March 17th, 2017

"Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me."
                                                                                    Saint Patrick

  • Top of the Morning and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
  • Correction - save the date: Tuesday, March 28, (not March 27) I will be presenting the annual "State of the Schools" report in the Parish Center at 7:00 p.m.  I will cover the areas of academic assessment results, enrollment, demographics, financial status, and plans for future growth. John Doyle, Board President, and Steve Soucy, Head of the Financial Committee, will also be speaking. I hope to see you there to discuss our wonderful school and future.
  • Spring Cross Country is beginning and is open for all students in grades fifth through eighth. It starts on Monday, March 27th. Practices are Monday and Wednesday (students participating in the play are excused from Wednesday Practices provided they run on their own once a week) and races will be Thursdays. This is a great opportunity for our students to participate in the sport of cross country and to get into great shape. Please see Caroline Feeney with any questions.
  • March Madness has arrived at OLF middle school. But in this case, it is not basketball; it is teams of middle school readers tracking reading minutes in March. Who will advance out of their bracket? Who will be the surprise? Who will be the champions? Stay tuned for more updates and great idea, Mrs. Mancuso!
  • I have met with the middle school teachers to discuss the National Junior Honor Society. We have decided that in our school's local chapter a 94% average over two middle school years is the minimum cumulative grade point average required to be considered. Letters were mailed home today to eligible 7th graders and the Induction Ceremony will be held on April 27th. 
  • Save the Date: the 3rd annual Our Lady of Fatima Talent Show is scheduled for April 7th at 1:00 p.m.  Permission slips were sent home this past week.
  • At the board meeting, I took the position that after lowering of the registration fee to only $50 and with the tuition fee for 17/18 not being raised, we did not need any more incentives for families to register early.  Thank you to everyone who has registered already! Registration for the 17-18 school year is taking place right now. Especially at the primary grade level, but at all grade levels, knowing our expected numbers will help us tremendously in our planning. Please put it on your "to do" list. The 17/18 school year registration forms were sent home but also can be found on our website. All registration must be completed at our school before you apply for Bishop Scholarship grants through the diocese. Bishop Scholarship applications are due by April 1st. Please see Diane in the office with any registration questions. Also, please make sure that Diane is aware if you referred any new family to us so you can receive your discount. So far we have had 11 new students enroll for next year.
  • On Friday, March 3rd, we had a school-wide assembly to celebrate all the teams that participated in this year's Tyler Ugolyn Basketball Tournament. As the highlight of the assembly, we had a banner ceremony celebrating the Girls Varsity Team for winning their division. The Girls Varsity Team was the first Fatima Team in six years to win their division. To end the day, what did we do? A faculty versus 8th grade basketball game, of course!
  • Speaking of basketball - are you looking for child care this summer? Does your child like basketball? Are you aware that Our Lady of Fatima offers a great basketball camp every summer for students entering grades 3-8? It will run weekly from July 10th to August 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The camp fee is $250 per week. For more information call Linda Sweeny at 203-434-4341 or email her at Olfbasketbllcamp@aol.com. I was here last summer and it is a dynamite camp and a great experience for the kids.
  • Have you made a tax deductible contribution to our Fatima Faith Fund this year? If not, please consider doing so. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and very needed for our school.
  • Did you know that last Thursday, the first grade classroom was turned into an operating room? Students wore surgical masks and gloves as they operated on words to remove unneeded vowels to create new contractions. I am happy to report that all words survived their operations! Great idea, Ms. Berrios
  • Becky Gammardella shared a fascinating article with me on Pre-School education in the "Atlantic Journal." The article is entitled "The New Preschool is Crushing Kids: Today's young children are working more, but they're learning less." It speaks to the need to develop speaking and listening skills in young children, not just academic skills. I agree completely with the main points and feel this is the focus of our own Pre-K program. (So everyone can be very proud of it and great job Becky and Trish!) You can find the article  at:  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/01/the-new-preschool-is-crushing-kids/419139/?utm_source=atlfb.
  • Mark your calendars: Saturday, May 13th is the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin appearing at Fatima.  We are having a long Spring Musical play practice that day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I am asking all students to bring their school uniforms to play practice and stay for the procession led by Bishop Caggiano, then 5:30 Mass, and then a reception hosted by the parish. All Fatima students and their families are encouraged to attend this very special and important day. All Fatima students are encouraged to wear their uniforms to Mass that Saturday! Each student who attends the Saturday Mass in Uniform will get a Dress-Down Day Coupon for the following week!
  • Get Ready - 2017 Yearbooks are coming! All orders must be in by April 7th. On March 30, Lifetouch will be here for basketball team pictures and student club and organization pictures. All basketball players should bring their uniform to school for team pictures that day.
  • Last year, the Parish Tuition Assistance Program provided invaluable financial support to families who, for a variety of reasons, did not receive financial aid through the Bishop Scholarship Fund. To make sure we can support families wanting a Catholic Education in 2017-2018, but again are unable to get support from the Bishop Scholarship Fund, we have set up a GoFundme page. It can be found on the OLF Facebook page.  Any donation you could make would be greatly appreciated. Equally important, if you could simply share this GoFundme post on your own Facebook page. This would be of tremendous assistance to our school. Thank you for your support of our school!
  •  Ms. Gianna Fiorentini is in the running for a $2,500 grant from Farmers Insurance.   The winner is based on the number of votes received so please vote.   You can vote everyday under every email address you have (work, personal, etc.).  This money would be used to help upgrade some technology within the school so we would all benefit from winning!   Please consider saving this link and visiting it every morning/afternoon when you check your email!  Please share this link with everyone you know!  https://www.farmers.com/thank-americas-teachers/vote-for-a-teacher/vote-for-a-proposal-form/ Go, Gianna!
  • When the snow melts, plan to get out and start jogging.Gabrielle Casole, Amber Pace, Caroline Sweeny and I are working on planning the First Annual OLF 5K Race on June 3rd. More information to follow but you now have a fitness goal. We are hoping to attract many alumni to participate. A special thank you to Diane's husband, Rick for advising us. If you are interested in helping with the planning, our next meeting is this Monday at 3:00 p.m.
  • Attention all mothers of young children. Our Young Mother's Group has begun again.  The goals of the group are to provide a discussion and support experience for the mothers and also provide a socialization experience for the young children. We are meeting twice a month on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and we are partnering with the Wilton's Mothers Group. Our next meeting will be on April 5th and all mothers with young children under three years old are welcome. Please call me if you have any questions.
  • Father Reggie is sponsoring some great new Parent Ed opportunities for adults. On March 23rd the Parish is offering a course on "Bible Basics" and in April and May a weekly course entitled "Mary: Queen of Heaven - Mary's Battle for You." Both courses are fascinating. In addition, Father Reggie, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady appearing at Fatima, is planning a trip to Fatima, Portugal from October 9 to October 15th. Please call the Parish Office at 762-3928 for more information.
  • The big H.S.A. Spring Roaring Twenties Gala will be held on April 29th at the Rolling Hills Country Club. This venue can host up to two hundred people, so invite your friends and get ready to party. You can reserve tables of up to eight people.  For more information contact Joanne Salageanu at  joanne.salageanu@gmail.com  or Carrie Shaffer at shaffercp@gmail.com.
  • During Mass today, we had a medical event involving one of our students. While waiting for emergency services to arrive, our students were wonderful, demonstrated great maturity, and I could not be prouder of them. The student involved is recovering.  A special thank you to the parents in church who assisted, our calm teachers, and of course to Father Reggie, for handling everything so well.
Chris Arcuri. Every school day, Chris does a fantastic job teaching and differentiating his instruction for seventeen energetic second-grade students. In addition, Chris prepares our second-graders every year for the important sacraments of First Penance and First Communion. Chris also is a key member of wonderful After-School Program and still finds time to offer his students after-school homework help on Thursdays. In his free time, Chris works on his jump shot to make a difference in the faculty vs. Eighth Grade basketball games. In short, Chris contributes to our school in many, many ways. Thanks for all you do, Chris!

Jen Wieland. Jen is the school bookkeeper. The finances of a small Catholic School can get complicated. Jen is here only two days a week, but makes the most of her time, organizing our accounts, preparing payroll, processing invoices, and even taking checks to be mailed out. She does all this in a considerate manner and with great integrity. Jen is truly an important "behind the scenes" person who helps our school run smoothly! Thank you, Jen.

March 17th - St. Patrick's Day Supper from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
March 21st - Jump Rope for Heart during gym classes
                        Parish Gardening planning and organization meeting at 7:00 p.m.
March 23rd - Kindergarten and First Grade field trip to see "Little Red Riding Hood."
March 24th - Safe Environment Training for students in grades K-8
                        Children's Stations of the Cross at 4:30 p.m.
March 27th - Spring Cross Country begins
March 28th - The Tooth Fairy will be visiting Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms
"State of the School" report in the Parish Center beginning at 7:00    p.m.
March 30th - Group photos for yearbook (sports teams, clubs, etc.)
March 31st - Marks close for the third quarter
                        Career Day for Middle School students in the afternoon
April 1st - Children's Stations of the Cross at 12:00  p.m.
April 3rd - Parent only Eucharist meeting for second-grade parents
April 5th - Mother's Group from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
                  7th graders leading Stations of the Cross beginning at 10:30 a.m.
April 7th - Report Cards sent home
                   First Friday Mass hosted by Grade 5
                   School Talent Show at 1:00 p.m.
April 10th through April 14th - School closed for Spring Recess
April 15th - Parish Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast at 10:00 a.m. and ten dollars per family
April 17th - School closed for Easter Monday
April 18th - School resumes
April 19th -  Mother's Group from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
April 27th - NJHS Induction Ceremony at 1:00 p.m. in the gym
April 29th - H.S.A. Spring Gala at the Rolling Hills Country Club
May 2nd - H.S.A. meeting at 7:00 p.m.
May 4th - Rehearsal at 4:00 p.m. in the church for second graders making their First Eucharist
May 5th - Living Museum presented by middle school students
May 6th - First Eucharist for second graders at 9:30 a.m.
May 7th - H.S.A. Mother-Son event
May 9th to 12th - Scholastic Book Sale in the gym
May 10th - 5th/6th/7th grade field trip to Sturbridge Village
May 11th - 8th Grade trip to Boston
May 12th - School living Rosary celebrating Our Lady's appearing at Fatima
May 13th - Parish celebration for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady appearing at Fatima in 1917. Procession beginning at 4:45 p.m., followed by 5:30 Mass with Bishop Caggiano, followed by a reception at the church
May 14th - Mother's Day
May 19th - Movie Night hosted by OLF teachers
May 20th - Spring Musical, The Snow Queen, at 7:30 p.m.
May 21st - Spring Musical, The Snow Queen at 3:00 p.m.
May 25th - Sports Dinner
May 29th - Memorial Day - No school
June 2nd - Spring Concert
June 6th - Professional Staff Development - No school for students
June 8th - 8th- grade luncheon
June 9th - 8th-grade graduation
June 13th - Field Day
June 14th - Kindergarten Graduation at 10:00 a.m.
June 21th - Last Day of School  (At present!)
June 26 to June 29th- Vacation Bible Camp
July 10 through August 4 - Summer Basketball Camp between 9:00 and 300
"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall softly upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand."
                                                                Traditional Irish Blessing



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