Principal Newsletter 2/2/2018

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 
'What are you doing for others?"
                                         Dr. Martin Luther King

OUT AND ABOUT:

  • Congratulations to our middle school students for their great science projects shown at today's Science Fair.
  • The sound of dribbling basketballs and cheering fans is again echoing through the walls of our school as we have begun our 11th annual Tyler Ugolyn Memorial Basketball Tournament. The tournament lasts through February 9th.  I have been here most nights but my favorite memory is the first night. Our Boys Junior Varsity team played a great game and the stage was packed with middle school students cheering on their younger schoolmates. That is the Fatima spirit!
  • Looking for a new place to eat delicious food for an extremely reasonable price? I recommend Café OLFé. It runs out of our kitchen every night during the tournament. I have eaten dinner here several nights during the tournament, and I have never eaten the same meal twice! I know several families that have driven over to the tournament just to eat dinner. So please come, join us, and have a delicious meal.
  • I hope you saw this wonderful newspaper article in the Norwalk Hour on Mrs. Galasso's fantastic spirit through her health difficulties and our school's response. Here is the link.

http://www.thehour.com/wilton/article/Our-Lady-of-Fatima-School-rallies-around-teacher-12539845.php?cmpid=fbsocialflow#photo-14969227

  • We had a successful Open House this past Sunday. Previous to the Open House we had a very extensive social media and advertisement campaign. But do you know what the two biggest reasons people gave for attending the Open House? A referral from an existing Fatima family or seeing our signage in front of houses. Many thanks to everyone who helped promote our school. 
  • I was so proud of 8th-graders: Anthony Bonaddio, Jenna Bonafide, and Anna Zahrah. Father Reggie let them speak at the Sunday Masses for Catholic Schools Week. Their speeches were heartfelt, well-delivered, and highlighted all that we as a school should be proud of. Bravo!
  • A special thank you to our teachers for being here on a Sunday afternoon! And to Adrian Salageanu (H.S.A.), Mara Fleming (Youth Ministry Programs), and Karin Beggan (Theatre Program) for setting up displays and describing their programs to prospective families. The Open House showed how our community can come together. Originally
  • Also a special thank you to Marjorie and Clevens St. Cloud for redoing the outer showcase with pictures from our recent Alumni Game. Please check it out. It looks great.
  • What type of young adult do you want your child to grow into? How about becoming a responsible and community-oriented young adult who lives out our motto of "Service Before Self." At what age do we start teaching community service? Did you know that right now In Ms. Gammardella's Pre-K 4 classroom they are working on a community service project? They are practicing their small motor skills this week and sewing four pillows for the homeless. Bravo, Pre-K 4.
  • In addition, 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. The students have already bought in many pairs of sneakers.
  • Did you know that Mrs. Lynn Vanderslice, First Selectwoman of Wilton, visited with our eighth graders on Thursday and read the book, "The Giving Tree?"   Ms. Vanderslice spoke to the students how much she was influenced by Catholic education and specifically how Jesuit values influenced her in choosing her career. Thank you, Mrs. Vanderslice for taking time from your busy schedule!
  • When you have a moment, please take the time to walk down our school hall and see all the great bulletin boards created by our teachers. They are all beautiful and do a wonderful job highlighting our school.
  • Ms. Fleming coordinated and led a great Pep Rally last Friday. Each of our players was introduced and got to run through a banner to the cheers of the school body. The Pep Squad and Mara set the excited mood and the players' faces of joy and pride were priceless!
  • First grade student, Gracie, came to see me last week. She had an important fact to tell me. She said, "Ms. Berrios is the best teacher!"
  • And that's not all. I was sitting in a meeting afterschool with Ms. Goodale, our kindergarten teacher, and a kindergarten parent. Her son ran into the room and said, "I just want to give my teacher a hug." And he ran over and hugged Ms. Goodale. For a teacher, it doesn't get any better than that.
  • Saturday morning, Ms. Meriwether, Courtney Paige, and I represented Our Lady of Fatima at the Wilton's Mother Club Pre-K Fair at the Wilton Library and discussed our excellent Pre-K program.
  • More exciting STEM news. Our STEM committee met last week and we are going ahead with a technology grant from Something Special and purchasing 20 android devices to power our Virtual Reality headsets. In addition, we are purchasing an iPad, green screen, podcaster, and tripod. Mr. "T" is going to pilot filming with 8th graders a "Morning News Show" that we will broadcast into the classroom. How cool is that? Eventually, we see the formation of an afterschool middle school club that will produce this morning news show.
  • Coding for Kids is returning this spring as an after-school enrichment program. We will offer programs for six weeks. We will offer three age-group sessions: "Little Coders", "Game Development" and "Python." More details to follow. 
  • You should have received a letter from the Fatima Faith Fund 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? Register your child for next year. Diane has sent home all the registration information and keep telling people the wonderful experience educationally your child is having at our school.
  • One positive financial development is the new tax law includes the new provision that  college savings plans called 529 Plans can beginning this year be used also for K-8 Catholic education.
  • 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 opened on February 1st and closes for returning families on March 15th. Any family seeking financial support with tuition must apply for the Bishop Scholarship Fund. Please, if in doubt, apply.
  • This Saturday, February 3 is St. Blaise Day Blessing of Throats. Father Reggie and Father Damian will be blessing throats Saturday at 8:00 a.m., noon, and 4:30 p.m.
  • 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,

 "SHOUT OUT I"

 

Rose Highland. Rose does many jobs for us and she does them all exceptionally well. She is the middle school science teacher, the seventh and eighth- grade computer teacher and the first through eighth grade STEM teacher. It takes a tremendously wide and deep fund of knowledge to fill all these roles. In addition, Ms. Highland often offers extra help after-school or during recess, and is a contributing member of the school's STEM committee which is looking for ways to upgrade our Virtual Reality Unit. Today is the middle school Science Fair which is coordinated and run by Mrs. Highland. Finally, we have been covering Mrs. Rooney's religion class until her return. Who were the first teachers to volunteer to teach these extra classes without being asked: Mrs. Highland and Mrs. Wiemer? Where would our school be without you, Rose?

 

"SHOUT OUT II"

 

Joe Beggin. The Tyler Tournament has been going on for over a week and Joe is a daily presence. He was here for the games all day on Saturday and Sunday and he has been here every night. He is here handling the introductions, coordinating the schedule, and posting his changes. Joe also was the prime force in developing and overseeing the scheduling of all the games.  Thank-you, Joe!

 

"SHOUT OUT III"

 

Tom Bartek. Tom came in on his own time and built a second set of gym bleachers to go with our existing set of bleachers. He also painted them the same so they look identical. The bleachers are beautiful, well-made, and done in time for the tournament. Thank-you, Tom!

 

COMING EVENTS:

 

February 2 - Grandparent/Special Friend Day

                       Report Cards emailed home

February 3 - St. Blaise Day Blessing of Throats in the church at 8:00 a.m., noon, or 4:30 p.m.

February 6th - Grades 4th and 5th-grade field trip to the Wilton Historical Society

February 8th - grade 3 field trip to the Wilton Historical Society

February 9th - Sikorsky Heliventure Presentation Assembly

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

February 22nd - Shakespeare Assembly for middle school

February 26th - S.T.E.M. meeting at 6:00 p.m.

                          H.S.A. meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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 6th - Third Marking Period ends

April 9th- April 13th - No School for Spring Recess

April 21st - H.S.A. Masquerade Gala

April 29th - Open House for New Families

May 4th - No School for Teacher PD Day

May 17th - 8th-Grade trip to Boston

May 19 -Spring Musical "Pulaski"

May 20 - Spring Musical "Pulaski"

May 28th - No School for Memorial Day

June 14th - Flag Day

June 15 - 8th-Grade Graduation in the Church at 7:00 p.m. (This date is will not change.)

June 22nd - Right now, last Day of School for Pre-K through 7th

                   H.S.A. Closing School Party

And Finally:

Does it seem like this winter will never end? Well good news, we started practice this past Wednesday for the Spring Musical, Pulaski Park. What time is it? It is for the musical talents of our students to shine!