May 22, 2020

 
DISTANCE LEARNING: The teachers continue to work hard providing a range of different virtual mini-lessons this week from Pre-K through 8th-grade. This week I had the chance to visit Mrs. O'Shea's second grade reading lesson. It has been awhile since I heard our second graders read but I was impressed by their growth! In addition, each child had many chances to contribute. It was another great example of the Personalized Instruction that we provide at Fatima. 
 
VIRTUAL SPORTS AWARDS CEREMONY: The Athletic Committee met again this week for the final planning of our first Virtual Sports Awards Ceremony. It will take place Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Rob will host and coaches will give awards and describe their seasons. The link was sent out on Saturday.  Please mark your calendars!
 
Thank you to all who dropped off their uniforms this week. Unfortunately, we still have some that have not been returned. There will be a bin in front of the school this week also to drop your uniform in. Thank you with your help.
 
COMMUNITY MEETING:  We had a great Community Meeting this past Wednesday evening. This week's Community Meeting was led by Father Reggie. He spoke on the timely topic of "Coping with Quarantine through Spirituality." Father Reggie made several key points including how it is important to have "an attitude of gratitude" during this difficult time and to see this time as an opportunity and not just a challenge. For me,  this talk was just what I needed as our period of quarantine continues on.
 
COMMUNITY SERVICE:  We have two great opportunities to support those in need in June.
Mrs. O'Shea is running a drive to support Malta House. Malta services unmarried women and their children. It is their mission to "promote the dignity of God-given life by providing a nurturing home environment, support services, and independent living skills to pregnant and parenting mothers of all faiths and their children." Mrs. O'Shea will be collecting baby supplies and cleaning supplies to support this worthwhile cause. There will be a bin in front of the school.
 
Sodality is sponsoring a food drive starting Tuesday May 26 and running through June 5th for the Wilton Food Pantry. I saw a food pantry in Tarrytown where I live and the line was around the block. There are many who are in need during this difficult time. The flier is attached. Thanking for helping those less fortunate during these difficult times.    
 
 
OLF VIRTUAL TALENT SHOW: Mara Fleming is hosting the first annual Our Lady of Fatima Virtual Talent Show. This special and not to be missed event will be broadcasted at 1:30 p.m. on Memorial Day. The link will be sent out on Sunday. I can't wait to see your talent, Fatima!
 
MORNING PRAYERS: During this difficult time, if there is someone you would like the school to pray for, just send me an email and I will include them in our prayer rotation. And yes, I still very much miss the help of the 8th-graders with the prayers!
 
EXACT PATH ASSESSMENTS:  We do want to do one last round of Exact Path assessments before the end of the year. The assessments help us personalize instruction and differentiate instruction for our students.  The assessment will be assigned as a homework assignment. 
 
Since this round of assessments is to be completed at home, an issue to be aware of is that this assessment is different from other kinds of assessments in that it is adaptive. That is to say that the second question you receive is chosen based on how you answered the first, and so on, until the program hones in on skills the students don't already know across domains within a content area. This way we have a better idea of what each individual student doesn't know yet and can create a custom path for them. However, this kind of assessment all but guarantees that students will encounter questions that are too hard for them to answer, which causes stress for students who are expecting a normal test with questions only based on the content they have covered in class. Please just encourage your child to do their best during these assessments. Thank you for your help.
 
BAND ANNOUNCEMENT:   We heard from Palu Effman music company this week. They said that normally they would collect the rental instruments in the last lesson. In order to avoid any unnecessary contact (even taking safety measures), they would like to encourage students to hold on to their rental instruments through the Summer (and practice!).
 
EIGHTH GRADE END OF THE YEAR EVENTS: The middle school teachers and I have begun planning the Virtual 8th-grade Awards Luncheon. It is scheduled for June 4th at 11:30 a.m. 8th-grade parents, please mark your calendars.
 
Also, please email Diane with your final decision on what school your child is attending in the fall so that she can make sure the records are sent to the correct high school.
 
EIGHTH GRADE GRADUATION :  Father Reggie started outdoor Masses with the congregation sitting in their cars in the parking lot, this past Thursday on Ascension Thursday. So that is an important development. The Diocese is saying that we can have a Graduation Ceremony outside if we follow the same safety guidelines.
 
I have been in touch with Barrington Bogle, Director of Health, for the Town of Wilton. The town is planning new guidelines for the town to slowly start back-up. As soon as I have more information, I will schedule a Zoom meeting with 8th-grade parents so we can discuss safe graduation options together. 
 
TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: The Chromebooks have become such a vital part of our Distance Learning. If your child is experiencing technical problems, please let me know. We still have some Chromebooks in school and Mr. Rob is available to consult and problem-solve with you. 
 
SUMMER PRIMARY PROGRAM: We are still waiting for guidance on if we can run  our Summer Primary Program. The Town of Wilton has just approved the opening of summer camps with certain restrictions. As soon as we know more details about these restrictions and how this would affect us, I will let you know. 
 
TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:After the Bishop Scholarship Fund, the Tuition Assistance Committee is the next big way we try to support families that need financial support to afford a Catholic Education. Please find attached the simple Tuition Assistance request form for next year. 
 
YEARBOOKS: Reminder that 19/20 Yearbook orders are being accepted. The Yearbooks will be beautiful and the cost is $40. Final online orders for yearbook are due Tomorrow Saturday May 23rd.. Don't miss out on the 2019-2020 school memories. Limited books are now available. Get your payment in ASAP. You can order on line www.YBPay.com our school ID# 1956520 or just mail Diane your check and email her at dfavier@olfcatholic.org.  We are looking at different options for the students to sign yearbooks remotely. 
 
 
CALENDAR: 
May 25 - Memorial Day - No school - OLF Talent Show at 1:30 p.m.
May 27 - Virtual National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony at 2:00
May 28 - Virtual Sports Awards Ceremony starting at 6:30
June 4 - 8th-Grade Graduation Luncheon
June 5 - Last day of school for Pre-K
June 11/12 - Chromebooks, iPads, guitars, and textbooks due back at school
June 12th - Last day of school for K-7 students
 
"SHOUT-OUT I"
Rob Benedetto. Rob announced this week that he is resigning from his position as Athletic Director for next year due to a change in his work schedule. This is a major loss for our school and for our Athletics Program. For the past two years Rob has overseen our Athletics Program and has managed it smoothly, calmly, and made it look easy even though with each event and each decision there were always many different "moving parts." Most importantly Rob brought a true, "child-centered" approach to his position. He will be missed. Well done, Rob!