Summer Newsletter

St. Mary's Catholic School

Welcome -A Message from Monsignor Heberto Diaz

Dear Friends in Christ,

Welcome to the 2020 – 2021 academic year! We begin this endeavor amidst a “new normal” in which the traditional classroom experience has been modified for everyone’s safety. I wish to thank St. Mary’s School administration, teachers, and staff who have worked hard to prepare and are ready to adapt and make changes as needed. I appreciate St. Mary’s School alumni and the parish community; their continued support is especially critical right now. And I am grateful to you, our parents, for allowing St. Mary’s School the opportunity to provide your children with a Catholic education – even if it means beginning the school year from home.

With so much uncertainty caused by COVID-19, I think we can find greater comfort in what we know for sure: God is with us every step of the way. I can also assure you that our school’s commitment to creating a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity remains steadfast. I encourage the community to take Christian pride in what we are beginning.

This does not mitigate the adversities are currently facing. Many people have suffered great losses and many more are suffering alone. But the start of the school years brings with it a sense of renewal and it may be through this restoration that we can all be more charitable and more compassionate to those less fortunate. It is something to think about. Whether by heavenly design or sheer coincidence, this year’s renewal takes place during our school’s 50th anniversary. For half a century every August, St. Mary’s Catholic School has given our entire community a breath of fresh air and has served as a source of ongoing renewal for our parish. It is a milestone that we will celebrate in an appropriate manner throughout the year.

I look forward to seeing each one of you whether it may be virtually or (hopefully, soon) in person. Please join me in asking for our Blessed Mother’s protection and guidance, especially for our children. And in all that you do, always thank our Lord. We are in God’s loving, life-giving hands.

I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ…

Monsignor Heberto Diaz

Team St. Mary's - Full of Fire

We prepare to begin another school year! Our team ready to take on this ever-changing model of education that has been immersed in the virtual/technological world but holding steadfast to the mission of St. Mary's of excellence and sharing the gospel with our students. A true learning community, Team St. Mary's has continued to build a program and experience for each of our students providing meaningful learning experiences. Technology is a tool to do just that. It is a complement to the heart and passion found within each teacher and staff member.

We are so excited for our teams this year and we welcome some new faces!

Little Saints and Montessori Team: Mrs. Zayra Cazares, Mrs. Laura Ibarra, Mrs. Elda Reyes, Mrs. Rosie Ruiz, Mrs. Elma Wood, Mrs. Brisia Kobayashi, Ms. Gloria Torteya, Ms. Gloria Sanchez, and Mrs. Deissy Guerra.

1st Grade Team: Mrs. Angelica Camarillo and Mrs. Mayra Sanchez. We welcome Mrs. Sanchez who is no stranger to Catholic education and joins us from St. Luke School.

2nd Grade Team: Mrs. Darlene Ruiz, Mrs. Yvette Rey and we welcome Ms. Samantha Solis. Ms. Solis comes to us from Northside ISD in San Antonio and a graduate of UTSA.

3rd Grade Team: Ms. Vanessa Garcia, Mrs. Lorena Gomez, and Mrs. Edna Siller.

4th Grade Team: Mrs. Carolina Cazares, Mrs. Jessica Carpio, and Mrs. Ale Rico

5th Grade Team: Mrs. Karla Gutierrez and we welcome Ms. Suzanne Kickham from the ACE program from the University of Norte Dame. ( ACE - Alliance for Catholic Education) .

6th Grade Team: Mrs. Claudia Martinez Reyes and Ms. Monica Pier

Specials: Mrs. Carmina Gonzalez ( Technology), Denise Salazar ( Art and Library), Robert Moreno and Jay Pena ( Physical Education)

Our Learning Center Team will see a new addition as well. We thank Ms. Judy Faulk for her many years of service in administration at St. Mary's School. In this new year, she will begin a new chapter and position in our center providing top-notch support and intervention for our students along with Mrs. Ana Loya and Mrs. Daniela Chapa. They will together provide individualized service to students and teachers throughout the year. We are truly blessed to offer this to our students.

We know as in many organizations changes have been made to facilitate the needs and impact of this current pandemic. The changing dynamic in our school community adjustments was necessary to support the current program and framework. The school community remains dedicated to fulfilling the mission and providing a quality Catholic education.

We celebrate the retirement of Mrs. Mary Trapp and her many years of dedicated service to St. Mary's Catholic School. We thank Mrs. Perla Serrato and Ms. Carolina Cantu for their year of service. We wish them well in their new endeavors.

We thank our faculty and staff members who will also not be with us at the start of the school year: Mrs. Sandra Lenz, Mrs. Nelly Guerra, Mrs. Sally Graham, Ms. Marisela Sanchez, Ms. Gloria Tamayo, Ms. Rosanna LeMaster, Mrs. Lette Silva, Ms. Benny Rodriguez. We thank them for their years of service as well.

Each and every one of them are a blessing to our school and remain connected to our St. Mary's family! Saints Forever!

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First Day of School - August 31st

Our teachers are ready to embrace the beginning of the year along with our students. They are excited to open the 20-21 school year as education continues to evolve. Though there is so much happening around us, we choose to look at this time as an opportunity to learn and grow.

The following is a timeline of events as we approach the first day of school:

Week of August 17th- Students are to be on the lookout for special delivery in your home mailbox. A note from your new teacher for the 2020-2021 school year will be delivered.

Much thought and consideration are placed in creating classroom rosters. A balance to create an optimal environment is essential. This year is extra essential as class size is limited to accommodate the requirements for social distancing required by TCCBED ( state) and CDC (Center for Disease Control). Many of our classes are closed and a few grade levels with space. We thank our families for your trust and patience in receiving your notification. Our teachers are ready to receive their students with open arms!

August 19th - Parent webinar to offer continual support for families at 5:00 p.m - 6:30 p.m via Zoom Dr. Clara Magallanes and Carmina Gonzalez will be presenting. A flyer is included within the newsletter. A link will be sent prior to the 19th via email.

August 24th - Supply, schedules, information, devices, and materials will be distributed by our grade level teachers. This will happen on campus with a drive-through service. We will offer two windows of time. More details and required forms will be sent via email.

Times given provide a morning and afternoon option. The letters below designate the first letter of your family's last name. If you need other assistance please contact the office.

The time slots provide for practicing social distancing and lessen the opportunity for congregation. Thank you for helping us keep you safe.

Round One - 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. A- H

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m I- P

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Q - Z

Round Two - 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. A-H

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. I- P

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Q - Z

We will see you there!

August 26th and 27th - Virtual Classroom Party - Details forthcoming

August 30th - Back to School Mass via Live Stream ( Facebook ) in celebration of a new year and the school community's 50th Anniversary @ 10:45 a.m. We look forward to celebrating this year!

August 31st - Yay! First Day of School Virtual until further notice.

Bishop Daniel Flores is working with local and state health/government officials to make the important decisions of reopening the school for face to face instruction. This is a critical decision he will make for all of our communities and we pray for him and all who are charged with caring for the safety of all. Know that he is taking all into consideration and will make a decision based on data. When we reopen our doors all safety precautions and procedures will be shared with our families and those who choose to remain virtual will be allowed to do so as we all work together through this pandemic.

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Tips for the New Year

As we prepare our kiddos for the new year we would like to just remind you of a few tips to support them.

* In these times, encourage your students that the year will be a positive one and full of many opportunities. Assure them that you are there for them and also their new teacher!

* Keep positive communication with the school community. This is key in building a relationship that will support your child's growth. Be an active participant by checking Google Sites, email, website, and Remind messages. Being actively involved is always a plus. There are many opportunities throughout the year for parents and grandparents to engage. As we work through this time, creative new ways to connect will be available and in the future as well.

* Know the policies and procedures of the school and specific grade levels. Support the guidelines of the school as they are there to ensure the success and safety of all students.

* Create a routine and schedule for your child. From PK-12th grade students need routines. Plenty of sleep, a healthy diet, and quality time with family is essential.

Know that the St. Mary's community is here to support you in any way.

The following links also provide more information to support parents.

Technology Device Needs Survey

To prepare for distribution in the upcoming weeks, we ask that parents from PK4-6th grade complete the following survey.

Thank you!

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