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“This is always such a fun week for the students. Remember to ask your child what they learned each day!”

Amanda Core, SMCS Catholic Schools Week Committee Parent Representative

Q&A with SMCS parent, Mandy Core

As we count the final days before we kick Catholic Schools Week off with a Chili Cook-Off bang, we sat down with CSW Planning Committee member and past PTO president, Amanda Core, to learn what parents should expect and how they can lend a hand.

What is Catholic Schools Week?

Since 1974, CSW is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It officially begins the last Sunday in January and runs for an entire week. The theme for 2021-2024 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.”

Students and teachers are creatively preparing by decorating their doors to reflect the week’s theme. Students will then vote on their favorite doors. Be on the lookout for sneak peeks at the door décor contest entries on school social media channels!

How is Saint Mary’s Celebrating? Can you give us day-by-day highlights?

Each day, the students will be celebrating a different part of our faith community.

  • Celebrating our Parish: Saturday, January 29 & Sunday, January 30
    • PTO Chili Cook-Off – Saturday at 6:30pm
    • Wear Your School Uniform to Mass – Saturday at 5:30pm; Sunday at 9am and 11am
    • Open House – Sunday after mass at 10:30am and 12:30pm
  • Celebrating our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers: Monday, January 31
    • Dress like a teacher TAG day – Students can dress like any faculty member – have fun with this!
    • Bible Jeopardy – Students will participate in rounds of Bible Jeopardy at the end of the school day.
    • Catholic Commonwealth Charities Donation Drive – Starting Monday and continuing all week. Boxes will be available for CCC collections in all homerooms.
  • Celebrating our Students & Parents, Tuesday, February 1
    • Blue and white treats for students provided by homeroom parents.
  • Celebrating our Nation and Families, Wednesday, February 2
    • K-G8 School Mass at 9 AM – Parents are welcome to attend. Students will be sitting with their Mass buddies. All students (including those in JK) will partake in the Blessing of the Throats following mass; a tradition of the Feast of St. Blaise.
    • PTO General Meeting, State of the School Presentation & Built on Faith Campaign Kick Off at 7pm.
  • Celebrating Vocations – Thursday, February 3
    • Students will spend time in class hearing from speakers, writing thank you notes to Church staff and creating spiritual bouquets for seminarians.
  • Celebrating our Community – Friday, February 4
    • Blue & White TAG Day – Students may wear blue and white to show their school spirit.
    • A Spirit Parade for all students will mark the end of our weeklong celebrations.

How can I help as a parent?

If you would like to lend a hand, please consider some the action items below. Your help is always appreciated!

  • Register or Volunteer for Saturday’s Chili Cook-Off
  • Attend Mass this weekend as a family and spread the word about Sunday’s Open House event for prospective families
  • Remember the TAG Days on Monday and Friday – they are FREE (TAG Day rules apply)
  • Contact your room parent if you would like to provide blue and white classroom treats on Tuesday
  • Send in craft supplies for Friday’s Spirit Parade
  • Send in donated items throughout the week for Commonwealth Catholic Charities

What might parents not know about CSW?

CSW events and activities are planned by PTO volunteers and our fabulous Saint Mary’s faculty. It’s going to be fun!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me regarding this week-long celebration, as I am acting as the parent contact for how all families can participate.

Any last thoughts to share?

I am so proud to be part of the Catholic Schools Community, especially Saint Mary’s!

Thank you once again to all the faculty and parent volunteers for organizing and supporting this annual effort. Special thanks to my fellow CSW Committee Members: Jeanne Slifka, Spring Lavallee, Mary Jordan, Peter Tlusty, Ellen O’Leary, Scott Schaefer and Taylor Mugford.