Dear St. Mary’s Families,
August 17 – Meet The Teacher
August 21 – First Day Of School
(Please visit the school calendar regularly for up to date information as times and dates may change.)
Summer Packet: Our Return to School (Summer Packets) will be updated by August 1, 2017. Please visit our website, Parent Tab.
Summer Reading: All summer reading lists have been updated for the 2017 – 2018 school year. Please visit our website, “Parent Tab”, “Summer Reading”.
I want to update you on a few changes for next year. Robin Rooks, Karen Barry, and Molly Stefany have decided to take a new path for their future. We are sorry to see them leave St. Mary’s and we wish them God’s blessings as they embark on new adventures.
Jennifer Southworth will be joining us as the Junior Kindergarten aid for Pat Harris. Kerry Loucks will leave third grade and assume the Kindergarten position; Vicky Oliver will make the move to third grade, and Rick Short has graciously offered to assume the responsibilities of Coordinator for the IB program. Our openings include: Part- time Science and French teachers in the Middle School, and a full-time technology teacher. These positions have been posted and we look forward to the interview process.
Thanks once again to all of you for your support and positive engagement this past school year. You have been a blessing and I hope that you have a safe and happy summer. Please encourage your kids to read and do some math this summer. It’s amazing what a few minutes of daily math practice and reading will do to help students retain what they have worked so hard to learn this year.
Lunch Program Survey Results:
Several weeks ago, we asked for your feedback on the lunch program at St Mary’s School. We were very pleased with the strong response. We heard from 146 families who took the time to complete the online survey and provide many comments and suggestions. Thank you for your participation and for your valuable feedback. Should you be interested in reviewing the results of our survey, Click Here. We have also posted the survey and additional results on our school website and it can be downloaded there as well.
The survey data suggested that nearly 55% of our families ordered lunch from the school at least once, or as often as 4 times per week. Families felt the selection of food and nutritional value was Good or Fair and strongly indicated an interest in improving our offerings in these areas. When presented with an option to expand the menu to include prepared sandwiches or a la carte items, nearly 80% indicated interest. As for pizza Friday, 83% indicated they want the program to continue. Finally, nearly 80% of our responders suggested the lunch cost should be somewhere between $3.50-4.50.
As you might imagine, the suggestions and feedback spanned a wide range. Many comments were repeated often: offer more vegetables, smaller portions, and greater selection. All of the comments have been reviewed and will continue to be factored into the improvement of our lunch program. The greatest challenge in administering a program to an enrollment of our size, is providing it at an affordable cost with strong nutritional value, while recognizing the need to manage spoilage and waste. It should be noted, the school lunch program has consistently run at a deficit over the last several years and we are hopeful that better food management and increased participation will assist in breaking even.
We see and hear repeatedly that our lunch program is of value to our students and families. Many of our peers in the Diocese have opted to outsource their program to a third-party vendor or a food service management firm. Overwhelmingly, our responders commented on how much they like Chef Gene and the fact that we offer the lunch program. Listening to your feedback and comments from the survey and from informal conversations over the years, we are focused on improving our program and continuing to deliver a quality lunch program as affordably as possible.
The following are several improvements to our program for 2017-2018:
* We will be forming an advisory committee of restauranteurs, food service specialists, and nutritional experts from within our community to help us improve and refine the program over the next year few years.
* We will attempt to offer a more diverse and healthier selection of menu items and to reduce our portion size.
* We will be adding a la carte items and prepared sandwich options to our weekly menu by introducing a “box lunch” concept that will include a choice of several sandwiches, chips/veggie, and fruit.
* We will be looking to improve our milk program and reduce spoilage by offering milk to students in grades K-5 only and not to the middle school.
Our last objective requires participation from all families, our staff, and volunteers. The amount of waste from our current lunch program is staggering. While we have compressed schedules and lunch can be hectic, the volume of uneaten food is extremely high and needs to be addressed. We ask parents to reinforce the value of the lunch program and the need for children to eat the lunch they bring or buy daily. In an effort to engage our parents and improve this process, we will track the refuse we produce and send home periodic reports and reminders. We want and we need your help in communicating this to your students.
Again, thank you to our families for your participation and feedback in our cafeteria survey. Look for further information in the coming weeks as we finalize our new offerings. This is not meant to be a quick fix, but will be an ongoing assessment over the next year or more. With the help of our families and our advisory committee, we believe we can offer a high-quality, nutritious, and cost competitive lunch program at St. Mary’s.
June 5 – Saint Mary’s Catholic School Summer Camps June 5 – 9th.
June 26 – Saint Mary’s Catholic School Summer Camps June 26th – 30th.
July 10 – Saint Cecilia Band Camp July 10 – 14th.
October 2017 – Golf Outing, More Information will be coming
* SMCC Church Events