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Parish: 233-3092 | School: 232-5290 | Faith Formation: 232-3514 | 2900 Hoover Avenue, Ames IA

PRINCIPAL NOTES – January 25, 2019
New School Tuition Rates 2019-2020
Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, St. Cecilia School will be changing school tuition to a flat rate. The Catholic rate will be $3000 per student, regardless of in or out of parish status or number of students per family. The non-Catholic rate will be $6239 per student. (Please note that the wrong revision of this letter was sent home as a paper copy in your child’s Friday folder. It did not include both Catholic and non-Catholic rates.)

Why the change?
While officially a local decision, it has been strongly recommended by the Archdiocese that every Archdiocesan school eliminate their multi-student discount. The reason is that STO is intended to meet the needs of families with multiple children enrolled, and schools do not need to duplicate this in their tuition structure. The St. Cecilia Catholic School Board believes that the tuition structure at St. Cecilia, which determines tuition based on a family’s self-reported income, also replicates the work of STO. For this reason, the board has decided to move forward with a flat rate. This rate is consistent with other schools in our area that share a similar population and demographics with St. Cecilia School.

Why now?
Beginning this year, STO has established a higher threshold for families that qualify for an STO scholarship. In past years, families needed to have a taxable income under 300% of the poverty rate to qualify for STO funds. For the 2019-2020 school year, qualifying incomes have increased to include taxable income up to 400% of the federal poverty rate. As an example, a family of four making approximately $100,400 could qualify to receive STO. Families facing a potential increase in tuition at St. Cecilia will ideally have that tuition increase offset by increased availability of STO funds. In regards to eliminating the out-of-parish rate, in the recent past only a handful of students have registered for school at St. Cecilia with the out-of-parish designation. There are several schools throughout the Archdiocese that charge a similar or equivalent rate for in- vs. out-of-parish students.

What next?
STO is open from now until April 15th. We have STO help sessions scheduled at the school on February 28th from 3:30-5:00, March 12th from 2:00-7:00, March 13th from 2:00-3:30, April 10th from 2:30-3:30, and April 11th from 3:30-5:00. In addition to these dates, staff is available any time by appointment to help families complete STO applications. Families will know by the end of May of their STO awards. Families applying to STO are also invited to apply for our local Tuition Scholarship to supplement STO awards received. If you are a family who will be paying less in tuition as a result of the tuition change, it is strongly encouraged that you donate at least a portion of those savings to the local Tuition Scholarship fund. For example, if families budget 5% of their income to tuition, a family making $40,000 per year budgets $2,000 for tuition, while a family making $100,000 per year budgets $5,000. If there is a gap between your budgeted cost and your actual cost, please consider donating that surplus amount to the Tuition Scholarship fund. You will see a line on your tuition contract to facilitate that donation. Catholic education has been, since its beginning, a place where all students can find equity and justice in learning regardless of financial need. Catholic social teaching demands that we care for these families, especially in our own community, to ensure that all who desire a Catholic education for their children are able to provide them with that opportunity.

Please contact Sara Rooney at 515-232-5290 with any questions or to set up an appointment to discuss tuition.

In Christ,
The St. Cecilia Catholic School Board
Sara Rooney, Principal

FACTS Tuition & Fee Processing
Dear Parents:

In preparation for the upcoming school year we are making plans for improving the content and quality of our programs while increasing efficiency in the office. In a review of our operations, we have been studying our method of managing information.

Since the stability of our school and the quality of its programs are of the utmost importance, we are always seeking ways to make improvements to benefit everyone. After much research and investigation, we have contracted with FACTS Management Company for our tuition and fee processing. We are excited to be working with them and are confident these changes will lead to better efficiency in managing our information as well as our finances.

FACTS is one of the country’s leading technology companies serving more than 10,000 K-12 schools globally. They currently serve all of the schools in the Archdiocese of Dubuque with their financial aid assessment service. We want to leverage their technology and security to optimize our resources.

We will communicate with you the changes you can anticipate and a timeline. We expect this to be a smooth transition and hope you understand why we made these decisions. We believe the immediate benefits will far outweigh the challenges of change and that our school will be in a better position for having made these decisions. Our commitment to excellence is unwavering and we greatly appreciate your trust in us to provide an outstanding education to your children.

Sara E. Rooney
(These two letters have also been printed back-to-back and placed in your youngest child’s Friday folder.)

Catholic Schools
Learn. Serve, Lead. Succeed.
“The mission of the Catholic schools is the integral formation of students, so that they may be true to their condition as Christ’s disciples and as such work effectively for the evanelization of culture and for the common ground of society.” -Holy Father Pope John Paul II, May 30, 1998
Please see the attached Catholic Schools Week flyer from the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

FACTS – Student Tuition Organization
The Our Faith, Our Children, Our Future School Tuition Organization (STO) and St. Cecilia School are pleased to once again provide tuition assistance ot qualifying families. New this year is families whose 2018 taxable income is at or below 400% of the federally determined poverty rate may qualify for an award. STO funds are only available for K-12th grade students. St. Cecilia School has made arrangements to pay the $31 fee for all families to apply. Please see the attachments for more information, including deadline information and help sessions date and times. Please call the school office with any questions or concerns.
3_FACTS Parent Flyer-Tax Documentation2019_English (1)
5_STO FAQs for Parents_2019


Sara E. Rooney, Principal
Family School Association (FSA) News
Catholic Schools Week 2019 – Sunday, January 27 to Saturday, February 2
Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.
During Catholic Schools Week we focus on these areas while providing activities for the students. Attached please find the agenda and review it closely for the daily events. Here are some of the highlights:
Sunday, January 27: 11am-1pm St. Cecilia School Open House & Pasta Lunch (social hall) and 1 pm Student Talent Show (m/p room)
Monday, January 28: 2:15pm All School Rosary
Tuesday, January 29: 2:15 pm Staff & Family Talent Show
Wednesday, January 30: 9am All School Mass followed by Ames Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and reception and 1pm Sister Water Project Assembly
Friday, February 1: 2:30pm Kids Heart Challenge Assembly followed by CSW Assembly
Sunday, February 3: 1-3pm Cardinal Gymnastics Academy presentation and open gym
Catholic Schools Week 2019

FSA Trivia Night-January 25th
The St. Cecilia Family School Association Presents TRIVIA NIGHT. FSA will use the funds raised at this event to provide events and other needs for the school and students of St. Cecilia School.
Date: January 25th, 2019
Time: Doors open at 6 pm with questions starting promptly at 7 pm.
Place: Ames Golf & Country Club 5752 George W. Carver
Form your team & reserve your table today. Everyone is welcome to the trivia night. It is a benefit to your team to diversify your team. Limited to 20 teams.
Price: $12.50 per person (8 players max per team) or $75.00 minimum per table for fewer than 6 players (Prizes will be given to the two teams with the most points.)
Bring Cash or a check made out to St. Cecilia FSA. No outside beverages can be brought into AGCC, however AGCC will have beverages you can purchase. You can bring in snacks to share with your team.
Contact Angela Carl at 515.357.7140

5th Grade Pasta Lunch – January 27th
All are invited to attend the St. Cecilia School 5th Grade Pasta Lunch on Sunday, January 27 from 11-1 in the Social Hall. This is a benefit for the fifth grade class, parent sponsored, year-end field trip to Omaha. Free will donations.

Staff & Family Talent Show – January 29th
St. Cecilia School Staff and Family Talent Show: Calling all St. Cecilia staff and families. Its now your chance to share your talents. The Staff and Family Talent Show will be held on Tuesday January, 29th at 2:15. Please use this link to sign up

Number Hunt Fun – Due January 31st
Here’s a number hunt activity that is fun and informative. Find as many answers (all are whole numbers) as you can, and turn in this sheet to the school office by noon on Thursday, January 31. All participants
will receive a prize. Have fun hunting with family, friends, and classmates.
Number Hunt 2019 (1)

Wrap Up Catholic Schools Week at Cardinal Gymnastics Academy – February 3rd
All are invited Sunday, February 3rd from 1-3PM at Cardinal Gymnastics Academy. Have some fun with your St Cecilia friends, siblings and parents after a great Catholic Schools Week! Jay and Mary Ronayne, and their son Jack, have again graciously offered to host our St Cecilia School family for this event. Jay is the Iowa State Head Gymnastics coach, Mary, the Director of Gymnastics Operations at ISU, and Jack, a preschool student at STC School. The event will begin with members of the ISU team showing their skills, and an opportunity to ask them questions, followed by open gym time for all to experience the different areas of the academy. There is no cost to attend the event; however a parent must accompany their child(ren). The attached waiver is needed for each child and adult to participate. Waivers can be filled out and brought with you, and will also be available at the door. All children 17 years of age and younger will need a waiver to participate, and any adult accompanying their child on the gym floor need the adult waiver, see attachments.
Check out the Cardinal Gymnastics Academy website for more information on what services they provide:
Cardinal Gymnastics Academy is located in Beyer Hall on the ISU campus. Our building is on Union Drive. Enter the building through the front doors that are located directly under the Skywalk. Go up the stairs to 2nd floor and follow the hallway to the gym. (You will pass CGA offices and see signs for I-State Gymnastics).
Parking information: University lots are free on Sundays. The lots closest to Beyer Hall are Lot 2 (West of Beyer) and Lot 3 (Northwest of Beyer).
Questions on the event? Contact Lisa Weary: 480-4936 or
Open Gym Waiver Cardinal Gymnastics
Adult Agreement Waiver Cardinal Gymnastics

St. Cecilia Gala 2019 – February 9th
“For the Greatest Kids on Earth”
Register at
New this year! Fixed bidding items are available NOW via sign-up genius. Sign-up to participate in this year’s amazing events. You don’t need to attend Gala to sign-up.
Pay by check made out to St. Cecilia Gala, dropped off or mailed to St. Cecilia School, or if you are attending the Gala, we can just add it to your bill.
Campus Cycle Fun-Raiser
Golf 101 “Fore” Ladies
Wine Tasting at Cellar 626
Day on the Farm
First Strike Tennis Event
Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

Panera Bread will start breakfast deliveries January 30th! Stock up on your Panera gift cards and make your mornings a little easier. Through SCRIP Panera offers Physical Gift Cards, eGift Cards and Reloadable Gift Cards for 8% rebate towards your school or Faith Formation tuition.

St. Cecilia FIRST Lego League Teams Shine at State Competition
Congratulations to both of the Lego League teams that competed last weekend at the State FIRST Lego League Championship at Iowa State University. The Galactic Labradoodles made a great showing in the All-Around Competition. The Super Peeps 2.0 placed in the top three at the Global Innovation Competition and are now eligible to apply to be one of 20 teams worldwide to present their Hug Shirt project at the Global Innovation Summit this summer.

School Events:
Friday, January 25: 6pm FSA Trivia Night
Sunday, January 27: 11am-1pm St. Cecilia School Open House & Pasta Lunch (social hall) and 1 pm Student Talent Show (m/p room)
Monday, January 28: 2:15pm All School Rosary
Tuesday, January 29: 2:15 pm Staff & Family Talent Show
Wednesday, January 30: 9am All School Mass followed by Ames Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and reception and 1pm Sister Water Project Assembly
Friday, February 1: 2:30pm Kids Heart Challenge Assembly followed by CSW Assembly
Sunday, February 3: 1-3pm Cardinal Gymnastics Academy presentation and open gym

Other Opportunities:
Knights of Columbus – Ames Area Spelling Bee
The local Knights of Columbus will be hosting the annual Ames Area Spelling Bee on Sunday, February 3, 2019, for students in grades 4 through 7.
Key information:
– Free to all Ames-area 4th-7th grade students.
– Registrations due by Wednesday, January 30.
– Spelling Bee at 2pm on Sunday, Feb. 3, at St. Cecilia Church, 2900 Hoover.
– Entry form, word lists, and additional information available at:

St. Cecilia Mission Statement
St. Cecilia School, an educational ministry of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, is a Christ-centered educational environment. We offer students opportunities to develop self-discipline, individual academic excellence, cultural awareness, and a commitment to lifelong service.