OUR LADY OF FATIMA
CATHOLIC SCHOOL
PRINCIPAL NEWSLETTER
August 26, 2016
"Love takes up where knowledge leaves off."
St. Thomas Aquinas
OUT AND ABOUT:
  • The July Parish/School Cookout was great and it was wonderful meeting so many of you there! Also, seeing Father Reggie in the Dunking Booth is not something I will soon forget!  
  • I am excited to introduce you to our new staff:
    Ms. Gabriella Casole has accepted the positions of .6 PE teacher, with the resignation of Kevin Huber, and Athletic Director.  Ms. Casole graduated in 2015 from Southern CT. State University with a Major in Physical Education. Last year Ms. Casole had a long-term leave replacement position as a PE teacher at Silvermine Elementary School in the fall and then had a long-term leave replacement position at Brien McMahon HS in the spring. Ms. Casole's references describe her as having "great people skills," is "hard-working," and is an "excellent teacher."  
  • Ms. Mariah Berrios has accepted the position of first-grade teacher with Ms. Gammardella moving to teach in our Pre-K. Ms. Berrios graduated in 2014 from the University of Rhode Island with a Concentration in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Berrios has worked for the past two years as a Pre-K teacher in Greenwich, CT. Ms. Berrios' references describe her as possessing a "love for teaching," is "born to be a teacher," and is "respectful of all students and their needs."
  • Mr. Angelo Tsingerliotis (Mr. "T") has accepted the position of middle school social studies teacher and part-time computer teacher with the resignation of Ms. Caitlin Schneider over the summer. Mr. "T" graduated with a degree in History from Western CT. State University in 2013 and then received a Master's degree in Secondary Education from Sacred Heart University in 2015. Mr. "T" had a long-term leave replacement position teaching middle school social studies in the Ridgefield school district last year. Mr. "T's" references describe him as a "hard worker," is "very committed" and "really knows the content." Mr. "T" is also the Head Girls Soccer Coach at Brien McMahon HS.
  • Finally, Ms. Ellen Moore, after being gone for several years, is returning as an aide in our Kindergarten class with Ms. Fiorentini.
  • All new teachers will be available in their rooms on September 1st from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to meet with students and their families. Mark your calendars!
  • Thanks to the generosity of Father Reggie and the Parish we have new folding, cafeteria tables. This year we will divide the school into two lunch periods with students in grades 5-8 eating lunch together in the gym at 11:38 and then going to recess, and students in Pre-K through 4 going to recess first and then eating lunch in the gym from 12:03 to 12:26. As you are planning your lunches, please remember we will remain a Nut-Aware school free of peanuts.
  • Our most important job is to keep your child safe. All adults who plan this year to chaperone students on a field trip, participate as a class volunteer, or coach a sport are required by the diocese to be Virtus trained. To find a convenient Virtus training date and time just visit the Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools website http://www.dioceseofbridgeportcatholicschools.com/ and click on the "Resources" tab. You must pre-register online for this training. In addition, Father Reggie is offering Virtus training on September 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the parish center. You must pre-register for Father Reggie's workshop also. Mark your calendar!
  • For adults who already have been Virtus trained, Bishop Caggiano has declared that this training must be updated every five years. You can update your Virtus training online. Just go to Virtus.org and be sure to also authorize the background check. This background check is only for child crimes. If you need any assistance in updating this important training, please contact Diane Favier in our office.
  • Thanks to the generosity of a family from the Parish, who wishes to remain anonymous, we have been able to purchase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) LeGo Robotic kits for all second through fifth-grade students. Yea!! This means Ms. Rose Highland will now teach a STEM class once-a-week to all second through eighth-grade students. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to begin to develop and enhance technology skills needed for the 21st Century!
  • More exciting news - the bathroom project appears to be on schedule, so all students will have beautiful new bathrooms when they return in September. Thanks to John Doyle for monitoring this major reconstruction project.
  • New this year, our school will host a "Mom and Tots Playgroup." This program will run in cooperation with the parish, is free, and is open to any parent with a young toddler - age 12 months to 30 month old. The children will enjoy story time, free play and arts and crafts. The goals for the children will be socialization and enrichment; the goals of the program for the parents will be discussion and support. The "Mom and Tots Playgroup" will run for ten-weeks in the fall and our first meeting will be September 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the school. Please contact me for additional information.  
  • Important notice: any Wilton parent interested in transportation for their child this year should contact Ms. Mary Channing, Director of Transportation for the Wilton School District. I have met with Ms. Channing and interested families would have their children ride the Cider Mill bus runs in the morning and arrive at OLF School at 7:30 a.m. We will have staff here to receive the students. You can contact Ms. Channing with any busing questions at Channingm@wiltonps.org. Unfortunately, this busing option is only available for kindergarten through eighth-grade students, from the town of Wilton. I am told by Connecticut state law, towns only need to provide K-8 transportation for private schools within their own town limits.
  • We have been working this summer on updating our school website. The goal is to have the school site a source of information for current families and a clear reflection of our vibrant school for perspective families. Many thanks to Gina for providing the beautiful pictures of our students and school events, and to Courtney and Gianna for working on our content. Bravo!
  • The PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK 2016-2017 is now on our web page. I apologize for my delay in putting it up due to review and editing tasks.
  • We had a great meeting with the Athletics Committee this week. They stressed to me that athletics play a major role in the lives of many students here at OLF. The Athletics Committee wants to make sure that all parents feel included. To help facilitate this we are having an Open Athletics Meeting on September 7th in the gym at 7:30 p.m. All parents are invited to learn more about athletic opportunities for our students and the many different roles parents play in making this happen. Hope to see you here!
  • I have made a commitment to publishing a Principal Community Newsletter every other week during the school year, and once a month during the summer to facilitate clear communication.  I will need the help of everyone: school, HSA, Athletics, Something Special store, the parish, and school community to make sure my coming events are up-to-date and accurate. Just email me at SSteele@olfcatholic.org or call me at the school at 762-8100 with your event information.
  • I am in school every day from 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please stop in and say, "Hi."
FIRST "SHOUT OUT:"
Father Reggie, Clara, and Pat from the Parish for planning, organizing and carrying off a great July Parish/School Cook-out. I hope this past summer's July Cook-Out begins a new school and parish tradition!
SECOND "SHOUT OUT:"
Joanne, Ursula and the Board of Something Special. Both our school playgrounds were in dire need of weeding and additional wood chips from years of use. Joanne arranged for the contractors, and Ursula and the Board of Something Special provided the funds. The playgrounds now look fantastic!
 
 
COMING EVENTS:
August 30th - Pre-School Open House for non-registered families
August 31st - Pre-K Orientation at 10:00 a.m. for registered families
                         Kindergarten Orientation at 11:00 a.m. for registered families
September 1st - Teachers report for Conference Day
September 1st - Opportunity for parents and students to meet the new teachers from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
September 6th - First Day of School! Pre-K 3 through 8th
September 6th - H.S.A. meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.
September 7th - Open Athletics Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
September 9th - Parish Welcome Back Social for Adults - Father Reggie is hosting this event in the parish center beginning at 7:00 p.m.
September 13th - Virtus training in the parish center
September 21st - First meeting of Mom and Tots Playgroup
September 23rd - Open School Night
September 28th - Mom and Tots Playgroup
September 30th - Family Movie Night
October 4th - H.S.A. meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.
October 5th - Mom and Tots Playgroup
October 10th - No school for Columbus Day
October 12th - Mom and Tots Playgroup
October 14th - School Walkathon
October 19th - Mom and Tots Playgroup
October 21st - Halloween Bingo
October 26th - Mom and Tots Playgroup
November 1st - H.S.A. meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.
November 2nd - Mom and Tots Playgroup
November 8th - No school - Teacher PD
November 9th - Mom and Tots Playgroup
November 16th - Noon dismissal for Parent/Teacher Conferences
                                Mom and Tots Playgroup
November 17th - Noon dismissal for Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 23 - Noon dismissal
                              Mom and Tots Playgroup
November 24/25 - Thanksgiving Recess
December 6th - H.S.A. meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.
December 8th - No school for feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 11th - School Christmas Party
December 23rd - Noon dismissal for Christmas recess
December 26 through January 2 - No school for Christmas recess
 
WANTED:
We still have a very great need for a volunteer from our parent community to moderate the Field Hockey team this year.  It's a short season, September-through the first week of November, with about 6-8 games, some home, some away and about 5 practices. No experience necessary in coaching or field hockey! If we do not have a parent come forward shortly, we will not be able to offer the sport this fall. Please contact me if you might be interested.
AND FINALLY:
Can you feel it? The rooms are cleaned; the teachers are back in the building working....the excitement of a brand new school year is starting to build!
 

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