Digital Adventures Virtual Coding Hack-a-Thons

Hope everyone is doing well! Just writing to let you know that Digital Adventures (our Coding program vendor) is hosting a series of virtual coding hack-a-thons for kids this Fall.
They’ve organized the coding hack-a-thons by platform: Scratch, Roblox & Minecraft.
The goal is to enable kids to engage with technology building in a way that augments their school experience.
To register, head here:

Virtual & Offsite Fine Arts Fall Programs

We won’t have any Fine Arts after-school programs for the start of this year, but if parents are still interested, some of our vendors are offering offsite or virtual programs, and are accepting registrations now. Here they are (with links):

DIGITAL ADVENTURES: During live-stream sessions led by amazing instructors, students learn fundamental technology building skills that will prepare them for a digital first world. Classes include coding, 3D printing, video game design, animation, movie-making, Roblox and Mincecraft Modding. Also has its own learning studio conveniently located at 406 Linden Ave, Wilmette, IL that could host programs for a limited number of St. Juliana students who live in the area.

YOUNG REMBRANDTS: Offers art classes for kids. Local drawing lessons are available after school on the far northwest side of Chicago and also in surrounding suburbs such as Harwood Heights, Norridge, and Elmwood Park. Our preschool drawing, elementary drawing and cartoon drawing classes complement and expand existing art programs in local County schools. Young Rembrandts provides all materials, top-quality instructors and curriculum for weekly drawing classes. Our classes are built to be fun, but children who participate in Young Rembrandts local art classes increase overall academic skills, fine motor skills, social skills and confidence. For more info, see the On Demand flyer.

STICKY FINGERS COOKING: Cooking classes for St. Juliana students! Specially reserved dates/times below.


  • 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16
  • 6 classes
  • Tuition: $96.00
  • Time: 9:30-10:30am


  • 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19
  • 6 classes
  • Tuition: $96.00
  • Time: 3:30-4:30pm

IMPACT DOJO: Impact Dojo has developed LIVE martial arts online classes. These classes are not videos. The classes are live and the students have actual interaction with their instructor.  They will still be able to test and advance in their ranking. We built out the program so that it feels as though they are in the room with us. Below are some of the things you need to know about our classes. For more info, see the flyer.
Things to know

-Monthly subscription -NO CONTRACTS!!-There are three tiers of classes. 1 day, 2 day and 3 days a week-We are offering private lessons.  -Each student will have their own account and student portal just as they do in their schools-Parents with multiple kids will have coupon codes that they can use(please let me know if you have a second or third child you want to register and I will send the code)-You will be able to choose times and days that fits you best in student portal-You can schedule a class every week or schedule recurring classes on day/time that works best for you all the way until July(this can be changed any time)
What kids will need for class-Gi(Uniform) *If you do not have a uniform you can purchase one in our shop; Zoom; Space to move safely without breaking anything or hurting themselves

Virtual Voice & Acting Lessons w/ Kari Nelson

For all the drama-loving students out there, our Spring Musical’s assistant director, Kari Nelson, is taking her private coaching business virtual (with discounted rates!). For all SJS students looking to take voice or acting lessons over the summer, this is an excellent option.

The private coaching will be done over Zoom, with accompaniment tracks sent for any songs you work on. Kari will also offer some Zoom group workshops later this summer (dates TBD), but you can join the roster of private students now.

If interested, or for more information, contact Kari ( to discuss details. If you’re not already familiar with Kari, see her official bio. Thanks!

“XanaZoom”: Here’s what you need to know

We’ve been working through the Zoom production of Xanadu. It’s not going to be easy, but we do have some initial directions as to how we think we can pull this off. There are going to be several components to the process. Here’s how we expect it to work, along with key dates/times:

  1. Kids will record themselves singing their assigned songs. In the next day or two, I will send an email to all cast parents with: (a) the song assignment for each cast member; and (b) mp3 audio files of the rehearsal tracks for each song (which you can download). Cast should play the music through headphones so they can hear their cues, and record themselves singing along with the music in their headphones [we should not hear the music in the recordings – just the singing itself] – can record via Phone, iPad, Zoom, etc. If assigned multiple songs, please record each song separately and then send the video files to Please send me the video footage no later than Friday, May 15. The idea is that the recordings will basically be a capella tracks, and then I will edit the footage together and add the instrumental under their singing.
  2. Zoom practice on Friday, May 8 from 2-4pm. We will have a cast Zoom session (link to be provided) to rehearse the dialogue scenes (no singing) and do a test run for the recording. The idea is that when not in a scene, kids will mute their mics and then un-mute when it’s their turn to speak. Kind of like being on stage and off stage.
  3. Zoom recording on Friday, May 15 from 2-4pm. We will have a cast Zoom session (link to be provided) to perform and record all the dialogue scenes (again, no singing).
  4. John edits everything together. After all the kids’ music performance videos are sent to me (by May 15) and we record the dialogue (on May 15), I will hunker down with iMovie and edit the whole show together into a (hopefully) coherent final product. My plan is to have it ready by end of May.

Appreciate in advance your helping the kids put this together. Any questions, let John know (, and keep an eye out for an email from me in the next day or two with the song assignments and mp4 files. Thanks!

Xanadu T-shirts and Refunds

Thanks to everyone who came by today to pick up their t-shirts. If you couldn’t make it today, no worries. Look for an email from me tomorrow – we’ll make the t-shirts available for pick-up on Sunday.

If you are still interested in donating any of your crew fees, ad sales or ticket monies to FAA, just let John know by Sunday, April 26 ( If I don’t hear from you, we’ll assume you want a refund and will start processing those beginning next week.

More details on the Zoom performance to follow. Thanks!

Important Xanadu Updates for all Cast & Crew

With the recent announcement that in-person schooling would not resume for the remainder of the school year, it appears that Xanadu is officially cancelled. Or is it? While we cannot do any live performances of the show, it would be great to give our cast members some kind of payoff and closure for all the hard work they put into rehearsals.

So, we’re planning to do a recorded Zoom version of the show, with cast members performing all of their scenes and songs. They can perform sitting down or they can stand and do the choreography. They can wear their own homemade costumes and will be able to use their scripts (as I’m sure their memorization is a bit rusty). Once we have the recorded Zoom footage, I’ll edit it together into a video that can be shared with the school and all the students. The idea would be to do something similar to the Zoom Hamilton sing-a-long that went viral a few weeks ago. See it here:

We’re looking to do a practice run on Friday, May 8 (time TBD), and record the show on Friday, May 15 (time TBD). Would be great to have as many of our cast members participating as possible. A parent permission doc will be circulated in the next week or two for all interested participants.

Other Xanadu-related items:

  • T-SHIRTS. Our order was processed back in February, so all cast and crew members still get their Xanadu shirts. Crew members also get a “XanaCrew” t-shirt (clever, right?). We will be passing t-shirts out in the School Parking Lot on Friday, April 24 from 2:30-4pm. Please stop by and pick them up!
  • CREW FEES ($40). The two crew t-shirts cost us $20, so we are only able to refund parents the other $20. You have two options: (1) donate the $20 to FAA (thank you!), or (2) get a refund for $20. Please let John know your preference (and address if requesting refund) by emailing him at: by April 24.
  • CAST FEES ($80). We believe cast members received their money’s worth over the course of rehearsals, so no refunds will be issued.
  • AD SALES. If you bought an ad in the program, you have three options: (1) donate the money to FAA (thank you!); (2) apply your payment to next year’s program; or (3) get a refund for the full amount. Please let John know if you want to donate the money or apply it to next year’s program by April 24. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll assume you want a refund. If you paid by check, we will just void and shred the checks. If you paid by cash, we will return your payment (in that event, you may hear from us, as we’ll need your address).
  • TICKET SALES. All ticket sale orders will be refunded. If you paid by check, we will just void and shred the checks. If you paid by cash, we will return your payment (in that event, you may hear from us, as we’ll need your address).

A weird end to this year’s Spring Musical to be sure, but hopefully the Zoom performance works out and we’ll at least have some version of Xanadu for the SJS time capsule! Any other questions? Just email John at Thanks, and more to come!

Digital Adventures Has New Online Coding Classes

Saint Juliana’s video game programming and animation vendor, Digital Adventures, has developed and launched a new K-12 live-stream online learning platform that teaches kids the essentials of programming, problem solving, and collaborating in a virtual, remote setting.  Similar to its before-school classes offered these past few semesters, the focus is to inspire creativity and teach kids how to build with technology so they can one day change the world.

The live-stream online STEM learning program is taught by the same qualified instructors who have led instruction at Saint Juliana. Best of all, the program was developed to compliment what is already being taught in the classroom and ease the burden on parents by providing the instruction & guidance they would expect from any in-person program – all at an affordable price.   

If you think your students might be interested in taking advantage of this new live streaming online STEM program, head to: for more information.