Message from the President
Back to school signals a return to the rhythm of daily routine, the exciting prospects of new courses and clean slates, and the powerful connectedness one feels when embraced by the school family here at St. Mary’s Academy. Over the break, our facilities team were hard at work as they successfully completed the second phase of the windows replacement project, mended the leaky chapel roof, pruned the rose garden, prepared classrooms, polished the floors, completed all the building checks and reset the hardware. The faculty and staff have been busy designing and choreographing authentic learning experiences for our students. With the gracious support of our School Governance and Foundation Boards, we have added additional teachers and support staff to our Academy roster, to better serve our students and continue to deliver a level of excellence, true to the traditions of SMA.
This past June, we proudly convocated 97 graduates. For 101 Grade 12s, this September marks their movement into the concerto finale of secondary school life. For 69 Grade 7s, this first year carries symphonic cadences of promise and hope. Next week, we open our Academy doors to 117 new students and their families, as they join us in donning their tartan kilts for their inaugural year. It will be a year to rejoice, as we return to gather and celebrate at community events. We are all looking forward to welcoming everyone in-person at our upcoming SMA functions.
As we enjoy the remaining rays of the prairie summer sun, let us remember that our strong and courageous foundations in faith will always guide us towards the light. Together, we will explore our individual and collective beliefs, challenge our assumptions, dive deeper into our faith journey, take calculated and heart-felt risks, and walk humbly with our neighbours in community as stewards of the SNJM mission.
May the blessings of God grace our families and students as we begin the 2022-2023 school year.
In faith, hope and love,
Message from Senior Leadership Team
Welcome to our students and families as we begin a new school year. It is our honour to be a part of your daughter’s educational and personal journey.
A new school year represents an opportunity to start anew, to trust in the magic of new beginnings, to anticipate new experiences and to nurture friendships. Throughout the year, your daughter will be exposed to new ideas, develop a better sense of her own gifts, and discern how to share those gifts with others. We look forward to witnessing her celebrate her accomplishments as she continues her journey with confidence, resilience, and hope.
We are blessed to be returning to school with normalcy after 2+ years of pandemic restrictions. Students will be moving throughout the building again, enjoying clubs, athletics and performing arts events. Everyone will have the advantage of eating lunch in our cafeteria in community. We look forward to welcoming families and visitors once again to school events. For more information on health precautions and/or recommendations, please read the Health and Safety section of this newsletter.
This year, our school community is called to respond to the question “What Do I Believe?”. This question will permeate all facets of school life and will guide us all with a framework to clearly articulate what we stand for and what we believe as Christians. All of us will have the occasion to reflect and to enhance our dedication to our personal and communal identity as a community of faith.
It is our goal to work in partnership with students and their families, our faculty, and our extended staff to create a productive learning environment. Working as a team in the best interests of our students is foundational to successful growth. As we continue the legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, we strive to exemplify the charism of sharing the gifts given to us by God. Our sincere appreciation to families for allowing us to share those gifts with your daughter.
September promises to be an exciting and busy month. We encourage you to take the time to review the first 14 pages of your daughters SMA agenda, graciously provided by our Parents’ Guild (a pdf is linked below, under the heading: Parent and Student Handbook). It contains general school information, important policies and protocols, academic programming overviews, assessment and reporting information and items pertaining to school life. We also encourage you to read this Newsletter and familiarize yourself with the information.
This school year promises to be filled with many blessings for us all. Welcome to all as we begin a new school year together filled with promise and growth.
Together in the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary,
Michelle Klus, Carol-Ann Swayzie, Lorne Hess
Health and Safety
Informed by Manitoba Education and Public Health, SMA is returning to pre-pandemic course offerings and scheduling for the 2022-23 school year. The following health and safety guidelines are in place for students and school staff:
- Monitor daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If symptomatic, stay home and follow Public Health guidance for isolation https://manitoba.ca/covid19/info-for-mbs.html#isolation. Please advise SMA of student absences by emailing Mrs. Jill Boulet at email@example.com or calling the attendance line at 204-477-0244 ext 340.
- Stay home when sick.
- Students who become ill at school are asked to advise their teacher and then report to the school office. The parent/caregiver will be called to pick-up the student.
- Contact tracing is no longer routinely recommended by Public Health. Close contacts of COVID-19 cases are not required to self-isolate (quarantine) if they do not have symptoms.
- Masks are optional and at the discretion of the individual (each choice is respected). Students who choose to wear a mask are encouraged to bring their own. Go to the following link to view Government of Manitoba mask recommendations https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/resources/masks.html.
- A supply of 3-ply disposable masks are available in the school office.
- Rapid antigen tests are available in the school office.
- Wash hands frequently, sanitize hands when hand-washing is not readily available.
- Practice respiratory etiquette (cover coughs and sneezes).
- COVID-19 and routine immunizations are encouraged. Go to the following link to find a location that offers the COVID-19 or influenza vaccine https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/finder.html
New Student Orientation Session
Wednesday, September 7
All students from grades 7 to 12 who are new to St. Mary’s Academy will participate in the orientation session. Orientation begins with a warm SMA welcome in Alumnae Hall. Uniforms are not required. Please do not bring school supplies. The agenda is as follows:
8:40 AM to 9:00 AM: Arrival and sign-in. Students enter through Alumnae Hall doors.
9:00 AM: Welcome in Alumnae Hall
9:15 AM: Students meet with their teachers
10:00 AM to 12:30 PM: Students participate in orientation tours and a Mission and Charism Community session
12:30 PM: Departure. Students will exit through Alumnae Hall doors.
First Day of Classes
Thursday, September 8
- Students will find their homeroom allocation posted in the cafeteria (posted at 7:30 AM)
- Opening exercises begin in homerooms at 8:35 AM
- Day 1 of the school day cycle
- Refer to the heading below regarding drop-off/pick-up zones and traffic flow on our grounds
Drop-off/Pick-up Zones and Traffic Flow through grounds
Pedestrian safety and smooth traffic flow are important. Our grounds can become quite congested and careful attention to drop-off and pick-up zones is required to ensure student safety. Please refer to the second and third images on the following web page and kindly familiarize yourself with our drop-off and pick-up zones www.smamb.ca/about/campus. Please note that our grounds are a no-idle zone.
Parent & Student Handbook
Click here for our Handbook with important information about our Policies and Protocols, Academic Programming, Assessments, Evaluations and Reporting, and School Life. This handbook is also found in the front section of the Student Agenda.
School Supply List
Student Agenda, Lockers and Locks
The student agenda, lockers and locks will be distributed on the first day of classes. The agenda includes the school calendar, general school information, policies and procedures, and student information. All student locks are issued by the school. If returning students have lost their lock and require a new one, the cost for a lock is $8 and can be purchased from Mrs. Ross at the 10:30 AM break during the first week of classes.
Teachers assign textbooks to students and each assigned textbook is the responsibility of the student. In June 2023, students are responsible for returning assigned textbooks. In the event a textbook is not returned, a replacement fee is required.
New at St. Mary’s Academy
Tartan Technology & Innovation Centre
With excitement we announce that the Tartan Technology & Innovation Centre officially opens its doors this September. With input from student and teacher focus groups informing the technological offerings and experts staffing the Centre to guide exploration, this is a space where students’ curiosity will be sparked as they delve into modern technology such as digital media, virtual reality, 3D printing, digital art, gaming/Esports and more. The Centre opens with a baseline of innovative technologies and more will be phased in over a three-year period. Located on the main floor in the former Tartan Shop, the Centre is ideally situated for ease of access to students. The Centre will be open to students every school day from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. In this immersive leading-edge space, our youth of today will embrace the technology of tomorrow. Find out more at www.smamb.ca/student-life/tartantechcentre.
Partnership Program with the Manitoba Conservatory of Music
We are pleased to announce a new partnership program with the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts (MCMA) for the 2022-23 school year. This partnership will provide an opportunity for SMA students to receive individual music lessons from highly qualified MCMA instructors conveniently on our school campus.
How does it work?
- Initially, we will offer lessons in voice, violin, piano (classical or contemporary), guitar, and ukulele. Other instruments may be added if there is enough interest.
- Lessons will take place after school from 3:45-6:45 at St. Mary’s Academy, from October to June, with no lessons during Christmas Break or Spring Break.
- MCMA supports and encourages performances for students at recitals and in the community through their Music Equals program, an outreach arm of the MCMA. SMA students are invited to participate in their performance opportunities.
- Registrations may be accepted throughout the academic year according to availability.
More information and how to register will be published in the Communique on September 9, 2022.
Call SMA’s Reception office at 204-477-0244.
A complete list of faculty and staff is found on our website at www.smamb.ca/contact.
Reception and School Office Hours
Reception Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (5:00 PM beginning late September)
School Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The school calendar is found on our website at, www.smamb.ca/events/calendar. The calendar lists exams, deadlines, activities, events etc. for students and parents. It also shows the day of the school day cycle. The calendar is downloadable to smart devices.
Browse our online campus map at the following address, www.smamb.ca/about/campus. Hover over the red areas for an explanation of the location.
PowerSchool is our online student information system for attendance, assignments and marks. On September 6 (Orientation Day) all new students will receive a letter with login information (both student and parent login information). A link to PowerSchool is located along the top red bar of our website www.smamb.ca.
SMA publishes a bulletin daily for students. The bulletin provides information relating to classes, faith life, clubs, activities, sports etc. The bulletin is found in PowerSchool. Access to PowerSchool is found along the top red bar of our website, www.smamb.ca.
Throughout the school year, SMA emails a Communiqué to parents and students on the last day of each school week. Important information is in this communication. Be sure to check your email and if you do not receive the Communiqué, contact Mrs. Jill Boulet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-477-0244.
Purchasing SMA’s Uniform
SMA’s student uniform is sold online at www.topmarks.ca. Find out more information about online ordering on our website at www.smamb.ca/student-life/school-uniform. Our Corner Store sells gently used uniforms. The Corner Store will be open on Tuesday, September 6 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
The Corner Store sells SMA branded merchandise, gently used uniforms, and treats. Debit and credit are the preferred methods of payment. The Store is open Wednesdays and Fridays during the lunch hour (12:30 PM to 1:30 PM). The Store is also open on Tuesday, September 6 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Academy Bistro provides SMA’s cafeteria service. Academy Bistro will be open on the first day of classes. Menu and online ordering are available at www.academybistro.ca. Students are encouraged to pre-order their lunch online to guarantee items. Please contact Academy Bistro if you have any questions, or would like to purchase a gift card.
Breakfast Service: 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Lunch Service: Noon to 1:30 PM
Follow St. Mary’s Academy on Social Media
Instagram, Facebook and YouTube: @smawinnipeg
Important Upcoming Dates
Opening Mass: Celebration of the New School Year
Friday, September 9 at 2:00 PM in Alumnae Hall
All students will participate
Tuesday, September 13
Parent Information Sessions
Wednesday, September 14 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM in the cafeteria
- 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM: Mix and mingle and informally meet teachers
- 4:45 PM: Breakout Sessions
o Grades 7 & 8: Meet with Mrs. Carol-Ann Swayzie in Alumnae Hall
o Grades 9 to 12: Meet with Mrs. Michelle Klus and Mr. Lorne Hess in Durocher Library
Corner Store Volunteer Information and Training Session
Monday, September 19 at 6:30 PM in the cafeteria.
Parents and caregivers are needed to volunteer at the Corner Store. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this volunteer information and training session.
Parents’ Guild Annual General Meeting
Monday, September 19 at 7:00 PM in Durocher Library
All parents and caregivers of SMA students are members of the Parents' Guild and are encouraged to be active participants. Guild parents organize activities and events throughout the year to raise funds, provide services and give parents, students and staff the opportunity to come together as a community. All are welcome to attend the Annual General Meeting.
Grade 12 Reflection Day
September 20, 2022
Walk for Cancer
Grades 7 and 8 students participate in a walk from St. Mary’s Academy. Grades 9 to 12 students participate in a walk from St. Paul’s High School. Details will be provided in September.
Saturday, September 24
Details at www.smamb.ca/events/homecoming
Auditions for Beauty and the Beast
SMA’s 2022-2023 Dramatic Arts theatrical play is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. All students from grades 7 to 12 are welcome to audition. Auditions take place from Monday, September 26 to Thursday, September 29 from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM in Alumnae Hall. More details will be provided in the Daily Bulletin and Communiqué.
Cross Country Running
SMA’s Flames Cross Country team has begun training. Cross Country is open to all students from grades 7 to 12 regardless of experience or skill level. Interested students are invited to the following practices:
- Tuesday, August 30 and Thursday, September 1 at 9:00 AM at SMA. Meet in the Sr. Rita Maureen Gym.
- Saturday, September 3 at Westview Park (Garbage Hill) at 10:00 AM. Meet at Westview Park at the main entrance (south side).
Anyone with questions is asked to contact Mr. Demetro Danyluk, Athletic Director/Physical and Health Education Teacher at email@example.com.
SMA’s Flames Grade 9, Junior Varsity and Varsity volleyball teams have the following practices:
- Tuesday, September 6 at 5:30 PM
- Friday, September 9 at 6:00 PM
- Tuesday, August 30, and Thursday, September 1 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, September 7 at 5:30 PM
- Thursday, September 8 at 5:30 PM
- Monday, August 29 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
- Tuesday, August 30 from 7 PM to 9 PM
- Wednesday, August 31 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
- Tuesday, September 6 at 7:30 PM
- Wednesday, September 7 at 7:00 PM
- Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 PM
All practices take place in the Sr. Rita Maureen Gym.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact Mr. Demetro Danyluk, Athletic Director/Physical and Health Education Teacher at firstname.lastname@example.org.