Ms. Gruich
F I R S T   G R A D E
T H E    T E A C H E R

Ms. Jan Gruich

This is my third year to teach at St. Al’s and I look forward to helping my students learn many things: to love God, love learning, love coming to school every day, and ultimately be prepared for second grade at the end of the year! One of my favorite things about working at St. Alphonsus School is getting to spend each day praying with the class and sharing my love of reading with them. Seeing their excitement grow as they learn new words and put it all together is a highlight of my teaching experience. My wonderful husband of 29 years and I have three daughters, two of which also chose to be educators! I love spending time with my family, my students, being a part of the St. Al’s family, and God.
For weekly reminders and important dates.

Our Classroom Team

Ms. Jan Gruich
Ms. Bev Forehand

Our “Special(s)” Team

Ms. Gena Gatschet
PE Teacher
Ms. Kathy Mangin
Music Teacher
Ms. Mary Rogers
Ms. Lauren Ross
Spanish Teacher
C L A S S R O O M   A C T I V I T I E S

Mass 10.04.19 – Pure and Simple

Today’s mass recognized St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis loved animals, pure and simple.
Sometimes the mass message is also pure and simple; like today when Father reminded our students that we are called to love God and His creation. Everything we have, God created. He created the universe, the plants, animals, us… EVERYTHING that we can see or touch. As Christians we are called to love God and each other and His creations. It’s that simple. #massmessage #love #itsthatsimple #calledtobeaSAINT

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Blessing of the Pets Recap

St. Alphonsus Catholic School students brought their furry, scaly, slithery, and soft family members to this year’s Blessing of the Pets on Wednesday, October 3rd. The St. Alphonsus clergy blessed our family’s faithful friends and offered special prayers as students and family members paraded around the track. St. Al’s really went to the dogs… and cats and turtles and birds and “stuffies”… that day!

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Mass 09.27.19 – More Than Just Talking

Did you know we can communicate in other ways than just talking? Our actions, expressions, and words work together to tell people what we are thinking or feeling.

In today’s readings, Jesus asked “who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:13) Our students know him as: – someone that does great things – someone that saves – a healer – a savior that came back from the dead
His actions told us just as much about Jesus did as the stories that he told.
Our actions can tell people about how we are as Christians, too. How do people know that we know Christ? – by going to St. Alphonsus Catholic School – by showing love – by serving people – by going to church
Together, Deacon and our students decided that ultimately it is our actions outside the church by serving and loving people that is best example of being a Christian. #lotsoftalkingatmasstoday #itswhathappensoutsidethatmatters #calledtobeaSAINT #massmessage

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Mass 09.20.19 – Going on a Treasure Hunt

Father Thomas took our students on a treasure hunt today. Here are a few things they talked about in mass to help continue the conversation at home:
– A treasure is something of value (or valued) that we keep carefully.
– What are things that we treasure? Our family. Our friends.  Our priests. Our parents. Our children.
– These are treasured items because we love them, yes, but they hold great value in what they teach/give back to us.
– People we care about teach us how to love each other, love God, love our Church, how to pray, and how to live faithfully.
– While these people we treasure are a great gift from God, we need to remember that we all seek the ultimate treasure – eternal life.
– Our faith is the roadmap to living a treasured life in Heaven.
#massmessage #treasurehunt #calledtobeaSAINT

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Mass 09.13.19 – How Do We See Others?

How do we see others? Father Mike spent time this morning talking to our students about perceptions of ourselves, others, and God. He issued a challenge at the end of his talk that we encourage EVERYONE to try today.
Here are some talking points to help make today’s mass meaningful in your home: – Do we see people and the good they do? – Do we see the mistakes they make? – God sees us through loving eyes… ALWAYS! – Loving eyes give grace for good days and bad days. – Loving eyes forgive when we have really bad days. – Loving eyes allow for redemption and growth.
CHALLENGE: Can you say something nice to a friend, a family member, teacher, … anyone… and see them as God see them.
#massmessage #lovingeyes #calledtobeaSAINT

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Mass 08.30.19 – Be Prepared

Father Mike spent his mass message today talking about preparation. (Feel free to read today’s Gospel lesson, Matthew 25: 1-13, for his biblical jumping off point.)
Here are a few things he talked about to help make mass meaningful in your home:
– It is important for us to be prepared.
– We prepare for lots of things in our life; tests, hurricanes, basketball games, choir performances, and more.
– We can prepare by doing things with our bodies or our minds.
– We spend our entire life preparing for the most important thing – our life with God.
– We can prepare every day by living a godly life. We can pray, we can love each other, we can act as the Bible tells us…
– What are other ways we can prepare for our life with God?
#massmessage #beprepared #calledtobeaSAINT

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Mass 08.23.19- Let the Children Come to Me

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Every week our littlest children in PreK-3 through our more mature sixth graders fill the pews to worship; coming to experience the kingdom of God through song, prayer, readings, and messages from the clergy. Sometimes their little voices aren’t so little. Their wiggles tend to wander down the pew. They even steal focus from Father every once in awhile. (These actions aren’t limited to St. Alphonsus masses, they can happen inany church, at any service, at any moment.)

But we choose to remember that our students are learning. They are learning about our faith. They are learning how to praise Him through song. They are learning how to ask for help in hard times through prayer. They are learning how to seek forgiveness when they have made a mistake through confession. They are learning how to welcome others to the Body of Christ through sharing the peace. They are learning to see the least of us sitting among us. They are learning from the Bible and realizing that it is more than just a story, it is life. It gives us life.Our children are the future of our faith. Our children aren’t noisy, they are learning to make a joyful noise. Our children aren’t squirmy, they are actively, and age appropriately, participating in mass. Our children are worshipping.St. Alphonsus Catholic School mass — with its joyful noise and active participation — could not happen without EVERY ONE of its precious students. Each one is vital to the school community, the family of faith, and the kingdom of God.Thank you parents for giving your children a foundation in faith. Thank you for allowing us to worship with them at school. Thank you for the amazing work you do at home teaching them about God’s love and the importance of growing with God. It begins at home and we applaud your hard work. #calledtobeaSAINT #littlechildreninbigchurch #letthechildrencometome

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Mass 08.15.19 – The First Disciple

The students of St. Alphonsus Catholic School have a foundation in faith. On a daily basis they receive scripture, engage in prayer, and have the opportunity to experience their faith with their friends and teachers on a very real level. Today was the first Mass of the year where students sat with their class and experienced scripture, communion, prayer, and a special message from Father Mike. (Today’s mass was a special Holy Day of Obligation, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.)
Here are a few things Father Mike talked about to help make today’s Mass meaningful in your home too:
– Mary was the first intentional disciple.
– She was so excited to be Jesus’ mother that she told every one of God’s work.
– We can be excited about the amazing things God does in our life, too.
– She shared her son, Jesus, with us. Jesus ultimately shared His body with us when he died.
– It is good to share with others. What good things about God can we share with others?

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First Day of School Recap

St. Alphonsus Catholic School’s first day of class for the 2019-2020 school year was Thursday, August 8th. St. Alphonsus began the year with a special Mass at 8:15 a.m.,  bringing students and parents together to prepare their hearts and minds for the new year. St. Al’s teachers sat together, families sat together, and the St. Alhponsus School community prayed together. After mass, parents walked their students to the classroom to witness a special classroom blessing from Father Mike.
From there, the school day began and was filled with smiles, new friendships, new lessons, and the same St. Alphonsus spirit we know and love.

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