September 2020
September 4, 2020

Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
Welcome to the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year! The past 6 months have had many challenges and changes and we hope that all families have been blessed with good health. Although it will look quite different for a while, we look forward seeing and working with our students.
We would like to share some staff changes with our school community. Ms. Maris Zakroczemski will teach grade 2, replacing Mrs. Cannan who has opted to stay home with her baby. Mrs. Laura Klinck recently had her second child and will be out the first semester on maternity leave. Ms. Kailee DeFranks will be the long-term substitute in that class. She has previously worked in our school and we are very pleased she has accepted this assignment. Mr. Shane Meenaghan will be teaching in grade 5, replacing Ms. Zimmerman. Ms. Zimmerman is moving to grade 7 & 8 Social Studies, replacing Mrs. Lynn Leckey who retired. Ms. Megan Doyle will teach Art, replacing Mr. Myers who has moved to a position in public school district. Ms. Brooks Denton will be our new Spanish teacher, replacing Ms. Kiblin who is moving to a position in a public-school district. Finally, both of our long-term Kindergarten aides, Mrs. Attea and Mrs. Burns, have retired from full time work, but we will be seeing them around the school throughout the year. We know that our new staff members are very excited to begin working with your children.
The first day of in-person school for students in Cohort A is Tuesday, September 8th.  The first day of in-person school for Cohort B students is Thursday, September 10th. These are full days of school and the school lunch program will be in effect. The arrival bell rings at 7:45am; however, the school doors will open at 7:15am for students who need to arrive early. Distance learning begins on September 8th. Wednesday, September 9th is a distance learning day for all students. This first day of full school distance learning is an introduction. The program will expand as the school year progresses.
ALL STUDENTS WILL NOW ENTER THROUGH DOOR #3 – THE GYM DOOR. This also applies to students who arrive before 7:40.
Arrival AND dismissal will be different than it has been in past years. Due to the large number of families providing their own transportation, we anticipate it taking longer than usual to complete our daily arrival and dismissal routines. We ask for everyone’s patience the first days of school as we work to ensure organized and efficient procedures to ensure student safety.
Every child will receive a packet on the first day of school. This packet will include the Emergency Contact Information Form, Student/Parent Handbook, Consent and Release of Photograph/Media Form, School Reach Broadcast System Form, After School Application, Parent Email Communication Form, EZ School Lunch App Guide and Lunch Application. Parents are encouraged to review all this information carefully as changes could be contained in the new material. PLEASE complete and return all required forms by Friday, September 17th.

Please note that if you indicated on our recent survey that you will be using Buffalo's First Student transportation, your names have been submitted to Buffalo and their tentative start date for buses is September 21.
Again, we look forward to this new school year and hope that it is a very successful one for all members of the St. Mark School community!
Mr. R. Clemens, Principal
Ms. Heather McCarthy, Assistant Principal
Per our Reopening Plan, the following Covid-19 Checklist should be used by parents every morning before leaving with their child(ren) for school. It is also on our school website.