Dear School of St. Mary Parents,
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Essay Contest winners were recently chosen.  I am proud to announce that 4 students from our 8 th grade Class of 2019 were chosen as winners!  Sam Westerman earned 1 st place, and his essay will be sent on to compete at the District level. The other three winners from our school are Greta Harrison, Sean Kupperman, and Bernadette Petty. Letters from the DAR were given to the students announcing their selection. Our students will be recognized for their achievement at the DAR Awards Ceremony, which will be held at Croya on February 7, 2019, at 1 pm. Congratulations students! Special thanks to our 8 th grade Literature teachers, Mary Pat Fox and Lauren Fairchild, for working with our students to help them achieve this recognition!

As part of our school security preparedness, students at the Upper Campus practiced an intruder alert/lockdown/barricade drill on Thursday.   When we do this, it means that the interior and exterior doors are locked, and all students and staff remain in their location from the time the drill is announced. Doors are blocked or barricaded to prevent entry.  Along with fire, tornado and bus evacuation, the State of Illinois mandates that schools practice drills like this annually.

Next week students in 1st through 8th grade will be attending Mary Poppins Returns.  The basic premise of the movie is that the mysterious Mary Poppins returns to Depression-era London to visit Jane and her brother Michael, now a father of three, and helps them rediscover the joy they knew as children.  Our school has planned a number of integrated lessons to help the students better understand the movie and see how much of it is relates to real life. While our 4th and 5th grade classes have been reading the book, teachers in other classes have been planning specific lessons related to it prior to seeing the movie.  Lessons include Art lessons about chalk drawings; Latin breaking down supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to its root origins; Math teaching about ration stamps in World War II England and Navajo code talkers, as well as talking about mathematical kites and geometry; Music classes will learn about the music from the movie and its composers, the Sherman Brothers, Marc Shaiman, and Scott Wittman; students in P.E. will learn about and play the game of cricket;  Reading/Language Arts will break down the plot of Mary Poppins, as well as discuss public domain vs. fair use; Religion will discuss the role of parents, marriage, and children in the family unit; Social Studies will learn about the culture of the time, such as period dress, food, wealth disparity, women's suffrage, and vernacular; Spanish read the original story in Spanish - including the character of Mary Poppins; and STEAM will find out about the blending of live action and animation in film.  All of the lessons will culminate in our school attending the movie on December 20th.

Our 2 nd grade Nativity Prayer Service is on Friday, December 21 st at 10:00 am and will be held in the Church of St. Mary.  Our 2 nd grade students will lead us in a dramatization of the events leading up to and culminating in the birth of the infant Jesus in a manger in in a stable in Bethlehem.  Several of our 8th graders will provide narration for the story.  Parents are welcome to join us!

In addition to Mary Poppins Returns , and the 2 nd grade Nativity Prayer Service, there are a number of other activities planned for next week.  They include:
  • There will be an Advent Prayer Service at the PGC on Monday, December 17th.
  • Reconciliation will be offered after Mass for our 7th and 8th grade students on Tuesday, December 18th.
  • On Wednesday, December 19th:
    • Our 3rd grade students will attend Reconciliation after Mass.
    • The 3 year-old Preschool Sing will take place at the PGC at 10:30 am.  This will also be the last day of school for the 3 year-old Preschool until January. 
  • Thursday, December 20th,
    • the Early Childhood Nativity Program will take places at the PGC at 9:30 am.  This is also the day that 1st through 8th grade attends Mary Poppins Returns.
  • Friday December 21st is a busy day:
    • Lake Forest High School Women's Choir will perform at the UGC at 9:00am
    • The 2nd grade Nativity Prayer Service will take place at 10:00am in the Church of St. Mary
    • The UGC band will perform an improptu Concert for students at the UGC at 11:00am
    • There is NO Kiddos Catering Hot Lunch today. Students will need to bring their own lunch.
    • Students and staff will take part in Las Posadas at the UGC following lunch.
    • Christmas parties will take place at the PGC in the afternoon.
    • It is an early dismissal day as well: The PGC will dismiss at 2:00; the UGC at 2:19pm
    • There is no afternoon Extended Day Care today
As a Christmas present to our students and staff, Friday, December 21 st will be Christmas Casual Dress Day (aka Christmas Sweater Day!) Please remember if your child is wearing leggings they must be wearing a tunic style top. Per the handbook students with attire that is not in good taste will be asked to call home to request appropriate attire.

Students and staff at the School of St. Mary will be on Christmas Break from December 22nd through January 6th.  School resumes on Monday, January 7th, 2019.

Dave Wieters
PGC Sharing Tree
Thank you to all who helped with the PGC Sharing Tree project. Due to the generosity of our families the students at the PGC were able to provide gifts for nine families helping to make their Christmas extra special this year. Our students were able to learn the very important lesson that is is better to give than receive. The below photo was taken when the students presented all the gifts to the women of the St. Maria Goretti Circle who were going to deliver them to the families. 
Parents Association update: Support School of St. Mary with Amazon Smile
AmazonSmile  is a website operated by  Amazon  with the same products, prices, and shopping features as  Amazon .com. The difference is that when you shop on  AmazonSmile , the  AmazonSmile  Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the School of St. Mary. 

To use amazon smile go to and then select School of St. Mary Lake Forest, IL as your organization of choice. Then just use amazon as you normally would you will be supporting the school without even thinking about it. 


Crusader Commendations
Following all school Mass on Tuesday at the UGC the School of St. Mary was proud to recognize some of our students for earning a Crusader Commendation during the first quarter of the school year. Part of our Crusader Creed states that at the School of St. Mary, " We treat others as we want to be treated at school, on the playground, and on the playing field. " The following students, listed below, have embodied our Crusader Creed in a variety of ways. Each student was noted for having done one of the following by a teacher or administrator at the UGC: lending  a teacher or classmate a helping hand; acting as a role model; volunteering to serve our school; being kind to peers in need; being honest; or being empathetic. Congratulations to those who received first quarter commendations.
UGC Planned Absences for Christmas Break
Christmas vacation begins on Monday, December 24 thru Friday, January 4th, returning to school on Monday, January 7th. If anyone is planning on taking additional days off, please send me an email with the following information.

Student Name
Homeroom Teacher
Days and dates of absences
Return to school date
Reason for absence

Thank you and may you all have a wonderful Christmas vacation.

Administrative Assistant
Tax Credit Scholarship Matching Program
Matching Gift Program

A group of generous donors have agreed to pool their resources and offer a 2-for-1 matching gift program to schools run by the Archdiocese of Chicago. For every dollar designated to a qualifying school through Empower Illinois between December 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019, the school will receive two dollars in matching funds. The donations are capped at $100,000 per school.

After April 1, 2019, any matching gift program funds that are not awarded at a designated school will be reallocated to low-income students at schools with unmet demand.

Donors who would like to receive the tax credit for their 2018 taxes should begin the process prior to December 14, 2018 to ensure that they have enough time to make their gift by December 31, 2018.
For more information please visit or call 312.534.2617.

General Program
There is still time to apply for a 2018 Illinois tax credit and donate to a Scholarship Granting Organization. Visit to learn more, or contact and 312.534.2617.

You can receive a 75 percent Illinois state income tax credit for donating to needs-based scholarships through the Illinois tax credit scholarship program. Visit to learn more, or contact and 312.534.2617.

Support low-income students at Archdiocesan schools while receiving a 75 percent state tax credit through
the Illinois tax credit scholarship program. Visit to learn more, or contact and 312.534.2617.

You can provide a Catholic school education to children from low-income families while also receiving a state tax credit yourself. The Invest in Kids Act is different from regular charitable giving to the School of St. Mary or another organization. Visit  to learn why and to access a step-by-step guide to the program.
Empower Illinois Scholarship Application
The 2019-2020 application start date on January 15 is quickly approaching. We've crafted some helpful resources that you can use to assist families with the application process. Tips on what documents are needed to apply, frequently asked questions and details about the program can be found on our website. These resources are available in English and Spanish, and will soon be on your empowerXchange school portal.
2019 School of St. Mary Football
The Return of Crusader Football
Keep your eyes out for information regarding the return of Crusader football for Fall of 2019 when students get back from break on January 7, 2019. 

Band Concert Information
Crusader Cafe at Home Basketball Games
We are pleased to announce that at all home basketball games our Cusader Cafe 
will be open for snacks and drinks. The cost ranges from 25 cents to a dollar for the items offered. However, we can only run the Crusader Cafe with the help of our wonderful basketball parents. We would love to thank Karen Mines, Aldona Janusz and Laura Trevino-Baumann for running it the first couple home g ames. If you would like to sign up to help us keep the cafe open please click here.

Holiday Ornament Sale

As we prepare for the Christmas Season we will be selling these beautiful painted ornaments depicting St. Mary's Church. This image embraces the Christmas spirit and the happy
times in our church. The ornaments created by Bridget Halloran, who is a
parishioner of the church herself, will be sold for $10.00. 
Please contact Carlotta Plotner, if you would like to purchase one, by clicking  here

Note from the Nurse
Flu Season is coming!

Dear Parent, 

Due to the high absence level normally seen at this time of year, we would like to give you some guidelines to help with your decision on whether or not to send your child to school. Please be advised if you child has any of the symptoms listed below he/she should not attend school. 

1. Fever over 100
2. Rash of unknown origin
3. Sore throat with fever
4. Persistent cough
5. Nausea and vomiting
6. Diarrhea

If your child has recently been ill, please be aware of the following guidelines before having your child return to school: 

1. He/she should be feeling fit for 24 hours before returning to school
2. He/she should be  free of a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medication such a Tylenol or Ibuprofen. 
3. He/she should be free of vomiting and diarrhea for at least 24 hours.  4. He/she should be taking an antibiotic for at least 24 hours before returning after being diagnosed with strep throat. 
5. He/she should be on a prescription antibiotic eye drops for conjunctivitis for 24 hours before returning to school. 

To keep your children healthy, make sure they have plenty of rest and good, nutritious diet. Make sure they are dressed properly when playing out doors. Please notify the school if your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, chickenpox, scarlet fever, flu, etc. 

The single most important thing you can do to keep your child free of illness is to teach him/her the proper way to wash his hands. Make sure he/she uses soap and rubs his/her hands together for 15-20 seconds. He/she should then rinse his/her hands in running water and dry them thoroughly. 

Please help us keep our children healthy by keeping your child home if ill. Remember, one sick child can spread his/her illness to all of his/her classmates. 

Thank you for your cooperation.
Yoga Club grades 4-8
Hot Lunch Orders
Please make sure you are placing your orders for hot lunch by clicking here.  We are happy to again be working with such a great organization to bring our students hot lunches, for more information on this great program please read this story from the AP about how they are changing school lunches. 

Good afternoon and we hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and have been staying warm! On Monday, November 26, your school had a snow day. Ordinarily we would try to reschedule this day, however, since it occurred so early in the school year, we have instead provided a credit for any lunches you had ordered on your Kiddos account. If you had a lunch ordered, your Kiddos account has been credited and the credity will be auto applied during the checkout process, the next time you place a lunch order. 

If you would like to SEE THE CREDIT ON YOUR ACCOUNT, please log into your account, and click STATEMENTS. You will need to click any "plus signs" on the left to display the information in that category (Orders Dates, Orders, etc.) 

If we can assist with anything else at all, please contact us at

Church of St. Mary Sacrament Schedule
Community Events and resources for School of St. Mary Families
DePaul Blue Demons Basketball Free Tickets
In the spirit of the holiday season, the  DePaul  University Athletic Department i s proud to announce the Annual Holiday Season Winter Break Ticket Special.  DePaul   Athletics is partnering again with Chicago Catholic Schools in a community outreach initiative that allows our local families the opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of college basketball free of cost.
  1. Visit This Page:
  2. Enter Promo Code: WINTER
  3. Receive up to 4 FREE Tickets 

December 15-December 21

Saturday December 15, 2018
  • 5th grade boys basketball 9:00am at St. Catherine Labourne 
  • 5th grade girls basketball at St. Joan of Arc 2:20pm
Monday December 17, 2018
  • PGC Advent Prayer Service at 1:15 pm
  • 7th grade girls basketball at St. Athanasius 5:00 pm
  • 6th grade boys basketball vs. St. Athanasius 5:30 pm
  • 8th grade girls basketball atSt. Athanasius 6:00 pm
  • 7th grade boys basketball vs. St. Athanasius at 6:30 pm
  • 8th grade boys basketball - blue at St. Athanasius 7:00 pm
Tuesday December 18, 2018
  • Last day for the Little Angels class
  • UGC Mass at 9:00 am at St. Mary Catholic Church
  • Reconciliation for grades 7 and 8 at St. Mary Catholic Church from 9:45-11:45 am
Wednesday December 19, 2018
  • PGC Mass at 9:00 am at St. Patrick Catholic Church
  • 3-year-old Preschool Christmas SING at 9:30 am
  • 2nd grade Dress Rehearsal for the Nativity at 1:15 pm
  • Winter Band Concert at UGC at 7:00 pm
Thursday December 20, 2018
  • PGC Early Childhood Nativity Program at 9:30 am
  • 1st through 8th grade field trip to Mary Poppins Returns from 11:30-3:30
Friday December 21, 2018 -  Christmas Casual Dress Day
  • Lake Forest High School Womens Choir will perform at 9:00am at the UGC
  • 2nd and 8th grade Nativity at St. Mary Catholic Church at 10:00 am
  • The UGC band will perform an impromptu concert for the students at the UGC at 11:00am
  • There is No Kiddos Catering Hot Lunch today. Students will need to bring their own lunch.
  • Students and teachers will take part in Las Posadas at the UGC following lunch
  • Christmas parties will take place at the PGC in the afternoon
  • It is an early dismissal day as well: PGC will dismiss at 2:00pm; the UGC will dismiss at 2:19pm
  • There is no Extended Day Care today
Christmas Break from December 22 nd through January 6 th
School resumes on Monday, January 7 th , 2019.