We at St. James Catholic School are so appreciative of the many ways that parishioners support our efforts to develop confident, competent, and caring Catholic-Christian citizens prepared to be responsible members of their Church, local, and global communities. As this school year draws to a close, we would like to share some of the student achievements that your support has helped to make possible.

       In October, students in grades 2 – 8 took the annual Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Each of the classes continues to score among the top 10% - 20% when compared with the same classes nationally.

       Also in October, fourth and fifth grade students were engaged in lively preparation for their Walk Through California and Walk Through the American Revolution, respectively. For weeks, the students immerse themselves in study of their assigned areas. On the day of the program, they dress up as their assigned characters from that period of history and recreate the period in an interactive assembly that most definitely makes their social studies lessons come to life!

       Third graders were treated to an assembly provided by the Music-mobile, during which a presentation on musical instruments entertainingly reinforced what they learned in their music classes.

       Students in grades 6 – 8 entered the South Bay essay contest sponsored by the Elks Club – Why I Am Proud to Be an American. Eighth graders Margaret S. and Michael V. received the first and second place awards for Division I, while sixth grader Gianna G. won in Division II.

       A team of seventh and eighth graders participated in the Junior High Academic Decathlon and placed 5th overall out of 108 schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 1st in our South Bay deanery of 16 Catholic schools. All students on our team received medals for either group or individual performance, or both. Congratulations to the students, teachers, parents, and their volunteer coach, Mrs. John Darragh, who spent countless hours helping them to prepare.

       Eighth graders participated in an essay contest as part of the First Annual Students and Government Day sponsored by the City of Torrance . Out of 486 entries submitted by Torrance eighth graders, 22 students were selected to participate in shadowing the mayor, council members, and other city staff members on May 2. Two St. James Catholic School students were among the 22! Victoria M. was chosen to participate in a City Council Meeting as a councilmember and Alisa L. as the chief of police!

       While we are mightily proud of our academic achievements, we continue to place the greatest priority on helping our students to be committed Catholics who participate in their faith through prayer, worship, and service. The proceeds of the monthly Bake Sales sponsored by each class have been directed to organizations such as the House of Yahweh, which serves the less fortunate; Alexandria House, which serves victims of domestic abuse; and Get on the Bus, which reconnects children with their incarcerated mothers for Mothers’ Day. In addition, the students treated their peers at San Miguel, our sister school, with Christmas gifts and pizza parties. Students have also grown in their awareness of the needs of those more immediately around us when they made lunches for our own parish’s Feed the Needy program. During Earth Week, as they focused on their responsibility to care for the world around us, they also took advantage of their recycling efforts to direct usable books to San Miguel School , having become aware that Bishop Montgomery High School had just built them new bookshelves. What a wonderful experience of collaborating with others to respond to need!

       Students have written letters to those in difficulty and prayed daily for personal, parish, and community needs. We have celebrated many beautiful liturgies at school during the year. Additionally, students have been proud to be special participants in the First Sunday liturgies at St. James Church, where they have worshipped with our parish community.

       St. James Education Foundation (SJEF), which was begun three years ago, surpassed this year’s fundraising goal and now has a total of $597,401 toward its long-range goal of $1,000,000. This fund hopes to secure the financial stability of our parish school now and for years to come—so that the children of our Church will always have access to faith-based education.

       All of us at St. James Catholic School thank you for your continued support and promise you our continued remembrance in prayer!

      Sister Mary Margaret