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November_2012_Newsle.. - St. Aedan - St. Brendan Catholic School by yaosaigeng


									       St. Aedan-St. Brendan Principal Newsletter
                              “Nurturing the Spirit, Educating the Mind”

                                             November 2012

                                               Picture Day
November has arrived and we have certainly been very busy here at St. Aedan-St. Brendan School.
Picture Day has been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 13th. Students should be dressed in their
uniforms. You should have received the information on the various packages you can purchase and
must have your child bring that back with payment before November 13th. No pictures will be taken of
any child without that form completed and the payment enclosed in the envelope. No class picture will
be taken this time. Instead we decided to do that in the spring when we can have the children pose

                                               Hulley Grant

St. Aedan-St. Brendan School has again been awarded 2 mini-grants from the Jamie A. Hulley Arts
Foundation ( This is the third time our school has been fortunate enough
to receive this grant. Mrs. Slayton, the 3rd grade teacher applied for this grant and both 4th and 5th grade
students will be able to participate in this year long program. Grade 3 will work on a project creating a
scrapbook with journal entries describing school events which will create enthusiasm for writing.
Grades 3, 4 & 5 will also be working on mapping projects for Social Studies. Grade 3 will be working on a
quilt/sewing map project of the community, Grade 4 will create 3-D regional maps, and Grade 5 will be
making maps of the 13 colonies. Mrs. Couden also was awarded a grant and she will have an author
present several workshops for Grade 8.

                           Box Tops/Register at Stop and Shop and Shop Rite

Just another quick reminder that we are actively collecting Box Tops for Education and have collected
over 1300 so far this school year. Each Box Top collected is worth ten cents and they do add up quickly.
Please check any General Mills product for the box top. Also, as you know, we are enrolled in the
education program at Stop and Shop and Shop Rite. Basically all you need to do is make sure you have a
card from those stores and once you have that card you can go online and register your card. For Stop
and Shop go to www.stopandshop,com/aplus or call 1-877-275-2758 and have your card number. Use
the code, 08694 to insure our school gets credit. For Shop Rite, go to and be sure to
write in our school code which is 17659. Once this is done at either store, each time you shop there and
swipe your card at the register, our school gets a percentage of the sales. This is a very worthwhile
program because the money we make from these activities is used to buy extra teacher supplies and
materials that we cannot cover under the budget.

                                            Veteran’s Day
On Veteran’s day Saint Aedan-Brendan Catholic School will be hosting a Veteran’s Day Assembly. During
the assembly students will have the chance to listen to and interact with veterans from a variety of wars,
ranging from World War Two up to present-day. This assembly is to show appreciation to all those men
and women who served or are currently serving our country.

Conferences will be held this month on Thursday and Friday, November 15th and 16th. They will begin in
the afternoon and end in the early evening. You will be getting information concerning conferences
from your children’s teachers soon. You should receive some useful information about conferencing
with your child’s teacher as well as schedules and how to sign up for a conference. Grades 6-8 will be
having student-led conferences. Your child will be at the conference and he/she will sit with you and
discuss his/her progress in each of his/her classes. The 6-8 teachers will be in the room and will address
any questions you may have or simply just sit in on the discussion between you and your child. Further
information on this type of conference will be going home soon. Please remember that those two days
are half days and that lunch WILL be served.

                                            Student Council

The St. Aedan- St. Brendan Student Council recently conducted a donation of supplies for the New
Haven Ronald MacDonald House. Our students brought in donations of much needed supplies including
toothbrushes, soap, baby wipes, tissue, cups and plates. They are now busy planning the grand opening
of the school store which will be located just outside the school gym. The store’s inventory will include
notebooks, pens and pencils, calculators, book covers and many other necessary items, all at an
affordable price. The council is also busy planning for a Thanksgiving food drive. They will be taking
donations of canned goods to help make Thanksgiving happier for those in need. The food will be
donated to Christian Community Action. An area Cleanup Day is in the planning stages. Students will be
raking leaves for people in the surrounding community.

                                      Learning about the Election

In the month of October and middle school children took part in a study conducted by Mr. Garitta. In
this study students were given political viewpoints of two candidates for President, candidate A and B.
All students voted for the person they believed was best suited for the position. The outcome was 25
students voted for candidate A and 20 voted for candidate B. Two weeks later we voted again, this time
the students were given the platforms of President Obama and Mitt Romney. Forty-two students voted
for Obama and 3 voted for Romney. In the first mock election candidate A was Obama and candidate B
was Romney. The point of this study was to show students that we must not, as a society, allow
ourselves to make decisions just because of ethnicity, religions, language etc, but rather make our
decisions for Presidency based on who we feel will make the best positive impact on our lives and

                                             HOPES Dinner

On Sunday, September 25, the Office of Catholic Schools sponsored its annual HOPES dinner at Aqua
Turf. This very worthwhile event honors those people who volunteer their time and talent for our
parochial elementary schools. Parishes throughout the diocese have a specific weekend to have a
special collection to help support our Catholic Schools and the profits from the dinner add to that fund.
Each Catholic school applies for a HOPES grant for specific needs and that is where the monies come
from to support that grant. Our school was able to secure a $14,000 grant from HOPES the last school
year. The majority of that money was spent to buy textbooks and I am also looking into purchasing
more IPads or graphing calculators this year.
This year our school honored two individuals who have volunteered their time and talent to benefit our
children. Mrs. Paola Civitillo, our school chef, was honored for her many hours of volunteering to
prepare banquets for various school functions. Paola never refuses to help us out and we are grateful
for the extra time and effort she gives us in addition to the great dinners she prepares! Mrs. Sonje
Smith was also honored at this dinner for all the time and effort she has volunteered for our Tennis Club.
It was her idea to get this wonderful activity started at our school and it has blossomed into one huge
sports program! She has also been instrumental in securing several grants from state and national
tennis organizations to assist us in acquiring tennis supplies and professionals to teach our young
athletes. Kudos to both of these women who do so much for our children! (Check out our website for a
photo of the honorees at the dinner.

                                           Red Ribbon Week

Character Counts/Red Ribbon Week was October 22 – October 26. Last year we focused on anti-
bullying. This year the focus of Red Ribbon Week was Being Drug Free. Ms. Amy Melillo, our school
social worker, kicked off the week with an assembly at each grade level on Monday. Information Day
was Tuesday. Students learned what it means to be drug free and connect it with the Character Counts
theme of Responsibility. Drug-taking in sports repeatedly makes headline news. On Wednesday the
students looked at athletes that are good role models and help them to make better decisions for their
own health. We ended the week on Friday with a Wear Red Day. Students dressed down in red to
recognize the Character Counts theme of Caring and about Being Drug Free!

                                               Tennis Club

The St. Aedan-St. Brendan School Tennis Club is having a great fall season. Students in the club have
been improving their skills and playing other towns in the area like Guilford, Madison, and West Haven.
The students usually practice after school each Friday either in the gym or at Edgewood Park. Our
thanks to the coaches who volunteer so much of their time to make this wonderful part of our sports
program so successful. The coaches are: Mrs. Sonje Williams Smith, Mrs. Claudia Bedoya-Rose, Mrs.
Lynette Johnson, Mr. Darin Wilborne, and Mrs. Igo-Amadi.

                                       Home-School Association

The Home School Association recently completed its first fundraisers. The first was the Jeannine
catalogue followed by the magazine drive. It seems both were very successful and we thank all those
parents and teachers who organized both fundraisers. Special thanks to Home-School Vice-President,
Mr. Matt Luft, Math teacher, Miss Anastasio, and parent, Mrs. Tatiana O’Connor. On October 27th the
school held its second outdoor Fall Festival. Chairpersons Mrs. Candace Manning and Mrs. Diane Couto
helped organize this very successful event. Many of our teachers were also very instrumental and
making this new event the success it was. It seems everyone who came to the event had a great time
with great people on a beautiful autumn day! It was so great to see so many of our parents volunteer at
this family fun day! Home/School is presently winding down its second fundraiser which is the sale of
pies. All pie orders are due November 5th. Please bring them to the office. Pie pick up is November
12th from 3-5:30 in the garages by the parking lot.
Home/School is also participating in a new fundraiser this fall from Mixed Bags. They are selling a great
assortment of bags and totes as well as Ipad and phone covers. Catalogues will be coming out soon.
The bags from this fundraiser will make great Christmas presents and we get 50% profit.
                                         Columbus Day Breakfast

The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) held their annual Columbus Day
Breakfast at Anthony’s Ocean View Restaurant on Friday, October 8th. Fr. Tom, Mrs. Couden, Miss
Criscuolo, and I attended this wonderful annual event. Many parochial schools from the New Haven
area were represented as well as many prominent individuals from the business and political world
attended. This breakfast in honor of Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, is one of the yearly
fundraisers that benefits the catholic schools in this area. I will let you know exactly what this event was
able to raise for our school when I receive the check!

                                             Coaches Needed!

Basketball season is getting close to commencing and we have many students interested in various
grade level teams. The grade levels are Varsity-Grades 7 and 8 Boys and Girls Teams, Junior Varsity-
Grades 5 and 6 Boys and Girls Teams and Grades 3 and 4. Presently I have a Boys’ Varsity coach and
Boys’ Junior Varsity coach as well as a Grades 3-4 Boys’ coach. Please, let me know if you are willing to
help out in this capacity. A full time coach entitles you to fulfill your Fair Share whereas co-coaching will
entitle you to half Fair Share payment. We want our children who express an interest in participating in
a sport to be able to take part in it but we can only do this if we have coaches. Won’t you please
consider giving some of your time to this very worthwhile cause?

                                               K-2 Field Trip

The Kindergarten, First and Second Graders had a wonderful time on their field trip to Norton’s Apple
Farm in Cheshire. When we arrived, we were taken on a hayride around the apple orchard where we
saw many different kinds of apples being grown. Next, we joined the apples that had already been
picked, in the HUGE refrigerator where they were being stored. Brrr! We saw a machine which cleaned
off the apples that would be going to stores in the area. Finally, we watched the apples being bagged
and crated. We also enjoyed picking our own bag of apples to take home to our families. After enjoying
a picnic lunch, we were treated to apple cider and donuts. It was a great day!

                                          Eighth Graders Debate

Eighth Grade students recently took center stage for a presidential debate. Jonathan Williams played the
role of Barack Obama and Roy Smith represented Mitt Romney. The moderator was Sabah Banse.
Students followed a debate format. Candidates delivered their speeches followed by pertinent
questions from the moderator. Students were then allowed to stand and ask one question with one
follow up.
The debate was concluded with final statements from each candidate. Jon and Roy then shook hands.
It was decided by the students that due to the excellence of each candidate the debate would be a tie.

                                          Inservice/Election Day

There will be school on Election Day at St. Aedan-St. Brendan School. However, there will be no school
on Wednesday, November 7th for teachers to attend a workshop sponsored by the Archdiocese of
Hartford. Our yearly calendar that you received the first day of school gave the incorrect date (from
the Archdiocese) so please note the correction. There will be another half day that is not presently on
our November calendar to allow our teachers to attend another Inservice. The day of that half day is
November 29th. Lunch will be served that day.
                                           Art Work On Display

Mrs. Ireland, our Art teacher, along with Mitchell Librarian, Mrs. Tatiana O’Connor, recently announced
that our students’ art work will be on display at Mitchell Public Library for the month of November.
There will be a formal reception on Monday, November 5th from 6:30-7:30. Please take some time to go
there to view our children’s efforts in art class!

What’s happening in our classrooms?
Pre-K/Readiness Program-Mrs. Zvonkovic, Mrs. Bonini, Ms. Durante

The preschool classes have been busy bringing the outside environment into our classrooms by doing
many activities with leaves. We have gone on a leaf hunt, painted with leaves, sorted leaves, and made
our own Leaf Man after reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. On October 26th, all the preschool
classes went to B & B Farms for a hayride and to visit the Pumpkin Patch. On Tuesday, October 30th, we
had a Fall Festival including a Fall scavenger hunt, a variety of Fall art activities and eat some yummy Fall

In the month of November we are going on a field trip to Stop & Shop to learn about healthy eating and
see how food comes from a farm to the store. They will give us a tour of the"behind the scenes" areas,
we will get to pet a lobster and taste some delicious healthy foods. We will also be talking about being
thankful and all that we have to be thankful for. We will be having a Preschool Thanksgiving Feast to
celebrate all our blessings.

Kindergarten-Mrs. Odell

This month has been a busy one here in Kindergarten! We have begun meeting in groups for centers
and are on our second list of sight words bringing our total to 20! Keeping with the apple theme after
our trip to an orchard, we did taste testing with different apples and caramel and we made applesauce.
In math we are working on reading and writing numbers. In reading we are continuing with letter
sounds, reading sight words so that we can begin to learn to read. To prepare for the election the
students are learning about the process of holding an election and about the two men running for the
office of President. We will be holding our own elections in class. We will be voting on the best way to
eat corn: popped, on the cob, or caramel corn. Kindergarten will be backing the popcorn, first grade is
backing the corn on the cob, and second grade will be backing the caramel corn. Each of these three
classes will make posters for their type of corn, come up with pro’s for why their way is the best and
have a taste test to persuade the other classes. Once the tasting is over the three classes will go to their
voting booths and vote. Votes will be counted and results will be graphed and announced! Last but not
least we walked over to the firehouse to learn about fire safety and to see how the firemen live in the
firehouse. We also had the opportunity to get outside to collect leaves for an activity called leaf
rubbing. I’m sure you saw the beautiful pictures coming home.
Grade One-Mrs. Timmeny

V-O-T-E V-O-T-E V-O-T-E That’s the theme song for First Grade. We’ve been learning a lot about the
voting process, and the two candidates that want to be President. We will be voting in school for the
man that we think will do the best job for us. We’ve watched the men on the T.V., read about them in
the newspapers and in a magazine. We need to make an informed vote. We would also like to thank
Fireman Kennedy for bringing the Fire Trailer to school. We SAFELY experienced being in a real fire. We
felt a hot door, felt and saw pretend smoke surround us, and had to escape out the window. We hope
we never have to experience it for real, but if we do, we’ll know what to do.

Grade Two-Mrs. Pacelli

This month, the Second Grade class has been very busy learning about the parts of a story. The students
are in the process of writing their own narrative story. The class is learning how to revise their writing in
the areas of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. In Science, we have been exploring solids, liquids,
and gasses. The Second Grade had the opportunity to work with the Seventh Grade Science class
making Oobleck. The students learned that Ooblick was not a solid or a liquid, but a suspension.

In November, we will be working with the Kindergarten and First Grade classes to learn about the
election process. Each class will be given a type of corn to campaign that it is the best. First Grade will
be campaigning for kernel corn. Kindergarten will campaign for popcorn, and Second Grade will be
promoting caramel popcorn. The classes will make posters for their type of corn. The students will be
able to taste each type of corn and then vote on which one they like the most. After the students vote
on which corn they feel is the best, the students will graph the voting results. This activity will help the
students understand the election process. The Second Grade will also be discussing the political

Grade Three-Mrs. Slayton

In Religion, we continue to study the Apostle’s Creed and we will make Thanksgiving cards for Arden
House residents. In Social Studies we are studying about the Presidential election and working on the
Character Counts program. In Math we will begin multiplication after we complete our unit on addition
and subtraction. In Reading we have finished our first theme “Identity Awareness” and began the
second theme “Perspective Taking.” We will receive funds for a year long project funded by the Jamie
Hully grant ( Funds from this grant will allow us to create both a “hands-
on”writing project and a mapping project. We are planning with grades 4 and 5 to go to the Yale
Peabody Museum to study animal habitats.

Grade Four-Mrs. Boynton

This month, grade four will complete our saint reports in time for All Saints Day on November 1, 2012.
We will present the reports in class. We are now in Theme 2 of our Voices Reading Series and the title is
“Perspective Taking”. This Unit helps us to understand the perspectives of others and become aware
that others points of view can have validity. Grade four will be participating in the Christmas Tree
Decoration Contest held by the Knights of Columbus. We will take a trip museum this month do
decorate the handmade ornaments made in art class. Please encourage your child to read and practice
multiplication facts nightly.

Grade Five-Miss Criscuolo

As the first Marking Period winds down, the fifth graders will be in the age of exploration with
Columbus, Magellan and Marco Polo setting sights on new territories in Social Studies. Mapping and art
projects will enhance our study. We will also be continuing our work in multiplication and division of
decimal numbers and with the help of our Quinnipiac students conquer our fears in math. Voices
Reading program continues with the study of Freedom in all areas such as Speech, Education and
Expression while spinning our Character Counts pillars around the literature we read and discuss.

Middle School Grades 6-8

Mathematics-Miss Anastasio

Miss Anastasio’s Middle School math classes have been working individually on skills each student needs
to practice or review. The students enjoy being able to move at his or her own pace. They are
motivated to review the skill, practice it, and move on to the next skill. Students are not embarrassed to
keep reviewing a skill they do not understand. We are fortunate to have small math classes and to have
help daily from Quinnipiac University students.

We are doing some great math activities for the upcoming elections. The United States of Numeracy:
The Math of a Presidential Campaign is a wonderful site. The students were excited to use our new
school lap tops to investigate campaign finance. They were stunned to see the amount that is raised
and the individual amounts that people donate. We will be continuing to use the lap tops to look into
fact checking candidates, explore voting patterns, and to graph results. The students always find it
amazing to see math IS used in life every day and in many ways.

Language Arts-Mrs. Couden

November brings to mind two special days, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Seventh and Eighth graders
will be using various genres to produce writing pieces.

Prayers, poems and personal narratives will allow students to reflect on the history and personal
connections in relation to Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

Eighth Graders will also be analyzing and memorizing Flanders Field, a famous poem written during the
First World War by John McCrae.

Language Arts/Social Studies -Mr. Garitta

Voices – This month students will be choosing a new reading book to present to the class. We will also
focus on improving our writing using descriptive imagery. Students will learn to use imagery in their
writing to help create pictures within the reader’s mind.
Geography – This month in geography students will be learning about our neighbor, Canada. In this unit
we will discover the extreme diversity that is found across the nation. In addition, we will understand
how Canada and the United States, although different countries, share many similarities.
American History – This month in class students will be examining the Articles of Confederation, the first
attempt at creating a government in the United States. Students will discover why the Articles failed
and how Congress attempted to fix those problems.
Ancient History – 6th grade will be learning about Ancient Nubia in November. Throughout the unit we
will focus on how these people lived and the influences they had on other civilizations and us today. The
students will learn how trade helped spread culture throughout the world.

Science-Mr. Celentano

Grade 6- The 6th grade recently completed a chapter on earthquakes. They experimented with building
earthquake safe homes, locating the epicenters of earthquakes and plotting earthquakes and volcanoes
using coordinates. They are now beginning a chapter on volcanoes and will be working on creating travel
brochures. These brochures will give detailed information on world volcanoes and why they might make
wonderful (and dangerous!) vacation destinations.

Grade 7- Our 7th graders recently completed a chapter on photosynthesis. They used a variety of
methods to understand this process including labs and music. Some of them may now be willing and
able to sing the “Photosynthesis Song”! They are now beginning to study the subject of Genetics. Soon
they will be extracting DNA from strawberries. They also had a lot of fun working with second graders
making oobleck, a substance which has the properties of both liquids and solids.

Grade 8- Eighth grade has finished learning about the states of matter and is now beginning to study
atoms and the periodic table. This is a challenging area of Science. They have begun their study by using
artwork to distinguish between different models of atoms throughout history. In the coming weeks, they
will create an “alien periodic table” and a large floor sized one.
I would also like to add that 5th grade has begun their study of life science and will be dissecting owl
pellets to study the skeletal and digestive system.

Spanish-Mr. DiLella

 6th grade: We will continue practicing verbs that act like gustar, and expand our speaking and writing
capabilities with new grammar concepts this month.

7th grade: Vocabulary and more irregular verbs will be the focus this month. Students will have a
variety of opportunities to converse with each other utilizing their new words, as well as get practice in
writing and listening exercises.

8th grade: We will be focusing on "practical" vocabulary and grammar, in this case words and concepts
that relate to travel and dining. Students will get chances to play the roles of diner or traveler, and
receptionist or waiter, and practice interacting with each other in a variety of ways.

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