Dear Saint Mary School Families,
I am grateful for the opportunity to present to you the Saint Mary School Annual Update. The 2022-2023 school year is off to a great start. For the first time in a couple of years, we can comfortably say that the pandemic is mostly behind us, and we can return to pre-pandemic practices and community events. Over the past few years when the world turned upside down, Saint Mary School stayed the course and provided our students with a rigorous academic experience rooted in our faith.
Strong schools are built around excellence in staff and excellence in teaching. Saint Mary School has consistently had a high teacher retention rate. Consistency in staffing is critical in building a positive school culture and allows students, teachers, and families to build the relationships that are so important to student success. Though we did have new teachers to our building this year, several joined us from other diocesan schools and are intimately familiar with the mission and culture of the Catholic school community. Our teachers participate in weekly team meetings and bring a culture of collaboration to our school that permeates all we do. Our teachers offer weekly office hours to students who may need extra support and many of our teachers and staff are involved in after-school activities here at SMS.
Enrollment at Saint Mary School is at its highest since 2013 with 266 Preschool-Grade 8 students. Our students hail from 22 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our graduates excel at area high schools and when our students leave SMS, they are ready for the next step in their educational journey and leave here known, prepared, and loved. Our students have opportunities from a very young age for public speaking as well as problem-solving and hands-on learning. Our World Language Expo, STEM Fair, Heritage Night and Capstone Projects are the culmination of those skills at the middle school level and prepare our students for public speaking in their secondary experience. Our students enjoy a variety of extracurricular activities as well. We have organized cross-country, basketball, and track teams. Our extracurricular activities are offered to students from preschool through eighth grade and span from fine arts such as First Friday Singers, Art Club and Calligraphy to Slime Apalooza, volleyball and more. This year we are also adding a Theater Week to our extracurricular activities offering. We draw on the gifts and talents that our teachers and staff bring to us to provide our students with a wonderful variety of extracurricular activities.
Saint Mary School is thriving. I often hear from visitors that they feel a positive energy just entering the building. I am grateful for the support of Monsignor Royal, Father Lomnitzer, and Father Raj who guide us in our faith journey, for our Home School Association, our School Advisory Board and for all of the families who have entrusted their precious children to us. We recognize the uniqueness of each child as a child of God, and we will do our best to nurture, guide, teach and love them each and every day so that they can let their light shine here at school and out in the world.