Mercy Peek & Ponder by Mr. McGrath

SPECIAL SUMMER EDITION August 3, 2016

Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, we commit ourselves to living the Good News of Jesus through Works of Mercy. Our rigorous academic program unleashes creative energy for the pursuit of knowledge and nurtures a hope-filled vision for Catholic leadership. We live out our relationship with God by respecting the dignity of others and providing service to the global community that fosters unity, understanding, and compassion.

From the Principal..

Dear Parents and Students,


Teachers and staff are busy preparing classrooms and school for an exciting year of learning and growth. We are looking forward to hearing about your summer adventures, connecting with returning families, and meeting our newest Bulldogs.


We are so happy to welcome 63 New Students to the Our Lady of Mercy family. Our enrollment is up from last year. While we are still accepting new applications, some grades have a waiting list. If you know of anyone who is interested in OLM, please remember that there is a $500 tuition credit referral. Our Advancement Director is happy to speak to them about the program at OLM and conduct a tour.


We are also please to announce that Ms. Maeve McGill has joined the faculty at OLM. She will join the 5th grade team. She is a graduate of Elizabethtown College and is licensed/certified by the state of Pennsylvania. She is a resident of Blue Bell and is a parishioner of Saint Helena. I know that she will be warmly welcomed to our school family.


I am privileged to have the opportunity to serve as your principal (year number 3 already) and I am honored to work with our qualified and dedicated staff, our wonderful students, and supportive parents. The elementary years are critical times of development for students and families and I look forward to working with you to make this school year successful.


Student success is the goal of every staff member at OLM. The faculty is devoted to utilizing research-based best practices to guide every student, every day to reach their full potential.


I ask for your support and participation in this effort by sending your child to school on time every day, encouraging her/him to read for pleasure every night, monitoring homework and progress, and asking your child to share what they learned at school each day.


We invite you to become an active participant in our school community through volunteering or attending and supporting our school events. Educational research shows that one of the most important characteristics of an effective school is building a strong home-school relationship. OLM welcomes your involvement and seeks to create strong home-school relationships.


Education is a partnership between the school, students, parents/guardians, and community. Communication is a vital component of a successful educational experience. Together, we will continue to improve the quality of our school community and provide the best for the children of OLM. All children are more successful when we work as a team to achieve educational goals.


In closing, enjoy the remaining days of summer. I look forward to working with you and your student as we work toward an academically and spiritually successful school year.


With thoughts and prayers,

John C. McGrath

Principal

Virtue of the Month: CHARITY

Our virtue of the month of September is CHARITY. When you think of people who were amazing examples of charity - Mother Teresa definitely makes the top ten list. She explained once what this virtue of charity is all about.


"Love in action is service. Become friends to those who have no friends. Become family to those who have no family. Become community to those who have no community."


Charity is just that simple - love people as God would love them. So why is it such a hard virtue to put into practice? Probably because it means we have to forget ourselves and put the other person first. We have to change our priorities. That may mean to glance up from our phone or tablet to look around at the needs of others. It may mean to stop what we are doing and change our plans to help someone in need. Charity may be as easy as just listening to someone who is lonely.


There is a trick to living charity. Plug into the Holy Spirit! Many people wonder what kind of relationship we can have with the Holy Spirit every day. He is the Spirit of Love, the Great Consolor. He can inspire us and point out things we may miss to help us live the virtue of charity. Be honest with God - let him know that sometimes you get caught up in what you have to do and you forget the needs of others. Ask him for help. Say this little prayer whenever you can and your charity will grow.


"Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love."


Students will be recognized at the School Liturgy on Friday, October 7th.

Upcoming Events

September 6

Teacher/Staff Orientation & Professional Development Day

8AM to 4PM


September 7

2016-2017 Academic Year Begins, 8AM (1-8) Full-Day

Kindergarten will follow a separate schedule (letters to be mailed 08/15)


September 8

Full day, Grades 1-8

Kindergarten has special schedule


September 9

Noon dismissal, K-8

School Mass, 9AM

Welcome Ice Cream Social, 6:30PM (School Gym)


September 13

Confessions, 1PM - grades 3-8


September 14

Class Mass, 9AM - grades 6-7-8

Back-to-School Night, 6:30PM


September 16

Dress Down Day - Missionary Childhood Association

Jr. High (grades 7-8) Dance #1, 7:30PM


September 22

Mercy Day

Prayer Service with Student Council Installation, 2PM (Church)


September 28

Class Mass, 9AM - Grade 5

OLM SUMMER OFFICE HOURS

Week of August 1st: Monday to Thursday, 9AM to 1PM

Week of August 8th: Monday to Thursday, 9AM to 1PM

Week of August 15th: Monday to Thursday, 9AM to 1PM

Week of August 22th: Monday to Thursday, 9AM to 1PM

Week of August 29th: Monday to Thursday, 9AM to 3PM

Monday, September 5th: LABOR DAY - OFFICE CLOSED

Tuesday, September 6th: Teacher Orientation Day, 8:00AM to 4PM (OFFICE CLOSED)

MY STUDENT'S PROGRESS (MSP)

Our Lady of Mercy uses a web-based school management software system called http://MyStudentsProgress.com. MyStudentsProgress.com provides parents secure online access to track grades, assignments, and attendance. This system provides improved parent communications with our school, resulting in increased parental involvement to raise student’s academic achievement.


Parents can track their student’s progress from home, work or on the road from any computer with a connection to the internet. Below is a list of all the modules that will be opened over the next few weeks.


This system also allows parents to update information themselves. We encourage every parent to log in and correct / update any information that was not accurately entered into MSP.


We try very hard to make sure the information parents provide to us is accurately uploaded to MSP, however, we are asking parents to input or correct your information directly if you see any errors.


On Thursday, August 4th, an email will be sent to each registered family / email providing you with your individual log-in information. Please look for this email on 8-4-16 and let us know if you did not receive it. Please check you spam folders as well.

CARES

Please see the attached CARES letter and registration form. We are trying to see how many students will need CARES next year / how many days / etc.. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. Any questions, please contact Renee Makoid at rmakoid@olmcatholicschool.com

SMARTAID

For those families who applied for SmartAid and were granted aid, awards have been posted to FACTS and letters will be mailed on 08/04/2016 indicating the award amount. Your patience is greatly appreciated as this was a new venture for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Does your National Junior Honor Society Student need more service hours?

Any student in need of service hours, please email Mr. McGrath.

UNIFORM EXCHANGE

There will be a uniform exchange on Wednesday, August 17th from 5PM to 7PM in the foyer of OLM. If you have any uniforms that are in good shape, please consider donating them to the exchange.

TRANSPORTATION FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

The names of all the families who indicated they needed bus transportation (through MSP) were given to the local public school districts in July. All schedules, bus stops and bus numbers are provided by your local public school district. Please follow up with your district’s transportation department directly to inquire about this information. In the past, most of the districts provide this information on their websites at the end of August.


Things to remember:

· Children who ride the bus are expected to behave in a safe and orderly manner at all times. Riding the bus in a privilege and failure to abide by the rules will be denied this privilege.

· Children must ride the bus assigned to them by the school district.

· Do not request permission (written or verbal) from the Principal for a student who is a non-rider to take the bus to any location on a given day. The school is not in a position to grant such a request.


More information regarding transportation can be found in the school handbook located on the OLM website.