Please take a minute to review our Reopening Plans for In-Person and Distance Learning.
Want to come back to school in the fall and attend our ice cream social? What about having the math department serve you pancakes? If either of these options interest you, please take a moment and check out the information below.
Every summer our students are asked to read and complete math assignments (grades 4-8) to help prevent the summer slide. Below you will find the links needed for these assignments.
Middle School Reading (6-8) – We are asking all students to read at least three books over the summer and be ready to give a Book Talk (directions attached) when they return to school.
Mrs. Marcelino’s Ice Cream Social Summer Reading Log – Students in kindergarten through third grade are asked to read and record 10 picture books or 3-4 beginning chapter books. Students entering fourth through eighth grade are asked to read three chapter books.
Summer ALEKS assignments (4th-8th) – Students in fourth through eighth grade are asked to complete 8 ALEKS assignments over the summer with a score of 90% or higher. If students score lower, they can use the Quick Retake option to simply redo the problems they missed. Assignments can be found in the upper left-hand corner of ALEKS by clicking on the three lines and selecting “Assignments”. It is strongly suggested that students complete the 8 ALEKS topics before working on their personal pie if they are close to finishing their pie so as to not lose their work on the assignments.
Thank you! We hope you have a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 19th
I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of your summer break. I would like to remind you of the dates and times for pick-up of your student’s personal belongings.
Pick-up day is this Friday, June 5
Please note that times are assigned according to the first letter of your last name. Items will be placed in a bag with your child’s name on it. The bag will also contain your child’s report card and year book as well. Please pick-up in the junior and senior yards according to your child’s grade level. TK families may pick-up items in front of the school office. We are trying to maintain a safe environment for this procedure; therefore, we ask that a minimum number of people enter the school grounds and that masks be worn.
9:00-10:00 A – F
10:00-11:00 G – L
11:00-12:00 M – R
1:00-2:00 S – Z
Please remember to return sports uniform and library books in to designated boxes when picking up personal items. All Chromebook borrowed to assist with distance learning must be returned to the school office.
Enjoy your summer with family and friends! We will see you in August!
The end to this “eventful” school year has come to an end. I must admit it is bittersweet. It is always a celebration to complete one school year and look forward to a fresh new year on the horizon. But completing the year without “closure” is difficult. My first year at SMA has gifted me with an amazing faculty and staff and a pastor that has been there every step of the way. The children and all of you have made me feel so incredibly welcomed and supported. Words cannot express my gratitude. I look forward to next year with hope and excitement. By the grace of God, we will all be together in our classrooms once again. The laughter of children will fill the air and we can move forward, taking the lessons we have learned throughout this ordeal and using them to make our school a safer place for all of us.
A huge shout out to our graduates. You have weathered a storm that no one could have prepared you for, and you did it with “class”. Bravo to all of you amazing young men and women. Your futures are bright…you will remain in our prayers…and always remember that you be welcomed here with open arms anytime you need us. We are family…always!!!
May God bless you all and keep you safe and healthy over the summer months. I pray that we all return to this wonderful school in August, refreshed, revitalized and filled with gratitude and anticipation for a strong, successful reopening. We believe this is possible because…
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
It is that time of the school year when restless students see summertime coming quickly and adults are ready for a break as well. This happens annually, without Distance Learning in the mix. Teachers are planning creative activities and lessons for the upcoming final week of school.
I’d like to take this opportunity to once again, thank all of our families for your support, diligence and patience during this time of uncertainty. I couldn’t be prouder of our students, parents, faculty and staff for all that we have accomplished over the past several weeks. We have exceeded expectations by staying focused on providing rigorous academics, communicating often with our families, making ourselves available to assist struggling students and overwhelmed parents. All the while remaining positive and hopeful for a return to our lives as we once knew them.
I encourage all of you to watch my video message this Friday afternoon for additional, important information regarding our plans for our August 19 reopening of the new school year as well as the end of this school year procedures.
As this school year continues to wind down, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your patience, understanding and support of our teachers and administration during this time of uncertainty. We continue to strive to provide the highest quality of education possible for your children while adding some enjoyable and creative ways to have some fun as well. As our eighth graders prepare to graduate, we are finding new ways to make lasting memories for them. Thank you to all of the teachers for the diligence and hours upon hours of work that they have put into planning and “Zooming” with their students.
Now that the end of this school year is in sight, we are making plans on how to safely and responsibly return our students ‘personal belongings to them, along with yearbooks and report cards. We have designated Friday, June 5th as the day for distributing these items. All belongings will be placed in a bag with your family name on it. Bags will be arranged on tables in the junior and senior yards. We will assign times for pick-up corresponding to the first letter of your last name. We ask that you please return any textbooks or library books at this time as well. If you borrowed a Chromebook to assist your family with the distant learning process, please return it to the office. Additional information regarding pick-up times will be sent out in the coming weeks.
I am looking forward to celebrating our eighth graders throughout the next couple of weeks. We are so proud of how they have all handled these past several weeks. The days to come are in celebration of all of the work they have put forth to become a graduate and soon-to-be alumnus of Stella Maris Academy. SMA All the Way!!!
Dear SMA Community,
I pray daily for all of you in this time and thank you for helping to face these challenging times together. May God bless and protect us in facing this pandemic. We have been proactive in trying to meet the needs of our parish and school community for the long term. It begins with the heroic efforts of our parish and school staff. I am grateful for the amazing efforts of our staff and families in implementing the distance learning that began two days after the decision to suspend on-site gathering.
As you may know, in order to alleviate the financial devastation for our parishes and schools which the virus has produced, most of our parishes have applied and received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program under the Cares Act. The goal of these loans is to stabilize our parishes and schools and to preserve the jobs of our employees until the tremendous shortfalls caused by the stay-at-home effort abate.
For our schools, the loan funds will be spent immediately for payroll, benefit and other forgiveness eligible costs during the next eight weeks. It is vital that these funds be used in the following ways: providing funds for any budget shortfall for the current year that exists, the establishment of a reserve fund designed to enable the school to meet the economic and/or enrollment challenges that will come over the next school year, and finally, individualized financial assistance to school families who have been impacted by the pandemic and need tuition reductions.
As I began this letter with the idea that we are in this together, it also reminds us that we are together with others beyond our own parish and school community. To that end, we will be sharing a portion of our funds beyond the PPP with some of our more challenged Catholic schools in the diocese. This is a tangible sign of our unity in mission and ministry.
Please know that your commitment to this effort is so appreciated. Our witness to faithfulness amidst the challenges posed by this pandemic will bear great fruit for our families and community in the long term. I pray that all will be blessed with Eternal Easter joy in this time of challenge.
All my best in Christ,
Rev. Patrick J. Mulcahy
Happy May to one and all! It feels like spring is finally upon us. What a great opportunity to spend time outside in our yards or safely on our beaches and trails. We began this month with a beautiful school Mass last Friday honoring Mary. The May Crowning definitely looked different than in past years. Many thanks to all of the families that stopped by the junior yard to drop off flowers and to Fr. Pat, Fr. Joe and Deacon Jim for assisting us in our celebration.
Our teachers and students continue to work diligently each day as we inch closer to our final days of this school year. Last week I explained the procedure we will be following for TK-5th grade report cards. This week I will be addressing our middle school reporting procedure. I am pleased to announce that we will be utilizing the same report cards that have been distributed in the first two trimesters of this school year. Teachers and students have been working to cover as much curriculum as possible during these past weeks of distance learning. Some of our teachers have even reported to have covered more material than in past years. I encourage parents and students to continue to check School Speak on a regular basis to keep up-to-date on grades in all classes. Please remember that teachers hold regular office hours to assist students that have questions and to address parent questions as well.
In next week’s newsletter I will be addressing the upcoming end of the school year plans for collecting textbooks and school materials as well as distribution of student personal effects and yearbooks.
In closing, please take the time to read a letter from our pastor, Fr. Pat that is included in this week’s newsletter. Have a wonderful week!
As we continue our Distance Learning journey together I will continue to keep you informed and as up-to-date as possible on new information and upcoming events. I apologize for the length of this message, but there is so much to share with you!
This week I will attempt to clarify the end-of-trimester/year grading procedures for TK-5th grades. These grades are utilizing the Standard Referenced Report Cards. Teachers are still teaching standards that are required to be covered at each respective grade level. Therefore, the same report cards that you are familiar with will continue to be used. All standards that are covered will be assessed and then reported out to you. If, for any reason, a standard is not assessed or a student has not completed work that enables the teacher to authentically access the standard an NE(not evaluated) will be assigned. Rest assured that your children are benefitting from creative and engaging lessons from their teachers. I have witnessed so many successful lessons first hand. When planning, teachers are constantly revisiting the standards yet to be addressed. In next week’s newsletter, I will address the middle school reporting procedures. Additionally, I will be sharing our plan to get your child’s personal belongings, report card and yearbook to them during the first week of June. Many thanks again for your patience, support and cooperation.
We continue to celebrate our Students of the Month! This wonderful tradition has been on “hold” until we got things settled down a bit. We have made some necessary adjustments to get all virtues covered so as not to neglect the importance of any of them. During the weeks of May 4 and May 18, part of a Zoom meeting will be designated by your child’s teacher to recognize students to be honored for exhibiting specific virtues. There will be two students recognized each week. Week of May 4th…Cooperation and Service and week of May 18th…Stewardship and Gratitude. At the end of each of these weeks a special Zoom meeting will be held for myself, recognized students, their families and classroom teachers to share our feelings of gratitude and appreciation. It may not be the same as in person, but we can still express our sincere love for these wonderful examples of Christian leadership.
I am pleased and excited to share information regarding this Friday’s school Mass and May Crowning. Remembering this month of May as a celebration of Mary as the mother of Jesus, we will continue the tradition of a May Crowning. I will be present in the junior yard from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. with the gate on Kline Street open for any families desiring to bring flowers and place them by our Blessed Mother. Once you do so, please exit out the side gate nearest the kindergarten classroom to allow for social distancing protocol. I also ask that masks be worn during your visit. Please note that unfortunately, this is not an opportunity for gathering to visit with friends you have missed, but a way for us to show our solidarity in prayer during these difficult times. Mary is truly a role model of faith and strength when faced with the trials that life offers us. At 11:00 I will bring your flowers over to the church for Mass. I strongly encourage you to watch the Mass as it is Live Streamed at 11:20 on Mary Star Of the Sea Parish FB page. Following the Mass, it will be uploaded to the parish and school websites. If you have a statue of Mary at home, please participate by presenting flowers to her or even a mini May Crowning of your own as we do so at the beginning of Mass. At the end of Mass Fr. Pat will lead us in a Prayer of Reconsecration to Mary. Please see the prayer directly following this message. I will have additional copies in the junior yard along with complimentary rosaries (while supplies last) on Friday. Many thanks to Fr. Pat and all of his support to continue to minister to our students and families during these past several weeks. we are truly blessed to have him here.
Continued thanks for your support. Please know how very much you are all loved and appreciated!
Morgan Brady and Sofia Ayesta-Hollstein, Stella Maris Academy eighth grade students, each took home second place for their science fair projects at this year’s 66th Annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. The science fair was scheduled for the week of March 10th-15th, but shortly after the students’ set-up their projects, the event was postponed as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, with some of the competition being completed by video.
Sofia’s award-winning project, “The New Water Solution”, was entered in the division of Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering with her question, “Does solar-desalinated water negatively impact the growth of plants?”. After outlining her hypothesis, variables and procedures, Sofia graphed her results and conclusions. Sofia’s mom, Veronica, said the judges were very impressed that Sofia’s “project could be easily replicated to help bring clean water to other communities worldwide”.
Morgan’s award-winning project, “Why is there Extra Light in our Skies?”, was entered in the Earth and Planetary Science division where Morgan outlined the problem and purpose of her project, the hypothesis, her research and procedures, along with data analysis, conclusions and the significance of her work.
“Sofia and I are both excited to have received these awards!,” said Morgan. Mrs. Adrienne Jones the students’ teacher said, “The girls worked diligently on their projects starting in October. I am so proud of their conscientious and assiduous efforts.” Morgan and Sofia were two of over 880 students who submitted projects to be screened into the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, with over 700 students who were recommended to participate in the Fair. Over 250 judges decided the awards in sixteen different categories of projects on the following criteria: by project displays, by interviewing students, and/or reading notebooks and display boards and, if submitted, viewing student-made videos.
In addition to winning second place at the Science Fair, Morgan received several other awards for her project. Last week, Morgan presented her project to the San Diego County Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association and the Astronomy Association via a Zoom meeting, with approximately 60 people attending. Sandy Brady, Morgan’s mom said, “the associations said that Morgan did a great job in her presentation and in responding to follow-up questions. We are super proud of her, and she is very excited.” Morgan received first place and $100 from The Dark Sky Association competition; fourth place and $75 from the San Diego Astronomy Association competition; and, an Honorable Mention from the Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society.
Stella Maris Academy, the parish school of Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, is a transitional-kindergarten through 8th grade co-educational Catholic school in the Village of La Jolla. Children at Stella Maris thrive in a warm and welcoming, friendly and safe environment. For nearly 75 years we have provided academic excellence in a nurturing environment by our talented and dedicated staff. For more information, or questions about enrollment, please call 858-454-2461.