Weekly NCA Newsletter! 
December 4, 2019 - Issue 15
 View this email in your browser

Dear NCA Parents,

This school year Northside Catholic Academy (NCA) students and families received $175,000 in scholarship aid from the Empower Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship (TCS). These scholarships provide need-based funding to students who might not otherwise be able to attend NCA and receive the high-quality and faith-based education we offer. This incredible amount of support was due to the 43 school community members who provided donations to Empower Illinois on behalf of NCA students. We want to add your name to the list of donors contributing to the 2020-2021 academic year.

We are asking for you to consider contributing to the 2:1 Tax Credit Scholarship Matching Gift Program through Empower Illinois to NCA for the 2020-21 school year. The response of our community, when given this opportunity earlier this year, was overwhelming. We exceeded our goal, and we hope this year you will participate and help us to continue the trend!

The program will be more competitive this year, and the matching dollars will likely run out faster. We need your help to ensure we maximize this opportunity for NCA. It is crucial as our students receive over $500,000 in tuition assistance each year, and TCS funds support our need-based families and some of our best students.

Like last year, the Tax Credit Scholarship Matching Gift Program has a pool of dollars donated that will match every dollar we donate with $2 from the program. Essentially, we triple every contribution we receive. Every donor then receives a tax credit for 75% of the donation, meaning the donation will cost each donor 25% of their total contribution while tripling those dollars to the school families.

The program began December 1 and runs until the matching funds are exhausted. If you donated to the TCS 2:1 program in the past, you already have your “Tax Credit ID” and will be able to utilize it for this program. If you are a first-time donor, the Archdiocese of Chicago has a hotline with volunteers to walk you through the process. That number is (312) 534-5200. Any donor, new or old, should contact the hotline with any questions. 

More information can also be found at 

On behalf of the students and their families, I want to thank you for your commitment to Catholic education and Northside Catholic Academy. Please help us continue to make an NCA education possible to those in need! If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at NCA.


Christine Huzenis


School News & Reminders

Christmas Show: Next Thursday, December 12, NCA Primary School Grades K - 4 will present All is Calm, All is Bright--An Evening of Candlelight Carols.  The students have been practicing their carols in Mr. Rholl's music class and they are all looking forward to delighting us in preparation for Christmas. The following are a couple of reminders for the evening:

  • Students should dress in their best and wear Christmas colors of red, green, silver, gold.  
  • Students should arrive at St. Gertrude's church no later than 6:15 and should sit in their assigned seats for the show.
  • The program begins at 6:30.
Transitioning to the Middle School- Date Change: There was a date change for the Transitioning to the Middle School event originally scheduled for last night.   Due to Mrs. Huzenis' absence the week before Thanksgiving and the short week last week, she was unable to finalize some of the organizational and logistical pieces with the staff.  As a result, we have rescheduled the event to Tuesday, January 21, @ 6:30.  The event will be held at the Middle School in Colletti Hall.  Additional details regarding the event will be included in the Wednesday newsletters when we return from Christmas break. We apologize for any inconvenience.   

Invest in Kids Act Tuition Tax Credit Scholarship (TCS) update for 2020-2021

Key items to note:

  • Empower Illinois SGO application process begins January 15, 2020, Reservations Open at 6:30 PM Click to Submit at 7:00 PM.
  • The Empower Illinois application process will again be a two-step process.
  • The Big Shoulders SGO application date is January 14, 2020, Time 8:00 AM.
  • Please put these dates on your calendar if you plan on applying.
  • NCA plans to have our Middle School Campus computer lab open for applicants to apply and we will have staff present to assist with the application process.
  • If you received TCS funding for 2019-2020, you still must reapply for 2020-2021. The applications remain on a first come first serve basis. NCA families need to have their tax information together before the application dates.
2019 Heart of NCA Nominations: We are now accepting nominations for the 2019 Heart of NCA. Every year during Catholic Schools Week, NCA honors a volunteer who exemplifies what NCA represents and is an unwavering ambassador for our mission. If you have a volunteer you would like to nominate, please complete the attached form and submit it to Christine Huzenis in a sealed envelope or email at Nominations are due January 10.

Catholic Schools Week: We're looking for families who will speak at one Mass at each parish on Sunday, Jan 26. You will receive service hours for speaking at the Mass. If you are available, please contact Shakira at 

Service Hours: Remember that every family must complete 20 hours of service every year! All volunteer opportunities are posted on SchoolSpeak. Look often as new opportunities are added all the time! There are opportunities now listed that do NOT require VIRTUS training! All Service hours must be recorded in SchoolSpeak. Please see the quick link on the left side of the website. There are postings for Primary School recess volunteers on SchoolSpeak. 

Service Opportunity: Christmas Bazaar Volunteer Slots Now Open- To volunteer to help at the Bazaar, visit Under Search for a Sign-Up, type in and choose how you’d like to help. Volunteer slots do count toward NCA service hours!

NCA Calendars: We have NCA 2019-2020 Family Calendars for sale at both campuses. They are $15 and showcase all of the artwork that was sold at the Soiree. The calendars make great gifts, and they have all the relevant school dates and run August - August.  Proceeds go to NCA's arts program. Be sure to stop by the main office and purchase one!

Please see order form attached.

Queen of Heart: We are over 10 weeks in and still going strong!!  The pot this Saturday will be over $24,100!!  Come out and join us for a drawing!  6:30 at the Double Bubble. As always tickets are sold all week long at each school office, The Sovereign, The Double Bubble and the Edge of Sweetness. Hope to see you there!!


Important Dates:

December 4: Professional Development Early Release:
MS Campus 1:50 Dismissal
PS Campus 2:10 Dismissal
ECP available at both campuses

December 6: NCAPO Meeting—Primary School lunchroom @ 8:15 AM
December 7: Catholic High School Entrance Exams
December 10: Primary School (3rd & 4th grade) Advent Reconciliation 10:00 AM St. Gertrude Church
December 12: Primary School (Gr. K – 4) Christmas Program- St. Gertrude Church @ 6:30 PM
December 13: Middle School Dance - Activity Center - 6:30 pm-9 pm

December 17: Middle School Advent Reconciliation 10:00 AM- St. Margaret Mary Church
December 19: NCAPO Candy Cane Day
December 19:  Pre-school Christmas Program Primary School Gym @1:30 PM

December 20:  All-School Prayer Service—Los Posadas
St. Gertrude Church @ 8:30 PM- Middle School late start 8:10 at Primary School Gym 
December 20: Red & Green Dress Down Day- Christmas Classroom Celebrations- Early Release Day- MS Campus 1:50 - PS Campus 2:10- ECP available at both campuses
December 23 - January 3: Christmas Break
January 6: School resumes
January 8: Professional Development Early Release: MS Campus 1:50 Dismissal- Primary School Campus 2:10 Dismissal- ECP available at both campuses


🎁🎄🎁NCAPO 2019 Christmas Gift Fund: We can be angels! 🎁🎄🎁

We have heard firsthand how impactful the Christmas Fund is for our staff and we’d like to pass these messages to you. Let us be the angels among them and show them they are loved and appreciated with a small donation to the Christmas Fund. It is the perfect way to reach ALL who care for our children and school that we may not be thinking of. We hope that you will contribute. Please know that participation is optional and the amount you give is entirely up to you. More details can be found on the attached flyer here.


You can give to the fund by:

1. School Speak:  Select “Staff Christmas Donation” under Quick Links. Go to the bottom and click on the "next" button. Follow the prompts to complete your gift.

2. Via check payable to NCA in an envelope marked "NCAPO Christmas Gift Fund.”


Contributions need to be made by EOD, December 9th. Contact Crystal Slagle, NCAPO Treasurer at for details & fund questions.

Did you know that when you shop for the holidays at AmazonSmile donates to Northside Catholic Academy?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.

So when shopping online this holiday, please be sure to shop AmazonSmile and select Northside Catholic Academy!

Please click the links below to review STAMP Newsletters:

Advent is noticeably present in the NCA Middle School. The seventh graders in Rooms 36 and 35 have recently spent some time using three traditional themes to mark the Advent Season:

One group of them designed, produced, and decorated an Advent calendar poster board filled with holiday Christian advice for each 5th-grade homeroom. Some fifth graders, pictured here, gladly accepted it to hang in their room and use each day between December 2nd and December 21st.

Another group from the class chose to produce a prayer service, complete with a booklet and illustrations about the themes of the Advent wreath. Each Monday during Advent in Room 36, a short prayer service will be held.

The Jesse Tree, complete with illustrated ornaments, Bible verses, and original prayers about 12 ancestors of Jesus, was produced by a third group from the class. All of the seventh graders will share a prayer service in Room 36 in late December to celebrate the coming of Jesus through the presentations of the prayers, research, and ornaments of the ancestry of Jesus. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Grade 7. 

NCA Wildcat Athletics 🐾

If you have any questions about our NCA Wildcat Athletics, please contact either our AD Dave Scholtes ( or Assistant AD Seamus McGowan (


Wildcat Spirit Wear Sale!!!!!
Show your support and get your NCA Wildcat spirit gear today!!!
Please review the Spirit Wear flyer below. Prices and packages are listed.

If interested, please email order with the following information:
1. Name,
2. Child’s name
3. Child’s grade/teacher 
4. What items or package you want to purchase to

-Payments can be made via main office (attention NCA Athletics) or through Venmo @Seamus-McGowan-1

All 4 spirit items for $40!!!

The Superfan Package is the best value, but the offer is for a limited time only. You can also buy the items individually:
Sweaty bands— $12
Wildcat socks— $10
NCA Wildcat hat— $15
NCA bleacher seat cushion- $20

Wildcat Fans
Please keep on an eye on our Athletic Calendar on the NCA website and come out and CHEER on our wildcats. Look out for our Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, and Big Red football schedules. Please visit NCA's Athletic Calendar for more details about these games.

Tis the season! Stop by and see Santa as he visits with kids of all ages at Theater on the Lake. Create a new holiday tradition and enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies at The Lakefront Restaurant before heading to Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo, just one block west. No admission and all are welcome!  Mention that you are from NCA and a bottle of wine will be donated from the Theatre on the Lake to the NCA Soiree!!
Preparing for the Christmas Pageant: As is our tradition during the gospel of the Christmas Eve 5:00 pm Family Mass, the kids from St. Gertrude parish will act out the Christmas story. 

I will need  Mary, Joseph, shepherds, three kings, and lots of angels. I also need parents to come to the rehearsals and assist with organizing the kids. 

Parents need to attend the rehearsal so that when the rehearsal is over, the kids have a ride home. This will count as NCA service hours if you are in need of them.  I am hoping to have two rehearsals in the church after the 10:30 am Mass on December 1 and 15 for 30 minutes each and then one final dress rehearsal on December 22 at 12:30 in the church.

If you and your child are interested in participating in the Christmas pageant this year, please contact me at

Christmas is coming and so is the St Gertrude’s Bazaar Balsam Pine Sale!!

Just two weeks left for DISCOUNTED PRICING and FREE DELIVERY for your 6 ft tree!

Order Christmas trees, Wreaths and Garland from the St Gertrude’s Bazaar Balsam Pine Sale!!


Online ordering – go to

Our Annual Christmas Bazaar! St. Gert's annual Christmas Bazaar is Saturday, December 7 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm and Sunday, December 8 from 9:00 am-2:30 pm. This annual event features handmade, fair-trade arts and crafts, plus a fabulous used book sale, Christmas greenery for sale, a White Elephant table, complimentary gift wrapping, and pictures with Santa. A pancake & sausage breakfast with music provided by St. Gertrude parishioners will be held on Sunday, December 8 from 8:30 am-1:00 pm.


Donations for the Christmas Bazaar's White Elephant: Contributions for the White Elephant areas will be accepted on Sundays from 12:00-3:00 pm in the Social Hall, 1401 W. Granville Ave., through Sunday, December 1. Please note, no clothing, linens, or stuffed animals will be accepted.


Christmas Bazaar Volunteer Slots Now Open: To volunteer to help at the Bazaar, visit Under Search for a Sign-Up, type in and choose how you’d like to help. Volunteer slots do count toward NCA service hours!  


November is the Month of Remembrance: In November, we will celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These Holy Days mark the start of a month-long celebration of remembrance. The Remembrance Altar will be available; everyone is invited to bring a picture or a memento of a loved one to place on it. On All Saints Day, this Friday, November 1, a Holy Day of Obligation, Mass will be held at 7:30 am and 7:00 pm.

Children's Choir: The Music Director at St. Gertrude’s Parish, Ms. Mary Clare Barker, would like to start a children’s choir that would sing a couple of pieces for the All Are Welcome concert on Saturday, November 16 at 7:30 pm. It would also be nice to have the children’s choir sing something at the monthly family Masses at 10:30 in the church.

If your child or children are interested, please email her at Rehearsals will be on Saturdays at 3 - 3:45 in the church. If you can’t make this time on a regular basis, you should not consider being part of the children’s choir. She will also need at least one parent present at every rehearsal as Archdiocesan rules mandate the presence of two adults when in the company of children on church property.


Get your wreaths, swags, and centerpieces from St. Ignatius and avoid the lines and cold weather of December. Prices range from $20 for a 22” Noble Fir Wreath to $31 for a 28” Mixed Evergreen Wreath. The assortment also includes a holiday centerpiece and swag. You can order online at

ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY NOVEMBER 4TH. Greenery will be available for pick-up at the church on Sunday, December 8, 2019. Give your support and enjoy beautiful evergreens fresh from the Pacific Northwest.

Change in St. Gertrude Rectory Hours

The Rectory will close at 4:45 pm on Fridays beginning Friday, September 6.

St. Gertrude Religious Ed Teacher Needed
Have you been thinking of a way to give back or make connections at St. Gertrude? Consider becoming a catechist! Catechists teach Religious Education classes, which at St. Gertrude are offered to children in grades 1-8. Classes are taught on 

Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:15 am. Other catechists teach brief lessons of faith based on the Sunday readings in our Kids Word program. This takes place during the 10:30 am Masses in Church and is for children in grades K-4.

The goal of catechists is to share their faith and the lessons of God and Jesus by creating age-appropriate lessons, teach the traditions of the church, and build community with the families of their students. Catechists are usually not professional teachers, just willing parents and parishioners who enjoy kids and want to help them grow in a personal relationship with God, participate in the sacraments, and develop a mature conscience and integrate faith in all areas of their lives.

Candidates must either be Virtus-certified or willing to take training that educates participants on the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods, and means by which offenders commit abuse, how to prevent it, and submit to a background check. 

Interested in Being Catholic?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process by which adults learn more about the Catholic Church. This free program begins on Sunday, September 8 after the 10:30 am Mass in the Ministry Center and meets until Pentecost.

Many people who begin RCIA are non-Catholics seeking to become Catholic or at least to explore whether Catholicism might be a good home. Those who complete the process and decide to become Catholic are initiated into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. Others who take RCIA are already Catholic but want a deeper understanding of their faith foundation.

The RCIA process does not ask those who have been baptized in another faith to give up their denominational experiences. Rather, the RCIA process seeks to add new colors and designs to their existing faith life tapestry. In addition to attending Mass, the RCIA process includes weekly gatherings of breaking open the Word of God, sharing our stories, and learning about our faith traditions.

For information about the RCIA process at St. Gertrude or to register for the program, contact Kevin Chears at or call the Rectory at 773.764.3621.
Volunteer Sign Up Directions
1. Go onto
2. Click on the Quick Link that says Volunteer
3. There you will see NCA’s volunteer opportunities.  All volunteer opportunities require Virtus Training unless otherwise noted.
4. Click on the sign up you want.  Find a spot to sign up!
5. Remember every Family needs 20 service hours!
Volunteer Requirements
1. Completion of form 7703
2. Completion of Online background screening (eApps database)
3. Completion of CANTS form (DCFS background screening – paper only – must be submitted annually)
4. Submission of a signed Code of Conduct form
5. Completion of the Virtus training (must pre-register online)
 All forms and other information regarding these requirements can be found on the NCA website under Volunteer. Thank you for working with us to ensure the safety of all children!

Copyright © 2018 Northside Catholic Academy. All rights reserved.

Primary School Campus: 6216 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773-743-6277  Fax: 773-743-6174

Middle School Campus: 7318 N. Oakley Ave., Chicago, IL 60645
Phone: 773-271-2008  Fax: 773-764-1095 
Join our NCAPO List Serv.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.