Well this certainly is an exciting week! So much spirit…so much fun! It is wonderful to celebrate and have fun again!
Our eighth graders have had a week filled with special activities amid graduation practices and many “final” moments with their teachers. This is definitely a bitter-sweet time of the school year. I applaud these young men and women for their strength and tenacity during a year filled with challenges at every turn. Well-played Class of 2021!
As our other students prepare to end their school year next Friday, The article below has some great tips on helping them with this transition. Many children, especially the young ones, become very attached to their teachers. Saying “good-bye” even just for the summer can be upsetting for them. Believe it or not, many teachers and principals have the same feelings!
We all have so much to be proud of. Completing a full year of in-person learning during a pandemic is not a feat for the faint-of-heart! With God at our side…anything is possible.
As we send our 8th graders off this Friday, I ask all of our school families to join us keeping them in our prayers as they continue on their academic journey into high school.
As you are all well aware, there are many conflicting opinions surfacing regarding the multiple COVID -19 restrictions that we have been abiding by over the course of this past school year. We have decided to continue to the “finish line” of the 2020-2021 schoolyear remaining consistent with the safety protocols that have successfully gotten us through this trying time. We have kept the health and safety of our students, staff and school families at the forefront of every decision we have made. Granted, occasionally they may have seemed excessive, but those decisions got us to where we are today…2 ½ weeks until we can claim victory over our COVID-19 year! So I invite you to remain vigilant in the safety practices we have in place for the remainder of this school year. We could not have done this without your support and relying on our faith that God is Good…All the Time!
Please note that in place of an article this week, I am sharing a brief video message from Mr. John Galvan, the Director of Schools for the Diocese of San Diego.
As we prepare to celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, we focus on the promise of him coming again. This fills us with hope for a future of everlasting life with God in heaven. At a time when we are beginning to see a light at the end of this “pandemic tunnel”, let us cling to our hope for a return to life as we once knew it. Our school year is nearing an end. We have so much to be thankful for. We have remained strong and are a closer community for it. Many thanks to our teachers, staff, parents, parishioners and of course, our students for the Stella Maris Academy… We may be small… but we are MIGHTY! Stay Strong Stella!
I would like to concentrate this week’s message on gratitude and how we, as adults, can develop it in our children. Please refer to the article below for some wonderful ideas and information. As always, modeling this virtue is one very important key. Our children learn from our words and actions. I believe we sometimes underestimate the impact we have on our children. They are always watching and listening, even when we don’t think they are.
I want to express my gratitude to our pastor, Fr. Pat and our supportive parishioners. Without their support through their prayers and generosity, our new gym would not have become a reality. As we celebrated our ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday with special guests, Director of Schools, John Galvan, Coach Sipper from St. Augustine High School, Dave West, our facilities director and of course Fr. Pat, I felt so grateful for how God has watched over Stella Maris Academy throughout this pandemic and by the amazing faith and commitment our school and parish communities have shown during these trying times. Our future as one “parish and school family” is bright and exciting! May we never take any of this for granted, and always be grateful for the graces that God bestows on us each day!
All are welcome to stop by to see our new Star Center Gym. Feel free to take some time to “shoot some hoops” while you are here!
Happy Wednesday! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather! Spring has arrived and the future looks brighter. We are seeing much of our lives returning to more of a sense of “normal”, which is definitely a trend in the right direction. There has been much talk about the necessity for masks to be worn while we are outside. This topic was brought up in yesterday’s public health Zoom meeting that I attended. This recommendation is only for fully vaccinated individuals who are not in crowed situations. Therefore, we will continue our current masking protocols for all students and adults to remain masked while on campus. I pray this mandate will be lifted by the beginning of the new school year.
One of the things that make Stella Maris such an amazing school is the cooperation and communication between parents, teachers and administration. I would like to thank those of you that participated in the survey regarding “Parents as Primary Educators” that was sent out last week. We have reviewed the results and will take the suggestions into consideration when planning for the new school year. Due to COVID restrictions, we have been unable to bring guest speakers to campus to meet with parents regarding parenting skills and spiritual growth of children. We hope to bring these opportunities back next year. It was definitely one of several requests that we identified within the survey results. I am already planning on scheduling one evening per trimester for parent education. If we get a good turnout, we can add more sessions. Many thanks again for your input, patience and respect. We are a great school…but there will always be room for improvement.
Please take some time to read through the article below. I have chosen the Easter season to focus on spiritual growth of children and the parent’s role in this area. I enjoyed this piece because it breaks the development down by age range. One aspect that we will be focusing on next year and for years to come is that of service. Giving thanks for all we have and, in turn, helping those who are less fortunate builds character, compassion and a sense of responsibility for all of our brothers and sisters.
In closing, I would like to thank the incredibly generous parishioners of Mary, Star of the Sea parish for providing a majority of the funding needed to purchase the additional laptops needed for our increased student enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year. What a blessing to be part of this wonderful community!
Excitement is building with our new gym nearing completion within weeks. Please watch next week’s newsletter for news on our upcoming ribbon cutting ceremony. Additionally, our wrought iron gates are in the process of being replaced and the extension of the junior yard walls should be complete within a couple of weeks. Great things are happening at SMA!
Beginning with today’s newsletter, I will be sharing articles with parents addressing topics of interest. If you have any topics that you would like to see highlighted, please feel free to reach out to me. This week’s article is on “Parents as Primary Educators”. We often reiterate this phrase, but seldom follow-up with an explanation. The most important point is to “be involved” in every aspect of your child’s academic, social and faith life.
I hope you all had a restful Easter break. Our return marks the beginning of the “home stretch” toward the end of this momentous school year. I know I am repeating myself, but I am so proud of this SMA community for our strength, courage and cooperative spirit throughout the past several months.
With the success of the county’s vaccination program for educators and the progress our county has made in the battle against the spread of Covid-19, we are thankfully beginning to see some of our “normality” returning. We will begin to gradually and conservatively transition away from the plexiglass partitions on our student desks. We have accomplished this with our middle school classes. Additionally, we have placed individual student desks in our ELA, 6th, and 7th homerooms. These desks will allow for continued social distancing within the classrooms. We will continue to mandate temperature checks, hand sanitizing, facial coverings and social distancing for all students through the end of this school year. I will watch all public health requirements throughout the summer for mandates in the fall. Please rest assured that we remain vigilant in our safety protocols for our students and teachers. I am confident that we will finish this school year positive and strong because, with God…anything is possible.
Many thanks for your continued patience and support! Stay Strong Stella…we are almost there!
Well, we made it to yet another milestone…Easter break is upon us and “Thanks be to God” we are all still healthy and enjoying in-person learning! May we all enjoy some, much deserved, time off. Upon our return to school we will be in the home stretch. We are anxiously looking forward to May Crowning, First Eucharist and of course 8th grade Graduation. We have so much to celebrate and to be thankful for. Therefore, let us begin the celebration this Easter Sunday as we give thanks and praise to the risen Lord! I look forward to welcoming you back on April 12. Please notify the office if you will be traveling out-of-state and will need to quarantine before returning to school.
Easter Blessings from our SMA faculty and staff to all of your families!
As we prepare to enter into Holy Week and continue on to the celebration of Easter, we have some special opportunities planned for your children to reflect on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. On Wednesday, the 8th graders will re-enact the Stations of the Cross for our students. The students will be divided into two separate groups to allow for appropriate social distancing. On Holy Thursday (April 1) the same two groups will participate in a prayer service to reflect on the Last Supper of our Lord. I encourage you to have your children experience the beautiful Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper on Thursday evening.
As our Easter break quickly approaches, I would like to remind you that if you are traveling out-of-state there is still a requirement of a 7 -day quarantine upon your return. Please contact the office if you plan on traveling so that we may advise you on a return to school date. This guidance comes from the public health department. Therefore, we must continue to abide by it until further notice. Please note that a negative COVID test result will not eliminate the need for the 7-day quarantine. Many thanks for your patience and understanding. We must remain vigilant…we see the light at the end of the tunnel!
What a wonderful week, celebrating two very special saints…St. Patrick (today) and St. Joseph (Friday). The students enjoyed learning about the story of St. Patrick and of course the “wearing of the green” is always popular. We have set up a traditional St. Joseph’s table in the front office. I have invited teachers to bring their classes over so I can share the symbolism of the objects placed on the table. This is a special way to celebrate the Year of St. Joseph.
As we continue to work with, very fluid, class rosters for the upcoming school year, I would like to thank all of our current parents for your prompt response to our registration request this year. You have made the time-consuming enrollment and budget preparation process much easier for us by your cooperation and support. Yes….I’ll say it again…We are so blessed to be part to this amazing SMA family!