March 12, 2021 Volume VII, No. 26
From The Desk Of The Principal
Greetings!

What a nice change of pace to see so many familiar faces in the building for parent conferences today. All parents had the option of meeting their child’s teacher in person or via zoom. Many chose to meet in person. As you know, due to Covid-19 restrictions, parents have not been allowed in the building for quite some time, so it was refreshing to greet so many of you today. 

We appreciated families arriving on time for their conference. This helped to keep the day flowing smoothly and seamlessly. Thank you for continuing to be a good partner in your child’s education.  

Peace and God's blessing,

Ms. Ann E. Dougal
Principal
Registrations For Next Year
REGISTRATION ALERT

Registration forms are due two weeks from today on Friday, March 26th. Please send them in as soon as possible. If you are not planning to return to St. Michael's Academy next fall, please send in a note indicating your intentions. We need to know!

Important Reminders

Yearbooks Go on Sale Next Week!

SMA yearbooks will go on sale next Friday, March 19th. The price remains the same as last year, $26. Be on the lookout and don't miss out on all the memories!
Diocesan Financial Aid
Applications for Diocesan Financial Aid for the 2021-2022 school year began on January 1, 2021. Diocesan Financial Aid will be processed in rounds during March, April, May and June, 2021. Please apply as soon as possible as Diocesan Financial Aid is awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis. The deadline for applications for the 2021-2022 school year is June 30, 2021 or until funds are depleted, whichever comes first. St. Michael's Academy tuition assistance (a separate fund) cannot be considered until diocesan aid has been awarded.
Safety First!!!

Cone Zone Alert!

The safety of our students is first and foremost! When the cones on the playground are in place, please remember you are NOT allowed to drive into the parking lot. This is to ensure the safety of all of our students. Thank you for keeping their well-being at the top of your priority list.
Car Line Courtesy
Car Line Courtesy

We are very fortunate to have understanding and caring neighbors surrounding St. Michael's Academy. Please be respectful and do NOT block their driveways during Drop-off or Pick-up.
Custodian Needed
St. Michael's Academy, a Catholic elementary school in Springfield, seeks a full-time custodian. Experience preferred. Medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation and sick leave offered. CORI check required. Apply in person at 153 Eddywood Street, Springfield, MA. 782-5246.
From The Classroom of Ms. Ramos - Spanish
Aprendiendo Español (Learning Spanish)

This week in Spanish class we were talking about “La Familia” (Family.) Every week we discuss a different subject, like the shapes, community helpers, colors, numbers, etc. We have also learned how to introduce ourselves, since in other countries there are different customs and ways of greeting. We don’t just learn about grammar or vocabulary; we also learn about customs, cultures, and celebrations from all the Spanish-speaking countries. The students sing songs, and have access to visuals like posters and videos.

I always point out the importance of being bilingual. I emphasize how beneficial it is to be able to know more than one language. It is not only good for their knowledge, but it also opens future doors in high school, college and careers. Being able to communicate even in a simple way in a different language is also very helpful when taking a trip to another country.

Bilingual education is very important especially when children are younger. Their minds are developing and they can hear and reproduce sounds more effectively. This makes it easier for them to understand and communicate later in life as adults.

When you learn a new language, such as Spanish, it opens up a whole new world full of people you can now communicate with. This can give you many exciting opportunities to learn about other people's cultures and form lifelong friendships. 
The Season of Lent
The 3 Pillars of Lent

Lent is a time of preparation and spiritual renewal for our hearts and minds. As Catholics we practice the 3 pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to help us turn away from habits that sometimes prevent us from deepening our relationship with God.

At the beginning of Lent, each one of our students, faculty and staff was assigned a Prayer Pal who they pray for during the entire season. Next, rice bowls were distributed to all students to encourage their own personal almsgiving by saving money during this season of sacrifice. After Easter, the boxes will be returned to school and all funds collected will help support Catholic Relief Services around the world. Finally, our students have been encouraged to think of something they can fast from and replace it with a good behavior. For example, fast from video games and replace it with reading.
3rd Grade Read Aloud
State Trooper Read Aloud Program

Massachusetts State Trooper Alex Delgado treated Ms. Quesnel's 3rd grade class to a zoom Read Aloud presentation of the book Pauline on Thursday afternoon. In an effort to reach out to the community, state troopers offer their time to read stories to students via zoom. Our third graders also had the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the story presentation. Thank you State Trooper Delgado!

Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences were held today. While students were working diligently at home during their All Remote Learning Day, parents were meeting with teachers, both in person and remotely to discuss their child's progress.
From the Nurse
The Nurse's Corner

Wow! Has it really been one year since we first closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic?! What was originally supposed to be a two week pause in time, has become a new way of how we all approach living in a pandemic world.

Before the pandemic hit, I had been at St. Michael’s for 5 months. Then, bam! How, as a school nurse, do I manage a pandemic, especially since I had never seen or heard of anything like it in my lifetime?! Well, at first, I had to learn new technology like Zoom and Google Classroom, and I had to organize information I would need to continue working remotely. I often asked myself, “What does a School Nurse role look like working remotely?”

Overnight, the role of School Nurse changed. It became one of a wider focus outside the walls of a building. I focused on families of the students I often saw in the school. I checked in with my students who suffered from diabetes, asthma and other illnesses, to see if could help in any way to facilitate continuity of care for their medical needs. I also helped students and families struggling with an online learning platform, and those with mental health needs. When those responsibilities were met, I then began to read!

As a school nurse, it became my mission to seek out any information I could find about this corona virus, or as the kids like to say “the rona”. I read articles and protocols from the CDC, the World Health Organization, the state Department of Public Health, the Springfield Board of Health, The Department of Education, and many other state protocols from around the country. My goal was that if we were going to reopen in the fall of 2020, we would do it safely and with guidelines in place!

Then it came time to prepare for our reopening. Administration, faculty and staff all worked together to enable St. Michael’s Academy to open for our beloved students and families. All summer we prepared for our students to walk through our doors and feel safe and cared for. The day of reopening was one of the highlights of my time here at St. Michael’s, to see the faces of the children, even with masks, light up when they saw their friends or favorite teachers for the first time in months!

That brings me back to today, one year later. I often said to my husband that when I interviewed for the job of school nurse here at St. Michael’s, I left the interview feeling like this is where I belonged. I actually used the words “a calling from God”. I am grateful for my role as school nurse here at St. Michael’s and yes, it is very different than a year ago. This school year, the focus has been on Covid-19, tracking and tracing, and keeping everyone safe in addition to the regular responsibilities of a school nurse. Though at times there are long work hours necessary to keep the doors open, I wouldn’t trade it if it meant I couldn't get to see your children every day!

As I sit here and reflect on this school year, many factors have contributed to our success at remaining open. First and foremost is the leadership and guidance we are fortunate to have from administration. Another factor is the strong partnership that exists between parents and school. If we didn’t all work together to keep our halls safe, I’d be writing this from home instead of my office. So for that, we thank you. A third important factor is everyone's dedication toward the same goal. We have worked together as a team and made sacrifices along the way to ensure that our students receive in-person instruction this year.

Finally, we must remember that this pandemic, though lessening with mitigation factors and vaccination, is not over yet. We need to remain vigilant, educate ourselves with new developments, and continue to wear masks, wash our hands, and social distance. We look forward to continuing our partnership for the rest of the school year!

Nurse Maureen

Food For Thought
"We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place for those who love us."
– St. Bernard of Clairvaux 

Prayer Corner

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!

We pray for our brothers and sisters across our nation and across the world. May God give everyone strength during these especially stressful times.

We pray in a special way for all of our families and friends in need.

We pray for our recently departed.

We pray for all those lives that have been taken by the Covid-19 virus across the world.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. 

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St. Michael's Academy 
153 Eddywood Street - Springfield, MA 01118
www.smaspringfield.org
413.782.5246 office 
413.782.8137 fax