Opening of School Newsletter
Important Start of School Information

Dear MCS Families and Friends,

It has been a pleasure being introduced to the staff, parents and some students as I settle in as Monsignor Clarke’s new principal! I am excited to lead this phenomenal school with one of the most dedicated and committed staffs in Rhode Island. And, with this being the 50th anniversary of our school, we are all very excited to showcase the talents and exemplary academic, cultural and social programs that identify Monsignor Clarke School’s uniqueness and Catholic leadership.

I welcome you to our first MCS Newsletter of the year. It’s chock full of information as well as some details to help us get the year off to a great start.


Let me start by saying that the summer of 2017 has been a productive and busy time here at the Home of the Waves.  Our second summer camp was a resounding success. So much so, we actually extended it for an extra half week. Our amazing camp staffing consisting of Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Whaley, Mrs. McCabe, Mrs. Fitzgerald, and Mrs. Angeli all kept campers enthralled and entertained with weekly themes, hands-on activities, and educational experiences that will serve them well for years to come. A sewing camp was held, academic camp and our new Kindersculls Rowing Camp. Our yearly theater camp was bursting at the seams with talented students and others taking a risk to sing and act. We would like to thank our local sponsors (Narrow River Kayaks, Key Real Estate, Jumparoo Zoo, Create a Color Art Studio, Benny & Jack Pet Store) who enabled us to provide several in-house field trips. We appreciate their generosity!

We continue to make improvements to our campus and much-needed maintenance. We opened an additional classroom for our “Little Angel’s” early childhood program for ages 18 -36 months due to the program’s increasing popularity. We continue to work on our Campus Ministry Room where students and staff can retreat for meditation, a private Mass, or engage in discussion and learning about our Catholic faith.    And we have taken care of many items that needed our attention, some big (filling the cracks and resurfacing all parking lots) and some small (outfitting electrical outlets with safety plugs.)

I’ve been working with our Director of Advancement, Sara Marshall , to share and help implement ideas to best support her efforts to promote our great school. We are excited to welcome 61 new students and their families to Msgr. Clarke this year (see below!) and it is through the efforts of our Parent Ambassador/Enrollment Team spreading the good news about our school that has helped make this possible. Sara has been busy introducing me to many wonderful people that are so instrumental in our development plan. These are important relationships that have been developed with our parish priests, members of the community, local businesses and Alumni and their families that remain involved. Establishing and maintaining these relationships is necessary so that people are inspired to make a meaningful investment in the future of our school. I look forward to sharing more with you about our advancement efforts in the upcoming months.


We are excited to welcome 61 new students and their families to the Monsignor Clarke community. The students come from every town in South County, and nine are coming from Newport! We will be having an orientation event for all our new students on Tuesday, September 5 (the day before school begins) from 9 am to 11 am. More information will be forthcoming about this event.


In addition to your new principal, we are happy to welcome several new staff members to our MCS family this year.  Mary Ricci is our new receptionist in the front office. Jackie McCormick, who has a background in social work and special education, will be a resource assistant to our special ed teacher.  Kengy Bell is our new Physical Education teacher, JP Ferragamo is our new music teacher, Emily Sprague is the new Little Angel’s head teacher and Katie Thomas is our new Little Angel’s teachers’ aide.

On a sadder side, we said farewell to several staff over the summer. Our third grade teacher  Mary McCue,  has decided to retire, middle school ELA teacher Kate Basile , is relocating to Boston, Veronica Flaherty our Spanish teacher, has been offered a teaching position at URI and Lyndsay Parnigoni left to pursue graduate studies. We wish all of them the very best and we are very thankful for their service to the students of MCS. We are holding interviews to fill open positions this week. We ask for your prayers during the decision making process.


Communicating with our MCS parents is a critical goal for us this year. We will continue to use the Constant Contact Newsletter and School Messenger, but we are interested in the best way to bring you news and updates without barraging you with emails. As we continue our efforts to be “green”, most communications will be sent via the email services noted above, and fewer items will be sent via paper. Please let us know if you do not receive them in your preferred email.

Below are some items of importance that we wanted to bring to your attention as we begin the new school year.

School Lunch Orders : We are pleased to continue our partnership with Campus Cuisine! Please see the attached flyers including ordering instructions (all orders are online). 

Teacher Assignments : Will be separately emailed to you with your child(ren)’s teacher for the upcoming school year. Please note that the assignments reflect much thought about the best interests of your child. We ask that you honor the placement decisions made by the faculty/staff. 

Emergency Form Click Here   to find the emergency form that should be returned to the school no later than Wednesday, August 30th . Receiving this form prior to the start of school will help us to update our files in plenty of time for the first day of school. We appreciate your help with this endeavor.

Orientation for Grade 6 and ALL New Students : Tuesday, September 5th from 9:00-11:00 am. The students may dress in casual clothes appropriate for school. We will begin with a Meet & Greet with the principal while enjoying coffee and pastry, then enjoy some time meeting teachers, asking questions, getting to know the building, etc. All Grade 6 students are required to attend.

Orientation for Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten : Tuesday, September 5th from 9:00-11:00 am. Parents will be notified of their scheduled time by their child(ren)’s teachers. As above, we will begin with a Meet & Greet with the principal while enjoying coffee and pastry.

First Day of School For EVERYBODY : Wednesday, September 6th, 8:30 am. This will be a full day of classes; all students must be in dress code uniform.

School Day : School hours are 8:30 am to 2:40 pm. Students should not arrive to school before 8:10am as there is no supervision.

Morning Drop-Off :

PreK students  will be dropped off in the gym. Please park your vehicle in the parking lot and
walk your child into the gym beginning at 8:10 am. *Please note the change in PreK drop off*

K-5   students  should be dropped off at the back of the school building beginning at 8:10 am.

Gr 6-7-8 students  can be dropped off by the middle school entrance. MIddle School parents--
please note that, due to liability and safety issues, students cannot enter the building before 8:10 am. We will need to keep these doors locked until this time.

Parent Pick-up at Dismissal :
PreK through grade 5 students  will be in the gym at the back of the school building at 2:40 pm.
Middle school  will be at the middle school entrance. PLEASE pick up your child no later than
2:50 pm. [See below, Phone Calls to the Office]

Dismissal Phone Calls To the Office : As you can imagine, the school office is a busy place throughout the school day. It is especially hectic towards the end of the day. It would be so very helpful that your child be fully aware of his/her dismissal plans before he or she arrives at school. This avoids undue worry or confusion that often results if children are not sure how they are departing school on a particular day. Although we are aware that changes in plans occur now and then, we ask that you plan ahead whenever possible to ensure a productive school day and worry-free dismissal for your child(ren). In addition, last minute calls to the office often result in a disruption to the class and the instruction. If you need to call to rearrange plans, please do so before 2:15 pm.

Tardy/Dismissal : Students who arrive after 8:30 am must report to the school office to sign in and receive a late slip to be given to the classroom teacher. Students who need to be dismissed early for any reason should bring in a note from a parent/guardian stating the reason and time of dismissal on the day they are leaving class early. This allows for a smooth dismissal and gives teachers time to provide the students with daily notices, assignments, and other items prior to their leaving for the day.

Extended Day Program : Extended day is available Monday through Friday during the school year. Morning hours are from 7:30 - 8:30 am, and after school hours are from 2:30 - 5:30 pm. In the event that you need to contact the adults who run the program during these hours, you may call 401-789-0860, extension 115 in the morning and extension 100 in the afternoon. Interested in this wonderful program?  Click Here  for the Extended Day Application Form. We have a new system in extended day that will automatically generate billing and notifications to families that use extended day. Therefore if you are intending to use extended day at all this year we will need you to fill out the attached form and return it to school with your emergency contact form. Billing is on a monthly basis and must be kept current. Morning Care will be located in Mrs. McCabe’s classroom, 115. Extended day pick up will be through the front fence of the playground.

School Calendar Click Here  to view for your planning purposes

Student Transportation : If you have not already completed the bus transportation requests for your child/children, please  Click Here  to view all the necessary information.

Textbook Orders : This pertains only to students in grades 2-8. If you have not already ordered textbooks, please  Click Here  to be directed to the form needed. If you reside in North Kingstown, South Kingstown or Narragansett, you do not need to order textbooks.

School Supplies : Click the appropriate link for your supply list. Please be sure to purchase supplies for your child for the grade he or she will be attending in the fall and please note additional supplies for music may be requested in the future.

Information Packet/Planner/Student-Parent Handbook : PreK and Kindergarten students will receive this information at orientation. First grade will receive it on the first day of school from their teacher. All other students will find the handbook in the front section of their planners that they will receive on the first day of school. Please be sure to check with them when they arrive home so that you receive the information needed. Included in the planner will be the school policy handbook with parent/student signature page, internet use policy form, and a technology contract. All of the forms must be signed and returned within the first week of school to acknowledge receipt and agreement. If you have any concerns or questions about the handbook or any other forms, please contact the office at 789-0860.

STAR Testing : It’s wonderful that our school is not caught up in the standardized testing world. However, three times a year, we do assess our students in math and reading so that we can check growth while the year is still in progress. These tests are computer-based and are very non-threatening. The window we have established for these are:

Fall: September 25th - October 13th
Winter: January 8th - 19th
Spring: May 7th - 18th
Firmer dates will be released once school is in session.

I know there is a lot in this opening Newsletter, and there is much more we will share in the Handbook. I look forward to seeing your child - or children - on the first day of school. I am confident that they will experience a rigorous academic program coupled with the educational and nurturing experiences of a professional staff that want all children to learn, grow and mature in a joyous Catholic environment. Thank you for making the decision to send your precious child, or children to Monsignor Clarke. They are the reason for the work that we do, and we fully understand and appreciate the trust that you place in us each and every day. 

May you and your family enjoy these last remaining days of the summer, and we look forward to a wonderful beginning of a new school year. Let’s all ride the Waves for a successful year!

God Bless,

Dr. Arthur Lisi

Monsignor Clarke School
5074 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield RI 02879