OUR LADY OF FATIMA SCHOOL
STANLEY T. STEELE
PRINCIPAL NEWSLETTER

October 20th, 2017
 
"Beware of allowing yourself to be cast down by adversity or puffed up by prosperity; faith renders the soul humble in success and constant amid reverses. "
                                                St. Claire of Assisi
 
OUT AND ABOUT:
  • On Tuesday, it is safe to say we had the two most highly qualified teaching assistants in the history of education in our 8th-grade science class. As Mrs. Highland and her 8th-grade class dissected a goat's heart, we had Dr. Maria Restrepo and Dr. Chioma Odukwe Enu here assisting in the dissections.  How amazing is that!
  • We had the 2017 Caribbean Saintswalkathon on Friday, October 13th. We walked on the property of the school, church, and Something Special. The weather was great, and students, staff, and parents had a wonderful walk. Since we have not yet met our goal, the window to submit pledges has been extended to the Halloween Party on October 27th. So there is still time to contribute! We would love 100% participation from all children. And, how often do you get the chance to see the teachers dye their hair blue?
  • Due to an old and out-of-date web platform, we now have a new OLF website. We are transitioning to a fully responsive site built by a well-established company, Edlio. Many thanks to Susan McCall, Margaret O'Brien, Courtney Paige, Michael Paige,  and Adrian Salageanu for their help in this process. On the new transition site, at the bottom of the front page, there is PlusPortal button to directly log into PlusPortal site.
  • Speaking of the website, we are having a meeting on Wednesday, October 25th at 3:45 p.m. to discuss the layout of the permanent OLF website and the needed features for the front page. All are welcome! If you have an idea for the site, but cannot attend the meeting, please just let one of committee know.
  • Our Cross-Country team had their home race at Merwin Meadows this past Thursday. It was well organized by our great coaches Caroline Feeney and Amanda Pace, and the kids all did their best. It was a wonderful afternoon.
  • In the 8th grade S.TE.M. class, the 8th graders have been studying different bridge structures. Across from the Religion Room downstairs, you can see examples of their work.
  • On Sunday, October 15th, from 2:00 to 4:00, we had our first Open House of the year. Ten families came and toured our school. Special thank you to all the teachers, parents, Student Ambassadors, and the H.S.A., and School Board members who spent their Sunday here at school. The parents I spoke to told me how they could feel the sense of community in the school and they also commented on how professional our teachers are. We have two shadow days set-up for new students as a direct result of the Open House.
  • Here at Our Lady of Fatima School every first through eighth-grade teacher offers extra help hours each week. A great skill to encourage in your child to help them meet their academic potential is the skill of "using their tools." Attending extra help is a great way to review work your child finds difficult, prepare for a coming test, or get help with homework. Please encourage your child to take advantage of these tutoring opportunities.
  • St. Thomas said that there are three ways to discover God: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. It is the challenge of our school and our communities to provide this experience for our students every day.
  • 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!  
  • On Tuesday, we had a beautiful Living Rosary in the church. Children from third to eighth grade took a turn leading a part of the rosary. Thank you to Mrs. O'Shea for her leadership and Mrs. Strmecki for directing our 8th-grade chorus in their songs. It was a moving experience for everyone there.  
  • This past week we had a very engaging and informative meeting of our S.TE.M.  (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math ) Steering committee. We had an impressive range of professionals and teachers contribute to the discussion. It was a wonderful evening of ideas on what science background do our students need to be ready for high school, college, and for careers of the future. We discussed the important principle that technology should be a tool to enrich the curriculum but not the curriculum itself. Thank you to Rose Highland, Kevin Vallerie, Liz Halpin, Heather McGuiness, Adrian Salageanu, Jerry Mantzioutas, and Chinedum Osuji for attending and adding to this discussion.We will continue to meet the third Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Our next meeting is November 20th at 6:00 p.m. and all are welcome.
  • As a follow-up to the S.T.E.M. meeting, Adrian's company contributed over fifty-five Virtual Reality Viewer Headsets with Coral Oceans Lesson Plans to our school. Thank you, Adrian!
  •  We now need to be able to power these Virtual Reality Headsets: please consider donating any and all old smartphone devices to be used for our newest addition to the STEM program - Virtual Reality Classrooms!  With the use of generously donated "viewers", students can simply add on a smartphone and tour the world, travel back in time, explore underwater reefs and even interact with wildlife in the jungle!  Gently used Android and IOS devices (preferably wiped clean of any personal data/information and do not need to be active on a cellular account) are needed to make this work and can be dropped off in my office.  If you don't know how to "wipe" the information, please let me know to schedule a time to have it cleared for you. Click here to learn more about the VR Program. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and I thank you for your help!
  • At the H.S.A. meeting this week the decision was made by the H.S.A. to host a Spring Gala.The date will be Saturday, April 28th. Last year's Gala was a blast with the entire school community coming together for great food, conversation and dancing. It takes a lot of work to plan such a major event and the first planning meeting will be this Thursday, October 26th from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Shaffer's residence at 36 Old Orchard Drive in Weston.  Please RSVP by Tuesday to Carrie Shaffer at shaffercp@gmail.com.  Feel free to contact Carrie Shaffer or Joanne Salageanu at joanne.salageanu@gmail.com if you have any questions. All parents, especially NEW PARENTS are invited to attend. Half the fun is getting ready, and as my mother used to say "Many hands make light work."
  • George's Grill is now offering a paper lunch menu and a web login. The menus are on the table outside of Diane's office.
  • We had Picture Day this week and there were many questions about uniforms. Because of the warm fall, we will not begin wearing Winter Uniforms until November 6th. Please mark your calendars and I will remind everyone of the change on November 3.
  • Did you know Connecticut just changed its Child Seat Belt law? Here is the link to a newspaper article explaining the new regulations.
  • 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: 100% of our parents strongly agreed with the statement that "Parents have numerous opportunities for involvement at school" and 0% of our parents strongly disagreed. In the Diocese as a whole, 88% strongly agreed with this statement and 3% strongly disagreed.
 "SHOUT OUT 1"
Mrs. Patty O'Shea. Patty has been a fantastic 3rd-grade teacher here every day for seventeen years. In addition, she offers extra help every Wednesday afternoon, coordinates the scheduling of teachers in the after-school program and works there several afternoons a week, and provides joy and happiness to everyone in our school on a regular basis.  In addition, for seventeen years she has led the school in the Living Rosary. Finally, when I am out of the building, it is just assumed that Patty is next in command. Where would we be without you Mrs. O'Shea?

"SHOUT OUT II"
Courtney Paige. Several parents, including Susan McCall and Margaret O'Brien, were very involved in the decision making around selecting the new web company that would develop a new OLF website that would be much more responsive than our present site. However, the final Edlio site will not be ready for ten-weeks and we needed a web presence during that time period. Courtney developed a fantastic transition site with many of the features of the permanent site. She did this over the course of a weekend! Wow! And thank you, Courtney.

COMING EVENTS:
October 24th - 5th-grade River Walk
October 26th - Palestinian Luncheon for grade 7 at 12:00
Gala Meeting 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Shaffer's house - 36 Old Orchard Drive in Weston
October 27th - HSA Halloween Bingo Party at 6:30 in the gym
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 18th - Performance of Hansel and Gretel at 3:00 p.m.
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
January 15th - Martin Luther King Day - No School
January 25th through February 9th - Tyler Ugolyn Basketball Tournament
January 26th - Second period ends
January 28th through February 3 - Catholic Schools Week
 
And Finally:
Are your children's Halloween costumes ready? Are YOUR Halloween costumes ready? Are you ready for some Halloween Bingo? The fabulous H.S.A. Halloween Bingo party is happening next Friday, October 27 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in our gym. It is going to be a blast! I hope to see you here.

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