Thursday Newsletter

May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018 


Field trips abound:

5th grade on a walking tour downtown with author, school grandparent, and professional tour guide – Maureen Kavanaugh.
Kindergarten on their annual walking trip to Tower Grove Park for a picnic lunch, time on the playground and in the fountain, and lots and lots of sunscreen.

The Annual Renaissance Fair

Our 6th graders, under the guidance of Ms. Finnegan and Mr. Unverferth as part of social studies, put together a traditional Renaissance Fair with jousters and jokers, with Shakespearian plays and dragon-slaying, with artists and opportunities for audience interaction. 
They demonstrated an understanding of the Renaissance, certainly taught and engaged the classes who attended the fair, and had a great time doing it.

The beginning of long farewells:

An 8th grader was overheard saying to another 8th grader “Hey, it’s your last time to clean up the Art room.” and then said to the classmate beside him “look she’s going to cry.”  And, indeed there was some tearing up.
Life includes change; there are those children whose families are moving out of the city or even out of state – farewells.
Sadly, there are always a few families who choose a different school for next year and, again, more farewells to be said.
The 8th graders began their long series of farewells with their portfolio presentations to their parents and classmates.  Even recess looks different this week, the 4 square game is larger and louder than ever; others are just walking together in pairs and foursomes intent on not missing a moment.  Tomorrow afternoon after a full morning outdoors of running and playing Field Day games, unlike the other students, the 8th graders will be offered the opportunity to simply be together – no agenda other than time to be together.  Graduation on June 2 at the 4:30 Mass followed by dinner, speeches and music for the grads and their parents will be their final farewell. 



Monday: No school, as we all celebrate Memorial Day.
Tuesday:  We will all gather in the gym at 8:15 to say our farewells to the 8th graders as we send them off to their Mystery Trip.

4th grade will invite parents to share their Color-Bridges books in the morning.

5th grade will use their PTA gift of a bus as they head off to the art museum.

Wednesday: At 1:00pm all students (even the preschoolers going into kindergarten next year) will be invited to “move-up” to the next grade, meet some of their teachers, and enjoy an activity in preparation for the 2018-19 school year.
Thursday: An out-of-uniform work day for most of our students as they will spend much of the day closing down their classrooms, cleaning their desks and preparing for summer deep-cleaning.  The children in kindergarten through 7th should wear their work clothes!

Our preschoolers, meanwhile, will be heading off to the Museum of Transportation. Please come in uniform, it helps us keep track of our little ones.


7:50 at church for Mass as usual, planned and led by our 7th graders.
9:30 back at school for parties and the burial of the time capsule
11:15 into the gym for a PTA-sponsored presentation
12:15 dismissal for the summer – see you all again in August!



Today your child will bring home his or her Summer Homework packet. 

I strongly recommend that the homework – which is optional – be spread out over the summer or at the very least done in August.  Doing it all in June defeats the purpose, not doing it at all gives away an opportunity for your child’s brain to grow over the 3 months away from formal learning.
Included also in the packet is:

An invitation to join the Summer Reading Club at the public library.
An invitation to think, participate and eat healthy over the summer from WeSnack.
An important reminder about immunizations – those appointments are hard to make, call now.
The Uniform Code for the 2018-19 school year as you shop for bargains so that you can purchase smartly.  Please note even such small, seemingly insignificant items, as socks. 
A reminder about signing up for FACTS if you have not already.
Keep saving those Box Tops for Education over the summer. At our house we have a jar on the window sill in the kitchen.  Every time someone bothers to clip a Box Top it’s like dropping a dime in the jar.  SMOS will take every dime we can get to help purchase teaching materials for your children.
A request to those families not returning to fill out an Exit form.  If you tell us what you love about SMOS and will miss – we will do our best to keep it going for other families.  If you tell us what disappointed you about SMOS – we will do our best to improve for returning families.  This is an essential opportunity for us to hear your voice.
And, a birthday surprise!  A sticker, intended for 1 per child. 



We end the year with loving farewells to many staff members.We have more staff leaving us this year than in previous years.To a one, each person has said to me “I hate the thought of leaving St. Margaret of Scotland but it’s time.”Change is good, I know and believe in that – it does not mean that I always like it!


returning are Ms. Reid, Ms. Artz and Ms. Lochhead
leaving are Ms. Shea, Ms. Muehl, and Ms Ryan
moving from 4th grade teaching assistant to lead teach in the new

Theme-based preschool room is Ms. Mohs


returning are Ms. Carel, Ms. Gondzur and Ms. Harvatin
moving from teaching assistant in 5th back to kindergarten is Mr. Finnegan


returning are Ms. Clark and Ms. Soderquist
leaving is Ms. Cullmann
moving from 2nd grade to 1st is Ms. Wilder (formerly Ms. Hotze)
moving from 1st teaching assistant to 4th grade teaching assistant is Ms. O’Toole


returning are Ms. Burke, Ms. Heller and Ms. Unverferth


returning are Ms. Puckett and Ms. Tate
leaving is Ms. Thenhaus

All of our “specials” teachers are returning:

Ms. Zegarra-Ballon in Spanish, Mr. Larsen in Russian, and Ms. Unverferth in French
Ms. Bowman and Ms. Calza, although both will enjoy a maternity leave in the 1st semester
Mr. Ranek in PE and Ms. Bodell in Art

I will report on 4th grade through 8th next week and, hopefully, be able to offer names of those who are coming on board to join our teaching and learning community here at St. Margaret of Scotland School.



I ordered my copy of “Mindful Short Practices” authored by SMOS students and edited by Ms. Tate and Ms. Thenhaus.  I have already been showing it around.  A copy will go in the time capsule.

At $7.00, like the $15.00 CD, it is an essential keepsake.  I am so pleased with some of the items that graduates from the 40s and 50s have brought to us as we celebrated our centennial year.  I consider what I have kept for my own – now adult – children from their school days.  I wish I could pull out a CD (I guess it would have been a cassette tape) or a book (that never gets too old) and ask them to remember what it was like to be a part of this experience.  What do you remember and have to show from your own elementary days – anything as lovely as the Centennial CD or the “Mindful Practices”?

If paper copy is not your thing – the mindfulness book can be purchased as an electronic book for $2.00 ; Soon the CD will be available on iTunes.

NOTE: neither of these are intended as fund-raisers; they are memory-holders.



Please consider participating in the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal.

The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) helps so many people in the St Louis area, including the families at SMOS.

In just the past few years, families at St Margaret of Scotland school have benefitted directly from our archdiocese Annual Catholic Appeal. St. Margaret of Scotland School has been provided nearly $135,000.00 by the ACA for projects ranging from electrical panel replacements and air conditioning in the cafeteria to funding for the new parking lot and playground at the school.

See the benefits of your charity and generosity in action! So many are telling their story of how much the kindness from those that support the Annual Catholic Appeal means to them. Learn how our efforts at St Margaret of Scotland can help those in need and help build the church! There is a terrific video of some recent work by ACA through this link -

Contact parishioner and school parent John Vacca at to learn more or speak with him to arrange a donation with just your name and address at 314-540-3500.



 Save the Date

SMOS Athletic Association 2018 Golf Tournament

Friday, June 15th

Forest Park Golf Course!!

This event is part fundraiser for the SMOS Athletic Association, and part a fun excuse to take a Friday off and enjoy fellowship among your fellow golfers.  Post-golf dinner and more fun will be included.

Sign up your foursome at:

If you are interested in helping / volunteering, have suggestions for sponsors, please contact Chris Heisig at

Start thinking of your foursomes and golf teams.  These spots are going to go quickly. 

Fall Sports Registration - NOW OPEN!

Fall Sport registration is now open for our Fall Sports which include Judge Dowd Soccer  (4 years old (by 9/1/18) to 1st grade), CYC Soccer (2nd-8th), and CYC Volleyball (3rd-8th).  For more information on each Fall sport, please see the attached Fall Sports Information sheet.  If you have further questions after reading this, please contact the Lay Director for that particular sport.

To Register: 

You can access our web-page by either clicking on the link ( or visiting the SMOS school site and clicking Athletics and then Athletic News.  

The early registration fee is $70 per sport per child from May1-14.  Starting on the 15th, the fee increases to $95 per child per sport. Deadline to register is May 31st.  Each team will be filled based on a first come first served basis.  Please do not delay registering your children.  We will also leave registration open for the Soccer Summer Camp until May 31st.\

Once you are on our webpage, you find directions on loading your family information.  You will only have to load this information once (it will be kept in the system for future sport sign-ups).  After you have completed loading the family information, you can sign up for the different sports (click "Registration Info" next to their name).  If you have previously loaded your information, please review all of your information to make sure that it is still up to date (especially if your child is staying in Pre-K for second school year).

Once you have registered your children, you will be returned to your family screen.  You will be asked to pay your fee at that time.  We would prefer that you pay using your credit card.  We accept MC/VISA/Discover/AMEX.  If you decide to pay by check, please write a check to SMOS AA (one check per family).  Please write the children`s names, grades, and sports in the memo section of the check.  You can drop the check off at the SMOS school office or you can mail it to SMOS AA, 3815 Juniata, St Louis, MO, 63116.  

If you need any assistance with paying the registration fees or a scholarship, please contact the sport lay director.

Please feel free to contact the Lay Directors below  if you have any questions or concerns.  

Tom Andrews & Brian Overberg - CYC Soccer (2-8th) -

Rick Blaes - Judge Dowd Soccer (PK-1st) -

Carrie Redd - Volleyball -

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