Principal Newsletter 1/22/2018

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.'
                                                        Dr. Martin Luther King

 

OUT AND ABOUT:

  • What type of person do you want your child to grow into? How about responsible and self-motivated young adults? On Friday, I was on the phone when the 8th graders who were assisting at the 9:00 Mass came to my room. They saw that I was talking, on their own, they walked over to the church. When I entered the church, the altar servers were lighting candles and the readers for the Mass were taking turns rehearsing their readings from the altar. These 8th graders were doing this without any adult direction! Bravo young people! You make us proud!
  • Last week we had an important school check-in meeting with Bishop Caggiano. Bishop Caggiano supported our plan to continue to work to personalize instruction at our school next year. He also encouraged us to begin working on a longer five-year plan for our school. We are very excited to begin this process.
  • This Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Center, we will begin this process as I will discuss issues of school finances, new school programs, enrollment, and school demographics at the annual State of the Schools Report. We need you at this important meeting and I want to hear your ideas about growing our school. Do you need more incentive? Wine and cheese will also be served, so please plan on joining us.
  • 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.
  • What else can you do to help? Keep telling people the wonderful experience educationally your child is having at our school. And enroll your child for next year!
  • One positive financial development is the new tax law includes the new provision that pre-tax college savings plans called 529 Plans can beginning this year be used also for K-8 Catholic education. I have attached a fact sheet about this plan and strongly encourage everyone to look into this new savings opportunity.  New Rules for 529 Plans
  • Important information on the Bishop Scholarship Fund: new this year the Bishop Scholarship Fund application will be part of the FACTS application. The window to apply opens on February 1st and closes for returning families on March 15th. Any family seeking financial support with tuition must first apply for the Bishop Scholarship Fund.
  • Besides this new financial information, we have had many other exciting events over the last few weeks.
  • Under the leadership of Lara Paschalidis, we have started our winter after-school enrichment programs. On Wednesdays after-school, Nina Antolino Jagetic is offering Yoga for Children; on Fridays after-school, Dr. Ries is offering Chess Club for intermediate and middle school students. Both programs are excellent and there is still space available if you are interested in enrolling. Please contact Lara for more information at Larasmith@netzero.net.
  • Under the leadership of Mara Fleming, our OLF Youth Ministry is coordinating a community-wide sneaker drive to be donated to a Big Brothers and Big Sisters Charity organization. You can drop off sneakers in our school lobby and the drive coincides with the annual Tyler Ugolyn Memorial Basketball Tournament beginning January 25th and lasting until February 8th.
  • Last Saturday Evening we had the annual Alumni Basketball Game at our school. The event was led by Gina O'Sullivan, Vicki Lynch, and Linda Sweeny and we had 37 Alumni come back for this fun and exciting game. The game was highlighted by good basketball skills, good sportsmanship, and good fun for all those involved. In addition, it raised $3,575 for the Fatima Faith Fund. (Did I mention the Pep Squad did a great job getting us started?) Jack Soucy performed double duty as leader of the "White Team" and play-by-play announcer. Jack is also a Senior and starter on the Trinity High School Varsity Basketball Team. Here is the link to an article on Jack that ran recently in the Stamford Newspaper:

www.stamfordadvocate.com/highschool/article/Soucy-keys-defense-in-Trinity-Catholic-boys-hoop-12474712.php

  • 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.
  • 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 in your front yard or on at a busy intersection. 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.

"SHOUT OUT I"

Rebecca Grammadella. What is the most important characteristic of being a great Pre-K teacher?  The answer is to love the kids so they have a great first experience at our school. Ms. Grammadella often stops to share something delightful that one of her students said or did in the classroom  Did you know that Ms. Grammadella changes all her Pre-K lessons each year based on the needs and the interests of her students? Besides teaching, Ms. Grammadella spends time outside of work doing a great job managing our Facebook page. Thanks for all that you do for our school, Becky! 

 

"SHOUT OUT II"

Lara Paschalidis. Lara has taken on a number of very important jobs for our school and she does them extraordinarily well.  This year in the fall she organized the class parents and now sends out a newsletter for the class parents full of important school information. Ms. Paschalidis also organizes and plans our after-school enrichment program. This includes researching programs and making recommendations. Through her leadership, we have "Yoga for Children" and "Chess Club" running these winter months. Finally, she also oversees the annual Teacher Wish List.  Thanks for all you do for our school, Lara.

 

COMING EVENTS:

January 22nd - H.S.A. meeting

January 23rd - State of Schools Report at 7:00 in the Parish Center

January 22-January 25th - Midterm exams for our middle school students

January 25th through February 9th - Tyler Ugolyn Basketball Tournament

January 26th - Second marking period ends

January 28th - Open House from 2:00 to 4:00

January 28th through February 3 - Catholic Schools Week

February 2nd - Grandparents / Special Friends Day

February 9th - Sikorsky Heliventure Presentation

February 13th - LifeTouch here for team photos

February 15th - Middle School Dance in our gym

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

 

And Finally:

Does your child want a "Dress Down" Day? We currently have 450 "likes" for our Facebook page. Facebook is a great way to promote our school and events like the coming Open House. If we can make it to 700 "likes" by Friday, January 26th, we will have an all school "Dress Down" Day! Please encourage your family and friends over the weekend to like and share our Facebook page!