Notes from the Principal's Desk: Week of November 1, 2021

*No new cases reported

As we end week nine of school, we are happy to share there have been no new close contacts or reported cases of COVID-19. Nevertheless, we encourage families to continue adhering to our social contract of mask-wearing, social distancing when possible, and frequent hand washing. 

Jacket Reminder

As week ten of school comes to a close and the weather turns brisker, we ask parents and guardians to please remind your child to bring a jacket to school. We will still have recess outside as well as eat lunch outside when possible. 

Grant & Aid Applications

Applications for Grant and Aid for the 22-23 school year are now open. All families must apply through FACTS. . For more information on how to apply, please visit:

The deadline for current families to apply for Grant and Aid is January 31, 2022. The deadline for new families to apply for Grant and Aid is February 15, 2022. Financial awards will be made on March 1, 2022 with the deadline to accept all awards being March 15, 2022. The FACTS Grant & Aid application fee is $34.00.

Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Up

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday, November 17. Kindergarten through 5th-grade teachers will meet with parents to discuss their child’s achievement so far through the school year. 

Students in middle school will participate in Student-Led Conferences in which they will lead the meeting and share their portfolio of work this year. During student-led conferences, teachers act as facilitators and moderators during the session. We find student-led conferences work best in middle school as students work to develop their executive function and self-advocacy skills while helping students set learning goals for the future. Parents can sign up for conferences using the Sign Up Genius links below. 

Primary Grades (K-2) Sign Up Genius

Intermediate Grades (3-5) Sign Up Genius
Middle School Grades (6-8) Sign Up Genius

Counselor's Corner

Raising Optimistic Children

Why should we foster a sense of optimism in our children especially during challenging times? Researchers have found that optimists are more resilient, are more successful, experience better health outcomes, live longer and are happier and more satisfied with their relationships. Optimists tend to perform better both academically and athletically too.  Having an optimistic attitude allows us to continue to strive in the face of difficulty while pessimists tend to become depressed and resigned to failure and even expect it!
Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist and author of the book Hardwiring Happiness, found that our brain is naturally hardwired to focus on the negative. He states it is natural to let bad news overwhelm us. The good news is thought that we can help our brains give the good stuff “equal weight”.
After decades of research, Martin Silegman, in his book The Optimisitic Child found how optimistic or pessimistic we are amounts to how we explain good or bad life events in general. Seligman explains there are three basic dimensions to explanations: permanence, pervasiveness, and personalization.
The OPTIMISTIC way of understanding why something GOOD happened would explain:
  • The cause of what just happened as PERMANENT (so it will reoccur); 
  • And PERVASIVE (it will affect many other circumstances, too);
  • And PERSONAL (I made it happen). 

The PESSIMISTIC way of explaining why something GOOD happened would show that:

  • The cause of what just happened is TEMPORARY (something short-lived caused it and probably won’t happen again);
  • And SPECIFIC (affecting only this situation);
  • And IMPERSONAL (I didn’t have anything to do with what happened, and other people and circumstances did).
Sigelman found that the reverse is also true when something bad happens. Let’s look at a simple real-life example.
Example: Your child trips on the sidewalk, skins his/her knee and rips his/her pants.
The Optimist thinks: “Rats! Someone needs to fix that sidewalk!” He/she thinks that there is something wrong with the sidewalk and not that he/she is clumsy or the sidewalk caused the trip. 
The crack is:
  • Temporary
  • Specific to that moment and
  • Impersonal-He/she had nothing to do with it.
 The Pessimist thinks: “I am so clumsy. I am always tripping everywhere and now I look stupid.” The cause of his/her fall is:
  • Permanent-he/she sees it as a personality trait and therefore it is both
  • Pervasive and
  • Personal
 In the end, some things we can do to raise optimistic children:
  • Use positive language to describe situations
  • Reward a growth mindset (rather than a fixed mindset). The growth mindset puts the emphasis on effort and hard work.
  • Moderate your family news intake
  • Involve your family in giving back to the community-i.e. make casseroles for Our Daily Bread together
  • Help children become resilient, problem solvers (See Mrs. Czarnecki’s column last week on Resiliency)
  • Encourage your child to seek joy and cheerfulness in life and foster their ability to see the “silver lining” in life’s circumstances
How To Raise Optimistic Kids In Pessimistic Times. By KJ Dell’Antonia. Website:
Raising Optimistic Kids. By Christine Carter-Executive Director of the Greater Good Science at UCB: 


Thanksgiving Collection

Thanksgiving Collection begins on Monday, November 1. Each student is asked to bring in at least for of each item for their grade.

  • Kindergarten and Pre-First: sweet potatoes (canned-nonperishable)
  • Grade 1: cranberry sauce
  • Grade 2: green beans (canned or pouched)
  • Grade 3: sauerkraut (canned-nonperishable)
  • Grade 4: carrots (canned-nonperishable)
  • Grade 5: stuffing mix
  • Grade 6: corn- (canned-nonperishable)
  • Grade 7: white potatoes (canned-nonperishable)
  • Grade 8: gravy

Homecoming, November 12-14

The Annual Homecoming Cathedral event is next weekend! Spots are filling up fast, so get your tickets now!

The last day to buy tickets is Wednesday, November 10th. You must pre-register for all kids events; walk-ins will not be allowed.

Friday, November 12th

Kids events will kick off the Homecoming weekend. That night, there will be the Kids Night Out (K-5), Middle School Mixer, and High School Night! Masks are required for all the kids events. All registrations can be found here: Homecoming Registration or in the school website.
If you chaperone for the event and are VIRTUS trained, your child can attend for free!

Saturday, November 13th

You can attend the Bull & Oyster Roast in the beautifully decorated tent on the Church front lawn. The event is catered by the local Richardson Farms, and there will be a bourbon bar, 50/50 raffle tickets, and much more! Masks are not required, but you can wear them if you wish.

Tickets for the Bull & Oyster Roast are selling fast so get yours now or buy a table of 10 and receive a $100 discount. Walk-ins are accepted, but buy tickets to reserve your seats. All registrations can be found here: Homecoming Registration or in the school website.

Sunday, November 14th

On the last day of Homecoming weekend, families are invited to Mass where there will be FREE food trucks after all Masses! Signature food trucks include Baltimore Waffle Co. and Mama's Donut Bites, plus coffee and hot chocolate provided by Baltimore Coffee and Tea Co.!





Open House on Thursday, November 11th

The school will host its second Open House on Thursday, November 11th from 8:30 until 11:30.
This is a great opportunity for not only new families to learn about the school but also a valuable experience for current parents who want to learn more about our unique middle school experience. The agenda for the morning will be as follows: 

  • 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Registration and Refreshments
  • 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Administration Leadership Welcome and Presentation
  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. School Tour
  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  Q & A

Although not required you can register for the Open House here:

Open House Registration

We also ask parents to share the good news about SCMOQ launching a new Pre-K 4 program for the 2022-2023 school year. The JK Colts are coming to Cathedral!

Johns Hopkins School Culture 360 Survey

We are pleased to announce that our school will once again partner with Johns Hopkins University to study how we’re doing as a school community. Faculty, staff, parents and guardians, and students in grades 6 through 8 will be asked to complete a 15-minute survey that will help us gain a full understanding of school culture. This deep dive examines five core areas of school culture: academic life, administration and governance, communality, “the whole child,” and organizational identity.
What do we mean by “school culture”?  
  • “Culture” refers to the underlying values that shape what we see and experience in the building. School culture is the foundation of school life.
  • A strong, coherent school culture is linked to…
  • Positive civic outcomes, such as increased political engagement and higher levels of tolerance and respect.
  • Positive academic outcomes, such as higher college enrollment and more consistent workforce participation.
School Culture 360™ is comprehensive…
  • Johns Hopkins’s research-based survey examines significant elements of school life, such as:
  • Whether all students have access to challenging courses;
  • Whether teachers feel supported in their work; and
  • Whether parents feel included in the school community.
  • The findings will let us identify clear strengths and “wins,” as well as specific challenges we need to overcome together.
  • School Culture 360™ is anonymous.
  • All responses are strictly confidential and will only be analyzed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University who will not be able to identify individual respondents. School personnel will not have access to individual survey responses, and no identifiable information is collected.
  • All data are housed behind Johns Hopkins’s secure firewalls.
  • Participation is voluntary! You do not have to fill out the survey, and school leaders will not know whether you have participated or not.
What is the survey like operationally? How much time does it take to complete?
  • The survey is fully operational on any platform, including mobile phones.
  • The survey works on multiple browsers (e.g., Chrome, Edge, Firefox). Safari users must enable Javascript.
  • Survey data is secure and anonymous.
  • The surveys are produced in Qualtrics, a web-based survey tool, and usually take the following amount of time to complete:
    • § Administrator Survey  10-15 minutes
    • § Teacher Survey        15-20 minutes
    • § Student Survey        15 minutes
    • § Parent Survey         10-15 minutes
We need your voice.
  • The survey will open soon November 22nd and close on December 27th. Please be on the lookout for a link to participate!
  • The survey is available in multiple languages. We want to hear from everybody!
  • We are all in this together.
  • You are a valued member of our school community and we need your input.
  • You can also find out more about the survey and contact information for the research team, on the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy’s website, here.

God Bless,

Dr. Wright