The Buzz: St. Benedict Preparatory School Online Weekly Newsletter

News for Families in Grades 1-5

Upcoming Dates to Know

  • Friday, June 8th – Dignity Walk, End of Year Mass and Last Day of School (11:30AM Dismissal/After Mass - whenever it ends)
  • Monday, June 11th Summer at St. Ben's Summer Camp Begins - 3Point Athletic Camps Begins
  • Friday, June 15th – Choose Your Own Amazing Adventure (Formerly Known as the Amazing Race @ St. Benedict)
  • Monday, June 18th - Preschool-Grade 1 Theme-based summer camps begin (see more info below) 
  • Monday, June 18th - Summer Office Hours Begins M-Thursday 8AM to Noon, Closed Fridays
  • Friday, June 29th - Last Day to Sign Tuition Agreement 
  • Wednesday, July 4th - No School - Parish Campus Closed for Independence Day 
  • Friday, July 20th - 22nd - BENFEST

Benny's Best for the Week of May 25th - Congrats to Our Benny's Best! 


Benny's Best for the Week of June 1st - Congrats to Our Benny's Best! 


2018 Summer Read-Around-the-Block for Rising Students Grades 1-5 at St. Benedict Preparatory School

Summer is a great time for heading to the beach or catching up with friends. It's also a great time for reading! This summer, we would like to challenge our Grades 1-5 Bengals to read as much as they can. Your child will be bringing home the "Read Around the Block" Game Board soon. The activities on the 2018 Summer Read-Around-the-Block game board will help our students to get the most out of the books that they choose. The color code shows students what types of activities are available. Gold boxes are reading activities, maroon boxes are writing activities and white boxes are artistic activities. We ask parents and guardians to encourage their children to try a little bit of everything!

We hope that by offering this summer reading incentive, our students will enjoy reading for pleasure books of their interest, but also keep their brains sharp as they try a variety of associated activities that use a variety of learning modalities. When school starts up again in August, we will celebrate with a “Read Round the Block Showcase Day and Celebration.” Students will be asked to show off their work and talk about some of the books they enjoyed with their classmates.  All students have to do to prepare for this day is to decide which of the books read over the course of the summer is his/her favorite. The teachers will help students with the rest in August.

While this is not mandatory, we would love that each student participates and attempts to do as much as his/her summer allows. In order to receive at least one “GOAL PRIZE,” we ask that each student completes 16 different activities. On average, this is about two activities for each week of the summer holiday. In order to prove that the student has completed an activity, an adult will need to initial the line at the bottom of the activity's box. If the activity has an asterisk (*) next to it, it means that the student will also need to bring in the work he/she did for the activity and give it to the teacher in August in order to receive credit. We would emphasize that the students can use the same book for multiple activities, especially the older students who are reading chapter books. There is no need to read a different book for each activity.

We want to make sure to acknowledge all of the amazing reading that students are doing, so we will be offering prizes for students who reach certain book totals. Students will get a prize for each level that you reach.

The incentives are

  • 16 game board activities completed: out-of-uniform pass
  • 17-25 game board activities completed: St Ben's Read-Around-the-Block water bottle
  • 26-35 game board activities completed: St Ben's Read-Around-the-Block T-shirt
  • 36 game board activities completed: St Ben's Read-Around-the-Block athletic socks

Below, please find a list of books that we ask that students avoid reading, as these titles are part of the fourth and fifth grade novel studies. There is also a list of websites at which parents can find book suggestions and the addresses of some local libraries and bookshops. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s classroom teacher or Ms. Gemo. Thank you for all of your support! Happy Summer!

Websites to help parents find books




Remember: Please don’t read these books over summer; they are a part of our novel studies during the year

4th Grade:

  • Bunnicula
  • Sinking of the Titanic 1912
  • Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes
  • One Thousand Paper Cranes
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Castle in the Attic
  • Iron Man
  • Night of the Twisters
  • Dear America: Titanic- Journal of Margaret Ann Brady
  • Tornado
  • Serafina and the Black Cloak
  • Wait Till Helen Comes
  • The Science Fair is Freaky
  • Diamond in the Desert
  • My Friend the Enemy
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Where the Red Fern Grows


Fifth grade:

  • Fever 1793
  • Ninth Ward
  • S.O.S. Titanic
  • The Screaming Staircase
  • Deep and Dark and Dangerous
  • The Dollhouse Murders
  • The Devil’s Arithmetic
  • Prisoner B-3087
  • Number the Stars
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Gregor the Overlander                The Giver
  • A Wrinkle in Time                         The Westing Game
  • Ready Player One                        The Time Travellers
  • The City of Ember                        The Ruby in the Smoke
  • Murder is Bad Manners              Hoot

First Grade Completes their "I CAN" Poster Listing all the Things They've Learned Through the Year 

We Give Thanks to God For All Our Students and the Gifts Each Brings! 

At St Benedict Preparatory School, we are blessed with so many students who hear the call to develop their God-given gifts and talents to enrich our faith and learning community. Each year, we celebrate the gifts that God has given each one of us at our annual Awards Day Celebration.  We’ve all been called to develop our gifts and use them to make our school a better place.  As a community, let us celebrate their accomplishments and show them our appreciation in a respectful manner.

Thank You to the HSA and All Those Who Supported the 2017 Fall FUN RUN 

Our students are enjoying the new flexible, comfortable furniture to make our classrooms more child-friendly!  Thanks to all those who supported the HSA! Here's just a sampling below in pictures! 

Update on One-to-One Survey for Rising 5th Grade (Current 4th grade) Families 

Back in March 2018, we asked parents/guardians of current 4th graders to complete a survey to gauge interest regarding the implementation the One-to-One Laptop program for the rising 5th graders instead of waiting for them to be 6th graders. We had very high participation in the survey from about 95% from parents. So, first, let me thank you for your engagement. It made our decision-making that much easier.

As a result of the survey, we do intend to implement the One-to-One program for the rising 5th graders. Approximately 85% of the responders indicated they support the decision. Another 10% indicated “maybe” and we feel we can address their questions and concerns.

Additionally, the following items were considered:

  • Teaching the students as 5th graders to use laptops will help the transition to middle school go smoother because it will already be a tool they will already know how to use
  • The 5th grade teachers are very excited about integrating technology into the curriculum to support each child’s personalized learning
  • As a school, we are transitioning to Office 365 and feel that there are a lot of tools from which our 5th graders will benefit
  • We have sought to find a touch screen laptop that will be rugged enough to ideally get the students through the next four years (until they graduate 8th grade)
  • We believe the professional educator sharing between grades 4-8 will provide our teachers a strong community of teachers who will share best practices and lessons learned which will benefit our students

With the one-to-one program, the school issues a laptop device (Windows PC laptop with a tablet/touch screen feature) to each student for a $225 annual fee. This fee covers the device lease, Forcepoint security software, 3-year accidental damage protection, a number of web-based learning resources, tech support at school and more. You will see an additional $225 technology fee on your tuition billing.

In the fall, we will have a parent meeting-orientation before we roll out the devices. So, more news to come! For now, we wanted to officially inform parents of rising 5thgraders this exciting news! 

We hope you are as excited as we are! 

Mad Science Summer Camps Available 

Click here for more information

Congrats to our 2018 Girls on the Run Team!

Our 2018 St. Ben's Girls on the Run Group completed their annual 5K this past weekend. Congrats to the girls! Thanks so much to our coaches. You inspire courage, confidence and self-care in our young ladies! Your important efforts support the overall mission of St. Benedict Prep! Thank you! (thanks to Francesca Pons Madden for the pictures)

Mindfulness for Kids and Art Expression Camp

Dates: Monday June 18 – Wednesday, June 20

Time: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Ages: 6 – 9

Fee:  $50 per child

Description: Mindfulness for Kids and Art Expression is a 3-day mindfulness-based camp for 6 - 9 year olds. Campers will learn the basics of mindfulness practice, participate in yoga classes, and express themselves through art.  They will explore the mind-body connection with creative movement activities. Campers should eat a healthy breakfast at home before arriving to the Felician Center. Campers should wear socks & sneakers and bring a water bottle with a small snack.  Clinicians from United Stand Counseling Center will lead the camp.

Location:  Felician Center, 3800 W. Peterson, Chicago, IL

Registration:  Send an email to to reserve a spot.  Space is limited.

Celebrate-the-Future-flyer18 art show .jpg

CAMP BENGAL 2018 (added 3.22.18) 

Have your Child Spend His/Her Summer with Us!  Summer Camp Registration is NOW OPEN 

  • Themed - based creative and exploratory camps for Grades Preschool - Grade 2 
  • Athletic Camps for grades 1-8 
  • Summer Vacation Bible School - SHIPWRECKED 
  • Jump into Kindergarten with Ms. Tarris 


Chicago Parent_Summer Camp Edition_ 2018.jpg

How to Become and Approved Volunteer: Compliance Procedures for All Volunteers

The St. Benedict Prep community welcomes volunteers to help provide students with the best educational environment and opportunities possible.  We depend on family support to carry out our mission to inspire and cultivate a balance of faith, academic excellence, and individual talents in a diverse setting.

ALL VOLUNTEERS need to complete the following training and forms before they can volunteer for the school or parish events that involve positions of trust or working with children:

1.  Complete an online criminal background check.  CLICK HERE to begin the process. A few notes about the registration page: The access code is "protection"; choose "Archdiocese of Chicago", not "Religious Community...Volunteer."  Once the registration page is completed, a checklist of pages to complete will follow. All pages must be completed before you can submit the background screening.

2.  Attend Virtus/Protecting God's Children for Adults.  Go to, and select Registration on the left panel. Note: all participants must pre-register online to attend. Upon completion you will be given a certificate which should be turned in to the school.

3.  Read and sign the Code of Conduct form and turn in to the school.  CLICK HERE for a copy of the Code of Conduct form.

4.  Complete Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking Form (CANTS).  Return completed form to the school. CLICK HERE for a copy of the CANTS form.

We do not want to disappoint any potential volunteers or turn any volunteers away. If you have any questions, please contact either Mrs. Christine Clardy at or Ms. Rachel Gemo at You may also check with Mrs. Dodovich ( in the office to confirm that all your requirements are fulfilled to be a volunteer at SBPS, including being a chaperone on a field trip. 

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