Student Life News

News from Nicole

Christmas break will be here shortly, so I’ve compiled a list of nuts and bolts, as well as some suggestions for joy and rest.

Tardies and Pre-arranged Absences

We often hear, “I’m late because of traffic.” Have you noticed that traffic keeps getting worse in Portland? I’m sure you have. I think it’s time that we all re-calibrate and factor in additional time each morning. It just doesn’t seem to be getting better. Portland is a great place to live and people continue to move here in droves.

Also, a reminder: If your daughter plans on missing three or more days of school, she will need to bring a note and get a pre-arranged absence form from Nicole Foran. If she plans on missing one to two days, she needs to bring a note to the attendance office which includes her first and last name, the dates she will be out of school, the reason for the absence, and a signature of a parent. For longer absences, it is helpful to the student if this comes in a week in advance of the absence to allow her time to get signatures from her teachers and instructions on make-up work.

T.A. Christmas Baskets

Our annual Adopt-a-Family program is underway and your daughter should have (or will be getting soon) details about how she can help provide food or gifts for the Christmas family adopted by her TA. These families were provided by St. Vincent DePaul Society, an organization that screens families and provides us with a list of families in the Portland area who are in economic need. Our delivery date this year is December 15. Thank you for your generosity in helping make the holidays joyous. These families are very grateful for whatever we can do for them.

In addition, we will have a giving tree in our lobby. We’ve partnered with JOIN, an organization that helps people get into permanent housing. The items on the tree help provide some basics to get families started on a new life in a home. Again, thank you for your generosity. If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to contact Maura Timoney at

Advent Mugs of Joy

The Season of Advent began Sunday, November 27.  Advent, which comes from the Latin word for “arrival” or “coming,” is a four-week period of preparation for the recalling of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. For a special advent project, Patty Gorman is once again collecting clean, chip-free, new or used mugs for the St. Francis Dining Hall. St. Mary’s students have volunteered at St. Francis since its beginning years and this is one small thing we can do to bring a bit of Advent joy to the Dining Hall. If you’d like to contribute, please bring your mugs to the front office between November 28 and December 14.

Christmas Break Rest and Rejuvenation

Our juniors have just spent time studying the Transcendentalists and contemplating how to live intentional, reflective, and balanced lives. Perhaps we can all take some of their suggestions and truly rest over the break. We are all very “connected,” not just our students, but parents as well. I hope that the holidays have many moments of delight and joy, and that your families take time simply to be together. May your New Year be filled with many blessings. Thank you for sending your daughters to St. Mary’s. We, as a faculty and staff, feel truly blessed to be a part of their life’s journey.

Nicole Foran, Assistant Principal of Student Life