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.

December 20, 2020
Dear St. Mark Families,

On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the Gospel shifts our attention to Mary, with the story of the angel Gabriel’s announcement about the birth of Jesus. This week, we reflect upon Mary’s example of faith and obedience to God, traits which permitted her to receive the angel’s message.

One of the challenges of faith is to recognize God’s plan for us and to remain open to God’s will and God’s actions in our world. Filled with God’s grace, Mary models for us the kind of faith that is needed to cooperate in God’s plan of salvation. Like Mary, we are given the awesome opportunity to cooperate in God’s saving plan. On this final Sunday of Advent, our Gospel invites us to consider how our preparations for Christmas have made us more aware of God’s grace working in our lives.
© Loyola Press Sunday Connection

If your like my family, your preparations for Christmas look significantly different this year. It's difficult not to feel resentful, frustrated, and even angry at the current state of our world and it's effect on not only our day to day lives, but our most cherished family traditions. During these final days before Christmas, let us all strive to model ourselves after Mary, and have the kind of faith that is needed to cooperate in God's plans.

As we continue on in this school year with the theme of gratitude, let us be grateful that God has protected our students, and ask for His continued blessings on our families.

I wish you all continued good health and God's blessings this Christmas and in the New Year.

Yours in Christ,
Melissa Warner 

Please do not reply to this email. If you have questions, comments or concerns please email me directly. 
Snow Days and Weather Related Cancellations

True to form, the first significant snow storm of winter 2020 packed quite a wallop! I hope all our students enjoyed the traditional snow days by sledding, making snowmen, snow angels, and maybe even helping shovel the driveway!

Please be advised that moving forward into 2021, St. Mark School will transition to remote learning for any weather related school cancelations in an effort to avoid making up snow days late into June.

If you were not contacted by our emergency alert system via phone call, text message, and email, please contact Mrs. Mannino in the Main Office cmannino@stmarkschool.org.

As a reminder, if there is a delayed opening St. Mark School will open at 9:30 a.m. with class beginning at 9:45 a.m.

If school closes early for weather related reasons, dismissal will be at 11:25 a.m. Parents will be alerted through our emergency alert system. Our After School Program will not be held when there is early dismissal due to weather or emergencies.
Parking Lot and Morning Drop Off

Due to the significant amount of snow fall from the winter storm last week, there a large snow piles encroaching on our morning drop off line.

We have no choice but to move our drop off line 3 to 4 feet closer to the parking spaces in order for students to safely exit vehicles. As a result, the "Goodbye Zone" and crossing area will need to shift towards the Parish Center entrance.

We ask that everyone use extreme caution, drive slowly, and have patience during morning drop off this week. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
HSA Christmas Spirit Week

As school was cancelled during Spirit Week due to snow, the following spirit days have been rescheduled:

Monday, December 21st: Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. The fee for this dress down day is a donation of $5. All proceeds will go to helping members of our school community this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 22nd: Pajama Day. As a Christmas treat, students are invited to participate in a free Pajama Dress Down day. Pajamas should be school appropriate. Girls are required to wear pants or leggings under night gowns. Patterns and designs must be school appropriate on all pajamas, including shirts and pants. All students should wear sneakers on Pajama dress down day. Slippers are not permitted.

Wednesday, December 23rd: Add a Christmas hat/scarf to your uniform. This is a regular winter uniform day or gym uniform if your child has P.E. on Wednesdays. This Spirit Week Day is rescheduled from Friday, December 18th.

Santa Grams: $1 Peppermint scented Candy Cane pens are still available to purchase for your child, or for students to send to friends! Please click here for an order form. Orders will be accepted until Monday, December 21st.
School-wide Community Service

This week, students in grades K through 8 participated in a school-wide Christmas service project. Christmas music was played from over the P.A. system to create a festive atmosphere while students created Christmas cards to be delivered to Lord Chamberlain Nursing Home in Stratford. We are proud of all our St. Mark students for bringing a little Christmas cheer to those in our community that are isolated from their loved ones this Christmas season.
Also this week, Ms. Miller's 3rd grade class participated in their class service project. Students created Christmas cards for service men and women deployed overseas through Operation Christmas Cards For Our Troops, USASOA.
Mass

Sadly, our students have not yet had the opportunity to participate in traditional weekly and First Friday Mass this year due to factors surrounding the pandemic including restricting the seating capacity inside the church and the need to mitigate the exposure of the most vulnerable in our community.

That is why our students and faculty are very grateful to our pastor, Father Birendra Soreng and our St. Mark Parish clergy for hosting a special Mass service exclusively for our school children this week.

On Monday, December 21st, students in grades K through 8 will attend one of two special Masses in St. Mark Church. Unfortunately, due to restrictions on the seating capacity of the church, we cannot invite parents to attend.

We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in a spiritual celebration with our Parish before sending our students and faculty off for the Christmas holiday.
Christmas Tree Raffle

One of our many traditions at St. Mark School is our Annual Christmas Tree Raffle. We are grateful to be able to continue this tradition this year in a modified way. I'd like to take this opporunity to thank all of our St. Mark students and families who purchased or sold Christmas Tree raffle tickets.

As a reminder, there is still time to purchase tickets. Please send completed tickets and payment to Mrs. Mannino cmannino@stmarkschool.org in the Main office by Tuesday, December 22nd. When completing the raffle ticket be sure to check off which Christmas Tree you are entering to win! The raffle will take place during school on December 22nd. 

#1 Santa Tree
#2 Reindeer Tree
#3 Snowman Tree
#4 Snowflake Tree
#5 2020 Tree
Congratulations!

Congratulations to our Preschool Aide, Miss Taylor who was recently married. May God bless you abundantly in love, joy, happiness and good health. Wishing Mr. & Mrs. Watkins all the best as they begin their new lives together.
In the Classroom

This week, Grade 5 in-person and distance learning students learned what it looks like and sounds like to disagree respectfully from the Second Step Social/Emotional Program. During their lesson, students distinguished between respectful and disrespectful ways to disagree. They watched a video of two students using blaming language in a disagreement and discussed the way the situation was handled. Students worked in partnerships to practice disagreeing respectfully by being assertive and listening with attention to their partner.
In-person and distance learning students in grade 6 created Christmas lights in Art class. Students used oil pastels and an artist's pulling technique to their lights a Christmas glow!
The Power of Prayer

If you have a prayer intention, please submit your request to St. Mark School's prayer line by clicking here. Your intention will be remembered during our Afternoon Prayers and Announcements.
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.
  • Monday, December 21st: ugly Christmas sweater day, $5
  • Tuesday, December 22nd: Pajama Day, free dress down day
  • Wednesday, December 23rd: add Christmas tie or headband, $1
  • Wednesday, December 23rd: Early Dismissal at 11:25am, No After School Program
  • Thursday, December 24th: No School
  • Friday, December 25th: Merry Christmas!
  • Monday-Friday, December 28th - 31st: Christmas Vacation
  • Friday, January 1st: Happy New Year!
  • Saturday, January 2nd: Bottle & Can Drive, 10am-2pm
  • Monday, January 4th: School Resumes
  • Wednesday, January 6th: St. Mark Chipotle Night, Shelton
  • Tuesday, January 19th: Scholastic On-line Book Fair Begins
St. Mark School | 203-375-4291 | www.stmarkschool.org
500 Wigwam Lane, Stratford, CT 06614
The secret to happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us everyday in His goodness.
Saint Gianna Beretta