be used to identify people and/or cars if needed.
The installation of a badge swipe system throughout the campus has been scheduled too. This will
allow faculty and staff to gain access into the different buildings at Holy Family. This project will be
November 9, 2023
Last Friday evening, after I got home and put my children to bed, I had a little bit of time to quietly reflect on my day. I was honestly speechless and filled with gratitude. The entire day was filled with little moments of blessings, and it took me time to be able to describe the beautiful moments that I witnessed throughout our day together. Today, I thought I would share a few of the highlights from Friday:
In the Hope Building, students wrote the Our Father in many of the languages that are spoken in Africa. The display created a visual reminder that regardless of the language that we speak, we all pray the same prayer to the same God.
During the Cultural Fashion Show, it was great to see so many students proudly parade through the pavilion. I enjoyed watching siblings walk together showcasing their clothing with pride.
At the spirit rally, the students practiced saying hello in multiple languages. The sounds of bonjour, привет (privet), hola, and 你好 (nǐhǎo) echoed through the pavilion.
All these moments happened before the Taste of the World event, which was one of my favorite parts of the day.
In my opinion, food unites people. There is something special to share a dish with another person, whether you are enjoying something yummy or making something special. I really enjoyed tasting the dishes from each country that was present. The dishes were made and shared with love. I also enjoyed listening to stories, seeing photos, and looking at the different saints from various countries.
To all the families who shared, thank you. To all the families who came, thank you. I was deeply humbled to see our community come together to celebrate the beautiful gifts that each person brings to Holy Family. I hope that this will be the start of a new celebration!
Thursday, November 2, 2023
Over the past few weeks, I have witnessed so many amazing examples of collaboration on our campus. I am so thankful to see the witness of loving service from our families, faculty, and staff.
Earlier this month, the Eucharistic Rally for students in grades 6-8 was a beautiful day for students across the diocese to experience the love of Jesus. This day ran smoothly thanks to the parents who organized, set up, and served.
For the Eat-N-Treat, I was so thankful to see the collaboration between the Parent Association, the Holy Family clubs, and the Savio athletics and clubs. With the weather, everyone was so flexible. The event was a great success, and I heard so many happy students who enjoyed hot dogs, games, and candy.
Yesterday, there were beautiful moments of collaboration across the campus as everyone helped build special memories for our students on the Solemnity of All Saints. Thank you to the parents who helped with the sixth-grade Saint expo, decorated heaven in kindergarten, and ran the second-grade stations.
Tomorrow is another opportunity to collaborate! The hallways are filled with research about different countries, and the students are all excited about tasting the delicious dishes tomorrow night. I hope to see many of our families celebrate the beautiful cultures that form our Holy Family Catholic School community at the 1st ever Taste of the World event.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above” James 1:17
Last week, students brought home their individual MAP scores for the fall test. The test is used to measure a student’s learning progress over time, and it also provides information regarding the skills that a child is ready to learn.
As a school, we have the ability to review our scores in comparison to the national average as well as the diocesan average. The graphs compare the fall scores from the students at Holy Family with the mean (average) in the Diocese of Austin and the Nation for each grade level that takes the test.
The MAP test is the same test that all schools use in the Diocese of Austin. The MAP test is taken three times per year, and the next tests will be taken in January.
As you can see from these bar graph illustrations, at Holy Family, every grade level in each content area is performing above the National levels and at or above the Diocesan levels.
The Math and Reading MAP tests are given to students in grades 1-8.
Math MAP Mean Scores Fall 2023
Reading MAP Mean Scores Fall 2023
Language MAP Mean Scores Fall 2023
Science MAP Mean Scores Fall 2023
Next week, I will share more information about the schoolwide fall MAP scores.
October 5, 2023
“Where the Rosary is recited, there will be days of peace and tranquility.” St. John Bosco
As we begin the month of October, we begin our month-long focus on Our Lady of the Rosary. On Monday, the students joined to pray the Rosary in the pavilion. The students in 7th and 8th grade sat in a circle on the ground as the other children sat around them. As one student prayed the Our Father or Hail Mary, the student released a balloon into the air. Slowly, our prayers and the balloons on a string went up toward the heavens.
I am excited to share that our second-grade class has taken on a special initiative this month. They are inviting one family each night to pray the Rosary as a way of ensuring that this beautiful prayer is offered every evening throughout October. This initiative is a wonderful example of how our school community is continuing to build a Christ-centered culture.
As we continue to celebrate the Month of the Rosary, I encourage all of our families to take some time to pray the Rosary together at home. Parents are also invited to join other parents in praying the Rosary on Friday after the school day starts. Praying the Rosary is a practice that can strengthen our bond as a school community and deepen our connection to Our Lady of the Rosary.
If you have any questions or need guidance on how to pray the Rosary as a family, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated staff, who would be happy to support you.
May Our Lady of the Rosary intercede for us and guide us in our journey of faith.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Saint Mother Teresa
I am not a runner, but I love watching cross-country races. There is something special about watching a runner make the last turn in a course. Often, when the runner sees the finish line in the distance, a sudden burst of energy propels the athlete forward. In the face of exhaustion, the runner pumps her arms and gathers speed as she pushes through to the end.
This past weekend, Holy Family hosted the Angel Invitational. It takes so many volunteers to help make the event a success. The parent volunteers and coaches began setting up on Friday night, and the final volunteers wrapped up their responsibilities long after the last runner crossed the finish line.
The campus was filled with people to support this event including the Angels 4 Life who ran the concession stand, the student council, and the cheerleaders rallying the athletes, the parents, and so many of our teachers who came out to enjoy the race.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make the Angel Invitational truly a community event, where we came together to do something great!
There are many other events on the horizon in the next few weeks. From the Spirit Night (9/29) to the Balloon Rosary for Life (10/2) to the Supper with Sisters and Jesus (10/6), there are so many opportunities to come together as a Holy Family community.
For more information on all our upcoming events, please visit the school calendar: Calendar - Holy Family Catholic School
A message from Holy Family Catholic School (HFCS) Principal, Erin Vu
"Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”
St. Francis de Sales
During the 2023/2024 school year, our school will focus on walking with Mary. It is exciting to share that
we will spend time reflecting on different titles and images of Our Lady. Mary has appeared throughout
the world to specific people at a specific time. This year, we will highlight one Marian title per month as
we learn about the message that Mary shared and reflect on how her message connects with us today.
I invite you to join us in our reflections this year as we walk with Mary toward holiness. Each month,
please visit the Grace Building to see our new image of Mary and be on the lookout for reflections about
Mary under the title for the month.
While she has appeared all over the world, she has come with one purpose: to bring us closer to Jesus.
Mary is our mother too, and this year, we will look to our mother in the hope that we too can magnify
God through our life. We will ask Mary to pray for us as we walk with her on the path to holiness.
Over the last two weeks, there have been many exciting things happening on campus! The month of June has been a time for preparations for the 23/24 school year. Yesterday, pallets of textbooks arrived which are ready to be sorted and brought to the classrooms. I hope you are enjoying the time off with your families, and you continue to be in my prayers during the summer.
Andrea (Andie) Masanda, April Morley, and I have begun to meet and collaborate in preparation for the fall. In addition to redesigning our leadership team, we have also been working on preparations for the new school year including the new mentor program for all new faculty and staff.
Reminder: Office Closed
The school office will be closed beginning Monday, July 3. The office will re-open on Thursday, July 20.
Last week, Mrs. McGrath announced that she will not be returning to Holy Family in the fall and has decided to go back to school. We wish Mrs. McGrath well as she continues her education.
Over the last few weeks, the hiring committee has continued to interview and hire new faculty and staff who are mission driven. We have already hired several new people, and I will highlight the new personnel in the next update on July 7.
The current faculty openings are for the following:
Kindergarten Teacher- still accepting applications
Third Grade Teacher- still accepting applications
Fourth Grade Teacher- still accepting applications
ELA Teacher- still accepting applications
Math Teacher- still accepting applications
The current staff openings are for the following:
Receptionist-interviews in process
A committee of parents, teachers, and staff have worked together to design and recommend a design for the play space behind the Charity Building. The recommended design includes a play structure, gaga pit, walking path, open field, irrigation, and picnic tables.
Over the past month, we have been working with companies to secure the final bids for the design. More information about the timeline for the completion of the work will be shared once in July.
I am sorry that we did not meet our initial date for sharing the survey data. We are working on reviewing the information with representation from the advisory board and parents, and we will share the information by the end of July.
Reminder: School Supplies
Once again, Mrs. Walker is ordering and coordinating the school supplies for your children. Here is a message from Mrs. Walker regarding the school supply order:
Holy Family Catholic School will be ordering the 2023-2024 school supplies in bulk again this year. By doing so, we are continuing to take advantage of the cost-saving opportunity to purchase all school supplies through one vendor and have them delivered directly to each classroom in bulk.
It has been a great start to the summer as we continue to prepare for the new school year!
May 26, 2023 Newsletter
On Tuesday, we said goodbye to our 8th grade students at our Commencement Ceremony. Our celebrant for the Mass was Fr. “Mac” McMillan. During the Homily, Fr. Mac gave an example of how he was unexpectedly asked to give the Anointing of the Sick to a man just before coming for the Mass. This meant that he took an alternate route to the Church via Hutto.
Fr. Mac invited the students to consider the unexpected moments as opportunities. He asked that we allow God to work through us when we choose the path that presents itself and not necessarily the path we originally intended to take. As our 8th-grade students begin their high journey, I hope they take the path that God presents even when it may be unexpected.
As we conclude our school year, I hope that your paths this summer bring peace and rest. I hope that all our families will take time to be present to one another this summer. No matter where your travels take you, I pray for your safety and health.
On a practical note, this newsletter does contain the summer reading information. Additionally, some families have asked about IXL (K-4), Mathletics (5-8) and Lexia (K-8). These online programs are available to the students throughout the summer through your child’s Holy Family login. The programs can be found in their “MyApps.” These programs are a great way to continue building skills throughout the summer, and the skills are tailored to your child’s present learning level. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions about these online resources.