November 18th, 2016
" In the face of those moments of discouragement we experience in life, in our efforts to evangelize or to embody our faith as parents within the family, I would like to say forcefully: Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope!"
                                                            Pope Francis, World Youth Day,
                                                            July 24, 2013
  • On November 6th, I was happy to represent Our Lady of Fatima School at a Pre-School Fair at the Wilton Library. I came away thinking that our Pre-K program compares favorably in terms of nurturing, enrichment, time length, specials provided, and cost. Thanks to Becky Gammardella and Trish Kaczmarek for providing this environment and program! Also, thanks to Gina, as always, for providing great pictures for me to use to show our program!
  • Speaking of Pre-K, they had a great time this week. Michele Stuart from Michele's Pies came into their classroom to lead a class in baking apple pies. Sounds delicious! Lucky Pre-K families!
  • On Monday, November 7th, I sent out a test voice mail of our School Closing system. If by chance you did not receive this message, please contact Diane in the school office.
  • At our Professional Development Day on Election Day, we explored Google Apps for Education and set up a Google testing calendar so teachers can communicate better with each other around their testing plans. We are also making plans to set-up Google Classroom for our middle school students. Please make sure you have returned the Acceptable Use Policy to the school. I am visiting 6th through 8th-grade classes and discussing being a good digital citizen and preaching "Keeping personal information personal," and there is "No eraser on the internet." Talking to today's youth about the internet and making good decisions with social media is an important responsibility for all of us.
  • Sixth and Seventh grade had a great field trip to the home of Mark Twain. We are so fortunate to live close to the home of one of the greatest, and most fascinating American writers. Thanks to Danielle Mancuso for arranging.
  • Wanted: a new family is looking for a taxi service to bring their Pre-K age children to school and home every day at noon. Wilton Public School provides transportation starting in Kindergarten. Would anyone recommend a specific taxi service? Please just let me know.
  • You know how they say numbers do not tell the whole story. Here is an example: last year our enrollment was 141; this year our present enrollment is 139. However, I was looking at last year's yearbook. We graduated 18 eighth grade students, and 19 students for different reasons did not return. We started on July 1st with 105 enrolled students for this school year. This means we have added 34 new students since July 1st.  This number includes new students to our school, new siblings registering for the first time, and new Pre-K students. A sincere thank you to everyone for "talking proud" about Our Lady of Fatima School! Keep it up!
  • On Veteran's Day, the school and the HSA hosted a Veteran's Day Ceremony. During this ceremony, we honored community member, Captain Kelly Malloy; and OLF parents and veterans: Sgt. Noel McGuinnes, Cpt. Caroline Feeney, and Sgt. David DeJesus. In addition, through Kevin's technical skill, the students had a chance to listen to Lt. Colonel Donnie Hasseltine in a live feed from California. You could not help but be moved after listening to each speaker's humble and heartfelt dedication to our country. It was an unforgettable event for our students.
  • Last Saturday, I had the chance to experience another fantastic OLF tradition: International Family Night. It was a wonderful night of food, music, and culture from around the world. Many parents added to the evening by wearing authentic costumes from their country of origin. Did I mention the delicious food? Let's just say I have many more steps to go to walk off all the food I ate that night. Thanks to the HSA and all the parents involved who contributed to such a great night. As my grandmother would say in her Irish brogue, "It was a grand evening."
  • This week we had many productive parent-teacher conferences. The partnership between the school and home is the most basic building block for your child's academic growth. Thanks for making this a priority and taking the time and coming into a conference. I know we ran short of time slots for some of our middle school parents. If you would like to meet with your child's teacher, but did not get the chance. Please just contact your child's teacher directly to arrange a meeting.
  • Did you know we collected 90 lbs. of candy in our Treats for Troops drive?
  • It is the time of the year to think about those less fortunate than ourselves. The student government is collecting cans of food, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, or tomato sauce for the Open Door Emergency Food Shelter. Please send canned goods in, the drive ends Monday, November 21st.
  •  The Fire Department is sponsoring the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Christmas campaign looking for new, unwrapped toys. Their collection box is in our front lobby. Your generosity is appreciated!
  • On Wednesday, I went to an interesting workshop for all Diocese of Bridgeport administrators. It was given by Dr. Donna Volpitta founder of The Center for Resilient Leadership. Dr. Volpitta defined resiliency as our response to any challenge. And that our resiliency is built on how we were able to respond to previous challenges. She said self-esteem is the natural product of overcoming these obstacles. When our children are faced with challenges, social or academic, she encouraged us to take the long-term perspective and help them focus on the situation, their support, and their strategies. The good feelings come when the child has successfully resolved the situation. Fascinating!
Pam Zmeck. Pam does a fantastic job teaching our 4th graders and social studies and vocabulary to our 5th graders. Her calm manner, professionalism, and nurturing approach are appreciated by all her students. In addition, she is always trying to grow as a teacher and recently attended a two-day workshop on English Language Arts. Pam, you are a wonderful example of what makes Fatima special!
Kevin Vallerie. Kevin is an Our Lady of Fatima alumnus, a school board member, and Chair of our Technology Committee. He recently donated the beautiful TV in our lobby to our school. In addition, Kevin was the driving force organizing, arranging, and hosting last week's Veteran's Day Ceremony. Thanks for all you do for our school, Kevin!
November 22nd -      Wilton Fire Department here for fire prevention                                           presentation
November 23rd -     Noon dismissal - No After-School
November 24/25 -  Thanksgiving Recess
November 29th to December 2nd
                                Scholastic Book Fair taking place in the gym
November 30th -     Picture Retake Day
December 1st -       8th graders to see the play, Wicked, at the 
                               Oakdale Theatre
                               5th graders baking Ginger Bread houses here in school
    4th graders to the Knights of Columbus Museum for           Christmas  tree trimming
December 2nd -     First Friday Mass hosted by Grade 7
December 4th -      Meeting for Second-grade parents and their children                                   on Sacrament of Reconciliation.
December 6th -      H.S.A. meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.
December 8th -      No school for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 9th -      4th/5th/7th grade to see "The Nutcracker." Students will                               eat lunch in school at 10:30 a.m.
December 11th -    School Christmas Party
December 21st -    Christmas Pageant at 1:00 p.m.
December 23rd -    Noon dismissal for Christmas recess - No After-School
December 26 through January 2 - No school for Christmas recess
January 3rd -          School Resumes   and  HSA meeting at 7:00 p.m.
January 6th -          First Friday Mass hosted by Grade 8
January 16th -        Martin Luther King Day - No School
January 20th -        Marks close for the second quarter
January 29th -       HSA breakfast to kick-off Catholic Schools Week
January 30th through February 3 - Catholic Schools Week
February 3rd -      Grandparent/Special Friend Day
                             First Friday Mass hosted by Grade 6
February 7th -      HSA meeting at 7:00 p.m.
February 17th -    No School - Winter Break
February 20th -    No School - President's Day
February 26th -    First Eucharist meeting for second-grade parents
Thanksgiving is next week. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln reinstituted Thanksgiving Day as a National Holiday in the mist of the Civil War to have the country take time and give thanks to God for his many blessings? It remains a day to gather as a family, celebrate our great country, and give thanks to God for our many blessings. Enjoy!


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