Thursday Newsletter

December 14, 2017

December 14, 2017


There will be no newsletter next week. However, on Monday we will send home with your oldest or only child an essential packet of information including among other things your invitation to the Centennial Gala and the January lunch menu.  On Wednesday we will send a Fast Direct that will celebrate our SMOS music program and all they do to enliven and inspire us all.



I doubt there is a parent among us who does not worry every day in some fashion over the safety of their children.   Loco Parentis (don’t you wish you could remember your Latin!) is not a comment on our “just a bit crazy parenting moods” during the month of December but is Latin for “in the place of the parents.”  Loco Parentis refers to our role as educators from the time you drop your child(ren) off in the morning until you arrive to pick them up again in the evening.

It is why we share hugs – appropriately – all day long.
It is why we take so seriously the obligation of each homeroom teacher to know exactly to whom she releases each student. Admittedly we are less adamant with middle school students assuming that they take some responsibility for their own safety.
It is why we teach your children to pray.
It is why keep our doors/gate – sometime inconveniently – locked and ask parents and students to never open a door – no matter how rude it may seem – unless they know the person is a SMOS member.
It is why we will offer an Internet Safety night for parents come 3rd quarter.

It is why we re-applied the “no weapons” signs to each door, practice fire drills even when fires in schools are so rare these days, and why our teachers reinforced with your children the directives in case of an intruder.

Ahhh, the boulders along the rain garden at the Lawrence fence!  If you have a child in the intermediate grades (3rd, 4th or 5th) then you must know that in the past few weeks we have sent two different children off to the hospital for stitches after falling off the boulders.  The children are fine and were back in play by the next day.  The boulders are beautiful and call out to be climbed on and jumped upon from boulder to boulder and whatever else young, enthusiastic, playful children can think to do.  Not anymore.  On Monday, I sent a note to all homeroom teachers indicating no more climbing, walking, jumping on the boulders.  The children are most welcome to sit upon them and to play around them but not on them.  Mostly, I think the children understood why.  I am sure that we will need to remind them now and again.  A bruise here, a scrape there – all part of active play, but, please, no more stitches! 

Parents who stay after dismissal to allow their children to play, please help to enforce this safety rule whether that climber is yours or someone else’s.  By the way, I do love that the children can, and want to, stay and play!



The St. Vincent De Paul Christmas baskets

Parents and students, thank you for your generosity.  21 sets of parents will be able to provide Christmas for their families and still have money for the essentials – the heating bills and putting food on their family’s table.  All of our St. Vincent DePaul clients live within our parish boundaries – yes, they are our neighbors.  Many of them work full time at minimum wage jobs, some work and are studying in post-high school settings in order to better themselves and their children’s futures.  Some are disabled, unable to work outside the home, but still responsible for caring for their families.  Dorothy Day who initiated the Catholic Worker Movement was known for her reminder to all of us that the caring for the poor was how those of us who have all our needs met would find our way to heaven. 

Our 3rd Week of Advent Mass – Wednesday, December 20

Ms. Walz’s 6th graders have spent some time preparing to lead us in song and prayer on Wednesday at the 8:00am Mass.  Don’t forget to bring your children directly to church that morning for Mass.  (Friday, December 15, there is no 8:00am Mass, everyone comes directly to school.)

Christmas Prayer to close our Advent and the 2017 year

For many, many years at St. Margaret of Scotland school, long before there was a Christmas program, it was the tradition for the first graders to put on a little Nativity play.  We resurrected that tradition some years ago; it has become our tradition that the last thing we do together before leaving for Christmas holidays is enjoy the Nativity prayer.  That prayer is in the form of a Nativity play led by our first graders.  We will gather in the gym at 11:30 – all are invited. 



Classes resume on Wednesday, January 3. Our All-School January 5th Mass will celebrate Epiphany and the blessings of immigrants.  Epiphany: Scripture tells us that after the Magi visited the baby Jesus, they returned home by a different route in order to keep King Herod from carrying out his plan to slaughter this newborn king.  The Holy Innocents:  Tradition adds to the story of the Magi, the story of the Holy Family emigrating from Israel to Egypt in order to keep their baby safe from Herod’s 2 year slaughter of Jewish babies.  With these stories in mind, the Catholic Church celebrates January as a month to honor all who are forced to emigrate from their home countries and challenges all nations to provide safety and new homes for immigrants.  Prayer and song for the January 5th Mass will be led by Mr. Unverferth’s 8th grade homeroom.
The 2nd quarter will end on January 12 with 2nd quarter report cards being published on January 18 via Fast Direct for all students, preschool – 8th grade.
Open House closes January and opens registration for the 2018-2019 school year.  It is the day that prospective families come to tour our school.  Put January 28 on your calendar, I am sure I will need you as a tour guide.
The new year will include a focus on technology planning; a good, hard look at Fast Direct what works and what doesn’t; improved communication between school/school parents and parish/parishioners; and the 2018-19 introduction of an entirely different and more accurately informative way of reporting students’ progress as learners. More to come on all of this in the new year.
The Centennial Gala, February 3rd, will be an evening of high heels, bow ties and certainly some kilts; eating and drinking lavishly; dancing to a hundred years’ worth of big band music; and a time for adults to enjoy each other’s good company.  Happy Birthday St. Margaret of Scotland School and thanks to all who led us through 100 years of faith and learning.

Looking forward to a new year filled with learning, new projects and working together for the St. Margaret of Scotland community.

No Attachments!