A Letter from the Principal

We just concluded Catholic Schools Week, the annual celebration of Catholic Education. The theme this year was Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed, and we added our overall charism, “Communicate Christ”. The theme encompasses the core values of our school and it is these qualities that make Catholic schools succeed.

Celebrating Mass with students from St. Pius X School was a wonderful way to kick off the week. Each day we recognized two students and one faculty/staff member that excel in one of the major themes from Catholic Schools week and I know that they were so well received.

Our students experienced faith based speakers; Maggie Craig for female students and Colonel Manning for our male students. We included a service component and thanks to so many families, our homeless community in Hyannis will receive backpacks, warm socks and gloves. The Youth Street Reach team will deliver these to the next homeless breakfast.

As we enter the second semester, we are focused on assessing any curriculum improvements for the 2020-2021 school year. In my next Principals report, I will highlight the Pre-AP program which we will introduce for Grade 9 Biology and English.

Thank you for helping to make St. John Paul II High School the special place that it is.

ROAR LIONS!

Lions Fans, the winter sports season is a bit past the midway point of the season and we already have two teams that have clinched spots in the MIAA tournament.  The Girl’s Basketball team is currently 12-2 and undefeated in the cape and island league. The Boys Hockey team is 14-2-1, and having the best start to a season in the history of the program.  Swimming concluded their season this past weekend with the boys finishing in 5th place. Boys basketball has swept the season series with league members Falmouth Academy and Rising tide. Girls hockey remains unbeaten so far this year with two games remaining. Please remember the spring sports meeting is being held on February 24th at 5:00 P.M.. We look forward to seeing everyone the rest of the season and hoping for terrific end to the winter season.

Message from Guidance

“A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”
― John Paul II, Love and Responsibility

With the second semester in full swing, students will focus on maintaining their study schedules and continuing to practice good study habits.  If semester exam results or first semester grades were not what was hoped for, students should make adjustments in their study habits and spend time with teachers and peer tutors to improve results.

Midyear Reports, including seniors’ new transcripts and updated GPAs were uploaded to the Common Application. Seniors met with Mr. Tanguay at the end of January to discuss their college applications, and to encourage them as they make their college decisions. We regularly encourage seniors to search and apply for outside scholarships to help finance their college expenses. The bulletin board in the main hallway has a list of the scholarship awards some local organizations are offering.  This information is emailed to parents of seniors on a regular basis. Online scholarship search sites such as fastweb.com and collegeboard.com are excellent sources for free money. Your own town’s public high school and library may also have information regarding outside scholarships. Scholarship money is out there. Go get yours!

Freshmen reviewed their first semester report cards and discussed second semester strategies for continued, or improved academic progress. As always, students were encouraged to see their teachers for extra help sessions.  This “free tutoring” is a tremendous benefit of our school, and is a great way for students to achieve academic success.

During February, Juniors will continue meeting to plan and prepare for the SAT, and refine their college searches.  On February 12, at 7:00 PM, parents of juniors are invited to a Guidance Session on Standardized Testing

All students are encouraged to work closely with teachers to develop strategies for success in the second semester and beyond.  Regularly practicing good study habits and attending teachers’ extra help sessions will have a positive impact on students’ academic progress.

Guidance Activities:

February

2/12/20 – Junior Parents – Standardized Testing Session, 7:00 PM, Library

2/17/20  – 2/21/20  – February vacation.

Please feel free to direct your guidance questions to:

Mark Tanguay, Director of Guidance
mtanguay@jp.dfrcs.org

Maureen Hufnagle, Guidance Counselor
mhufnagle@jp.dfrcs.org

A Note from Campus Ministry

The last week in January is always reserved for the celebration of Catholic Schools Week. We began our celebration with a special Mass with our younger brothers and sisters at St. Pius X School in Yarmouth. It was a lively liturgy and a great opportunity to re-energize our partnership with St. Pius. We also continued our tradition of honoring students and faculty who embody what it means to be in Catholic schools, with special focus on the four themes of Catholic Schools Week 2020: Learn, Serve, Lead, and Succeed. We received almost 40 nominations from faculty and staff, all of whom live out one or more of these themes. In addition, our Student Council selected three teachers and two coaches to recognize for their commitment to our school’s mission of Communicating Christ. We also heard from two faith-filled speakers who shared powerful witnesses on what it means to be young men and women of faith in the modern world. Lastly, through the combined efforts of students, families, and staff, we collected a truly impressive amount of backpacks and winter clothing for Youth Street Reach.
It was our busiest, and most special Catholic Schools Week to date and in marking this important week in the life of our school, we have begun to cement traditions that contribute to the sense of community that makes our school such a special place. In February we anticipate the start of Lent, our weekly prayer services, as well as the planning stage for the upcoming Junior Retreat in March. The spiritual life at St. John Paul II is indeed alive and well in the New Year!

Student Life Update

Student Life was on a short hiatus for much of January as students focused on reviewing for and taking semester exams. The freshmen led a very successful bake sale during exam week, keeping our students (and staff!) energized during their work.
February and March will be full of fun events for students. Student Council will sell carnations to celebrate Valentine’s Day during the week of February 10. Send a flower to your friend and wish them a happy day! Student Life will really ramp up in March, with a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on March 4 and March Madness on March 13. March Madness is an annual tradition at JPII–an evening of fun and socializing with pizza, video games, board games, and ice cream. Look for more information about both events from your JPII Student Council in the coming weeks.

A Letter from the Principal

I hope that you had a blessed Christmas and some special family time.  As we begin a new year, I like to reflect on this past year at JPII. This year I challenged our students to “Communicate Christ” in all that they say and do.  I am pleased to say that I have seen so many examples of this through service to others, a caring and loving community and through our sharing of faith. 

The outpouring of giving and sharing to those less fortunate was evident through the work of our Ecuador travelers, annual Toys for Tots campaign, and Foster Children’s Breakfast.  Then there was the Street Reach team led by our seniors, who decorated, cooked and served breakfast and handed out clothing to over one hundred of our Cape Cod homeless. Each of our JPII students that take part in these Christian service opportunities has grown and been humbled through their participation.  They are living out our daily mission to “Communicate Christ”.

On the academic front, JPII students once again outperformed national and MA averages in SAT scores.  During our local PSAT/SAT day 50 out of 66 seniors improved their SAT scores in one or both subject areas.  On the college front, 92% of our seniors applied Early Action to 109 different colleges in 30 states plus D.C.  When students return to school on January 6, they will begin preparation for semester exams which will take place on January 14-17.

In the words of John Paul II, “I wish you a year filled with serenity and happiness: May you always be certain of God’s love for us.”  Thank you for entrusting us with your sons and daughters. I am so proud of each and every student at St. John Paul II High School. 

Guidance News *IMPORTANT DATES*

In his reflection on Sunday’s Gospel reading for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23) Bishop Robert Barron tells us of the primary role of the family.  Perhaps reflecting on Bishop Barron’s words is a good way for us to enter into a new year, and a new decade!

“The family is, above all, the forum in which both parents and children are able to discern their missions. It is perfectly good, of course, if deep bonds and rich emotions are cultivated within the family, but those relationships and passions must cede to something that is more spiritually focused.”

When everyone in the family is focused on God’s plan for their lives, the family is able to be a place where peace and love abide. Bishop Barron observes that “when something other than mission is dominant—a son’s athletic achievement, a daughter’s success at university, etc.—family relationships actually become strained.”

Bishop Barron concludes with a reference to St. John Paul II as he spoke of the family as an ecclesiola (a little church). “At its best, he implies, the family is a place where God is worshiped and where the discernment of God’s mission is of paramount importance.”

In each of our families, our little churches, may we work to discern God’s will for our lives, and may God’s will be done!

~ Guidance News ~

Returning from Christmas break, we have one week of classes prior to the start of semester exams. Semester exams take place January 14-17.  Teachers will be available for special exam study sessions prior to the exams.  All students are encouraged to attend these helpful sessions.

Guidance meetings for freshmen during January will focus on semester exam preparation and a review of the results of the PSAT 8/9.  Parents of freshmen, sophomores, juniors are invited to the Wednesday, January 15 PSAT Information Evening. During this meeting, we will review PSAT results, distribute the test booklets that each student used when taking the PSAT, and give out hard copy results. This meeting will take place in our cafeteria from 7:00 – 8:30PM.

Seniors are finalizing any remaining college applications and waiting for college decision notifications.  This can be a stressful time for seniors and their families. Please reach out to Mr. Tanguay and Mrs. Hufnagle with any questions or concerns.  As seniors finish their college applications and await results, they are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to help with college expenses.  The Guidance Office, local libraries and Fastweb.com and Collegeboard.org are good sources of information for outside scholarships.  Mr. Tanguay provides a list of scholarships through his regular emails to parents of seniors. 

January 17, 2020 marks the end of our second quarter marking period. Report cards will be prepared shortly after that date.

Guidance Activities:                               January

1/15/2020 – Understanding the PSAT – Parents of freshmen, sophomores and juniors are invited to this Guidance session for distribution and explanation of PSAT results. Cafeteria, 7:00 – 8:30 PM.

1/14/20 – 1/17/20 – Semester Exams

1/17/20 – End of Second Quarter Marking Period

Please direct your guidance questions to:

Mark Tanguay, Director of Guidance (mtanguay@jp.dfrcs.org)

Maureen Hufnagle, Guidance Counselor (mhufnagle@jp.dfrcs.org)

Winter Sports on Fire! A Note from Athletics

Lions Fans, the winter sports season is underway and even though it’s cold outside our winter teams are on fire… girls basketball has started the season 4-0, while our boys hockey team is off to their best start in school history winning their first seven games.  Currently, these seven wins are the most for any program in the state. Boys basketball won its first game of the season prior to the break vs Falmouth Academy and the swim program competed for the first time this afternoon and represented the Lions well.  We are very excited for our girls hockey program to kick off their seven game season on January 4th. We look forward to seeing everyone this winter season.

A Note from Campus Ministry

The Campus Ministry Office was a hive of activity throughout the month of December. Our Retreat Leaders faithfully planned and led three Advent Prayer Services for our school community, offering reflections on weekly themes of hope, peace, and joy. We welcomed Bishop da Cunha to our school for Grandparent’s Day and the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. His outstanding leadership, deep faith, and genuine joy provide an excellent example for our students.  Finally, we gathered as a school community to take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and reflect on the forgiveness of our Lord offered in the sacrament. Many tanks to our Chaplain, Father Chris, as well as priests from all over the Diocese for being there as confessors for our students and staff. Truly, December was filled with dedicated preparation for the coming of our Lord, and the continued strengthening of our spiritual life.

As we enter into the new year (and a new decade!), I hope we all take advantage of this season of fresh starts to re-focus and re-dedicate ourselves to our faith by deepening our own relationships with God through prayer; improving our relationships with others through kindness and mercy; and ensure that everything we do, we do it all for the greater glory of God. On behalf of the Campus Ministry staff, I wish all of you a very Happy and Holy New Year!

A Message from the Principal

I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Having just completed Mercy Week with daily prayer services and outreach to benefit our community, I feel so grateful for our students, families and this special school.  Father Ronan from Rostro de Cristo, who celebrated Thanksgiving Mass and our Ecuador send-off, asked each of our students to have gratitude for all they have in their life.  He emphasized that sometimes it is the little things that we take for granted. It was the first time since 2012 that we have celebrated Mass in the auditorium, and it was beautiful and so meaningful.  

In December our students truly demonstrate “Communicating Christ” through their actions.  The National Honor Society will be running their annual Toys for Tots Drive where students are asked to bring in a new, unwrapped toy or gift card for Cape children in need.  At the same time, we will collect non-perishable food items for the SFX Parish food pantry. The goal for this year is 400 toys and 400 food items.  

We are working with the Department of Children and Families hosting, “Breakfast with Santa” for 100 plus foster children on Cape Cod.  Pictures with Santa, a special Christmas gift, fun crafts and a pancake breakfast are planned. 

Also in the spirit of giving, we will be hosting the Youth Street Reach Christmas breakfast for the homeless in Hyannis.  Students will decorate, set up, cook and serve breakfast and visit with those less fortunate. Enjoying good conversation, receiving a warm coat and ordering what they want for breakfast is a highlight for so many that come.  

On the academic front, we recently held our in school PSAT/SAT day and 50 out of 66 seniors improved their SAT scores in one or both subject areas.  On the college front, 92% of our seniors applied Early Action to 109 different colleges in 30 states plus D.C. National Honor Society inducted 23 new members to Our Lady Star of the Sea Chapter.  

To warm your heart and soul, come to the Christmas concert on December 13th at 7:00 p.m.  You will be sure to be in the Christmas spirit when you leave.

JPII is a very special place, where students give of their time, talents and energy every day.  On behalf of our students, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Advent Season.