Thursday Newsletter

September 14, 2017

September 14, 2017



We cannot be in St. Louis and not be aware that the Stockley verdict is anxiously awaited.  Whether it is an impending snowstorm or impending violence or the other sorts of things that might put our children and their teachers at risk, I want our parents to be assured that we have safety measures in place.

In every classroom, teachers have written plans in case of an emergency whether the emergency might require evacuation or lock-down.  Teachers are familiar with these plans and ready to respond should the need arise.
Should there be an emergency on campus or near campus that requires evacuation or lock-down, or, even, just a difference in dismissal, parents will be notified via:

Fast Direct (Have you updated your emergency information lately?)
School Messenger.  Drawing from the phone numbers you put on Fast Direct, School Messenger is an automated phone system that will leave a message as to the emergency and how we are responding. For example:

“The weather will be stormy at 3:00 today, Kindergarten through 8th grade, will dismiss from the gym to cars on Castleman Ave.”
“Last night’s 5 inches of snow will result in no school today. Stay warm and safe.”  (This will also be published on KMOX radio and KMOV TV.)
“The unrest in the neighborhood has caused us to remain inside today.  Kindergarten through 8th grade will dismiss from the gym to cars on Castleman Ave today.  We ask that all children who typically walk or ride bikes have a ride home today.”

If you receive a School Messenger call please listen to the message, calling school back to ask for the message overloads our phone lines.

The new classroom phone system is up and running.  Teachers have access to the office, to one another and outside if needed.
Each child’s safety and our staff’s safety is our first concern.  Please find time to talk with your children about the importance of remaining calm and following directions during any emergency. 

Finally, because your child’s safety is your first concern, you will always be the person who decides whether it is safe or not for your child to be at school.  Please do not send your child to school on a day that feels unsafe to you.




Protecting God’s Children at 8:30am on Saturday, September 23, in the rectory east of the church on Flad.  If you want to volunteer in any capacity at St. Margaret of Scotland School it is absolutely necessary that you attend a PGC workshop.  Go to to register or find other dates.
The SMOS Middle School is holding a BAKE SALE on Tuesday SEPTEMEBER 26th on the playground after school. 

We are raising money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.  Please, bring money to buy delicious treats and help with hurricane relief! Cash donations of any size are also welcome.

Last chance to go to WeShare and register for the Mouse Races hosted by the Athletic Association on Saturday, September 23.
Plan now to attend the Alumni Mass on October 1st on school campus at 10:00am to be followed by a light lunch and classroom tours.
Scholastic Book Fair will be held during the week of Oct. 2 – 5, with a special invitation to parents (and their dogs and cats) on Oct. 3 following the Pet Blessing.



Two weeks ago I went into long-winded, somewhat preachy detail about how you as parents can help your children prepare for standardized testing.  On our part,

we prepared our students well last year for this year’s test. 
we will guide them through mindful breathing exercises before each test.
we will cheer them on as they move through a long week of testing.

Healthy snacks all next week – and, then just continue that good habit.

Plenty of sleep all next week – and, then just continue that good habit.

Put away the screens and try a puzzle or some origami or just a conversation.



There are several open SMOS AA Board positions.  We are seeking a volunteer to coordinate sports uniforms.   This will include assessing uniforms needs across all sports, ordering new uniforms if needed, and coordinating uniform distribution and return dates.

Additionally, there are several Lay Director positions available, including Chess (Winter 2018-2019), Track and Field (Spring 2017), Baseball/Softball (Spring 2018), and Volleyball (Fall 2018).

The Lay Directors for each sport handle all matters regarding their respective sport.  While the duties vary between the various sports, each Lay Director position generally includes the following duties:

Recruitment of coaches
Coordinating player sign-ups with the SMOS AA Board and Communications member
Determine equipment and uniform needs
Coordinate uniform distribution in conjunction with other seasonal sports and the SMOS AA
Attend monthly SMOS AA Board meetings
Attend CYC meetings
Ensure grades 5-8 athletes have CYC ID cards
Ensure coaches complete training (Protecting God’s Children; Coaching to Make a Positive Difference)
Turn in completed team rosters, including supplemental rosters
Coordinate practice times with coaches and the various fields we use, if applicable
Coordinate practice times with directors (volleyball & basketball)
Assemble teams, contacting coaches and parents as necessary

If you are interested in learning more about any of the available positions, please contact Chris Goudy, SMOS AA President, at  We encourage you to reach out to learn more about these Board positions.



If athletics is not your thing, maybe gardening is your passion.  Terri Pohlman has directed our school garden for many years now.  She helped it sprout from seedling to frutiful plant.   Most of what is so beautiful in the garden is the brainchild of Ms. Pohlman, but she is ready to pass her trowel on to someone or several someones.   

What are the responsibilities?  As little or as much as you make of heading up the school garden. 

The children love to plant and weed and harvest the garden, but they and their teachers need guidance. 
Prime growing time and thus watering time is in the summer months when we are not in school.  A schedule of waterers is needed; it could be accompanied by a summer garden camp.

If you love gardening, if you are passionate about healthy, locally grown foods and you want to pass that passion on to your children and their classmates, the Dragon’s Grove could be just the thing for you.

Composting!  I hope your children have mentioned at home that we have been working hard to recycle throughout all the classroom and at lunch.  Hand in hand with the recycling at lunch are our efforts at composting.  We want our SMOS students to learn the essential life lesson that God calls each of us to be good stewards of creation.  This is true for our students in the present in their classrooms and their lunch room, but, also, in their personal lives today and into their futures.

And so, we compost.  Unfortunately, our composting bins have become a hazard for the families who live nearest our Dragon’s Grove garden.  The composting that our wonderful 8th grade volunteers dump into the compost bins each day at 3:00 have drawn the attention of every possible rodent in the Shaw neighborhood: mice, raccoons, and squirrels to name the obvious ones.  After a yummy meal on our composting they go to the neighbor’s house in search of shelter.

And so, we will quit composting until a volunteer can help me figure out a way to care for our neighbors and their homes while we care for God’s earth.   Any volunteers?

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