OUR LADY OF FATIMA SCHOOL
STANLEY T. STEELE
PRINCIPAL NEWSLETTER
August 25, 2017

"Cast yourself in the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength."
                                                                        St. Philip Neri
OUT AND ABOUT:
  • Last Friday, Ms. Gianna Fiorentini handed in her written notice. She has taken a position with the Norwalk Public Schools. Gianna was an excellent Kindergarten teacher for us and helped this school in a range of important ways. She taught after- school classes, led technology initiatives, and took a leadership role in committees. We wish Gianna the best and thank her for her five years of exemplary teaching and leadership at our school.
  • In addition to her teaching, one of the important additional jobs that Ms. Fiorentini performed for us was to oversee the Fatima Facebook page. I am happy to announce that it will be in good hands as Ms. Becky Gammardella has agreed to oversee the Our Lady of Fatima Facebook page for this coming school year. You can send pictures, announcements, and other information that should go on our Facebook page to Ms. Gammardella at rgammardella@olfcatholic.org.
  • To replace Ms. Fiorentini in the classroom, I am excited to announce that we have hired Ms. Katherine Goodale to teach Kindergarten in our school. Ms. Goodale has a Master of Arts in Education from Sacred Heart University and has taught one year as a lead kindergarten teacher at the Delphi Academy in Boston. Ms. Goodale's references included this wonderful comment: "Her pleasant nature, professionalism, and strong work ethic will allow her to fit into any team with ease." I am confident that Ms. Goodale will fit right in with our strong team of teachers.
  • In addition to Ms. Goodale, I am happy to announce that we have hired Mrs. Traci Meriwether to be our new Pre-K 3 teacher. Mrs. Meriwether has her Master of Arts in Education from Sacred Heart University and a Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Mrs. Meriwether has 13 years of teaching experience at a variety of grade levels for the Clarke County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Darryl Wyatt, her former Principal, said that "she did a terrific job with the kids" and that "he would take her back in a moment." I see Mrs. Meriwether and Mrs. Gammardella with their assistants forming an unbeatable Pre-K team!
  • One of the best things about our school is the supportive parental community. If you haven't yet, please consider becoming active in our Home School Association (HSA) this year. No Experience Necessary! This year your child will find new friends - but so could you!! Meetings will be held the third Monday of every month at 7:30 in Mr. T's room. I would love to see you come and participate and so would the HSA!
  • Attention to our 23 new registered families: your Fatima Adventure is about to begin! On August 31st at 1:30 p.m. we will host an Open House/Meet your child's teacher event. All new families are invited. It will begin at 1:30 p.m. (this meeting time has been changed since my last newsletter.) and you will get the chance to meet other new families, staff, and tour the school. Let the adventure begin!
  • The second annual Parish/School Cookout is tonight! Last year's cookout was a blast for both students and parents. The Cookout begins at 5:00 p.m. Father Reggie is having the event catered. If you are planning to attend, and I hope you are, please RSVP at the Parish Office by phone 762-3928 or by email at www.olfwilton.org. It will take place in front of the school.
  • 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 enriched program, I would like to set-up a S.T.E.M. Steering Committee. We will meet the third Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. We will meet for three or four months and plan the enriched program. Please let me know if you are available.
  • Do you want your child to learn a new instrument? New this year, violin, piano, and guitar instruction is coming to Our Lady of Fatima! Students as young as Pre-K 3 will have the opportunity for violin, piano, or guitar lessons through the Music Kids program. This program is modeled on the Suzuki method. More information will be available on Open School Night.
  • Remember if you are planning to coach this year or chaperone a field trip or Diane has been emailing you about your VIRTUS training being out-of-date, in our school, all adults working with children must be VIRTUS trained. I have an easy solution to this problem: Father Reggie is offering VIRTUS training on Monday August 28th from 7-8:30 pm in the Parish Center. Please call the Parish office at 762-3928 to register. Thank you, Father Reggie!
  • On September 23, Bishop Caggiano will dedicate the outdoor shrine at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The purpose of this shrine is both to honor young people and to continue the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's appearance to the children of Fatima. Anyone who wishes to travel to and from the event on the same day can meet a bus in Stamford. The cost for this is $60 and registration can be completed at www.thefaceofprayer.com The Mass begins at 2:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on EWTN.
  • What are the skills needed to be successful in the 21st Century? As my son, Owen, and I visited science programs this past summer, every college professor we spoke to discussed how being able to write code is becoming a basic needed research tool. To give Our Lady of Fatima students an introduction to this important skill, we our planning to partner with "Coding with Kids" to bring after-school coding classes to our students. Students as young as Kindergarten will be able to participate. Stay tune for more information.
  • Remember how great last year's musical, The Snow Queen, was? This fall Joe and Chrystal Theatre will be back to direct students in grades 1-5 in the show, Hansel and Gretel.   Your child will have a ball in this fall's production of Hansel and Gretel based on the classic Grimm Brother's story with music adapted by Cheryl Kemeny from Humperdink's Opera.  With lots of fun parts for all including sassy witches, sandmen, dew fairies, a hard working father, evil mother, Hansel, Gretel, and more! Will they find their way home? Your child will learn to sing, act, and dance in this adorable production! Practices will take place on Wednesdays with a November performance. More information to follow. This is another amazing opportunity for our students. Thank you Karin Beggan for arranging! The spring 3-8 play has not been decided on yet.
  • Does your child need a new uniform for next year?  Reminder: there is a free uniform exchange at the bottom of the stairs to drop-off or pick-up gently used uniforms. Thanks to everyone for contributing. Please help yourself!
  • The Terra Nova results from last year are still delayed  (I am sounding like a broken record) due to a "system integration" issue at the CTB level. The diocese is saying this is a national problem effecting public and private schools all over the country. Now they are predicting the reports will arrive sometime at the start of school. As soon as we receive these reports, we will mail home the parent copy home. Thank you for your continued patience.
  • I am at school every day. Please feel free to drop in to chat and to let me know how your summer is going!
  • Labor Day is on September 4th this year, there is teacher PD from the Diocese on September 5th, so our first day with students will be Wednesday, September 6th.
 "SHOUT OUT 1"

James, Mary, and Rose Highland, Evaristo, and Owen Steele. After only a one year period of time, the Pre-K playground was again this summer overgrown with grass. These five people volunteered their time last Tuesday to weed the playground - and now it looks great. My help? I ran out to get lunch.

COMING EVENTS:
August 25th               - School/Parish Cookout
August 28th               - VIRTUS training from 7-8:30 pm  in the Parish Center
August 30 and 31st    - Staff Retreat and PD
August 31st                - Meet Your Teacher Event for new students and parents 
                                      at 1:30 p.m.
September 5th           - No School- Bishop Convocation
September 6th           - First Day for students - mark your calendar
September 11th         - HSA General Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
September 18th         - STEM Steering Committee Meeting at 6:00 p.m.
                                     HSA General Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
September 21st          - Open School Night, Dinner and Social
September 23rd         - Bishop Caggiano dedicates the Basilica of the National Shrine                                        of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC
September 29rd         - HSA Outdoor Movie Night
October 9th               - No School - Columbus Day
October 13                - Saints Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser
October 15th             - Open House for interested 2018/19 families
October 16th             -  Lifetouch here at school
                                     STEM Steering Committee Meeting at 6:00 p.m.
                                     HSA General Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
October 17th             - Lifetouch here at school
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 23/24th    - Thanksgiving - No School
December 8th           - Feast of the Immaculate Conception - No School
December 11th         - HSA Christmas Party
December 13th         - Bishop Caggiano visits OLF for the 10:30 a.m. Mass
December 22nd        - Noon Dismissal
December 25-29       - Christmas Vacation

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