My name is Lizz Strandberg and I am the Music Teacher at St. Mary’s School. I am also the chair of the welcoming committee! This committee is designed to help new families get accustomed to our school and all the little things that come along with it! My goal is to send out monthly newsletters via email to cover some different topics and to let you know what is happening here at school. I love it here and I hope you do too!
This is my 7th year teaching at St. Mary’s and I am also the parent of a 4th & 1st grader at St. Mary’s. Having school-age children is a busy time, I’m hoping these welcome-emails can help clear up any confusion or questions that can arise with starting at a new school. This first email will be longer than most to follow. I will start by covering a few general things about the school:
1. St. Mary’s School Website– stmarysschoolbirdisland.com This is a great resource! You can find a calendar of events, the lunch menu, teacher’s contact information (extensions, emails, etc…), the official school calendar, student handbooks, policies, etc. Some teachers also update their website page weekly to show what the students will be covering in class, assignments or class expectations. There are also tabs with links for Renweb, Virtus, FACTS, etc…I encourage parents to check it out and see what there is.
2. Renweb Renweb is an online tool that allows you to check your child’s progress. If your child is in grade 3 or higher, the grades for each class or subject is viewable online. This includes any assignments, attendance, class schedule, report card, teacher’s lessons (in some cases) and current grades that they have. You can also use Renweb to check the lunch menu and to see the balance in your child’s lunch account and after school account as well as adding money to it. You should have received a sheet explaining how to create a login for Renweb at the beginning of the year. Once created this will rollover from year to year. One of the main things I would like to point out is how to add money to your child’s lunch account. First, you will click on Family Information-then on Family Billing. Your lunch account will show-if you click on “Details” it will show exactly what your child has taken for lunch/milk. If you click on “Pay Now” you will have the option to add money to your family lunch account. The after school account operates in the same way.
3. Cash Calendars Cash Calendars are a fundraiser for St. Mary’s. It is one of the main fundraisers we do and it helps keep St. Mary’s tuition from Skyrocketing. The school asks each family to sell 8 cash calendars. You are responsible for selling these and should have received them at the Back to School Blast in August. If you are interested in selling extra calendars, please contact Karen in the office. For every extra calendar you sell, $20 will be credited to your child’s tuition payment plan. These are turned into the office by December 1st.
4. Marathon October is Marathon Month! Students and Staff will be having our Marathon kick-off during school on Friday, September 20th at 12:45pm. Once again this year’s theme is “An Attitude of Gratitude.” The marathon is St. Mary’s biggest fundraiser. Your child will come home with a pledge sheet. Basically, your child is encouraged to ask friends and family to pledge them for their school. Pledges can be any amount. Write the donation amount on the sheet along with the donor’s name. Students are encouraged to bring in the marathon money often-not to wait until the end of the pledging period. Sending it in an envelope marked marathon money with your child’s name on it is sufficient. The marathon date is set for Wednesday, October 16th in the afternoon. Each grade will be performing acts of service within the community. The family is welcome to join the students and staff. Please look for more information to follow. The students will be receiving t-shirts that they are encouraged to wear as the ask for pledges and on our marathon service date.
5. Virtus Virtus training is required if you would like to help chaperone any field trip or if you would like to become a room parent in the coming years. This is something that the Catholic Church requires. It consists of a 3-hour class. There should be times and dates listed in the church bulletin or call the church rectory to inquire about the dates and times of those training classes. After the initial 3-hour class, there is a yearly online renewal required. It takes about 10 minutes to complete your renewal.
If you have any questions feel free to email me at any time.