WARM DECEMBER GREETINGS,

Happy Advent…How easily the Advent season gets lost in the Christmas rush. Yet Advent is a special time of anticipation as we await the hope that is born on Christmas day. What better season than Advent to take time each day to prepare our hearts for the birth of our Savior. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” As we begin this holy season, our God challenges us to witness to His great love and open our hearts to those around us.

Christmas hymns and sentiments echo in our minds and hearts throughout the Christmas season, and Tidings of Comfort and Joy ring out in the hearts of our children for the world around them…It’s a joy that is exultant and a comfort felt with compassion. Comfort and Joy abound in the hearts and voices of our children…Comfort that is encouraging and Joy that is let go!                                                                                    

We are Beacons of Comfort, Beacons of Joy…

– gathering in Ms. Curran’s knitting club, where students in grade eight knit hats for the homeless

– being a part of a faculty who cooks meals for the Ecumenical Outreach Program every month

– providing a new pair of pajamas and a new bedtime book to children in need in our “Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive”

– collecting non-perishable food items for the parish cupboard to feed the hungry over the cold winter months

– making the homebound smile and caring about the elderly with cards and letters

– recognizing our responsibility as we guide and hold the hand of our “buddies”

– bringing in “pennies for presents”, earned after doing a good deed to buy toys for needy children

– sharing the love of God with our families and friends in daily prayer and worship during this holy season               

Tidings of Comfort and Joy abound in the hearts and voices of our children.

In keeping with the Christmas season, we are mindful of your spirit of sharing as you so generously help your children participate and learn what it is to give to others. We are so grateful.

On behalf of our entire faculty and staff, may you and your family have a very joyful, peaceful and blessed Christmas. Let us all make a wish on the Christmas star for peace on earth.

Peace, Sr. Patty            

December News Notes

Please check the ‘Calendar’ found on the homepage of our website for important dates and events.

DID YOU KNOW….

THOMAS SCHOOL COMMUNITY OUTREACH DAYS!We are very grateful to the St. Thomas School community for making our Community Outreach Days so successful!

In October, we dressed down for the West Springfield Lion’s Club Park of Heroes. We collected $400.00 dollars for this great organization that provides college scholarships to Veteran’s children and grandchildren who attend college in Hampden County.

In November, our dress down day was for the West Springfield Parish Cupboard. We were able to collect specific food items that the Parish Cupboard was in great need of. Thank you for your donations!

THOMAS SCHOOL HONORS VETERANS!-On Friday, November 8, we had the privilege to once again welcome veterans to our school ceremony honoring their service to our country. Veterans and their families were invited to the club room before the ceremony for coffee and donuts. Veterans then processed into the gym accompanied by St. Thomas School students where they were greeted by our student body singing the National Anthem. The invocation was given by Sr. Patty, after which each veteran was called by name and stood as their branch of service and years served was read. We were honored to have invited guests, Mayor Will Reichelt, State Representative, Michael Finn and State Senator, James Welch in attendance. Our ceremony ended with Fr. Jack Sheaffer giving a blessing. This is always a very moving ceremony and we are very proud to hold this event each year giving our students the opportunity to understand the sacrifice that each veteran has made for the love of their country.

THOMAS SCHOOL PARTICIPATES IN THE VETERAN’S DAY PARADE!-On Monday, November 11, St. Thomas faculty, staff, students and parents marched in the Veteran’s Day Parade! Many thanks to all who stepped out to honor our veterans! We hope to make this a yearly event, and to see many more families participate next year!

THOMAS SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE STOCK MARKET CHALLENGE!-On Thursday, November 14, our 7th and 8th grade students traveled to the Cedars banquet facility in Springfield to compete in the Stock Market Challenge. Each year our students are invited to compete in the high school division of this Junior Achievement sponsored event. Prior to the event, students learned about the stock market and how the news and world events affect the market. Placed on teams of 4 or 5, students research, discuss and make decisions to develop a portfolio that they hope will make gains on their initial investments. While competing against other teams at the event, students work with their team members making fast-paced buying and selling decisions regarding their stocks. After one hour of competition and when the final day of trading ends, a winner is declared based on the amount of stock portfolio profit. This year, our school’s 5 teams placed 5th overall in the school standings, with one of our teams placing 13th out of 59 teams competing. St. Thomas’ remaining teams placed 21st, 24th, 32nd and 35th. We are proud of all our 7th and 8th grade Stock Market investors!

CARDS AND LETTERS TO THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH!Students in grade six write to the Sisters of St. Joseph that reside in an assisted living home in Framingham, MA. Many of the sisters were teachers and love hearing about what is happening here at St. Thomas School, and what is going on in the lives of their young friends.

GRADE EIGHT KNITTING CLUB! Ms. Curran and her grade eight students gather on Fridays to knit warm hats for the needy. For many students it was their first time knitting and they caught on very quickly. Many enjoy knitting so much they take their projects home to work on!

STUDENT COUNCIL

The Student Council raised money through different events to purchase items to be included in gift bags that they put together for those who attended the Phil Coburn Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Thomas School in November. Student Council donates their time at ‘Operation Santa’, a program that is sponsored by the West Springfield Park & Recreation Department,  preparing toy and food gift packages for those in need.

December PTO EVENTS-

Friday, December 6 – Workshop for the PTO Children’s Christmas Bazaar – 5:30-7:30. Please enter at the club room doors. You don’t have to have any special crafting talent! Please consider coming with a friend or two to help make our Children’s Christmas Bazaar the best ever!

Thursday, December 12 – Children’s Christmas Bazaar Set Up at 4:00.  Please plan to come help us set up the gym for the Bazaar!

Friday, December 13BAZAAR DAY! Volunteers needed! You can stay all day or part of the day. If you volunteer to work you will be able to shop with your child when their classroom arrives in the gym.

NEEDED FOR THE BAZAAR – NEW, UNUSED RAFFLE ITEMS!

December 15-December 21 – 5 Below Fundraiser! This is a great opportunity to grab some stocking stuffers while benefitting the PTO! More information will be sent home soon!

WEATHER EMERGENCIES School closings or delays are determined by the West Springfield School Department. Parents are advised to listen to the local television or radio stations for this information. Please follow West Springfield Public Schools listing. Please note that you will receive a phone call from us as well, by way of our Connect-Ed System. In the event, that an emergency warrants an early school closing, children should be prepared with an emergency plan- a relative or neighbor’s house to go to if no one is at your home. It may be necessary to close the After School Program due to inclement weather. You must have a plan in place whereby students will know exactly what they are to do. A form will be sent home soon. Please be sure that you complete it and send back to school. Again, should this be necessary, the Connect-Ed System will be employed.

WINTER WEATHER IS HERE

Children must come to school dressed appropriately for the cold weather. Please be sure your child wears a winter coat, hat and gloves to school. The children will go outdoors for morning and lunch recess and also at the After School Program, weather permitting.

2020  SCHOOL REGISTRATION AND OPEN HOUSE DATES SET

Open House & Registration for families NEW to St. Thomas School will be held on  SUNDAY,  JANUARY 26, from 12:30 PM to 1:30 P.M.

Open House for families with children CURRENTLY attending St. Thomas School will also be held on SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, from 1:30 PM-2:30 P.M. More information will be sent home in January for families with children currently here. Families who wish to enroll siblings for the 2020 school year may register children at the Open House or you can  call the school office and registration information for your child new to St. Thomas School will be sent home after January 26 with your child currently attending.

The snow date for Open House for NEW FAMILES will be Sunday, February 2–12:30 PM-1:30 P.M. The snow date for Open House for CURRENT ST. THOMAS FAMILIES will be Sunday, February 2–1:30 P.M.-2:30 P.M.