St. Aedan/St. Brendan Principal Newsletter

“Nurturing the Spirit, Educating the Mind”

January 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011

All of us at St. Aedan-St. Brendan School wish all of you a very healthy and happy New Year!

We have many things to get accomplished as we enter this New Year. First on our list this month is celebrating Catholic Education Month which is Archdiocesan. Nationwide Cathoilic

Education Week is officially the week of January 30 th

. While some of the things we will be doing to mark this special time will be addressed in this newsletter, other events and activities will be announced as plans are finalized. So please watch for notices that may go home with your children.

Huga Tuga Reading Rocks Live!

On January 25 th

the Huga Tuga Reading Rocks production company will be visiting our school and doing two performances. This is an interactive program that is a “Pep Rally for Reading” for children of grades K-8. This is an interactive theater performance centered around the magic o f Reading. The program’s objectives are to get children “wild” about reading, show children why reading is important, to show how an idea comes to life, to promote a lifelong love of reading, and to make learning fun. We hope your children will enjoy the shows. Please feel free to stop by and watch if you are able to. The tentative schedule for that day is 9:00-10:00

AM for Pre-K-2 and 10:15-11:15 for grades 3-

8. Our school’s special activities account and our

Home/School Association will be financing this worthwhile event.

Christmas Concert

Congratulations and kudos to all of our students who participated in our wonderful Christmas

Concert on Tuesday, December 21 st

. Congratulations also to Mrs. Mehinovic and Mrs.

Hernandez for all their fine efforts and time in getting all our students prepared. Mrs. Mehinovic also supervised decorating the stage and gym as well as choreographing any of the skits and group performances. It was a standing room only crowd and everyone made our holiday just a bit more special!

Our Home/School also was able to raffle off the Christmas trees and made a great profit through the generosity of all those who purchased tickets. Home/School President, Mrs. Conlan and

Vice-President and chair of the raffle, Mrs. Kravitz wish to express their sincere thanks to everyone who participated by buying raffle tickets and also donating or soliciting to get certificates for the trees.

Special thanks for their part in “decorating” our trees goes to

Delaney’s, Dennis Uniform, Mary Kaye products as donated by Jen Messore, G Salon, New

England Healthcare, Chen’s Kitchen, Modell’s, Sports Authority, the Conlan Family, Kravity

Family, DeMaio Family, O’Connor Family, and Simpson Family. We thank everyone for all their hard work that made this night the success it was!!!!

Christmas Store

Each year as you know our Home/School sponsors a Christmas store for your children so that they may purchase Christmas gifts at very reasonable prices. Parents of the Home/School busily shop after the season to buy items at sale prices to stock up for the following year’s

Christmas store. If you are out shopping and see some things priced real low that can be resold at our Christmas Store next year, please feel free to make a purchase and bring the items into school so we can pack them away for next year. This year’s store was a huge success. Our children also loved participating the raffle. Our winners were:

Lorenzo Negron

, Grade 1-

Homework Pass,

Tiara Boyd

, Kindergarten-Dress Down Day Pass,

Toure King

, Grade 5-

Moive Tickets/Candy,

Alexis Adams

, Grade 2-Bucket of Candy,

Amanda Simpson

, Grade 2-

Bag of Bic Items,

Alison Cofrancesco

, Grade 7-Holiday Craft Set. Congratulations to all of you.


Our school has been selected to participate in the National Assessment of Education Progress survey. It will be administered to our 8 th

grade on February 28 th

. NAEP is given by the National

Center for Education Statistics with the U.S. Department of Education and tells us what our nation’s students know and can do in key subject areas. Further information will be sent home to 8 th

grade parents at a later date. This is a very good opportunity to continue on our quest to provide the best education for our children and to be sure we are in accordance with common core educational standards. The best way to do that is to assess our children’s progress and our teachers’ teaching stategies and techniques.

Annual Book Fair

Our annual Scholastic Book Fair, under the direction of Mrs. Couden, will take place during

Catholic Education Week (January 31-February 4). Please be sure to stop in at any time and shop at the fair. We will have a variety of books for all grade levels, posters, pencils, pens, and other items. Students will be able to visit at least twice during the week with their classes to shop for themselves.


I am still looking for any parent or parishioner who can assist us in any way with some things that need to be done at our school. Please call the office (203-387-5693) or email me at [email protected]

if you think you can be of any assistance with the following items:

-hanging some things on our cement walls

-a sign for our school

-moving 3 or 4 large display cases with glass doors from St. Brendan School on Ellsworth

Avenue to our building on McKinley Avenue. The trophies in those cabinets will also be coming here to be put on display.


I am looking for any alumni of St. Aedan or St. Brendan School to assist in creating a newsletter that I am planning on sending to alumni of both schools. My target date is before our March

Phonothon. If you think you might like to help out in this exciting endeavor, please contact me at school either through email or with a phone call. And speaking of alumni, we are looking for alumni of both schools who graduated 50, 40, 30, 20, or 10 years ago. We would like to arrange a get together for these groups to reminince and reacquaint after all these years.

Please look for further details.

Order Your Yearbook Now!!

This year we have a new yearbook company, the Memory Book Company, and we are able to order yearbooks for ONLY $20.00 (the price last year was $30.00). We are able to get this great price because we are prepaying the order. Payment is due by January 31, 2010. After this time we cannot take any more orders. EVERY GRADE WILL BE REPRESENTED IN THIS

YEARBOOK, PRE K -8!!! It is truly a great memory keeper! If you have any questions please email Mrs. Slayton at [email protected]

or call the school and leave a message.

Family Pasta Night

The faculty and staff are planning a Family Pasta Night the week of January 31 st

in conjunction with our annual Science Fair and Scholastic Book Fair. This Catholic Education Week event is still being planned and we will be sending out information flyers shortly. This will be a great time to come together as a school community to share a great meal, shop at our book fair, and look at the fine exhibits of our science projects. We are possibly including projects from all our grades to make this a true all school event!

Science Club

The Science club will continue to meet bi- weekly. There are some fun and interesting projects planned including bridge building, electrical labs and the dissection of a squid. The club has had a great amount of interest and all students from grades 5-8 are welcome to come!

Student Council

The student council will continue with their collection of supplies for American troops overseas.

The seasonal table located on the first floor will be a site of ongoing food collections for area soup kitchens and will be decorated to reflect the seasons. They will also be exploring more ways to recycle at the school.

Shop Rite/Stop and Shop

As you know our school is participating in the Shop Rite For Education and the Stop and Shop

A+ School Rewards programs. This requires you to go to their websites and register with your card number and a school code number. By doing this very simple task, our school will receive a cash bonus sometime in the spring. I have sent home notices with all this information and I am very surprised to learn that a very limited number of families have chosen to participate in this very worthwhile endeavor. Please, if you have not already, take the time to go online and register for our school. You could email all the information to friends and family as well. The more we have sign up the more proceeds we will receive for our school. Here is the information:

Stop and Shop to register online or call 1-877-275-2758 and use the ID # 08694

Shop Rite to register online and use the ID # 39970

We are also collecting box tops for the program, Box Tops for Education. Please, please check for these box tops in your kitchen cabinets and save them for us. We get a portion of the proceeds for handing any of them in. Our school will be holding a contest until

Friday, February 4


. Each time a classroom reaches a total of 100 box tops, that homeroom will get a dress down day the next day after the formal count. So, students, bring in the box tops as soon as you can and give them to your homeroom teacher.

Christmas Prayer Service

Under the guidance of Mrs. Boynton, all of our children took part in prayer service before we left for our Christman holiday. Father Tom led the service with a special prayer and discussion about Christmas. Then the students watched as eighth graders : Jackie Bottone, Deja Daniel,

Matt Ostawski, Ajaunna Laudat, and AJ Roberts read scripture and students in our fourth grade class acted out what was being read. It was a very meaningful and blessed activity. A special thanks to all the Grade Four students and the several eight grade students who read.

Bring in your old cell phones!

We have just become involved with a program that collects old cell phones. We can get up to

$100.00 for some cell phones and perhaps nothing for some others. So….. if you have an old cell phone hanging around the house, donate it to our school and we can turn them all in for some cash. These are the little fundraisers that pay for o ur children’s admission into some

museums, field trip transportation costs, and other small ticket items needed in our classrooms.

(Just cell phones and their batteries-no chargers or accessories.)

What is happening in our classrooms the month of January?

Pre-Kindergarten-Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Evans

Just before the Christmas break, the pre-k families took time to share an evening together viewing the Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Park. As the evening approached, and everyone

’ s stress levels increased with the preparations for Christmas, the adults questioned their sanity in planning an event so close to the holiday. But as the bus approached the lighted archway of the

Easter Seals display and a united gasp of wonder was sounded by the children, they suddenly knew why they were all there. The magic and wonder of the season was ingnited in all.

Suddenly, it wasn

’ t about the decorations and presents, but about sharing time and making memories together. The next day, the preschoolers were given another surprise treat when,

Senor DiLella, our Spanish teacher, came to read to them the legend of the poinsettia plant.

They were thoroughly engaged in the story and in showing off their limited knowledge of


Having rested up over the holiday, they are now beginning work on learning the songs for their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert given in February. In learning the music, it is the beginning of learning about American history and the power of the word and team spirit to affect change. It is a big event for the families as it is for many of the children as it is the first time they perform on stage. Families also bring a family dish so that all can share a pot luck celebration afterward. It has become a favorite annual event in the pre-school year.

Kindergarten-Mrs. Gianpietro

Kindergarten is back from a wonderful winter break and looking forward to continuing our amazing growth in language arts! In addition to the Voices reading program and our new Dolch

Sight Word study, Kindergarten will begin exploring creative writing. As our phonemic awareness becomes more concrete, students will be encouraged to express their ideas through phonetic spelling and use of sight words. As we move into the winter season, Kindergarten will be studying animal hibernation and animals of cold climates, integrating social studies and science themes into our math, language arts, and creative arts studies.

Grade One-Mrs. Timmeny

The First Graders have been learning about how "Character Counts." They've been thinking about their New Year

’s resolutions and how they can use what they've learned to show care and concern for others. Did you know that January 15th is the birthday of someone with a very special dream? We do! It's the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. We will be learning more about him and will honor him by making a special project


Grade Two-Mrs. Kondziela

During January we will continue reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and begin working on dioramas depicting a favorite scene from the story. We will also begin learning cursive -- the children are excited about writing on their desks using shaving cream! In math, we begin adding with regrouping. In preparation, we have worked very hard learning place value during morning meeting as well as during math class. In our Voices reading program, we continue reading about and discussing ways to resolve conflict peacefully. Finally, there will be some special activities planned for Catholic Schools Month -- watch for details!

Grade Three-Mrs. Slayton

Grade 3 is planning a field trip with grades 4 and 5 to the Knights of Columbus Museum to see the all of the exhibits including the nativities, the Christmas tree decorated by grade 4, the new

Mother Teresa and the permanent 9-11 exhibit. The Regional Water Authority will drop off a loan box for “Habitats of the Long Island Sound”. We began writing letters to “pen pals” in

Florida. Mrs. Slayton has a friend who teaches 3 rd

grade and both teachers thought the students would enjoy writing friendly letters to add to their writing skills as they describe, compare and contrast where the live and go to school. Grade 3 also makes cards on a regular basis for residents at Arden House in Hamden as part of an “Inter-Generations” program run by a friend of Mrs. Slayton. The residents write back and make small projects for the students.

As part of our Catholic Schools month program we will collaborate with Mr. Celentano’s 6th grade class for a “buddy” program with projects for both Science and Religion. We will participate in a “level” activity with the 4 th

and 5 th

grade classes. We will also pray the Rosary every Wednesday to celebrate Catholic Schools month and visit the chapel for an Epiphany prayer service.

Grade Four-Mrs. Boynton

Fourth grade will continue to advance in multiplication and division...nightly drills are essential.

This month we will focus on narrative writing skills as well as contiuning our study of grammar and mechanics. A book report from the "Historial Fiction" genre is due on January 26th. This

month's theme for character development is "Responsibility" and this will again be tied into the

Voices Reading Program.

Grade Five-Miss Criscuolo

Fifth grade is very excited to be starting their study of fractions this month. We will be investigating parts of a whole and a group as well as equivalent fractions. We will put fractions into their lowest terms and begin to add and subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators. This will be an exciting time as we are preparing for our IOWA tests in March.

As well as studying fractions we continue our Character Counts study with Responsibility. A new year and new you will help guide the students in looking at people in history who showed responsibility as well as people in our own lives who are great role models for this concept.

Since this is Catholic Education Month

– Catholic Schools A+ for America we will be discussing what makes our school a great place to be a family of learning.

Middle School-

Social Studies-Mr. Garitta

U.S.History (Grade 8)

In January the students will be completing an independent research paper. Each student will read Chapter 8 in our US History textbook. They will be focusing on the internal and external problems that the United States faced after the ratification of the

Constitution. They will write about 3 problems and rationalize if the situations were dealt with properly.

Geography (Grade 7)

– Following the completion of our South America unit we will be moving onto Asia, based on student choice. During this unit students will be assigned a city in Asia.

They will research this city in detail (economy, geography, demographics). Due to the ever increasing attention on Chinese economy I think it is important for students to understand the

Asian geography.

Ancient Civilizations (Grade 6)

– In January we will be learning about Ancient Greece. During this unit we will be watching “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller”, a compellation of Greek myths.

Each student will choose one of these myths and write a short analysis of it. This will consist of a summary, meaning, and opinion.

Voices(Grade 6)

– This January we will be working on opening paragraphs in papers. Students will be writing a short paper with creative openings. Through practice they will learn how to catch a rea der’s attention and properly introduce a paper to an audience.

Science-Mr. Celentano

Grade 6

will begin the month studying the exciting world of earthquakes. Experiments will include making mechanisms that detect seismic waves. From there, they will return to the subject of Volcanoes to do some interesting audio-visual projects.

Grade 7

continues to study the human body and body systems. They are currently exploring the circulatory system and have done several labs showing them blood type compatibilities. From there they will study the respiratory system and perform labs which will explore that area more fully. They are also completing their Science projects which explore ways in which science can help troubled areas of the world.

Grade 8

is exploring the exciting world of Physics. Labs will include demonstrations of Newton’s

3 laws of motion and calculating acceleration and momentum. They too are working on Science projects linking Science with social Justice which will be displayed during Catholic Schools


Math-Miss Anastasio

Our eighth graders

are taking a break from algebra and working on a unit in geometry. They are enjoying studying shapes and creating similar and congruent ones using protractors and compasses.

Seventh graders

are happy to be analyzing data right now. It's a welcome change from fractions and decimals!! They are taking surveys, making predictions, reading and creating various graphs and looking at how this fits into the real world and is used daily.

The sixth grade

continues to work on fractions and mixed numbers. They are adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing them. They are learning about ratios and proportions and understanding the importance of fractions in everyday life, cooking, party planning, and building.

All students work on problem solving, critical thinking, and logic activities regularly. "Math" games are used during indoor recess time. Students enjoy puzzles, Jenga, Mancala, Chess,

Checkers, and other great math thinking games.

Language Arts-Mrs. Couden

During January

sixth grade

students will be reading, analyzing and appreciating various types of poetry and researching related poets. The culminating activity for this unit will be the preparation of a poetry anthology by the students. They will select their favorite poems and include illustrations.

Students will also continue to read their current novel My Brother Sam is Dead related to the

Revolutionary War Period. Literary Circles will be used for discussions.

Seventh Graders

will be preparing and presenting Act 111 and Act 1V of Macbeth. Those students not acting will be designing the scenery.

Elements of persuasive writing will be the writing topic for

seventh and eighth grade


They will complete letters and essays on topics generated by a three step interview process. A debate will be prepared by the

eighth graders

using their persuasive writing and speaking skills.

Mechanics of writing continue to be reinforced at all grade levels.

Spanish-Mr. DiLella

In the

6th grades

we are learning how to write basic sentences using conjugated verbs. We will also be learning about the history and culture of Spain.

In the

7th grade

we are learning advanced sentence structure and mapping. We will be learning about Spain as a colonial power and important lessons that can be learned from Spain's imperialist experience.

In the

8th grade

we are learning practical Spanish vocabulary and phrases useful in ordering food and navigating through a Spanish city or town. We will also learn about many different aspects of the culture of Spain as well as Spain as a colonial power.


Parents and family members are reminded that whenever they come into our school they


sign in at the office. A visitor’s pass will be given to any visitors which will need to be visible as they seek their destination in the school. Passes should be returned to the office as they sign out. I am asking that everyone please comply with this rule. It insures the safety of all of us at our school. Even if a parent is dropping off a small item to their child they need to stop in the office first to sign in and receive a visitor’s pass. Not only is this a safety issue but it insures that our teachers and students are not being interrupted during instructional time. I thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.