St. Mary's Newsletter

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary School

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope your family is doing well and enjoying your time together during Christmas Break. I pray that 2022 is a year filled with health, happiness, and joy for us all! It is hard to believe that when school resumes on Monday, January 3 we are already halfway through the 2021-2022 school year. As wonderful as Christmas Break has been, everyone at St. Mary’s will joyfully welcome our students back to campus! We are excited to welcome new families to our school as the second semester begins. Please help our new families feel welcome, especially as they navigate morning drop off and afternoon pick up for the first time.

Afternoon Dismissal Reminder

Just a reminder that when classes resume on Monday, St. Mary's students will once again be dismissed from their classroom rather than by car line. Even though we will not be dismissing students by car line on a daily basis, please keep your family's car line signs. We will be dismissing students using the car line system once a month on Noon Dismissal Days and on other days if need dictates.


Since we have not dismissed students from classroom doors since March 2020, please review and follow these guidelines:


  • Half-day Preschool students in Early Learners, Advanced Learners, and Pre-K will be dismissed from their classroom doors at 11:00 a.m. The Preschool entrance door will release at 10:55 a.m. for parents to enter the school. If you arrive a few minutes early, please wait patiently until the doors release rather than ringing the bell to enter the school. The minutes leading up to dismissal are always hectic, especially in Preschool classrooms, and our faculty and staff are not able to leave their classrooms to let anyone into the school during this time. If you need to pick up your child before 11:00 a.m., please ring the bell and enter the school through the main entrance doors.
  • School dismisses at 3:10 p.m. each afternoon. School doors at the main and preschool entrances will release each afternoon at 3:05 p.m. to allow parents to enter the school. Please do not ring the bell to be let into the school before 3:05 p.m. unless you are picking your child up before 3:10 p.m. dismissal for an appointment. If you are picking up your child early for an appointment, he or she will be waiting for you in the school office.
  • As a reminder, teachers will dismiss students to parents /guardians from their classroom doors after the 3:10 p.m. bell rings, or when the class is ready to be dismissed. We ask that parents wait quietly and patiently in the hallways and not enter the classroom before a class is dismissed.
  • If your child is not picked up from his or her classroom door by 3:20 p.m., he or she will be walked down the hallway and checked into After School Care in the Commons.
  • Please park and exit the parking lot with care, including at a slow speed. Please make sure that you are aware of your child/children at all times, keeping young children very close so they are holding hands/walking next to you.


For your convenience, the Arrival and Dismissal Procedures are found below for your review, they can also be found on pages 12 and 13 of the St. Mary's Family Handbook. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to stop by the school office or give us a call, we are happy to help you in any way that we are able.


ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL PROCEDURES

Arrival and dismissal times are hectic times of the day for families, and we ask all parents to please follow the following procedures to ensure the safety of our school community. If you do not transport your child/children to school, please ensure the person bringing them to school and/or picking them up from school receives the following information.



A. Arrival

1. Students arriving to school between 7:30-8:00 a.m. will go to Early Morning Care.

2. Preschool students will report to their classroom for Early Morning Care and elementary students will report to the Commons.

3. Preschool students (Early Learners, Advanced Learners, Pre-K) must be walked into the school and checked in at his or her classroom door by the parent/guardian.



B. School Doors

During the school day, all doors to the school are locked for our school community’s safety. Please ring the bell to enter the school through the main entrance during school hours. Please help us ensure the safety of our school by not propping doors open or asking students to open locked doors.



C. Dismissal

Parents (or their designees) of all students (Early Learners-5th grade) will pick their child up at his or her classroom door between 3:10 and 3:20 p.m. each school day (11:00 a.m. for half-day Preschool students). Students not picked up by 3:20 p.m. will be accompanied by their classroom teacher to the After School Care program.


It is possible during the school year that students may be dismissed from the carline system. Parents with last names starting with A-M will pick their child up from the Main Entrance doors following 3:10 p.m. dismissal, parents with last names starting with N-Z will pick their child up from the parking lot located to the east of St. Mary’s Church. Parents (or their designees) must have their care line name sign in their windshield of their car in order for children to be released to them.


Parents (or their designees) who are unable to pick up their child should let the school know well in advance who the designated adult will be. Parents should inform teachers with a written note or with a phone call to the school office of carpool arrangements and/or any deviations from the normal schedule. It is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to advise the school of any changes to authorization forms from moves or other changes in family circumstances.


D. Early Dismissal


Whenever possible, professional appointments should be scheduled outside of the school day. However, occasions do arise when a doctor or dentist appointment must be scheduled during school time. On these occasions, the parents should contact the school office by email or written note notifying the school of the appointment and early dismissal time. At the time of dismissal, a parent must sign the child out at the school office and be given authorization for release from the classroom. Teachers may not release a student from class without authorization from the office. This regulation is necessary to protect both the pupil and the school. Children will not be sent to an outside door to wait for a ride as a protective measure.

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January Charity Dress Day

Wednesday, January 5 is our first Charity Dress Day of 2022! We are offering a Class Choice for the month of January, which was a St. Mary’s tradition years ago. Class Choice means that the class donating the most money on Charity Dress Day will be deciding which charity receives the donation. The winning class will research and select a charity THEY would like to see receive our school’s generous donations from the day, with a little help and guidance from their teacher. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful and generous donation, and for helping your child understand the importance of thinking of those in need.


As a gentle reminder, if your Kindergarten - 5th grade child wishes to participate in Charity Dress Day, he or she should bring a monetary donation in order to "dress down". The purpose and goal for our Charity Dress Days each month is to raise funds for deserving local and national charities. St. Mary's does offer a "Free" Dress Day once a month as well, which does not require a donation to participate.

January Dress Code Reminders

As we return to school next week, please ensure that your child is wearing warm clothing and the proper dress code clothing he or she needs for a successful day at school. This includes:


  • Please ensure that your child has a coat, hat, and gloves/mittens as he or she leaves your house in the morning. Morning and afternoon recesses during the winter require that a child be warm and cozy in a coat to enjoy the brisk and cold air. Many students were arriving to school in hoodies rather than coats before Christmas Break and as a result, were having a difficult time staying warm during recess. St. Mary's students enjoy winter recess when air temperatures are 25 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, and wearing proper outerwear is important. Most recesses last 20-30 minutes.
  • All Kindergarten – 5th grade girls who wear a skirt, skort, and/or jumper to school are required to wear knee-high socks (not crew socks pulled up mid-calf) or tights from November 1st – February 28th to keep bare legs warm and cozy during winter recess. Girls may also wear navy or white solid colored leggings under skirts, skorts, or jumpers as well, in order to keep warm during the winter months.
  • Please ensure that your child (boy or girl) is wearing correct uniform socks as well. No-show socks are a no-no in our school dress code anytime during the school year. Socks are required to be ankle, crew, or knee-high length and the dress code guidelines provide the color options.
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Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week is quickly approaching and will be held nationally from January 30- February 5, 2022. This is a meaningful and fun week for our school as we highlight and celebrate special aspects of our school community each day. More information will be provided in the weeks to come including dress themes for each day, special activities, and fun events. Catholic Schools Week is a great week that celebrates the mission and beauty a Catholic education provides.

Important Dates to Remember

Monday, January 3: Classes Resume

Wednesday, January 5: Charity Dress Day benefitting "Class Choice"

Friday, January 7: Grade Cards Sent Home

Friday, January 14: Noon Dismissal, Faculty PD Day

Monday, January 17: No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Thursday, January 20: Free Dress Day

January 30 - February 5: Catholic Schools Week

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