As we approach our celebration of Catholic Schools Week I encourage us all to take a moment to acknowledge how blessed we all are to be part of this amazing school community. We have stayed strong and committed to each other and our children through incredibly challenging times. Our spirits have remained high for the most part. When we begin to feel the fatigue set in, we lift one another up because this is what family does. I continue to be amazed at the patience, trust and support you, our parents have in us. I continue to thank God for such an “Over-the-top” faculty and staff and I count my blessings for a supportive pastor and parish community.
I want to assure you that I understand that the past couple of years have taken their toll on us all. Many of us are tired and maybe even getting a bit (dare I say) cranky. But I believe that the end of all of this is in sight. We must continue to support one another no matter what our stand may be on vaccines, masks, quarantines and mandates. Many of us have strong views on current issues that affect us all. I am always here to listen and to lift you up! But my ability to bring about change is minimal. Therefore, I encourage you to make your voices heard by writing or calling our local and state officials. Let them know your thoughts and views. We are all here for one reason…these beautiful children! They deserve the best education that we can provide for them in a Christ-centered, loving and academically challenging environment. I am committed to this goal and so are our teachers and staff.
I look forward to celebrating Catholic education and Stella Maris Academy with you, your children and our staff next week. Please watch your email on Friday for a detailed line-up of scheduled events for the upcoming week!
Stay Strong Stella!
You will be pleased to hear that today I am making the conscious decision to share a “COVID-free” Principal’s message with you. I am sure we can all use a brief break from the mandate updates, decision tree changes and quarantine recommendations.
Catholic Schools Week is quickly approaching. We will be celebrating our wonderful school at the 9:00 parish Mass on Sunday, January 30. Children are invited to sing in the choir. I will be handing out free dree coupons to any students that wear their Mass uniform that morning. The remainder of the week will be filled with celebrations of our teachers, staff, students, parents and grandparents.
Before Catholic Schools Week even begins, I would like to recognize the generosity and support of our school parents. Your support of our outreach projects such as the third grade class “Coat Drive” and our current “Dog and Cat” Rescue Supplies is sincerely appreciated. Your empathy and compassion do not go unnoticed by your children and the entire school community. Thank you!
Are you interested in preparing for the upcoming Lenten season? Please refer to the information in today’s newsletter regarding a special series of 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings of walking step-by-step with Jesus during the final days of his life here on earth. This will provide a wonderful opportunity to gather together for some school family fellowship following the presentation. I hope to see many of you there. Please contact the parish office to sign up in advance.
Have a great week, please stay healthy!
At the risk of sounding like a broken record…Thank you so much for all of your patience, support and understanding regarding our response to this new, extremely contagious, variant that we are battling. Please rest assured that we are doing everything within our power to keep our students and staff healthy and in good spirits. It is our hope that this will transfer over to your households as well. I encourage you not to jump to conclusions if a student or staff member is absent. This is traditionally cold and flu season and we are seeing some cases of these as well as Covid. We must continue to stay strong and stay flexible as guidelines change frequently. I am committed to keeping you informed and the lines of communication open.
Catholic Schools Week is quickly approaching (Sunday January 30-Friday, February 4). Please watch upcoming newsletters for our schedule of fun events. Unfortunately, we will not be able to celebrate with our grandparents here on campus this year. We pray that we can welcome them back next year during Catholic Schools Week.
It’s that time of year when our students are experiencing “growth spurts”. We are noticing skirts , jumpers and skorts getting very short. Please stop by the school office to trade out or purchase longer skirts and skorts or jumpers. Please remember that skorts have the same length requirement as skirts. As stated in our handbook, shirts, skorts and shifts(jumpers) should be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee. We thank you for your cooperation.
Are you interested in assisting us in planning this year’s Gala? It is always a wonderful celebration. We need as many hands helping out as possible. The theme of this year’s event is “Denim and Diamonds”. Please contact me or watch for committee meeting dates and times in upcoming newsletters.
As we approach a long weekend celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. may we enjoy some rest and relaxation as we appreciate and celebrate the beautiful diversity of all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As the joyful celebration of the Christmas and Advent season continues, may we count our many blessings, love others more and judge them less. May we recognize that with all of our imperfections, we are still all God’s children and worthy of His love and the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please know how much your generous donations to our school Christmas outreach project are appreciated, especially during these difficult economic times.
May you find peace and joy during your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with family and friends. I wish you the wonder of the unconditional love of the Christ child and the awe of that most holy night. Thank you for entrusting your children to us. I wish you all the merriest of Christmases and a new year filled with good health and much happiness.
Many thanks to those of you that were able to join us for our Living Rosary and school Mass today. What a beautiful way to celebrate the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. Our Advent celebrations will continue into next week with our Christmas program next Thursday evening. If there are grandparents and extended family that would like to attend our 1:00 rehearsal on that day, we welcome them. I will send out more detailed information early next week.
More celebrating is in order for the success of our float in the La Jolla Christmas Parade this past Sunday! Once again, Stella Maris Academy won the “Best Overall” trophy. There are so many people to thank for all of the hard work that went into this amazing event! It was heartwarming to see our “seasoned” parents and our “new” parents come together in the preparations as well as on the parade day. We are truly blessed to have this wonderful SMA family!
La Jolla Christmas Parade excitement is in the air! We are all looking forward to a wonderful event this Sunday. If you are watching from the parade route, please feel free to cheer us on! So many people to thank…special thanks to Ms. Singh Mrs. Liem for designing our float, Mr. Moss for constructing the float Mr. Liem for assisting him, Mrs. Helliar for organizing the costuming and Mrs. Frost for assisting her and many others who will be recognized next week for the decorating.
We are beginning our annual Christmas outreach project. We will be supporting Fr. Joe’s Villages this year. Our 7th and 8th grade classes will be helping a local family that was recommended to us by our former principal, Sr. Mary Kiely that is in need of assistance as well. Items may be brought to the classroom and will be collected by 7th and 8th graders in my “Service Elective Class”. Please note the items that each class will be collecting…
TK – New blankets
K – Women/girls sock
1st – Men’s belts
2nd – Rain Ponchos
3rd – Men/boys socks
4th – Men’s sweat shirts and sweat pants
5th – New reusable shopping bags
6th – Women’s sweat shirt and sweat pants
7th and 8th – please watch for a special list coming out by Friday
***Tis the season to assist those who are less fortunate in a special way. I am always so moved by the generosity of our families. What wonderful role models for your children!
Please note a schedule changes….Our school Mass for next week will take place on Wednesday (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception) instead of Friday. It will begin at 10:00 with a beautiful Living Rosary followed by our school Mass at 10:20. Parents are welcome. There will be no Mass next Friday.
An additional schedule change: After Care will end at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, December 10.
To say, “What a day!” would be an understatement. Today our school community has shined brighter than any star in the sky. After receiving the news this morning that one of our students tested positive for COVID-19 our admin staff went into action. I made an all-call to the close contacts…Miss Clariza and I set up two antigen testing stations in the gym…Mrs. Hollis manned the phones, and our VP, Mrs. Zack began checking for consent-for-testing forms from the parents. The process went smoothly and we all celebrated after all 13 students and 9 staff members tested negative and were permitted to return to class on a “Modified(in school) Quarantine. This means that the affected class will remain in its cohort for the remainder of this week and wearing facial coverings inside and outside through Friday, November 5. We will also perform one additional test on each of the close contacts this Friday as well.
Due to the fact that some of our students are in this “Modified (in school) Quarantine” we have had to make some adjustments to our school calendar of events. I thank you, in advance for understanding that these decisions were not easy, but were made in the best interest of our entire school community.
- This Thursday’s Living Rosary has been postponed. The date has not been decided
- This Friday’s Saint’s Parade/costume day and school Mass has been postponed until Friday, November 12. (There will not be a school Mass next Friday)
- Our Halloween Bash has also been rescheduled for Friday, November 12. Costumes can still be worn and a Halloween theme will still fill the air! (Please note that if you dropped off decorations in the school office and need them for your own Halloween celebrations, please feel free to pick them up. We would appreciate it if we can borrow them again after Halloween)
Once again, I thank you for your understanding. We want these wonderful events to be enjoyable for everyone in our community. I look forward to celebrating the good health of us all in the upcoming weeks.
I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather as much as I am! Fall is in the air and the holidays are quickly approaching.
Here are some wonderful events coming up for our school community:
This Thursday (10/21) at 10:21 our school will participate in a statewide earthquake drill (The Great California Shakeout). This is a great way to make sure our students know how to react in case of this type of an emergency.
We have rescheduled our Living Rosary for Thursday, October 28 at 9:30 in the church. Parents are welcome to attend. Since we will be indoors, we ask that all participants wear facial coverings. This is such a beautiful way to honor Mary.
Friday, October 29 is a big day! We have two very special events. First, we ask that our students arrive to school dressed as their favorite saint. We will participate in a school wide “Saints Parade” around the block and end up in the church for a special Mass celebrating the Saints and their dedication to their faith. Later that evening, from 6:00-9:00 we will gather in the senior yard and the sports court for the return of our annual Halloween Carnival. This year we have combined it with our Family Fun Night. There will be food, games and lots of fun music and dancing. You may even get to toss a pie in a teacher’s face! Please watch for all of the information in today’s newsletter. Volunteers are needed to make this evening of fun happen. I encourage you to reach out to your room parent to see how you can help.
It is so nice to see the return of some of these wonderful community builders. God is so good! May we continue to stay safe and healthy as we keep moving forward during these uncertain times.
I am pleased to share with you that our first week of making Antigen Testing available to our students has gone smoothly. We have had no positive cases, just colds and allergies. Thanks be to God!
With that said, I am very aware of concerns and questions regarding the possibility of government mandated vaccines for our children. I will continue to be open to conversations and will share any information with you that comes my way.
Unfortunately, at this time there simply isn’t any. All we have heard is a statement from the Governor during a news conference. The California Bishops will be meeting next week and this mandate is on their agenda. Therefore, I should hopefully know more following that meeting. Fr. Pat and myself are dedicated to all of the families in our school, no matter where they “stand” on this issue. We will continue to support all of our parents and their right to make healthcare decisions for their children. I am proud of how united our school community has remained during times of much fear, anxiety and confusion. We have stood strong and refrained from judging one another because we have different views on current pandemic and healthcare issues. Let’s not lose that focus. Let’s stay strong and united in Christ and get through this together as one SMA family.
In closing, please check your email for a link to tomorrow evening’s La Jolla Town Council meeting. I was honored to be invited to make a presentation at an Educational Forum. I will be speaking on the history and current growth and successes of Stella Maris Academy. The presentation will begin at 5:30 and I will be the first speaker and only Catholic school representative! The Zoom link is included the today’s earlier email. I hope to see many of you attend in support of our amazing school.
Stay Strong Stella…we got this!!!!
I am pleased to share with you that our “Acts of Kindness” are going strong! Congratulations to the first grade for already completing 75 kind acts! This is such a special way to celebrate our wonderful school.
Many thanks to Mrs. Moreau and Mr. Lupe Rios (our music teacher)along with some of our students, for representing SMA in today’s virtual World Mission Rosary. This event was sponsored by the Missions Office of the Diocese of San Diego. We were honored to be asked to sing and lead our other Catholic schools in a decade of the Holy Rosary.
I encourage all of our families to try to attend this weekend’s La Jolla’s Art and Wine Festival this weekend. It is a great way to support our community and local business. There will be lots of food, music, arts and other booths to entertain the entire family. I hope to see you there.
Many thanks for your patience as we have trained and prepared for the Rapid Result Antigen Testing program here at our school. It is now underway. Please make sure that you fill out the registration and digital consent forms sent home via email this past Monday.
Blessings for a great 3-day weekend!