The Morning Star Weekly Newsletter Vol 5, Edition 19 12/15/2020
Dear Morning Star Families and Friends,

This week will be a busy one! We have tried to keep our Christmas traditions alive this year despite COVID. We decorated our classroom doors, put up our Christmas tree and decorations, and displayed our Advent wreaths and calendars. Our at home and in person students are very excited about all the Christmas activities in their classrooms.
Our Wolfson Children’s Hospital toy drive is going on until Wednesday, December 16th. If you are able to send in a new unwrapped toy it would be greatly appreciated. Coach Whitson will have her annual Winterfest Run on campus this week with junior high and high school students. On Thursday the entire school will sing Christmas carols and enjoy individually wrapped birthday cake for Baby Jesus, which is a Morning Star tradition. Santa will arrive Friday morning to say hello to all students. Also on Friday Primary, Intermediate Prep, and Intermediate 2 & 3 will have afternoon Christmas parties in their rooms.
Remember: Friday is a full day and a non-uniform day. Report cards will be emailed out and a copy of your child’s individual support plan will go home with your child on Friday.
Due to the approaching Christmas holiday, with gatherings of family and friends, we can expect an increase in COVID cases. I cannot stress enough how important it will be to continue social distancing, wearing masks, and handwashing during the holiday. It is vital that our students stay safe and healthy over Christmas break. We would love to start the second semester on January 5th with healthy students. The COVID-19 Travel Recommendations ,issued by the CDC, is information worth reading and keeping in mind as we approach the holidays. 
In the Fall, Morning Star was able to offer face to face learning as well as distance learning to our students. Distance learning unfortunately has not been the most effective way of learning for many of the remote learners compared to in-person learning. Plus, they have sacrificed the much needed in-person interaction with the classroom teachers and peers.
The emergency order that was given through the Florida Department of Education will expire, December 15th. Recently the governor and the Florida Department of Education decided to continue this optional remote learning program. The Diocese has likewise granted permission for us to continue this program. 
In light of this new order, Morning Star School will continue to offer a virtual learning option for families in the second semester. Parents who chose distance learning for their students during the fall semester will need to let me know if your student plans to return to campus for the spring semester starting on January 5th or if you would like them to continue with distance learning. It is my greatest hope that all Morning Star students will opt for in-person learning.
I wish you and your family a most blessed holiday,
Elaine Shott, Principal
Romans 12:10
“Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other”
Luke 1:37
“For nothing will be impossible with God”.
Toy Drive Ends Tomorrow
Wednesday, December 16th is the last day to donate to the toy drive. Morning Star School is partnering up with Gianna Capri again this year to collect donations for Toys for Tots at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital. Please send new, unwrapped toys in with your child to class or drop them off at the front office. Thank you.

To learn more about the toy drive click HERE.
Christmas Break
Friday, December 18th is a full day of school and a non-uniform day. There will be no after school care that day. 

School resumes Tuesday, January 5th.
January Mass
Thursday, January 7th our school Mass will be held at Christ the King Church. It is a uniform day for all students. Mass will be live streamed and distance learning students are required to attend virtually. Attendance will be counted towards their religion grade. Parents and families are also welcome to view virtually.
CLICK to access our Mass Link HERE at 10:00 am.
A big thank you to the Knights of Columbus (Blessed Trinity Council #17182) who delivered a $1,000 check and individual packaged Christmas candy treats for all of our students!
Teachers are decking the halls with their beautiful and creative decorated doors.
Coach Bryan's students played a game in P.E. by making "Florida" snowmen with hula hoops.
Zachary, one of our students, got a surprise on Friday! His dad was able to come home on leave and surprised him at school. Grandma tells us that his dad is stationed in Hawaii and they had been apart for 4 months. He wasn't supposed to even see his dad for a whole year! Grandma also said that dad has a mission, but being it is top secret, we really can't talk about it! 
It was truly a breathtaking experience for Zachary and fun for everyone to watch!

To view the video of Zachary and his dad being reunited click HERE.
Students had fun learning about motion by using pencils to create a tracks for their ball.
Mrs. Franqui and her class of distance learners celebrated the season
by dressing up in holiday attire for class. They had a blast!
Students learned about the Earth's orbit on our new outdoor fitness area!
Students participated in a school-wide festive holiday art project by painting their own version of a Christmas tree on canvas. Below are a few from Mrs. Hurst's class. Great job!
Puff and Sherman are snuggled in for a good Christmas school day with their snuggly beds and special winter edition bedding which was all graciously donated by high school families. Many thanks to the parents who donated pet beds for Puff and Sherman.
Students created models of the famous Globe Theatre to deepen their understanding Shakespearean times and performances as they study Macbeth. 
Mrs. Koci's 11th grade class created advertisements for the planets in our solar system and presented them to the class.
Mrs. Brock's class created mixed media artwork based on the Shakespearean play Macbeth.

To view more photos of the project, click HERE.
Students enjoyed getting some fresh air while relaxing and reading!
It's exactly like Amazon but you'll make a difference!
If you shop on Amazon, make sure you shop on AmazonSmile. It's exactly the same Amazon you love but a portion of your purchase price will be donated to our school each time you shop!

1. Visit AmazonSmile
2. Select Morning Star School of Jacksonville as your charity of choice and start shopping! 
3. Bookmark the AmazonSmile link and use it each time you shop with Amazon!  (Proceeds will only be donated if you are logged into AmazonSmile).
Download the NEW Box Tops App Today!
Box Tops is a great way to earn fundraising dollars! And now there is a new phone app which makes it easier to earn points for our school! Shop as you normally would, then simply scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit your school's Box Tops earnings online. It's a much easier way to help us earn dollars.

Download the new Box Tops App HERE.
Watch a video about the new process HERE

You may still clip Box Tops and send them to school. Physical Box Tops clips are being phased out of production but may continue to be found on many products throughout the store.

  • Turn in your box tops weekly. They do expire.
  • Be sure to NOT cut the code off. We cannot use it if the code is missing even one of the digits
  • Place them in a zip lock bag and send them in with your student.

Thank you for supporting our fundraising efforts! Questions? Please reach out to Jackie Rodriguez, our Home & School Box Tops Coordinator at
If you have a great story, please share it with us. We love showcasing the many talents of our students and their families. To submit a story, click the button below.
Our School Mission Statement
Rooted in the Gospel and strengthened by the sacraments, the mission of Morning Star School is to provide a unique, inspiring education empowering students with learning differences to achieve their full potential.
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