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The first PTO meeting for the 2007-2008 school year was held on Wednesday, September 19th.  The meeting began with an introduction of the officers for the year.  The co-presidents are Kim Shaw and Patti Dumont.  The treasurer is Amy Doiron and the secretary is Joanne Langlais.  Fr. Nadeau spoke to the parents and teachers on the importance of the school as a mission of the church.  A discussion followed on ways to help families attend Mass on a regular basis.  A common theme was the suggestion that one of the weekend Masses be designated as a family Mass.
It was suggested that children from the entire parish participate in the choir, as lectors, greeters, collectors and altar servers.  Fr. Nadeau replied that he would take this under advisement and consult with his staff. 
Denise Goulet, who is the co-president for the St. Thomas School Board, spoke on the role of the board in the school community.  Mr. Paterson spoke about the upcoming (now completed) bottle drive and Mrs. Webb spoke about the Magazine Drive (now occurring). 

Mr. Provost introduced the staff.  He then invited the parents to visit the classrooms.  The teachers shared with the parents classroom routines and expectations. 
The Faculty Attends a Professional Development Day in Auburn

On Friday, October 5th the faculty attended a professional development day at St. Dominic's Regional High School in Auburn.  This is an annual event for all of the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Portland.  The guest speaker for the day was Dr. Sarah Wannemuehler.  She is the principal of Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Cary, North Carolina.  Dr. Wannemuehler holds a doctorate degree in education as well as being a lawyer.  She spoke on legal issues in Catholic schools.  She was well versed and possessed a wonderful sense of humor.  The day was informative as well as entertaining.

Dr. Wannemuehler spoke about her days as a student who did not always conform to the rules of the school.  She shared with the teachers about her sixth grade teacher, Sr. Hyacinth who guided her and helped her to gain a new perspective about her personal gifts and how she was called to share them with others.  She shared that throughout her career, she shared her successes with Sister, until she died.  Dr. Wannemuehler ended her talk with a prayer, that each educator present would be a Sr. Hyacinth for his/her students.

Final Results In for 2007 Spring Fever Fair

The Spring Fever Fair is the largest fundraiser for St. Thomas School.  The Fair is chaired by a group of dedicated parents who generously contribute their time year round to planning for the Fair.  The amount of money raised was $21,171.10. 

St. Thomas Students Contribute to Food Drive

The St. Thomas School students answered a call for help from the Sanford Food Pantry.  The pantry was in need of food as their shelves were almost empty.  The pantry distributes food to those in need on Mondays.  The students most generously responded and 26 boxes of groceries were delivered to the pantry on Thursday, October 4th. The sixth grade students collected the food from the classrooms each day, sorted the items, packed them in boxes and worked with faculty and parent volunteers to deliver the boxes.

St. Thomas School Prepares for Accreditation Visit

St. Thomas School has been working towards accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) for the past 18 months.  The process began with the submission of our application in December of 2005.  We were accepted as candidates for accreditation.  The next step involved a self-study process.  This began with the creation of questionnaires for students, parents and staff.  The questionnaires were completed and results were compiled.  The School Board was presented with the results in August of 2006 and discussed them throughout the year. 

The process also involved creating committees of staff, parent volunteers, PTO officers and Development Council members to study the fifteen standards.  There were sets of questions that needed to be answered for each standard.  Reports were written and revised several times in answer to each standard.  The drafts were reviewed by staff, school board members, PTO officers and Development Council members.  There were also two community members who volunteered to read the reports as well as providing valuable advice about the accreditation process.

The self-study reports have been mailed to NEASC as well to the members of the Visiting Committee.  There will be a seven member Visiting Committee who will visit the school from October 28th to the 31st.  The committee will be interviewing the School Board, PTO officers, Development Council members, Parents, Alumni Students and Parents and St. Thomas Students as well as Mr. Provost and Fr. Nadeau.  They will be reviewing such things as the curriculum, policies, handbooks, report cards, test results and other materials published by the school as well as the web site.  The committee will be voting as to how well the school meets the standards for accreditation.  The Visiting Committee is comprised of teachers and principals from Catholic schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  The Visiting Committee will submit its report to the Board of Directors for NEASC who will then vote on accreditation for  St. Thomas.