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 7, 2021
Dear St. Mark Families,

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it is packed with several learning opportunities celebrating Black History Month, Presidents' Day and our 100th Day of School.

In these uncertain and trying times in our nation, it is our duty and responsibility to educate St. Mark students in accordance with The Catechism of the Catholic Church, that the equality of men and women rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.”1

St. Mark School will be celebrating Black History Month in Science, English Language Arts, Social Studies/History, and through our social and emotional learning program. Middle School ELA lessons will include learning about African American Poets including: Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and Amanda Gorman. Middle School Science lessons will include viewing the movie Hidden Figures and discussing the science behind the success and social justice issues of racism and genderism. Our Second Graders will be doing research on Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks and our school-wide social and emotional learning program will focus on acceptance of all peers.

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 St. Mark School community. Let us continue to pray for our leaders, for civil servants, for first responders and all who currently suffer and struggle as we continue to navigate a global pandemic.

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

Yours in Christ,
Melissa Warner 

1Catechism of the Catholic Church (United States Catholic Conference, Inc., 1994), No. 1935, quoting Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, No. 29

Please do not reply to this email. If you have questions, comments or concerns please email me directly. 
Teacher and Staff Appreciation

As you know, the theme for this year is gratitude. In keeping with St. Mark School tradition, we celebrated Teacher/Staff Appreciation Day during Catholic Schools Week this past week.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our St. Mark teachers and staff for their hard work day in and day out to educate our students. St. Mark School is open full time and thriving because of their hard work, dedication and sacrifices. Thank you for your generosity and your willingness to go above and beyond. It has been said many times that teachers are the unsung heroes of the pandemic and I wholeheartedly agree. Click here to read about the gift of Catholic School teachers by the Wall Street Journal.

This year we are celebrating a few work anniversaries. The following teachers and staff celebrating one year teaching at St. Mark:
  • Mrs. Gonzalez, 1 year as Spanish teacher
  • Mrs. Grant, 1 year as Preschool Aide
  • Ms. McCone, 1 year as our P.E. teacher
  • Ms. Miller, 1 year as our Grade 3 teacher

The following staff member is celebrating five years working at St. Mark:
  • Mrs. Lesko, 5 years as bookkeeper

The following staff member is celebrating 20 years working at St. Mark:
  • Mrs. Mannino, 20 years as Administrative Assistant

The following teacher is celebrating 35 years of teaching at St. Mark:
  • Agnes Miller, 35 years teaching Math
Current Family Registration

Registration for current St. Mark families is open for the 2021-2022 school year. Both the Current Family Registration form found here and the registration fee must be submitted for your registration to be complete. Click here for 2021-2022 registration and tuition rates.

As you may know, we have had a lot of new families express interest in St. Mark School and we expect to have wait lists in multiple grades next year.
Enrollment from new families will be accepted beginning on Monday, February 8, 2021.

Current families are strongly encouraged to complete registration for the 2021-2022 school year to hold your child's seat in his/her class. Due to social distancing protocols, many of our current classes are at capacity, and we continue to receive inquiries in grades K through 8 for next school year. We regret that we cannot hold a seat in your child's class for the 2021-2022 school year without a complete registration. Failure to register your child(ren) in a timely fashion risks loosing the seat to a new family if the class has reached capacity.

Please contact our admissions team at AMENteam@stmarkschool.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 for the 2021-2022 school year! 


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


Families with multiple children registered in a Catholic School are automatically awarded a scholarship, regardless of income.

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 2019 IRS Federal tax return along with 2020 W2s. If applicants do not receive W-2s, then they must submit 2020 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 

For more information visit: 
Catholic Schools Week Mass

As Catholic Schools week comes to a close, we graciously acknowledge our Bishop for his vision, leadership and friendship. St. Mark School was blessed to have the most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano preside over Mass on Friday, February 5th, 2021. Along with the Class of 2021, St. Mark students recognized as Models of Christ in the month of January in grades K through 7 attened mass inside Church, while our remaining in-person and Distance Learning students watched via live stream. We invite you to watch a recording of this Mass by clicking here.
2021 Catholic Schools Week Events

Monday, February 8th: Silly Sock/Silly Hat Day
  • Wear a silly hat and/or socks to school with your uniform.
  • Donate a NEW, warm winter hat or socks to benefit the homeless and less fortunate.
  • Surprise school-wide virtual activity hosted by Mrs. Warner

**As a reminder, hats need to be school appropriate. Certain emoji hats and adult themed hats are not permitted.**

Thursday, February 11th: Color Wars
  • Color War Free Dress Down
  • Classes will be paired up and assigned a color.
  • Each clothing item and accessory worn by each student will be counted towards the team total score.
  • The group with the most “color” spirit wins!

Preschool & Grade 4 – green
Kindergarten & Grade 8 – blue
Grade 1 & Grade 7 – red
Grade 2 & Grade 5 – purple
Grade 3 & Grade 6 - yellow

I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to our Catholic School's Week Planning Committee all their hard work in making this week special for our faculty and students.
Lisa Christoffersen
Amanda Di Costanzo
Lucy Gonzalez
Josie Huben
Cathy Kitlasz Huda
Amy Pagano

Thank you to our parent volunteers who prepped our Care and Share project and donated supplies. In keeping with St. Mark tradition, Preschool through Grade 8 students participated in a school-wide service project for Catholic School's Week. Students decorated purple Lenten crosses with purple, green, and white tissue paper. Lenten crosses will be mailed to homebound and elderly St. Mark Church parishioners to bring a little joy and cheer to them in time for the beginning of Lent.
100th Day of School

If there are no future weather-related school cancellations, the 100th day of school will fall on Thursday, February 18th. If this is in fact the date, the February $1 Dress Down Day will be rescheduled to Thursday, Feb. 25th.
 
Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to “Dress like you are 100 years old”. It will be a free dress down day for those that participate. Participation will be optional. However, if students choose not to participate, they are expected to be in proper school uniform.
Innovation and Leadership Grant Award

For the 4th year in a row, St. Mark School is a recipient of an Innovation and Leadership grant award from Foundations in Education in support of our students in the 2021-2022 school year. Through its Innovation and Leadership Grants, Foundations in Education promotes excellence for both educators and students in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Please join me in congratulating Ms. Di Costanzo and Ms. Zenowich on their awarded grant: Document Cameras to Reach, Teach, and Engage students. With this award, St. Mark School will have the ability to purchase multiple Elmo MX-P2 Writing Board bundles for St. Mark teachers to enhance student learning. The high-quality document camera with high resolution zoom and unique matte dry erase board gives students the ability to see text clearly from
anywhere, whether socially distant in the classroom or from home.
Dismissal

If there is a change to your child's dismissal, parents are asked to send a note into school with your child in the morning. You can also contact Mrs. Mannino at cmannino@stmarkschool.org or (203) 375-4291.

Please call the Main Office at the number above prior to pick-up, to allow enough time for the classroom teacher and your child to gather and pack-up his or her belongings in advance of your arrival.

Any student being dismissed early from school is requested to be picked up no later than 1:50pm.
From the Nurse's Office

Valentine's Day Card Exchange
St. Mark School will be following recommendations of the Stratford Public School Nursing Department regarding Valentine's Day card exchange. The recommendations are simple to follow and allow for students to enjoy some normalcy in a safe way.

  • Parents are asked to send in valentines a day in advance of classroom exchange date.
  • It is recommended for students in PK-grade 2 to address a generic greeting on the cards to make exchanging more efficient for students to participate in independently. (To: My Friend vs. To: John)
  • Candy valentines are permitted (within St. Mark School’s approved class party/food list)
  • All students will wash their hands with soap and water before the exchange.
  • After the exchange, valentine bags will be sealed shut to be sent home. It is up to parents’ discretion to open the bag immediately or quarantine the contents.  
  • Students riding the bus home will be instructed to not open valentine exchange bags on the bus. However, if a student chooses to open their valentine bag on the bus, the school cannot be held responsible.

Any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our school nurse, Wendy Frate, RN via phone 203-375-4291 or email fratew@stratk12.org
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, February 8th: Silly Hat/Silly Sock Day (rescheduled)

  • Thursday, February 11th: Color Wars (rescheduled)

  • Friday, February 12th: No School

  • Monday, February 15th: No School

  • Wednesday, February 17th: Ash Wednesday

  • Thursday, February 18th: 100th Day of School (tentative)

  • Thursday, February 25th: Dress Down Day, $1
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