Parent Letters

November 26, 2018 - December Parent Letter

Dear Parents,

Parent input is critical in the AdvancED process. All parents are asked to go to the link below and complete the parent survey. All surveys must be completed no later than December 14th. The survey allows parents to share vital information about OLV School in a confidential manner. The survey will be available to you on Monday, November 26, 2018 and will remain open into December. To access the survey, please go to:

https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/84135/p33469

Thank you parents for coming to our Christmas bazaar and supporting the HSA efforts! The day was a lot of fun for both parents and children! Last month, the students collected nearly 500 food items for the poor. This act of service reminds all of us what it means to be a Christian and the importance of serving others. Thank you to all!

We are now entering the season of Advent! This is a special time when we prepare our hearts for the birth of our Lord! OLV School will begin the season by having a school-wide Advent prayer service in church after the 8:15 mass on Tuesday, December 4th by the 8th grade students. All are welcome to attend this service. On Friday, students will receive an Advent calendar which I recommend you read daily with your child. This will allow you to have daily discussions on ways to prepare for the coming of the birth of Jesus. You can sign up for daily Advent Gospel Reflections to help prepare yourself by going to https://adventreflections.com/ It only takes a moment each day!

There are many Christmas activities planned for this month! Here are just a few: the HSA is holding a “Breakfast with Santa” on December 2nd after the 9:00 mass. Please come out for the fun of seeing Santa in person and eat delicious pancakes! HSA is also hosting our “The Penguin Holiday Shop” on December 3rd and 6th. This is a great way for children to purchase small gifts for their family members. Please make sure your child is ready for these special days. Your child’s teacher will give you the dates/times. The OLV Penny Wars begin! See OLV Website for details!

Our talented music teacher, Mrs. Lucas, has been very busy preparing the students for the upcoming OLV Christmas Concert – December 14th at 7:00 pm. The children have been practicing their Christmas songs! I’m very excited about seeing them perform the songs! Students will participate in the “Wreaths Across America” will take place on Saturday, December 15th. I believe this type of act of service will have a major impact on our students and their family.

December 7th is an early dismissal day with NO AFTERCARE because it’s the OLV faculty and staff Christmas Party. In case you were wondering, student dress down days allows OLV School to give money to the Catholic missions and the Tag Days are ways for the student government to raise money for their activities. We appreciate your support and understanding.

May you feel God’s love this Advent season and always!

Have a wonderful and restful Christmas break!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal


November 12, 2018

Dear Parents,

I am sending this letter home because I need to inform you that our secretary, Mrs. Bernadette Connors, will be out longer than expected. She will be out till sometime after the Christmas Break. It appears that she needs an extended length of time for her ankle to heal properly. During this time, please keep Mrs. Connors in your daily prayers.

We are blessed to have Mrs. Jackie Bagwell as our temporary office secretary during Mrs. Connors’ absence. Mrs. Bagwell was the school secretary at Sacred Heart School and is knowledgeable with all of the communication systems that our school uses: PowerSchool, Honeywell, etc. You will communicate with her the same as you did with Mrs. Connors by using the same email address bconnors@olvnj.con

As I told you in the previous principal letter, we are beginning the AdvancED process and a series of surveys must be completed by our parents, students and teachers in a short window of time. As soon, I get the proper links for the surveys, I will forward them to you so that you can fill it out. It is critical that we get parents to complete the survey.

Next week, all lunch orders must be completed and handed in by Wednesday, November 21st because of Thanksgiving. Please remind yourself that there is no after care next week on Wednesday, November 21st which happens to be a half day dismissal.

This past Sunday OLV students presented the parish with the “Wreaths Across America” program that our OLV Dynamic Kids are working on. Wreaths that are purchased will be placed on veterans’ graves on December 15th. Please refer to the letter that is being sent home today. This information is also posted on our OLV School website for further information.

Thank you to our HSA Team for doing a fantastic job with our Christmas Bazaar and thank you to all of the parents who came out and made this day a huge success! We are most grateful for your support!

By now, you should have signed up for a time for your parent/teacher conference which takes place on Thursday, November 15th. It’s a great time to find out how your child is doing, teacher expectations and learn more about our curriculum.

Finally, December 2nd is the Breakfast with Santa after the 9:00 mass, which also begins our Advent journey. A letter is going home today with all of the details. I want to take this time to thank you for unwavering support and wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving! Here’s a parent prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com.

Thanksgiving Prayer for Children

(a prayer for parents)

Thank you for our children.

Bless them with your love and peace,

Protect them with your truth and strength,

Engage them with your hope and vision.

Thank you for our children.

Amen.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts principal










October 25, 2018 November parent letter

Dear Parents,

Well, here we are quickly approaching November and it’s time to get our homes ready for the fall/winter weather, making Thanksgiving Day plans, and getting our flu shots, etc. I love this time of year when the school is bustling! All of the students and teachers are involved in creative lessons. It’s wonderful to see them using the Maker Space. Thank you again for your help!

Also, I need to report that the emails are back to normal. Please keep Mrs. Bernadette Connors, school secretary, in your prayers as she recovers from a broken ankle. We hope and pray that she will return to us mid-November. We miss her lovely smile and quick wit! Mrs. Colleen Ach will be in her place until she returns.

Beginning November 1st, all students should be in their fall/winter uniforms. If you know your child gets cold easily, he/she should wear the OLV School sweater. Students will not be allowed to wear their own hoodies during class time.

You may not know that November 1st is also known as All Hallows’ Day Hallowmas, Feast of the Saints or Solemnity of All Saints. One way to honor this day is to pray for the deceased. Students will attend mass at 8:15 and later that morning, our 8th grade students will visit all the classrooms dressed in saint costumes. This event has been a long standing tradition that everyone looks forward to each year.

On Friday, November 2nd, the 5th graders will lead our monthly Student Assembly and it will open with a JDRF special presentation talking about Juvenile Diabetes beginning at 10:00 in Msgr. Dalton Hall. Since it will be a special Tag Day, students are encouraged to wear blue in honor of Juvenile Diabetes and donate a dollar. All are welcome to attend!

Everyone is also looking forward to the Annual OLV Veteran’s Day Celebration, led by Mrs. Joanne Hockenjos and the 8th grade students, which will be held on November 7th. All students must bring their own lunch to school that day because the cafeteria is being occupied by the veterans - it is a brown bag day for all students (the lunch calendar was revised… see website). All parents are welcome to attend the celebration beginning at 12:15. After the celebration all students go back to his/her classroom. If you want to take your child home early that day you must come to the office and sign your child out after the ceremony. Don’t forget we have Brown Bag Days on Nov. 7th, 8th and 9th because of all of the festivities.

Buddy Day is scheduled for November 8th for children who do not attend OLV. This day is a great way to recruit our school to your friends’ children in grades K – 6. If they have any interest in learning more about our school, and their child can be in our school for a day, they just need to fill out the form on the website and hand it to the office. We also have an open house planned on November 30th for new families.

Mark your calendars and come out to the OLV Christmas Bazaar on November 10th! There will be lots of vendors, fun activities for your children and delicious food! It’s a great way to officially begin your Christmas shopping! The HSA worked very hard to make this day one of the biggest fundraiser events for our school. We appreciate all of their dedication and your support!

Parent conferences are held on November 15th from 2:00 – 7:00 by appointment. Your child’s teacher will contact you to set up an appointment time. This is a very important time for you to talk with your child’s teacher about the progress your son or daughter is making in school. It is also a wonderful time to learn more about the curriculum, teacher expectations and upcoming projects, etc.

All of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Metuchen are beginning the AdvancED reaccreditation process. Sometime this month, I will send you a link to complete a parent survey. More information will be given to you as we move forward.

Please be aware that Mrs. Namrata Singh, art teacher, will be out for the month of November because of plans she made before attaining the position. We wish her safe travels as she visits her family in India. Therefore, there will be no yearbook meetings for this month. No need to worry! The missing yearbook meetings will be made up. Ms. Jamie Wojcik will be the art substitute teacher during her absence.

If I don’t see you, I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends!

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal









October 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

Finally, we are getting some autumn cool mornings! We are beginning the month wtih lots of excitement! On October 1st and 5th, the 7th and 8th grades students will have several Catholic High Schools come to OLV to highlight their programs. The local Fire Department is coming to visit our primary grade students on October 2nd which should be a lot of fun! The Student Government Installation mass will take place on Friday, Oct. 12th at 8:15 and all parents welcome to attend! Mission Rosary beads will be made by our 3rd and 4th grade students led by our senior citizens which we are very thankful to them for sharing their expertise!

This month we will begin the monthly student led assemblies. The 8th graders will lead our first assembly on October 12th which will feature the first of the Beatitudes series! I am looking forward to seeing the 8th grade students’ creativity and I am sure their assembly will be great! Student of the Month award will also be given out to the students during the assembly which emphasizes our Spiritual theme, “Love One Another as I Have Loved You”.

The STOPiT has been launched and students downloaded the app onto their devices. I will keep you informed as this program moves forward. The Diocese of Metuchen School’s Office is sending a photographer to the school next week to take pictures of the students for printed materials and advertising which will help us brand our school.

Parents are asking about Halloween costumes. We will do the same as last year; all students are invited to wear a costume that represents either the class saint or a character from the bible (no Satan’s costumes) and the 8th graders will continue the tradition of walking down the hallways for the Saint Parade! Your child’s teacher will give you additional information.

October 25th is a student dress down. All monies collected will be held to help the poor and needy and on occasion help with special treats for both students and teachers.

The family dinner was a big success! Thank you parents for supporting our efforts. Please make sure your get your raffle tickets which begins on October 3rd. The Boscov’s shopping discount day is held for October 16th – it’s a great way to help OLV and begin your Christmas shopping. I am extremely grateful to our HSA committee for their continued support and all their work.

Our new Maker Space is in full bloom and is filled with materials because of your generous contributions. Today I witnessed the 7th graders working in the room while Mrs. Hockenjos helped a student with the 3D printer. Very exciting to watch! The money raised from the September Family Dinner is going to allow us to purchase additional items such as Code-A-Pillar. Thank you again for your generosity! I’m looking forward to attending our general HSA meeting held on October 10th at 7:00.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal

September 4, 2018

Dear OLV Parents,

Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful summer with your family and friends! The teachers, staff and I had time to rest and refresh ourselves this summer and we are excited about this school year!

I want to introduce a new teacher who will be joining us this year, Ms. Marygrace Piccolomini. She is our new second grade teacher and comes to us with teaching experience from St. Thomas the Apostle School. Since Ms. Piccolomini has attended Catholic schools, she understands the tenets of the faith and it is very evident that she has a real passion for children. Please help me welcome her and keep her in your prayers for a successful year.

The Back to School Night meetings are scheduled for Monday, September 10th beginning with the Middle School Grade parents at 6:30 pm, followed by our Back to School meeting for grades K-8 at 7 pm. Pre-K 3 and 4 parents can meet the teachers at 7:30. All meetings are for Parents only. We look forward to seeing you and sharing with you important and exciting information about the upcoming school year including our spiritual theme, new bulling reporting program and our new Maker’s Space.

This school year’s theme is “Love one another like I have loved you” taken from John 15:12 which the teachers will fold into their everyday plans, discussions, lessons, etc., as well as the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes will also be emphasized this year in our daily prayers and monthly student-led assemblies. Also, each grade has their own assigned saint which will inspire the students to put their faith into action.

The Diocese of Metuchen is providing all of their Catholic Schools with a program called “STOP!IT” which is a reporting system for students to report bullying. This new program is designed to enhance the safety of our students and empower them with an easy app they can put on their phones. This program will be discussed with students when they return to school this month and they will learn how to use the program. Since this is a new system, I understand it may take a few weeks to get it fully up and running. The teachers and I will keep you abreast of how it is working. Click on this link for additional information:http://stopitsolutions.com/

All through last year and these past few weeks, the teachers and I have had several meetings discussing ways to create a space for our students to put their creativity and engineering processes to work. This year we are unveiling our very own “Maker Space” where students will not only create objects but will explore the world of trying solve problems by learning the engineering process. The steps of the engineering design process are to : Define the Problem, Do Background , Specify Requirements, Brainstorm Solutions, Choose the Best Solution, Do Development Work, Build A Prototype, and Test and Redesign. Last June, OLV teachers had professional development from the Liberty Science trainer who came to OLV School and discussed STEM lessons and the Engineering Process. Below this letter is a “Wanted List” of objects needed to fill the Maker Space. This will be an ongoing quest but I believe we will begin to fill the room with “stuff” needed for the students.

I am very happy to announce the new HSA officers: Jackie Gluchowski- President, Vanessa Hogan- Vice President, Jillian Leonard-Treasurer, Maria Holovacko-Recording Secretary, Kristine Lieberman-Corresponding Secretary, Sharon DeMonaco and Joann Sekerak-Publicity, Vanessa Haggerty-Spirituality, Noelle Lettiere-Social Concerns, Nicole Martin-Programs, Meaghan Spezzi-Alliance, Shannon Liana-Teacher Liaison, Michele Delaney and Melissa Krakowski-Past Presidents. These parents are the hardest working group of parents I have ever worked with and they are planning great events for this year. Hold the date of 10/10/18 for our first HSA General Meeting to get an overview of the school year.

I look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night next Monday. May God continue to bless you and your families as we enter this new school year.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

WANTED!

We need donations from the Dollar Store to help build the OLV School’s Maker Space!

Dollar Store Donations:

Duct tape magnets 9 volt batteries popsicle sticks

Electrical tape marshmallows balloons poster board

Envelopes masking tape battery operated toothbrushes Q-tips

Felt paper clips coffee filters rubber bands

Flashlights pipe cleaners coffee stirrers scotch tape

Foam boards plastic baggies cotton balls straws of all sizes

Gumdrops plastic cups cupcake liners toothpicks

Index cards plastic silverware dental floss playing cards

Lunch bags plastic cards toilet paper tubes shoeboxes

Envelopes paper towel rolls string plastic bins

Fishing line Glue zip ties yarn


Look in your basements and closets for used toys!

Used Toys:

Legos (pieces or sets) remote controlled toys littleBits

Tinker Toys electric trains squishy circuits

Wooden Blocks battery trains qubits

Erector Sets makey makey play-doh (unopened)

OLV School is creating a Maker Space so that the students can explore the Engineering Process with everyday objects. This special classroom will on the first floor near the Science Lab and will be utilized on a regular basis. Also, we now have a 3D printer that will be used by the Middle School students.

All donations can be dropped off in the pink bin near the general office or your child can bring in the items to his/her teacher. Bring this flyer to your office and see if you can get your co-workers to help with this appeal! Collections will be ongoing throughout the school year. Thank you for your support!

July 11, 2018

Dear OLV Parents,

I hope you are having a peaceful summer! This is an important letter with OLV School arrival and dismissal times and important dates about the upcoming school year. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the office.

The following is some important information along with the 2018-2019 tentative calendar:

● Used Uniform sale will take place on July 17th and 18th from 9:00 – 12:00

● September 5th is the first day of school for grades K-8 with half day dismissal at 11:40.

● September 6th is also an early dismissal at 11:40 for K-8.

● September 7th first full day for K-8 students.

· Doors open at 7:10 am School begins at 7:40, classes begin at 7:50. Bus schedules for Sayreville students will be accessible on the Sayreville public school website at www.sayrevillek12.net.

● Summer or winter uniforms may be worn until October 30.

Before-care and Aftercare (K-8) are not available until Tuesday, September 11th .

● The school lunch program begins on Monday, September 10th. All lunch orders must be sent to school by Thursday, September 6th. The September menu will be posted in Backpack on the school website.

● Photo release, acceptable use policy and the handbook signature page can be found in Backpack for grades K-8. Please print, sign and send these forms to school by September 14th. Pre-K forms will be sent home separately.

● The tentative last day of school is June 21, 2019.

● The Kindergarten graduation will be held on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 9:00 am in Monsignor Dalton Hall.

● Eighth Grade Graduation Mass will be on Friday, June 8, 2019 at 8:30.

Preschool students

● Used Uniform sale will take place on July 17th and 18th from 9:00 – 12:00

● Pre-K 3, and Pre-K 4 students first day of school is Monday, September 10th which is a half day dismal at 11:00.

● September 10th, 11th and 12th are half day dismissals at 11:00.

● Start time for Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 students will be 8:00 am

● Beginning September 13th dismissal for full time Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 students will be 2:00 pm.

● Pre-K 4 students enter by the side door of the school on the church side.

● Pre-K 3 students enter through the Pre-K 3 door on the side of the building by the driveway. Parents may park in the back of the school.

● Pre-K 3 children must be signed-in and out by a parent or designated adult.

● Prek students Before-care and Aftercare begins on Thursday, September 13th.

● Before-care students enter through the Pre-K 3 door on the driveway side. Parents may park in the back of the school to bring their Pre-K 3 students to the classroom. Aftercare parents may also park in the back of the school and use the side door by the Church to enter the school. Please remember to send a note in to your child’s teacher if you would like your child to attend either of those programs. Morning care notes must be sent in the day before.

● The Pre-K 3 end of year playdate is Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

● The Pre-K 4 Moving Up ceremony will also be on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 9:00 am in Monsignor Dalton Hall.

A MESSAGE FOR ALL OUR NEW OLV FAMILIES

· Registrations for the Honeywell Alert System and Powerschool will be mailed to you in August. Please complete and return to school as soon as possible.

· Tentative OLV School Calendar for 2018-19 PDF is located on the OLV School website (Backpack). Please remember to check the monthly calendar which will be posted each month in Backpack on the school website for any activities or changes for that month.

I am looking forward to seeing you in September. Have a wonderful, restful and blessed summer!

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal





June 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

As we close another successful school year at OLV, we need to recognize and thank all of the people who helped us throughout the year. We are thankful to all of the parents who continue to choose OLV School for their child’s education and our hardworking HSA team for their extraordinary efforts in fundraising and building community spirit. I am thankful to our dedicated faculty and staff who make each day special and, our pastor, Fr. Thomas Ryan who is our solid foundation.

It is critically important that you continue to encourage your child to keep up with his/her studies during the summer vacation. Keep your child on target by dedicating a few minutes each day for your child to read a book and complete some math problems. Teachers will send home summer packets along with a supply list for the upcoming school year which will also be posted on their websites.

You can still purchase Shop Rite script cards through the Pastoral Office during the summer months from 8:30 -12:30. Please hand in your child’s old uniforms to the office so that we can pass them along to other families. The “Used Uniform Sale” will be held on July 17th and 18th from 9:00 – 12:00.

“NEW” – Pre K parents can purchase an OLV gym uniform for their child, which can be worn every day, by going to the Flynn and O’Hara website. Website and price lists: https://www.olvnj.com/uniforms

Summer Prayer

Creator of all, thank You for summer!

Thank You for the warmth of the sun and the increased daylight.

Thank You for the beauty I see all around me and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.

Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family, and for the more casual pace of the summer season.

Draw me closer to You this summer.

Teach me how I can pray no matter where I am or what I am doing.

Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence, and light my path with Your Word and Counsel.

As I enjoy Your creation, create in me a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.

Amen. © Source unknown

We look forward to seeing you on the first day of school on September 5th which will be an early dismissal for students in grades K-8. Look to the website for additional information in August.

Enjoy the summer cool breezes!

God bless you and keep you safe this summer!

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal



May 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

Signs of God’s love are all round us: flowers, birds singing and pleasant weather, all of which gives us great comfort! The month of May is the time when we focus our devotion on our Blessed Mary and to our own mothers. The May Crowning of Mary and praying the rosary are pivotal planned activities for this month. "This is the month in which, in the churches and individual homes, the most affectionate and fervent homage of prayers and devotions from the hearts of Christians are raised to Mary. It is also the month in which from His throne descend upon us the most generous and abundant gifts of the Divine Mercy." Excerpt taken from CNA website. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/prayers/devotions/to-the-blessed-virgin-mary/month-of-mary-may-devotions We look forward to witnessing our second grade students making their first Holy Communion on May 5th. Please keep them in your prayers during this special time.

Your child’s IOWA Test results will be given to you as soon as they are delivered to the school. The test results and parent reports should be delivered in the next couple of weeks. The faculty and I will be reviewing the tests scores once they have arrived.

May 4th is our traditional OLV Walk-A-Thon! Please get as many pledges from your family members, co-workers, neighbors, etc. to make this the biggest fundraiser of the season. I’m looking forward to seeing the school in action!!! All monies are due Tuesday, May 1st.

Here’s a glimpse of our "Healthy You, Healthy Me, Healthy OLV"! This special day is scheduled on June 1st (known as Field Day). This day will be a time of fun, movement and hands on projects that will make learning enjoyable for your child! Here are some of the attractions: students will have 45 minutes in the gym completing an obstacle course, then classes will have a variety of fun activities in assigned health classes such as “Body out of Balance”, “Diabetes Detectives”, “Finding the Energy”, “Fresh Foods Fuel”, “Move! Move! Move!”, “Human Body Miracle Machine”, “Tree of Life”, etc. Thank you to Ms. Gertz and our team of teachers for making this a special day for our OLV students!

Thank you for choosing a Catholic education for your child. OLV School prides itself on its strong academic foundation, dedicated faith-filled teachers, warm and positive welcoming Christian atmosphere. Our students not only grow but they flourish, thrive and succeed!

As you already know, enrollment numbers in a Catholic School play a critical factor. Enrollment determines many important things for the upcoming school year such as ordering technology equipment, books, scheduling, rehiring of teachers etc.

At this time, it is critical that you make your commitment to OLV School by re-registering your child sometime this week. Please hand in your registration forms and check to the school office. If for some reason you need to discuss next year’s tuition, or if you are planning not to have your child return for the next school year, we need to be notified by calling Mrs. Connors or myself. Thank you for your understanding and your support on this issue!

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts





April 2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome back from your Easter break! May the spirit of the Lord fill your hearts with the promises of Easter blessings of joy, happiness and unwavering faith for the rest of your days!

IOWA standardized testing will begin on April 12th and end on or before April 25th for students in grades 1-8. The IOWA Testing is originated from the University of IOWA which provides an assessment for student achievement in Reading, Written Expression, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Language and students in grades 3, 5 and 7 will take an additional test called the CogAT Test (Cognitive Abilities Test). Parents will receive a Home Report that will indicate the testing result of their child. The new testing norms are a guide for both the administration and faculty to evaluate our current learning objectives and develop instructional strategies as well as teaching and learning objectives that will meet the students’ potential. After we received the test results, administration and faculty will access the students’ results over the course of the next few weeks. The results will allow teachers to make adjustments to the curriculum and target learning using the Lexile scale for individual reading levels. Please make sure your child(ren) get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast during these testing times.

The Diocese of Metuchen is undertaking a new marketing initiative designed to build enrollment in grades PreK – Kindergarten which will begin on April 10th. This campaign will use multiple media platforms – digitally printed in social media. Once new families click on our link, we will have the opportunity to reach out to the new families and recruitment them to our school. As you already know, parents are our best marketers - word of mouth is still the most effective tool for recruitment. This past Buddy Day brought in seven children two of which registered for next year. When we return form our break. I want to create an OLV Parent Ambassador Group to help with talking with new families. If you are interested, please contact me. Thank you parents for your support!

We are excited to announce that OLV School has a new website, using the same domain, which has the same features as well as additional features. Please be patient with the site as we continue to build the website over the next few weeks. The hope is to add additional features such as online giving for possible donors and student videos, etc. If for some reason the website is down, the teachers will email any necessary information to you. As you already know, parents are our best marketers - word of mouth is still the most effective tool for recruitment.

Please mark your calendars and plan to participate in the “Designer Bag Bingo” on April 13th and the Father Daughter Dance on April 20th. The HSA has been working very hard in planning these events for you! I look forward to seeing you there! And don’t forget to get sponsors for the Walk-A-Thon for scheduled on May 4th! Our families make us a special place! Thank you for your dedication to OLV School!!!

Parents are asking about our last day of school. We had to adjust our calendar because of the snow days we needed to take. Therefore, if there are no other reasons to close the school building, the last day of school will be June 20th. The last three days of school will be half days. I understand some of you want to make your early vacation plans so I hope this helps you. Also, the first day of summer uniforms is April 16th !

Lastly, on a more serious note, I need to remind parents to be very diligent and careful when you pick up your child in the parking lot. There is one way to enter the lot and one way to exist the lot. Cars must go at a very slow speed while they are in the parking lot because we have both children and parents there at this time. Don’t try to be the first car out of the lot by going out quickly. One of our staff members had a big dent on her car while she was parked in the parking lot. I appreciate your understanding.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts


March 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

We have only thirty more days before we celebrate Easter Sunday! Students have been reflecting on their Catholic faith by using their Lenten calendars and daily prayers. Please make sure to have your special Lenten Mission boxes filled with your extra coins. This a perfect way to teach your child the importance of giving to the poor.

School security is of the greatest importance to all of us at OLV School. Over the past several months we have developed a great partnership with the local Sayreville police department. Several Police Detectives have been present during our monthly routine Lock Downs and fire drills. The police have given us their undivided attention to our security drills, and share their feedback through conversations. I am most thankful for their overall dedication to ensuring safety to our students and staff.

Ms. Ellen Ayoub, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Metuchen, has made the decision to discontinue using Terra Nova Testing as the standardized tests. IOWA Testing is now replacing the Terra Nova Testing for all of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Metuchen. Principals and teachers will be given the necessary training to make this a smooth transition for the students. The faculty and I have been introduced to the tests and are in the process of creating testing schedules, ordering materials, attending training sessions, etc. The testing will take place after our return from the Easter break. Testing dates and additional information will be given to you in the April parent letter or as soon as we have additional information.

One effective way to recruit new students to OLV School is by word of mouth by our school parents. We are hosting our second “Buddy Day” for children in grades K-6 on March 12th and it’s a great opportunity to get the good news out about OLV School! Please inform your friends with children, in grades K -6, who are interested in learning more about OLV School. There are forms that need to be filled out for parents with children that want to participate online. Contact Mrs. Connors, if you have a friend interested in Buddy Day.

Re-registration is now taking place for all of our current students and for new students. Please make an attempt to register your child(ren) as soon as you can. As you know, enrollment numbers helps us plan for the new school year in so many ways. If you are applying for financial assistance, applications must be in by March 31st go to the link for more information https://diometuchen.org/schools/tuition-assistance/

Thank you to all of the parents who attended the OLV Steak dinner. It was a great night of fun, laughter and delightful food! Mark your calendar for the “80’s Dance” for parents March 24th and the “Father Daughter Dance” held on April 20th. We are very blessed to have a fantastic HSA committee and all of our parents who are supportive and devoted to OLV School. You make this school special!

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal




February 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

I want to begin this letter by acknowledging and thanking all of our parents for their constant support to OLV School. We kicked off the CSW with a mass which many of our current students and alumni attended to give witness of their love and dedication to OLV School. Thank you to all who came out to the Polar Plunge and to all of the grandparents and parents who attended the visitations days, Viking Bowl and volley ball matches, etc. Bishop Checchio enjoyed his visit with us yesterday! He talked with teachers, students and parents and left the school with a basket filled with students’ cards, saint prayer cards, chocolates, nuts, an OLV School Tee shirt and OLV video which the 8th graders made especially for him. I’m sure he enjoyed the OLV School visit! He left the school with a big smile and the experience warmed his heart!

Well, we are now entering the Lenten Season beginning with Ash Wednesday where we reflect, repent and prepare ourselves for Easter. During the holy season, students will participate in more service projects, prayers, and Stations of the Cross. I made a Lenten Parent Resource page for you to utilize during the forty days of Lent. https://sites.google.com/olvnj.com/cynthia-casciola-kitts/lenten-parent-resource-page

It’s that time of year to re-register your child(ren) for the next school year. Please register as soon as you are able to ensure a seat for your child(ren). The 2018-2019 enrollment number allows our staff to properly plan for upcoming school year. The FGAA program (Financial Aid program) is now open for parents who need to apply for financial assistance. You may apply by going to https://online.factsmgt.com/aid. Please be aware that all required supporting documentation must be submitted to FGAA by March 31, 2018 and the application fee is $30 and must be paid online at the time you submit your application. Forms of payment include debit cards, most major credit cards, or electronic check. If you have any questions, please call Mrs. Connors at the main office or go to: https://diometuchen.org/schools/tuition-assistance/ for additional information.

The last HSA event, the Mother and Son Dance, had a great turn out and the dance was a blast! Our HSA is busy planning for their next big event which is the OLV Steak Dinner held on February 24th. Please mark your calendar and plan to come out for a great time! It is a fantastic excuse to get out and have some fun with OLV friends! I appreciate all of your support!!

Finally, some parents had questions about the dress code during frigid days so I need to clarify the gym uniform usage. Your child can wear his/her gym uniform on days when the temperature remains at 32 degrees or below in temperature throughout the day (not just the morning hours).

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts


OLV New Brochure final 01.18 pdf.pdf

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year! May you feel the joy and peace of Jesus throughout the year! I hope you and your family had some peaceful time during the break. Thank you for all of your Christmas gifts and treats! I am truly thankful for your thoughtfulness and welcoming spirit! I enjoyed being with my children and family and staying home during this terrible cold weather. Please dress your children with coats/jackets, gloves and hats during these bitter cold temperatures. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees your child may wear his/her gym uniform to school.

We are still in the Christmas spirit! It is important to remind ourselves and the children that this coming Saturday, January 6th Sunday, is the Epiphany and January 7th is Three Kings Day. The three wise men visit baby Jesus on this day and the word Epiphany means “manifestation”, the church celebrates the manifestation of our Lord to the entire world. To learn more about our faith click on the link below: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-01-07

School will be closed on Monday, January 15, for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Let us continue to pray for those cities in our country where there is racial tension.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation for children in Grade 2, will be celebrated on Saturday, January 20th, at 1:00. We invite all families to pray for them as they celebrate our God’s unconditional love and mercy

The HSA committee is busy planning for the upcoming OLV “Mother and Son Dance” held on January 19th and the CSW “Polar Plunge” on January 28th . Please try to participate in our monthly activities. Your support is greatly appreciated and our sense of community is one of the many things that makes OLV special.

Catholic Schools Week begins on Sunday, January 28th. The theme this year is Catholic Schools: “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed”. Thank you for promoting OLV where Faith, Knowledge and Service are our top priority. You are our best representatives in our community. Please proclaim the Good News about OLV wherever you go and invite friends to our open house. The CSW (Catholic School Week) schedule is listed below. We will keep the OLV traditional CSW schedule which begins with our opening mass at 9:00, breakfast at 10:00 and open house ending at 12:00 The Polar Plunge, in Sea Bright, begins at 2:00. (Additional information will be given out.)

CSW Schedule:

Sunday, Jan. 28th Opening Mass 9 AM, HSA breakfast 10 AM Open House till 12:00

Monday, Jan. 29th Student Appreciation - 8th Grade teachers

Tuesday, Jan. 30th Grandparents visitation and lunch beginning at 9:30

Wednesday, Jan. 31st Parent visitation and lunch beginning at 9:30

Thursday, Feb. 1st Senior Citizen Technology Day or Viking Bowl in AM (TBD)

Thursday, Feb. 1st Parent Conferences 2:00 – 5:00

Friday, Feb. 2nd CSW closing Mass 8:15 ½ Day; Student Skating Party

May you be peaceful, and hopeful, aware of, and grateful for God’s love and presence in your life.

Happy New Year!

Sincerely in Christ!

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts


December 1, 2017

Dear Parents,

Thank you parents for coming to our Christmas bazaar and supporting the HSA efforts! The day was a lot of fun for both parents and children! I went with my two children, who are in their twenties, and they too enjoyed seeing all of the crafts and baked goods! We went home with lots of goodies! We are very blessed to have our dedicated HSA parents who work very hard to support our school. Last month, the students collected nearly 800 can food items for the poor. This act of service reminded all of us what it means to be a Christian and the importance of serving others. Thank you to all!

We are entering the most beautiful time of year in our Catholic faith - the season of Advent! This is the time when we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ! OLV School will begin the Advent season by having a school-wide Advent prayer service in church on Monday, December 4th at 9:00 led by some of our 8th grade students and myself. All are welcome to attend this service. On Monday, all of the students will receive an Advent calendar which I recommend that you place in a prominent place in your home. Use the Advent calendar to remind yourself to talk with your child daily about the birth of our Lord this Christmas. It’s an opportunity for you to share your love of Jesus with your child. Every year I try to come closer to Jesus during the Advent season because I don’t want to be consumed by all of the busyness of the season. I created a parent Advent Parent Resource page to help you stay connected. Click or cut and paste the link https://sites.google.com/olvnj.com/cynthia-casciola-kitts/advent-parent-resource-page or just go to the Principal Page and find the tab. Sign up for daily Advent Gospel Reflections https://adventreflections.com/ It only takes a moment each day to stay connected to Jesus!

All of the students were given “lightbulb ornaments” to decorate and remind them of our school wide spiritual theme “You Are the Light of the World”. It is really wonderful seeing them hanging in our school. Our creative team of teachers made them come alive! Your child’s ornament will be sent home later this month, so that it can be hung on your own tree.

There are many Christmas activities planned for this month! The HSA is holding a “Breakfast with Santa” on December 3rd after the 9:00 mass. Please come out for the fun of seeing Santa in person! HSA is also hosting our “The Penguin Holiday” on December 6th and 7th which allows children to purchase small gifts for their family members. Please make sure your child is ready for these special days.

Our brilliant music teacher, Mrs. Lucas, has been very busy preparing the students for the upcoming OLV Christmas Concert – December 15th at 7:00 pm. I enjoy hearing all of the children practice their class’ Christmas song. Their beautiful voices are making my spirit bright in anticipation of the concert. I’m excited about attending the concert and seeing them perform in person and I look forward to seeing you all there as well! Have a wonderful and restful Christmas break!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts


October 26, 2017 – November Parent Letter

Dear Parents,

Our school will be closed on November 1st in honor of “All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows' Day Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints. This is a special time for Christians to honor all of the saints.” Did you know? “Christian celebration of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and the living. This day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many Catholic countries.” To learn more about this day click or cut and paste the link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Day#cite_note-7

We are looking forward to our Halloween Day planned festivities! The 8th grade students are getting ready to walk down the hallways in their costumes for the annual Saint Parade. We’re waiting in expectation for all of the students to dress in their saint and bible character costumes! Thank you parents for making this a memorable day! (Next year, we’ll add some more fun activities!)

I want to acknowledge and thank our HSA group, and all of our sponsors, who made the OLV Wine and Tasting event a huge success! All of the parents who came had a delightful time and it was fun watching all of the winners of the Tricky Tray baskets and others taking bottles of wine home, etc. It was a big success because of all of your dedication to OLV School! Our next big fundraiser is the Christmas Bazar held on November 11th. Please mark your calendars and come out for a fun day of shopping and kid activities!

As you have seen, I created my principal’s webpage in the hope of giving you a better understanding of what is happening in the classrooms! The teachers have updated their webpages to give you more information about your child’s class. Please check the webpages on a regular basis to find out the latest happenings and of course the homework assignments.

We are also looking forward to two programs this month. The next Student Led Assembly held on November 3rd will lead by our second grade class. Ms. Davis-Scholle, second grade teacher, told me that the students have been working very hard on their presentation and are excited about presenting their program to the entire school. Mrs. Hockenjos and her students are feverishly putting the finishing touches on the Veteran’s Day Program which will be held on November 9th.

Parent conferences are being held on November 16th from 2:00 – 7:30. Your child’s teacher will contact you to set up an appointment time. This is a very important time for you to talk with your child’s teacher about the progress your son and or daughter is making in school and learn more about the curriculum, teacher expectations and upcoming projects, etc.

We are moving forward with STREAM! Beginning this month, several of the teachers will attend NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) workshops, as part of their professional development. Also, a STREAM committee is in place to research teacher resources, new science books, STEM School visits, technology advancements and STEM materials, etc. and several of our teachers have written grants in hopes of acquiring cool devices such as “Little Bits” or a “Code-A Pillar”. If your place of work offers grants to schools who are creating STEM programs or Makerspaces, please email me the details. I’m in search of such grants!

NEW- We will have our first “Bring a Buddy to School Day” on November 9th. If you have a friend who may be interested in learning more about OLV School, please invite their child to attend the day at our school. Additional information about this day will be given to you next week. Also, inform your friends that we hold a monthly open house for new parents who are looking for a school for their child(ren) – the next open house is Nov. 30th.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts



October 2, 2017

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that the first month of school is finished and we are already rolling into October! We are honoring our Blessed Mother Mary during this month of prayer. Did you know? “The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.” And the anniversary of Fatima is honored on Oct. 13th www.catholiccluture.org You are welcome to attend one of the following 12:30 rosary pray times in the church and pray the Mission Rosary with us: Oct. 3 grades K and 4, Oct. 4 grades 1 and 3, Oct. 10 grades 2 and 5, Oct. 11 grades 6-8.

As you will see on this month’s calendar, we have an exciting month planned for your children! On October 2nd ,the 7th and 8th grades will have several Catholic High Schools come to OLV to highlight their programs. The local Fire Department is coming to visit our Prek – 3rd grade students on October 3rd which should be a lot of fun! Don’t forget about our Picture Days on Oct. 3rd and 4th ! The Student Government will be installed during our 8:15 mass on Oct. 13. All parents welcome to attend!

This month we will begin monthly student led assemblies. Each month a class will lead the entire OLV School in an assembly program and teach their peers about their class’ saint. This month the 8th graders will lead our first assembly! I’m curious how they will present their material: rap song, poem, dance, video, etc. I am sure they will be creative!

Student of the Month is now called “You Are the Light of the World” award which emphasizes our Spiritual theme for this school year. Each teacher will honor 1-4 students with a special certificate at our monthly assemblies. A picture of the group students who receive the award will be posted monthly our OLV website.

This year we are planning to celebrate Halloween in a different way. Students can come to school with a costume that represents their class saint. This should be a creative way to celebrate Halloween in our school and our 8th graders will walk down the hallways in their Saint Parade! The teachers and I will make additional plans for the day at our next faculty meeting. Your child’s teacher will give you additional information.

We are collecting gently used coats and pet items to assist the poor in our area. We will also hold a monthly dress down for $1.00 known as “Nut Day” beginning this month. October 27th is a first dress down for the students. All monies collected will be held to help the poor and needy and on occasion help with special treats for both students and teachers.

I am extremely grateful to our HSA committee for their continued support with our fundraisers. Please make sure your get your raffle tickets. Our first draw is planned or October 3rd. Boscov’s shopping is held for October 17th – it’s a great way to help OLV and begin your Christmas shopping. I’m looking forward to attending our Annual Wine Tasting held on October 21st. This is a great night to gather with friends and have a great time! I am in the process of creating my own website page where I can communicate with you on a regular basis about all of the wonderful things we are accomplishing at OLV School!

Sincerely in Christ,

Cynthia Casciola-Kitts

Principal


August 2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Our Lady of Victories School!

At Our Lady of Victories School, our Catholic identity is most important and it’s evident in everything we do. OLV has a longstanding tradition of providing academic excellence and strong faith formation to our students because of the dedicated faculty and staff. Our Lady Victories School’s students thrive in a nurturing environment beginning in our well known Pre-Kindergarten 3 year program and ending in 8th grade class.

Our rigorous academic program focuses on project based learning, developing 21 Century framework fundamentals in lesson planning that includes communication skills, problem solving, critical thinking, media literacy, creativity and innovation, global awareness, and leadership and responsibility. Many of our graduates continue on to both Catholic high schools and four year Catholic colleges.

We want our students to encounter Jesus Christ in a personal way throughout the school day. Students participate in daily prayers, monthly mass, sacramental preparation, service trips and retreats. OLV students become aware of their unique gifts which prepares them as productive citizens.

OLV School will focus on this year's spiritual theme "You Are the Light of the World" based on Matthew 5:14-16. Students will learn how to shine their unique light to everyone they meet.

This year, each class has been assigned a saint so that students will learn the attributes of their personal saint and learn how to their faith into action. Students will participate in monthly school-wide student led assemblies where they will learn about saints and be recognized when they have shone the light on others by being kind and compassionate.

I encourage you to visit our joyful school community and discover the benefits of OLV School educational programs by calling our general office for a personal tour or come to one of our monthly open houses.

Discover the beauty and advantage of OLV School!

Sincerely in Christ,

Ms. Cynthia Casciola-Kitts