Hark! the Herald

Friday, July 17, 2020

We hope you all are enjoying your summer vacation!

Big picture

Important Updates for ALL SMS Parents:

The State of Vermont has released some new, revised guidelines for the remainder of the summer. In response to those guidelines, we ask that you all please read the information and partner with us to make changes accordingly if you need to visit the school or drop a child off for camp.


1. All adults dropping off children are required to wear masks on campus.

Keep a mask in your car and put it on as you get out each day for drop off and pick up.


2. We are now asking that your child wear the mask upon arrival, so we visually know they are prepared for the day.

All students must have a mask for camp/school each day and we are finding that many are left at home to be washed, in a car or a pants pocket from the day prior. Please develop a system so you have a mask at the ready for your child each day.


3. Adults are not allowed in the building except in extreme circumstances.

Please expect a staff member to acknowledge you, and then bring your child to the door for pickup, or to come collect whatever it is you may be dropping off. If you must meet with someone on staff, please call ahead to schedule an appointment.


If you have any questions, please contact the SMS office at 802.254.6320

Other updates from the office as we prepare for the school year ahead:

1. Teacher welcome back letters, along with supply lists, will be mailed out shortly. Please keep an eye out for information and call the office if you haven't received a packet by July 31st.


2. We have LOTS of uniforms in our closet available. Kids grow like wildflowers in the summer sunshine. Please check your uniforms and if you need anything, we encourage you to schedule an appointment to come to the closet and see what we have. Please, don't be shy! The uniforms are here for everyone to take advantage of.


3. For those of you new in our community who have not yet enrolled your child but are considering SMS for the fall, please contact Lindsay O'Neil asap. As mentioned above, letters are going out, supplies for classrooms are being ordered, and we would like to do out best to prepare for your child. Submitting an enrollment packet can be done here: https://logins2.renweb.com/logins/ParentsWeb-Login.aspx

Our district code is sm-vt

Big picture

SMS Summer Camp has been wonderful!

We are finishing up week 4 of summer camp. It was been wonderful for everyone who has participated. The students have adapted quickly to the new protocols in place... it is precious to see a preschooler march up to the door in the morning, smile and brush their bangs to the side for a temperature check before entry. They know just what to do now!


Our preschoolers have enjoyed adventures up to the Common for play time, and also for story time with Ms Sueno of the Book Mobile. They have planted seeds, learned about and met some of our community heroes, enjoyed drumming and dance sessions with Ms Ayla, they have colored and painted, but most importantly, they have enjoyed those sprinklers! What a blessing our new playground sod install has been this year for the children here at summer camp.


Our youth campers have been drawing, painting and making art from beans, baking cherry pies, hiking the Harris Hill Ski Jump and surrounding trails, tending to our two garden plots at Retreat Farm, learning social dances such as the Cha Cha Slide and the Cotton Eyed Joe (a favorite among the kids). They have played all sorts of fun competitive games outside, and learned to enjoy read alouds during story time. They have learned to be patient, to give one another space, to take turns and still have fun.

The older youth campers just finished reading the beloved story Swiss Family Robinson together and are watching the Disney movie this afternoon to get out of the rain.


Whatever you are doing this summer, we pray you are safe, enjoying the sunshine, and this precious time together with your children.

Big picture

And now, introducing another new face on Walnut Street:

Today we will feature Mr Peter Orlowski, our new middle/high school math and science teacher!

Good evening SMS families,


So, what can you about me? I received my bachelor's degree from Thomas Aquinas College in California. I then completed my graduate studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where I specialized in the philosophy of math and science. I have been teaching now for 22 years in schools with as few as 20 students and as many as 1000 students. I began working first for a Catholic school run by a religious order for 12 years, then for a public school for six years, and finally four years for an independent school. I was a founding faculty member of a classical high school.

I have taught quite a variety of subjects - algebra, calculus, geometry, chemistry, physics, Catholic theology, logic... even Latin. One subject I never got a chance to teach but always hoped for - American History. I am a big fan of American Civil War battles! In fact, I presently live on a property where General Joseph Hooker's Union Army spent the last night of the Battle of Chancellorsville and I mow around the very trench that he encamped in! But I digress. The last two years I have also taught a logic course for the local community college. I have taught as young as middle school pre-algebra and geography (I also volunteer at the local parochial school to lead an after-school chess club) and I have lead adult book clubs for adults who want to study dogmatic theology. I have enjoyed the opportunity to change things up, expanding my experience in all sorts of different teaching settings.


As for my personal life: I am a cradle Catholic, I grew up as one of ten children in Washington State, and went to high school in British Columbia. I lived in California for six years before graduate school brought me out to the East coast where I have now been the majority of my life. I have had many hobbies but perhaps my two favorites are reading and stargazing. I like planet and satellite tracking, and viewing both solar and lunar eclipses as often as possible. As far as more physical hobbies, I enjoy hiking and cycling. My dream has been to hike the Appalachian Trail, but for lack of time, instead I have made do with hiking sections of the AT in Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Hampshire. I used to enjoy pick-up basketball and volleyball until I broke my ankle in a parkour accident two years ago, so I am learning to ski now instead. Naturally, I am looking forward to taking advantage of skiing in the Green Mountains, and hiking the Long Trail with my four dogs.


I look forward to meeting all of you soon. Last year, life in general was a new challenge for everyone, but I am excited to be part of a team like Saint Michael School which is so well prepared to meet those challenges in the year ahead!


In Christ,


Peter Orlowski

Check out this great deal on apparel from French Toast... 50% off nearly everything until 7/26/2020

Big picture
Click to Make Back To School Purchases Through Amazon!

As you do your shopping, please shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/03-0181252 Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Saint Michael Parish Charitable Trust.

Private Music Lessons are Still Available

Hi Parents!

Are you looking for extra activities for your kids? Do you have more than one child and need some time to focus on one child while keeping the other child busy? Why not have them try piano lessons?


All lessons are offered online, via Skype, Facebook Messenger chat or other video call apps. All you need is a phone, tablet or computer and a keyboard/piano. You'll get immediate feedback from me about your child's progress after the lesson is over.


My rate is reasonable and competitive. Of course, if you're a parent and you're interested, I would be happy to teach you too. I will continue to offer the online option after the current Covid-19 situation resolves.


Please give me a call at 802-251-0644 or an email at breton@stmichaelvt.com if you're interested.


Breton Abbondanzio

SMS Music Teacher

Donate now to help support the mission of SMS

As a small Catholic private school, we rely upon tuition, fundraising and private donors to sustain the schools operating costs each year. We thank you in advance for your generous support of our mission through your contributions. Thank you!!!

We are here for you!

Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Please reach out. We LOVE to hear from our families!


If you are not already a friend of SMS on Facebook, please come join us! We will post school cancellations, fun photos and events that happen during the week that don't make it into the Hark!

Please click this link, like and follow our page so you can continue to stay involved.