St. Mary's Newsletter

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary

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The Lenten Season

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, 40 days that allow us to grow closer to Christ. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops tells us that Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It's a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection at Easter. During Lent , we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture, we serve by giving alms, and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but also to seek to follow Christ's will more faithfully. We were marked with ashes on Wednesday during our School Mass to remind us of our new life in Christ. During these 40 days our school family will spend more time in Adoration and will participate in Stations of the Cross on Fridays during the school day. How blessed we are to experience Lenten traditions together at school!
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2023-2024 Re-Enrollment is Open!

Current St. Mary's families should have received a text alert and email on Thursday evening notifying them that 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.

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Read Across America Week

Read Across America Week is here! St. Mary’s will join schools throughout the country to celebrate our love of reading and the birthday of Dr. Seuss Monday, February 27 to Friday, March 3. To celebrate the week we are having themed days, each inspired by a Dr. Seuss book. Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday: My Many Colored Days - Wear as many colors as you can!

Tuesday: Cat in the Hat Day - Wear your favorite wacky hat and lots of red, white, and stripes!

Wednesday: If I Ran the Zoo - Wear animal prints or camo and bring one stuffed animal to read with at school (stuffed animal MUST fit in your child’s backpack).

Thursday: The Sleep Book - Wear your pajamas or comfy clothing to school as we celebrate reading all day! Guest and faculty readers, reading buddies, and DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) will be fun additions to our day.

Friday: The Foot Book - Wear your wackiest socks and mismatched shoes with school uniform clothing for Mass (Pre-K thru 5th Grade will change shoes after Mass).

K-5th Grade students may be out of dress code each day EXCEPT FRIDAY if they participate in the day's theme. If a student chooses not to participate in a day’s theme, he or she must be in school uniform. Non-ripped jeans, leggings, and sweat pants are appropriate bottoms to wear each themed day, but please ensure your Kindergarten - 5th Grade child is in uniform clothing for Mass on Friday.

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Spring Dress Code

The weather is starting to warm up; it's good to know that Spring is on the way! As a reminder, St. Mary's Spring Dress Code goes into effect on Wednesday, March 1. Please read through your Family Handbook for more details, but the big changes from winter to spring dress code are:

  • 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 page 16-18 in St. Mary's Family Handbook. Thank you for your help in ensuring that your child follows the guidelines.

  • For identification purposes, it is highly suggested that students have their name inside each article of clothing.
  • 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.
  • No body piercing. 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.

St. Mary's March Lunch Menu

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St. Mary's Open House

St. Mary's is hosting a Preschool and Elementary Open House for interested families on Saturday, March 4 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. The morning will include school tours, time spent in classrooms visiting with teachers, and information about what sets St. Mary's apart from other private and public schools in the area.

If you are available to help host and tour visiting families during the Open House, please let me know. Teachers will be in their classrooms to visit with families, and it would be nice to have smiling, friendly faces showing families around the school and to their respective classroom. We would love to have around 10 parents help out from 8:45 - 11:00 a.m. Thank you in advance for lending a helping hand and a friendly face to our school community.

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Social Media Etiquette

St. Mary's is getting ready to enter the busy Spring season filled with school programs, special Masses and events, and other fun activities. As you are capturing these special moments in your child's school experience, please be aware that there may be parents in the class who do not wish for their child's image to be posted on social media sites. What can you do to help ensure that parent wishes are honored?

  • Pause before you post.
  • Think about your post and talk to your friends about public posts. Let your friends/other parents know where you stand on sharing content that may include themselves or their family. Always ask permission before you post something about another person, whether it mentions them indirectly, by name, or in a picture.
  • Consider other children/families' wishes and ask questions before you post anything from your child’s classroom or school on social media. Here are things to ask yourself:
  1. Is there anything in this post that personally identifies students?
  2. Do I have explicit permission to post it?
  3. Asking students' family members for permission BEFORE you post is the most considerate and responsible thing to do, thank you.
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Penny Wars Are Near!

Start saving your pocket change now for the St. Mary's Penny War being held the week of Monday, March 6 - Friday, March 10! ALL monies raised will be donated to Bishop Rice's Lenten Mission of Mercy. This year Bishop Rice has chosen the Stockton Area Ministerial Alliance as the beneficiary of the Mission of Mercy, located in Stockton, MO.

The Stockton Area Ministerial Alliance 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.

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Lenten 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!

This year, the council will be supporting JACS by donating the proceeds from the March 3 Fish Fry to the JACS Auction. All donations on Friday, March 3 will support JACS and the auction.

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Important Dates to Remember

February 21-February 28: Kid's Heart Challenge benefitting the American Heart Association

Monday, February 27-Friday, March 3: Read Across America Week

Tuesday, February 28: Dr. B Dental Visit for EL-K students, 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 1: Spring Dress Code Begins!

Wednesday, March 1: Charity Dress Day benefitting Bishop Rice's Lenten Mission Campaign

Saturday, March 4: St. Mary's Open House, 9-11:00 a.m.

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