Panther Press

Principal Notes ~ February 5, 2021

Important Calendar Dates

Friday, February 12, 2021 - NOON DISMISSAL

  • This is a new revision to the school calendar. The teachers are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and this is the date that we given by the McHenry County Health Department)

Monday, February 15, 2021 - NO SCHOOL (President's Day)

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - Ash Wednesday (Mass at 9:30)

*** Link for Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Margaret Mary

Friday, February 26, 2021 - NO SCHOOL (Teacher Professional Development/ End of the 2nd

Monday, March 1, 2021 - IOWA TESTING BEGINS (3rd -8th Grade)

Friday, March 12, 2021 - NO SCHOOL (Teacher Professional Development)

Monday, March 29 - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - SPRING BREAK/ EASTER

Ash Wednesday - Wednesday February 17, 2021

Ash Wednesday, the Wednesday six weeks before Easter Sunday – February 17, 2021, – a holy day of fasting, sacrifice, and prayer, often forgoing a regular meal schedule, instead eating only one normal-sized meal and two very small ones over the course of a given 24-hour period.

Please see the information below on how ashes will be distributed this year: It is important that you talk to your child prior to Ash Wednesday about how ashes will be distributed.

By Vatican News

The health situation caused by Covid-19 continues to forces changes on daily life, which are also reflected in the Church’s sphere.

Ahead of the beginning of Lent, on Wednesday, 17 February, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a note detailing how Catholic priests are to distribute ashes.


After blessing the ashes and sprinkling them with holy water in silence, the priest addresses those present, reciting once the formula found in the Roman Missal: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

At that point, the note continues, the priest “cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask, and distributes ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.”

He then sprinkles the ashes on each person’s head “without saying anything.”

Parking lot Safety

For the safety of all of our children and staff, students will NO longer be permitted to be picked up from the parish parking lot. We ask that all families park in the West parking lot of the school. Once all children are safe in their cars the lot will be dismissed. Any child whose ride is not in the West school parking lot will be sent to the West doors and can be picked up after the parking lot has been released.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff.


During Catholic Schools Week, students in preschool - 8th grade participated in Penny Wars. IT was AMAZING to see classes work together and strategize the best plan to win. In the end, we all won because over $3,000 was raised for the school. This money directly helps support our educational programming.




Catholic Schools Week Food Pantry Collection

Thank you to all the families that participated in our Catholic Schools Week Food Drive. We collected 592 pounds of food! This food will help serve people in our community who are in need.

STMM Signs and Hats Challenge

A big THANK YOU to our Home and School Association for providing all students with STMM winter hats and families with a Proud Panther sign. You don't have to wait for the snow to melt to show off your panther pride. Send us your pictures of our hats around town. Let see how many places our STMM hats can be spotted around. Pictures will be posted to our STMM Facebook page.

You can send your pictures to Mrs. O'Hearn -

Be sure to include where you went in your STMM hat!

STMM Sports

There have been several questions about STMM sports and the new ISHA rules. It is my hope that we will be able to accommodate sports in some way this year. Unfortunately, this is decision is not the schools to make. STMM has to follow the guidelines that are set by the Office of Catholic Education in Rockford. At this time we are not permitted to have any indoor sports (basketball/volleyball). If things change, an update will be sent to all families.

Registration Reminder

Registration fees will be posted to your FACTS account on February 1, 2021, with a processing date of March 12, 2021. All preschool - 7th-grade students will be automatically enrolled for the next school year.

If you will not be returning or will need a registration fee payment plan, please contact Mrs. O’Hearn no later than March 1, 2021. There are options available should you need assistance. This applies to ALL students currently enrolled in grades preschool 3 - 7th-grade at STMM.

Tuition Payment plans: All tuition payment plans will remain the same. If you would like another payment plan please contact the school office by March 1, 2021.

Families that qualify for the in-parish tuition rate must be registered, active, and contributing members of St. Margaret Mary (Algonquin) or St. Mary (Huntley). The parishes will provide documentation to the school regarding family status for in-parish tuition rates for the 2021-2022 school year.

Logo Shirts for the 2021 - 2022 School Year

Starting the 2021 - 2022 school year, all students will be required to have a logo on all polo shirts, fleeces, and sweaters. These items are available through Land's End.

Be sure to join their e-mail list for the latest deals and coupons

Payment Summary Report though FACTS for 2020 taxes

  1. Log in to your FACTS account and go to the homepage.
  2. Locate “View Details” (Right across from Payment Plan and Billing) and click on it.
  3. Locate “View Payment Summary” and click on it.
  4. Choose the 2020 school year.
  5. Hit the “Print” button in the top right-hand corner of the document.


St. Margaret Mary remains ever so diligent in the safety of our staff and students. As things change and updates are given by IDPH or the McHenry County Health Department we will make adjustments at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School.

Updates and Reminders:

Rapid Tests: Per IDPH and the Health Department, negative rapid tests are no longer valid testing means for the school. Students and staff being tested for COVD-19 must have an RT-PCR test. The RT-PCR test takes between 3-5 days. When you are waiting for results, all family members must remain home and quarantined. If any person in your household is taking a COVID-19 test for any reason, all household members must remain out of school until the test results are received and notice is given to the school. It is also recommended that if you carpool with someone who is being tested for COVD-19, your child would remain out of school until there is a test result.

Close Contact Exposure **UPDATE**: If a family member has been exposed to COVID-19 or identified as close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, only the person identified as the close contact must quarantine 14 days from the date of exposure. You will need in the house is exhibiting COVID symptoms and or there are no outstanding tests, the family members that are second-hand contact may return to school. If symptoms arise during the 14 days or a family member goes for a test, all family members will need to remain home from school. At that time, your children will be transitioned to remote learners.

** Please consider remote learning if a household member has been identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19.

Remote Learners: The remote learning option is available to students that will be out of school for an extended period due to COVID-19 concerns or illness. Students will not be put into remote learning for appointments or vacations. If your child is out for an extended period, you will need to contact Mrs. O'Hearn. Additional information will be given to the family of the remote learner at that time. Students will be placed in remote learning within 24 hours of the notice. All students are eligible for remote learning.

Student Illness: If your child is feeling unwell, he or she should stay home, and you should contact the school office directly. Please do not email the office. You will be asked COVID-19 screening questions. These questions will help determine the next course of action. If it is determined that your child should see a doctor or have a COVID-19 test, all siblings will remain out of school until there is a test result or a doctor's note to return. Students will need to stay home for 48 hours from the onset of any sickness (if the illness is not linked to COVID like symptoms) and 72 hours for a fever. Once a student is symptom-free, he/she may return to school if a COVID-19 test or doctor's note was not required.

** Please consider remote learning if a household member feels unwell and exhibiting any COVID like symptoms.

Reporting to the school positive COVID cases: Please contact the office if you or anyone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19. Even when we are remote, this is essential information to share with the school.