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.

February 16, 2020
Dear St. Mark Families,
 
Each year over 2 million people make their way through the mountainous country of southeastern France to Lourdes. They come seeking cures, hoping to find answers, believing, and praying. At Lourdes, people recall the Lady dressed in white, with a blue sash, yellow roses at her feet, and a Rosary on her arm—the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On February 11th, the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We may never travel to Lourdes and join in the processions, but we can know always that we have a Mother to help us and lead us to her Son, Jesus.
And so we pray to her:

Grant us, O merciful God, protection in
    our weakness,
that we, who keep the Memorial of the
   Immaculate Mother of God,
may, with the help of her intercession,
rise up from our iniquities.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity
    of the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.

Yours In Christ,
Melissa Warner


*from  Saints and Feast Days , by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
Read Across America

St. Mark School is proud to announce our participation in the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Campaign with a week long celebration of reading! Our celebration kicks off on Monday, March 2nd, in honor of Dr. Seuss' (Theodore Giesel) birthday and continues through Friday, March 6th.

Monday, March 2nd: Dr. Seuss Themed Dress Down Day
Calling Thing 1, Thing 2, Horton and the Who's! Students have the option of participating in a free dress down day, in honor of Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss themed attire is necessary to participate in the dress down, as are the following guidelines:
  • wigs are acceptable
  • face paint and hair dye/color is not permitted
  • proper sneakers/shoes are required, no slippers

Tuesday, March 3rd:
  • Grades 6 & 7 will travel to Stratford Library and visit their U-Create Makerspace
  • PK-8 Assembly: NED's Mindset Mission

Wednesday, March 4th:
  • Buddy Read-to-Me Day

Thursday, March 5th:
  • Grade 8 will travel to Stratford Library and visit their U-Create Makerspace
  • PK-8 Movie: Horton Hears A Who!

Friday, March 6th:
  • Mystery Readers

Our faculty and staff may also have a few surprises planned for our students! We are looking forward to a fun and exciting event that motivates kids to read and bring the joys of reading to students of all ages.

For more information about how to generate excitement for reading in your family, or a list of recommended diverse children’s books, visit  www.readacrossamerica.org .
Personalized Learning In The Classroom

This week, Grade 3 students worked in Literature Circles during their ELA Personalized Learning block. Students worked in cooperative groups to read, discuss, and respond to a non-fiction novel. Students were given the opportunity to lead their own discussion groups and make decisions for themselves as readers. During the non-fiction unit, students are reading and learning more about prominent historical figures including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Jackie Robinson.

This week, Kindergarten had so much fun celebrating the 100th day of school and Valentine’s Day! Students performed 100 exercises, decorated shirts with 100 objects, built towers with 100 cups and so much more!
Innovation Zone Service Project
As a Catholic School community, teachers and faculty make a concerted effort to integrate our faith into all aspects of students' learning. In innovation/technology class this week, Grade 6 students created Valentine's cards on Chromebooks that will be distributed to residents at 
Lord Chamberlain Nursing Center.
History in Action

Currently Grade 8 students are learning about how President Hoover responded to the Great Depression and FDR's New Deal. This week, students simulated the Stock Market Crash of the 1920s.
STEM Connections
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Grade 7 student are engaged in an engineering and design project creating Tiny Houses. The project has sparked many class discussions about the impact of construction on the environment and what civil engineering would be needed to make students' tiny town a reality.
2019-2020 Annual Fund Update

The Annual Fund is St. Mark School’s largest fundraiser and the proceeds go directly toward supporting the operating costs of the school. 

As the renovation to Innovation Zone is complete and there are no current capital improvement projects planned for this year, St. Mark School will not be holding a Strive for 25 Fundraiser. In lieu of that, I ask that families who participated in the Strive for 25 last year, consider participating in the annual fund this year instead.

We are profoundly grateful for our faculty, grandparents, current parents and School Advisory Board who give so generously to St. Mark School Annual Fund. Your generosity allows us to grow and thrive and breathes life into our mission. Whether you are an annual giver or are considering giving for the first time, ­­­­­your gift to the Annual Fund is an investment in Catholic education. Thank you!

To help us reach our goal of raising $12,000 for this year's annual fund, please click  here  to visit our school website and give online.

Gifts to St. Mark School are tax deductible to the extent provide by law and are eligible for matched giving.

Percent of Annual Fund Participation

Grade
Grade 8 - 25%
Grade 7 - 14%
Grade 6 - 5%
Grade 5 - 14%
Grade 4 - 11%
Grade 3 - 8%
Grade 2 - 2%
Grade 1 - 8%
Grade K - 5%
Grade PK - 8%

Constituents
School Advisory Board - 100%
Faculty/Staff - 81%
Current Parents - 19%
Grandparents - 7%

The Annual Fund makes a difference in the lives of our students. It's not the size of the gift that matters, it's your participation. Thank you!
Spotlight On: St. Mark School
Lighting Upgrade

While school is closed for the Presidents' Day holiday on Monday, February 17th, St. Mark Parish Center/School Gymnasium will be getting a complete lighting upgrade. Our school and parish have partnered together to take advantage of UI Energy Efficiency LED lighting upgrade to replace fluorescent bulbs with LED lights, fixtures, and ballasts in the school building, Parish Center, and Church Hall. While upgrades in the Parish Center will be completed over the long weekend, work will begin in the school building and Church Hall in early March.
Do Your Part to
Help Stop the Spread of Germs

Parents, please take advantage of the President's Day long weekend and wash your children's backpacks, coats, and lunch boxes before returning to school.
Washing these items in hot water will help stop the spread of flu A, B and strep. If you cannot wash your child's backpack, please consider sanitizing it with Lysol.
Reporting Students Absent

To report your child absent, please contact the school by calling the main office at (203) 375-4291 or email cmannino@stmarkschool.org. Please leave a detailed message indicating why your child is absent from school, including reasons of illnesses.

After 3 consecutive days absent due to illness, a doctor's note is required upon returning to school.

Please contact Nurse Wendy Frate at (203) 375-4291 or fratew@stratk12.org with any questions.
Bishop's Scholarship Fund

Bishop’s Scholarship Fund (BSF) provides tuition assistance to help families afford a Catholic Education. 

Applications are now being accepted!   

All families with students in next year's grades Kindergarten-Grade 8 are eligible to apply.

Consideration may be given to families with multiple elementary school-aged children.

Families apply online via FACTS Grant & Aid, making certain to complete all questions regarding BSF, submit supporting documentation and the $30 FACTS processing fee.

Application requires the entire 2018 IRS Federal tax return along with 2019 W2s. If applicants do not receive W-2s, then they must submit 2019 tax return. 
  • Deadline to apply - March 15 for current families; April 15 for new families 
  • Award notifications - Early May for current families; Late May for new families 


Please call Mrs. Evelyn Lesko, bookkeeper, at (203) 375-4291, should you have questions about applying for Bishop's Scholarship Fund or to set up an appointment for assistance.
Children's Educational Opportunity Foundation of Connecticut, Inc.

Since 1995, Children's Educational Opportunity Foundation of Connecticut, Inc. (CEO), has been awarding scholarship monies to families residing in Bridgeport, Hartford, East Hartford, and New Haven who strive to have equal access to quality education for their children.

CEO will provide half of the annual tuition – up to a maximum of $2,100 per academic year.
Guidelines:
 
  • Students must reside in Bridgeport, Hartford, East Hartford or New Haven and live in the home of the applicant parent or guardian.
 
  • Students may enter CEO between grades K-5.
 
  • Renewing students may be supported through grade 8.
 
  • Families may choose any accredited private or parochial school in Connecticut.

Online applications will be available on www.ceoct.org beginning on March 2, 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year!

Please call Mrs. Evelyn Lesko, bookkeeper, at (203) 375-4291, should you have questions about applying for CEO scholarship monies or to set up an appointment for assistance.
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.

Please also visit our social media pages for updates on our school community.
Dates: At A Glance
February 17th: No School, Presidents' Day

February 20th: Dress Down Day $1

February 20th: Snack Shop

February 21st: Robotics

February 26th: Ash Wednesday Mass grades K-8

March 2nd: Father's Club meeting, Paradise Pizza, 8pm

March 7th: Bottle and Can Drive, 10am-2pm

March 11th: Early Dismissal, 11:25 No Lunch Served

March 13th: First Penance, Grade 2

March 17th: St. Patrick's Day Parade, Grades 4-8

March 19th: Dress Down Day, $1

March 20th: Family Bingo Night

March 26th: Snack Shop
St. Mark School | 203-375-4291 |  www.stmarkschool.org
500 Wigwam Lane, Stratford, CT 06614
I do not promise you happiness in this world, but in the next.

Our Lady of Lourdes