F&S Dashboard: St. Benedict Prep Faculty & Staff Weekly Newsletter

Ms. Rachel Gemo's Notes

Head of Parish School (PK-12) 

In This Week's Notes For Your Reference

  • Mass and Gala Tent Update for week of April 24th
  • Prayer Buddy Activity for April 25th - PS and Secondary 
  • Prayer Buddy Activity for April 25th - ELEMENTARY grades
  • April Employee of the Month and All Nominees 
  • Christa O'Keefe still not in - call RG for a sub - (for week of April 24th) 
  • Important Dates for the 2017-18 School Year Calendar 
  • Confirmation is THURSDAY - please consider making Congratulations signs with your homerooms to hang up in the hallways by 8th grade 
  • Open enrollment for benefit eligible employees coming 
  • SBPS School Art Fair Beginning on Sunday, April 30th 

Mass and Gala Tent STARTS to be dismantled on Monday - will not be totally complete until Tuesday 

So - this still means...

  • No courtyard usage or traffic until Wednesday more than likely 
  • There may be noise that is a little disruptive if your windows are open 
  • Same arrival and drop off procedures as last week for Rooms 111, 113 and 114
  • We will continue to extend the DISMISSAL times for PK-5 for 10 minutes like we did last week 
  • We hope to get the campus back to "normal" by Wednesday - we thank you for your patience

Prayer Buddies is on Tuesday this week - PRESCHOOL and Secondary School Activity is listed below 

Here are the instructions for Tuesday's Prayer Buddies activity for
Preschool. The PowerPoint that teachers need is attached. On
Monday, the printed resources will be delivered to the classroom.

Provide: PowerPoint leading you through the activity, with a
discussion questions at the end. Click here for the POWERPOINT 
You need to provide: coloring materials  and handout

Prayer Buddies is on TUESDAY this week - ELEMENTARY school activities 

Prayer Buddies instructions

We will provide: PowerPoint leading you through the activity, printed versions of the Mary vase/flower templates/small images of Mary (these have been included in the PowerPoint on slides 7-10 so that you will know what they look like, but you do not need to do any printing)

You need to provide: colouring materials, green construction paper, scissors, glue, string/ribbon, hole puncher

-Begin session by saying a Hail Mary together. Look at several different images of Mary and discuss how, although she is fulfilling a different role in each image, she is always the Mother of God who supports and loves each of us. 

-Show the students the image of the vase of flowers for Mary (a link to the instructions on how to make this vase is also included on this PowerPoint slide). Explain that we will be making one of these for each class's prayer table. From the sheet of nine flowers, cut one for each student. Ask the students to decorate these and bring them back to form a part of the vase. While the students are working on this, you can cut out the vase and staple it into a circle. Once you have done this, you should cut strips of green construction paper to act the leaves of the flowers, and then stuff them inside the vase. You could also ask a group of students to do this for you.

- After the students complete their flowers, they should bring them back to you so that they can be glued onto the green 'leaves' that are in the vase.  

-Once the students have contributed their flowers to the class vases, each buddy pairing should take a sheet that has two flowers on it. Each partner will cut out one flower, decorate it, glue a small image of Mary in the centre and bring it to a teacher to have it hole-punched and strung on a piece of string. They can take these home to hang somewhere in their houses to remind them of Mary's love for them. 

-To close the session, play some quiet music about Mary using the link in the PowerPoint and have the students spend a quiet moment thinking about several things for which they would like to thank Mary, and several things in which they would like her help. Say the Memorare prayer together, using the words on the PowerPoint. 


Happy Easter!  It's Time to Change our Prayer Spaces to the Joyous of Easter and take down our LENT stuff! 

Please change over your prayer spaces and bulletin boards to the EASTER THEME for the next eight weeks until the season concludes with Pentecost Sunday on June 4th. Some things to inspire your prayer spaces and bulletin boards: 

Banner with "Alleluia" on it or "He is Risen"

Images of an empty tomb, Paschal candle, lilies and palm branches, cross, Resurrection banner (the white and red one), butterfly  - anything symbolizing new life 

Color:  White, can also use white and yellow ribbons 

Nominate a Colleague For Employee of the Month (THIS IS THE LAST ONE OF THE YEAR!!) 

Please complete the following as detailed as possible.  We will be publishing your nomination information with the parish and school staff via the dashboard.  Please limit your nomination to one parish or school staff member per month.  Submit your nomination by Friday, April 28th.  Selection will be made on Monday, May 1st.  


Christa O'Keefe is still out this week - Please call Rachel Gemo if you need a sub (STILL IN EFFECT - Until further notice) 

Christa's husband's surgery went well and he is now recovering at home. Please call Rachel Gemo if you need a sub. Teachers with assistants, please let them know this information as well. Stay tuned. Thanks! 

First Floor Building 4 Usage during the Week of Mass and Gala - Please read

Gross motor room not being used for Mass and Gala

Starting Wednesday 4/19 at 1 p.m.:

  • No gym in the gymnasium
  • Rm. 143 - Sean McDermott's office to be used for Mass and Gala setup
  • locker rooms and hallway closed off to be used for staging equipment and furniture.

Rm. 142  To be reserved for setup starting Thursday  4/20 morning

Library to be used Friday evening and Saturday all day

Please let me know if this causes a conflict.  Thanks so much for your assistance in getting ready for Mass and Gala.

Important Dates for the 2017-18 School Year (always tentative, but quite firm)

Monday, August 14th First Day for teachers new to St. Benedict- new teacher orientation

Tuesday, August 15th First Day of Teacher Contracts and Professional Development

Monday, August  21st, 6th Grade Orientation and Elementary Teacher Meet and Greet

Tuesday, August 22nd, First Day of School Grades 1-5, 6-12


Please consider making Confirmation Signs for our Confirmandi

In the middle of all the busyness of this week, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that our 8th graders will be receiving the sacrament of Confirmation next week on Thursday, April 27th in Church. 

I'm asking homerooms to make posters, signs, banners that we can display in the hallway on the third floor of buildings two and three (outside Room 327 Zora's room) and (Room 334 Janelle's room). It's a great way to teach students about the sacraments and the importance to belong to the Catholic community. It also celebrates appropriately the fact that these young people are committing themselves to our faith. Lastly...since you may need something to do to because there is no out door recess...you may have a little extra time on your hands. 

Once completed, feel free to tape it up/hang it up somewhere along the third floor hallways of building two and three - wherever you can find space. If you run out of room, we can always hang them up in the stairwells from the second to the third floors in these buildings as well. 

Please consider doing something like this on a poster, large piece of construction paper, rolled paper, etc - and have the students in your class or advisory sign it. 

Here are some examples

  • Congratulations 8th Graders on Your Confirmation
  • Welcome to the Catholic Church! 
  • May You be Filled with the Holy Spirit!
  • We are Praying for You as You receive Holy Confirmation 
  • Wishing you all God’s blessings on this very special day
  • As the sun brightens the world, so may God’s graces brighten your understanding and add beauty to all your days
  • God will be always near you, and in His loving way He will bestow His blessing on your Confirmation day
  • May the grace of God’s world, the guidance of His hand and the loving wisdom of His words fill you heart and light your way today and every day.
  • may God’s love be in your heart to strengthen you along life’s way

Some symbols to use ...

The color RED, Dove, Rainbow, Flame, Cross, Light, Chrism, Bishop's Mitre, St. Benedict Church, Hands faced outward in blessing (Laying of the Hands); The words of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:  wisdomunderstandingcounselfortitudeknowledgepiety, and fear of the Lord (wonder).

Thank you for your consideration to do this with your students. 

(and Holy Communion is coming right behind...so get prepared to celebrate our First Communicants in early May) 

Open Enrollment for Benefit Eligible Employees May 15th - June 6th 

Annual benefits open enrollment is just around the corner. This year it will take place from May 15 to June 6. The benefit elections employees make will become effective on July 1, 2017, the beginning of the new benefit plan year. All benefit eligible employees must log on to www.MyEnroll.com and go through the enrollment process to verify their benefit elections, and make any desired changes. In addition, employees will be able to enter their email addresses, name their life insurance beneficiaries, and update other information such as their name, address, marital status, and phone numbers.