School Newsletter

St. Cassian School

Weekly Newsletter - March 9, 2020



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St. Cassian Students holding letter signs that spell COUGARS


 From the Principal's Desk:

Dear School Families,

The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority for all of us at St. Cassian School.  In light of the recent Coronavirus national concern, we are reaching out to all members of our school community to emphasize the importance of making smart, informed choices about school attendance when it comes to avoiding and spreading germs.  It is important not to overreact, but it is essential that we carefully work together to manage the potential spread of illness.

At school, we are taking the following preventative measures:

  • Wiping tables, doorknobs, railings and other surfaces with sanitizing solutions several times daily.

  • Offering students disinfecting hand solution before snacks and lunch, as well as when entering the classroom.

  • Addressing the theme of prevention in Health class.

  • Formulating plans for continued learning in the event that there is a prolonged school closing.

  • Temporary discontinuation of handshaking during school hours, including attendance to school Mass.

Recommendations to Parents:

  • In the event that your child gets sick, please do not have him/her return to school until being fever free (without the use of fever reducing medicine) for 24-48 hours.  A fever is a temperature of 100 degrees or higher.

  • If your child is diagnosed with the flu or other serious virus or infection, alert the school.

  • Encourage your child to wash his/her hands often, especially before eating.

  • Review with your child the following CDC recommendations on hand washing:

  • Have students vaccinated for the flu.  It is not too late.

Additionally, we are requesting that all families with a student who has traveled, or will travel, to an area of the world impacted by the Coronavirus, please contact the school office prior to the child returning to school.  If you have travel plans, it is important that you stay informed about the spread of the Coronavirus.  We encourage students, faculty, and staff to be prudent in their travel choices.  As countries respond to outbreaks, travel limitations, bans and quarantines are being put into effect, often with little or no prior warning.  Please consider both your departure and your return when traveling to areas currently under watch for Coronavirus.  

Please know that we are following the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Health, the Archdiocese of Newark Superintendent's office and our own consultant, Dr. Jennifer DiPace, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, in ensuring we are maintaining a healthy environment.  

For further recommendations and information, please read the attached letter from Ms. Barbara Dolan, acting Superintendent of Schools, as well as review the following informational sources:

Although at the moment there is no need for further action and no reason for alarm, we will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments to the school calendar, activities, and school sponsored trips and sporting events as deemed necessary.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support in maintaining a healthy environment at St. Cassian School.

Mrs. Llanes

Yours in education and faith,
Mrs. Llanes

Dear Parents and Staff,

While the risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in New Jersey and the surrounding area is low, we are implementing some precautionary measures in reference to field trips.  You may already know that in light of the Coronavirus concern, the Archdiocese of Newark has canceled the Middle School STEM Expo previously scheduled for March 21st.  Likewise, we are also erring on the side of caution and canceling all trips scheduled for the months of March and April.

In place of the previously scheduled trips, we are working to schedule distance-learning opportunities and inviting visiting scholars or artists.  As an example, the students previously participating in next week's Chamber Music trip to Lincoln Center will still benefit from this wonderful program since an in-house concert will take place later in the school year, and a teaching artist will continue to visit our students.  Likewise, instead of the the fifth grade visiting Kean University's Liberty Hall Museum, a scholar from the museum will visit our students.  We are also in the process of planning an electronic trip with Liberty Science Center for every grade from kindergarten through eighth.

On another note, we are in the process of formulating a distance-learning plan in the event of a prolonged emergency school closing.  The plan builds upon our already successful distance learning initiative, which has been implemented during weather related closings.  Please answer a short survey using the following link  We ask that you take two minutes to complete it, as it will greatly assist in our planning process.

In moving forward, we will continue to monitor reports and use recommended guidelines issued by the Archdiocese of Newark Superintendent's Office, the NJ Department of Education and the NJ Department of Health in our decision-making about school trips and other matters concerning the school schedule and extra-curricular activities.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours in education and faith,

Mrs. Maria Llanes

 School News

St. Patrick's Day Mass: Our students will be attending Mass on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day.  We encourage parents to join us.

Green Tag Day on March 17th:
  Students who would like to wear regular clothing to school instead of the uniform are asked to donate $2.00 to benefit the sports and artistic programs of the school.

School Closed on March 19, 2020, for a Teacher Lenten Retreat:  Please note that the school will be closed on Thursday, March 19 due to a faculty retreat day.  Our faculty's faith formation and professional training are very important in maintaining the mission of our school.  We apologize for any inconvenience the updated schedule may cause.

Lenten Confessions:
  Students in grades 3 to 8 will be participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Wednesday, March 18 or Wednesday, March 25th.

Reenactment of the Stations of the Cross:
  The sixth grade reenactment of the Stations of the Cross will take place on Wednesday, April 8th at 1:00 PM in St. Cassian Church.  Please join us for our annual student Lenten reenactment. **Please note the corrected date.**

Financial Aid:  
The application for the Inner City Scholarship Fund (SFIC) tuition assistance program is now open.  Tuition assistance applications for the 2020-2021 school year are available online only at  

The deadline for submitting the on-line application with ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS is April 30, 2020.  For more information, please see the attached document with Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Important: Please note that applying for the Inner City Scholarship tuition assistance program is a prerequisite to qualifying for any other form of financial aid available directly from St. Cassian School.

Please be sure to visit the
events calendar on our website to view the activities beyond this coming week. 

 HSA Happenings
Tag Day Contest:  The class with the highest percentage of students who sign-up for the 5K or Fun Run by March 28th will receive a free Tag Day!  Be sure to sign-up your child today, early bird pricing ends March 11th!

5K Volunteers:  Come spend the morning outside in beautiful Brookdale Park while helping a great cause.  Please click here to volunteer!
5K Participation:  Don't forget to sign up for the 5K or 1K Fun Run for Kids.  Tell your friends and neighbors!  Grab a group and walk together if you're not a runner.  Click here to register.  (see also the attached flyer).
5K Donations:  If you aren't participating, please consider making a donation to St. Cassian via the sign-up link.  All forms of participation and support are GREATLY APPRECIATED.
Green Bagels will be offered for lunch on March 17th as a courtesy of the HSA.
Parents' Night Out:  Save the date...on Friday, March 27th, we will be holding a movie night in the gym for the kids so parents can enjoy a night out!  Instead of paying a babysitter, drop your kids at St. Cassian where they can be with friends and enjoy pizza, snacks, and a movie!  Cost:  1 child for $15, 2 for $25, and 3 for $30.  More details to follow...


Please contact [email protected] with any questions about HSA events. 

The Arts

Fifth Graders Engage in Ballroom Dancing Through NJPAC Dancing Classrooms Program: St. Cassian School partners again with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for an exciting program!  During nineteen fun-filled sessions, our fifth graders will learn ballroom dances, such as the tango, foxtrot, waltz, and rumba.  Most importantly, our students will have the opportunity to develop social skills, such as teamwork, respect, and politeness, as well as enhance their academic skills in literacy, mathematics, and social studies.

5th Graders ballroom dancing 5th graders ballroom dancing

 Cougar Sports
Basketball News:  As we come to the end of the season, we are proud of all of our teams as they represented our school well.  Congratulations to all of our coaches and students for a wonderful season!  We are happy to announce that, after winning their semifinal games this weekend, our JV Girls Green and White teams are headed to the finals!  

The finals will be played at Mount Saint Dominic Academy with the

  • JV Girls White team playing on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 3:30 PM and the
  • JV Girls Green team playing on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 12:00 PM.  

Good luck to both teams as they represent our school at the finals this coming weekend!  

Parish/Community Corner

Girl Scout Sunday:  On Sunday, our St. Cassian Girl Scouts came together to celebrate Girl Scout Sunday at the 9:00 AM Mass, which recognizes the founding of scouting.  Note:  The Girl Scouts will be hosting an event in the spring for girls who may be interested in joining our scouting program.

Girl Scouts with Father Mark at Girl Scout Mass

Bronze Award:  At the Girl Scout Sunday Mass, Father Marc presented our 6th grade Girl Scouts with their Bronze Award, the first of three prestigious awards the girls can earn.  The 6th grade Girl Scouts collected new books and created a library for youth cancer patients at St. Joseph's Hospital.  The books included inspirational notes so that the patients felt support from other youth and God's love during this difficult time.

6th Grade Girl Scouts receive Bronze Award from Father Mark

Crochet for Love is an event started in 2018 by Cassandra George, a student at St. Cassian School, with the purpose of crocheting gifts for babies and children battling cancer.  This year's event will be held on March 28th at St. Cassian Church from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  For more information see the attached flyer.  If you have any questions, please email Cassandra at [email protected].  

Living Stations of the Cross

Living Stations of the Cross:  There are still parts available for the Youth Group's presentation of the Living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday evening in the Church.  We meet each Friday at 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM for rehearsal.  The Living Stations of the Cross is a prayerful reenactment of the Way of the Cross performed by the Youth Group for the parish on Good Friday evening.  If any youth are interested or if any adults are interested in assisting, please call the parish office or email Greg Hann at [email protected]

Reflect with Bishop Barron this Lent:  Have you ever wondered why the priest washes his hands at Mass?  Do you know why we call it the "Sacrifice of the Mass"?  Is Mass just an obligation for you and not an experience of Heaven on earth?

St. Cassian Church invites you to spend an hour each Wednesday of Lent, beginning March 4th at 7:00 PM in Larkin Hall, to view and discuss Bishop Robert Barron's series on The Mass!


St. Cassian School
National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School
Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
190 Lorraine Avenue
Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043
(973) 746-1636

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