OUR LADY OF FATIMA
CATHOLIC SCHOOL
PRINCIPAL NEWSLETTER
  May 19th, 2017
 
" There is nothing on this earth more prized than true friendship."
                                                                       St. Thomas Aquinas
OUT AND ABOUT:
  • The Parish and school celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin appearing at Fatima on May 13th. On Friday, to prepare our students presented a Living Rosary outside.  Special thanks to Mrs. Patty O'Shea for leading this event and Mrs. Becky Gammardella for providing the pigeons which were released at the end of the Rosary.
  • On Saturday, the student group, led by Mrs. Mara Flemming, retold the story of the six apparitions in song and dance. This was followed by the 5:30 p.m. Mass, said by Bishop Caggiano who gave an amazing homily. This was well attended by our students and parents. The Mass was also highlighted by the beautiful singing of the youth choir led by Mrs. Flemming. The Norwalk Hour covered the event with a wonderful article and beautiful picture of Alex Fordsman who played the role of the Blessed Virgin. Thank you to all for making it such a memorable and blessed day. 
  • The middle school teachers and I meet weekly to discuss how to best meet the needs of our students. The last few weeks we have been discussing, in particular, how to best meet the needs of students with organizational challenges.  Two resources we have looked at are "The Motivation Breakthrough" by Richard Lavoie and "Smart but Scattered" by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare. Both books provide many great strategies for students dealing with these organizational challenges. The Dawson and Guare book focuses on developing compensatory Executive Functioning skills both at home and at school.
  • More awards for our students. The Catholic Daughters announced their state winners for this year contest on the theme of "Whatever You Do For The Least Of My Brethren, You Do For Me." First place winners from Our Lady of Fatima School included: Patriska Richard in the Art Category, Rick Wang in the Poetry Category, and Lauren Davis in the Computer Art Category.  These students' submissions will now go to the national level - Wow! Other students who placed at the state level were Keira Primps, Ryan Carroll, Allison Edouard, and Rian Byars. Congratulations to all our students!
  • The next time you are in the building, check out the kindergarten bulletin board and all the places our kindergarten students have received post cards from. Great job, Ms. Fiorentini!
  • Fantastic news - as I have written about during the year until we increase our enrolment we will need to do additional fundraising each year. Something Special has announced that this year they will match up to $25,000 for any contribution to the Fatima Faith Fund given before June 21st. Yea! This is wonderful news! If you have not yet made a contribution, please consider making a donation to the Fatima Faith Fund this year. Whatever you can give to the Fatima Faith Fund will be matched by Something Special and be of great help for our school. Thank you, Something Special Board members!
  • We are still waiting for a number of our families to reregister. If you have any concerns you would like to address with me, please do not hesitate to contact me.
  • We do have sixteen students already enrolled in next year's Pre-K 4 program. This means we will split our Pre-K three and our Pre-K four program next year. This is a nice problem for us to have.
  • Since we do need to create a new Pre-K 3 classroom for next year, any gently used and developmentally appropriate books, toys, puzzles, wagons, supplies, or tables would be gratefully accepted. You can just bring them to my office and many thanks for your generosity.
  • The Athletic Committee has once again this year donated $1500 to the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation from this year's tournament. I can think of no more appropriate charity and we are very proud to host our tournament in Tyler Ugolyn's name. This amount was matched by an anonymous Fatima family.  Many thanks.
  • The youth authors, Sarah Fieber, Tracey Hecht, and Rumor Dowling had a wonderful assembly with our fourth through seventh grade students last week. They are the authors of the popular youth fiction "Nocturnals" Series. These authors were very interesting, engaging and inspiring in the assembly for our students. Sarah Fieber is the daughter of our own long-time speech pathologist, Debbie Fieber. Thanks to Pam Zmek for organizing.
  • Congratulations to the OLF Cross Country Team, coached by Caroline Feeney
    and Amber Pace. In the Fairchester North Division Championship meet, the following OLF runners placed: 5th grade girls - 1st place Sofia Pace/4th place Luisa Spremulli,
    5th grade boys - 4th place Alex Wong, 6th grade boys - 5th place tie - Brian Weiss and Jadyn Westcott, 8th grade girls - 3rd place Meghan Koziolkowski/4th place Meaghan Sabino, 8th grade boys - 1st place Frank Bonaddio. Wow! Congratulations to all our runners and coaches.
  • The third and fourth grade had a great field trip this week just crossing the street and visiting the Wilton Historical Society. We were impressed with how hands-on the activities were for our students. Fifth to seventh graders had a successful field trip to Sturbridge Village and our eighth graders had a great trip to Boston. Many thanks to our fabulous teachers for organizing and our wonderful parents for chaperoning.
  • We have been blessed in many ways this year in our school. We would like to sponsor a service drive to help those less fortunate than we are. We are planning to collect toiletries for the Life Bridge Center in Bridgeport. The Life Bridge Center serves families  that are homeless or impacted by poverty. We will be collecting a range of toiletry items such as tooth paste, tooth brushes, soaps and wash clothes. There will be collection boxes in the main lobby and the drive will last until June 16th. Thanks, to Amber Pace for bringing this great idea to us. (She says she was inspired by a homily by Father Reggie - no surprise there!)
  • The diocese is interested in your feedback about your experience in our school. All families of students in elementary schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport will be emailed this week a confidential survey.  Please take a few minutes to share your valued input. If for some reason you do not receive the electronic survey, please email schools@diobpt.org and include your name and school name. 
  • Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day and Our Lady of Fatima School is planning to march in the Memorial Day Parade. The Parade kicks off at 10:00 a.m. and we will gather at the school at 9:30 a.m.
  • You might have heard of a controversial new series on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why.  The content of the show is definitely not appropriate for our age students. The diocesan Leadership Institute has put together a list of resources for parents of older children. You can access this information at:
  • Reminder that June 19 and June 20th will be half-days of school. June 6th is also a half-day of school for children with teacher PD scheduled for the afternoon. The After-school program will be available for students on June 6th and June 19th, it will not be available for students on June 20th, the last day of school.
  • Mrs. Zmek's fourth grade class had the highest percentage of parents attend the recent Spring Gala. As a result, they won a week of dress-down days. They have chosen next week - just in time for the warm weather!
  • I received an email from the diocese saying that the Terra Nova results are delayed this year due to a "system integration" issue at the CTB level. As soon as we receive the results, we will mail home the parent copy. Thank you for your patience.
  • Does your son or daughter love basketball? Reminder: OLf runs a dynamite and fun basketball camp during the summer.  This summer the camp will last four weeks for July 10th to August 4th.  You can sign your child up for part of the time or for the entire four weeks. For more information, email Linda Sweeny at linda.sweeny@raveis.com
  • Looking way ahead to next year, Labor Day is on September 4th, there is teacher PD from the Diocese on September 5th, so our first day with students will be Wednesday, September 6th. Please make a note. The school board approved the 17-18 calendar this week. Please find it attached.
  • Looking ahead to this weekend: it is show time for our school play! Saturday night The Snow Queen begins at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday afternoon The Snow Queen will begin at 3:00 p.m. Good luck to all our young actors and actresses - See you here!
 
 "SHOUT OUT 1"
Mariah Berrios. The Primary Grades are so important in a number of ways - it is where students first develop the love of school and the feeling of being safe at school; it is where students first develop the love of reading, and it is where students learn how to be a member of a class. Our first graders have benefited all year from their excellent first-grade teacher, Ms. Mariah Berrios. Ms. Berrios had a kind and gentle manner in everything she does and is also extremely organized and plans for her students daily in many engaging and creative ways. Most mornings to get ready for the day, Ms. Berrios is the first teacher in the school. Thanks for all you do, Ms. Berrios!

"SHOUT OUT II"
Karin Beggan and Kat Christakos. Karin is the driving spirit behind this weekend's school play and the primary reason why we are able to put on such a grand production at OLF! She is there every moment, of every practice, setting up, cleaning up, and everything in between. Kat has also been a huge help with costumes, makeup and general crowd control! Thank you, Karin and Kat!

COMING EVENTS:
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 24th - Kindergarten and First-grade field trip to Earthplace.
                    Sports Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
May 25th - Talent Show
May 29th - Memorial Day - No school - Wilton Memorial Day Parade begins at 10:00 a.m.
May 30th through June 1st - 8th -Grade Final Exams
June 2nd - Hospitality after Mass honoring this year's 8th -grade class and hosted by Grades 1 and 3
Spring Concert at 1:00 p.m.
June 5th - 8th Grade Retreat
June 6th - Half-day of school for students - 12:00 dismissal
June 8th - 8th- grade luncheon at 11:35 in the gym
June 9th - 8th-grade graduation
June 12th - Pre-K graduation
June 12th through June 14th - 6th and 7th-grade Final Exams
June 14th - Kindergarten graduation at 10:00 a.m.
Second and third-grade field trip to Bruce Museum
June 15th - Spanish play Mulan after lunch
June 16th - Field Day
                     HSA End of School Picnic
June 19th - Noon dismissal for students
June 20th - Noon dismissal for students
Last Day of School 
June 26 to June 29th- Vacation Bible Camp
July 10 through August 4 - Summer Basketball Camp between 9:00 and 3:00
September 6th - First day for students
 
And Finally:
 
At conclusion of the Living Rosary on Friday, we released homing pigeons. Becky tells me they covered the 38 miles back to her father's home in 19 minutes. Wow. What can you say? It was a Friday and like all Connecticut commuters, they were in a hurry to get home fast for the weekend!

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