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Sister Mary Sue Carwile, IHM

Principal, St. James Catholic School

Latest Updates

October 16, 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

Dear Parents,

 I am so happy to share with you that Bishop Burbidge will be here next Friday, October 23, to celebrate Holy Mass with us in thanksgiving for the National Blue Ribbon Award! Mass will be at 9:30, and in keeping with our safe practices, only grades 8 and 5 will attend. The Mass will be live-streamed to the rest of the school in the classrooms. Afterwards, Father Scalia is treating the students to a “rocket” popsicle treat! We thought the colors were perfect for this celebration.  We will have an 11:00/11:15 dismissal on Friday, October 23. 

Typically, the coming week is a very exciting and full one as we are, usually, in the adventures of the annual bazaar. Of course, this and many other events in our lives has been cancelled. I understand that we are breaking records with our Read-a-Thon! Since our Annual Bazaar has been cancelled, this is a great way to continue to support the school and our students’ reading goals as well! Thank you!

Thank you for speaking with your child/ren regarding the wearing of face coverings. I have seen huge improvement this week. I hope you have seen the flyer about the new masks we are ordering. In a “live and learn” time, as Covid seems to be, the gaiters do not work as we had hoped. These masks have lanyards to secure them around the neck and are very comfortable. They are not required, but may take the place of the gaiter. The gaiters may also be worn.

The PTO has purchased Air Purifiers with True Hepa Filters for the classrooms, for use during the chilly winter months! Thank you!

One Drop-off Note: May I please ask that if you pull up to drop off your child and there are no teachers or staff outside, please park your car and bring your child to the front office (Door #1). Thank you.

Have a great weekend!


Sister Mary Sue

October 16, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2016

Dear Parents,

As each week draws to a close, I heave a sigh of relief and lift my heart in grateful prayer to Our Loving Father who cares for us!

I am sure that most of you are familiar with the story of the fellow whose home was in the track of a terrible storm that would produce great floods. The town officials declared an emergency and called for evacuations.  First responders went door to door to warn residents that it was time to leave. When they arrived at this fellow’s place he told them his faith was in God and God would save him. As the storm raged on, the floods reached his porch and rose to the second floor. A firetruck was able to get to him and pulled up a ladder for him to escape through a window, but again he refused, saying that God would save him. Finally, the water engulfed the house and he was trapped on the roof. A boat came by to rescue him, but he refused to get in, saying once again that God would save him. Finally, he perished in the flood waters. As he stood before God in heaven, he pleaded with God as why he did not save him. God simply shook his head and said, “I sent you an official warning, a firetruck and a boat. What else could I have done?”

Some days I feel this way with our students (not that I am equating myself with God!). During the first weeks of school, everyone was on board with the new way of life that face-to-face in school instruction handed us. The two most challenging areas are the wearing of the face coverings and maintaining social distance.  Over the past week, I have watched an indifference grow towards the safety standards that exist, and in some cases, the deliberate choices to not comply. Every student signed an agreement to comply with the standards that were published before school started.  Every student must maintain these standards if we are going to continue in-school instruction. Many of us spent, literally, every minute of our summer planning and preparing for the safe return of our students and I expect 100% cooperation from 100% of our students in return.  All of that preparation will be rendered useless if our students do not do their part. This is for the good of everyone in the school and their families. I thank you in advance for impressing upon your children the seriousness of this concern. 

I think you know that it is very rare that I send home a letter such as this, but these concerns need to be addressed and when the students return next Tuesday, expectations will be high for a safer and more cooperative environment.

Thank you and God bless you,


Sister Mary Sue

October 2, 2020

Friday, October 2, 2020

Dear Parents,

Congratulations to everyone: We have completed five weeks of school! These weeks have been both intense and intentional. Our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy are paying off. The intensity to which we attend to that goal has been evident through the actions of every member of the school community, from the smallest 3 year olds to our most senior members. The intentionality that we pour into each day is evidenced by our masks/gaiters, frequent hand-washing, keeping surfaces clean, being mindful of social distances and a general attitude recognizing that being able to stay in school is a community wide effort. Yes, it is really hard to wear a face covering all day, and sometimes that is forgotten (especially during outside recess), but in general, I think we are doing a great job! For sure, God’s grace is leading us each day!

Next week we will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary on Wednesday, October 7. When Our Lady appeared to the three children at Fatima, she made her request for the rosary to be prayed for peace.  As we pray this prayer of the rosary, we recall the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus and ask for the grace to “imitate what these mysteries contain and obtain what they promise.” On Wednesday, we will pray the rosary together in B-Lot, where we can spread out safely as we honor Our Lady and give praise to her Son.

Tomorrow we will hold our annual Nun Fun Run.  It will be a bit different this year, as with so many current activities, it will be virtual. Please join in the fun! Thank you to all of our families who are able to extend support to our retired and infirmed IHM Sisters at Camilla Hall. Special thanks to Denise Mullin and her family for their time and effort in planning this event!

Don’t forget that Saint James will celebrate the annual blessing of our animals at 9:30 this Saturday on the church lawn.

Have a great weekend!


Sister Mary Sue

October 2, 2020

Friday, September 25, 2020

Dear Parents,

What a proud week this has been for our Saint James family! It is indeed an honor to be awarded the National Blue Ribbon School recognition as a 2020 Exemplary High Performing School! We are blessed in so many ways as we receive this award for the third time!  This award is for all of us: Father Scalia, our priests, teachers, staff, students and parents who are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education. This great accomplishment is based on the past five years of programs and test scores that support our high achievement.   I am grateful also to all those who have gone before us, yet have had a special hand in the education of our children during these years.   While we continue the celebrations, we will also continue to offer excellence to our students!

I would like to thank those who have been able to come for recess duty.  May I ask you to please remind the students to pull their masks up when less than six feet apart.  Those are the most repeated words I say all day. It is not that they are not cooperating, but It is hard for them to remember and equally hard to do all day long.

We have an early dismissal day next Friday, October 2. Usually this dismissal is at 11:30. In order to have the parking lot cleared for noon Mass, we will need to begin dismissal at 11:00 AM. I am sorry for any inconvenience. Traditionally, half days are Spirit wear days and we will continue doing that!

As I noted last week, our year has opened well. In an abundance of concern for teachers and staff and in an effort to keep everyone healthy, we are working on the calendar to provide some days off that were not previously scheduled. We have received permission from the Diocese to make adjustments as needed. To help you in your planning, we will be taking an extended Thanksgiving break. We will be closed the week of November 22nd and return on Tuesday, December 1 (for those who have to travel). I am very sure that the children will also appreciate this renewal time.

May your weekend be a blessed and peaceful one!

Sister Mary Sue


September 19, 2020

Friday, September 19, 2020

Dear Parents,


Our weeks keep filling up and passing by quickly! Now that all of our Back to School Nights have been completed, I would like to thank all of our teachers and Sister Melissa for their tremendous efforts to make our virtual sessions helpful and profitable. They never cease to amaze me as they take on new challenges every day in our virtual world!

The students are becoming more familiar and comfortable every day with their masks and distancing regulations. It is a wonderful thing to see their eyes smiling so much that the mask cannot contain their joy!

We had our first fire drill of the year and the students managed to empty the buildings in a timely manner and, for the most part, maintained appropriate distances for safety. For not having had a drill in seven months, probably the longest stretch of time since they started school, I think they did a great job.

We sent out a sign up genius for lunch time recess and your child’s teacher may ask for some help during the morning and afternoon recesses. Because of routines in the school, the teachers are on call all day long, even during lunch, so we would appreciate any time you can give to help us keep their health, energy and spirits up! 

Thank you for all of the support and words of encouragement.  May God continue to bless our work together.

Blessings and peace,

Sister Mary Sue

September 11, 2020

Friday September 11, 2020

.Dear Parents,

We did it! We have completed two weeks of school.  Our orientation week was time well spent as we were able to settle right in and have a rather smooth week, with just about every aspect of the day possessing an element of new routines.

Thank you for your patience with Drop-Off and Pick-Up. We decided to move morning prayers and announcements to 8:15 in order to provide for the anticipated extra time needed for temperature taking and no safety patrols. Our specials teachers and aides did a great job of getting everyone in safe and without incident. By Thursday, we were able to move prayers back to 8:05! Our goal is to get back to our regular starting time of 7:55. I am sure we will accomplish that by the end of next week.

Pick-Up picked up quickly as well! Beginning Monday, we will call the walkers and bikers to line up before prayers in the Hallway and they will be dismissed before the A-L group is called. This will not change our dismissal times, but should keep the numbers down and more space between the students. 

I appreciate the efforts you are making to keep a safe space yourselves. May I ask you to please stay in your car until the last minute if you are unable to wear a mask? Thank you.

I would like to give a huge shout out to everyone in our school, teachers and staff, who are working tirelessly for your children’s education and safety. Our tech team has not stopped since March, our aides and office staff never stop assisting any and every one. Our nurse spends hours upon hours researching the latest recommendations and sharing them with our school community, while at the same time, interfacing with the Department of Health to verify our compliance. Our teachers continue to amaze me with their energy, drive and creativity as they continue to accomplish the near impossible of teaching with bare bone supplies in their classrooms. With all the doors and windows open now, I hear them teaching with great passion and determination!

Next week, we have our Virtual Back to School Nights! Your child’s teacher will send you the links for the Zoom meeting and you will receive a link for the PTO and our welcome back video.

Thank you for your support and encouraging words! Have a great weekend!


Sister Mary Sue


September 8, 2020

rSchoolToday Update

March 31, 2020

Letter from the Superintendent of Catholic Schools

March 26, 2020

Video Message from Bishop Burbidge

March 22, 2020

Our Prayers for You

March 16, 2020

Sister Mary Sue's Letter About eLearning

March 5, 2020

Saint James School Pandemic Response Plan