Mercy Peek & Ponder by Mr. McGrath

SPECIAL BACK-TO-SCHOOL EDITION Monday September 5, 2016

Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, we commit ourselves to living the Good News of Jesus through Works of Mercy. Our rigorous academic program unleashes creative energy for the pursuit of knowledge and nurtures a hope-filled vision for Catholic leadership. We live out our relationship with God by respecting the dignity of others and providing service to the global community that fosters unity, understanding, and compassion.

From the Principal..

Dear Parents and Students,


Welcome Back! We are incredibly excited to begin a new academic year at Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School. This promises to be a year filled with golden opportunities for all of our students as we strive to find ways that we can be even better than we have before! We embark on this journey with a pledge to you, our students and parents, that this will be a year of engaging, meaningful and rigorous work in our classrooms, combined with special events and a plethora of extracurricular clubs and activities, certain to encourage our students to be involved and stay connected!


During the 2016-17 school year, we will continue to build upon and refine our proven foundation of good work, Catholic traditions, and continued excellence in education.


Our foundatational words remain…

FAITH, KNOWLEDGE, CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP, SERVICE


Our staff of highly qualified professional educators and support personnel is committed to providing our students many opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. We invite and encourage students and parents to work in partnership with us to seize the unique opportunities at OLM.


We look forward to a very positive and productive year together! We extend a special, yearlong invitation to our families to join us at school activities and events whenever possible. We want . . . we need . . . and we value your involvement and support in your child’s education! Your active participation is key to the success of your children.


Please know that we highly value home/school communication here at OLM. It is vital and plays an integral role in each student’s success. We encourage you to contact us if/when the need arises, and to stay in the know about your child’s studies, assignments, assessments, and school activities, as well as other events and happenings.


Again, we welcome you to OLM and to our wonderful learning faith community . . . a place alive with much energy . . . enthusiasm . . . service to the global community and a high standard of excellence! It is, indeed, a place where opportunities abound! Here’s to an AWESOME new school year as we work together to make our school a great place to work and learn each day!


OLM is rooted in God ... and growing in MERCY!


All my best,


Mr. John C. McGrath, M.Ed.

PRINCIPAL

Day of Prayer for Peace in our Communities ....

On Friday, September 9th, Our Lady of Mercy with join with other schools/churches in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to observe a Day of Prayer for Peace in our Communities. This initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops responds to the pressing need for civil dialogue with regard to race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and gun violence. Prayer is the first step in this progress.


Let us Pray ...

O Lord our God, in your MERCY and kindness, no thought of ours is left unnoticed, no desire or concern ignored.


You have proven that blessings abound when we fall on our knees in prayer, and so we turn to you in our hour of need.


Surrounded by violence and cries for justice, we hear your voice telling us what is required...

"Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Mi 6:8)


Fill us with your MERCY so that we, in turn, may be MERCIFUL to others. Strip away pride, suspicion, and racism so that we may see peace and justice in our communities.


Strengthen our hearts so that they beat only to the rhythm of your holy will. Flood our path with your light as we walk humbly toward a future filled with encounter and unity.


Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts, for only by the prompting of your grace can we progress toward virtue. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Amen.

Neumann Scholars Program - Class of 2017

We ask you and your child to seriously consider this honor. The Connelly Foundation desires to award all the funds available to the Neumann Scholars Program. Therefore, only students who will accept a Neumann Scholars Program scholarship should sit for the Neumann Scholarship Test!


If your child decides to compete for this scholarship, a registration form was mailed to those students who meet the criteria. They should be return no later than the first day of school.


You have received a copy of the Program Summary Sheet that provides the details of the Neumann Scholars Program. Recipients will be notified in early December.


There is no fee to register for the Neumann Scholarship Test, however, students are required to submit an essay (minimum one page) expressing how the student and their family participate in the school community. This essay is due no later than Monday, October 3, 2016.

Virtue of the Month: CHARITY

Our virtue of the month of September is CHARITY. When you think of people who were amazing examples of charity - Mother Teresa definitely makes the top ten list. She explained once what this virtue of charity is all about.


"Love in action is service. Become friends to those who have no friends. Become family to those who have no family. Become community to those who have no community."


Charity is just that simple - love people as God would love them. So why is it such a hard virtue to put into practice? Probably because it means we have to forget ourselves and put the other person first. We have to change our priorities. That may mean to glance up from our phone or tablet to look around at the needs of others. It may mean to stop what we are doing and change our plans to help someone in need. Charity may be as easy as just listening to someone who is lonely.


There is a trick to living charity. Plug into the Holy Spirit! Many people wonder what kind of relationship we can have with the Holy Spirit every day. He is the Spirit of Love, the Great Consolor. He can inspire us and point out things we may miss to help us live the virtue of charity. Be honest with God - let him know that sometimes you get caught up in what you have to do and you forget the needs of others. Ask him for help. Say this little prayer whenever you can and your charity will grow.


"Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love."


Students will be recognized at the School Liturgy on Friday, October 7th.

Upcoming Events

September 6

Teacher/Staff Orientation & Professional Development Day

8AM to 4PM


September 7

2016-2017 Academic Year Begins, 8AM (1-8) Full-Day

Kindergarten will follow a separate schedule (letters to be mailed 08/15)


September 8

Full day, Grades 1-8

Kindergarten has special schedule


September 9

Full day, Grades 1--8

Kindergarten has special schedule

School Mass, 9AM

Welcome Ice Cream Social, 6:30PM (School Gym)


September 13

Confessions, 1PM - grades 3-8


September 14

Class Mass, 9AM - grades 6-7-8

Back-to-School Night, 6:30PM


September 16

Dress Down Day - Missionary Childhood Association

Jr. High (grades 7-8) Dance #1, 7:30PM


September 22

Mercy Day

Prayer Service with Student Council Installation, 2PM (Church)


September 28

Class Mass, 9AM - Grade 5

OLM SUMMER OFFICE HOURS

Monday, September 5th: LABOR DAY - OFFICE CLOSED

Tuesday, September 6th: Teacher Orientation Day, 8:00AM to 4PM (OFFICE CLOSED)

News from the OLM Cafe

Welcome back! School lunches will be served starting the first day of school - In order to access the menu, please visit the school website. Due to the increase in costs from our food supplier, we have been forced to adjust the lunch prices. For this school year, Lunch (which includes a main dish, a side dish two fruits, two veggies, and milk or juice) would be $3.50. Main Entree $2.50 and milk or juice $0.75
Enter to win a FREE COOKIE daily for one whole week! -ONE raffle ticket will be awarded for every lunch bought from Monday through Thursday each week during the month of September. "

MY STUDENT'S PROGRESS (MSP)

Our Lady of Mercy uses a web-based school management software system called http://MyStudentsProgress.com. MyStudentsProgress.com provides parents secure online access to track grades, assignments, and attendance. This system provides improved parent communications with our school, resulting in increased parental involvement to raise student’s academic achievement.


Parents can track their student’s progress from home, work or on the road from any computer with a connection to the internet. Below is a list of all the modules that will be opened over the next few weeks.


This system also allows parents to update information themselves. We encourage every parent to log in and correct / update any information that was not accurately entered into MSP.


We try very hard to make sure the information parents provide to us is accurately uploaded to MSP, however, we are asking parents to input or correct your information directly if you see any errors.


On Thursday, August 4th, an email will be sent to each registered family / email providing you with your individual log-in information. Please look for this email on 8-4-16 and let us know if you did not receive it. Please check you spam folders as well.

CONSIDER SCRIP!

We are now taking orders for scrip. Scrip enables you to earn money just by doing your regular shopping. The best way to order is via the shopwithscrip.com website using the enrollment code 8E8L5AC76615. You can also send in a paper order form, which is available atolmcatholicschool.com using the scrip tab under the Family Information header. Be aware that rebates, retailers and denominations available do sometimes change, so even if you aren't placing your order online, check shopwithscrip.com for the most up-to-date information. When placing an online order, you will be able to print out your order confirmation and send it in with a check, or pay online using Prestopay, an automatic bank debit. The family portion of the rebate has been increased to 85%, so the potential tuition savings are significant. Some families earned hundreds of dollars in tuition credits last year. The primary goal of this program is to help keep an OLM education affordable for our families, so be sure to take advantage of this benefit. Orders placed by Monday at Noon will be available for pick-up by Thursday afternoon.

CARES

Any questions about CARES, please contact Renee Makoid at rmakoid@olmcatholicschool.com

Volunteer for Lunch Duty at OLM!

Two parent volunteers must be on-duty in the school yard - before the playground is open. This ensures the safety of ALL. Our active volunteer program not only provides valuable hands-on assistance through the school, but also benefits the children by reinforcing ties between the children’s individual homes as well as the community at large, and the school. The Lunch/Recess Duty Volunteer program is a great way to volunteer and become involved at the school.


Sign up for Lunch Duty at:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4daaa622a6f49-lunch5

TRANSPORTATION FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

PLEASE PRINT OUT THE ATTACHED BUS TRANSPORTATION SCHEDULE, COMPLETE IT, AND SUBMIT TO YOUR CHILD(REN)'S HOMEROOM TEACHER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANTICIPATED COOPERATION TO THIS MATTER.


The names of all the families who indicated they needed bus transportation (through MSP) were given to the local public school districts in July. All schedules, bus stops and bus numbers are provided by your local public school district. Please follow up with your district’s transportation department directly to inquire about this information. In the past, most of the districts provide this information on their websites at the end of August.


Things to remember:

· Children who ride the bus are expected to behave in a safe and orderly manner at all times. Riding the bus in a privilege and failure to abide by the rules will be denied this privilege.

· Children must ride the bus assigned to them by the school district.

· Do not request permission (written or verbal) from the Principal for a student who is a non-rider to take the bus to any location on a given day. The school is not in a position to grant such a request.


More information regarding transportation can be found in the school handbook located on the OLM website.