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

PRINCIPAL NOTES – September 28, 2018

Greetings –
The Internal Revenue Service has proposed new regulations that would limit the federal deductibility of individual donations to School Tuition Organizations (STOs) in Iowa. Donors to the STO program currently receive a 65% state income tax credit and can deduct the entire amount of the donation on their Federal return. STOs use those donations to give out tuition grants to qualifying families, allowing them to afford tuition at an Iowa nonpublic school. Under this proposed IRS regulation, donors would only be able to deduct 35% of their donation on their Federal return. This proposed rule is a huge disincentive to STO donors. When donations to STOs go down, the ability of STOs to help families is drastically reduced.

Nearly 11,000 students from lower-income and working-class families receive financial assistance through the STO program each year. Nationwide, STOs serve more than 250,000 students in 18 states. If this regulation goes into effect, students served by STO programs will suffer.

We are asking that School Tuition Organizations be exempted from the IRS rule, as it will reduce donations to STOs, resulting in a shortage of funds available for tuition grants for lower-income and working-class families.

Help us voice our objection to this rule by sending a message to Senators Grassley and Ernst as well as your member of the U.S. House, asking them to assist us in this effort. We encourage you to personalize this message – share your perspective on STOs and all they do to provide a choice for Iowa parents and children. Please send this message soon!

Thank you for taking time to stand up for Iowa families – we appreciate your joining in our efforts. Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education

5th Grade Reception after October 3rd Mass
All are welcome to join us for refreshments in the social hall on October 3rd after our All School Mass which starts at 9 a.m. The reception will be hosted by our 5th grade students and parent volunteers.

Blessing of the Animals & Spirit Day – October 4th
Please join us with your family pets (on leash or in kennel) for the Blessing of the Animals held on Thursday, October 4th at 2:45 p.m. on the north lawn of the education center. Father Secora will be celebrating this special event with us and blessing our family pets. We will also hold a ‘spirit day’ this date. Students may wear their athletic gear or favorite team shirt for a suggested donation of $1. All proceeds will be sent to the Ames Animal Shelter.

Teacher In-Service – October 8th
We will not hold classes on Monday, October 8th due to a teacher in-service day.

Parking Lot
Just a friendly reminder to not park in the bus lanes. These lanes are marked with ‘No Parking’ signs. If you have any questions, please ask a staff member at dismissal. Thank you.


Sara E. Rooney, Principal
Family School Association News
Read-A-Thon: It’s time to start reading for the Read-A-Thon! Students should be reading and recording their minutes from September 28th – October 10th. Reading to your child aloud or listening to audio books, also count toward their goal. Students will kick off the fundraiser at school with the Reading Party September 28th. During this time, the students will read with their buddies/friends for 20 minutes. ALL minutes read on this day, (home and during the Reading Party) get doubled. Continue collecting pledges and donations throughout the Read-A-Thon. Online donations can be made using this link Please tell your family and friends, who donate online, to forward a copy of the donation receipt to you so your child can record the donation on their Sponsorship Form. If needed, FSA has a written up and attached a sample letter about the Read-A-Thon to help your child and use it to e-mail friends and family out of town. You can email Sara Leto with any questions at Thanks for all your support.
Read-A-Thon sample letter

Box Tops: The first submission date for box tops is soon approaching. Please turn in your box tops now through the end of October to be included in the November 1st submission. You can turn them in on the collection sheet your child will be bringing home in their Friday folder or by giving them to your teacher. We are keeping track of the classroom with the most box tops collected through out the year. A special prize will be awarded to highest collecting class! Happy Clipping!!!

Trunk or Treat: Mark your calendar for Trunk or Treat on October 28! See the flyer for more details and RSVP at
2018 Trunk or Treat

St. Cecilia Gala 2019
Save the Date for the 2019 St. Cecilia Gala on February 9, 2019.
Did you know? The Saint Cecilia Gala, which began in 2006, was designed to create an educational endowment fund of which 100% of the proceeds were used to support the educational programs of Saint Cecilia Church and School. Part of funds raised are used for immediate needs.

The 2018 Gala raised a total of $133,700. Included in that total was $35,225 raised for Fund-A-Need which this year went to prayer books for the church and NEW BATHROOMS! Check out the new bathrooms or ask your kids about them! They are amazing!! Thanks for everyone who contributed in any way (time, talent, prayers, or monetary) to the 2018 Gala and made this possible.

We need your help!
Gathering donations for the event is a big job!! Sign-up below to help!

Every year each class, preschool through 4th grade, has an amazing art project in the Silent Auction portion of the Gala. The 5th grade class art projects are part of the Live Auction!! To make these projects possible, we need parent volunteers to help coordinate and create and we need class sponsors to donate $75 to help with the cost of the projects. If you are interested in helping with this, see the sign-up link below.!/showSignUp/10c044fafa82fa46-stcecilia

Reboot! Live! with Chris Stefanick is coming up!
Chris Stefanick travels internationally speaking on average to about 50,000 people a year. Archbishop Charles Chaput called Chris “one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today”. His talk will be well worth the $22 cost of the ticket. Please see the Faith Formation Department to purchase tickets.

—>> Buy one for yourself and a friend. Or bring the whole family (12+).

Want to learn more about Chris? Check out his YouTube channel or stream the Real Life Catholic Show on Amazon.

School Events
Wednesday, September 26: 9AM All School Mass
Tuesday, October 2: 7PM Catholic School Board Meeting
Wednesday, October 3: 9AM All School Mass followed by 5th Grade Reception and 7PM FSA Meeting
Thursday, October 4: 2:45PM Blessing of the Animals

Other Opportunities
Learn to Play Hockey!
The Ames Minor Hockey Association has two sessions and free equipment rental. Please see the attached flyer for more details.

Try Hockey for Free Day!
If you are between age 4-9 years old, you can try hockey for free on October 20th. Please see the attached flyer for more details.
Try Hockey for Free Day 2 time slots sept 2018 (1)

National Speaking Tour Featuring Kate Hennessy
Granddaughter of the Servant of God, Dorothy Day
The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: A Memoir of My Grandmother
Saturday, September 29, 7-9pm
St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Student Center, 2210 Lincoln Way, Ames

Imagine the Amazing!
What would your school do with $25,000? Vote for your school September 17-30…see attached flyer for details.
Imagine the Amazing Flyer

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.