Give a “taste” of hope and holiday cheer to those in need this Christmas. Father Joe’s Villages is asking the faith community of Mary, Star of the Sea and Stella Maris Academy to donate gift cards or cash for the purchase of turkeys and hams to be served at their annual Christmas holiday meal to homeless neighbors in need. The tradition of Father Joe’s Villages serving a Christmas meal provides the blessings and nutrition of the season to those who would otherwise go without. Bring the joy and true meaning of Christmas with a donation of a turkey or ham to Father Joe’s Villages.
What a wonderful time of the year! I pray that we can all see through the stress and uncertainty of these times and be thankful for the ultimate gift of the Son of God that we have been blessed with. We should rejoice in the good health of our school and parish communities and continued good health of our families. Nothing can take the joy of the Christmas season away from us! So worship…decorate…bake…hug your children…and let your faith in the child Jesus handle the rest!
Please note that we have included public health recommendations for the Christmas break below this message. We are asking, as we did at Thanksgiving, that any families that travel out of state follow a 10-day quarantine before returning to school. Additionally, if you celebrate with family members that exhibit any cold or flu type symptoms over the holiday, we encourage you to get a Covid test before returning to school. I want to thank our families that were responsible over the Thanksgiving break by self-quarantining before returning to school. We are blessed to be on campus and much of this is due to all of us working together with the understanding that our personal actions can affect the entire school community.
Please feel free to follow additional links embedded in the public health documents below for further information.
Click here for Letter in Spanish
If you and your family will be traveling during the holidays, please read guidelines below.
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In place of my weekly message, I would like to share this letter from the San Diego County Office of Education regarding the upcoming holidays.
As we approach the holiday season, many families may be planning to travel or get together with friends or relatives outside of their immediate family. We understand how important these connections and activities are during the holidays. As you make your plans, please keep in mind that following all relevant county, state, and national guidelines relating to gatherings and travel can help prevent you and your loved ones from getting sick. This means that it’s important to wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice physical distancing wherever you go, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together a list of considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19 around the holidays. These include knowing the community levels of COVID-19 in the community where you’re gathering as well as where attendees are coming from; the location of the gathering; and the behaviors of those gathering. A full list of things to consider is available on the CDC website.
San Diego County is following the California Department of Public Health requirements for gatherings. At this time, gatherings should be limited to no more than three households and should be held outdoors. All attendees should follow the standard hygiene protocols noted above. Public health officials are also encouraging all individuals to avoid unnecessary travel, especially if you or someone in your family is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you plan to travel, please review the CDC’s travel considerations before you go. Upon returning from travel, the CDC recommends individuals maintain physical distancing, wear a mask while in public, wash their hands, and monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19. If you return from any high-risk areas and believe you or a family member may have come in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, please contact your health care provider and/or get tested.
We know this time of year may be difficult for many families. We hope that you are able to celebrate and spend time with loved ones safely and responsibly. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.
San Diego County Office of Education
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We made it through our first and hopefully last “Pandemic Halloween”! Many thanks to the families that had the time to stop by my home Halloween night. What fun it was to see the children and to visit with parents outside of school. This may become a new SMA tradition! Now on to the holiday season. Please be watching for information coming from your room parents or classroom teacher regarding items we will be collecting for our annual Thanksgiving Basket donations. School, parish and additional struggling families will be the recipients of your generosity. Looking forward to our Christmas outreach…we will be sharing with those less fortunate via a “Gift-Giving Tree”. Additional information will be coming in the next couple of weeks. Many thanks to the PTO board, the room parents and the classroom teachers for their support of these opportunities for stewardship and outreach to our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Additional thanks to all of the parents and students for your amazing efforts on this year’s saint costumes. The parade was great with lots of parent spectators.
In closing, I would like to extend appreciation to Mrs. Pina, Mrs. Sanchez, and Dr. Amador for all of their work on the beautiful Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda, located in the junior yard. Please be sure to take a peek…you don’t want to miss this! Is this an amazing school or what? We are so blessed!
It is hard to believe that October is drawing to an end and the holiday season is quickly approaching. We look forward to celebrating with our students and families over the upcoming weeks. It will look a bit different, but, nonetheless, it will be joyful and heartfelt. We began our celebrations with our Halloween fun today. The students and teachers looked festive and spirits were high! We are excited about Friday’s annual “Saints Parade”. Get those saints costumes ready! TK-5th grades will begin their parade at approximately 10:40. They will walk around the block, beginning in front of the junior yard. 3rd-5th graders will complete their parade at the church where they will join Fr. Pat to celebrate Mass. 6th -8th graders will participate in their parade at a separate time to allow for social distancing. The middle school teachers will communicate the time to these families. Let’s share the importance of living our lives as God wants us to by this simple act of evangelizing to our local community.
What a joyful week it has been to welcome our students, teachers and staff back on campus! God is Good!!!
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Many thanks to those of you that attended our “Coffee with the Principal” Zoom meeting last night. During these uncertain times, communication, compassion and the spirit of working together is more important than ever before. I remain vigilant in keeping your children and our staff safe as we continue on this ever-changing journey of implementing safety protocols, providing rigorous academic opportunities and modeling our Catholic values. I encourage you to continue to reach out to me with concerns, recommendations and affirmations of how we are doing. I will definitely pass any kind words on to our teachers. Please know that a kind word goes a very long way. Our teachers put in countless hours and we all realize the stress our school families are experiencing as well. Relying on our faith in God and the support of one another, will get us through this and we will be stronger for it! A million thanks for your continued patience and support!
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Although we are sad that we are unable to have an in-person book fair this year, we have decided to host an online book fair for the next two weeks.
Please check out the site:
Please know that 25% of your purchases come back to the school in Scholastic Rewards and you can earn free shipping on orders more than $25.
Thanks for taking the time to help our school!
As we reach the midway point of another week, we continue to see your children growing in enthusiasm and enjoying their time at school with teachers that truly care for them and work hard each day to promote a rich academic environment where your children can grow and experience academic success.
I hope these weekly newsletter messages and my weekly videos have been helpful to you by keeping you up-to-date on new protocols or just providing clarification on existing regulations. It is understandable that you may continue to have questions, especially if you are new to our wonderful school. Therefore, I will be hosting a Zoom, “Coffee with the Principal” meeting on Tuesday, October 6 from 5:30-6:30 P.M. I encourage you to email me any topics that you would like covered so I can be prepared and respectful of your time. As always, my door is always open to meet with you in person if that is your preference. Communication is the key to a positive, productive home/school relationship. I remain committed to serving all of our school families through listening, action, and prayer. We are blessed to be together in this very special place.
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As we approach the second half of this second full week of in-person learning, thankfully, many things are beginning to fall into place. The children are smiling, laughing, and seem to be genuinely happy. This makes all of our hard work over the summer months well worth the effort.
There were some concerns and suggestions regarding drop-off and pick-up procedures that were shared with me following my Friday video message. I would like to thank those of you that reached out to me in the spirit of working together to find a solution. I want to let you know that I have been monitoring the before and after school carlines this week. So far, they seem to be going fairly well, with a couple hiccups. There has not been any back up on to Torrey Pines Road. This is a good sign. A couple recommendations would definitely help with the traffic flow to the senior yard alley…
1. Please do not make a left turn into the alley from Kline. Waiting to get in the line this way can quickly back up traffic. Instead, please make a right on Torrey Pines and then right on Herschel then proceed to Kline.
2. I have noticed that the final 5 minutes of drop-off and pick-up are fairly light traffic times. If you can schedule dropping off a bit closer to those times, it may help as well.
I will continue to monitor the traffic for the reminder of the week and revisit this in my Friday video message. I am also exploring the possibility of requesting that the entire curb in front of the senior yard be marked as a loading zone just as the junior yard is marked. The parking regulations have not been enforced recently due to the pandemic. I have heard that enforcement will start up again on October 1. This should clear the curb for pick-up in the junior yard.
I attended a Zoom meeting with the San Diego County Office of Education this morning. The protocols have remained relatively unchanged. One change is that if a student has any symptoms that could possibly be related to COVID and they do not see a doctor or get a COVID test, they are now obligated to remain home for 10 days, instead of 14 days after the symptoms have been resolved. We’ll take it!
As always, a million thanks to our amazing teachers, rock star students, and over-the-top supportive parents! We are so blessed to have this wonderful school and each other!
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We are half way through our first full week of school and all is well. Needless, to say, we are all exhausted!!! But it is so worth it! Your children have adapted beautifully. Please know that we are aware of the difficulty of getting back to a school day routine for all of us. One way that you can help is by making sure your children are getting plenty of sleep. Breaking the habit of later bedtimes during the summer is always a difficult adjustment to make. But we are finding out that the masks and all of the new protocols, tend to take their toll on the children.
Just a reminder, that if your child is experiencing any kind of difficulty adjusting to school “re-entry”, we do have a counselor on campus 2 days per week. If you are interested in taking advantage of this service that we are providing to our students, free of charge, please contact the school office for a consent form.
Finally, I would like to provide a bit more clarification on the policy issued by the local and state public health organizations regarding the procedures to be followed if a child or staff member is experiencing cold or flu type symptoms or loss or taste or smell or if they have a temperature of 100 or higher. We are obligated to follow the following steps…
>The child will have to remain at home and may return to school depending which of the following actions are taken…
*You may take your child to the doctor and request a test for COVID-19. If the results are negative, the child can return to school 72 hours after the symptoms are resolved.
*If you choose not to seek out your child’s doctor, the child must remain at home for 14 days
Please refer to the Decision Tree below for additional information regarding positive test results and chronic issues.
I am aware that I have sent this information home previously, but there are still many questions that are completely understandable.
I cannot stress enough how much we appreciate your understanding and cooperation regarding these procedures. I can imagine how frustrating it must be, but we must all fight this fight together to keep our school open and healthy.
Ending on a happy note…Tomorrow SMA celebrates its 74th birthday! We will have signage up, balloons flying at each gate and a special (pre-packaged) treat for our students as they leave school at the end of the day. 74 years and still going strong! We are so blessed!
***Pulsa aqui para Espanol***