FROM MY DESK TO YOURS #36
May 1, 2016
“The Heart of St. Paul … Growing Together in Faith, Knowledge, and Virtue”
Happy May Day! Welcome to the beginning of St. Paul’s busiest month of the school year! It begins with Confirmation today. Our eighth graders will be receiving the rite of Confirmation at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon at the Basilica. They have been preparing for this sacrament throughout this year and are more than ready to become “Soldiers of Christ.” Blessings to all of them and please remember them in your prayers.
Tomorrow we kick off the month with our tradition of the Living Rosary and May Crowning. The children who received sacraments this year (8th and 2nd grade) become the beads of the rosary and lead us in prayer. After the rosary we will process to our statue of Mary on the grounds and crown her as our “Queen of May.” If you are free, please come and join us in prayer. The prayer service begins at 1:45 pm.
I apologize for the lateness in getting next year’s school calendar to you. Each year, I try to set our spring break with the private high schools so that it is more convenient for parents who want to take trips or are working. This year, because of the National Catholic Convention being held in St. Louis, it became impossible to do. Our private and public high schools normally take the same week for spring break, but due to the convention it seems as if there are a variety of spring breaks in the schools. We did the best we could to accommodate families in our school but I am sure there will be some conflicts. They just couldn’t be helped. Thanks for your understanding in this matter. As I have said many times before, it is a puzzle to fit all of our required days and minutes and snow days into our calendar.
Tomorrow is the last day for parents to hand in Parent Input forms. I have received some already. Please remember that we do NOT want you to request a particular teacher for your child. You can, however, describe the type of teacher your child relates best to. As we are putting homeroom class lists together, we take many things into consideration. Please read your input form carefully so that you understand how crucial creating classrooms that work is and the many things that go into consideration when creating them.
Due to the changes in our staffing for next year, many parents are curious as to who is going to teach what core subjects in the Intermediate grades and the Middle School. As I mentioned last week, this was another puzzle that we needed to work out with staff to come up with the best plan for our students’ learning. That is always our first priority.
First off, we needed to insure that all teachers were certified in the core subjects that they were teaching. Secondly, teachers were placed in their areas of strength and expertise. Third, some teachers had expressed an interest in teaching certain grades and subject areas. All of this went under careful consideration before final decisions were made. We made these decisions as a team and collaborated on what was best for our students. I realize that some information came out to parents prematurely and I apologize for that mistake. This was only one format that we considered and decided against it.
One of our biggest concerns was to insure that both literature/reading and grammar/writing were taught together. These two core areas complement each other and are designed to be part of a Language Arts block of study. Our charge was to work a schedule where these two core areas were scheduled back to back so that the teachers and students have the ability to become more fluid in their curriculum delivery because of the overlap in the learning.
Each one of our teachers in grades 4-8 will be teaching six different classes per day. Classes will be 50 minutes in length, as they were this year. In the primary and third grade this is not a problem because the classrooms are self-contained. Our literature/writing program in 6th grade will be team-taught by two teachers so that there is more flexibility in grouping students for a variety of learning. We are also working to have a few more “class within a class” model classes in primary, intermediate, and middle school classrooms.
Flexible grouping in the other core areas is our next topic of collaboration. Many parents expressed an interest in this type of curriculum delivery and for right now, it is up for discussion. We are working on it and I will keep you informed as soon as definite decisions are made. Again, we make decisions with “What is best for students” as our #1 priority.
As you can see, May is a very busy month in many different areas. I want to assure you that we are up for the challenge. The staff is working non-stop in order to make St. Paul a school that is “growing together in faith, knowledge and virtue.” I feel that we have a good start. I have attached a document with the core subject area assignments to the bottom of this bulletin. Until next week …
With blessings from my heart,
HATS OFF TO:
•Katelynn Nichols – Last weekend Katelynn participated in an All State gymnastics meets and place 2nd overall. She took some individual first and second places, also. WAY TO GO!!! We are St. Paul proud of you!!
•Mrs. McCaslin, Mr. Dieckmann, Mrs. McCarty, and Mrs. Crowe – This group of teachers collaborated and created a fun-filled learning opportunity for our 8th grade students on Friday afternoon. The activity was a perfect example of STREAM learning – Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Music! This is learning at its best and is also such fun. We will be seeing more of this type of activity during the 2016-17 school year.
•NCADA Programming – Hat’s off to the teachers of this program. It was four weeks of virtue / character building activities. We will be sure to have this program continue next year.
•Fifth Grade Students – One of our fifth grade classes spent last Friday morning spreading a “little kindness” throughout the halls of St. Paul School. Each student visited someone in the building and gave them a ribbon and told them the difference they make in their lives. In turn, each recipient of a ribbon was given an additional ribbon so that they could pass the kindness forward. Watching the faces of people receiving their ribbons was a huge lift in everyone’s spirit. Once again, our virtues are in action. Fifth grade … YOU made a difference in each one of our lives. Thank you.
St. Paul Speech Team – Our final speech meet was yesterday and as usual, our participants made St. Paul proud. Here are the results: Duet: Emily Grither and Emma Ingram- red ribbon, Serious: Grace Theiss-gold ribbon, and Humorous: Gracie Eppler-gold ribbon. This was Emily and Emma’s last meet since they will be off to high school.😪 We will miss you, girls!
Eighth Grade Class – Congratulations to our 8th graders who received the sacrament of Confirmation yesterday at the Cathedral.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE:
Monday, May 2
o HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. RAY!
o Living Rosary and May Crowning – 1:45 p.m. – beginning in Church and continuing outside.
o Girls on the Run – 3:00 p.m. – Parish Center
Tuesday, May 3
o Fifth Grade Surge Meeting – 3:00 p.m. – Room 206
Wednesday, May 4
o All School Mass – 8:00 a.m.
o Girls on the Run – 3:00 p.m. – Parish Center
o Bricks 4 Kids – 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Room 206
Thursday, May 5
o Kindergarten Field Trip – Magic House / Kirkwood Park – All Day
o Charlotte’s Web Day – Third Grade Classes – Afternoon Picnic
Friday, May 6
o Noon Dismissal
o Staff Meeting – 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
“SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:”
“Anything is possible if you choose to believe!”CoreSubjectsbyteacherbothintermediateandmiddleschool.docx