Derby fever raced through the Preschool this week. Horses galloped around the classrooms, while parade floats were painted, taped, and glued together with anticipation for our very own Derby Race and Tea. Thank you to all of our grandparents, special friends, and parents who cheered their little ones on during our Preschool Derby Races. Your presence at our events is so appreciated. And thank you to SFS parent and science teacher Jason Chlopek for making the medals with the 3-D printer! Save the date! Friday, May 10th from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. is Muffin Day! In the past we have called this event Muffins with Moms, but we have changed the name to ensure we are including all of our families. Even though it is right before Mother's Day, moms and/or dads are welcome to join us for a muffin and coffee. It’s Time to Register for “Camp Curious” Summer Camp Don’t forget to register for “Camp Curious,” our St. Francis Preschool summer camps. We are looking forward to six summery weeks of adventure, exploration, and friendship. Each session will be full of age-appropriate activities and everyone will enjoy camp-wide special events and visitors. Register online here. We hope you can join us!
Monday’s Middle School Morning Meeting had that end-of-the-year feel: more like a rowdy Friday rendition! First off, we honored our 5th grade students who competed in the Kentucky National History Day Competition at the University of Kentucky over the weekend, a first in the School’s history. 5th grade teacher Billy Spalding led his charges into “battle” and they emerged with impressive results. Here is a summary from Billy: “Congratulations to the 5th graders who represented St. Francis, for the first time ever, at the Kentucky National History Day Competition on Saturday, April 27th at the University of Kentucky. Kennedy Julian, Eleanor Kayrouz, Charlie Rutherford, and Sydney Shoemaker competed against the best historians from all over the state. Sydney and Eleanor won second place for the group exhibit category, and Kennedy and Charlie won first and third place, respectively, for the individual exhibit category. All four participants medaled in their NHD debut! Their performance was the culmination of their efforts of the year. The students researched a historical topic utilizing primary and secondary sources, developed a thesis and defended it with facts, and presented their findings in a way that supported their argument and fit with the annual theme of the contest. They then had to revise, edit, and make necessary changes based on the feedback they received at the regional contest. Finally they had to present their exhibit to a panel of judges made up of history professors and teachers. The skills they learned from National History Day are valuable tools that will serve them throughout their entire academic [...]
It's been a studious week on the Goshen Campus as our 4th - 7th graders have been toiling away working on their ERB standardized tests. And while it’s certainly not their favorite activity by any means, counselor Julie Marks makes sure the students know why we take these tests and gives the teachers practice tests and information to have the kids properly prepared. By all accounts, it has gone off without a hitch this year. The 8th grade, meanwhile, has enjoyed their standardized testing reprieve, and we are all looking forward to getting back to our normal routine next week. We’ll share your child’s results with you, of course, when the results come in late summer. And our teachers will also look over them which helps with certain placement decisions as well as the valuable information we glean into each and every one of them. I also wanted to highlight a couple of big coming attractions for next week. Tuesday night brings the always-fun Middle School Talent Show, which will start at 6:30 p.m. With the Main Amp under construction, we’ll be in the Multi-Purpose Room this year and will have the usual singing, dancing, and musicianship, as well as some comedy this year - and one more year of the amazing Jamie Campbell performing magic! All of the proceeds benefit the Class of 2019’s class gift, so it’s a combination of great entertainment for a noble cause. And Wednesday brings the heart-warming Preschool and Kindergarten Derby races to campus. The pomp and fun associated with these events are [...]
It's been a full and exciting week of Advisee Games (I'll report on that next week), the always-fabulous Student Art Show & Senior Project Showcase, field trips to the Festival of Faiths (thanks to the Sacred Space Committee) and Brasserie Provence (for the upper-level French classes), fundraising lunches by the 11th grade and the We Act Club ("Gumbo for Ghana"), and more! Perhaps the most important thing we did all week, though, in terms of student well-being, is the Distracted Driving presentation for the full student body on Tuesday. Our Counselor Terri White shares more on that below: This week, the entire student body attended an assembly on the dangers of distracted driving. Jay Vaughn, a trial attorney and Goshen parent who travels around the country with other colleagues volunteering their time with the organization EndDD.org, presented to parents Monday evening and students Tuesday morning. The presentation included personal stories of lives lost and forever changed due to distracted drivers who were talking on the phone, working their GPS, texting, reaching for an object in the car, etc. Students were actively engaged throughout the presentation and horrified by video footage they viewed of teens and other drivers veering off the road or speeding through intersections completely unaware of the dangers they posed to themselves and pedestrians around them. The videos did not contain graphic content, but did show how in "just a few seconds," cars can be out of control and off the road from distractions. The students also learned vital information such as: car crashes are the [...]
Thoroughbred sock and paper horses are currently being assembled in each classroom for our annual Preschool Derby Race and Tea and Grandparents’ Day next Wednesday, May 1st at 10:45 a.m. Grandparents, parents, or special friends are invited to join us as we parade, run, and celebrate Louisville’s special day. Each child can invite up to four special guests to the event. Please RSVP to your child’s classroom teacher by Tuesday, April 30th. All children who are leaving after the races will need to be signed out in their classrooms with their teachers.
We enjoyed another fabulous Talent Show yesterday afternoon! Joke-telling and lots of music were on the agenda. Students played and sang songs from the likes of Carole King, Taylor Swift, Chicago, and the musical Waitress. What I always love most about the talent show - even more than the amazing skills and passion on display - is the students’ appreciation of each other, as evidenced by copious applause at the conclusion of each performance. A late entry by Señora Angela Katz and some of her Spanish II students, performing a song, even had students waving their uplifted iPhones with flashlights on, as the kids do these days in imitation of the cigarette lighters of yore. Next week brings a distracted driving presentation for parents on Monday night and students on Tuesday morning, our annual Student Art Show & Senior Project Showcase on Thursday, and our final Community Service Day with Advisee Games following on Friday! Other exciting events include a Flamenco dance demonstration with Señora Angela Ponzio from the Goshen Campus; fundraising lunches hosted by the 11th grade and the We Act Group (the latter dubbed “Gumbo for Ghana”); a field trip for upper-level French students to Brasserie Provence; and an opportunity for students to meet and talk with University of Louisville professor and Thrivals founder Nat Irvin. The beautiful weather must be helping energize the students, with teachers holding class in the Courtyard and students spending their free time there as well. Here we go into May!
The podcast Life Kit on NPR was recommended to me recently by a former Preschool parent. Life Kit is a collection of short podcasts covering personal finance, health, and parenting. Like many of you, I’m interested in podcasts and books that cover topics that we grapple with as parents. I discovered that the Life Kit series has segments called “Parenting: Difficult Conversations” and it’s supported by the child development specialists at Sesame Workshop. Oftentimes as parents we aren’t ready for the difficult conversations that come up while parenting, and the timing is rarely right (for instance, after we’ve just read the perfect parenting article about the subject). It struck me that the conversations offered in the Life Kit series dive into the challenging questions we face as parents. When I looked at the entire list of difficult conversations listed, I thought, YES! These are questions that parents have, and want answers to, in order to support their children the best way possible. A few titles from the podcasts are “Talking Race with Young Children,” “Is It OK to Lie About the Tooth Fairy?,” and “Death: Talking with Kids About the End.” I’ve listened to a few of them, and the discussions are thoughtful and informative. And, with their partnership with Sesame Workshop as an added recommendation, we wanted to share this resource with you. Spring Egg Hunts Our preschoolers had a wonderful time collecting eggs on the playground Wednesday morning. The weather cooperated and all of our classes were able to search for their eggs outside. Bunny bags and [...]
This week, our 7th graders ventured up to Brown County State Park in Indiana for their outdoor education trip. This location was a first for us, so they got to be explorers in seeing whether this park fit the bill as a good location for hiking and class bonding. Overall, we were blessed with great weather - only chilly the first night (mid-40s) before soaring to the upper 70s on Tuesday! And fortunately, no rain, although the high winds literally blew some of our tents out of the ground! Learning to prepare properly for the weather (and what life brings you) is part of the point of these excursions. The area was very beautiful! It was a homecoming of sorts for me as Indiana University is only 15 miles up the road (of course I never made it into the park as an undergrad!). Here are some of the highlights from the trip: Some groups hiked to and climbed a tall fire tower! The view at the top above the trees was impressive, naturally, and the whooshing winds up high were both cooling and calming (even if Angela Ponzio wouldn’t climb up with us). One of our hikes, which all three groups did, led to a gorgeous lake with lots of turtles sunning themselves and one unexpected encounter with a large snake doing the same! We found out later this was a harmless copperbelly water snake, but it still gave many of us the willies. We spent some silent time both hiking and sitting near the lake, which isn’t [...]
After a long and restful Spring Break, we returned this week refreshed and looking forward to the homestretch leading to the end of the year. At Morning Meeting on Monday, we talked about the many, many events that occur between now and then, such as track meets, Derby events (especially the Kindergarten Derby!), talent shows, the 8th grade Capstone Projects Showcase, camping trips, dances both “cute” (Parent-Daughter Dance) and “serious” (7th/8th Grade Formal), just to name a few! All ultimately lead to Class Day, Red/Blue Field Day, our Final Assembly and, of course, the Goshen Campus Graduation. Not to mention the hustle and bustle of everyday life and learning at St. Francis, of course! But before we move onto all of the upcoming events, I want to take a quick look back at our spring musical, The Sound of Music. If you didn’t get the chance to see the show, it was staged in the huge auditorium of Old Male High School (seating capacity of 1,538!). This allowed our cast and crew of 56 to perform in a different style of theater than the one to which they are accustomed. As I commented on in curtain speeches, with our theater expansion and front lobby renovation going on all year, we’ve now done four SFS drama productions in four different locations. This includes the summer alumni show, Getting Out, at Baron’s Theater Downtown, The Odd Couple on our Downtown Campus, Seussical KIDS at Gingerwoods, and The Sound of Music at Old Male. And while this has certainly been challenging, it [...]
This week, though we're just back from Spring Break, has in many ways focused on the next school year! We opened course registration for returning students, featuring not only core classes and AP options but also exciting junior/senior electives like True Crime, Microfiction and the Prose Poem, Race in American Cinema, Delhi: Then & Now, Climate Change: An Activist’s History, Light & Optics, Design & Engineering, and Vertebrate Zoology. The seniors are getting final acceptance notifications from colleges and making decisions in advance of the May 1st deadline. The English department is busily reviewing possibilities for the all-school summer reading book, to be announced soon. And we're contemplating the additional faculty summer reading possibilities, exploring options that focus on race, trauma-informed teaching, or mindfulness; books from the keynote speakers at the upcoming ISACS Annual Conference in Louisville next fall; and more. We particularly enjoyed sharing last year's summer reading choices with parents at our Back-to-School Night and hope to do so again. Before we get to 2019-20, though, there's plenty of energy left for this year! Today we had our fifth Community Service day, followed by a Kentucky Shakespeare Festival production of Macbeth. The tennis and track teams are both in action this afternoon, with the baseball team hosting an invitational tournament tomorrow. The We Act group heads to the annual We Day celebration of service next Tuesday, and the sophomores travel to the University of Louisville to see a production of A Raisin in the Sun. Back at school, students are enjoying this warm spring weather by spending [...]