South St. Marys Street Elementary School

370 South St. Marys St., St. Marys, PA 15857 Phone: 814.834.3021
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From the Desk of Christine Kuhar…

St. Marys Area School District

Principal, South St. Marys Street Elementary School

(814) 834-3021 -


PARENT NEWSLETTER UPDATES - Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Hello Families!  It’s hard to believe that mid-January is here and that tomorrow marks the end of our second nine weeks!  Can you believe half of our school year is complete?  Please take a few minutes to read below for our school updates!  Thanks!


2nd Quarter Report Cards Coming Home Next Week – The first half of the year comes to an official close tomorrow!  Report cards will come home on Wednesday, January 23rd.  We applaud all students for having performed well and having earned good grades, as well as those whose grades have shown improvement over the semester.  Congratulations to all of you for your hard work and dedication!  Please continue to keep up the great work!  In the event there is some concern about a grade, or if there is need for improvement in any area, we encourage families to communicate with teachers and begin to build a plan for improvement.  As we have entered the second half of the school year, we need to continue to work together to help all children achieve success.


Response to Intervention Update – Our STAR assessments will conclude this week, with grade level data team meetings held next Wednesday.  Teams of teachers, specialists, and academic tutors will be reviewing our January benchmark data and examining student growth.  As mentioned earlier this month, intervention and enrichment groups will be redesigned to allow for continued skill focus as we move into the second semester.  Parent reports of student results will be prepared and sent home soon. 


Reading Through the Decades – Coming Soon – In order to continue to promote and celebrate reading, our school is once again going to be involved in a Whole School Reading initiative.  This year, we are moving to non-fiction topics to invite students to read and interact with non-fiction text in an engaging week.  Each grade has been assigned a decade in time, beginning with the 1940’s for 5th grade, 1950’s for 4th grade, and so on, ending with the 1990’s for our K students.  Each week for 5 weeks, students will research and learn about historical topics of the times, include Pop Culture and Fads, Politics, Sports, Science/Technology/Medicine, and Arts and Entertainment.   


We will begin our event the week of January 28th, and conclude with PTO’s Family Fun Night on March 1st.   (Save the date for that!)   In order to make this reading adventure even more fun, we will also be challenging all students during this time, to increase and log their reading time at home.   We’d like to challenge students to see how many reading minutes they can record collectively.  Just think…if our nearly 600 students each spent 10 minutes a night for 25 nights reading…we can log over 150,000 minutes of reading!!  Spend 15 minutes a night reading…that’s nearly 230,000 minutes!  Our plan is to set a goal for the kids…see if they can attain it, and then celebrate with some fun!  So, stay tuned for more information about this in the coming weeks!  We are hoping this will be a fun way to help us get through the long winter months with some fun and excitement with reading!


Car Rider Drop Off and Pick Up – Safety Concern – Just a reminder to families dropping off students in the morning – Rock Street is an ENTRANCE ONLY during the morning drop off and afternoon pick up times.  In the morning, cars should enter the parking lot through Rock Street, pull into the lane closest to the gym doors, pull up to the gym door area and have students exit cars on the curb side if possible.  We also ask that cars remain in the drop off lane and wait patiently as the cars in front of them move.  Please do not steer out of line, as we want to avoid any accidental collisions.  In the afternoon, pull into a lane and wait for your child to be dismissed.  Lanes will be called randomly to exit through the front.  Thanks so much for your attention to this.




SAVE THE DATE - It’s Play Time Once Again – Our 1st Grade students are preparing for their School Play!  1st Grade will be presenting The Unity Tree on Friday, February 8 at 1:15.  RSVPs for this event are coming home today. 


Tissue TuesdayComing Soon – With Cold and Flu Season upon us, we have lots of tiny noses in need of gentle tissues.  PTO is asking families to send in one box of tissues if possible on Tuesday, January 29th.  These boxes get distributed to our classrooms…and understandably, get used up quickly!  Thanks so much for your help!  Here’s another ideas - Wipe Wednesday – A suggestion was made to try a collection of disinfectant wipes for classrooms to have.  Mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 6th.  If you have a jug of wipes to share, consider sending it to school!  We appreciate it!


Quarter 2 AR RewardsWe are very excited to bring our 2nd quarter AR activity to students.  If the weather cooperates with regards to snow and temperatures, we are hoping to do a Fun in the Snow Activity on Friday, January 25th.  Students who have made their 2nd quarter AR Goal will be invited to participate in fun activities at Berwind Park.  In the event that snow or temperatures do not cooperative, an alternative MOVIE reward will be provided, allowing students time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a show!  Your child’s teacher will let you and your child know who has made their goal.  Information will come home next week that will provide permission slips for the Fun in the Snow Event, just in case we can go outside to play.  We appreciate all the work students have put into achieving their individual AR goal!  As we begin this 3rd nine weeks, we are encouraging all students to strive to attain their individual AR goal.  Goals for this next nine weeks will be set.  We will be working on another fun event for this next nine weeks, so please encourage your children to participate!  Keep reading!


Looking ahead to February – Thursday and Friday, February 14th and 15th are days off school for students and inservice days for teachers.  The district has set up February 14th to be an additional Parent Conference Day.  This will be a non-mandatory conference day, meaning we only need to set up conferences as needed for families.  Conferences will be scheduled by invitation (request of teacher) or as requested by parent.  Please pencil this day into your calendar, and stay tuned for more information coming home.  Teachers will be reaching out to those they would like to connect with, and we welcome parents to let us know if you’d like to connect with your child’s teacher.   More information will be coming home next week with report cards explaining more about this parent conference day.  This day will provide meetings during normal school hours.  Friday then becomes a training day for teachers.


Second Semester and PROUDAs we reflect upon the first semester and move into our second half of the school year, we will continue to promote PROUD behaviors in our school.  Our school believes very strongly in our PROUD expectations and wants to continue to help all students exhibit them.  Please talk with your child about these expectations, both at home and at school, and encourage their good choices to maintain and improve those efforts as we enter into the second half of the year.  Thanks for your support at home with this as well!  The letter O and On-Time work is where we need your help the most!  Thanks so much!


Manner of the Week – This week’s manner will focus on the kind treatment of others – Show care for others and be kind.  Don’t make fun of anyone, even if you are only teasing or just joking.  Words can hurt and that is not okay.  Choose to use words that build others up, not bring them down!


OLYMPICS Update – Our awesome PTO is fast turning their attention to our end of year Olympic Games.  New this year, PTO is offering a unique way to get our community involved in Olympics – sponsoring a classroom!  If you know a local company or business who might be interested, they could sponsor a classroom and have their business name or logo on the back of each student’s Olympic t-shirt in that classroom!  Have the interested business check out PTO’s facebook page for more information.  PTO is asking interested businesses to send a note of interest via email to  With only 26 classrooms, space is limited!  Thank you!


Correction to last week’s newsletter – Martin Luther King Day is actually January 21st, not January 14th.  January 21st is a school day.  Only the 14th was the day off for students.  So sorry for any confusion! 


That seems to be it for now…Until next time…As always…Thanks for reading!