St. Mary's News
There are plenty of things happening at St. Mary's School! Click on the links to the left for more information. The newsletter is published and emailed every week. Check your inbox for the most recent newsletter. If you are not receiving the newsletter, we must not have an updated email on file for you. Please update your email contact on your school account.
Greetings St. Mary’s Families,
We are nearing the end of the school year, and what a year it was. Thank you to everyone for pulling together to do what was necessary to stay connected and continue the learning journey despite significant hurdles. We have send out information about a Re-Connecting Parade at the end of June. We hope that the time and date works for everyone. It will be great to see everyone before summer break. We also will be running our annual Summer Reading Challenge, see the details below. As well we are developing re-entry plans for the fall and will email over the summer as more specific details are finalized.
The following updates are included in this week’s newsletter:
As always if you have questions, please call the school we are onsite (spread out in the building) or you can email. As we approach the end of this school year, we also celebrate the careers of Ms. Exner (VP) and Ms. Pat Riehl (custodian). They will be retiring this year after many years of excellent service with CTR and St. Mary’s School. While this year brought about challenges, they both excelled and used their gifts to ensure we were able to deliver successful Distance Learning education. While we aren’t able to recognize them at our year end Mass, feel free to share you congratulations with Ms. Exner and Ms. Pat by sending an email message. Congratulations and all the best on your next chapter!
Year End Drive-By Parade
Summer Reading Challenge!
At St. Mary’s School we pride ourselves on the rich literacy culture we have created. One challenge we notice is the impact that a decrease in reading has over the summer. This is known as summer slide. As Donalyn Miller, a renowned reading expert notes, “Students can offset this summer reading slump by reading as few as four or five books over the summer.” To combat this regression we are once again hosting the St. Mary’s Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read several books over the summer and to share their reading experience with us. Your child is encouraged to enter our Reading draw by entering at this link at the end of the summer. Enjoy exploring new genres and new titles this summer!
Town of Okotoks – Annual TEDDY Bear Picnic
Student Support Line
Alberta Education has instituted a help line and email for parents of students, particularly those with disabilities, during COVID-19 and at-home learning.
The line is 780-422-6548 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000, followed by the 10-digit phone number) or via email at: email@example.com.
Even with the excellent work being done by teachers and school divisions supporting the learning and inclusion of students with disabilities, we know that the changes in how education is being delivered is affecting students differently. For families of students with disabilities, there may be questions about their child’s program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.
Alberta Education has established the help line and email to assist families with their questions and connect them to their boards where appropriate. This could include key members of the school district (teacher, principal, school district leadership, school board) to find collaborative solutions to meeting their child’s learning needs at home.
The Parent Help Line will be answered Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Services of the Okotoks Foodbank
During this very difficult time in our country and our province, as restrictions put in place by our government to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 have left many unemployed or under-employed, the team at the Okotoks Foodbank want you to know that we are here for you. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have helped people who never thought they would have to visit a Foodbank. We are living in unprecedented times, and it is not a time for judgement or pride. Please, if the need arises, reach out to us. We have a variety of food programs that might be of use to you and your family. We offer:
To access any of these programs, we can be reached at email address firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone 403-651-6629, by text 587-585-1751 or by Facebook Messenger. We truly are all in this pandemic together, and it is going to take neighbour helping neighbour to help us get to the other side.
Since our morning drop-in nutrition program “Rise and Shine” is no longer running, we would like to offer families packages for pick up. If you are interested in receiving pre-made nutritional snack packs for your family, please complete a request here. We will be arranging this on a weekly basis.
St. James Parish – Mass Attendance
St. James Parish is resuming masses as Covid restrictions have been changed. You can call or go online to register to attend. If you have any questions or are having trouble signing up please contact Leanne at 403-938-3122 at St. James Parish. Please be considerate to others who would like to attend mass and leave space if you are already signed up for a mass. To review the protocols taken at all masses click here. Masks are required for all attendees. A reminder that mass is not obligatory and to attend is at your own risk.
If you’d like to volunteer to help with mass, you can sign up here. If you volunteer, you do not need to register for that mass.
Options to register for mass:
Our final Parent Council meeting and Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday, May 13 via Zoom. Parent Council updates are available on our website.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW PC EXECUTIVE:
Fall Registration - Now Open!
Kindergarten and Grade-level REGISTRATION for the 2020-2021 school year is now open for friends and families! Please pass this information along to your friends and families who may be considering kindergarten for the fall.
Check out this video highlighting our kindergarten program:
Great Learning Starts Here! Explore. Connect. Grow.
Great Learning Starts at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools! Through an authentic Catholic education, your child will:
CTR Catholic promotes the spiritual, academic, cultural, physical and social development of all students in a safe and caring environment. Learning is a journey and it all starts at Christ the Redeemer!
Papa John’s Pizza Summer Promo
Papa John’s acknowledges the challenges that you as faculty, students and families have faced through this uncertain time. Although this is not how anyone envisioned ending the 2019/2020 school year summer is here! We hope you take some time to create new and lasting memories with friends and family.
We are offering 30% off regular menu price orders for THE ENTIRE SUMMER at any AB, SK, MB location if you order online at papajohns.ca.
We see your resiliency; we thank you for your patience and we look forward to serving you in the new school year!
Re-Entry Update (June 11)
The Minister released some preliminary re-entry guidelines on Wednesday, June 10, and we are pleased to report that all Christ The Redeemer (CTR) Catholic School’s planning and preparation will proceed as previously announced. There was no information in the Minister’s letter that introduced a rule or restriction that limits our ability to achieve the goals outlined in our last correspondence. Some of the thoughts we expressed in our letter remain possible based on the preliminary guidelines. These include:
In general, the Minister’s preliminary regulations are not about eliminating risk, as eliminating risk is not possible. However, mitigating risks is possible. Mitigating risks is about making plans and accommodations to ensure situations are as safe as is reasonably possible and this has been our focus. Not only is CTR well into the creation of a divisional plan to mitigate risk, but we also even at the point of working with specialty teachers at all levels to determine how to mitigate risks in non-traditional classroom settings such as kindergarten, physical education, music, and foods. We believe plans remain for another re-entry announcement from the Minister on August 1st, and all CTR’s plans are contingent on guidelines from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer and the Minister’s directives.
We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.
Dr. Scott Morrison
Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools
Year End Report Cards
Teachers will be finalizing your child’s term 3 report card. Your child’s achievement will be a combination of Term 3 Distance Learning and yearly progress. Alberta Education has already given guidelines for school authorities such as the expectation that all students will receive final grades and that all students will advance to the next grade. If you have further questions, please feel free to call Mr. Bailey at the school 403-938-8048.
School Resource Return
Families are able to return any school resources, library books or Chromebooks according to the following schedule. Enter the school using the Parking lot doors, enter the gym and drop off on the appropriate table. Please observe appropriate social distancing. Thank you in advance for working through our Distance Learning and for being so accommodating as we keep everyone safe.
Drop-Off at St. Mary’s Gymnasium (10:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Monday, June 22 – Last Names A-F
Thank you for summer – A Summer Prayer
Father, Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank you for the warmth of the sun
and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all around me
and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family,
and for the more casual pace of the summer season.
Draw me closer to You this summer.
Teach me how I can pray
no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence
and light my path with Your Word and Counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me
a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.
ABOUT OUR SCHOOL
St. Mary’s School is a faith-filled environment where students recognize they are a gift from God. They develop meaningful prayer lives and serve others with generosity and love. We are a literacy school where students are encouraged to read a lot and explore multiple genres. Students are able to self-select books from the library or from their classroom library and share their reading and writing with others! Our school has high-expectations for all students while ensuring mastery of foundational skills and designing lessons that are engaging and meaningful. We understand the value of multiple dimensions of learning and address this through specialist-instructed programs in Music, French, Physical Education and Outdoor learning.