Dear St. Mary Families,
December is such a busy month and sometimes we forget to stop and enjoy the stillness and beauty that Christmas represents. Christmas represents the peace that Jesus brought to the world when he was born. It is not just the gifts, the baking of cookies and the eating of great food; it is about what is in our hearts. It is about the difference we can make in the world through goodness and light. Christmastime is not just one day. It is every day of the year. It is in our hearts, in our daily actions and the love we have for one another. Thank you very much for your support of St. Mary. It is truly a great place!!
You have been receiving quite a bit of information about the Tax Credit Scholarship that the Archdiocese has started to create. It will be a reality, but right now it is still being worked out with the State of Illinois. I have sent you all of the information that I have received from the Archdiocese. Yesterday you were sent a Letter of Intent through email and you will get a printed form in your Thursday envelope. In order to qualify to apply for the scholarship, you will need to designate a school. This letter of intent is for the purpose of the scholarship and to help us begin the budgeting process for next year. The formal registration process will begin during Catholic Schools Week. We are working on the tuition and will try to keep the increase within an affordable range. The School Board and I work very hard at helping keep the cost down to a manageable level. My parents always taught me, never spend money you do not have.
I know it seems we are always reaching out to you for support beyond the tuition. However, your support of the fundraisers, along with encouraging new families to enroll at our great school is what helps keep tuition costs at a manageable level. Please help recruit new families and support our fundraisers. All monies raised directly benefit our children. We are examining a new reading series for next year. This will be the last textbook series that we need to update. When I first came to St. Mary, our textbooks had 1995 copyrights. We will be current after this year. We are continuously updating our Technology, Music, Art, PE and Language programs.
Preparations for our major fundraiser, the St. Pat’s Party, are in full swing. The success of this event is completely in the hands of the families, faculty, and staff. Please consider sharing your time, talent, and gifts. A letter requesting grandparent or special person information is going out in the Thursday envelope. Once we receive the information, the students will write appeal letters for support of St. Mary. This is completely optional. We will again be offering the Golden Ticket to win free tuition for a year. All I ask is to try and do the best you can to help.
Mingle Jingle was a lot of fun. We had over 44 crafters, an Elves Cafe, beautiful music in the church, and a Secret Santa Shop for the children. It was so cute to see the children come down with their wrapped gifts telling their families that they won’t be able to open them until Christmas. Thank you so much to the people who worked on the organization of the event: Mrs. Walczak, her mom, dad, sister and Mrs. Tomczak and Jane Birmingham. Thank you to the dads who came to help move furniture around. Thank you Mr. Elliott for helping. Thank you to all the moms and dads, too numerous to name, that helped set up the day of both before and after. We have an amazing group of people here at St. Mary. Please forgive me if I have forgotten anyone.
Our eighth graders took their high school entrance exam on Saturday, December 2nd. Please keep them in your prayers as they await the high school decisions. Our students tested at St. Ignatius, Fenwick, Trinity, Nazareth Academy, Riverside Brookfield High School, and Morton West.
We have many prayer opportunities during the month of December. Friday, December 8th, is the all school mass in the Parish Center. It begins at 9:30. Our Christmas concert is Friday, December 15th beginning at 7 pm. Our beautiful preschool children will have their Christmas program on December 20th from 9-10 in the Oak Room. Anyone is welcome to come see the program. Our final prayer service for this year will be on Friday, December 22nd at 8:30. The Christmas parties will begin at 9:30 and dismissal will be at 11:00. There will be not be after school LEAD on that day.
I would like to end with this prayer:
Let us put ourselves into the hands of the Lord
And pray that God will bless us and our families
During the coming holy days.
May all of us help to make our homes places of joy, love, peace, and safety.
May we be generous and considerate,
Not thinking only about ourselves
But helping others enjoy
The blessings of Christmas.
Have a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Mrs. Barbara Rasinski
St. Mary School
Dear St. Mary Families,
The year has been very busy and we find ourselves beginning the month of November already. We just finished with the ghosts and goblins and now we are celebrating our rich Catholic heritage of saints past and present. We began the month with All Saints Day Mass. What a wonderful way to begin the month. Saints are ever present among us and we sometimes do not even realize it. A saint for me is someone who goes about their day living their faith to the fullest. They take the message that Jesus gave us and enrich everyone and everything around them.
We also celebrate All Souls Day. During this month we will pray for all those who have gone home to heaven. We have a prayer jar in the office. Please feel free to put the name of a loved one on a slip and put in the prayer jar.
November is also a time to thank God for all of our many blessings. Please join us on November 21st at 10:00 for our Thanksgiving Prayer Service. It will be held in the gym.
Our children’s safety is always our number one priority. I understand that everyone has schedules to keep; however, there is a traffic plan in place and I’m asking everyone to please follow it. I’m asking everyone to be polite to the adults who are supervising the safety of our children. It has been reported to me that parents are driving around the cones and horses and through the children’s area while they are present. This is very dangerous. Please do not drive around barriers or make a left turn onto Longcommon by Mary Park. There are cones there indicating that there is no left turn. Please help me to keep everyone, children and adults, safe and to be kind to everyone.
Recently our junior high students participated in math and science competitions. Three teams of our students went to the Epic Inventor Competition at Nazareth Academy. Out of 20 teams, we took 2nd and 3rd place overall. A group of our students went to Nazareth Academy to participate in the 8th grade math competition. Our team took second place and one of our students took 5th place individual. Congratulations to our students and their teacher coaches. On November 8th some of our students attended the Fenwick Science Contest. There were 500 participants; two of our St. Mary students placed in the top 25! They received a plaque for 24th place and for 14th place. We are very proud of all who spent time preparing for these competitions.
Our Walk-a-thon was a huge success! Thank you to Mrs. Wood, our sponsors, and all the wonderful volunteers that helped along with all the families who so generously donated. The weather was amazing and everyone had a good time.
Our second graders are receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time this Saturday. Please keep them in your prayers. This is a very important step toward receiving Holy Eucharist.
There will be an Open House on Sunday, November 12th from 9:00 – Noon. Please invite any interested family, friends, or neighbors to come and visit our school.
November 13th is the School Advisory Board meeting and November 14th is the Family School Association meeting; both are held in the Faculty Lounge. Everyone is welcome to attend either of these meetings.
November 15th is Pizza Day. The students may wear shirts with red or blue in them along with jeans or their school sweatpants. As always, no skinny jeans, leggings or jeggings should be worn.
Parent-teacher conferences will be on Tuesday, November 21st. Dismissal on that day will be 11:00. Conferences begin at 12:00. There will be no school on November 22nd, 23rd and 24th to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you have not signed up for a parent teacher conference, please go online to Sign Up Genius by this Friday. Please sign up for your child’s homeroom teacher. They will have information from the other teachers to share with you. Please only sign up for one 10 minute slot unless instructed otherwise. If you need to see another teacher, email that teacher to arrange a time. Report cards will be given out at conferences.
FSA will be sponsoring a Book Fair on November 19th, 20th, and 21st. This is a great time to pick up some Christmas presents.
Know that all of you are in my prayers and I am very grateful for all of the support you have given to the school.
The faculty and staff wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
God bless all of you,
Dear St. Mary Families,
We are working at becoming examples of peace in a world of turmoil. It is hard to believe that we have completed a month of school. There never seems to be enough time to do everything we want to do. St. Mary is a very busy place.
Thank you to Mrs. Stavrianos, Ms. Durrer, and all of the families who either worked on the Tailgate or participated by buying a parking space. Everyone had a great time! It was a great success and will help us continue to provide an excellent education for our children.
I would also like to thank Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. O’Connor, Ms. Bober, Mrs. Selimos, and the entire Student Council for coordinating and collecting the funds that will be donated to the Red Cross to help the hurricane victims.
We have many opportunities for worship during the school year and I would like to invite you to come and share the experiences with us. Our students go to mass once a week: Grades 1,2 and 3 attend on Tuesdays; Grades K, 4, and 5 attend on Wednesdays; and Grades 6,7 and 8 attend on Fridays. On October 25th, at 9:30, we will have an all-school mass in the gym, to celebrate the feast of the Holy Rosary. All families are invited to come to any of the masses we have during the year.
Our 8th graders have begun their preparation for the reception of Confirmation. Their Rite of Enrollment will take place at the 5:00 mass on October 14th and the 5:00 mass on October 15th. Keep those students in your prayers. Please also pray for our second graders who are preparing for Reconciliation.
CCW (Council of Catholic Women), the ladies group of the parish, has graciously donated 28 Our Lady of Grace statues for the classrooms. We are very excited by this donation. They were blessed today at our all school mass.
October has a busy schedule. October 6th is our Walkathon fundraiser. The day will begin at the regular time and dismiss at 12:00. Please support this worthy cause. All monies raised this year will support the adoption of a new Reading series. Reading is the last subject area we need to update with new textbooks. Please consider the $100 donation per family. Our children will directly benefit from your generosity.
October 13th is our pep rally at 2:15. Everyone is invited to attend the spirit pep rally.
The first Interim test for Aspire will be the week of October 16th through October 20th. The make-up test dates are October 23rd through 26th. This Interim test will be taken on the computer. We will then examine the results and will use those results to adjust our instructional plans.
October 26th is high school information night in the gym from 6:00-7:30 for grades 6, 7 and 8. The area schools will have an information table and representatives will be here to speak with you.
FSA will be doing something new for Halloween. Please watch for the exciting news. A flyer will be coming home soon. The Junior High will be having their Halloween Dance on October 27th from 7-9:00 in the Oak Room. Our annual Halloween Parade and Parties will be on October 31st beginning at 1:15 pm. Guidelines for costumes will be coming to you before the festivities.
Please continue to follow the traffic plan. We need to keep all our children and adults safe. Slow down, and follow the traffic pattern that was sent home at the beginning of the year.
Thank you for your support of St. Mary and your students. We are all partners in your child’s success. Please do not hesitate to contact your children’s teachers if you have any questions.
God bless all of you. You are all included in my daily prayers; please keep St. Mary School in your prayers as well.
Mrs. Barbara Rasinski
Dear St. Mary Families,
The weather here has been a true gift from God. I hope you had an enjoyable summer. St. Mary is an exciting place to be right now. We have many new faces, so if you should see someone you do not know, please go up and introduce yourself to them. We are all a family! Thank you so much for being a part of St. Mary. The staff and I appreciate each and every one of you. Our number one goal is always the success of your children. We will work very hard to achieve that goal. Your first contact person is your child’s homeroom teacher. Always begin with them. If that is not resolved, then contact me. We will work together as a team!
We had a fun start in August with our annual pool party. It keeps growing each year. Then we had our magician come during the day to present our message of kindness, respect and hard work through his magic. He returned in the evening to give that same message to our families who attended the evening performance. Thank you FSA for sponsoring both fun events. Thank you to FSA and the Class of 2017 for helping pay for our new Math series. Thanks also to last year’s eighth grade for replacing our projector and laptop on the cart that everyone uses for presentations.
Wednesday, September 6th is our Parent-Teacher Night/Open House. You will receive a lot of information from your children’s teachers. There will also be a letter for Grades K-5 about our new Singapore Math Series. This is not a time to have a conference with the teacher. It is a time to get to know the teachers, their philosophy, a description of the courses and the homework policy. Grades 3-8 will also get a copy of the new discipline policy. If you would like to meet with the teacher, please make an appointment for a later date so that they may give you their undivided attention.
After much anticipation, the Aspire test results are in. We have printed and sent the results home last week in a sealed envelope in the Thursday packet. There is a one page letter from me explaining the results and how we measure up compared to the Archdiocese and the Nation. We will be taking the first Aspire Interim Benchmark Assessment in October. These will be taken on the computer. I will send more information in my next letter. The teachers and I have begun the process of examining our results and will begin to look at each individual student’s scores to develop a plan to target our specific needs for the upcoming year.
The School Advisory Board will meet on September 11th at 6:30pm. Anyone who wishes is welcome to come to the meeting.
September 12th is the Screenagers presentation. We ask that this be attended by adults only. I believe a flyer has already gone home with the particulars of that day.
September 19th is our FSA/PIE meeting. Anyone is welcome to join us. Our first Pizza Day is September 20th. That day is also Picture Day. Please have your children dress up and look gorgeous for their school pictures.
September 22nd is a full day of Professional Development for the teachers. School will not be in session.
Pack up some food and your favorite beverage and join us at our Annual Tailgate Party on Saturday, September 23rd. For more details or to sign up for a spot in the parking lot go to tinyurl.com/stmarytailgate2017 It is always a fun time!
I need your help. Our children had a great summer going to different camps and activities. The world has a never ending annoyance with lice. I am asking all of you to please either check your children’s heads yourself, or have them checked by a professional. The school has been scrubbed from top to bottom and I would love to have another liceless school year. I also need help during our lunch periods. We have had several brave volunteers step forward to help, but we still need more of you. Please consider helping during the lunch periods.
Finally, traffic seems to be going well. Please be polite to one another and think of the safety of our children. There will be times when we need to be flexible because there is a wake at the funeral home next door. Remember you may also drop off and pick up your children on Herrick Road in front of the school. This might be a way to relieve the parking lot pressure.
God bless all of you. I pray each day for the success of our students, parents, teachers and school. Please continue to pray for the success of St. Mary.
Have a wonderful year.
Mrs. Barbara Rasinski
St. Mary School
Dear St. Mary Families,
On behalf of the faculty and staff of St. Mary School, I am excited to welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year. We are looking forward to a productive and faith-filled partnership with you to ensure our beautiful children can achieve their highest potential. We recognize that in order to be successful in school, our children need the support from both the home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a great difference in your child’s education. As partners, we share the responsibility for our children’s success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities. We look forward to praying with them, going to mass with them and sharing the love of God with them.
We ask that you guide and support your child’s learning by ensuring that he/she:
- Attends school daily and arrives on time, ready for the day’s learning experience
- Completes all homework assignments given by teachers
- Reads daily to develop a love for reading and to improve literacy skills
- Shares school experiences with you so that you are aware of his/her school life.
- Informs you and us if he/she needs additional support in any area or subject. Remember the teacher is your best and greatest ally.
- Knows that we expect him/her to succeed in school, do their best and go on to high school and beyond.
We ask that you guide and support your child’s faith life by ensuring that he/she:
- That together you pray every day and attend Sunday mass each week
- Share your faith with them.
- Talk to them about the religion lessons they had for the day
- Help them understand that we are all saints and need to be kind and understanding of one another.
- Give back to the larger world in the form of service
Please consider joining our school volunteer program as our students can greatly benefit from your involvement and contributions to the school’s program and its operations. We seek volunteers to help us with the following activities:
- Joining our Family School Association, Athletic Board or School Advisory Board
- School-wide events such as our Tailgate, Walkathon or St. Patrick’s Party
- Outreach and recruitment of new families and volunteers
Notification of our revised parent/student handbook (online) will be sent to you during the first weeks of school. I am asking you to go over the handbook with your children. Please sign and return the final sheet to your homeroom teacher, to verify that you read it. If you have any questions about the rules and expectations, please feel free to contact me or to discuss them with your child’s teacher. Please take note that there is a new discipline policy. I will be going over the handbook with the students during the first week of school. It is very important that you and your child are fully informed regarding standards related to appropriate behavior for a safe, productive school that is welcoming to everyone.
St. Mary School, as other Catholic schools, are facing challenging times in terms of keeping the tuition affordable and making sure that we have programs that keep our students successful when they leave us. Therefore, you will be getting a letter from all the organizations outlining a fundraising goal for each family. Please do not panic. We have given you many ways to meet this goal. We are in this together! I have pledged to help support the school with my own funds. Please help do your part.
We have three new faculty members joining our family and I have shifted some people around. Below you will find those changes:
- I have moved Miss Anne Hennigan to Kindergarten and I believe that she and Ms. Jacobson will be dynamic and strong partners. Hennigan will also be our preschool director.
- Emily Sitton has been hired to be our PreK-3 teacher. I know her very well as she was our student teacher in first grade with Ms. Faber. Her mother was a former PreK-3 teacher for many years. She is very excited to be here.
- I have moved Mrs. Ann Falasz (formerly known as Ms. Ivansek) to fifth grade. She will be teaching fourth and fifth grade reading and writing with a fifth grade homeroom.
- In third grade, I have hired Mrs. Milka Kutlesa. She is not new to St. Mary as she spent a year student teaching with us. I am excited to have her join our family.
- I have moved Ms. Karen Taylor to a seventh grade homeroom, teaching sixth, seventh and eighth grade reading and writing. I am excited to have the partnership of Ms. Taylor and Ms. Bober in seventh grade
- Crosswhite and Mrs. Kunickas will have sixth grade homerooms and still teach Math and Science respectively.
- Chris Elliott will be our PE teacher. He has a lot of experience with coaching and has already been in contact with Mr. Buczek to ensure a smooth transition.
- I am also happy to announce that we will have a part-time assistant principal. Her name is Mrs. Mary Kennedy. Kennedy and I have had the pleasure of working together at St. Bede the Venerable. She has a Type 75 and a Masters in Administration and Supervision. She was also a Golden Apple for Excellence in Teaching recipient. We both have a great love for our children and parents and ensuring that our students are successful.
The wonderful faculty, staff, and I feel privileged and honored to be a part of the St. Mary School family. We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing all of you. I have missed all the families. Our theme for this year is WE ARE ONE BODY. Throughout the year we will be celebrating our togetherness in faith, hope and love. We will be celebrating our oneness with Jesus Christ and the resurrection. We have many new families this year. Please do not hesitate to introduce yourself to someone you do not know. We are all looking forward to a great year. I have kept all of you in my prayers, please keep St. Mary in your prayers.
You may contact me at any time through phone, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by stopping by just to chat. I am never too busy to talk to all of you.
God bless all of
Mrs. Barbara Rasinski
The proud principal of St. Mary School
Dear St. Mary Families,
The days of Lent are almost over. We have kept the long weeks of prayer and good deeds. It is an important part of our tradition to collect alms during Lent. The word “alms” comes from the Greek word for “compassion.” Compassion is the ability to feel what someone else is feeling. Another way to show compassion is to do good things for people who need a little help. A little kindness goes a long way. We have contributed to the almsgiving that is asked of every Christian. Because of our gifts, others may be able to celebrate the great festival of Easter. I am writing this letter to thank all of you for your “compassion”.
St. Mary is a great place! I have so many people to thank! We had La Noche Tropical where everyone enjoyed good food and music. Thank you to all that organized the event and attended. We just finished our St. Pat’s Party. Thank you to everyone that organized it, sought auction items, set up, cleaned up, and came to support the event. It was a great party!! Yesterday we had McTeacher Night at two McDonalds. The faculty and staff had a great time making sundaes and milk shakes, filling orders and serving all of you. We love doing something different. Mrs. Taylor will definitely have a second career at the drive-up window of a McDonalds. Thank you to everyone that organized the event and came out to support it. All of these events directly benefit our children.
We all feel blessed to be here at St. Mary. Thank you to all of you for supporting St. Mary by sending your children to us. We take that responsibility very seriously. Please help spread the word and encourage families who are looking for a school to come and check us out. We will be having another Open House for new families on Palm Sunday, April 9th, from 9:00 – 12:00, so please encourage people to come.
The April calendar just went home and we have many activities. Our eighth graders have been preparing for the Living Stations and we will have two performances in the church. One will be at 1:30 and the other will be at 7:00 in the evening. Our famous Talent Show will be on Thursday, April 6th, beginning at 6:30. We have some amazingly talented children. There is no school for students on April 7th and the teachers will be here for a professional development day. Palm Sunday is April 9th.
Easter break is coming soon! I know the Lord will bless us with beautiful, warm weather to enjoy our time off. I will be completing my third year of being your principal and every day it is a joy to come to school and be with your children.
May God bless all of you,