St. Mary's Newsletter

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary

Big picture

1,2,3,4! I Declare a Penny War!

Our annual St. Mary's Penny War starts on Monday, March 6! ALL monies raised will be donated to Bishop Rice's Lenten Mission of Mercy.

Monday, March 6– Friday, March 10

Send in those coins, bills, and checks to help raise funds for

Bishop Rice’s Lenten Youth Mission of Mercy benefitting

Stockton Area Ministerial Alliance

How a Penny War works:

· Each class will have a collection jar located near their classroom doorway

· Students will deposit coins in jars each morning for a specific amount of time

· Gain points by adding pennies, paper bills, and checks to your class door

· Lower other class totals by adding silver coins to other class jars

There will be 2 categories for classes: Early Learners-Kindergarten and 1st-5th grades

The class with the highest positive balance in each category wins!

The beneficiary of this year's Penny War is the Stockton Area Ministerial Alliance, which helps people in need with phone bills, propane, electricity and food. Their pantry feeds 150-175 families once a month. Families are only allowed to come once a month because of their limited resources and because the need is great. Of course, children benefit greatly from the food pantry because almost all of the families have children. It is a sad fact that the face of hunger in our country is the face of a woman and of a child.

Big picture

2023-2024 Re-Enrollment is Open!

JACS re-enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is open! Current students/families have until March 31 to enroll before late enrollment charges begin. Enrollment for new families will open on Friday, March 3 so that new families may begin the enrollment process as well.

An important aspect of enrollment this year is that class sizes will be capped when enrollment for each grade level is met. For example, if your child is the 21st student to enroll in Pre-K, your child will not have a guaranteed spot in the class and will be waitlisted. Any student, current or new, will be waitlisted in case one of the enrolled spots in the class opens up before the school year begins in August. Enrollment will be on a first come, first served basis. Capped enrollment limits for each grade level are:

  • Early Learners: 14 students
  • Advanced Learners: 20 students
  • Pre-K: 20 students
  • Kindergarten: 23 students
  • 1st-5th Grades: 25 students

In years past, we have accepted enrollment throughout the spring and summer, splitting classes if enrollment went over class limits. Our enrollment policy has changed this year; St. Mary's will only enroll students until the above class size is available. After that, any student, current or new, will be waitlisted. There will be no exceptions, so please do not delay the enrollment process.

Big picture

Frozen Jr. is Around the Corner!

Mrs. Stremel and over 20 St. Mary's students have been busy preparing for the JACS performance of Frozen Jr.! Practices began in January and our students have worked hard and had fun with weekly practices. Special thanks to Mrs. Stremel for bringing such a great experience to St. Mary's and for all the time, care, and love she puts into everything she does. We are not only blessed to have her talents for musicals, but we are also blessed to have her as our Music teacher this year! Thanks also to Mr. Greg Stremel for helping with lighting, props, and so many other things that help make our musicals such a success!

The musical will take place March 10-12 in the McAuley Multi-Purpose Room located in the high school at 903 South Pearl Avenue. Showtimes are: Friday, March 10th 7:00 p.m. showtime; Saturday, March 11 7:00 p.m. showtime; Sunday, March 12 2:00 p.m. showtime.

Tickets are $5 each. Tickets are available to purchase at the door on the nights of the performance. It's a show you won't want to miss, we hope to see you there!

Big picture

KId's Heart Challenge

♥Kids Heart Challenge Update: VERY EXCITING NEWS!!!♥

Students in Kindergarten-5th Grade have been having a lot of fun with jump rope games and learning about taking care of their hearts. Our families have done an amazing job of reaching out to friends and family to raise awareness and donations for the American Heart Association. To date, we have raised over $11,000, thank you!

Last year, students could “slime” a priest for every $100 raised, and that was a LOT of fun!! This year, for every $100 raised, students can pour a cup of ‘Dragon Drool’ over Fr. Brian, Fr. Paco, and—new this year—MRS. LOWN, our beloved principal!! As you can imagine, the students are quite excited about this (and we thank Fr. Brian, Fr. Paco and Mrs. Lown for being such good sports)! Additionally….Fr. Andrew has issued a challenge to our students! If St. Mary’s reaches its goal of raising $16,000, we will……SHAVE FR. ANDREW’S HEAD!! (*Please note: The beard stays, but the hair goes!☺) Kudos to Fr. Andrew for inspiring our students in such a fun and bold way! Due to this excitement—and the students’ desire to see Fr. Andrew get his head shaved—we have extended the deadline to gather donations until next Friday, March 10! Please be sure to turn in all envelopes by then. Students get a “Mystery Prize” for every $50 raised. There are ‘Golden Eggs’ mixed in that will allow a student to be entered into a drawing to have a virtual experience with Finn, the young spokesperson for the AHA who has had 18 surgeries due to heart defects. We have had THREE students win a Golden Egg so far! Any student who raises $150 also gets to attend the Gym Jam—a fun morning of play with all kinds of games, stations, fun music and healthy snacks!

If you haven’t already registered, it’s not too late. The website is and is very user-friendly. There are a few St. Mary’s Elementary schools listed but look for Joplin MO and Mrs. Black’s name. Students were given envelopes for in-person donations as well, and there are more outside Mrs. Black’s room if needed.

St. Mary’s was recently presented with the School of the Year award by the American Heart Association for their success last year. There are 550 schools in the state of Missouri that participate, and for our school to be chosen School of the Year speaks directly to the very ♥ of all those—near and far—who make up this wonderful community. Thank you for all you do to support and encourage our students. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Black at

Big picture

Knights of Columbus Friday Fish Frys

Lent is here and that means the Fr. Harter Council Knights of Columbus will be hosting their annual Fish Fry Fridays! The delicious meal is $10 per adult, $5 for children aged 5-12, or $30 for a family...what a deal!
Big picture

Spring Dress Code

The St. Mary's Spring Dress Code went into effect on Wednesday, March 1. Here are a few friendly reminders of the dress code updates that go into effect on March 1:

  • Students may start wearing modest-length navy or khaki Bermuda or dress shorts to school. Shorts need to touch the bottom of finger tips to be considered dress code appropriate.
  • Girls may start wearing ankle socks with jumpers, skirts, and skorts.
  • As a reminder, ALL St. Mary's students (Preschool and Elementary) are required to wear closed-toe shoes to school. Sandals, crocs, open-backed shoes, etc. may not be worn to school to help ensure student safety.

Other Dress Code Reminders

We have been giving gentle reminders to several students who are out of dress code due to hair length, Smart watches, temporary tattoos, and untucked shirts. Please make sure you are aware of the additional dress code guidelines found on pages 16-18 in St. Mary's Family Handbook. Thank you for your help in ensuring that your child follows the guidelines.

  • No oversized or tight-fitting clothing.
  • No jackets, coats, hoodies (exception of JACS), sunglasses, hats, caps, or scarves worn as hats may be worn indoors.
  • Any jewelry or accessories (watches, etc.) must be in keeping with the conservative nature of the uniform. Girls may wear one pair of earrings (small hoop or stud only).
  • All students should wear their hair in a well-groomed manner. Boys’ hair must be out of the eyes, off the collar, and cover no more than half the ear. Girls’ hair should be out of the eyes. Student’s hair must be of a natural color.
  • Students may not have visible tattoos (permanent or temporary).
  • Shirts must be tucked in at all times.

Important Dates to Remember

Monday, March 6-Friday, March 10: St. Mary's Penny Wars!

Tuesday, March 7: First Tuesday at Club 609

Friday, March 10-Sunday, March 12: Frozen Jr. at McAuley MPR

Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16: Parent-Teacher Conferences, 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 16: St. Patrick's Free Dress Day!

Friday, March 17: No School, Parent-Teacher Conferences

Monday, March 20-Friday, March 24: Spring Break

Monday, March 27: Classes Resume

Tuesday, March 28: St. Mary's Student Penance Service, 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 29: Preschool Daddy and Me Night, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 30: Home and School Spring Meeting, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 5: Charity Dress Day benefitting Autism Awareness

Thursday, April 6: Holy Thursday, Noon Dismissal and NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE

Friday, April 7-Monday, April 10: Easter Break

Tuesday, April 11: Classes Resume

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary

Christian education and values taught in the Catholic tradition
Big picture