Archives for September 2016

Fun at the Back-to-School Luncheon!

By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

ps-luncheonIt was great seeing everyone at the Preschool Back-to-School Luncheon! We enjoyed the good food and sharing with you the activities that your child participates in here at school. Thank you to the Parent Association for helping us organize the side dishes.

We are excited to announce a new class for our smallest of Wyverns. Starting in October, we will be offering a Baby Wyvern and Me Music Class with Preschool Music and Creative Movement teacher, Faith Murphy. This class is open to babies and toddlers 6 – 18 months and their parents. This class is perfect for young families to explore music in a fun, community environment. You can find more information about the class and how to register here.

On Wednesday, October 5th we will be celebrating St. Francis Day. You are invited to bring your pet to be blessed by local clergy. If you have a preschooler and you would like to bring a pet, please let your child’s classroom teacher know and we can meet you at the Preschool playground at 3:10 p.m.

We will be closed for Fall Break on Thursday, October 6th and Friday, October 7th.

Real-World Opportunities

By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

ideafestivalToday, 25 students had the opportunity to attend the annual IdeaFestival, courtesy of Goshen parent Kristin Rahman Hanel. They heard from award-winning writer Christine Kenneally, evolutionary biologist Lee Dugatkin, filmmaker and artist Ricardo Rivera, MIT professor Christine Ortiz, and several members of a panel on tech companies. We love being within walking distance of fantastic real-world opportunities like this, and are grateful to Kristin for making this opportunity possible!

Yesterday, we engaged in an event that the senior class has been asking about since school started: the annual 9th grade – 12th grade lunch. Seniors and freshmen are assigned to table groups, and get to know one another over a pizza lunch. It’s another way we try to connect across grade levels, and from the level of chatter, it appeared a good time was had by all.  

Hopefully everyone saw the email I sent earlier this week, but if not: Two-Campus Field Day is Wednesday, followed by the Blessing of the Pets, at the Goshen Campus. We have two classes in the morning, followed by a trip to Goshen. Students may drive their own cars (or with a sibling) or will ride a provided bus. At 2:30 p.m., parents are welcome to join and bring pets, if you like. Students will either head back to the Downtown Campus on a bus or stay for the pet blessing, dismissing directly from Goshen at 3:30 p.m. And then Fall Break will be upon us! Enjoy!

An “Embarrassment of Riches!”

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

MS B soccer champs!

MS B soccer champs!

Some weeks it just seems like an embarrassment of riches are being heaped upon us at the Goshen Campus! This past week (and the week ahead) is one of those times. What is our embarrassment of riches? Let me count the ways…(Shakespeare would be proud):

1. Last Friday, our Middle School B soccer team won the Independent School League Championship over KCD by a nail-biting 3-2 count! The scene at morning meeting this Monday was pretty raucous as the kids showed off their trophy and celebrated their championship!

My School Color Run

My School Color Run

2. Saturday, the We Act Club hosted our first ever My School Color Run on the Goshen Campus to help raise the last of the funds needed for their multi-year project to build a school in Haiti. Please see the separate article on this great event elsewhere in the newsletter.

3. This week, our 6th graders were off on their annual week-long outdoor education trip to Pine Mountain Settlement School, and we received good reports from Shelly Jones on their adventures (she’s everywhere these days!). Instead of broiling in last week’s 90 degree temperatures, they were hiking and enjoying a very fall-like week in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. She sent back some entertaining pictures, and by all accounts, our kids had a memorable time while being excellent ambassadors for the school. 

6th grade trip to Pine Mountain Settlement School

6th grade trip to Pine Mountain Settlement School

4. And looking ahead to next week, Wednesday, October 5th shapes up to be an incredible day here! Not only is it the always-popular St. Francis Day, including the Blessing of the Pets, but our High School students are also coming down to join us and take part. We’re going to have our Two-Campus Field Day prior to St. Francis Day, where students of all ages are put into groups (complete with cute animal names), and engage in fun field day activities. I’m not sure which ages enjoy this the most, but it’s a day that really builds camaraderie and a sense of spirit from kids in Junior Kindergarten to High School seniors. Chef Matt Thomas will also have a cookout for both campuses preceding the activities, so it’s a jam-packed afternoon of celebrating so many of the things for which St. Francis stands.

Then we head off to a very well-deserved Fall Break after an action-packed first part of the school year. We are, indeed, “wealthy!”

Photo Gallery for Week of September 26 – September 30

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School Notes for Week of September 26 – September 30

Attention, Goshen Parents: Changes to the after-school transportation daily deadline. A reminder that when your child’s after-school transportation plans change during the day, all information must be relayed to the front office as soon as possible! We will make sure that information gets to your child and the relevant adults here when this is done by 2:00 p.m. However, we cannot guarantee these changes will be communicated after that time. The exception, of course, is in cases of emergency. Thank you in advance for your attention to this!

All 7th and 8th grade parents are invited to join us for a morning coffee on Thursday, October 13th at 8:30 a.m. on the Goshen Campus to learn more about our High School. You will hear from a panel comprised of former Goshen students and parents to introduce you to our High School, explain why they chose the Downtown Campus, and answer any questions you may have. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the next step in your child’s St. Francis journey. We hope to see you there!

at-the-birds-nest-in-beijing

2014 trip at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing

Spring Break student trip to China. We are offering St. Francis School students an opportunity to travel to Beijing and Shanghai in China during Spring Break, March 30th through April 9th. The trip is open to all 7th through 12th grade students, and not just to those studying Chinese at St. Francis. Parents are also welcome to attend! 7th and 8th graders will need a parent to accompany them (or one parent could agree to accompany a couple of students).

Thanks to the underwriting of the WKU Confucius Institute, the cost of the trip is comparatively affordable at $2,645 per person, based on a group of 30 participants. The cost includes round trip airfare, visa, medical insurance, accommodations, transportation, and most meals. Essentially, the Confucius Institute underwrites all our costs in-country, which is how we can offer an 11-day trip for this price!  For those students and adults who went on our 2014 trip and received a 10-year visa, the cost would be approximately $240 less.

The tour will visit Beijing and Shanghai. Students will participate in language classes at North China Electric Power University, and there will be daily field trips and cultural activities. We will visit the Great Wall at Badaling, the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Capital Museum and a local High School. Following a high-speed train ride to Shanghai, we will visit the Bund waterfront, the Shanghai Museum, and Yuyuan Gardens, and have an evening cruise on the Huangpu River to see the spectacular Shanghai skyline.

Please email organizer and High School Chinese teacher Bob Jones if you have any additional questions. A deposit of $500 will be due by October 31st.

Calling all cars! We are on the lookout for two used cars to help our visiting Chinese teachers get around town! Both Daphne Tang and our new Yale-China fellows, Angel Yip and Tommy Kwan, would love to purchase a used car to help them navigate between Downtown and Goshen and around Louisville. If anyone has, or knows of anyone who has, a used car to sell, please let us know. Send any inquiries to Natalie Bruner in the Goshen front office.

Photo Gallery for Week of September 19 – September 23

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School Notes for Week of September 19 – September 23

All 7th and 8th grade parents are invited to join us for a morning coffee on Thursday, October 13th at 8:30 a.m. on the Goshen Campus to learn more about our High School. You will hear from a panel comprised of former Goshen students and parents to introduce you to our High School, explain why they chose the Downtown Campus, and to answer any questions you may have. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the next step in your child’s St. Francis journey. We hope to see you there!

at-the-birds-nest-in-beijing

2014 trip at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing

Downtown Campus Chinese teacher Bob Jones will host informational meetings about the St. Francis Spring Break Trip to China. Meetings will be held on the Downtown Campus on Monday, September 26th at 4:00 pm. and on the Goshen Campus on Tuesday, September 27th at 8:30 a.m. 

We are offering St. Francis School students an opportunity to travel to Beijing and Shanghai in China during Spring Break, March 30th through April 9th. The trip is open to all 7th through 12th grade students, and not just to those studying Chinese at St. Francis. Parents are also welcome to attend! 7th and 8th graders will need a parent to accompany them (or one parent could agree to accompany a couple of students).

Thanks to the underwriting of the WKU Confucius Institute, the cost of the trip is comparatively affordable at $2,645 per person, based on a group of 30 participants. The cost includes round trip airfare, visa, medical insurance, accommodations, transportation, and most meals. Essentially, the Confucius Institute underwrites all our costs in-country, which is how we can offer an 11-day trip for this price!  For those students and adults who went on our 2014 trip and received a 10-year visa, the cost would be approximately $240 less.

The tour will visit Beijing and Shanghai. Students will participate in language classes at North China Electric Power University, and there will be daily field trips and cultural activities. We will visit the Great Wall at Badaling, the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Capital Museum and a local High School. Following a high-speed train ride to Shanghai, we will visit the Bund waterfront, the Shanghai Museum, and Yuyuan Gardens, and have an evening cruise on the Huangpu River to see the spectacular Shanghai skyline.

During the informational meetings we will cover the cost, visas, itinerary, and daily program and field any questions you may have. Please email organizer and High School Chinese teacher Bob Jones if you have any additional questions. A deposit of $500 will be due by October 31st.

Calling all cars! We are on the lookout for two used cars to help our visiting Chinese teachers get around town! Both Daphne Tang and our new Yale-China fellows, Angel Yip and Tommy Kwan, would love to purchase a used car to help them navigate between Downtown and Goshen and around Louisville. If anyone has, or knows of anyone who has, a used car to sell, please let us know. Send any inquiries to Natalie Bruner in the Goshen front office.

Building Our Skills

By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

preschoolers-gardeningPreschool pictures were taken this week by the talented Kelly Beach. She did a fabulous job and I know you’ll be pleased when you see the proofs. It’s estimated that pictures will be ready to view in a few weeks. Once the photos have been processed, you will receive an email from the school on how to view and order your photos. Picture retake days are set for October 4th and 5th. Click here to see her website.  

In our classrooms, all of our activities are geared to developing the children’s fine motor skills, extending their attention spans, encouraging them to follow directions, orienting them toward beginning and completing a task with minimal help, and fostering creativity, self-confidence, and a sense of self. We continually work on social and emotional skills, teaching children how to enter a group, how to engage in play, how to share, take turns, and how to work out conflicts. We assess the children and plan our days, projects, and centers so that we help them to develop these skills and to build on the skills they already have. Identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters are all a part of our play.

Our Preschool Back-to-School Luncheon is Friday, September 30th at 10:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your child’s day and meet other Preschool parents. We hope to see you then!

Service Learning Fair Inspires!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

service-learning-fairThis Wednesday, our main amphitheater was transformed into a setting of optimism as a dozen local non-profit organizations assembled to explain their missions to all of our students! Students from Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade were able to “window shop” in an open-house format to hear from the different representatives about the work they do in the community.

If you are unfamiliar with our Service Learning program, we revamped our philosophy towards service a number of years ago after a visit from an educational authority on the topic. Instead of students going to a park and picking up trash for one day, or amassing a certain number of individual service hours off campus, each grade chooses an organization they wish to help for the year. They learn about the organization’s purpose and then decide collectively how best to help them (with their teacher’s guidance and assistance, of course). Many of these projects last for an extended period of time and may involve collection work, creating something, or just donating time to their cause. Most result in a culminating experience such as a field trip or site visit to one of the organization’s locations, to deliver items or help out physically. The kids really get into the spirit of giving to the community and invariably the adults feel our students get as much, or more, out of it than those we help. Here are the groups that were represented at our event on Wednesday:

  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Center for Women and Families
  • Coalition for the Homeless
  • Apple Patch
  • St. Matthew’s Food Pantry
  • Home of the Innocents
  • Kentucky Refugee Ministries
  • Water Step
  • Family Scholar House
  • Neighborhood House
  • Dare to Care Food Bank
  • Bluegrass Pet Rescue

Thanks are certainly in order to our Service Learning Coordinator, School Librarian Lindsy Serrano, for putting this feel-good event together. From Lindsy:

“I am always excited to help plan this event. Every year at the fair, students are engaged and passionate when learning about community issues, and at the same time we are giving community groups a space to talk about their work. I can’t wait to see what service learning projects the students will develop this year!”

And we couldn’t agree more. It’s always heartwarming to hear the kids at morning meeting describe the work they’ve accomplished and how they feel about it. It’s truly an integral part of the St. Francis community, and no doubt will inspire our kids to continue this type of giving for the rest of their lives.

School Spirit All Around!

By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

hs-fall-sports-assemblyThe Fall Sports Picnic and Bonfire last Friday were great successes – a big congratulations to our field hockey and soccer teams on strong performances! The bonfire was a wonderful event, with about two-thirds of the student body in attendance and many s’mores consumed.

The varsity soccer team managed to get some sleep, wake up early the next morning, and endure fatigue and rain to win the Whitefield Invitational, defeating both Holy Cross and Whitefield handily. The varsity field hockey team also spent their Saturday competing, in the CAL Invitational, and they represented themselves well. So proud of both teams!

I am also proud of our students’ community service efforts. My We Act group, speaking of early Saturday mornings, will be at Goshen starting at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow to prepare for the My School Color Run, which should get us very close to reaching our goal of $10,000 needed to fund the building of a school in Haiti. This past Tuesday was our second (of six) Community Service day, and groups worked hard, some even weeding and whacking in the heat.

Our Admissions Director, Trisha Amirault, is getting us ready to start welcoming 8th grade shadow visitors, starting next Friday. A whopping 28 9th graders have volunteered to be “guideverns” (guides + Wyverns = guideverns) and will be helping Trisha out with shadow days, High School Nights, Open Houses, and any/all admissions events. Can’t believe we are already gearing up for 2017-18!