Eagle News

July 14, 2022

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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First Days of School - August 9-12

AUGUST 9: First day of school for grades 1-8. There is NO MORNING CARPOOL on this day. Parents may park and walk with children to the classroom and take a first-day-of-school photo. We will have afternoon carpool.
AUGUST 9 and 10: Kindergarten and Preschool Meet-and-Greet -
Our youngest students have a chance for one-on-one time with their teachers. You will receive an email with a SignUpGenius link for you to schedule your child's day and time. Children will wear their STM uniform and have the opportunity to take a first-day-of-school photo in their classroom.
AUGUST 11: First day for Preschool students whose last names begin with A-L and for all Kindergarten students.
All students will use morning and afternoon carpool, unless they will go to Extended Care.
AUGUST 12: First day of Preschool students whose last names begin with M-Z
All students will use morning and afternoon carpool, unless they will go to Extended Care.
AUGUST 15: Full day of school for all students

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NEW STM PARENTS!  Tonight is YOUR night!
Join us for New Parent Orientation on Wednesday, July 20 at 5 p.m. in the STM Gym. This evening is for new parents and guardians of STM students who are enrolled for 2022-23. Our administration and staff will be on hand to help you smoothly transition into the new school year.

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Back to School Nights - August 17 (4-8) and 22 (PK-3) at 5 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 17 at 5 p.m. - Grades 4-8
Monday, August 22 at 5 p.m. - Grades PK-3

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2022-2023 Academic Calendar

Click here to view and download the 2022-2023 academic calendar. It includes full days of school, holidays and parent/teacher conference days.

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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 Resources on the STM Website

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 6 and 7

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 6 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 7 at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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Homeroom Class Lists

Your child's homeroom class list will be emailed by August 7.

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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

Click here for complete dress code, uniform and grooming guidelines.

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 the second bell 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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Morning and Afternoon Carpool

change for 2022-2023! new carpool groups are PK, K-3 and 4-8

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:
7:20 to 7:40 a.m. There is NO MORNING CARPOOL on August 9.
Afternoon Dismissal and Carpool:
2:48 to 3:15 p.m.

Morning assembly begins promptly at 7:40 a.m. EVERY DAY.

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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Lunch Program - My School Bucks

Your child will be fed on the first day of school. Visit myschoolbucks.com to create and manage your child’s lunch account. Call the STM Cafeteria with any questions: 225-275-4347 or stmcafe@diobr.org.

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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 Safe Environment 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. The Diocese of Baton Rouge has adopted a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Anyone who wants to volunteer at St. Thomas More must be in compliance with this policy. 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 2022-23 School Supplies Online

Order your child's prepackaged school supplies for the 2022-23 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 2022-23 year. Click here to place your order.

If you ordered your child's supply box before June 5, your child's supplies will be delivered to STM and given to him or her on the first day of school.

As an option, you also may purchase your child's supplies separately. Click here to view school supply lists by grade level.

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Vote Every Day from June 15 - August 31 for STM!

Thanks to our amazing and loyal STM community, we placed in the Top 5 of this year’s BR Parents Family Favorites! Through Family Favorites, the Baton Rouge community nominates and votes for their favorite schools. Voting for Family Favorites 2022 is open from July 15 to August 31, 2022. Vote for STM for your favorite Preschool, Private Elementary School, Private Middle School, Afterschool Program, Private Elementary School Principal and Private Middle School Principal! We need your help winning a top spot in this year’s winners circle! Visit ff.brparents.com to submit your vote! You can vote once a day. Thank you for the support!

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Morning and Afternoon Extended Care Registration

For Extended Care fees and details, and to register, please go to stmbr.org/extendedcare22.

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 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the STM Library. Students in grades 3 through 6 are required to test on two summer reading books. We had 133 students at our first of two testing dates! For this 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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Faculty and Staff Professional Development

(Left to right) Tiffany Noel, Erin Jewell, Ashley Schade and Brandy Arnold attended the Model Schools Conference in Orlando, FL with more than 6,000 teachers from around the country! They attended sessions and listened to keynotes — collaborating, problem-solving, and developing even more of a growth mindset as they prepare to bring lots of new, innovative ideas back to STM!

We are so pleased to share a list of all of the professional development our teachers took part in over the summer here. We are proud of their constant commitment to your children and their job as an educator.

Mary Sturdivant - BR Diocese Reading PD
Holly Swanson - BR Diocese Reading PD
Karen Dartez - BR Diocese Math PD
Tracy Gaspard - BR Diocese Math PD
Ashley Schade - Model Schools Conference, Diocesan Legal PD: Handbooks
Erin Jewell - Model Schools Conference
TIffany Noel - Model Schools Conference
Brandy Arnold - Model Schools Conference
Ashley McDaniel - School Safety Seminar, Diocesan Legal PD: Handbooks
Ryan Empson - School Safety Seminar
Brandi Juneau - MAT Religious Certification Class
Karen Dartez - MAT Religious Certification Class
Bethany Waguespack - MAT Religious Certification Class
Patti Lyons - MAT Religious Certification Class
Judith Johnson - MAT Religious Certification Class
Rochelle Bowman - MAT Religious Certification Class
Ruth Linder - Elevate Reading, Wonders Reading, Small Group Literacy Workshop
Leigh Holder - Wonders Reading Online PD
Brittney Chustz - Wonders Reading Online PD
Sheri Vutera - Wonders Reading Online PD
Yvette Nicholson - Curso de Lengua y Cultura Española

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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.

COACHES NEEDED: The St Thomas More Athletic Department is looking for coaches for its boys and girls basketball teams and for its tennis team. Those interested should send a cover letter, resume and coaching references to the STM Athletic Director, Ryan Empson (empsonr@stmbr.org). The girls basketball season begins August 9, and the boys season begins November 7. Tennis practices will begin around the end of August.

Football grades 3-8 (closes 8/1 at 11:59 pm)
Developmental girls basketball for grades 3-5 (closes 8/1 at 11:59 p.m.)
Varsity girls basketball for grades 6-8 (closes 8/1 at 11:59 p.m.)
Cross Country for grades 5-8 (closes 8/22 at 11:59 pm)
Swimming for grades 5-8(closes 8/22 at 11:59 pm)
Tennis for grades 5-8 (closes 8/22 at 11:59 p.m.)

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 on Saturday, August 6. More information on the physical day and a sign up link will be emailed out later this month. Football and girls basketball practices will begin on August 9.

The STM football teams in grades 3-8 will be merging with Most Blessed Sacrament.  More information on practice dates, times and locations will be sent out once registration is closed.

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STM Home and School Association

Home and School is dedicated to assisting the faculty and staff of Saint Thomas More Catholic School through volunteerism and major projects including: Mission Day, Grandparents Day, teacher-resource committee and grade level parent coordinators. Click here to let us know how you can help.

Michelle Fontenot, President - 225-485-2500
Sara Wisdom, Board Member - 225-603-9817
Lindsey Guillot, Board Member - 225-773-6734
Natalie Smith, Board Member - 225-933-7466
Kayla Pollet, Board Member and Grade Level Parent Coordinator - 979-229-3784

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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: Emails were sent in late June to parents of incoming Preschool, Kindergarten, and 6th grade students that have outdated immunization records on file at school. Updated records are due by August 1, 2022, 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 we last updated our health information cards in August 2021. 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

AMAZON: If you are an Amazon.com Prime shopper, please consider using AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to STM! All you have to do is be a member of Amazon Prime, go to smile.amazon.com and, at the top, search for St. Thomas More Catholic School. (There are a few, so be sure to find the Baton Rouge location.)

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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STM Be More Parish Auction - August 27

You are invited to be a part of a special night of games, drinks, food, live music, and live and silent auctions to support the mission of St. Thomas More at 7 p.m. in the STM Gym. Tickets are $60, and sponsorships start at $250. For information, tickets and sponsorships, visit stmbrauction.com, @stmbrauction on Instagram, email stmbrauction@gmail.com or call Colleen Bryant at 225-241-5583.

Please consider donating an item, product, experience, gift certificate, or sponsorship. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your products, services and support of our local community at St. Thomas More. Donations will be recognized in our auction program that will be posted online and distributed to parishioners and STM supporters electronically. All donations to be included in the catalog should be pledged by August 12, 2022. We are happy to send assistance to retrieve any items as needed. To notify us of a donation or if you have any questions, please contact Colleen Bryant at stmbrauction@gmail.com or 225-241-5583.

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Save the Dates

JULY 15: Voting for BR Parents Magazine Family Favorites begins! Go to ff.brparents.com and click on "Schooled" to vote for STM. You can vote once a day through August 31.

JULY 20: New Parent Orientation -
5 to 6 p.m. in the STM Gym

JULY 28: Summer Reading Testing for grades 3-6 - 4 to 6 p.m. in STM Library

AUGUST 1: Fall sports registration closes for Football (grades 3-8), Developmental girls basketball (grades 3-5), and Varsity girls basketball (grades 6-8)

AUGUST 6: Athletic physical day in the STM Gym

AUGUST 6-7: Blessing of the Backpacks - All weekend Masses at STM Church

AUGUST 9: First day of school for grades 1-8

AUGUST 9 and 10: Kindergarten and Preschool Meet-and-Greet -
You will receive an email with a SignUpGenius link to schedule your child's time and day.


• First full day for Kindergarten
• First day of Preschool for students whose last names begin with A-L
• Mass for grades 1-8

AUGUST 12: First day of Preschool for students whose last names begin with M-Z

• Full day of school for all students
• Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -
Not a Holy Day of Obligation this year

AUGUST 17: Back to School Night for grades 4-8 - 5 p.m. in the STM Gym

AUGUST 22: Back to School Night for grades PK-3 - 5 p.m. in the STM Gym

AUGUST 22 - Fall sports registration closes for Cross Country (grades 5-8), Swimming (grades 5-8), and Tennis (grades 5-8)

AUGUST 27 - STM AUCTION - 7 p.m. in the STM Gym. For information, visit stmbrauction.com, @stmbrauction on Instagram, email stmbrauction@gmail.com or call Colleen Bryant at 225-241-5583.

OCTOBER 1: Mother & Son Picnic (K through 8)

MARCH 4: 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.