October 7, 2021
OCTOBER IS NATIONAL BULLY PREVENTION MONTH
A Guide for Parents & Students
At St. Thomas More School
It Is Our Responsibility to Stop Bullying:
Respect is a basic right
The dignity of human life is at the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops confirms “that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.”
As Catholics, we are called to respect life and the dignity of the person. In the words of Saint John Paul II, “Life, especially human life, belongs to God; whoever attacks human life attacks God’s very self” (Evangelium vitae). Bullying is an attack on an individual and disrespects life. It damages the person and can lead to devastating consequences.
What is bullying? What is harassment?
StopBullying.gov defines bullying as unwanted, aggressive behavior that also involves a power imbalance between individuals, and happens more than once. Types of bullying may include physical bullying, verbal bullying, social bullying, and cyber-bullying.
Harassment includes the elements of bullying with the additional component of relating to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or other identifying characteristics. Harassment needs only to occur once.
Both bullying and harassment cause a disruption to the victim’s life and can cause fear of harm. Additionally, bullying or harassment can cause children to avoid school, damages self-esteem, causes social and emotional problems, including greater incidences of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Research also indicates there are lasting effects on the mental health of students who bully which may include substance abuse and domestic violence.
What can be done?
The St. Thomas More School handbook, as well as individual teachers, set certain expectations with regard to student behavior. Teachers are vigilant and monitor student interactions throughout the day. However, statistics show that bullying behavior most often occurs during class transitions, in the hallway, cafeteria, and at recess where supervision is less direct. Nonetheless, school personnel will never tolerate any bullying on Diocesan school grounds or at any school-sponsored activity, whether it be on or off school grounds.
Strategies for Students
Strategies for Parents
Parents play a key role in the prevention and reduction in the incidence of bullying. Recognize the warning signs, behavioral and emotional changes, that may indicate that your child might be being bullied, is bullying, or is witnessing bullying.
Learn what bullying is and what it is not. Horseplay among peers and conflict among friends is not bullying.
Closely monitor your child’s use of technology, especially social media.
If your child has been bullied:
● Let your child know that he/she is not at fault and did nothing to deserve this behavior.
● Teach your child self-advocacy skills & to be firm in response to bullying.
● Help your child to develop and/or strengthen friendships and interests which are positive and healthy and they enjoy and find success in.
● Encourage peaceful resolutions.
● Work closely with the school to address the problem. Understand the school’s policy on bullying and how they address bullying issues.
At St. Thomas More School . . .
Students have the right to attend school and learn, unbothered by others. STM takes all reports of harassment and/or bullying seriously. Please report all cases of bullying. Problems cannot be addressed if they are not identified. Your privacy will be fully respected in this process.
TOMORROW, Friday, Oct. 8
Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet with STM parents at 2:55 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 13
1st Grade Field Trip to the Kansas City Zoo
Friday, Oct. 15
NO SCHOOL--Teacher Professional Development Day
Saturday, Oct. 16
Fall Fling--An Outdoor Market from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 18
Picture Re-take Day; Students who need to take or re-take photos have a Dress-Up Day
Wednesday, Oct. 20
School Advisory Board Meeting
Thursday, Oct. 21
DATE CHANGE FOR 7TH GRADE
7th & 8th Grade Field Trip to Auschwitz Exhibit at Union Station; 7th Grade at 9 a.m. & 8th Grade at 11 a.m.
Monday-Friday, Oct. 18-22
FIRE WEEK; see attachment & details below
Wednesday, Oct. 27
Trunk or Treat
Thursday & Friday, Oct. 28 & 29
Parent-Teacher Conferences (see info below)
½ day for students on Oct. 28
NO SCHOOL for students on Oct. 29
Monday, Nov. 1
NO SCHOOL--Teacher PD Day
Saturday, Nov. 13
BMA Mouse Races
Thursday, Nov. 18
2nd Grade--First Reconciliation
Saturday, Nov. 20
NOTE: DATE CHANGE
Booster Club Pickleball Tournament at Blue Hills Country Club
PLEASE HELP YOUR CHILD BE ON TIME FOR SCHOOL:
School starts at 7:50 a.m. with students in their seats and ready to learn.
From the STM 2021-22 Student Handbook:
“In the case of an appointment or unexpected emergency, parents are asked to call or send a written excuse with the student stating the reason for the tardiness.
o Parents will receive notification of excessive morning or in-school tardiness.
o Excessive morning tardiness will result in disciplinary action. After six tardies in a quarter, the parents will be called by the principal to discuss the situation. Nine or more morning tardies will result in additional measures as determined by the administration.
o All occasions of morning tardiness will be reflected on the report card as part of the student’s permanent record.
o Grades 6th-8th: Students who are late to any class during the school day will be considered tardy. Students who must leave the classroom for forgotten materials will also be considered tardy.”
If your child will not be at school, please email the Absent@stmcyclones.org or Health@stmcyclones.org to report an absence before 8 a.m. It is important for the office and teachers to know from the very beginning of the school day if a student will not be in attendance.
iMPORTANT INFO ABOUT PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES:
Mark your calendars now for our Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences on the afternoon & evening of Thursday, Oct. 28 and the morning of Friday, Oct. 29.
You will be able to get on your child’s homeroom teacher’s Sycamore page to make an appointment from Thursday, Oct. 14- Tuesday, Oct. 26
- Thurs., Oct. 28th: 1:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
- Fri., Oct. 29th: 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
- Sign up through Sycamore from Thurs., Oct. 14th - Tues., Oct. 26th
- 15-minute conference time slots
- You will ONLY be given the option to sign up with the homeroom teacher
- You can request conferences with other teachers by emailing those teachers directly; the teacher can add the parent into their schedule on Sycamore; teachers can always request conferences with students outside of their homeroom
- You will be directed to email the teacher if you would like the conference to be on Zoom; the teacher will reply with the Zoom link information
Changes to Your Conference Time?:
- You will only have access to sign up for conferences through Sycamore once; if you need to change the time, you will need to email Colleen or the teacher to have it switched.
FRIDAY PRAYER OPPORTUNITY:
Each Friday at 2:55 pm you are invited to join other parents (and little people) to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. There are no required supplies (though a rosary is helpful) and if you have never prayed it, or aren’t sure how to pray it, handouts and guidance will be provided. What a great way to unite our sufferings and remind us of God’s love and mercy as we enter the weekend! Remember that meeting your child(ren) in the church or in front of the church is not allowed to keep traffic flowing smoothly and so that others in prayer are not disturbed. We hope you can join us by praying together on Fridays @ 2:55!
DRESS CODE--BELTS REQUIRED BY NEXT MONDAY:
If your child is wearing slacks or shorts with belt loops at STM, he or she should wear a belt. I have advised the students that they should ask you to get a belt by Monday, Oct. 11 when we will begin checking for appropriate belting practices and notifying parents of any issues.
Students are not allowed to wear clothing that is not part of the STM uniform. This includes sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets. Winter coats are the exception. Non-STM uniform sweaters, sweatshirts, or jackets should be removed at the beginning of the school day and kept on coat hooks or in lockers.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR 8TH GRADE PARENTS:
The following immunizations are received between ages 11 and 13 years and are required for all 8th grade students. Please check with your health provider for an updated immunization record.
If your child has had any updates please send a copy or fax to school no later than October 13th, 2021. (Fax: 816-941-2450)
DON’T MISS OUT! GATHERING PARTY INFO:
Gathering parties are a way for our school to raise money or receive auction items for the annual STM Auction on Feb. 5. This year's parties that are already booked are listed below. Invites will be sent home in backpacks closer to your child’s grade level event.
10/9 - Preschool & Kindergarten
10/30 - 5th, 6th & 7th
STM GREEN TEAM TRASH PICK-UP:Saturday, October 23, 9am-Noon
The STM Green Team is planning another service project to pick up trash along Blue River Road. We will meet in the parking lot of Children International, located at the northwest corner of Red Bridge and Blue River Roads. The team has made arrangements with the city to pick up the trash collected. Young and old, singles and families are all encouraged to participate in this project. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. This is a great opportunity for students to get service hours! It is recommended that all participants wear long sleeves, jeans, gloves, and protective footwear. Plastic bags will be provided. Please pray for good weather! For more information or to register for this event, contact David Butel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-942- 2492 x210 by Wednesday, October 20.
STM COVID DASHBOARD:
Week ending 9/23/21
Week ending 9/30/21
Week ending 10/7/21
Students in quarantine
Staff members in quarantine
Students in isolation
Staff members in isolation
Percentage of attendance
Total # of Student COVID cases this school year: 15
Total # of Staff cases this school year: 1
If your child has tested positive for COVID, and STM was not notified, please email Health@stmcyclones.org with the date of the positive test.
We appreciate you partnering with us on school days to verify that every child is fever-free and not experiencing:
FIRE RAFFLE TICKETS DUE ON OCT. 20:
We are excited to participate in the Annual FIREBall Cup raffle contest, a fundraising effort and friendly competition among schools in our diocese to benefit the FIRE Foundation, students with special needs, and support inclusive education. Each school family will receive 5 tickets to sell. The winning school will be announced on October 21st and will receive a special surprise!
Monday 10/18 - Multi color Monday! Wear you favorite color shirt to school to celebrate everyone’s differences (Mis-matched socks, silly shirt) $5 donation is suggested
Tuesday 10/19 - Please use the QR code or link to buy a raffle ticket. They are $10 for a chance to win $2500. http://weblink.donorperfect.com/fireballraffle2021
Wednesday 10/20 -Recess Snack Day. If you would like to donate store bought goods/ snacks please be sure they are individually wrapped and do not include nuts. (Drop off between 10/13 through the morning of 10/20 ) Due to COVID we will not be able to accept homemade goods this year. Students may purchase the snacks during recess for $1 each. Here is the link to a Sign Up Genius for donated snacks: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0F4FA8AB2EA7F58-fire1
Thursday 10/21- All classes will watch grade appropriate videos educating about special needs and being kind to everyone.
Friday 10/22 -90’s decade day! This year we celebrate 25 years of FIRE - wear your 90’s outfit to celebrate the decade FIRE began. Make it fun! But please be sure its school-appropriate. $5 donation is suggested
EARN CASH FOR STM!
We’re excited to share that our school is part of the Coca-Cola Give program. This opens up St. Thomas More to new funding opportunities to help improve learning environments for students. The best part? Donations don’t come out of your own pocket. When you make Coca-Cola purchases, you simply enter the product codes here: coke.com/give/schools (make sure to search for St Thomas More using Zip Code 64131) and our school receives a donation. Help STM make the most of this program and learn more at Coke.com/give.
You may also drop off Bottle Caps or Codes from the inside of Coke product cases at the school office for entry.
WOO-HOO! BONUS FOOTBALL RAFFLE DRAWING AT END OF SEASON!
Today we reached the milestone of 3,800 tickets sold! This means we will pay one person who sold a ticket $250 at the end of the year. A second milestone IS NOT POSSIBLE until all unsold tickets are returned. PLEASE send those unsold tickets back to the school office.
Following is a prayer that can be prayed for those who, for whatever reason, do not choose kind words or actions towards others. Let us pray for them together so we can ask God to impact their hearts to reflect His love:
(Based on 1 John 2:9)
God of Love,
Your word declares that anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.
I pray for those who are in the darkness right now, for those who choose to hate over love and choose intimidation over respect.
I pray for bullies right now, please touch their hearts.
Lord, please let Your light shine upon them and eradicate the darkness that surrounds them.
Peace and Blessings,
Linda Crosthwait, STM Principal
This is a weekly letter that Linda Crosthwait, Principal of STM puts out for school families.