"I, alone, cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
OUT AND ABOUT:
An arctic greeting from our school to your home. We missed the kids the last two days last week and we are glad they are back!
Our students participated in several events the last week before Christmas where they helped spread the Christmas spirit! Our Eighth Grade students visited the Whittingham Cancer Center on Thursday, December 21. They sang Christmas Carols, visited with patients, and spread Holiday joy. I could not have been prouder of them as they moved in small groups through the floor visiting patients. Special thanks to Mrs. Kathleen Rooney for arranging this trip as she asked the students to put their faith in action and practice their Corporal Works of Mercy. Also a special thank you to Dr. George Zahrah and Dr. Maria Restrepo for the gift of their time showing the students around the Center and explaining the important work that they do.
At the same time, our third, fourth and fifth-grade students spread holiday joy by singing Christmas Carols for the Wilton Police Department and the Wilton Town Hall staff. This trip was also a great success.
Our Lady of Fatima was well represented at the Diocese "Arise and Shine" Christmas Concert. Connor Bowron, Katie Hanavan, and Claire and Elizabeth Beggan were all selected to be part of this choir.
Our French students were also in the Holiday Spirit. Our fourth and fifth-grade French students presented a Christmas play on Wednesday, December 20th. The children have retold the story of Christ's birth all in French! Our sixth-grade French students followed this performance with another version and a few additional songs.
On Thursday, our 7th-grade French students gave their annual French performance of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer." This presentation was highlighted by the students' excellent French, their beautiful costumes, and by their enthusiasm.
The Norwalk soccer organization Soccerviza is renting our gym this winter on Saturdays from February 10th to March 24 for children's soccer clinics. They will be offering soccer clinics in 0ne-hour blocks for 4-5-year-olds, 6-7-year-olds, 8-10-year-olds and 11 -14-year- olds. They are offering students from our school a 10% discount to attend these soccer clinics. If you are interested in your child attending, you can sign them up at soccerviza.com,
Important Financial Announcement: you should have received a letter from the Fatima Faith Fund the week before Christmas. Until our enrollment increases, fundraising is vital to our financial viability. School enrollment in our school and has been down across the state of Connecticut for both private and public schools for several years now. Please consider giving a tax-deductible gift to the Fatima Faith Fund. Last year we reached our fundraising goal of $75,000. This year we must raise closer to $100,000 in fundraising to stay in the "black." Any contribution you can make to the Fatima Faith Fund is greatly appreciated.
I will discuss issues of school finances, new school programs, enrollment, and school demographics at the annual State of the Schools Report that is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. January 23rd in the Parish Center. All are welcome at this important annual event!
Important academic announcement: the week before Christmas, our 3rd through 8th-grade students took the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) instrument. We have the results, and each teacher will meet with your child and send home a Student Goal Setting Worksheet. This worksheet will identify academic strengths for your child, possible areas of weakness, and an agreed goal for your child to work toward before we repeat the assessment in May. This instrument is a major step toward personalizing instruction for all our 3-8 students and helping all our students meet their full academic potential. Here is a link to the site explaining this assessment tool: https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit/
If you have any questions about these goal setting worksheets or the reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Trying to get the message out what a great school we have is always a challenge. Most schools have full-time marketing staff; we depend on volunteers from our great parent community. Wednesday evening, Susan Patrick, Courtney Paige, and I met to discuss our overall marketing plan. In addition, we began to assign a point person for marketing each upcoming event. More help is needed and no experience is necessary.
Speaking of marketing. The signs and posters for the Open House on January 28th have arrived and are outside my office. You can help market our school by simply taking one and putting it proudly in your front yard. Many people who come to our Open Houses tell us that seeing signage is how they first became aware of our school. Please take a lawn sign the next time you are in our building.
Another simple thing we discussed at the Marketing Meeting that everyone could do to help us publicize our school is just to go to our OLF Facebook page and "Like" the posting. Thanks, everyone!
Good news: our email issue has been resolved. It was "strangely quiet" in the office last week when we had two days with our emails down. If you sent us an email to the school and it bounced back to you, please resend it and thanks for your patience.
I checked our school freezer and it is now loaded with meatballs and sauce. This means the Tyler Ugolyn Tournament must be around the corner! I understand the "meat balls and sauce" parties made over 50 lbs. of meatballs. Wow! These cooking parties were attended by a number of our parents. Special thanks to Clara Taveras, Mara Fleming, Liz Doyle, Lauri McLaughlin, Amber Pace, Diane Robinson, Phyllis Bonaddio, Karin Bggan, Anne McMahon, Madeleine Carroll, and Mariana DeJesus for their cooking skills. With the tournament approaching and the Alumni Game this Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m.more volunteers are needed. No experience necessary!
More new technology: Adrian told me that he found that Rediker also has mobile apps for their Parent and Student portals. These apps can be downloaded from the Apple or Google store (depending on what mobile phone you have) and will make it easier for you to keep track of your child's grades, and homework assignments. Thanks, Adrian!
I have been trying to get Diane McClean, the Wilton Youth Police Officer to come and speak to our students on the topic of internet safety. Because this is a new program, I want Ms. McClean to first speak with our parents. Ms. McClean is now scheduled to come to the January 22 H.S.A. meeting at 7:30. All parents are encouraged to come to hear Ms. McClean share on this important topic.
Gabriella Casole. Is your child becoming a better dancer? It might be because Ms. Casole has incorporated a dance unit into her physical education units. Before Christmas, students had a chance to creatively use music as part of an interpretive dance activity. They also learned line dance steps and played a Freeze dancing game. All this provided a new type of challenging aerobic workouts for our students. Music is just one of a wide range of mediums Ms. Casole uses to engage students in fun but aerobically challenging activities. In addition, Ms. Casole as the Chair of the Athletic Committee is the point person helping coordinate and plan for the upcoming Tyler Ugolyn Tournament. And finally, you will find her in the morning and at lunch with students standing at her gym desk waiting to talk with her. Thanks for all you do, Ms. Casole!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
- January 8th - School Athletic Committee Meeting at 6:00 p.m.
- January 13th - Annual Alumni Basketball Game at 6:00
- January 15th - Martin Luther King Day - No School
- January 22nd - H.S.A. meeting with Diane McClean as guest speaker at 7:30 p.m.
- January 23rd - State of Schools Report at 7:00 in the Parish Center
- January 25th through February 9th - Tyler Ugolyn Basketball Tournament
- January 26th - Second marking period ends
- January 28th - Open House
- January 28th through February 3 - Catholic Schools Week
- February 9th - Sikorsky Heliventure Presentation
- February 16th - No School for Winter Break
- February 19th - No School for President's Day
- March 12th - March 23rd - Iowa School-wide testing
- March 22th - Safe Environment Training
- March 29th - No School for Holy Thursday
- March 30th - No School for Good Friday
- April 2nd - No School for Easter Monday
- April 9th- April 13th - No School for Spring Recess