St. Mary's Newsletter

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary School

Happy Thanksgiving WIshes

The newest weather front from Mother Nature has it feeling more like late fall this week, but it is still hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I hope your family has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Break. We all have so many things to be thankful for in our lives with a joyful, thankful, and grateful heart, not just on Thanksgiving. One of the many things I am thankful for is our wonderful school filled with loving students, families, and faculty and staff. I hope you area able to spend time treasuring memories of Thanksgiving and enjoy making new ones with your family and friends.

Please remember that this week is a shortened week, classes are in session on Monday and Tuesday. There will be no After School Care provided on Tuesday, November 23 due to Thanksgiving Break. All students will need to be picked up promptly during 3:10 p.m. dismissal.

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Outstanding Educator and Benefactor Awards

Each February during Catholic Schools Week, JACS recognizes one outstanding educator within the JACS system and one generous benefactor. If you would like to nominate an educator who goes above and beyond to educate, nurture, and inspire students, please consider filling out a nomination form this year. If you know of a JACS supporter who is generous in sharing their time and talents in ways that helps our school thrive, please consider nominating him or her as well. Nomination forms for both awards are included in your Family Communicator today. Deadline for both awards is Friday, December 10. Nomination forms may be dropped off in the St. Mary's School Office or emailed to

Winter Recess Guidelines

As temperatures begin to fall and we start preparing for the colder and windier days of winter, please remember to send your child to school dressed in warm clothes AND winter outerwear so he or she may stay warm during winter recess. No child is able to enjoy playing outside and benefit from fresh air and exercise if he or she is cold. St. Mary's students go outside for recess unless the temperature and/or wind chill are below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Please ensure your child has a winter coat, gloves/mittens, and a hat for school each day. The forecasted high each day occurs at a time after school is dismissed each day, and does not take into effect the cold winds that our students and staff experience when they are outside for recess. Please realize that the school does not have extra coats for students to wear, it is a parent's responsibility to make sure his or her child is dressed warmly and according to dress code each day.

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Tis the Season for Scrip Shopping

Do you cringe at the thought of long lines to do your Christmas shopping? JACS has the perfect solution to Christmas shopping that makes shopping easy for you AND helps raise funds for our school system. SCRIP gift card shopping is a painless and easy way to purchase gift cards for holiday shopping, with companies sharing a percentage of sales with the sponsoring organization. Gift cards may be purchased in increments starting at $10 and can go up to $1000. An informational letter and list of SCRIP retailers was included in your Family Communicator last Friday, and the office has more forms if you need an extra. More information and order forms may also be found on the JACS website using the following link:

Don't miss the extra percentages retailers are offering on November 19 and 20...105+ retailers are offering bonuses up to 20% during the special two-day event. Mark your calendar and help support JACS with your holiday shopping list—all from the comfort of your home

To order the gift cards just fill out the SCRIP form, add up your totals, write a check to "JACS SCRIP" and drop it off at the St. Mary's school office or mail the order form to JACS Development Office, 930 South Pearl Avenue, Joplin MO 64801. SCRIP orders will take about 2 weeks to arrive and to receive gift cards in time for Christmas giving, orders should be placed by Monday, December 6.

If you would rather shop online, you can create an online account at, and percentages will still be given to JACS. Online ordering allows you to select the cards and amounts you would like, completing payment with your credit card.

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Christmas Programs

Make plans now to attend the Preschool and Elementary School Christmas Programs! The Preschool program for Early Learners, Advanced Learners, and Pre-K students is scheduled for Tuesday, December 14 starting at 10:00 a.m. in St. Mary's Church. The Elementary program for Kindergarten - 5th Grade students is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Mary's Church. Dress attire for both programs is holiday dress with no jeans. Ms. Kessler always does an amazing job with St. Mary's programs and you won't want to miss the fun!

Christmas Tamales

Speaking of Christmas, St. Mary's is excited to be partnering with Festival Mexican Restaurant to offer our families tamales just in time for the holidays. A percentage of proceeds from the sales will go towards 5th Grade's Spring Trip in May. Festival's tamales are an amazing treat any day, and would make great gifts for family and friends as well. More information will be included in upcoming newsletters, but I wanted to share the news with you now.

Updated St. Mary's Lunch Program

You should have received an email from me last week introducing a new policy that went into effect at St. Mary's on Thursday, November 4. The email explained our enrollment in the UDSA's partnership with state nutrition agencies. This partnership has created flexibility in response to public health and administrative needs to promote nutritious meals for school-aged children. As a result, school food authorities are able to offer meals and/or snacks through the USDA National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO) during the regular 2021-2022 school year.

Diligent work and careful filing of several USDA waivers for this update began in September, and we are elated that St. Mary’s Preschool and Elementary School is now able to offer students free lunches. Serving sizes will remain the same for all students, carefully planned and prepared by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) standards and our incredible cafeteria staff. Tray lunches for students will be served at no cost to families, milk purchased to go with lunches from home will remain .50 cents and adult lunches will remain $3.70 each.

We are excited to introduce this program to the St. Mary’s school community and take pride in the fact that our lunch program is ranked in the top 5% of Missouri schools. Providing a nutritious lunch free of charge to our students is another example of the commitment St. Mary’s has to nurture and educate the whole child. Please note that this does not mean that school lunches are now included in tuition fees for your child, this is a USDA program in effect for the 2021-2022 school year only. If you have any questions about the program do not hesitate to contact the school office at 623-1465.

Important Dates to Remember

Tuesday, November 23: Preschool's Thanksgiving Feast, 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, November 23: 3rd Grade's Chocolate Mini Society

Tuesday, November 23: NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE

Wednesday, November 24 - Sunday, November 28: Thanksgiving Break

Sunday, November 28: First Sunday of Advent

Monday, November 29: Classes Resume

Wednesday, December 1: Charity Dress Day benefitting Children's Haven

Monday, December 6: Feast Day of St. Nicholas

Monday, December 6: Reconciliation for 3rd-5th Grades, 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, December 7: First Tuesday at Club 609

Tuesday, December 7: Preschools' Green Color Day and Show and Tell

Wednesday, December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception, School Mass at 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, December 9: Ugly Sweater Day!

Tuesday, December 14: Preschool Christmas Program, 10:00 a.m. in St. Mary's Church

Wednesday, December 15: Kindergarten-5th Grade Christmas Program, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 16: Preschool's Polar Express Party, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Thursday, December 16: Christmas Crazy Sock Day and Free Dress Day!

Friday, December 17: End of 2nd Quarter

Friday, December 17: Classroom Christmas Parties, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Friday, December 17: Noon Dismissal, NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE

Saturday, December 18-Sunday, January 2: Christmas Break

Monday, January 3: Classes Resume