October 6th, 2017
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place."
Ezra Taft Benson
OUT AND ABOUT:
- I received a package on Tuesday with the label: "Test Results Enclosed. Open Immediately." So after a six month wait for the results of last year's Terra Nova assessments, they have finally arrived! I am mailing home the Parent Home Report today with a letter about the scores. In general, our students did exceptionally well but we are analyzing each individual student results to see how to best academically serve them. If you have any questions about the results, please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher or me. (And thank you again for your patience.)
- A great skill to encourage in your child to help them meet their academic potential is the skill of "using their tools." Here at Our Lady of Fatima School every first through eighth-grade teacher offers extra help hours each week. Attending extra help is a great way to review work your child finds difficult, prepare for a coming test, or get help with homework. I have attached the Teacher's Schedule for extra help hours so you can print it and hang it in your home for reference.
- Now the fun part. Do you want to see Mrs. O'Shea with blue hair? Do you want to see Mrs. Obermayer with blue hair? Do you want to see to see Mrs. Rooney with blue hair? Do you want to see Mr. Steele with his hair dyed blue? To see this is easy - most of the faculty and I will dye our hair blue for a day ..... if the students can meet their $20,000 goal in pledges for next Friday's Saints Hurricane Relief Walkathon. A portion of the donated money will also go to aid victims of the recent hurricanes. Please sign the Participation form and return it to the school office as soon as possible and get out your cameras. Here is the online link to the Walkathon:
- Important meeting for parents. I would like to have Diane McClean, the Wilton Youth Police Officer, come and speak to our middle school students about Internet Safety. Ms. McClean speaks to all Wilton public school children on this topic. The topic of internet safety can quickly get into the serious areas of cyberbullying, sexting, and predators. Because of the serious nature of this presentation, I would like to have Ms. McClean first share her presentation with parents. Ms. McClean is going to attend the November 20th, H.S.A. meeting and speak at 7:30. All parents are encouraged to come to hear Ms. McClean speak!
- Seventeen of our students began lessons after school this past week with Mr. "C" on flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, bells, or drums. In addition, did you know we had five students begin private violin lessons during school from Pre-K 3 to third-grade this week?
- Also, did you know we had fifteen students begin this week in either "Little Coders" or "Game Development?" Students were working on the coding program "Scratch" to program their animals to move. A big thank you to Lara Paschalidis for organizing.
- We often have visitors come to our school. Last week, Flash visited. Flash is a beautiful golden retriever who serves a therapy dog at local hospitals. Margie Baritz brought Flash to Friday's recess as a favor to Dr. Zahrah - much to the delight of our students!
- The Athletic Committee met this week and the dates of the Tyler Ugolyn Tournament have been set. The tournament will begin Thursday, January 25th and run to February 9th. Mark your calendars.
- Last Friday was the H.S.A. Family Movie Night. H.S.A. Co-President, Adrian Salageanu, says there are two types of H.S.A. events: "Fun events" and "Fund events." This was simply a "Fun" event. Both students and parents enjoyed the beautiful outdoor Disney movie, "Zootopia." A special thank-you to Kevin Valerie for providing the gigantic inflatable screen and projector from his company, Untangled.
- Mark your calendars: Mrs. Hide Lynch will be back again this year with the delicious Gingerbread Houses she makes every year with the 5th-grade. The Gingerbread Houses will be sold as a fundraiser at dismissal on December 1st.
- I spent two and a half days last week in the beautiful upper north-west corner of Connecticut at the Diocese fall Administrators Conference. At the conference we learned more about personalizing instruction for all our students. It was very informative and worthwhile.
- Once again calling all scientists, engineers, mathematicians and computer programmers - come share your science vision with us. As you know we offer a S.T.E.M (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) program to all our students in grades 1-8. This year we would like to enrich it with a special after-school S.T.E.M. program beginning in January. To plan and design this enrichment program, we have set-up a S.T.E.M. Steering Committee. We will meet the third Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. At our first meeting last week we discussed a range of curriculum additions from Virtual Reality, to Robotics competition, to 3D printers. We will meet monthly for the three or four months and plan the enriched program. Our next meeting is October 16th at 6:00 p.m. and all are welcome to share in the discussion.
- All parents have received their invitation to access the PlusPortals. This is a new web-based communication system from Rediker. Rediker is the Diocese' new Student Management System. In PlusPortal you can see the nightly homework, real-time grades for each subject, and class and school announcements. Because we are using PlusPortals, we will be phasing out class website pages for announcements, and in the middle school, using Google Classroom to check for homework. We are having some start-up "hiccups" giving 6th through 8th graders their own passwords to log into PlusPortals so they can check their homework assignments and grades. But this should be resolved shortly. Pre-K through second-grade teachers will continue to use the Bloomz app as their primary way to communicate with parents. Thank you for your patience with this change.
- At our Back to School Night, I handed out the results of last year's parent survey. Here is another important take away from that survey: 97% of our parents strongly agreed with the statement that "Parish priests visit the classrooms at my child's school" and 0% of our parents strongly disagreed. In the Diocese as a whole, 65% strongly agreed with this statement and 14% strongly disagreed. We are so fortunate to have Father Reggie and Father Damion at our Parish.
- On Sunday, October 15th, from 2:00 to 4:00 we are having our first Open House for new families. There are yard signs outside my office with metal stands. Please take one and proudly display it in your yard. All parents are invited to stop by the school on the 15th, and share their experiences with new, perspective parents.
"SHOUT OUT 1"
Father Reggie. Father Reggie is an amazing Pastor at our church and a daily presence in the lives of our students. Our students attend Mass every Friday, and they are inspired and enjoy his great homily. Father Reggie will be away next week on his trip to Fatima, Portugal. This trip coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Blessed Virgin appearing to the three shepherd children. We will miss him but know he will come back with a lot to share.
October 9th - No School - Columbus Day
October 13 - Saints Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser
October 15th - Open House for interested 2018/19 families from 2:00 to 4:00
October 16th - Life Touch here for class pictures
STEM Steering Committee Meeting at 6:00 p.m.
HSA General Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
October 17th - Lifetouch here at school for individual photos
October 18th - Living Rosary at 1:45 p.m.
October 24th - 5th-grade River Walk
October 26th - Palestinian Luncheon for grade 7 at 12:00
October 27th - HSA Halloween Bingo Party
November 7th - No School - Teacher Professional Development Day
November 10th - Veterans' Day Assembly
First Quarter Ends
November 10th - HSA International Family Night
November 16th - Report Cards emailed home
November 16th - Noon Dismissal - Parent Teacher Conferences
November 17th - Noon Dismissal - Parent Teacher Conferences
November 22nd - Noon Dismissal for Thanksgiving Break
November 21st - Geo Bee Assembly
November 23/24th - Thanksgiving - No School
December 1st - Gingerbread bake good sale afterschool with Hide Lynch
December 8th - Feast of the Immaculate Conception - No School
December 11th - H.S.A. Christmas Party
December 13th - Bishop Caggiano visits OLF for the 10:30 a.m. Mass
December 15th - School Christmas Concert at 1:00 p.m.
December 22nd - Noon Dismissal
December 25-29 - Christmas Vacation
Our Pre-K 4 through second-grade students came back Thursday from a great field trip to Silverman's Farm. The students, teachers, and parent chaperones got off the bus with bags of pumpkins, looking happy, warm and tired. Thanks to everyone for making it a great day!