February / March 2020
Family Newsletter
Stay current with Marist news and events
Letter from the Principal
February/March 2020

Dear Marist Families:

I am writing this after our "Pathways Forward" meeting.  The packet that we distributed that night is intended to help you select your son's/daughter's next school.  I have since updated the packet to include the NYC schools and METS Charter School. I am attaching it here to this newsletter. Consider it thoroughly, and most importantly, be sure you visit the potential choice before you decide.  With a clear mind, solid information, and help from your Marist counselor, we are confident that every Marist student will be registered at their new school by March 15.

Why is this deadline of March 15 so important?  In order to achieve peace of mind and good emotional health, it is important to take action.  Letting the decision weigh upon you and your son/daughter will only increase anxiety.  We should all be able to make our decision over the next six weeks. Also, after the search is over, we want to plan a celebration.  We'd like to shift gears and make the rest of the school year one that we can really enjoy together.  
Another reason we are encouraging a March 15 deadline is because your sons and daughters are anxious about their teachers finding new jobs.  If the receiving schools know how many of our students will be joining them, they'll know how many new hires they'll need. March-April is when the hiring season begins.  My hope is to have a Marist teacher and/or staff member at each school our students will be attending. That familiar face, there to greet them in September, will go far in helping our students' transition.

In early January, the students met a motivational speaker named Nathan Harmon. His life story testifies that we can overcome the challenges that life presents if we stay connected to one another and communicate: both horizontally . . . with our peers, and vertically . . . with our mentors, our parents, the adults in our lives.  We are hoping that our sense of community at Marist will provide the emotional support we need to face and overcome this challenge of choosing a new school. 

Lastly, know that I have never taken your trust in me lightly.  The research done these past three weeks to smooth the "Pathway Forward" hopefully assures you that you and your sons and daughters are my utmost concern.  

We are all here for you, every staff member, every teacher, every counselor.  Please reach out. We will not rest until every single student finds a new home.

On one other note, I just want to remind everyone that our gifted fine and performing arts students are hard at work preparing for our phenomenal Annual Arts Festival on Friday, March 27th at 6:30pm and our Spring Musical, Annie, to be staged on Saturday, April 4 at 2:00pm. Mark your calendars!!

As ever,
Ms. Alice J. Miesnik
Academic News
Mr. Jeremy Kay

2nd & 3rd Quarter Report Cards : Will be mailed home on Thursday, February 6 th and Thursday, March 26 th .  Remember anyone who has an outstanding tuition balance will not receive a report card.  Please make sure your address is up-to-date; if you have a change of address, please contact Mrs. DePoalo at kdepoalo@marist.org.
2nd & 3rd Quarter Dean's Breakfasts: If your son/daughter made our Dean's List, the Dean's Breakfasts will be at 8:00am on Tuesday, February 11 th and Tuesday, March 31 st . All of our Honor Roll students will be acknowledged during our year level assemblies the same days.   
2nd & 3rd Quarter Study Hall: Begins on Wednesday, February 12 th and Wednesday, April 1 st . Study Hall is mandatory for anyone who failed two or more subjects for the previous quarter.  Students in Study Hall are academically ineligible to participate in sports and activities.  See Mr. Kay with any questions .
3rd Quarter Progress Reports: Will be emailed home on Thursday, February 27 th .   These grades are an assessment of how your son/daughter is doing at the mid-point of this third quarter.  If you do not receive your son's/daughter's progress report, please call Mrs. DePoalo (201-437-4545 Ext. 201).  Also, please contact a teacher if your son/daughter did not do as well as expected.  Now is the time to remediate any problem that may exist. The end of the 3 rd Quarter is March 19 th .
Activity Period: Takes place Wednesday, February 19 th and March 18 th .  Ask your son/daughter what activity they are participating in and how much fun they are having!  
ACT and Pre-ACT Testing: On Tuesday, February 25th, Juniors will take the ACT for the first time. Freshmen and Sophomores take a Pre-ACT test. This ACT is a standardized test that many colleges use for admissions and placement. We encourage your sons/daughters to approach this day seriously as they did the PSAT testing in the Fall. Remember, these standardized test scores will follow them to their new schools. Students will be dismissed around noon when the test finishes. Seniors should use this day to visit colleges.
Communicate:  Please communicate with your son's/daughter's teachers via e-mail or voice-mail, especially if he/she did not do well in a given subject. Now is the time to devise an improvement plan. Help is available: ask a teacher for extra help, go to the Library Media Center for tutoring after school Monday through Thursday, or go to Study Hall (mandatory for those who fail 2 or more subjects).  

Model UN will compete in the annual Model UN competition held at St. Peter's University on March 2
nd and 3 rd .  Mr. Power and the students have been working hard all year to prepare for this competition.  Marist has traditionally earned many prizes! Good luck to all participants!

National Honor Society Candidates:  During the month of March, Ms. Heymer and Mrs. Pagano, the NHS moderators, will be notifying Juniors and Sophomores of their eligibility to apply to the National Honor Society based on their current GPA.  The application process is rigorous and requires each student to substantiate service, leadership, and character in addition to a stellar GPA.  We wish all the candidates the best!

Campus Ministry News 
Mr. Michael Power
Encounter: On the weekend of January 16-19, five of our upperclassmen spent the weekend at the Marist Brothers Center in Esopus. They learned more about the special Marist spiritual tradition. This is a time for our students to reflect on their time here at Marist and on new transitions and upcoming journeys in their lives. Please pray for these students as they return to school and work together to continue the mission of Marcellin Champagnat.  There are two more opportunities for students to attend an Encounter: March 5-8 and April 2-5. Please talk to your son or daughter about taking advantage of this opportunity to connect to the greater Marist Network. Once Marist, always Marist. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service: On January 22nd, we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We reflected on his life and our duty as citizens and believers to make the world a better place. We were reminded that the challenge of justice for all is an everyday activity, and not just when it is convenient. Our inspirational guest speaker was Alison Jones-Harmon '03, an accomplished playwright and actress whose play Ollie will be staged at Loew's Theatre in Jersey City on February 22.  Check it out! Parents, please know you always have an open invitation to join us in community during any Mass or Prayer Service!

Ash Wednesday  will be observed on February 26th. We will gather together in our beautiful chapel to kick off the Lenten season. The students will be challenged not only to give something up for Lent but also to improve their lives by adding something that would benefit their local community. Ask your son or daughter about their Lenten Challenge!

 Junior Leadership Ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, March 19th, beginning at 6:30 PM in our gym. This ceremony celebrates the juniors becoming leaders. Our rising seniors have always been taught to guide and assist others, a responsibility that they should take seriously at school and in life. To this end then, every junior will receive a pin marking this new role. A parent or special person in the junior's life presents the pin, and any other memento, family gift, or school ring if they choose. We think it is important to join school and family in commemorating this special time in their lives. Your invitation will be given to your junior. Family and friends are welcome. A reception follows. Any questions? Please contact Mr. Power at ext. 220.

Junior Leadership Retreat  Juniors will also have the opportunity to attend an overnight Leadership Retreat which will take place at the Marist Brothers Retreat House in Espous, NY. Permission slips are available at Campus Ministry; cost is $55.00. The juniors will leave shortly after the Junior Leadership Ceremony and return to school Friday March 20th, at 3pm. The students will reflect, pray, and discuss the direction of their lives, their new leadership roles, and their relationship with God in the beautiful setting of Esopus. Pictures of Esopus are available on our website as is further information about retreat policies. Permission slips must be returned by March 16th to Mr. Power in Campus Ministry. Any questions? Please feel free to contact Mr. Power at ext. 220.

Counseling News 
Ms. Miriam Eisenmenger
"PATHWAY FORWARD" APPOINTMENTS:  We are all working diligently to ensure that the transition from Marist goes smoothly. The school counselors would like to encourage parents/guardians to set up an appointment if they would like to further discuss options, the process, what schools might be the best fit, etc.   Appointments ensure that everyone gets the time they deserve. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your counselor directly to set one up.  
FAFSA DAYS:  For any Seniors who have yet to fill out their FAFSA for college, please check out the following link: https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/FAFSA.aspx
for a list of colleges around New Jersey that will be hosting FAFSA Days that help families get free assistance filling out this mandatory document. Regardless of your financial standing, ALL colleges require that you fill out this form. Why not take advantage of this free resource to help you through the process?  Let your counselor know if you have any questions!  KEAN UNIVERSITY has quite a few workshops coming up, the first one being February 7th!!  Please speak to your counselor if you need further assistance.
JUNIOR PARENT NIGHT:  On Wednesday, April 1st, the School Counselors are planning our annual Junior Parent Night, to help lay the groundwork for college planning.  We will have a panel of College Admissions Representatives to talk you through the process and answer your questions. Please consider coming out to learn more about the current trends and expectations in college admissions.  
Summer Opportunities:  Even with the transition to another high school occurring over the summer, please make sure your son or daughter has been checking their email for Summer Program opportunities. The counselors forward any opportunities that come through their email. If you are at a loss of where to begin, and would like to know more about a program in a specific career field, or academic setting, please let your counselor know, and she'd be happy to help you! 
This is a wonderful way to set yourself apart when it comes to college and scholarship applications. So, think seriously about applying to such a program. We also encourage students to spend the summer volunteering--be it at a camp, through their local Boys and Girls club or local Y, at a sports camp, local church, or hospital--as there are many ways for students to gain valuable experience in an area that interests them.
College Acceptances and Scholarships:  We are so proud of the hard work this year's Senior class has put in to get their college applications done early. 30 Seniors have reported acceptances, and the class has already earned $ 2.1 million in scholarship and grants. If your son or daughter has an acceptance letter gathering dust at home, please remind them to bring it in, so that we are able to celebrate their accomplishment with them!  We are incredibly proud of this group of young men and women--they are a true testament to your continued support!

Winter Formal: On Friday, February 7th, the Student Council will be hosting a Winter Formal in the cafeteria. Tickets will be $10, and outside guests are welcome with a permission form. Food will be catered, and a professional DJ will be on hand to help students dance the night away.  An up-and-over bus will be available if enough students sign-up beforehand.  
March Event: We've set aside Friday, March 13th for the monthly Student Council event. We are still in the process of deciding what we want that event to be. Some ideas are a Multicultural Night, Open Mike, Karaoke, or the well-received "Marist's Got Talent" event we hosted last year. See a Student Council member with your ideas!

Other News & Important Dates

1 - Marist celebrates Black History Month!
3 - Third quarter begins
5 - Dress Down Day benefitting the National Honor Society
6 - Report cards mailed home. This will be a very important mailing.  In addition to the report card, it will include the student's invoice and an unofficial transcript.  You will need to take the invoice with you if you plan to negotiate tuition at the new school. The unofficial transcript is also an important document to have on hand as you visit other schools.  Be sure to make copies. Do not give away your originals.
7 - Student Council Winter Formal - 7:00pm in the cafeteria
11 - 1:00 dismissal/ Dean's breakfast/year level assemblies/1:15pm Faculty Meeting
12 - 12:00 dismissal
13 - 17 - Winter Break
19 - Activity Period
25 - Senior College Visits; ACT and Aspire testing for FR, SO, and JR; noon dismissal
26 - Ash Wednesday - in the Chapel during religion classes
27 - Progress Reports Emailed


2 - College Fair held at Marist High School
4 - Dress Down benefitting the Softball team
4 - Marist will be hosting a High School Fair at which most of the schools we discussed on January 29th will be present.  This will give you a last opportunity to review your options if you are still unsure. 
5-8 - Encounter
6 - Blood Drive
8 - Daylight Savings begins
11 - Juniors go to Kean for a College Fair
12 - MEDQUEST - Liberty Science Center
13 - Student Council Multicultural Event ay 7:00pm
14 - SAT's at Marist
15 - All students registered at their new school
17 - St. Patrick's Day
18 - Activity Period
19 - End of 3rd Marking Period
19-20 - Junior Leadership Retreat
19 - Junior Leadership Ceremony - 6:00pm
19 - End of 3rd Quarter
20 - No classes
26 - Report cards mailed home
27 - Arts Festival 6:30pm in the gym
31 - 1:00 dismissal/ Dean's breakfast/year level assemblies/1:15pm Faculty Meeting

Athletic News
Mr. Mauro DeGennaro
Spring Season is almost upon us. A SPORTS PHYSICAL PACKET will be distributed by each Spring season coach and must be completed and returned before any student/athlete can participate. 
Finally, as our Winter Sports Season winds down the Boys' Basketball Team with a record of 14-3 and currently ranked #13 in the State of New Jersey.
The Girls' Basketball Team, with a record of 12-3, are gearing up to compete for County and State Titles.
Our Boys' & Girls' Bowling Teams will be competing in the Group State Tournament.