January 20, 2022
Dear STM Families,
This week has been a challenging one for so many of us in the STM community. Amid the divisiveness and strife, though, students continue to come to school, teachers are guiding their students to new learning in incredible ways, and our reliance on the Holy Spirit within the walls of our school has been evident.
The STM School Advisory Board met last night on Zoom to address our current situation. While the members were passionate in their feelings about the topics discussed, we were able to have civil discourse and come together in working towards an agreeable resolution.
To begin the meeting, I shared several data points:
From there, we moved to a conversation of where we go from here. I presented six suggestions that had been made:
The SAB chose unanimously to throw out options #1 and #4. The decision was made to concentrate on the data points to build protocols utilizing #2, #3, #5, and/or #6. The two data points discussed for determining our status would be the percentage of COVID-positive students and the percentage of teacher absenteeism during a given time period.
Before next Tuesday, when the SAB will meet again, members will collect data from schools in our area, Catholic and public, that have either maintained mask-optional policies or who have waffled between the two options based on data. Discussion will continue on this topic along with other protocols that would be necessary–such as determining the masking policy upon return if the school would close, looking at grade levels or areas of the building that would shut down OR the whole school, determining ratio of teachers at a grade level in 4th-8th grade (where students change classes) before sending home a section of students.
Please know that this work is not taken lightly by any member of the SAB, including Fr. Justin, Mrs. Blair, and me.
It is only right that you have your own ideas and opinions about all of this and the bigger picture. What I am asking is that you remember to be kind in your words and actions as your children are learning from all that you do and say.
St. Thomas More, pray for us.
Peace and Blessings,
Linda Crosthwait, STM Principal
STM UPCOMING EVENTS:
TOMORROW, Friday, Jan. 21
STM Red Friday Spirit Wear Day to cheer on the KC Chiefs!
TOMORROW, Friday, Jan. 21 (and every Friday afternoon)
Join parents to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m. in the narthex
Monday, Jan. 17
No School–Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Sunday, Jan. 30
Open House from after 9 a.m. Mass-1 p.m. to kick-off Catholic Schools’ Week
Jan. 30-Feb. 5
Catholic Schools’ Week (see details below and on attached flier)
Friday, Feb. 4
No School–Student Learning Conferences
Saturday, Feb. 5
STM Auction–”Gin & Jazz”
Friday, March 11
NOTE: CHANGE TO STM CALENDAR–No School; Diocesan Professional Development Day for teachers
STM RED FRIDAY TOMORROW!
TOMORROW is Red Friday at STM to support our Kansas City Chiefs in the playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at home on Sunday afternoon. Students may wear jeans, spirit wear bottoms, or uniform bottoms with KC Chiefs or STM Spirit Wear.
Let’s show our KC Chiefs Spirit and support them on our journey back to Super Bowl LVI!
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS’ WEEK JAN. 30-FEB. 4:
The countdown is on for one of the most exciting and fun weeks of the school year at STM–Catholic Schools’ Week! We have a lot of amazing activities planned to celebrate our blessed opportunities as a Catholic school community.
Please see all of the details in the attached flier and check out a short summary below:
Sunday, Jan. 30–STM Community Mass at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 am. Followed by Open House until 1:00 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 31–Celebrate Community & Family Day
Tuesday, Feb. 1–Celebrate Students Day
Wednesday, Feb. 2–Celebrate Vocations Day
Thursday, Feb. 3–Celebrate Teachers & Staff Day
Friday, Feb. 4–NO SCHOOL; Teacher-requested Parent-Teacher Conferences
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS TODAY FOR ‘GIN & JAZZ’--STM AUCTION, 2022
Mark your calendars and reserve your tickets today for the STM Auction, 2022–”Gin & Jazz” event on Saturday, February 5.
Read all of the details on the attachment below. See you there!
BRICKS 4 KIDZ AFTER-SCHOOL STEM ACTIVITY for GRADES K-5:
Bricks 4 Kidz® enrichment classes are designed to be educational and FUN! We teach children principles of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) utilizing motorized LEGO® models.
Every lesson is unique and designed to engage a child's mind. Class size is limited. Students will receive a mini-fig with enrollment. Grades K-5
NEW Models Every Session!
St. Thomas More Elementary LEGO® Club
Wednesdays after school from 3:25 - 4:25pm
Dates: Feb.2,9,16,23 March 2,9
Enroll Now: www.bricks4kidz.com/kcnorth
SEE ALL THE DETAILS IN THE ATTACHED FLYER.
PAROCHIAL LEAGUE BASKETBALL GAMES ADMISSION PRICE:
The "Family Rate" of $5.00 for admittance to STM basketball games applies to dad, mom, and kids. Any other relatives who attend should pay $5 for each individual ‘family.’ Grandma & Grandpa = $5. Aunt & Uncle = $5.
Remember, these dollars help to finance the upkeep and improvement of our gym and school. Thanks for supporting STM!
TRASH BAG SALE:
STM Cub Scout pack 601 is holding their annual trash bag sale right now. Sales from this fundraiser help keep the cost of membership down as well as helping to cover cost of summer camps. Please seek out a Cub Scout member in grades 1-4 to purchase rolls. If you are not sure you can also email Mike Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org to place you order. Trash bags are $12 per roll and come in the following sizes:
Blue - 55 gallon, 16 bags: biggest bag, great for those big jobs
Yellow - 39 gallon, 25 bags: most popular bag, great for all families
White - 15 gallon, 65 bags: a smaller size, ideal for the kitchen
Sale ends 1/18. Thanks for your support.
STM COVID DASHBOARD: Week ending 1/6/22 Week ending 1/13/22 Week ending 1/20/22
Students in quarantine 11 4 8
Staff members in quarantine 0 0 1
Students in isolation 9 7 11
Staff members in isolation 2 1 4
Percentage of attendance 90% 91% 90%
Total # of Student COVID cases this school year: 33 on Dec. 16; 69 on Jan. 20
Total # of Staff cases this school year: 2 on Dec. 16: 8 on Jan. 20
Total # of Students in Quarantine this school year: 64 on Dec. 16; 88 on Jan. 20
Total # of Staff in Quarantine 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:
LITURGICAL LIVING CALENDAR:
Liturgical living is a beautiful way for individuals and families to learn about the traditions, saints, and rituals of our faith. This leads to a deeper comprehension and connection to our faith. Pick a few things each month to try and start to see the connection of the Catholic Faith to life outside of mass on Sunday! Give it a try!
Here is the link:
A Prayer for Healing Divisiveness in our Community:
Oh Lord, as we work together to build your empire, let us be the light that leads the world to you.
God, teach us to be good role models to the people around us, so that when they see you and your love within us, they would want to know you more and more.
God grant us the patience to work together, bring us all together as a family.
Let us work together with understanding and compassion in our hearts. Let us not be rude or arrogant towards one another, as we light the way to your heavenly kingdom.
This is a weekly letter that Linda Crosthwait, Principal of STM puts out for school families.