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St. Mary’s School
Word for the Weeks ~ November 2016
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“He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant”
Virtue for the month: Stewardship
Nov. 17 – Gr. 6 Volleyball Tournament
Nov. 18 - Report Cards go Home
Nov. 21 – 1:30 – 2:30 School Wide Adoration
Nov 23 – Health Student-Teacher Team travels to High River Healthy School Symposium
Nov. 24 – 9:30 am Gr. 5 Mass at St. James Church, 11:45 Bell rings for dismissal, 1:00 – 9:00 pm Parent/Teacher Interviews
Nov. 24 – Me to We Bake Sale
Nov. 25 – Day-in-lieu
Nov. 27 – First Sunday of Advent
Nov. 30 – 11:30 am Blessing of the Advent Wreaths ( Gr. 1)
Dec. 4 – Second Sunday of Advent
Dec. 5 – 9:30 – 2:30 Gr. 5 Advent Retreat at St. James Church, 7:00 Gr.5 Advent Celebration at the church
Dec 22nd – Last day of Classes
Dec 23rd – Christmas Break starts
Jan 9th – Classes resume
Advent Concert Schedule
Dec.5 – Grade 5 (St. James Church – 7pm)
Dec 12 – Grade 3 & Grade 4 (St. James Church 7pm)
Dec 19th – Grade 1 & Grade 2 (St. James Church – 7pm)
Dec 19th – M/W Kindergarten (School gym – 1pm)
Dec 20th – T/TH Kindergarten (School gym – 1pm)
Dec 21 – Grade 6 Band (School Gym – 7pm)
St. James (Okotoks) – Sunday 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
St. Michael’s (Black Diamond) – Sunday 9:00 a.m.
St. Francis de Sales (High River) –Sunday 11:00 a.m.
St. Mary’s Parent Council
Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 6 at 7pm. Join us to talk about educational issues and current issues facing our children. We will also discuss ways to enhance our school. Please see the Parent Council website for more information and contact information: http://www.stmsacouncil.com/ .
Alberta Education Survey – we need voices from Catholic schools!
Alberta Education is changing all curriculum documents. They are asking for parent and teacher feedback. We need your voice to be heard on how you value faith-based education. Please take a moment to complete this short survey: http://www.alberta.ca/curriculum-survey.aspx
Parent Teacher Interviews
Parent/Teacher Conference Manager is the program we use to book all interviews. This first round of interviews all families are requested to attend. Please use the following link to create an appointment (opening Wednesday, November 16th): https://stmarys-ok.schoolsoft.com/login.jsf
St. Mary’s Volunteering Opportunities – make a difference!
We are looking for parents or grandparents to volunteer. We have many events and activities, and many hands make light work. We are looking for individuals interested in:
- Attending council meetings – first Tuesday of the month at 7pm
- Sign changers – 3 hours per month
- Hot lunch volunteers – 2 hours per month on Tuesdays
- Halloween Costume Dance organizers/helpers – various commitments!
Allergy Sensitive Food Drive & Alex Tagliani
Next week the Grade 3 classes will be leading the school in an Allergy-Sensitive Food Drive. To kick this off in October Nascar Driver Alex Tagliani spoke to our students about severe allergies and how he has coped. We are raising awareness for allergies through this Food Drive. Help your child be aware of what is in the food they are bringing by reading the ingredient list together. Every Grade level will be given a different food allergy to be aware of. More information will be in your child’s agenda.
Leanne Plamondon attended our Meet the Teacher and shared information on upcoming youth groups. You can contact her directly at the Parish office at 403-938-3122 for more details. A full calendar is available here: https://stjamesparishokotoks.wordpress.com/calendar/
- Adoration is taking place in the Chapel from 6am – 9am and from 5pm – 7pm until Christmas. Anyone is welcome to drop in.
Music at St. Mary’s School
Did you know that at St. Mary’s School we offer specialized music classes taught by trained music specialists starting in Kindergarten. We have instruments that are used by students at all Grade levels. We offer mandatory Band for all Grade 6 students. Students learn the basics of music such as beat and rhythm as well they learn to read music. There are many benefits to music instruction, including the fact that “students in schools with arts-focused curriculums reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group.” The benefits of music are seen in higher achievement in academic courses. Music makes your children smarter!
Literacy at St. Mary’s School
This year we continue to focus on excellence in Literacy. We continue to utilize our extended literacy block after lunch for a wide variety of literacy-rich activities. Grade level teams are also working on targeted literacy strategies in the leveled RTI groups (Response to Instruction) which consists of 4 periods Monday to Thursday. RTI leveled groups are structured to meet the needs of students at their level, whether it is reinforcing basic skills or going beyond the text. We also have small group pullout programs (Early Reading Intervention and Enhanced Reading) for students who require additional support from Grade 1 all the way through Grade 6. Here are some other highlights of our Literacy Plan this year:
- One School, One Book (a month long, whole school book study)
- Literacy Session for Parents
- A focus on classroom libraries
- Leveling Library books
- Library revitalization
- Reading and Writing PD for Teachers
- Intentional Literacy focus during our Literacy block after lunch
- Focus on Early Intervention programming for Grade 1 – 2 students
- Enhanced Reading programming for Grade 3 – 6 students
We are offering students in reading for enjoyment. We believe with a literacy-based classroom environment all students can enjoy reading. "For many of us, we've come to think that those True Readers are born that way - there is something different in their DNA...Real Reading, avid nose-in-the-book Reading - is too important for us to relegate to DNA." Lucy Calkins & Kathleen Tolan (Building a Reading Life)
Ways to read...