St. Mary's Message
October 22, 2021
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
Greetings St. Mary’s Families,
It has been a great month and it is hard to believe we are entering the last week of October. As we approach the month of November, a month of change, there are a few things to note. The weather typically changes so be aware of the forecast and make sure your child is dressed for the weather. Nice days in Okotoks can become blizzards and we follow our school division inclement weather procedure, so students maybe outside up to -26°C (including wind chill). We also see change in our learning this month. We switch from term 1 to term 2 at the end of the month. Report cards will be available online on Friday, November 19th. This is followed by Parent-Teacher interviews on Thursday, November 25th from 1:00pm-9:00pm. Please note this is an early dismissal day so that our teachers can fit in all the interviews that day.
There are many things happening in the school from a virtual Rosary to Costume Scavenger hunt, and many ways for families to be involved. Details of opportunities are posted in the newsletter articles below, please take a moment to review. If you have questions or ideas to include in the school please let us know.
Honouring Remembrance Day
In preparation for Remembrance day we are asking for a scanned copy of a picture of any relatives that have served their country as a way to honor family members and our community. We will be showing the photos during the beginning of our Remembrance Day Service here at school. If you would like to contribute a photo please send a copy to email@example.com with the subject line Remembrance Day Photo.
If you have a family member who served for our country and have items or memorabilia that you would like displayed in our library display case (it is locked) please contact Mr. Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org . It is an opportunity for our students to be able to honour the sacrifice that has been made and being able to see such things is important.
In addition, you are welcome to join us on November 10th at 10:45 for our Virtual Remembrance Day Service.
You are invited to join fellow parents in conversation at our next meeting on Wednesday, November 10 @ 6:30 PM (Zoom link):
- Join other parents in planning and participating in exciting St. Mary's community events!
- Hear what is happening in the school, and share feedback with Mr. Bailey!
- Be part of the conversation about what's happening at St. Mary's School!
Notes of Gratitude
On Friday, November 5th, we will be having a Catholic Education Teacher Appreciation Day. We are asking families and/or students to take a minute to write a note of gratitude to your Teacher and to email it to them or bring the Note directly to your teacher on November 5th. Thank you for taking the time to spread joy to our teachers!
- St. Mary’s Parent Council
Looking to Volunteer?
This year we are limiting visitors, however we do have several opportunities that parents or Grand parents might be interested in:
- Breakfast Program (food prep before school)
- Fun Lunch Tuesdays (sorting/distributing)
- Book Fair (stocking books / taking payments)
- Library volunteer (restocking weekly)
- Crosswalk Patrol (supervise - AMA will train volunteers)
- Parent Council (be a part of various events and activities)
- School Sign (change the messaging monthly)
- Inclusive Playground (help us plan as we construct a new inclusive/accessible playground)
Email Mr. Bailey at email@example.com for more information.
Did you know that we have many The following programs and initiatives are currently available at St. Mary's School:
- Family School Liaison - Supports students in the areas of anxiety, social or regulation
- Fun Friends - classroom or small group for developing skills
- Rise and Shine - students start their day with nutritious foods
- Early Reading Intervention - Grade 1-2 reading support with a home reading component
- Enhanced Reading - Grade 3-6 reading program with a home component
- ARC Breaks - body breaks with a focus on students learning regulation strategies that work for them.
- Connections - opportunities for students to connect with peers and adults to build interpersonal skills and self-confidence.
Did you know? October is known as the month of the Holy Rosary.
Join us for a St. Mary's family Rosary after school on October 25th (on Zoom).
The Rosary usually takes 20-30 minutes to recite, and the repetition makes it peaceful and meditative.
School Events and Activities
Oct 29 - Costume Dress up Day and Virtue Assembly
Oct 30 - Parent Council Family Costume Scavenger Hunt 1-3pm (see Parent Council news for details)
Nov. 1 -All Saints' Day - Praying Litany of Classroom Saints
Nov 5 - Catholic Teacher Appreciation Day - send your teacher a note of why they are special
Nov. 6-7 - Catholic Education Sunday (observed at Mass on Saturday and Sunday)
Nov. 7 - Time change (turn clocks back 1 hr.)
Nov. 8 - Student-created Christmas card order deadline
Nov. 10 - Parent Council 6:30pm
Nov. 10 - Remembrance Day Service 10:45 (Via Zoom)
Nov. 11 - Remembrance Day (No School)
Nov. 16 - Family Evening of Advent (registration deadline)
Nov. 23 – Family Evening of Advent (7pm Zoom)
Nov. 25 - Parent - Teacher Interviews from 1:00pm-9:00pm (Early Dismissal at 12:35)
Nov 26 - Day in Lieu (No School)
Nov. 28 - Season of Advent begins!
Nov. 29 – Advent Wreath Blessing & Virtue Assembly
School Safety Plans
Student safety is a priority for St. Mary’s. Our team has a an emergency response plan that includes the Hour Zero and focuses on components of emergency preparedness. Please take the time to explore and inform yourself about our School Emergency Response Plan by clicking on the link.
We practice emergency drills to ensure we are prepared in the unlikely event of an incident at school. If you are interested all processes are posted online.
ST. JAMES PARISH
ST. JAMES PARISH - MASS TIMES
ST. JAMES CHURCH, OKOTOKS
Saturday: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m.
Sunday 5:00 p.m.
ST. MICHAEL CHURCH, BLACK DIAMOND
Saturday: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:00 a.m
St. Mary's Way Creed
We use our words, hands and hearts to help others.
We ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”
We are a family.
We pray to St. Mary to watch over, guide and protect us.
Do you have a story of when you have seen the St. Mary's Way in action? Consider sharing it with us here!
About our school...
St. Mary’s School is a faith-filled environment where students recognize they are a gift from God. They develop meaningful prayer lives and serve others with generosity and love. We are a literacy school where students are encouraged to read a lot and explore multiple genres. Students are able to self-select books from the library or from their classroom library and share their reading and writing with others! Our school has high expectations for all students while ensuring mastery of foundational skills and designing lessons that are engaging and meaningful. We understand the value of multiple dimensions of learning and address this through specialist-instructed programs in Music, French, Fine Arts, Physical Education and Outdoor learning.
Brandon Bailey | PRINCIPAL
Shari Gustafson | VICE-PRINCIPAL
Karen Fox | VICE-PRINCIPAL