Eagle News

July 13, 2023

In this issue (click to jump to a section):

Letter from the Principal

Click here to read a Back to School message from Mrs. Ashley McDaniel.

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Back-to-School Schedule

Click here to download and print.

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NEW STM PARENTS! This is YOUR night!
Join us for New Parent Orientation on Wednesday, July 19 at 5 p.m. in the STM Gym. This evening is for new parents and guardians of STM students who are enrolled for 2023-24. Our administration and staff will be on hand to help you smoothly transition into the new school year. (Adults only, please.)

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Campus Beautification Day - July 22

Save the date! You are invited to help us prepare and care for our campus before students return next month. We will gather on the STM campus from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 22. We will send an email with details.

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Cheer Camp - 3rd and 4th Grade

The 3rd and 4th grade cheerleaders are getting fired up for the 2023-24 school year! Get your pom poms ready for camp on July 24 at 3 p.m. Go Eagles!

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2nd Grade Sacramental Prep

Attention 2nd grade families: Registration for Reconciliation and First Eucharist preparation begins July 15!
Regular Registration: July 15-31 $40
Late Registration: August 1-15 $55
Click here to register.

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School Office Closed - August 1 and 3

The STM School Office will be closed on Tuesday, August 1 and Thursday, August 3, for faculty and staff professional development.

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Back to School Nights - August 16 (4-8) and August 21 (PK-3) at 5:30 p.m.

This night is intended for parents/guardians only. The evening will begin with a short presentation in the STM Gym, and then you will proceed to your child’s homeroom classroom. Back to School night will take place over two evenings. Families will attend by grade level:
Wednesday, August 16 at 5:30 p.m. - Grades 4-8
Monday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. - Grades PK-3

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2023-2024 Academic Calendar

Click here to view and download the 2023-2024 academic calendar. It includes full days of school, holidays and parent/teacher conference days.

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2023-2024 STM Parent-Student Handbook

Please click here to read the 2023-2024 STM Parent-Student Handbook. This handbook is designed to serve several important objectives: It serves as an official source of school policies and procedures. It provides parents of current students with information to assist and support the efforts and activities of their children. It provides parents of prospective students with information to guide them in the process of selecting a school for their children.

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Text alerts are one of our administration's main forms of communication with families. To ensure you receive our alerts, text “START” to 22383 from your mobile device. The text alerts from STM will begin with “STTM-LA.”

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Back to School Hub

Click here and bookmark this site! We will post all of the latest back-to-school information here.

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Blessing of the Backpacks - August 12-13

All students are invited to bring their backpacks to Masses at STM Church to start off the school year with a special blessing. Masses are Saturday, August 12 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 13 at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Also, join us for fellowship hosted by the Women’s Ministry on Sunday, August 13, after the 8 and 10 a.m. Masses.

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Homeroom Class Lists

Your child's homeroom class list will be emailed the week of July 31.

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EBR Bus Routes

Children on a bus route should receive a postcard mailed to your home address with the bus number, bus driver’s name and pickup time. If you have questions regarding bus routes, please call EBR Transportation at 225-226-3660.

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Uniforms and Backpacks

Please click here to read complete dress code, uniform and grooming guidelines beginning on page 24 of the Parent-Student Handbook.

Our three uniform vendors are Inka's, School Time, or Young Fashions. All STM uniform items must have the new "ONE STM" logo. No uniform items with the former bell tower logo are permitted. 

On Mass days, out of respect for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, girls must wear their jumpers, skirts, skorts, or long pants. Boys must wear long pants with the uniform shirt tucked in.

PE UNIFORMS: 5th - 8th Graders
Students in grades 5-8 wear the STM PE uniform. The PE uniform is a specific t-shirt and shorts that can be purchased at any of our three uniform vendors: Inka's, School Time, or Young Fashions. As our bodies change and grow, it was requested that a PE uniform be part of the class. Students change into these at the start of PE class, and it helps them to feel better for the rest of their day. Please contact the school office at 225-275-2820 if you have any questions.

Tennis Shoes:
Must be traditional low quarter (low cut) style with shoe laces. The shoe color must be navy blue, black, grey, white or any combination of those colors. The laces must be in the same color scheme (navy blue, black, grey, or white), solid, and traditionally tied. Characters, plaid, checkerboard patterns, lights, Velcro, zipper, skateboard style, slip-ons, and wheels are not allowed. PK students may wear Velcro shoes.
Leather Shoes: Solid navy blue, solid brown or solid black; no boots. (on P.E. days, tennis shoes should be worn.)
Socks: Socks must be visible, above the shoe and solid white with no logos. They cannot be below the shoe line.

Preschool boys may wear pants with elastic waistband; no belt is required. Boys in Kindergarten through 8th grade should wear a black, navy, or brown belt. Magnetic belts are permitted.

Preschool and Kindergarten students use the blue STM tote bag provided by the school. Students in grades 1-8 use backpacks, which may have wheels and may have any colors, patterns, etc. consistent with school values.

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Absences and Tardies

Parents or guardians of children who will be absent should make the office aware by 7:30 a.m. by calling 225-275-2820. Students in grades PK-8 arriving at school after 7:40 a.m. must report to the office for a tardy slip. For safety reasons, Preschool and Kindergarten students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when arriving late. After receiving a tardy slip, the student then reports to the homeroom teacher. If a child is tardy on a Mass day, he or she will wait in the office until Mass is over.

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Carpool Procedures

Preschool and Kindergarten families:
You will receive your child's carpool sign at Meet and Greet.
Returning families in grades 1-8:
On the first day of carpool, please use your carpool signs from last year if you still have them. New carpool signs will be distributed on your child's first day of school.
New families or returning families in grades 1-8 without signs:
On the first day of school, please write your child's name in large, bold letters on a sheet of paper and display in your windshield. New carpool signs will be distributed on your child's first day of school.

Morning carpool:
Begins at 7:20 a.m.
All students must be on campus promptly by 7:40 a.m.
Morning assembly follows carpool every morning. Students not present at morning assembly are considered tardy.
Dismissal and afternoon carpool:
2:48 to 3:15 p.m.

Students who are not picked up in afternoon carpool by 3:15 p.m. will be sent to Extended Care as a drop-in. If a student is not previously registered for Extended Care and is sent by the office (due to the office closing), the parent must register the child at that time and pay a fee. Please contact Mrs. Gretchen Thibodeaux with any questions about Extended Care.

For both morning and afternoon carpool, vehicles will line up on Sylvan Drive heading north (toward Sherbrook) and will turn into the carpool line through the gate between the Preschool building and Kindergarten building. To exit carpool, vehicles leave the drive by turning right onto Sherbrook.
Click here for the Preschool Carpool Map.

For both morning and afternoon carpool, vehicles will line up on Parkwood Drive heading west (toward Sherwood Forest Blvd.) and will curve south onto Dartmoor Drive. At the intersection of Dartmoor and Sherbrook, vehicles will proceed straight across Sherbrook and will immediately turn left into the school parking lot. Vehicles will form a line in front of the library and school office. Students will be called by a member of our team and will be assisted into the vehicles. To exit carpool, vehicles leave the parking lot in front of the gym, turning right onto Sherbrook.
Click here for the K-3 Carpool Map.

Vehicles will approach the school on Goodwood Blvd. heading toward Sherwood Forest. Vehicles should form a line down Goodwood in the bike lane to allow non-carpool traffic to pass. Vehicles will proceed past the athletic field/playground and will turn right into the church parking lot. With the field to your right, drive toward the 5th and 6th grade building to drop off or pick up. To exit carpool, drive through the parking lot toward Goodwood Blvd. with the church on your right. While still in the parking lot, turn right and drive past the church before turning left to exit the parking lot onto Goodwood Blvd. going west.
Click here for the 4-8 Carpool Map.

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School Meal Program

The Diocese of Baton Rouge Child Nutrition Program is committed to providing an environment in which students can make healthy food choices that support success and lifelong health. Stay tuned to the Child Nutrition Program website for information on how to set up your child's My School Bucks account and how to apply for free meals.

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Requirements for Volunteering at STM

St. Thomas More must provide a safe environment for children and youth. We hold ALL adults who work with minors to a code of conduct that is Christ-centered and professional. The Child Protection Certification Program implemented by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge requires us to evaluate the background of all paid personnel and volunteers whose duties include ongoing, unsupervised contact with minors. Anyone who wants to volunteer at St. Thomas More must be Child Protection Certified. Please consider taking care of this now, so we can include you as a volunteer during your child’s field trips, retreats, Book Fair, enhanced learning days, Mission Day or other special events. ALL requirements must be met in order to volunteer. Any parent/adult (18 and older) who would like to volunteer with children on the St. Thomas More campus must fill out the requirements as mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Click here to view the Volunteer Requirements.

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Substitute Teachers and Nurses

Parents/guardians who would like to be substitute teachers and/or sub for Nurse Rochelle, please click here for the application.

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Order School Supplies Online

Order your child's prepackaged school supplies for the 2023-24 school year through School Tool Box. Supply boxes will be delivered directly to your home. Be sure to order the correct grade level box for the 2023-24 year. Click here to place your order.

If you ordered your child's supply box by June 11, your child's supplies will be delivered to STM and given to him or her on the first day of school.

If you prefer to purchase school supplies separately, please refer to the supply list for your child's grade level:
Pre-K 3
1st grade
2nd grade
3rd grade
4th grade
5th grade
6th grade
7th grade
8th grade

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Vote for STM Every Day through August 15!

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you – we have made it to the VOTING ROUND of the prestigious Baton Rouge Parents Magazine 2023 Family Favorites contest! This achievement would not have been possible without your unwavering support of the STM community. We are truly honored and grateful for YOU!

Now, we need your help to claim the title of Reader's Choice in nine categories and secure the number one spot in Family Favorites. Your vote can make a significant difference in our journey towards this recognition.

Here's how you can vote for STM School and Church in Family Favorites: Go to stmbr.org/ff23school and click VOTE for STM School in the following categories:
After School Program
Private Elementary School
Private Elementary School Principal - Ashley McDaniel
Private Middle School
Private Middle School Principal - Ashley McDaniel
Special Needs Program.

And go to stmbr.org/ff23church and click VOTE for STM Church in these categories:
Church/Family Worship Center

Please note that voting is open until August 15, so we encourage you to vote daily to maximize our chances of winning. Thank you once again for your continued support and for voting for STM in Family Favorites!

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Morning and Afternoon Extended Care Registration

For Extended Care fees and details, and to register, please go to stmbr.org/extendedcare23.

Students who are not picked up in afternoon carpool will be sent to Extended Care as a drop-in. If a student is not previously registered for Extended Care and is sent by the office (due to the office closing), the parent must register the child at that time and pay a fee. If your child is going home with another child in Extended Care, your child also must be registered. Please contact Mrs. Gretchen Thibodeaux with any questions about Extended Care.

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Summer Reading Requirements: Grades 1-8

Click here for the summer reading list for your child's grade level.

SUMMER READING TESTING FOR GRADES 3-6: Thursday, July 20 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the STM Library. Students in grades 3 through 6 are required to test on two summer reading books. For the second and final testing date for the summer, students may only test on one book. There is no sign up required for testing; please arrive at the STM Library at testing time. Students may wait until we return to school in August to take one or both summer reading tests. Please email Sara Wisdom at wisdoms@stmbr.org if you have any questions.

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Coach's Corner

We have athletic programs for all students to enjoy. We believe that athletics teach students valuable lessons in sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, and competition. Even better, STM has a proud tradition, making it even more fun to pull for your child’s team. Our teams include boys basketball, girls basketball, intramural basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, girls soccer, girls volleyball, golf, swimming, tennis, and track and field.

Football - grades 3-8 (closes 7/31)
Girls basketball - grades 3-5 (closes 7/31)
Girls basketball - grades 6-8 (closes 7/31)
Cross country
- grades 5-8 (closes 8/11)
Swimming - grades 5-8 (closes 8/11)
Tennis - grades 5-8 (closes 8/11)

All athletes in grades 3-8 must have a completed athletic packet. Click here to download the STM athletic packet.. The STM athletic department will be offering an athletic physical day in the STM Gym. More information on the physical day and a sign up link will be emailed out later this month.

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STM Home and School Association

Throughout the school year, Home and School asks parents to help on campus for various events. Volunteering your time is a great way to support our STM community, meet other parents, and get a glimpse into your child’s life at school. We know work schedules can be tough to schedule around, so we offer opportunities that you can work into your schedule. The excitement on your child’s face when they see their mom or dad at school will make you so glad you did!

Go to stmbr.org/hsa23 for information about STM Home and School events and committees, and to sign up as a volunteer. Please note that to take advantage of these volunteer opportunities you must be Child Protection Certified. Go to https://www.stmbr.org/volunteer23 for more information.

Lindsey Guillot, President
Natalie Smith, Vice President
Kayla Pollet, Class Parent Coordinator
Marilee Andrews, Communications
Sara Wisdom, Faculty Board Member
Michelle Fontenot, Treasurer

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Nurse's Notes

At STM, we’re blessed to have a full-time nurse, whom students are allowed to visit when they are not feeling well, to take doctor-prescribed medication, or if they hurt themselves on campus.

Updated Immunization Records Needed: Letters were mailed in early June to parents of incoming Preschool - 8th grade students that have outdated immunization records on file at school. Updated records are due by August 1, 2023, but the earlier you can send them in the better! If your child is up to date on vaccines, then we just need an updated official copy of the immunization record. It can be scanned and emailed to rochelle@stmbr.org, faxed to 225-275-0376, mailed or dropped off to the front office. Nurse Rochelle will be calling parents in late July to check on any outstanding records.

Medication Drop-Off: If your child takes medication at school, you can drop off the medication and the paperwork directly to Nurse Rochelle in her office on the first day of school. She is also happy to make appointments in late July with any parents that would like to drop off early or that would like to meet to discuss any medical concerns before the start of school. New physician orders are required for each school year for medication. The required medication paperwork is available to download below, or you can contact Nurse Rochelle at rochelle@stmbr.org.

Has anything changed medically for your child since last school year? This is just a reminder to notify Nurse Rochelle if your child(ren) have had any changes in their medical history since last school year. Any new food allergies, diagnosis of a new chronic condition such as asthma, etc. are important for us to keep students safe while in our care. Thank you for partnering with us to keep your children healthy at school! 

STM Medication Policy
State Medication Order Form
Consent for Medication Administration
INC Form: required for any diagnosis
Cafeteria form: Diet prescription for meals at school

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Shop and Support STM

COMMUNITY COFFEE CASH FOR SCHOOLS: Collect and save proofs of purchase from Community Coffee products and submit them to your child's homeroom teacher. Through this program, STM earns money to support the education of our children. We will count the labels over the Christmas break and track the amount collected by each homeroom.

BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION: Use the Box Tops app to scan your store receipt, find participating products and instantly add cash to STM's earnings online. From playground equipment to technology to library books, STM can use this money to help our teachers and students get the supplies they need. See how at btfe.com.

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We are excited to announce a new partnership with Logan McIlwin, LCSW.  Logan will be available to counsel students during the day at their enrichment time. To begin, we have selected Wednesday. He will be with us once or twice a month depending on interest. The fee would be $65 per 30-45 minute session. Please click here to let us know if you are interested in Logan's counseling services.

Click here to get more information about Logan.

Mrs. Dejean and Ms. Jewell will remain on our staff and will be available for short term, academic and emotional counseling for our students.

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STM Parish Auction - August 19

You're invited to the 2023 STM Parish Auction on Saturday, August 19, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in the STM Gym. Tickets are $75 per person - cocktail attire. This must-not-miss event will feature a live and silent auction (bidding online), delicious food by Drakes Catering, beautiful decor by August Events, live music, picture booth, bourbon bar, wine pull, first-pick raffle, and heads or tails game. Visit stmbrauction.com for more information and purchase tickets.

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Save the Dates

Now through AUGUST 15: BR Parents Magazine Family Favorites! Go to stmbr.org/ff23school to vote for STM for Afterschool Program, Preschool, Private Elementary School, Private Elementary School Principal, Private Middle School, Private Middle School Principal, Special Needs Program. Go to stmbr.org/ff23church to vote for STM for Church/Family Worship Center and Festival. Vote once a day through August 15!

JULY 19: New Parent Orientation -
5: to 6 p.m. in the STM Gym (Adults only)

JULY 20: Summer Reading Testing for grades 3-6 - 4:30 to 6 p.m. in STM Library

JULY 22: Campus Beautification - 8 to 11 a.m.

JULY 24: Cheer Camp - 3rd and 4th grade, 3 p.m.

JULY 31: Registration closes for football and girls basketball (grades 3-8)

AUGUST 7: Preschool meet-and-greet

• First day of Preschool for students whose last names begin with A-L
• Kindergarten meet-and-greet
• First day for grades 1-8

• First day of Preschool for students whose last names begin with M-Z
• Kindergarten meet-and-greet

AUGUST 10: Full day for all students

AUGUST 11: Registration closes for cross country, swimming, and tennis (grades 5-8)

AUGUST 15: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -
Holy Day of Obligation and all-school Mass

AUGUST 16: Back to School Night for grades 4-8 - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the STM Gym (Adults only)

AUGUST 19: STM Parish Auction (Adults only)

AUGUST 21: Back to School Night for grades PK-3 - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the STM Gym (Adults only)

SEPTEMBER 25: Monday Night Football

SEPTEMBER 30: Mother & Son Tailgate (K through 8)

(Adults only)

MARCH 9: Dad & Daughter Dance (K through 8)

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Our Mission Statement
St. Thomas More Catholic School is committed to continuing a legacy of excellence in religious and academic education in a nurturing environment that fosters self-discipline.