St. Mark School
A National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence
St. Mark School is a Christ-centered learning environment that teaches Gospel values and fosters academic excellence. Aware of the dignity and uniqueness of all students, we are committed to the spiritual, intellectual, moral, social, and physical development of each child.

August 1, 2020
Dear St. Mark Families,
 
I hope you are all healthy and well. For some reason in the summer the days seem long, but the weeks seem to fly by!

St. Mark School's PK-8 Reopening Plan is in it's final stages and I look forward to sharing it with you by the end of next week. I want to thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding as we continue to plan to reopen our school safely in the fall. 

In the meantime, I want to share some details as we work to reopen in a safe and healthy environment:

  • The plan consists of modifying the use of space and changing existing practices to ensure a safe, clean, and welcoming environment for students and teachers.

  • Some grades have changed rooms based on class enrollment and the fact that not all rooms have the same square footage.

  • All K-8 classrooms have been reconfigured to have individual desks spaced apart, allowing for social distancing protocols.

  • K-8 students are required to wear face masks in hallways and common spaces and during times when social distancing cannot occur. 

  • K-8 students will have the option of removing face masks when seated at their desks, socially distanced, in classrooms.

  • Preschool students will be grouped in cohorts and face masks will be optional for students when they are in the classroom.

  • Lunch and Specials such as Music, Spanish, Art, and Innovation will also take place in the classroom. P.E. class will utilize the gym and outdoor space, when feasible.

  • All school personnel and PK-8 students will be temperature checked daily upon arrival.

  • Windows and ceiling fans will be used to circulate outside air.

  • Professionally trained cleaning service personnel will be on hand during the school day to clean high touch areas and bathrooms.

  • St. Mark School will be partnering with MyCatholicDoctor, a national telehealth leader. With parent consent, MyCatholicDoctor will provide pediatric in-school telehealth visits that include the school nurse, child and parent.

Please be assured that the health and safety of our students, staff, parents and the community is paramount and our top priority is to make St. Mark School building a safe place for our students to return to in-person instruction in the fall. Our goal is for you and your children to feel comfortable and safe.

Stay safe and be well.

Yours in Christ,
Melissa Warner 
2020-2021 School Calendar

The Town of Stratford has postponed the first day of school to Wednesday, September 9th, 2020. Therefore, our first day of school will also be on September 9th. The faculty and staff will use the 4 additional professional development days for health protocol training currently being developed by the Stratford Health Department.

Additionally, the 3 early dismissal days noted below will allow students to ease into the transition to in-person instruction and provide teachers an opportunity to acclimate students to safety protocols and procedures without feeling overwhelmed.

St. Mark school's After School Program will begin on Monday, September 14th, 2020. More information regarding After School registration and guidelines to come next week.

St. Mark School's Little Lions Preschool Program will begin its first full day on Monday, September 14th, 2020. Information regarding Preschool orientation and information sessions for families to come next week.

Please note the changes to our 2020-2021 School Calendar:

  • Wednesday, September 9th will be an early dismissal at 11:25 

  • Thursday, September 10th will be will be an early dismissal at 11:25 

  • Friday, September 11th will be will be an early dismissal at 11:25 

  • Monday, September 14th will be a full day of school, PK-8

  • Monday, September 14th will be the first day of the After School Program

Mrs. Mannino will send the revised 2020-2021 School Calendar to families and it will be shared on our school webpage.
COVID-19 Emergency Tuition Assistance Fund Reminder

As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting virtually every area of life for so many. For this reason, I wish to resend this “good news” that I received from Foundations in Education last week.

“Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Foundations in Education is privileged to announce the COVID-19 Emergency Tuition Assistance Fund for K-8 families suffering from the negative economic impact of the pandemic.”

As a result of this very generous gift, K-8 families who have experienced the following COVID-related hardships are eligible to apply.

  • Loss of job
  • Loss of income
  • COVID-related medical costs
  • Other unanticipated financial hardship resulting from COVID-19 pandemic

I urge eligible families to apply ASAP as this assistance is meant to provide some tuition relief.

There is a 2-step application process and tax documentation is not required. Applicants that complete both steps by Thursday, 8/6 will receive award notifications by Friday, 8/14. Awarding will take place bi-weekly, until funds are no longer available.

Click here for more information.

Evelyn Lesko, our school bookkeeper, and I will coordinate the process of collecting all applications and managing the process for this fund. We can be reached at elesko@stmarkschool.org and mwarner@stmarkschool.org.
Home School Association

 An HSA Board election will not be necessary this year, as ironically, there are enough volunteers to fill our Board seats. 

An official announcement of our 2020-2021 HSA Officers and Board Members will be made once the St. Mark School Father's Club completes their election for Father's Club Chairperson. The Father's Club Chairperson will be included in the HSA Board and the election is planned for August 3. 
St. Mark Faculty

After many years of commitment and work with our St. Mark students, Mrs. Leslie Orendorf, reading specialist, is pursuing a change in career path and has accepted a position at an area school focusing her skills solely on student assessment and diagnostic testing. We are very happy for Mrs. O and wish her well. Although I have only worked with Mrs. O for a short time, it is clear that she was a highly skilled and dedicated member of our staff. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all the support she has offered me, faculty, students and their families.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Amanda DiCostanzo to our St. Mark School community. Ms. DiCostanzo has joined our faculty as Kindergarten teacher.
Ms. DiCostanzo is a graduate of Fairfield University where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She comes to St. Mark School with previous teaching experience in early elementary classrooms within the Norwalk Public Schools District. Ms. DiCostanzo is a member of St. Matthew's Parish in Norwalk and has taught first grade Religious Education for five years.

I hope to have announcements of additional new faculty in the coming weeks as candidates move along through the Diocese of Bridgeport hiring process.
Uniform Consignment Sale

St. Mark School's Uniform Consignment Sale is Friday, August 14th in the Parish Center. Shop 8-10 am or 6-8 pm. Stop in and shop us first! Please find the flyer here for more information. Social distancing and face masks are required at all times on St. Mark property and in the consignment area.

Please note: per the Diocesan Policy for Reopening Schools, ties will not be mandatory this year. This is the only change that will be made to the school uniform at this time. 
St. Mark School Is Seeking Grant Opportunities

We are always looking to be proactive and fiscally responsible. Due to the added COVID-19 prevention upgrades the school is incurring, our grant writers are searching for grant opportunities, now more than ever. If you know of a foundation or organization who offers non-profit, educational grant funding, please reach out to me with contact information. Thank you!
Class of 2020

St. Mark School's Class of 2020 will finally be honored and celebrated on the evening of Friday, August 7th at our traditional Class Night celebration. Please keep our newest alumni in your prayers as they head into High School. Our entire St. Mark School community wish them much luck and continued success in their future.
For Parish information, visit:   https://www.saintmarkchurchstratford.org/

For important information and updates on COVID-19, visit the
Please visit our school website regularly at www.stmarkschool.org . Important school updates including copies of notices, newsletters, HSA links, and school calendars can all be accessed on the website.

Visit our social media pages for updates on our school community.
  • Wednesday, September 9th, early dismissal at 11:25 

  • Thursday, September 10th, early dismissal at 11:25 

  • Friday, September 11th, early dismissal at 11:25 

  • Monday, September 14th, first full day of school, PK-8

  • Monday, September 14th, first day, After School Program
St. Mark School | 203-375-4291 |  www.stmarkschool.org
500 Wigwam Lane, Stratford, CT 06614
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