Archives for September 2016

Back-to-School Night

soap-making-project-2By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

It was a pleasure to see many of you at Back-to-School Night! A common refrain among parents is “I wish I could come back to high school and attend these classes!” Your students may not be thrilled, but from our perspective, please know you’re most welcome to visit a class.

At the introduction to Back-to-School Night, I did a brief overview of some parent resources and want to mention those here for anyone unable to attend. First, the calendar:  If you go to our website at and click on Parents and Students and then School Calendar, this will take you to a live, frequently updated calendar. This is “the” calendar to consult for upcoming events, times, etc. Items are added on a near-daily basis.  

Second, the Parent Portal:  This is accessible by going to the website, clicking on Parents and Students, and then Parent Portal. It is the website you used to fill out the back-to-school forms this summer. The Portal has your high school student’s schedule and assignments (with details).  There is also a directory, searchable by name and also with filters for zip code, in case you’re looking for nearby families to set up a carpool. Grades also will be posted here at our marking periods – and speaking of that, the first of those ends today, with comments coming out next Friday. This is the interim first quarter marking period, and at this time, we provide comments in each class for all new students, and on an as-needed basis for returning students. You’ll receive an email next Friday afternoon letting you know if your student has comments and that they have been posted.

So much going on this weekend:  Picnic and Polo, Louisville Mini Maker Faire, Dragon Boat Races – here’s hoping the rain holds off and that you are able to enjoy one or more of these events!

Proud to be a Wyvern!

Louisville Magazine MentionThe St. Francis Wyverns get the W in Louisville Magazine’s school mascot wars!

You can check out the article in the September 2016 issue of Louisville Magazine (page 25). Proud to be a Wyvern!

Community Service Day

Community Service Day

By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Please join us for Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 8th at 6:30 p.m.! We welcome parents to go through their children’s schedules, meet each teacher, and learn more about each class.

Our first Community Service day was Tuesday, and the energy at each site was fantastic, according to our faculty/staff leaders. Our sites this year are Gilda’s Club, Olmstead Conservancy, Project Warm, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Christian Care Communities, Louisville Grows, Kentucky Science Center, Louisville Nature Center, Family Scholar House, the Goshen Campus, Chestnut Street YMCA, New Directions Housing, Waterfront Botanical Gardens, Boys and Girls Clubs, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, Americana Community Center, Family and Children’s Place, Heuser Hearing Institute, and We Act. Students and adults walk, TARC, or drive to their sites, and stay at the same one for each of our six annual Community Service days, all of which follow the same pattern of three classes, dismissal at 11:45 a.m. to service groups, and service work until returning to school for 3:30 p.m. dismissal. We have four days in the fall and two in the spring (to take advantage of generally better weather for our many outdoor-oriented sites). Devoting these six half-days to service is vital in demonstrating to students our commitment to volunteer work. Many groups will engage in projects to benefit their organizations beyond the tasks assigned to them during these sessions. See elsewhere in this newsletter pictures of some of our students in action!

Exploring our Outdoor Classrooms

By Renee Hennessy, Preschool DirectorPreschoolers outdoors on the Goshen Campus

The Trailblazers class spent time outside this week prepping the playground garden box and planting broccoli, lettuce, carrots, and radishes. Christine Brinkmann, Garden Coordinator, explained what the garden needs to grow and how each of them can help. She had a group of enthusiastic assistants and I’m confident we will be munching on those veggies very soon. Observing the natural environment and seeing the surprises of a plant inspire young children to investigate their world. Soon we will begin taking weekly walks around campus and looking for the changes in seasons. We love to use the outdoors as an extension of our classrooms.  

Next Friday, September 9th, is a BIG day for our preschoolers. We will spend the morning outside at the gym lot climbing on, exploring, and learning about different modes of transportation from sports cars to fire trucks. Our friends from Keystone Learning Academy will also be here to participate in Transportation Day. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play and climbing. Comfortable shoes are imperative to a fun day!

We practiced our first monthly fire drill of the year this week. It is important that we teach everyone how to safely exit the building in case of an emergency. I’m happy to report that everyone exited quickly and calmly.

We are in need of measuring cups, ladles, and mixing spoons! Nothing too fancy, just something that can continue to inspire our budding chefs’ imaginations while they are playing in the mud kitchen.

We welcomed three new friends to the Preschool this week. Elliott (Panda) and Emerson Von (Adventurers) Brabandt and Jo Jo Cummins (Panda)!

Congrats to the Celasun family on the arrival of baby Aylin!

Calendar Changes
We changed the date for the Preschool Back-to-School Luncheon from Friday, September 23rd to Friday, September 30th. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other families in your child’s class, hear about the daily routine, and learn about the goals for the year. We hope to see you on Friday, September 30th at 10:30 a.m.  

Running Late?
If you are running late to pick up your child, please call my direct line at 502-694-9369 and leave a message. We check voicemail throughout the afternoon and will deliver the message to your child’s group shortly after we hear from you.  

Middle School Student Council Elected

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

Middle School Morning Meeting

Thank you to all of our Lower School parents who attended our Back-to-School Night this past Wednesday! We had a great turnout, and parents were able to hear from all of their children’s teachers about the many exciting things they have in store for the year. A few of my favorite moments included Señora Salema Jenkins making the 3rd grade parents speak Spanish in her presentation, Tina Brown giving her Art speech in the same classroom where she learned to read and write some years ago, Emily Campbell telling 1st grade parents how their kids now know the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates (and can use cicada shells to illustrate the concept of exoskeletons), and watching Judy Riendeau struggle to stay under the five-minute limit allotted while describing her passion for teaching art to 2nd graders! The excitement our teachers exhibit daily in their lessons clearly matches that of the students. Congratulations to all on a fabulous Lower School Back-to-School Night!

While our athletes sweated out our latest heat wave, and we all looked ahead to the Labor Day weekend, our 5th through 7th grades elected their Student Council officers to join our 8th grade officers announced last spring. Every student who wanted to serve had to give a short speech or state why s/he would be a good candidate. We elect our Student Council representatives by advisee groupings so they can easily get ideas from their classmates during advisory time and report back on meeting decisions in the morning, too. I think it is also noteworthy that in 5th grade, both advisee groups elected students new to St. Francis to lead them. Congratulations to our Middle School Student Council, who I have full confidence will do a great job advocating for their peers and helping the school community in countless ways.

8th Grade:
President – Jimmy Lancaster
Officers – Sophie Johnson, Stuart Middleton, and Theron Varda

7th Grade:
Hilberg – Natalie Koch
Kirby – Grayson Karleski
Mushkin – Lily Gilbert

6th Grade:
Chlopek – Jack Rutherford
Doble – Hayden Jones
Farra – West Middendorf

5th Grade:
Adkins – Zack Mushkin
Varda – Anna Smith

And as we get rolling with our new work (already planning a Halloween Dance and assigning jobs to council members to help the school), we are awaiting our Lower School counterparts. Their elections will take place on Friday, September 16th during lead time. Each candidate will give a short speech prior to votes being cast. The students in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade will elect a boy and a girl to represent their grade. You can see them “in action” each week leading our Lower School Morning Meetings, and they meet weekly with Sarah Dewberry and Salema Jenkins to discuss issues of importance to Lower School. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

School Notes for Week of August 29 – September 2

Lower School Student Council elections on the Goshen Campus. Students interested in running for Lower School Student Council need to get a teacher recommendation form and information sheet from either Salema Jenkins or Sarah Dewberry by Thursday, September 8th. Speeches and elections will take place on Friday, September 16th at 8:40 a.m. during lead time.

High School Back-to-School Night is Thursday, September 8th at 6:30 p.m. on the Downtown Campus. All High School parents are encouraged to attend to hear more about the upcoming year.

High School Picture Days! Picture Days for the High School are September 6th for Freshman and September 7th for Sophomores and Juniors. Senior pictures will be taken on September 8th and 9th with sessions lasting roughly 15 minutes each. Click here for more information. 

Front desk volunteers needed. Our amazing Office Managers are sometimes in need of coverage for their respective desks. If you would like to add your name to the email distribution list, please email Natalie (Goshen Campus) or Danielle (Downtown Campus) and indicate your Campus preference. If you have questions before you commit to volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact Natalie or Danielle.

Dragon Boat Race team members needed! For the third straight year, a St. Francis School Dragon Boat team will vie for a prize on Saturday, September 10th at Waterfront Park in Louisville. We need 20 paddlers, a drummer, and up to four alternates for our team to take to the water. We have filled a few slots and hope that more students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of St. Francis will participate in this really fun event! Our boat, the River City Wyverns, did well last year.

This is a great event for beginners or seasoned paddlers!  Team members must be 12 or older.  Anyone under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. All registration fees are paid for. Please let Team Manager Bob Jones know as soon as possible if you are interested in participating. Individuals can sign up for other practice days and times through the organizer’s website at

The Dragon Boat Festival at Waterfront Park will also be the venue of much Asian cultural activity, with plenty of hands-on things to do, food trucks, and booths from the Confucius Institutes at UK and WKU, Crane House, and other organizations. Even if you can’t be on the team, come to Waterfront Park on Saturday, September 10th to cheer the River City Wyverns on!

Photo Gallery for Week of August 29 – September 2


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