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Weekly Notices - September 8, 2011

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St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School

September 8, 2011

Mission Statement: St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School is a secure and loving community that nurtures and challenges children. We teach children to honor God, respect others and themselves, care for their world, and develop a lasting enthusiasm for discovering and learning. Theme of the Year: "God for -All - for God."

Virtue for September: Tolerance MONTHLY CALENDAR

Important Dates September 9*8:45 AM - Steckley Individual Portraits (All Grades) September 137:30 AM - Executive Board of Trustees Meeting - Mrs. Charlton's Office *8:30 AM - 1st & 2nd Grade Coffee - Carolina Cisneros Residence September 14*School Eucharist* - *4th & 5th grade must wear dress uniform September 15*8:30 AM 3rd & 4th Grade Coffee - Valls Residence September 16*8:30 AM - Homeroom Coordinator Meeting - ECW/ Bedell Room September 20*7:30 AM - Board of Trustees Meeting- Propeck Youth Center *8:30 AM - 5th Grade Coffee & Year in Preview McDowell Residence *Sally Foster Fundraiser

FOR A PRINTABLE COPY OF CALENDAR CLICK HERE.

Message from the Head Dear Parents, It is hard to believe that the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is upon us, isn't it. Not a soul in this country has forgotten, I am sure, where they were when it occurred.

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Ends September 21NOON DISMISSAL-Staff Development Day (Day Off Camp 12:00 PM 3:30 PM) September 22*8:30 AM - STEPS Executive Meeting - School Conference Room *6:00 PM - New Parent Cocktail -Green Residence September 23*1:00 PM - Student Council Speeches and Election Main Sanctuary

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I was attending a Parent's Association Meeting, at my former school in Coral Gables, listening to wonderful reports from chairs of committees that were being given with tremendous enthusiasm. Suddenly, a mother got up to take a phone call and came back to say that her husband had called from New York City to say that a plane had just "hit" a skyscraper and that he was far from the "accident." We quickly turned on the radios and moved the children to the Chapel where we immediately started to say familiar prayers and sing their favorite hymns, eventually closing with "Let There Be Peace on Earth." Adults were seen holding hands and holding back the tears. God's home was our refuge, as it always is. Although I did not lose any loved ones in this terrible tragedy, that day changed all of our lives forever and our feelings of security and disbelief that our America the Beautiful, had been invaded. The news and stories of the people at ground zero, the firefighters, the police, the regular men and women who risked their lives to help total strangers quickly spread. As American flags were eventually flown everywhere in spite of the rubble, dust and devastation, and we made a choice. That choice was and is to follow the example of the heroes and pitch in and help others, always doing the right thing. Here at St. Thomas, we proudly salute the flag daily and honor the men and women of our armed services who sacrifice so much to protect our freedom and try to establish peace throughout the world. We sing with joy, the" Star Spangled Banner" and after 9/11 more than ever, cherish the liberties afforded us to grow up in this wonderful country of ours. Monday, we will also sing" God Bless America" and "Let There Be Peace on Earth." May we always salute the flag and remember everyone whose lives were lost in 9/11 and thank God for our liberties. Crisis is resolved when we work together. These are the things that are learned in elementary school and yet, so hard for nations to practice and learn. God bless you and God bless America. OUR EXAMPLE IS OUR LEGACY. Our children are watching.

Kris DISCUSSING 9/11 WITH CHILDREN: THE 10TH Anniversary (Parents Magazine)

Parents will be wrestling with a number of ques ons about the best ways to discuss this landmark event with their children and here are some sugges ons to consider, excerpted from ar cle by Richard Rende), for your review. Of course, your discre on is completely yours and very personal.

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START THE CONVERSATION: It is a good idea to open up the lines of communica on sooner rather than later. It can be as simple as "You might be hearing about 9/11 on TV or at school (or on the computer.) Let me know if you want to talk about it, okay?" There is NO need to do more than that- the only goal here is to let a child know that they can (and should) come to you if they have ques2ons or just want to talk. It is best to take the lead on any sensi2ve topic, simply to let the child know that it's okay to talk about it. This is certainly true for children older than 6 years of age, and given the coverage 9/11 will receive, you may want to think about star2ng the conversa2on with even younger children. BE PREPARED FOR MANY SMALL CONVERSATIONS RATHER THAN ONE BIG ONE. You may get a ques on or a comment, spread out over several weeks or days. Be prepared for something "out of the blue" that is connected to something they may have heard or seen days ago. Follow their lead, one step at a me. LET CHILDREN DICTATE HOW MUCH INFORMATION THEY WANT. Using the principle of "less is more," you can be sure to keep the level of informa on where they want it. BE FACTUAL BUT SUPPORTIVE .We can't say something like this will never happen again, but we can say that it is very rare, happened a long me ago, and that people work hard all the me to keep us protected. Children worry about right now, not ten years from now, according to the experts. PAY ATTENTION T0 CHIDLREN'S EMOTIONS. Children differ in their personali es. Some might not get emo onal, whereas others might be reac ve and seem scared or upset. Keep in mind your child's personality and remember that a cri cal objec ve is to offer emo onal support and reassure them as best you can. Stop talking and start hugging, if your child gets upset. Remember that you are their safe haven. TIGHTLY MONITOR EXPOSURE TO MEDIA. Turn off the TV or computer if troubling material comes on and be there to discuss it. Media coverage is pitched to adults NOT children. KEEP LIFE NORMAL. Keeping as much as possible to rou nes and normal everyday life is a very good way to make your child feel secure and safe. IMPORTANT INFORMATION When dropping your child off in the morning, please pull all the way around the Circle to the stop sign. Bags should be close to your child in the car. Children

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must exit the car on the right-hand side. If you transport backpacks, lunchboxes, and/or laptop computers in the trunk, when you pull up at the Circle, you will need to turn your car off, get out, and retrieve the items. For the safety of the children and the faculty/staff, they may not move behind vehicles to take things out of the trunk. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation of this safety protocol. WE ARE DISAPPOINTED! Cameras on campus have revealed scraping of employee and parents' vehicles during these past weeks of school. We are horrified that those drivers did not notify the office or leave notes on the damaged cars. If we identify a car/person that has committed this action and s/he has not come to the office or left a note on the damaged car, we will report damage to the police and reveal the photo of the car. Please be mindful of where you park and be respectful to others. AROUND THE SCHOOL... REMINDER: There will be Website Portal and Smart Phone Training for Parents on Monday, September 12 and Monday September 19, in the Computer Lab at 8:15 a.m. SCHOOL DIRECTORY: A hard copy of the 2011-2012 School Directory will be distributed in about two weeks. The directory is currently available on our school webiste. BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS: If your child has a birthday in September, please contact Mrs. Arriola in the office to schedule a date for your child to be blessed. For children who were born in the months of June, July or August, we offer 1/2 birthday blessings during the months of January, February and March, respectively. Also, please visit Mrs. Jenks or Mrs. du Feu in the Brockway Media Center to purchase your birthday books.

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WONDERFUL WEDNESDAYS: Wonderful Wednesday happens every Wednesday in the courtyard entrance to Rantz Hall, where parents can come together for coffee, baked goodies and good conversation. Promote your STEPS event, show off your culinary talents, or just make some new friends. Please sign up for a shift on the Wonderful Wednesday board in the front office or by contacting Cherie Cole at ccolemiami@bellsouth.net. TICKETS, TICKETS, TICKETS: If you have any available tickets to events that you cannot use, please call or see Mrs. Charlton or Mrs. Lobo so that they can "raffle" them off to faculty and staff. Our employees enjoy getting out! LIBRARY NEWS... Poetry Contest Poetry is an important part of the curriculum at St. Thomas, and children in all grades read different styles of poetry in class and then write their own poems at different times throughout the year in different grade levels. Although National Poetry Month is in April, students are encouraged to submit poems for the contest as they are writing them in class. Last year, more than sixty students submitted original poems for the poetry contest. This year, we hope the box is even fuller. Here's what we are going to do to make sure that happens. On the first school day of every month, the Poetry Box will mysteriously turn up in a different place. The first person who discovers its location will receiv e a special prize-a beautiful bookmark to use as they read. All month, children may place poems in the Poetry Box for April's contest. The box will, of course, move again on the first of the next month to another surprise location! We encourage you all to enter poems throughout the year for the Poetry Contest-all kinds of poems! Make sure your poem is written nicely, edited, and published for an audience. You may ev en illustrate your poem. Make sure your name and grade appear somewhere on your paper. The size of your paper may not exceed 81/2 X 11 inches. Happy poetry writing!

FROM THE NURSE'S OFFICE

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NUT-FREE SCHOOL ALLERGY ALERT!!! To all Parents: Please note that there are students in the school who have severe nut allergies. We are taking all precautions for the children's safety and would ask that you not send any foods containing nut/peanut products. This includes: peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, peanut oils, pecan, almonds, pistachios, macadamia, etc. These children are severely allergic and exposure can be life threatening. Please read ingredients before bringing items for snack. M any food packages state "they are processed in a facility that processes peanuts." We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the school nurse. Thank you for you cooperation in this matter. Tahina Rocourt, LPN School Nurse

SALLY FOSTER

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MOBILE WEBSITE

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STEPS GREEN TEAM

A good green tip is worth repeating. How to pack a greener lunch: Sixty-six pounds (30 kilograms) of waste; that's how much disposable lunch waste the average student produces every single year! Packing your child's lunch bag full of disposable containers and plastic bags, singleserving foods like crackers and yogurts, disposable juice boxes, plastic forks and spoons, and paper napkins is not only a sure-fire way to trash the planet, it's also an extremely expensive habit. WasteFreeLunches.org estimates that a daily serving of disposables will cost you around $725 every year. By contrast, making the investment in reusables could sav e you at least $245 in the first year (and more for years after). So save yourself the money and reduce your child's food-related

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waste by choosing a durable reusable lunch box (same rules as those for buying a backpack); washable containers made of glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free and PVC-free plastic; conventional cutlery; reusable drink containers; and cloth napkins. Stocking your house with multiple reusable lunch box tools will help take the extra work out of this method of lunch preparation. Get all of the no-waste lunch ideas you could possibly imagine through WasteFreeLunches.org and the EPA's "Pack a Waste-Free Lunch" guide.

COMMUNICATION MATTERS

FOR A PRINTABLE COPY OF REGISTRATION FORM , CLICK ANYWHERE ON THE LETTER.

REMEMBRANCE SERVICE

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WELCOME BACK BASH

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St Thomas Episcopal Parish School | 5692 North Kendall Drive | Coral Gables | FL | 33156

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Weekly Notice, September 8, 2011