“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
-Second Thessalonians 3:16
Greetings from Mr. G
June 12, 2020
We come to the end of our school year, reflecting on the joys and sorrows, all of which we experienced together as a family. We say goodbye to our 8th graders whom we will miss dearly but who we know are very ready to spread their wings and grow to new heights in high school. We look ahead to brighter days by placing our hope and trust in God.
Dear St. Rose School Families,
We did it! This has been a remarkable school year on so many levels. As I look back at August through early March I remember the bustling hallways, the Friday school masses, the myriad of lessons, activities and celebrations we shared on site. While we switched gears in mid March and could not be together in one place, we grew even more connected in coming together from our various work and study spaces across many miles. Unique -- certainly! Memorable -- definitely! My deepest thanks to everyone for making our distance learning effort a success and for your patience in the process.
The good news is that your children are ready for the next step in their learning journey. The teachers have worked very carefully to take note of individual strengths/weaknesses and have posted summer work to help students retain what they have learned and build toward the new academic year. I hope you had the chance to take part in the Moving up sessions on Tuesday so your child could meet their teacher(s) for next year. If you were not able to make it please contact Mrs. B for information.
There are two special faculty members who are retiring this summer -- I am grateful to Mrs. Eileen Vitarbo, assistant to Mrs. Wojtowicz in the PreK 4's and mother of Lin Marie (SRS Class of 2015) for her years of dedication and ever present smile. My thanks also to Ms. Elaine Smith, our accomplished upper grade math teacher and Coordinator of the Gold Level award winning Advanced Math Club for the past 12 years. Our wishes for a happy, healthy retirement, ladies. Please come back and visit!
We are looking forward to celebrating 8th grade graduation on June 26th. Details will unfold based on state and Diocesan safety recommendations but it looks like this will take place on site which makes me happy for our 8th graders and their families. May God bless them all as they set off to different high schools where they will explore their talents, meet new friends and continue to shine their light. Remember, you always have a home here at St. Rose School so please keep in touch. I would also like to say a special word of thanks to the parents who will be graduating with your
child -- we are so grateful for all of your help and support during your time at St. Rose School. You have been a blessing to our community and will always be special members of the family. Stay in touch.
I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all of the families who will be joining us for the 2020-2021 school year. We are delighted that you have chosen St. Rose School for your child(ren) and assure you of our support as you begin your journey with us. Our parent ambassadors will be in touch over the summer and you are always welcome to contact Mrs. Coppola, Mrs. Bokuniewicz (Mrs. B), Mrs. Wong or myself with questions.
This will be the last issue of our Friday newsletter until mid August. If anything pertinent arises before then we will be in touch. As it stands now the first day of school for grades K-8 is August 31st, Preschool begins September 8th and the first HSA meeting/Back to School Night is September 10th. It is our full intention to begin the school year on site, with safety measures in place. In the event that we have to continue with distance learning we are also developing an effective hybrid model. Be assured that your children's safety and education are top priority as we plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
Lastly I would like to thank all of you for agreeing to allocate HSA funds to help pay off the parish loan for the portable removal. The HSA Board members presented me with the check this week and I am most grateful; this is vital to the ongoing health of our school.
Have a sensational summer!
Mr. Bardhyl Gjoka
Thank You Parent/Family Volunteers!
Behind every successful school is a community of dedicated, caring parents and family members who give of their time, talent and treasure to put the EXTRA in ordinary! Traditionally we are able to recognize you at a special Mass and breakfast at the end of the school year but Covid prevented that from happening. We are disappointed about this and want you to know how DEEPLY we appreciate ALL that you have done to make this year exceptional. We love our:
lunch duty helpers
HSA and SAB members
special event volunteers
band and athletic team assistants
Musical Theater assistants
Book Fair team members
Bingo team members
Scrip team members
office and library helpers
supporters of school fundraisers
supporters of the Mission Drive
contributors to food and clothing drives
The list goes on and on because you are all such GIVERS and we are BLESSED! It is our hope that we can recognize you personally when we are back on site. In the meantime know that we are VERY thankful and hold you in our prayers. St. Rose School has a rich history and a bright future because of YOU!
Summer days are for relaxing and stepping away from the routine. Children enjoy outdoor adventures and unstructured time to discover the world around them. But studies show that it is important to spend a little time each day reading and practicing math skills to retain information from the school year and prepare minds for reentry in the Fall. To this end, teachers have put together summer work for incoming grades 1-8. Follow this link to find your child's assignment.
In addition, the Diocese has provided a link to Edmentum for Summer practice skills. Click here.
In this last issue of our weekly newsletter for the school year, Mr. G requested that we feature our ultimate teacher, Monsignor Bob. Starting in mid August we will pick up with this popular column and continue putting the spotlight on our wonderful teachers who have not yet been featured. St. Rose is truly blessed with a creative, compassionate, committed group of teachers and we are thankful to them all!
How long have you been the Pastor at St. Rose?
As of July 1, I will begin my 22nd year at St Rose. I arrived in the middle of a rainy carnival week! I have been blessed to be assigned to parishes with schools since ordination: St Andrew in Bridgeport, St Jude in Monroe, St Joseph in Shelton, Trinity High School (formerly Stamford Catholic) in Stamford and now St. Rose. I have been through 47 years of graduations, thousands of First Communions and Confirmations.... and a lot of trips to New York and Washington D.C.!
Tell us about your family
I was blessed with great parents, Margaret and Charlie. Dad was a convert to Catholicism. He converted to surprise my mother so they could be married in the church rather than the rectory which was the custom for a Catholic who married a non Catholic in those days. He did not tell her until the day before so she had to scramble to replace the blue suit she bought for the ceremony for a wedding gown! I have 4 siblings: Charles Richard, Mary (who passed away as an infant), John and Tom. I am the middle child! We were raised to be strong Catholic men and were always active in the parishes in which we lived. I am sure my vocation is a result of my parents’ faith and example. I have great brothers all of whom have been successful in their careers.
What is your favorite book?
I guess my favorite book should be the Bible but I do not consider it just a book but rather a guide for living. I like biographies and history.
What is your favorite movie?
I really do not go to the movies. The last time I went to a movie was in 2007 when Fr Luke took me. I cannot even remember what we saw!!!
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is probably green ( I am a pastor you know!!)
What is your favorite season?
I think every season holds something
special. I really enjoy holidays and each season has something great to celebrate.
What is your favorite prayer?
My favorite prayer is the Mass.
I do not have much time for hobbies but now that retirement is on the horizon I will be looking. Any suggestions?
What do you think is the common thread that bonds all St. Rose School classes through the years?
The one thread that holds us together is our faith. Faith takes us to all the right places in life: respect for self and others, trust, honesty, love, patience and acceptance. If we deepen our faith, it will create a bond among us that will never be broken and will last a lifetime.
What advice can you offer to students/families/faculty as we end the school year and continue to live in these uncertain times?
These are challenging times for all of us. The pandemic and now the protests around the country have created much stress and for some a sense of hopelessness and isolation. While we are being asked to live with so many unknowns about our future, we need to hold on to all that is good and right and holy. Jesus tells us over and over again not to be afraid. He walks with us even in our darkest times. Trust he is walking with us right now!
In the blink of an eye, the 2019/2020 school year at St. Rose comes to a close. Before we wish you well for the summer, we have a couple announcements:
With your voted support, we presented a $20,000 check to Mr. G yesterday on behalf of the HSA parent community to the school. This check offsets part of the loan the parish gave our school when we purchased the two portable classrooms at the beginning of the school year. Thank you for your support as together, we work to bolster the financial strength of our school.
The HSA Board warmly welcomes Isabel Almeida as our new Vice President and Meg Lampazzi as our new Secretary! Thank you for confirming these two individuals as we look forward to the 2020/2021 school year with a full Board. We are excited to have you on board (pun intended!), Isabel and Meg! We thank Tara Johnson and Diane Lavin for their service on the Board and look forward to working with them in new capacities going forward.
Congratulations again to our eighth graders. While the school year did not end the way we would have wanted it to, we celebrate your success as a school community and wish you all the best in high school.
We wish you all a happy, healthy summer and look forward to seeing you all (in person, we pray!) in the new school year.
Your HSA Board
DATES TO NOTE
June 26th -- 8th grade graduation
August 31st -- 1st day of school K-8
1st day of Preschool
September 10th -- Back to School NIght/HSA Meeting