St. Mary's School

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Back to School Reminders

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the extended Labor Day weekend. It was wonderful to see our school building come alive again last week with the return of teachers for their week-long professional development and preparations for the school year. We are looking forward to welcoming our students back this week!

I am writing with a reminder regarding two important tasks that need to be completed prior to the return of students this week:

1) Each family is asked to complete one more trial run of the Daily Symptom Check Webform on either Sunday or Monday to ensure you are able to access and complete the form. See below for more information.

2) If you have not done so already, please be sure to read the final reopening plan document in its entirety; this is critical to ensuring all families understand the many changes and new protocols we have implemented so we can safely return to school. Please click here to view the final reopening plan.

Also, please see below for information regarding the following items:

  • daily symptom check webform
  • staffing announcements
  • September lunch orders
  • school calendar
  • mask-wearing tips
  • orientation week schedule
  • arrival/dismissal times and locations

Thank you,

Mr. Beza

Daily Symptom Check Webform

We would like to remind everyone that all students who are attending in-person instruction must have a completed symptom check form on file prior to entering the school building each morning. The form must be completed no later than 7:30 am each day. The form is managed through the FACTS student information system and consists of four questions:

1) Has your child had a fever above 100.0 in the last 24 hours?

2) Is your child exhibiting any of these symptoms? [fever, chills, cough (other than chronic cough), shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle/body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash of unknown origin (especially on hands and/or feet) OR headache, runny nose/nasal congestion, fatigue in combination with any other symptom]

3) Is anyone in your household exhibiting any of these symptoms? [Fever, chills, cough (other than chronic cough), shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle/body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash of unknown origin (especially on hands and/or feet) OR headache, runny nose/nasal congestion, fatigue in combination with any other symptom]

4) Has your child been in close contact in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

Thank you to those families who have already completed a trial run of the daily symptom check webform. We are asking all families who are returning to in-person instruction to complete one more trail run of the webform on either Sunday or Monday.

To access the daily symptom check webform, please log into the FACTS Family Portal (, school code SMA-MA). Once you have logged in, under "School", please select "Web Forms." Please select the "COVID Response Form - Family" web form.

Staffing Announcements

Please join me in extending a special welcome to our new teachers, Mrs. Colleen Kelly (Grade 5) and Mr. Michael D'Aleo (Grade 6).

With a class size of 28 students, we split this year's grade 5 class into two sections. Mrs. Kelly holds a B.A. in English from Williams College and an M.Ed. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. With over 15 years of classroom teaching experience, Mrs. Kelly brings enthusiasm and strong understanding of best teaching practices in elementary education. Welcome, Mrs. Kelly!

Mr. D'Aleo holds a B.S. from Skidmore College and will be finishing his M.Ed at the University of Massachusetts, Boston this December. Mr. D'Aleo has worked with a wide range of students in multiple settings and will be teaching grades 6-8 social studies, grades 6 & 7 religion, and grade 6 science. Mr. D'Aleo brings with him a strong understanding of pedagogical practices and a commitment to building positive relationships in the classroom. Welcome, Mr. D'Aleo!

Mrs. Karen Burton (Music) and Mr. Peter Seibel (Phys Ed) have both decided to take a leave of absence for this school year. Based on guidance regarding music classes, we will not be conducting music classes this year and instead have asked Mrs. Monica Lorenzo (Spanish) to move to full-time at St. Mary's School. Mrs. Lorenzo will be offering Spanish instruction at all grade levels this year. For Physical Education, we have contracted with YoungWorld to fill the open position. They are actively searching for a PE teacher and have indicated they will be able to fill the position in the coming week.

September Lunch Orders

Lunch orders for the month of September can now be placed online at The deadline for submitting the September order is Thursday, September 10 at 11:59 pm.
  • If you already have an account with OrgsOnline, click here.
  • To create a new account, click here and use school code 442SMOTASMA when registering.

All students in PreK - grade 8 may place orders for lunch or milk.

Mask-Wearing Tips

One of the requirements to return to school in the fall is the wearing of masks. Research shows that the following tips, beginning at home, could really help your children to have a smoother transition as they return to school. We thank you in advance for your help with this!
  • Explain the rationale. Wearing a mask is a way to be kind to others, especially those who might have health issues and be more likely to get sick. It's also a way to try to keep ourselves safe, just like we wear a seatbelt when we ride in the car. Finally, it's a proven way to stop the spread of COVID, which we know is important if we want to be able to go to school and help our community to be its best!
  • Practice. Start with small increments and build up to wearing the mask for longer periods of time. Like most skills, the more you get used to it, the less likely it is to bother you.
  • Make it as fun as possible. Involve your child in picking out their masks. We are not going to require a uniform mask. However, we do ask that you try to choose a mask that will not be a distraction to learning. Allowing your child to pick their favorite color or a pattern related to their interests will help create buy-in.
  • Model a positive attitude. If you are okay about this and all of the guidelines set for the fall, your child will be okay. Children are resilient. Be careful to show negative emotions or voice frustrations in private. Tell your children how proud you are of them for caring about others and wanting to do their part to keep everyone safe.

Orientation Week Schedule

Students will be split into half-class groups which will attend for full days on either Tuesday, September 8 and Thursday, September 10 or Wednesday, September 9 and Friday, September 11. Teachers will focus primarily on teaching routines and protocols, as well as assessing students in the areas of reading and mathematics.

Orientation Assignments

Tues, Sept 8 & Thurs, Sept 10: Students with last name beginning A – L

Wed, Sept 9 & Fri, Sept 11: Students with last name beginning M – Z

Wed, Sept 9 & Fri, Sept 11: All students who have selected the virtual learning option; these students will join the class for orientation virtually

Arrival/Dismissal Times and Locations

A comprehensive description of the arrival and dismissal procedures can be found on pages 16-19 of the Final Reopening Plan. For your reference, the diagrams from pages 16 & 17 can be found below.
Big picture
Big picture