Archives for August 2017

Photo Gallery for Week of August 28 – September 1

 

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Photo Gallery for Week of August 21 – August 25

 

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Solar Eclipse, Projects, Community Service, and Extracurriculars, Oh My!

HS Eclipse 2017_1By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Our week began with the viewing of the solar eclipse (the way the leaves made crescent-shaped shadows instead of their normal pattern was one of the students’ favorite parts) and didn’t slow down from there! Thursday afternoon brought our first Projects period of the quarter. This weekly 65-minute block is intended to be stimulating, enriching, and community-building. Students can choose from two more academic offerings – Playwriting with Jane Jones, Education Director at Actors Theatre, and Jazz Ensemble with resident music guru Bob Bertke, both of which involve credit – or selections like Yearbook, 3-D Design, Diversity Committee, Dungeons & Dragons, Music of New Orleans, Chess, Japanese Culture, Origami, Euchre & More, and ULS (Underground Lifting Society – our workout/fitness group). Project selections change every quarter, with the exception of Playwriting, which runs the first two quarters and provides the plays for our Showcase of Plays in December, and Jazz Ensemble, which meets all year.  

We held an assembly with all students on Wednesday to discuss our Community Service program. Students will form groups and travel to one of 18 sites on six different days this year.  The first Community Service day is next Friday, September 1st. More to come about that next week.

Morning Meeting announcements about extracurricular opportunities have abounded this week.  Meetings have begun or are soon to start for Quick Recall (Varsity and JV), the Black Students Association, the Improv troupe, Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA), the Outdoor Activities Club, the Dragon Boat Race team, the A Capella Ensemble, and more. Our field hockey, soccer, and volleyball teams are well underway on their seasons, with a few students also picking up cross country and golf. We are definitely BACK!

School Notes for Week of August 21 – August 25

High School Back-to-School Night is Thursday, September 7th at 6:30 p.m. on the Downtown Campus. All High School parents are encouraged to attend to go through their child’s class schedule and meet teachers. New parents – 9th grade or transfer, anyone new to the High School – are invited to the New Parent Reception, sponsored by our Parent Association, at 5:30 p.m. just prior to Back-to-School Night. Please join us to meet other parents and school personnel!

Goshen Campus Athletic Study Hall will be offered until 5:00 p.m. to those athletes who have a home game after school. All athletes will be expected to check in with the proctor by 3:35 p.m. in Nate Hilberg’s room. This is different than Homework Hall, and each student is responsible for communicating with his/her advisor if s/he will be going to Athletic Study Hall. Teams will be supervised until 30 minutes before the start of the game. In the event of two teams playing on the same day, students will be supervised until the first game begins and then will be sent to watch and support their teammates! This is a free option for student-athletes.

Picture days have been scheduled for both the Downtown and Goshen Campus. 

Downtown Campus
9/5 – 10th & 11th grade
9/6 – 9th grade & 12th grade (short sessions only)
9/7 – 12th grade (full senior picture shoots)
9/8 – 12th grade (full senior picture shoots)
10/18 – Retakes

Goshen Campus
9/18 – JK – 3rd grade
9/19 – 4th – 6th grade, PS 2 day 2s and 3s, and 5 day 2s and 3s, and Mr. Paul’s 4s
9/20 – 7th & 8th grade, PS 3 day 2s and 3s, and Ms. Kelly’s 4s
10/12 & 10/13 – Retakes

A Solar Eclipse Party!

PS Solar Eclipse_1By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

On Monday, time seemed to have stopped as we took a moment to be skywatchers together. We celebrated the moon passing in front of the sun in Preschool with a solar eclipse party for the younger children, munching on treats like Sun Chips and Oreos. The four-year-olds went outside one at a time with safety glasses and a teacher to look for the sun. In their words, this is what a few friends observed: Nathan commented, “I thought the sun was the moon,” and Emerson Von said, “When it gets dark outside like it is now, it looks like rain.” Everyone noticed right away the change in light outside from the classroom and thought it was going to rain. To extended the experience, our budding scientist David Beard demonstrated how the moon passes in front of the sun with a projector. This was a day we will remember for many moons!

Thank you for your patience this week with carpool. At the beginning of the year, it can take a little extra time to ease our friends into their classrooms. Please continue to use carpool drop-off; we can’t stress enough that children generally adjust faster when a consistent drop-off routine is established. I can assure you that if your child is upset when we initially greet him/her at the car, this doesn’t last for more than a moment or two. Preschool carpool drop-off is from 8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

One last note about transitions:  During the first few weeks of school, it may take a little time for your child to adjust to the new schedules, classrooms, teachers, and friends. We are here to support your child and you through this process. Please feel free to reach out to me or your child’s teacher for suggestions on how to ensure a smooth start to the school year.

A Week to “Eclipse” Expectations!

Eclipse Images_1By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

It’s not often that a total solar eclipse (well, 96%, but we’re not quibbling over that!) rolls around and even less often that it occurs on the fourth day of school! But the stars aligned (ahem) for us this year, and we found ourselves in such a cool position. And it was a really special event on the Goshen Campus, as the whole school dropped what we were doing to put on our solar glasses (courtesy of the Confucius Institute at WKU) and head outside to watch the climactic moments of this celestial show. And while some students may have expected “more,” the  majority appreciated the uniqueness and the circumstances that had to come together to make this rare event happen. We heard crickets chirping as the lights dimmed, our farm animals became quiet, and the temperature noticeably cooled as the sun seemingly disappeared behind the moon.

What I loved most about the event was the whole school experiencing it together, and the trust we imbued in our students to handle the safety precautions necessary to take part in a solar eclipse. They obviously took our precautions to heart, and it went off without a hitch. Special thanks to Brian Kirby and Jason Chlopek for leading the “science charge” with telescopes outside and educational presentations for the students to prep them for the “spectacle.” Brian traveled to Hopkinsville and brought back a “totality” video to share with our kids at our Welcome Back Assembly on Tuesday, too. His excitement while filming was one of the best parts! All I can say is, bring on the next one – 2024!

On a hiring note, Celeste Fuquay, who has headed up our Lower School Enrichment program in remarkable fashion the last two years, couldn’t return this year due to her graduate school schedule. We are sad to see Celeste leave and very appreciative for the job she has done with our kids. However, we are pleased to announce we found the perfect person for the position right here on campus! Parent Keyonda Turner (Kymani is in 4th grade and Keagan is in the Preschool 4s) has accepted the position and already started. Keyonda is a true supporter of St. Francis School and has a passion for working with young children. She is currently finishing up a degree in Early Childhood Education in the spring of 2018 and is happy to get a “headstart” on her future vocation with our Lower School students each day. Welcome, Keyonda!

Photo Gallery for Week of August 16 – August 18

 

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A Welcome Back that “Eclipses” Most!

Solar Eclipse PracticeBy Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

The first few days of a new school year are always special, and this week has been no exception! The abundance of pent-up energy, joy at reconnecting with classmates, moving on to new classrooms and teachers, and yes, just a dash of angst for good measure all mix together to create a synergistic recipe that is tantalizingly delicious no matter how long you’ve been in a school setting (not to mention some of these kids have grown like weeds!). We are thrilled to welcome the students back and ready for a fantastic 2017-18 school year!

And, of course, one thing very special about the start of this year is the fact that a full solar eclipse is happening on the fourth day of school, and we are almost in the bullseye of its path! As we’ve already communicated, we will all be going outside to see the climactic moments of this rare event on Monday, but also taking strong safety precautions to ensure the kids’ well being. However, if any parents are uncomfortable with the situation, you may pick your child up early at 2:00 p.m. that day. We will have many teachers with each grade level to make sure the kids use their approved solar glasses at all times while outside. It should be a memorable experience for the whole school, and we are counting down the days until this momentous event.

One other special moment I’d like to share from the start of this year is from our first Middle School Morning Meeting. Before introducing the new teachers to the kids, I asked everyone to join me in welcoming back science teacher Jason Chlopek. The applause grew and soon turned into a crescendo and standing ovation that was goosebump-inducing. Jason came down front and spoke from the heart about his gratitude to the SFS community, and it was just such a heartwarming way to start our year. I think it was an omen of what is to come, and we are all excited for the promise that lies ahead!

Settling in Nicely!

Trailblazers Walking Down the HallBy Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

The children are settling into their classroom routines and are enjoying some of the amenities our campus has to offer. They have already visited the chicken coop and rabbit areas, taken nature walks around the School, participated in music class with Faith Murphy, and met librarian Lindsy Serrano. Each day presents a field trip opportunity on this campus, as there is always something to see and explore!

Children need time to feel comfortable in new situations. Fortunately, our Preschool faculty are quite adept at helping children transition into the classroom. Sometimes, though, we do see a few tears. This is normal and it often takes children several weeks to fully adjust to a new routine and often the second week is the hardest. Parents can help ease the transition by establishing a morning routine that is relaxed and unhurried. Allow enough time to arrive before 9:00 a.m., and if at all possible use our carpool drop-off system. For most of our families, we have found that the carpool routine makes for the smoothest goodbyes. Before separating, calmly remind your child that you will be back (after lunch, after rest time, etc.). Before too long, the transition from home to school and back again will become natural, and your child will have learned that greetings and goodbyes are a predictable part of their daily routine.

Chef Matt Thomas and his wonderful team from Sage Dining Services provide our preschoolers with two snacks and a nutritious hot lunch each day. Parents can find the snack and lunch menus on our School’s website and we also post a hard copy of the menus each month next to the sign-in table.

We want to thank Jacquelyn Stack and Renee Reithel, our wonderful Preschool PA reps, for providing refreshments, bubbles, and Wyvern tattoos at the Back-to-School Picnic on Saturday.

Have a great weekend!

The Freshmen Kicked Off the Week!

9th Graders at Camp PiomingoBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Welcome back to school! This has been a wonderful week, beginning with our 9th grade orientation on Tuesday. The freshmen walked through their schedules, learned some ins and outs of the school, and went to Camp Piomingo for some team-building activities. We welcomed 46 of them, just shy of the sophomore class’s 47 students.

Wednesday was a smooth first day, and we’re sailing on through the week. The seniors departed yesterday afternoon on the annual Senior Rafting Trip, and we’re looking forward to hearing about their adventures upon their return. Monday brings the exciting solar eclipse, and as you know, we’re looking forward to taking students outside (with safety viewing glasses) and watching it. Physics teacher Benjamin Studevent will give a presentation Monday morning about the eclipse and viewing protocol.

At the start of every year, I am always so grateful for all these wonderful teenagers you share with us. The pool balls are clanking, the ping-pong balls are flying, the microwaves are back in use, field hockey bags are lining the hallways, noise fills the stairwells, and it is all completely marvelous. Can’t wait to see what the rest of 2017-18 has in store!