Back to School Letter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!  I hope you are enjoying the summer with your family and friends.  We have been busy at the school preparing for the upcoming school year. Classrooms have had a deep cleaning,  walls repainted, floors are being freshly cleaned and waxed, as well as some renovation projects throughout the building to make our space more efficient.  I would like to thank our custodians, Mr. PJ and Mrs. B for all their hard work, as well as all our volunteers who have helped out throughout the summer to get the school ready.

I would like to introduce you to our staff this year:

Financial Administrator - Mrs. Maria Donofrio
Administrative Assistant - Mrs. Lisa Meagher
School Nurse - Mrs. Rebecca Keane
Custodians - Mr. Patrick Solsbury & Mrs. Boguslawa Miketta
Pre K Teacher - Mrs. Diana Brancato
PreK Aide - Mrs. Lidia Soriano
Kindergarten Teacher - Mrs. Mary Ellen Kelly
Grade 1 - Mrs. Sally Pierro
Grade 2 - Mrs. Christine Warren
Grade 3 - Mr. Robert Cavagnuolo
Grade 4 - Miss Margaret McAndrew
Grade 5 - Mrs. Donna Jurkowski
Grade 6 - Mrs. Jennifer Hans
Grade 7 - Mrs. Kayla Black
Grade 8 - Mrs. Christine DeCrisanti
Spanish - Mrs. Mery Nartowicz
Engineering & Robotics - Mrs. Jen Hans
Art - Mr. Stephen DiRienzo
Music - Miss Jessica Muzyka
Physical Education - Miss Amelia Carloni
Reading Coach - Mrs. Susan Sapiro
Math Coach - Open
Little Saints - Mrs. Lidia Soriano & Mrs. Mary MacBride
Development Coordinator - Mrs. Cory Bartone

I would like to provide you with some important information:

  1. A Welcome Ice Cream Social for all PreK, Kindergarten and new families, will be held on Monday, August 13th at 5:30 PM in the All Purpose Room.
  2. Our Back-to-School Mass will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at St. Mary’s Church at 5:30 PM.  A pasta dinner will follow downstairs in the church hall.  Back to School folders will be distributed this evening.  Home School Executive Board Members will also inform you of upcoming events and will be inviting you to get involved in the many activities we have planned.  Please bring your calendars!
  3. The first day of school will be Monday, August 27.  It is a full day of school.  PLEASE NOTE: Our school day will now begin at 8:45 AM and dismissal is at 3:15.  Early dismissal days will be at 1:00 PM.
  4. Kindergarten through Grade 8 will have PE (Gym) on Wednesdays. On PE days, the students wear their gym uniforms to school for the whole day.
  5. Our school will be offering an Engineering and Robotics (ER) period for all students in grades Pre K through grade 8.  Dot and Dash will be our new classroom robots in grades Pre K through grade 3 and our Vex IQ Robots will be introduced to grades 4 through 8.  I hope to share with you very soon a logo three of our students contributed to for this new curriculum. Mrs. Hans will be guiding the students during this period.
  6. On days we go to mass, girls wear their jumpers/skirts and boys wear a shirt, tie, and long pants.  No sneakers please for students in Kindergarten through grade 8.  I will refer to this as their “Mass Uniforms”. Please refer to the Student/Family Handbook in your Back to School Folders for more information.
  7. Little Saints will be available on the first of school beginning at 7:00 AM .  Mrs. Soriano & Miss Mary McBride will continue to be our caretakers in the Little Saints Program.  Little Saints is always open throughout the school year, even on early dismissal days.  The only time we close is when school dismisses early due to inclement weather.
  8. Bus Routes for Derby will be posted on our school website closer to the beginning of school, once All Star releases them. [UPDATE: CLICK HERE]
  9. All parent and/or family volunteers and class trip chaperones must have background checks and attend a VIRTUS TRAINING.  There will be a Virtus Training on Tuesday, September 11th from 6-9 PM at the school.  Please call the school to sign up or you can register at .
  10. Uniforms are available at Dennis Uniforms at 500 Boston Post Road in Orange. Please call the store for extended summer hours.
  11.  Hot Lunch will be available on the first day of school.  Orders for the first week of school must be placed online by Wednesday, August 22nd.   Menus will be posted online by Friday, August 17th.  Payments can be sent in with your child on the first day of school.
  12. All emergency forms and beginning of the year paperwork should be sent back to the office by Tuesday, September 4th or sooner.

It is never too early to instill and encourage self-discipline in your children.  Here are a few tips to help you as parents:

·      Punctuality is an essential life lesson for the future.  Just as parents must be punctual for jobs, the children should be on time for school every day by 8:45 AM sharp

·      Insist from an early age that your child be organized, whether it is about their school work, sporting equipment or their personal clothing.  Please label all sweaters, sweatshirts, etc.

·      Sometimes this is painful – but allow your children to face some struggles without jumping in; it helps them figure out how to resolve issues and develop the self-discipline necessary to face other difficulties in the future.

·      Model self-discipline for your children.  What you do will always be far more powerful than what you say.

Parenting is the hardest job of all.  But it is worth all of our efforts.  Thank you for entrusting your children with us.  I look forward to a successful year at St. Mary – St. Michael School!

Enjoy the rest of the summer days with your family. 

God bless,

Mrs. Torres
SMSM Class of 1989