St. Mark School
A 2009 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 3, 2021
Dear St. Mark Families,

The season of Advent invites us to renew our lives in preparation for the coming of Jesus. In the Gospel reading on this Second Sunday of Advent, the people who heard the message of John the Baptist repented for their sins and were baptized as a sign of God’s forgiveness. Led by the Holy Spirit, we use this Advent season to renew our lives so that we, like John the Baptist, might prepare the way for Jesus. The gift of the Holy Spirit leads us to continually renew our lives so that we might lead others to Jesus.
© Loyola Press Sunday Connection

During this second week of Advent, I encourage families to recite the following prayer with their family and ask for God's continued blessings on our St. Mark School family.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

Lord,
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
The English translation of the Prayer to the Holy Spirit from A Book of Prayers
© 1982, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL). All rights reserved.


I wish you all continued good health and God's blessings.

Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Warner 

Please do not reply to this email. If you have questions, comments or concerns please email me directly.
Quarter 2 Progress Reports and PlusPortals

PlusPortals is the Diocesan Student Information Web Portal System available to all parents, Grades K-8. PlusPortals provides parents access to student grades, attendance, announcements, and teacher emails.

A feature has been added to parent's PlusPortal dashboard this year: e-locker. On Friday, December 10th, parents of students in Grades K-8 can find a PDF copy of the 21-22 Quarter 2 Progress Report in the e-locker. Please note that Quarter 2 progress reports will not be sent home via backpack mail.

For our new families and Kindergarten families, you should have received an email from PlusPortals with an activation link to the primary email address provided on your child's emergency contact form in September. If you did not receive an activation link email from PlusPortals, please email Mrs. Mannino at cmannino@stmarkschool.org.

Any returning family that needs PlusPortals activation resent, please email Mrs. Mannino at the email address above.
Bring Your Own Device Policy

As shared in the 2021 State of the School report on December 1, 2021, 1:1 devices have been acquired for all students in Grades K through 8. Kindergarten and Grade 1 students are each assigned a brand new 8th generation iPad and Grade 2 through 8 students are each assigned their own Chromebook for classroom use. Each classroom is equipped with its own charging cart to safely store devices. All devices come equipped with enhanced cyber security malware protection, cloud-based web filtering, real-time AI auditing of Google platform applications for bullying, self-harm, and violence, and cloud-based classroom management of Chromebooks that allow teachers to guide and monitor student online activities, keeping learning focused.

With the acquisition of these new devices, I am proud to announce that St. Mark School will move away from the Bring Your Own Device Policy, previously in place for students in Grades 5-8, beginning Monday, December 6th, 2021.
Faculty Update

Please join me in welcoming our new PK3 aide, Mrs. Katia Dworkin to St. Mark School. Ms. Katia taught for five years at Centro Educacional Sao Francisco de Assis, Imperatriz, Brazil and is pursuing her early childhood certification in Connecticut. Ms. Katia is bi-lingual and is looking forward to watching our Little Lions learn and growth.
Christmas Concert

St. Mark School is proud to announce the return of our beloved Christmas Concert tradition presented by students in Grades Kindergarten through Grade 8 on Tuesday, Dec. 14th, at 7:00pm in our Church (snow date, Thursday, Dec. 16th). This year’s Christmas Concert theme will be Legends of Caroling. Please click here for more information. We hope you enjoy!
Winter Weather

While outside temperatures have dropped, all teachers in Preschool through Grade 8 take their class outdoors for recess and mask breaks when the temperature is above freezing (32 degrees).

We ask that all parents ensure that your child(ren) come(s) to school with proper winter attire so that they are comfortable when participating in outdoor recess with their peers.
Snow Days and Weather Related Cancellations

As we enter the winter weather season, please be advised that when Stratford Public Schools are closed or delayed due to inclement weather, St. Mark School will also be closed or delayed.

The first day school is closed due to snow will be a "traditional" snow day, with no virtual learning for all students PK-8.

In the event that there is a large storm resulting in multiple days in a row of school closure, the first day will be a traditional snow day. The consecutive day will be a virtual learning day for students in grades K through 8. Virtual learning days will begin at 8am and end at 12pm.

For the 2021-2022 school year, St. Mark School will observe 2 "traditional" snow days with no virtual learning. After 2 traditional snow days have been recorded, the remaining snow days will be virtual learning. Therefore, 2 days at most, will be added to the end of the school year. Virtual learning days will not be added to the end of the school year calendar.

Please be assured that classroom and specials teachers have been preparing students for the possibility of virtual learning snow days during class time.

As a reminder, our emergency alert system was tested in early November. In the case of a school cancellation, delay, or unplanned early dismissal, you be contacted by our emergency alert system via phone call, text message, and email to the primary contact information provided to the Main Office. Please contact Mrs. Mannino cmannino@stmarkschool.org with any updates to your contact information.

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.
Giving Tuesday

We had an incredible response to our Giving Tuesday Campaign!! With your help, we surpassed our goal of 50 gifts! In 24 hours, we received 60 gifts totaling $5,694.55

Thank you to our Giving Tuesday Donors for your support in building a stronger tomorrow for St. Mark School. I am overwhelmed by your generosity.
Models In Christ

Models in Christ is a social and emotional learning program that is based on the Catholic Theological Virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Students in grades K through 8 are recognized for demonstrating the character trait that is highlighted each month such as respect, kindness, responsibility/accountability, citizenship, perseverance, and trustworthiness.

The goal of our program is to teach students the value of strong moral character and to recognize the positive impact of their actions. Our faculty and staff would like to recognize students who embody the ideals of St. Mark School through actions and attitude; those students who go above and beyond inside the classroom and school community to show they are models of Christ.

Today, the following students were recognized by having their name announced and presented with an award and commemorative gold cross pin.
Athletics Update

Congratulations to the St. Mark Varsity Girls basketball team, Champions of the St. Thomas Tournament!
Congratulations to the St. Mark JV Girls basketball team, Champions of the St. Thomas Tournament!
Congratulations to the St. Mark JV Boys basketball team, Champions of the St. Thomas Tournament! Our JV Boys took Second Place in the Milford Tip Off Tournament!
Congratulations to the St. Mark Varsity Boys basketball team, Winners of the Milford Tip-Off Tournament!
St. Mark Basketball Sponsorship Opportunities

Are you looking to promote your business or brand?

The St. Mark Basketball program is currently looking for sponsors for our upcoming season. We would love to promote local businesses at upcoming HOME Fairfield County Basketball League games that run from December 2021 through March 2022 and at our annual basketball tournament, which will takes place in February and March 2022. This is an excellent way to get new customers while supporting local youth sports programs!

Click on links below for more information or contact St. Mark School Athletic Director, Michael Sciallo, at michael.sciallo@stmarkschool.org.

In Our Community

This week, the Class of 2022 participated in the Sterling House's Great Rake event. Grade 8 students walked to a neighborhood home and raked, cleared, and bagged leaves and brush from the property.
We are grateful to our Room Parents for taking the thought, time, and dedication that went into creating unique and bright holiday decorations for St. Mark School's beloved Christmas door decorating tradition.

A special thank you to our After School Program students for decorating Mrs. Nettleton's windows and to Ms. Sarah for helping facilitate our 8th grade class in adhering the decorations. The final doors (left to right from PreK3 through grade 8) are a highlight of our Christmas season!
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.

Don't use social media? Not to worry...Our social media posts feed to our school website home page!
  • Saturday, December 4th: HSA Bottles and Cans Drive, 10am-2pm

  • Sunday, December 5th: HSA Fundraiser, Breakfast with Santa

  • Monday, December 6th: HSA Santa Shop

  • Tuesday, December 7th: HSA Santa Shop

  • Wednesday, December 8th: No School, Immaculate Conception

  • Thursday, December 9th: $1 Dress Down Day

  • Friday, December 10th: Quarter 2 Progress Report, K-8

  • Monday, Dec. 13th-Friday, Dec. 17th: Holiday Spirit Week

  • Tuesday, December 14th: Christmas Concert

  • Thursday, December 16th: Christmas Concert Snow Date

  • Wednesday, December 22nd: HSA Snack Shop

  • Thursday, December 23rd: Early Dismissal, No After School Program

  • Friday, December 24th: No School, Christmas Eve

  • Saturday, December 25th: Merry Christmas!

  • Monday, January 3rd, 2022: School Resumes
St. Mark School | 203-375-4291 | www.stmarkschool.org
500 Wigwam Lane, Stratford, CT 06614
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
Helen Keller