Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!

Greetings St. Mary's Families,

It's hard to believe it's almost that time of year again! I'm looking forward to September, and seeing your children grow and learn. The theme statement for this upcoming school year is "What do you want of me, Lord?"; our staff and students will ask this question of themselves many times throughout the school year through prayer, activities, guided inquiry and meditation. My hope is that it will inspire us to be the best version of ourselves we can be, in communion with God and each other. 

Ahead of September, I would like to update you on some news that has transpired over the summer months.

First of all, I'd like to welcome Fr. Wilfred Gomes. No doubt many of you have already seen or met him at the church, but I am thrilled to be working with such a knowledgeable and caring pastor, along with our new Assistant Pastor, Fr. Mark McGuckin.

Also, welcome to Katy Sgouraditis who began work earlier this month as our Communications & Development Coordinator. We look forward to Katy helping us in a number of ways, some of which include planning fundraising events, and augmenting our growth and sustainability. Another thing to look forward to imminently is an electronic newsletter, which will be replacing our paper one that goes out every month (don't worry- if you would like to keep receiving paper ones, that will still be an option!)

In the teaching department, a long time teacher and beloved member of our community will be returning for September - Peter Short. Mr. Mills is currently dealing with some personal issues, and Mr. Short will be here in the meantime. Having been away from his post resting and recuperating, his condition has improved and above all, he looks forward to seeing the students again. I'm sure many of the children and parents will look forward to seeing his kind, familiar face on September 4th! 

Speaking of September 4th, the first day of school, it will be a half day as usual, with dismissal at 12 noon. This will be a day occupied by your child meeting their teacher, having a school assembly at 9:30 (which parents are welcome to attend), and gearing up for the year ahead. It is important that your child feels welcome and comfortable on this day, and if looking back from their class and seeing you there at the back of the gym will reassure them, please do join us!

It is also important that we start the year off right in terms of following school protocol and policy, and so I thought I would remind parents of a few of the things that perhaps fell by the wayside a little at the end of last year, starting with some new rules passed by our Parish Education Committee:

  • Please no pets on school property. This may not be a popular rule, but we have to prioritize student safety and allergy concerns. This includes field trips, Walkathon, etc. Service animals are an exception.
  • Please no unsupervised children sent to the playground after school. If your child would like to play there at that time, ensure that you, or whoever else is responsible for them, is actively watching nearby.   
  • Please no student drop-off in the school parking lot before 8:30 a.m. and please pick up at or before 3:00 p.m. There is a Before/After School Care Program in the preschool for parents who cannot meet this expectation. If you would like to arrange something regularly, or even sporadically, please contact Johanna Chiappetta at jchiappetta@saintmarysschool.ca - if you think you may need to use this resource at any point during the school year, you MUST fill out a registration form ahead of time at the main office and give 24 hours notice prior to booking or cancelling.
  • Please allow your child's teacher to walk them into the school at the start of each school day. It is not fair to other students and parents if some are following this expectation and others are not. Our teachers and staff do everything they can to ensure your child is comfortable, safe, and happy.
  • You are welcome to come into the school for a variety of reasons, whether it is an appointment with your child's teacher, volunteering, paying school fees, etc., however, for safety reasons, you must sign in to our visitor's logbook first at the main office.

That is all for now! We have such a great year ahead, with so many fun learning activities already planned for both in and out of the classroom, including some new ones that I'm sure are going to quickly become favourites! I hope and pray that your child will have a successful and enjoyable year at St. Mary's. I will no doubt be communicating with you further to ensure things go smoothly; however, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

All the Best,

Thomas Slivinski
St. Mary's Elementary