We are accepting registration in limited classes.  Please call the school at (413) 532-2831 for more information.  Thank you!

Principal's Message

August 12, 2021

Dear Mater Dolorosa Catholic School Families,

Welcome Back!  The summer has gone by quickly and it is now time to start thinking about the beginning of school.

We want to welcome all families, both new and old, to the Mater Dolorosa Catholic School Community for the 2021-2022 School Year. We are so happy you have chosen Mater Dolorosa for your child’s education! It is our prayer you will enjoy being an active member of the MD Family and have a wonderful experience this year, both academically and spiritually.

At Mater Dolorosa School we are committed to providing students with spiritual and academic excellence. We firmly believe in the mission and philosophy of Catholic Education, the education and well-being of all students, compassion toward others, and the uniqueness and integrity of each human being. We are dedicated to the exemplary education of your children whom you have entrusted to our care.

We are excited to start this new school year getting back to our normal routines and welcoming families back into the building. We missed seeing parents and your participation in all the other things you do to help our school run smoothly. We will still be following best practices when it comes to COVID prevention. 

 

COVID-19 Procedures:  We, along with the Diocesan Schools Office and Bishop’s Office, are constantly monitoring the situation with the pandemic; therefore, the below are our current protocols, and we would like to restate that these can change, if needed, for the health of our school community.

  • Masks will be optional for all students, faculty, and staff. If a family, student, or employee feels more comfortable wearing a mask, we of course welcome it and encourage it.
  • For the health and safety of our students and staff, visitors and volunteers are encouraged to wear a mask to our school.
  • We will be following our local health department regarding quarantines and contact tracing.
  • We will continue the best practices of sanitizing classrooms, buildings, and especially high-touch surfaces.
  • Students, staff and visitors will continue to sanitize hands when entering the school and throughout the school day.
  • We will not be doing health or temperature checks at arrival. The nurse or office staff will continue to check temperatures, like we did this year, if a child feels unwell. We reserve the right to check a student’s temperature if a fever is suspected. We will continue to ask for your assistance in keeping children home when they are sick, and to follow our health protocols in our handbook.   If it’s going to be more than a day or two, and your child feels well enough, they can always remote into the classroom so they don’t miss too much instructional time.

 

  • Field trips will be permitted, if it is still safe to do so.
  • Students will be allowed to eat in the Cafeteria again and not be required to sit 6 feet apart.
  • We will be attending School Liturgy together monthly.
  • Students will go directly to their classroom upon entering in the morning.

 

The first day of school for K-8 students will be Monday, August 30th.  A change to the school calendar has been made for the first week.  School will be closed on Friday, Sept. 3rd to lengthen the Labor Day weekend and shorten the first week of school, in order to ease students (and parents) back into the school routine.  Preschool students will start on Tuesday, Sept. 7th.

 

Mater Dolorosa School Back-to-School Events:

  • Our Supply Drop-Off for Grade K-8 students will be Tuesday, August 24th, from 2:00 to 3:00p.m.  This will give you an opportunity to say hello to the teacher while dropping off supplies to the classroom.

 

  • Our Preschool Meet & Greet for students and parents will be on Thursday, Sept 2nd 10:00-11:00 am & 6:00-7:00 pm.  Parents and students will start with a brief meeting in the social center and then transition to the classrooms to drop off supplies, see the classroom and ask the teacher specific questions related to that classroom.

 

  • Open House will be on Wednesday, Sept. 15th from 6:00-7:00pm.  More details to follow.

Arrival & Dismissal

  • Kindergarten thru 8th grade will continue to do drop-off from 7:30 to 7:50 a.m. at the front door.  Parents will drive down Maple St. and do a QUICK drop-off at the sidewalk leading to the school.  If you need to park, to assist your child getting out of the car, please pull up further to do this.  It holds up others if you stop and get out of the car.  The loop is for drop and go traffic only.  If you want to walk your child to the door, or into school, we ask that you park in the social center parking lot and come down the sidewalk along Maple St.  Thank you for your understanding!

 

  • Dismissal begins at 2:30p.m. for K-8 grade students and 2:15 for preschool.  Parents will park in the parking lot off Lyman St.  K-8 Teachers will walk students out and across the street.  Parents must come to the yellow painted box to gather their student.  Children will not be allowed to walk through the parking lot, down the sidewalk or cross the street without a parent with them.

 

  •  Students in Preschool can be dropped off between 7:30-7:50 at the social center door.  Parents will park in that lot and walk their student to the door.  Teachers will greet you and students will be handed off in the social center lobby. 

BUS: If you reside in Holyoke, and your child will ride the bus for the new school year, please make sure you have completed the bus survey sent via email. The bus routes and stops will be posted on the website when we receive them.

Uniforms: In good condition, uniforms are available to be swapped.  Parents may stop by the school to drop-off or pick-up uniforms that have been donated or swapped starting August 16-27 from 8:30-2:30.  All students from Kindergarten to 8th Grade must wear the school uniform outlined in the student handbook, posted on the website.   Shirts will need to have the MD embroidered on them.  We have some volunteers who are going to be doing the embroidering soon.  Parents may drop shirts off at school to be done for a minimal fee.  We understand that it may take some time to get all the shirts done, so it is ok if students wear shirts without the embroidered MD, to start school.  Our female student may wear the navy blue pants, as well as the skirts and jumpers.  On PE days, students will wear their PE attire to school and must wear athletic shoes. This is a safety and a health issue.  We will no longer be following set dates to transition to the type of uniform students must wear.  As long as the weather is warm enough for a student to wear shorts, they may do so.  We trust that parents will know when this transition should happen for their student.  Just be aware that students will be going outside for recess when the temperature is 25 degrees and above.

Water Bottles: Our water fountains are still fitted for water bottles only, so don’t forget to send your child to school with a water bottle with their name on it!

Communication is very important to us.  A few important ways we share information are my Principal Newsletters and FACTS Parent Alerts and the Parent Portal. Please make sure we have a correct email and phone numbers for you on file. Teachers also post to their individual webpage on the school website and/or use a classroom communication tools like Bloomz or Class DoJo.  Your child’s teacher will let you know what they do in their class.  I also like to use Facebook so make sure you “friend” us! 

Faculty Changes:  We would like to announce some exciting faculty additions to our MD Family.

  • Miss. Jordyn Mercier is our new Preschool Teacher.
  • Mrs. Jenny Claps will be in the preschool as a paraprofessional.
  • Mrs. Marie Schlosstein & Miss Gabriela Marafuga will be our Kindergarten Teachers.
  • Miss Abigail Macedo will be teaching 3rd grade. 
  • Ms. Kathryn Cook is our new 5th Grade/MS ELA Teacher.
  • Mrs. Deborah Rossman will teach middle school Science and be the 6th grade homeroom teacher.
  • Mr. Brady Sears is our new Art Teacher.
  • Mr. Matthew Holmes is teaching Spanish K-8 & Data Specialist.
  • Mr. Michael Carney will be teaching Physical Education.  
  • Mrs. Karen Tosoni will be IT Support and the Technology Teacher.

 

 

Please join us in welcoming them to our school family.

iPad & Chromebook Program-We have a 1-to-1 Computer Device Program in K-8. All kindergarten students will receive iPads and students in grades 1-8 will receive a Chromebook.  All students and parents must sign the Acceptable Use Policy in order to be assigned a device. Students will be using their device in the classroom and will be able to take the device home during the school year.

Breakfast and Lunch We have a federal USDA lunch program, and offer delicious, healthy meals. ALL lunch and breakfast meals are still FREE to all students. We will post the monthly breakfast and lunch menus to our website. Students may arrive at 7:30 a.m. to eat breakfast.  Breakfast will continue to be “grab & go” style and eaten in the classrooms.  We will continue to have two lunch periods in order to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.

FACTS SIS: We use an online web-based school gradebook program called FACTS, where you can access your child’s grades. If you are a new family, log-in information will be sent to you during the first two weeks of school. If you are a returning student, please remember to keep your student(s) FACTS Username and Password from the 2020-2021 school year. These FACTS Usernames and Passwords will be enabled for the 2021-2022 school year in September. This is a very important tool in monitoring your child’s progress.

Our PTO: We would like to welcome you and ask for your participation in our wonderful PTO.  Many hands make light work as the saying goes!  The PTO will meet monthly.  During the Preschool Meet & Greet and Open House members of the PTO Board will be around to answer questions and introduce themselves.  The PTO also has a Facebook page and website.  We are looking forward to the activities of our fabulous PTO this year!

Student/Parent Handbook: The updated handbook will soon be posted to the school website.  We ask that you review it with your child and return the signature page.

We hope all of you are enjoying the beautiful summer weather and time with family, and we greatly look forward to seeing you soon for the start of the 2021-2022 School Year. We are blessed with a dedicated faculty and staff, and outstanding students and families at Mater Dolorosa Catholic School. I am humbled to serve our school community as your principal. If you have any questions, or if I can be of any additional service, please do not hesitate to call the school at 413-532-2831. Together, we will have an outstanding school year!

God Bless,

Mrs. Maureen Donelan, Principal

mdonelan@materdolorosaschool.org