Dear School of St. Mary Parents
On Wednesday, December 19 th , our School of St. Mary band performed their annual Christmas Concert.  Congratulations to our students and to our Band Director Kyle Anderson for an exhilarating evening of music with the many gifted and talented students from our school!
Our School of St. Mary 1 st through 8 th grade students and staff had a truly exceptional time attending Mary Poppins Returns yesterday.  We went to the Regal Lincolnshire Theater as a school to view the film, which was a gift to everyone from our Student Council.  Many teachers taught mini-lessons on various aspects of life set in pre-World War II England prior to attending, and a number of classes read the book Mary Poppins Returns as well.  A number of staff at the UGC also dressed in period clothing for their lessons. In addition to the movie, our Student Council also paid for popcorn and a drink for all. A field trip of this size and magnitude would not have been possible without the time and talent of Tina Moulton, who spearheaded the field trip along with fellow Student Council advisor Margaret Tazioli, were in charge of much of the scheduling, organizing and arranging of the trip.  Kudos to a job well done!

Earlier this week our School of St. Mary Preschool students put on  a wonderful holiday performance with Christmas music and cheer that put everyone in the holiday mood.  On  Thursday, our Kinder garten students held  a wonderful Christmas performance telling the story of the Nativity .  T hank you to all the families and friends who came to celebrate with us.  Congratulations to our early education and kindergarten teachers Shelley Cummings,  Gosia Kalinowski Hannah Lockridge Anne Prindiville B eth Brueggeman  and  Anne  Casey   who worked hard to prepare our students for their performances.  A special thanks goes out to Father Mark for his narration.  Great job everyone!
Homeroom Wars, 2.0: The first annual School of St. Mary Christmas Classroom Door Decorating Contest that was held at the UGC has come to an end.  The doors decorations the students and staff came up with were awesome!  The doors were judged on creativity, theme and seasonality.  The judges (Brad Doherty, Kathleen Trkla and myself) were overwhelmed with the ingenuity and hard work.  Needless to say, judging was extremely difficult. This year's winner? Lauren Fairchild's Homeroom and their Grinch inspired decorating. Great job everyone!

"Tis the Season!:  A number of our 5 th grade students here at the School of St. Mary held a Bake Sale in October to raise money for Fill a Heart 4 Kids!  Fill a Heart 4 Kids mission gives unaccompanied homeless youth and rescued children tools and positive experiences to help them heal and restore their dignity - 4 Brighter Futures. Their vision is for homeless and foster children to feel loved and valued, gain confidence, self-esteem and a successful future.  Congratulations to all of our students and parents that helped make the Bake Sale and donation possible!  
For several years now, Amy Baniewicz has been having her students write letters to S anta every year during their last few of days of school before the Christmas break. Ms. Baniewicz lets the students know that the letters will be dropped off at Macy's instead of the post office, (so there isn't any heartbreak☺).  For every letter to Santa that Macy's receives, they donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. So far, Ms. Baniewicz' students have raised about $100 for the foundation from Macy's!  Thanks to Amy for this creative and fun way to help others during the Christmas season!

On behalf of the entire staff, we want to wish our extended School of St. Mary family a most joyous and merry Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous New Year.  God's blessings for all the best in 2019.
 We hope that the Christmas break provides you and your families some time to reflect upon the spirit of the season, and keep those who are in need foremost in our thoughts and prayers. It is also a wonderful opportunity to find peace in our hearts with our family and friends, looking to the birth of Christ Jesus, as our inspiration.
School resumes Monday, January 7 th , 2019.  

Dave Wieters
Parents Association update: Year End Giving
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. 

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
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. 

Go Crusaders!
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 and all proceeds go back to the athletics programs. 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 games. 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. 

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 22 - January 7, 2019

Christmas Break from December 22 nd through January 6 th

Sunday, January 6, 2019
  • Second Grade First Reconciliation Retreat 1:15-2:15 pm at St. Mary Catholic Church
Monday, January 7, 2019
  • School Resumes
  • Second Grade First Reconciliation Retreat 6:30-7:30 pm at UGC