“Unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)
“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
These words are from the Gospel that was proclaimed at our Graduation Mass for our Eighth Grade students on June 4th. They are compelling words as they speak of that most fundamental call that all of us have received, to be “disciples of Christ” and to follow Him.
I marvel each year at this time, as usually we will have celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation for our 8th Graders, then their graduation, and now that time for all of us to enjoy the summer as each of our students advances to the next year of their education. I thank God for all who make our School such a wonderful place and I expressly thank all of our teachers, administration and staff who serve.
Our mission is, of course, to prepare our students academically, for that time that they will graduate and move on to high school, but it is so much greater than that. Our mission is to share in the mission of Christ, to proclaim to all of our students the saving truths of our Catholic Faith, to excite in them a desire to serve one another in Christ’s Name. I pray that God will give them the grace and strength to achieve great things. But all of my hopes for them rest, ultimately, in that lasting and ultimate success, that all of us one day be brought to eternal life in heaven.
And so, as we come to the end of this school year, I pray especially for our graduates and for all of us, that each day, we too may hear the call of Christ to “take up our cross and follow Him” and to grow more and more each day in the love that He wishes to share with us. God bless you.
Saint Leo the Great Mid-Term Report Accepted by MSA-CESS
by Christine McLean
Dear Mrs. McLean,
This is to confirm that the Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools has received, reviewed and accepted the Mid-Term Report completed for Saint Leo the Great School. The report was found to be complete, and shows evidence of faithful
implementation of the strategic plan for growth and improvement. It was wonderful to read about the improvements your students have made in writing based on the strategies you implemented. Also, you have made great strides in Technology! Congratulations on
your many successes!
– Written by Dr. Angela Rufo, Accreditation Officer on May 27, 2018
The other student performance objective we are monitoring frequently, not mentioned specifically by Dr. Rufo revolves around applying math algorithms to solve real world problems as measured by chapter tests, unit tests, Math Dibels and ITBS scores. During
our last faculty meeting of the year, we analyze all test data to make informed decisions around curriculum, instruction, assessment, resources and professional development.
In addition to the three student performance objectives we are also accountable for three organizational capacity objectives:
- By 2020, Saint Leo the Great School will design and build a 21st Century Media Center where resources are provided to give students a set of abilities needed in order to succeed in the information age.
- By 2020, Saint Leo the Great School will increase the academic club offerings to the students and double student population in academic clubs.
- By 2020 Saint Leo the Great Catholic School will offer Christ-centered educational programs to children identified with learning disabilities.
We are well on our way in realizing these goals as well, as we continue to provide our students with every opportunity to realize their maximum potential. Our school is accredited until May 1, 2022 when the re accreditation process begins again! Anyone interested in reading the full reports please contact our school office to set up an appointment. The summer months are a bit quieter for us!
Mrs. McLean’s 10 Tips on Stemming Summer Slide
- 1. Memorize a new prayer (make your intention for those who have no one to pray
- Read at your instructional level (don’t know it? check with your teacher, they love being contacted over the summer)
- Play Sudoku…and any other board game ( or better yet…create a new game)
- Visit a local landmark (take a picture of yourself and send it to our school’s
- Keep a journal (go ahead add comic strips to it)
- Build a robot without using Legos (take a picture of it and send it you know where. Hint: see #4)
- Go camping without electronics (yes, more content needed for our Facebook page)
- Design a puppet theater and produce shows (charge admission and give some profits to the poor)
- Plant a garden (give some of your harvest to a homeless shelter)
- Finish your workbooks from school ( I know, yuck!)
Perhaps I will follow my own advice! See you on August 20th!
Saint Leo the Great Parent Satisfaction Survey
by Ed Snider
Results of the 2018 Saint Leo the Great Parent Satisfaction survey are in! Each spring, parents of children enrolled in Saint Leo the Great Catholic School are asked to participate in a brief online survey. The survey is designed to measure satisfaction and gather feedback across several categories, as well as identify possible areas for improvement in the school. This year, over half of our school families participated in the survey, and overall the results are extremely positive.
A total of 96% of respondents say the school’s religious identity can be seen in its educational program, service, etc., and 95% feel that their child(ren)’s teachers demonstrate care and concern for him/her as an individual. In terms of academics, nine out of ten respondents believe they are getting a solid educational value. Overall, 98% of survey participants would recommend St. Leo the Great Catholic School.
Survey results are analyzed extensively, and while positive results are wonderful, it’s also important to look for opportunities to improve. One of the lower scores last year (67%) was for satisfaction with communication with the teacher. Concerted efforts were made to improve in this area, and this year, 79% of parents say they are satisfied with the communication they receive from their child’s teacher.
School parents, please look for the invitation for next year’s survey in your email inbox next spring. Whatever your level of satisfaction, your input and feedback is very important!
My Experience With Catholic Heart Work Camp
by Emma Conner
My name is Emma Conner and I am an alumni of Saint Leo the Great Catholic School and I will be a senior at Lancaster Catholic High School this year. Every summer, Saint Leo’s Youth Ministry gives me and other youth the opportunity to go on a week long service trip
called Catholic Heart Work Camp. This year was the fourth CHWC that I have gone to; however, every year it is a new and joyful experience.
We attended CHWC this summer from June 16-June 22 in Knoxville Tennessee. While I was in Knoxville, I volunteered at the Samaritan Place, a homeless shelter for the elderly, that is funded through Catholic Charities. While I was at the Samaritan Place, my group and
I painted the railings/wall in the front of the building, weeded their gardens, and trimmed bushes. These may seem like small everyday tasks to all of us, but one of the most rewarding things about CHWC is seeing how much joy these small tasks bring to our residents. CHWC is not only a great way to volunteer but it is also a great way to strengthen your faith. We attend mass every morning before going to our worksites and pray throughout the day. There are many opportunities to grow closer to God and build strong relationships with the people around you during this week.
Catholic Heart Work Camp has made a huge impact on my life and I am very grateful for my experiences every summer. It is truly an amazing opportunity.
Reflection on First Holy Communion Day
by Sister Dorothy Wilkinson
The Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium #11). In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, we all encounter God’s presence in personal and profound ways. Here at Saint Leo’s, we try to make each First Communicants’ “first Holy Communion” a cause for great celebration. However, our main focus of the day is on the sacrament, itself, as the little ones are welcomed to the table of the Lord and not the trappings of attire, parties and gifts.
Eighty-one second graders joined their families and friends on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at a 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to receive Our Lord for the first time. No longer, do these little ones, as one of them remarked before Mass, “ I don’t have to cross my hands over my chest anymore and just get a blessing. I’m all grown up now.” Do they really understand the meaning of transubstantiation? We assist the parents as much as we can instructing them, but leave much up to the power and grace of the Holy Spirit working in their young souls and minds. It’s a life-long spiritual journey for them as well as for us. Our hope and prayer is that their knowledge and faith increases daily. Watching them approach the altar for the first time is not only inspiring but a reminder to all of us to take a
deep collective breath and revisit the memory of our own First Holy Communion. Do we celebrate each Sunday’s or daily Eucharist with the same love, awe and anticipation that the First Communicants show us each year? All of us, who are the faith-filled People of God, owe this question some serious reflection. Let us never take the Holy Eucharist for granted!
Youth Ministry On-Going Opportunities for 2018-2019
by Beth Christensen
There’s something for everyone and all are welcome!
Catholic Grounds Coffee Houses are offered first Saturdays following the 4:30 p.m. Mass beginning in October 2018 until May 219. The evenings include a small acoustic setup, live praise and worship, young adult speakers, occasional Adoration, dinner, outdoor glow in the dark games, and more.
High School Magical Mystery Tours are offered every other month on second Saturdays. Teens will charter to unknown destinations to bond as a parish family, meet new people and experience the young church truly alive! Be ready to pray and play! Registration and a
small fee is required.
Service Trips are offered throughout the year. In the past we have visited various out-of-state locations, overnight March for Life with the Sisters of Life, concerts, Youth Conferences including Steubenville, the National Catholic Youth Conference and more. We will be introducing new opportunities throughout the 2018-2019 year – get on the email list to learn more. Registration and a small cost is required.
High schoolers are encouraged to put their faith in action as they lead and mentor our middle schoolers at Movie Nights, Mother Teresa Service Days, Middle School Magical Mystery Tours, Waves of Mercy and Vacation Bible School, and Swords and Tiaras nights.
Swords and Tiaras gathers each second Sunday of the month September 2018- May 2019 from 6-8 p.m. The night includes praise and worship, high school testimonies, games, dinner, ice cream or hot chocolate bars and more.
Middle School Magical Mystery Tours are offered every other month on second Saturdays following the vigil Mass. Dinner and a trip to an unknown destination are included. Be ready to pray and play! Registration and a small cost is required.
Movie Nights for grades 6-12 meets each third Sunday of the month from 6-9 p.m. Watch a modern day parable and discuss how it relates to your prayer life, moral decision making, spiritual journey, the catechism and Sacred Scripture. Dinner, popcorn bar, and more are included.
Mother Teresa Service Days for grades 6-12 are offered third Saturdays of each month. We begin with Mass at 8 a.m. followed by a service project until 11 a.m. Service projects include but are not limited to: writing letters to veterans, visiting homebound parishioners, creating Vacation Bible School decorations, leaf raking and gardening care for elderly or injured parishioners and our own parish campus, making blessing bags for the homeless and much more.
Waves of Mercy week is a service driven, faith-filled, high energy and dynamic week in June 2019 of serving at Saint Leo’s Vacation Bible School, St. Anne’s Retirement Community, GAIN (Global Aide Network), and various fun trips including Hershey Park, bowling, etc.
Registration is required.
Grades 3, 4, and 5:
345 Nights will be offered the third Friday of each month normally from 6-8 p.m. These nights include: dinner, dynamic prayer time, catechetical activities, games and more. We usually include a special theme so be ready to “dress up” and play along! Registration is required.
To remain updated with monthly youth ministry offerings and detailed calendar information, please email Mrs. Beth Christensen at email@example.com to
be placed on our email list.
by Jennifer Laudeman
Thanks in part to the SEED (Seeking Excellent Educational Development) program all grade levels had the opportunity to enjoy one or more field trips this year. The goal of the SEED program is to foster unique and beneficial relationships between a sponsor/mentor and
a classroom or learning area as well as to provide additional funds for enhancement and enrichment of the current curriculum. These generous donations allowed our students to attend to following field trips:
Kindergarten: Cherry Crest Farms
1st Grade: Cherry Hill Orchards and the Whitaker Center’s Science Center
2nd grade: Lancaster County Park Environmental Center
3rd grade: Landis Valley Museum and the Hershey Museum/Chocolate World
4th grade: The State Capitol in Harrisburg
5th grade: The Penn Museum, Philadelphia
6th grade: Baltimore Inner Harbor, Aquarium, and Maryland Science Center
7th grade: Olde City Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell and Constitutional Hall
8th grade: Washington DC
With a new school year quickly approaching, we look forward to the excitement of preparing for both the regular curriculum and the enrichment opportunities that the students of Saint Leo the Great Catholic School enjoy. Thank you to all of the parents that support the mission and vision of our school, especially through the SEED program. The name signifies a commitment to Seeking Excellent Educational Development, and the program continues to grow since its start in the 2000-2001 school year. We humbly
ask you to consider once again supporting our parish school through this important fundraising effort. We have worked hard to make giving easy, offering credit card and multiple installment options. For more information please contact Mr. Alan Schwartz,
Director of Development & Parish Ministries (717) 394-1742 ext. 323 or via email at development@ stleos.org or his assistant Mrs. Suzanne Cybulski.
20 First Day of School – Grades 1-8
23 Kindergarten Meet the Teacher 10-10:30 am or 1-1:30 pm
26 New School Family Picnic
27 First Day of School – Kindergarten & PreK4
School Board Meeting @7 pm Rm2/Church
28 First Day of School – PreK3
Back to School Night – Grades 1-5 7-8:30 pm Gym
29 Back to School Night – Grades 6-8 7-8:30 pm Gym
31 Noon Dismissal
3 NO SCHOOL – Labor Day
4 PTO Meeting 7 pm Rm2/Church
10 School Board Meeting 7 pm Rm2/Church
12 NO SCHOOL – Diocesan Education Conference
16 Parish Picnic
26 Bring A Friend To Lunch
1 School Board Meeting 7 pm Rm2/Church
5 Grandfriends Day – Early Dismissal @ Noon
8 NO SCHOOL – Columbus Day/