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Meeting Minutes of October 21, 2015


October 21, 2015


Opening Prayer: Mr. Lynch


Welcome/Introduction: Jessica Curran (President)

Thank you all for taking the time to attend our meeting this evening. Once again, this is your opportunity to voice feedback/concerns regarding our school. We appreciate your efforts to be involved at Saint James. You can reach out to the HSA at any time via email:


This evening, we have a special guest here to speak on a topic we all know too well, but never seem to have enough information about: parenting. Jim Shannon is the former Director of Family Life in Bridgeport, CT. We want to thank you, Mr. Shannon, for taking the time to come talk with us tonight, and are grateful for any insight you have to help us guide our children in their journeys through life.


President’s Report (Jessica Curran):

Recent Events: I want to say thank you to everyone that has been involved in recent school events that continue to make our Saint James standout: the bottle and can drive run by Mrs. Casey, Tony Roman, and the 7th & 8th grade students who volunteered for service hours; those that helped with the Book Fair (Devney Worsdale, Megan Merwin, Melissa Recupero, the students from Notre Dame and Saint James that helped with set-up, and the parents that helped the day of); the Kid-ucation collection coordinated by Erin Fernschild; Zack’s Frozen Yogurt Night coordinated by the Father’s Club; the “Ride your bike to school with Mr. Lynch” coordinated by Julie Davis, The Wellness Committee, and of course, Mr. Lynch; Katie Nazar who coordinates and advises the Room Parents; Toni Piazza and those that baked on behalf of Saint James School for the Stratford Animal Rescue Society bake sale; Susan DeRosa and Mrs. Oligino for working on updating the sign-up genius database; Melissa Recupero again for coordinating  Saint James Acapulco’s Night; those that helped move the lockers in school; and all those working hard to plan our upcoming fund-raisers and seeing the needs of the school and working to find solutions!

Our school year continues to yield great things!


Here is an overview of fund-raising and friend-raising events that are around the corner. If you can help out with any of these events, your time would be greatly appreciated. For the sake of time, I’m not going through each event in detail…should you have any questions, please ask one of us after the meeting.


Fund-raising/Friend-raising: …on the horizon…

  • Halloween Dance- Saturday, October 24th, 6pm-9pm.
  • Come have a “spook-tacular” time!
  • Come help on Saturday for set-up, help during the event, or clean-up.
  • Science Night- Wednesday, October 28th, 6:15-8:00, $16.00/child.
  • Halloween-themed Science experiments for ages K-8.
  • Parents must accompany child to event.
  • Acapulco’s Night- Tuesday, November 3rd, 5:00-9:00pm.
  • A percentage of profits will benefit Saint James school more specifically be used to buy tables that are needed for school events.
  • Eat-in or take-out at Acapulcos and mention Saint James.
  • Wine Tasting- Saturday, November 7th, 6pm-9pm in the Saint James Gymnasium.
  • Hosted by Father’s Club
  • A night out for parents to taste wine, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and mingle with good company.
  • Christmas Fair : Saturday, November 14th, 10:00am-4:00pm!!
  • Save the Date
  • Sign-up to Volunteer
  • BINGO:
  • Needs Help!
  • Bingo is in jeopardy of ending.
  • This will result in a required assessment of $300.00/family.
  • Brainstorm on how to make Bingo less of a struggle for those involved
  • Bring your ideas to the Town Hall Meetings.



Vice President’s Report: (Kelly LaValle)

Parent Survey (Town Hall Meetings):

  • As a follow-up to the surveys completed by the parents, we will be holding town hall meetings to allow for open discussion regarding topics of concern.
  • Wednesday, November 4th, 7:00-8:30pm, (Grades 5 – 8) in school cafeteria.
  • Thursday, November 5th, 7:00-8:30pm, (Grades Pre-K – 4) in school cafeteria.


School Web-site:

  • The school web-site will be under-going a face-lift
  • Julie Davis: The current website is very difficult and time consuming to maintain. We are hoping that with a new website it will be less time consuming and more functional for families to get all the information they need, in addition contain information for perspective new families. We are hoping for a launch date of January, just in time for Open House.


Treasurer’s Report: (Melissa Manzione)

Due to unforeseen computer issues, we were unable to get the year to date information. An updated report with actuals will be provided at the next meeting.


Sign-up Genius:

  • go to to sign-up for this year’s events


Secretary’s Report: (Nima Grivalsky)


  • All meeting minutes will be posted on the school’s web-site in the near future.


Halloween (costumes):

  • On Friday, October 30, students in grades Pre-K – 4 will be allowed to wear costumes to school, grades 5 – 8 will receive a FREE dress down day.
  • NO MASKS, NO FACE PAINT will be allowed in any grade.


Classroom Updates:

  • Science tables have been donated by Fairfield Prep to replace individual desks in the 7th and 8th grade Science classrooms. These tables will facilitate a collaborative classroom environment to enhance learning.


Spirituality Report:

  • Saint Francis Mass- Friday, October 23th at 9:00am hosted by the 8th Grade with blessing of pets.
  • Donations of pet supplies/food or money will be collected for offertory and donated to the Stratford Animal Rescue Society.
  • All Saints Mass- Friday, November 6th at 9:00am, hosted by the 5th grade.


  • School-wide morning prayer has resumed in the gym…it starts at 7:40am.


Principal’s Report: (Mr. Lynch)

Thank you to many of the families who have taken the time to meet with me. Thank you to Julie Davis who is doing a wonderful job with marketing. Thank you to all involved with the celebration of Saint James’s 70th year. The banner we have at the end of Broad Street in addition to our new flag that hangs outside of the school.

Mr. Lynch thanks everyone that participated in the parent surveys. We had a response of roughly 65% of the population. As a result of the surveys, we will be holding two Town Hall style meetings to go over results. A power point presentation will be done and we will have open discussion and prioritize the top three things that parents would like to see addressed. We will have some ground rules set so that it will be a respectful and productive evening. Mr. Lynch will also do the same with the teachers; he wants everyone to have a voice with the changes.

Morning Prayer has started again in the gym. Prayer will begin at 7:40 please remind your children to enter the gym quietly if prayer has already begun.

Mr. Lynch and the staff spoke about the mission statement at the last professional development day, they may make a few changes parent input would also be considered.

The school had a Lockdown and Fire drill last month, Mr. Lynch had two police officers and two people from the fire department observe the drills to see what we can improve on. We received a good report from them.

Mr. Lynch met with some the Father’s Club to discuss safety. Ideally we would like to move to having a faub key system. The keys will work only at three doors and only certain people can use the keys during certain hours. This will all be logged into a computer system as to who can access the building and when they can have access. This is a very safe system. We are also hoping to replace the walkie talkies as some of them are not working very well.

Mr. Lynch: We are still actively searching for a science teacher. We were able to get lesson plans from another school. Last week, we had a chemist come in and work with the children. The STEM program is also being added. We are also in the process of trying to have a teacher from Saint Joes come in and look over the lesson plans to see if students will be on target for the high school program. We are also currently looking for a Music teacher. Mr. Lynch met with an outside organization to have them come in and work with the children. We want to be sure we have some type of Christmas show for the children to take part in. Mrs. Mosley, the Art teacher will also have the student’s work on display at the time of the Christmas show.


One of the parents asked, if we have any plans to bring on a spirituality counselor. Currently we do not have any plans; however, it is something that we can look into. Another parent asked if maybe we can set up a lunch group for the kids to talk about any stressors that they may be having. Again, Mr. Lynch stated that this is something we can look into if parents feel like we need it. Mr. Lynch stated that he does go into every classroom each day to visit with the children and remind them what it means to “be a Jesus.”

Drop off, please use the parking lot if you plan to walk your children into the school, please do not park on the road, this poses a danger to all of our children.


Committee Reports:

Christmas Fair: We need help. Setting up, advertising, baking etc… many hands make light work and this is a large fund raiser for our school.

The Jingle Jog will take place again this year, the children will be running a mile and Santa will be here! The class that has the most children participate will have a free dress down day.


Upcoming Events: FYI

October 22nd (tomorrow)- NO SCHOOL (faculty retreat)

October 23rd (Friday)- Saint Francis Mass 9:00am

October 24th (Saturday)- Halloween Dance 6-9pm

October 26th (Monday)- Mixed Bag Fundraiser orders due

October 28th (Wednesday)- Science Night 6:15-8:00pm in gym

November 2nd (Monday)- Full dress uniform begins

November 3rd (Tuesday)- NO SCHOOL (faculty PD)

Saint James Acapulco’s Night- 5:00-9:00pm.

November 4th (Wednesday) Town Hall Meeting 7:00-8:30pm (grades 5 – 8) in cafeteria

November 5th (Thursday)- Town Hall Meeting 7:00-8:30pm (grades Pre-K – 4) in cafeteria

November 6th (Friday)- All Saints Mass 9:00am

November 7th (Saturday)- Wine Tasting in gym, 6:00-9:00pm

November 9th (Monday)- Picture Day- Dress Uniform Required

November 10th (Tuesday)- Marking period ends

November 12th (Thursday)-   Reading readiness presented by Debbie Carroll on                                                                             (grades Pre-K – 2) at 7:00pm

November 13th (Friday)- Script sale ends

November 14th (Saturday)- CHRISTMAS FAIR

November 18th (Wednesday)- HSA Meeting 7:00pm

November 19th (Thursday)- HALF DAY/DISMISSAL at 11:25am (Parent/Teacher Conferences)

November 20th (Friday)- Script Pick-up

Cash raffle begins

November 24th (Tuesday)- Pie Pick-up

November 25th (Wednesday)- Prayer Service 9:00am


November 26th, 27th (Thursday, Friday)- NO SCHOOL- Happy Thanksgiving!


Closing Prayer: Jess Curran

In closing, I thought this was a fitting verse to reflect upon as we journey through the school year…

let’s remember to encourage and support each other, we are not alone on this journey.


“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

[Hebrews 10: 24-25]

In the name of the Father…

Dear Lord, 

As we close this meeting, we want to Thank You for the time we had today to discuss issues and show that we care.

May You bless each person who took the time to gather here today and let Your hand of protection be on them throughout the rest of the week.

Help us each to do our parts to bring the plans discussed to life for the betterment of our children’s school.