Archives for November 2017

Photo Gallery for Week of October 30 – November 3

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Halloween Creativity Does Not Disappoint!

HS Main ImageBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Students and faculty enjoyed the annual Halloween Costume Contest on Monday, with a terrific range of individual and group costumes (see the weekly Photo Gallery!). Halloween is one of Alexandra’s favorite holidays and the costume contest is definitely one of her favorite annual school events, so the prizes are really worth winning, and student creativity does not disappoint! 

Student voice is important in progressive schools, and certainly at St. Francis, so I always particularly enjoy presentations when they are led by students rather than teachers. We had two this week, in Morning Meeting. The first, on Halloween, was about cultural appropriation and costumes and the second, on Wednesday, explained Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), connecting the sorrow of missing a loved one to the joy of that celebration. We also had students this week announcing signups for the upcoming Project Warm Blitz community service opportunity and promoting next week’s Project Green Challenge (which also apparently has some spectacular prizes!).  

Please check out the Athletics and Kudos sections of this newsletter for some great Wyvern accolades and accomplishments!

School Notes for Week of October 30 – November 3

The Wyvern Ski and Snowboard Club is back! The Wyvern Middle School Ski Club (grades 6th – 8th) and the High School Ski Club are enrolling members for Friday night ski fun at Perfect North! MS dates are January 5th, 19th, and 26th, and February 23rd. For more details, click here. HS dates are January 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. For more details, click here. Registration ends Wednesday, November 15th.

The Scholastic Book Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th through Tuesday, November 21st (Grandparents’ Day) on the Goshen Campus! In the past, the fair has raised money for a graphic novel collection, a projector and screen for the library, an audiobook collection, and an e-book database. This year, the library is raising funds to build a vertical library in its courtyard!

Volunteers are needed to help work the Book Fair. Before school and after school are the busiest times. If you would like to volunteer, please sign up using SignUp GeniusIf there is a shift you would like (especially an after-school shift and on Grandparents’ Day) that is filled, please email Lindsy Serrano. The more help, the better!

Thank you to all of the families who purchased personalized items from Art to Remember. The profits from the program will allow the Fine Arts Department to bring in a visiting artist to work with students this winter. If you are still interested in purchasing an item personalized with your child’s art work, please contact Anne Holmes.

Attention, Enrichment Parents: If you need to get a hold of Enrichment Director Keyonda Turner during Enrichment hours, please call or text her at 502.994.8302. In case of emergency, or if your afternoon plans change, it is most efficient to contact her directly. We would also like to remind you that all students must be picked up no later than 5:30 p.m.

Don’t miss the opportunity to reserve your copy of the 2017-18 yearbook! We are able to offer a reduced price of $50 until March 1st; after that, the price will be $57. Similar to last year, the yearbook will come out BEFORE the end of the school year so that students can sign copies and have them for the summer break. We will mail a spring supplement full of great photos from end of the year activities, graduations, etc. to each person who purchases a yearbook. The spring supplement comes with an adhesive strip to insert into the yearbook. Also, all yearbook ordering and purchasing is done through our yearbook company, Herff Jones, so you will receive emails directly from them.​

Click here to purchase your SFS yearbook now! Please contact Alissa Shoemaker for any additional questions.

College Corner November 2017

college-cornerBy Kit Llewellyn, College Advisor

Don’t forget about your November college preparation to-dos! Read on to see what you should be doing now as a sophomore, junior, and senior.


  • Focus on your academics
  • Begin reviewing your personal preferences, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Talk to your “older” friends about their applications and college visits
  • All sophomores will be sitting for the Pre-ACT in the spring (more details to come)   


  • Work on a resume and keep it updated throughout the year
  • Chat with college representatives who visit our school
  • Begin searching possible colleges
  • Use weekends for short exploratory trips to nearby colleges/universities
  • Focus on your academics and extracurricular involvement


  • Finish taking your SAT, SAT subject tests, and ACT
  • Kit Llewellyn will send your teacher recommendations, High School reports, transcripts, and school profiles electronically via Naviance
  • Students will send (paper or electronically) applications, fees, essays, supplements, resumes, and any other additional portfolios, writing samples or video/tapes
  • Students are responsible for sending their official test scores directly to colleges by contacting ACT and/or SAT and/or TOEFL
  • Most applications and school submissions will be sent by December 1st
  • Send in rolling admissions and state school apps (the sooner the better)
  • Keep working on January and February deadline applications
  • Research scholarships offered by companies, parents’ employers, civic and church groups
  • Polish your essays with Brett Paice, Michelle Salerno, and Juan Ramirez
  • Focus on your academics
  • Plan to schedule interviews with local alum or by Skype if visiting the campus is not possible (arrange by calling the admissions office)
  • If you have any questions at all, communicate with the Admissions Offices so that they know that your interest is genuine and deliberate
  • Then…submit FAFSA and CSS Profile (if required!) financial aid forms beginning October 1st. Money for financial aid has a tendency to run out quickly. Please adhere to these deadlines.

Halloween is a Real Treat!

PS Halloween Parade_Main ImageBy Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

Thank you to everyone who came to the Parent-Teacher Conferences last week. It is always a rewarding experience to take a moment and talk about your child with you.

Through a child’s eyes, I can’t imagine a better way to start the week than with a Halloween parade full of excited preschoolers. All of our classes had a great time parading outside for families and our 4th and 5th grade friends. Thank you to all the parents who brought in food and special treats for our parties.

Mark Your Calendars

Tuesday, November 14th at 9:00 a.m. is our Open House! The Open House is for anyone considering our School as an option for their child. Please invite your friends and neighbors who may have preschoolers. Our parents are our best ambassadors!

Friday, November 17th from 11:00 – 11:45 a.m. is our annual Preschool Thanksgiving Luncheon. Please join your child’s class for a family-style potluck luncheon. The PA will be sending out more information about this event soon.    

“Which Wolf Will You Feed?”: Reflections on Big South Fork

Big South Fork_Main Image_4x6By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

Two weeks ago we had another uplifting backpacking trip to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area with our 8th graders. While I went for only half a week, joining one of the watch groups on Wednesday at lunchtime, the trip was the fulfilling experience it always turns out to be. One of the “stars” of the experience this year was simply the weather: daily highs were around 70 degrees with bright blue skies, nighttime lows were around 40 – nice and brisk when we emerged from our tents each morning – and NO RAIN!

In addition to the miles of backpacking, cooking, and purifying water, another special aspect of the BSF trip is the conversations we share as groups around the campfires each night. We ask the kids many questions and everyone gets a chance to speak (s/he who holds the flashlight is the only one speaking). One of the things we discuss is why we take this trip. Why do we put a halt on academics to take our 8th grade backpacking? After a few days in the woods, they know the answers – and there are many. We’ll leave those reasons around the fire where they belong.

We also can get pretty “deep” philosophically around the fire. I thought I”d let you in on one of my favorite parables I share with the kids at BSF (and credit goes to trip originator, Mike Black, for sharing this with me many moons ago). It’s a Cherokee Indian parable that goes like this:

A Cherokee grandfather was teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside of me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about what his grandfather had said and then asked, “Which one will win, Grandfather?”

The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one you feed.”

IMG_1691We never explain this parable, but rather let it percolate among the kids and take root (and I hope our 7th graders don’t read this!). I was so pleased when I returned to school and found this written on the blackboard in the 8th grade locker area: “Which Wolf Will You Feed?” It seems we’d made an impression. And the piece of artwork to the right turned up in several areas in the school too. 

I found out Katy Roemer was responsible for the artwork and was gratified she felt so touched by this story. There are many moments like this at BSF, just as there are many reasons why we take this special trip. Congratulations and BIG THANKS to Patrick Donovan, our Outdoor Education Coordinator, Mike Black, Angela Ponzio, Tina Brown, Salema Jenkins, and High School Science teacher David Word for being fellow watch group leaders at BSF this year!

Here are a few reflections from the kids on the week:

The time I spent at Big South Fork was amazing! I never thought that hiking with a 20-pound backpack on your back could be so much fun! I will admit that going into it I was not excited about a week-long backpacking trip into a place where black bears live. If someone told me that I would have loads of fun at Big South Fork a week before the trip, I would have laughed at them. While on the trip I realized that it is not about if the trip is hard or easy – it is about the people who you are experiencing it with. My group was amazing! We laughed, cried, even fell on the trail together. The teachers leading us were great, too! I remember on the first day of Big South Fork, Ms. Ponzio said a quote that I will remember forever, “If you only do the easy things, life will be hard. If you do the hard things, life will be easy.” I kept that quote with me whenever I thought something was too hard. Mr. Word taught me and my group things about the park and about nature that my group and I never knew. Mr. Gabhart (aka “Gabo”) kept conversations going on the trail so nobody was bored just walking, and he brought s’mores! I came into the trip thinking that I could not accomplish the task, but I came out thinking I could do anything. I will forever remember my time at Big South Fork. I will remember learning new things about my classmates. I will remember falling down on a trail. I will remember hiking 10 miles a day. I will remember a lot of things about this trip and I will never forget the great experience I had with my grade at the one and only Big South Fork! – Riley Elliott

I think Big South Fork was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed the people in my watch group. The first two days of the trip my leaders were Mrs. Ponzio and Mr. Word, a High School teacher. On Wednesday, Mr. Word left and Mr. Gabhart came. On Monday we hiked across a beautiful bridge and then to our camp site for the night, which was an awesome cave. On Wednesday we climbed up a mountain and camped on the top and it was really pretty. On Wednesday night we all sat around the campfire and Mr. Gabhart told us a story about two wolves. When we finally got to the group campsite on Thursday we were happy to see all our friends again and drop our packs. I was really nervous to go on this trip, but now I can say I’ve been backpacking for a week. Going to BSF was definitely worth it. We saw so many good views and got to know everyone in my group so much better than I already did. My favorite part of the trip was when we got to drop our packs. All in all, I am super glad I went on the trip even though I may not have liked it so much while I was there. –  Katy Roemer