OUR LADY OF FATIMA SCHOOL
STANLEY T. STEELE
September 8, 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:
- The school, the classrooms, and halls are filled once again with the sounds of students' voices and students back at work - and we are happy because they are here!
- Important Announcement: yesterday, I emailed you login information and a password to the PlusParent Portal. This is a brand new system for us - new this year the Diocese has switched to a new student information management system called Rediker. As part of the Rediker system, they offer the PlusParent Portal. In the PlusParent Portal, you will be able to find class and school announcements and shortly, even grading information for your child. This is a brand new system for us also, so it will take all of us some time to master it. Middle school teachers will begin next week putting their homework assignments in the PlusParent Portal. The advantage of this from last year, besides being kept up-to-date with class grades, is that instead of needing to log into each separate middle school teacher's class page to find homework or test announcements, you will be able to find it all in one location, the PlusParent Portal.
- We had a wonderful new family Open House last Thursday for our twenty-five new families. The children are great and the parents are delightful. I can tell that they will bring an even greater positive energy to our school.
- On Tuesday, the Diocese offered a wonderful convocation with Bishop Caggiano. During the convocation, there was an inspiring key note speaker, Jonathan Doyle. Jonathan Doyle spoke about a problem not unfamiliar to many people: how we often are faced with work situations that require "increasing demands and complexity which we must respond to with finite time and energy." Mr. Doyle said that too often we unsuccessfully try to deal with problems just with our limited selves. What is the answer? Mr. Doyle advised turning to God as a source of infinite energy and possibilities.
- As I told the new parents, 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. Meeting are scheduled for the third Monday of every month at 7:30 in Mr. T's room. Hope to see you there!
- Calling all basketball coaches and anyone interested in getting involved with basketball coaching: we will have an organizational meeting, this Monday, September 11th at 5:30 p.m. Please contact Gabriella Casole or myself with any questions or comments.
- Do you have one spot in your home designated for your child to do homework? Learning for your child to become self-monitoring with the task of learning to work independently is an important developmental skill. At Our Lady of Fatima School we try very hard to follow the suggestions of the Duke Homework Study of 2008. This study synthesized numerous previous homework studies and suggested ten minutes of homework per night per grade level. This is the practice in which teachers add ten minutes of homework as students' progress one grade. That means ten minutes of homework in first grade, twenty minutes in second grade, thirty minutes in third grade, etc. You can help your child by helping them find a quiet place and a regular time each night to work on their homework.
- 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 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 interested - we welcome your input.
- Play practice for students in grades first through fifth will begin this coming Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. It is the play Hansel and Gretel and it is going to be great - have your child be part of this exciting opportunity.
- It is going to be a beautiful fall and cross country practice begins this Monday for all interested fifth through eighth graders.
- We will have Open School Night on September 21st beginning at 6:00 with a chance to visit the classrooms and learn about the curriculum and teacher expectations. This will be followed by the free H.S.A. dinner and talks from myself, the HSA co-presidents, Athletics Department, Chrystal Theatre, the MusicKids Program, and the Coding for Kids Programs. Please begin to make plans to find a sitter and to spend this informative and fun evening with us.
- 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.
- 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 trip is $60. Karin Beggan and her daughters are planning to attend. Claire, Elizabeth, and Katie Hanavan will be singing with the Diocese Choir (and making us all proud). Please see Karin for more details. The Mass begins at 2:00 p.m. and the Mass and choir will be broadcast live on EWTN.
- Next Wednesday, September 13th, at 10:00 a.m. we will have an assembly in the auditorium for all grade 3-8 students. Lou Varuzzo from Paul Effman Music will be here to talk about the band program. If you have a child in third through eighth-grade, and are interesting in the band program, please look for the information coming home on Wednesday.
- The ability to write code will be an important 21st Century skill for our students. To give Our Lady of Fatima students an introduction to this important skill, we are 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. A spokesperson for Coding with Kids will describe this after-school program in more detail at Open School Night
- Tom Moore and Don Hazzard from American Legion Post 86 in Wilton spent time on Thursday, teaching our 8th-grade students proper flag etiquette. All 8th-graders will have a chance during the school year to raise the flag at the beginning of the day and lower and fold the flag at the end of the day. Mr. Moore and Mr. Hazzard stressed appropriate respect in the handling of the flag. The students are excited to take on this new responsibility!
"SHOUT OUT 1"
Evaristo. This summer we transitioned the art room into a Pre-K 3 room, the science room into a combined art/science room, and had several other projects taking place. Evaristo uncomplainingly responded to countless requests, moved many boxes, and the school looked tremendous the first day. Thank you, Mr. Evaristo!
September 11th - Basketball planning meeting for all coaches at 5:30 p.m.
HSA Meeting to plan Open School Night 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 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
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 for class and team photos
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 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
Nina and Jack Jagetic told me an interesting story about our school and the power of a false rumor. It is a story we all can learn from. Nina and Jack met a family who told them that had brought their child to our school for Pre-K, but because they heard a rumor that "the school was going to close," they withdrew their child from our school. What is interesting about this story and rumor? This event happened eleven years ago! And we are still here! Please, no false rumors.