School Notes for Week of May 16-20

  • Looking for Goshen Garden volunteers for Wednesdays throughout the summer. If you are willing and able, please contact Garden Coordinator Christine Brinkmann.  Lunch will be provided from the garden produce.
  • The 4th grade is proud to announce that the kids raised $2,720.20 during their Read-a-Thon!  The money will be split evenly between the Home of the Innocents and the Humane Society.
  • PoloBrochurePlease join the Louisville Polo Club at the St. Francis Junior Polo Clinic hosted at the Alta Vista Farm on May 28th. For students who would like to get a good start on the game or just for the experience, the Junior Polo Clinic offers first-timers a chance to try the sport of kings and cowboys. Horses and equipment are provided. Attendees learn the basics of mallet work, riding for polo, rules and strategy.No riding experience is necessary. The Polo Clinic is open to all students under 19 years old; however, space is limited and preference will be given to St. Francis students. The Polo Clinic will be led by professional polo player and coach Jorge Vasquez, coach of the national championship winning University of Kentucky Polo Team. Cost to attend is $75. For more information, please contact Chad Middendorf.
  • The High School summer reading book (all grades) is Don DeLillo’s National Book Award-winning novel White Noise.  Look for details about the writing assignment on the website soon!
  • High School final exams are coming up the week of May 23rd!  The schedule is below and is also posted on the web site:
    • Monday 5/23 – English
      9:00 – 11:00  English III
      12:00 – 2:00  English I and English II
    • Tuesday 5/24 – Math and World Language
      9:00 – 11:00  All math classes (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus)
      12:00 – 2:00  All world language classes (French, Spanish, Chinese)
    • Wednesday 5/25 – Science
      9:00 – 11:00   Chemistry and Biology
      12:00 – 2:00  Physics
    • Thursday 5/26 – History
      9:00 – 11:00  Culture and Civilization Ancient and Culture and Civilization Medieval
      12:00 – 2:00  US History

Photo Gallery for Week of May 16-20

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A Day of Awards, Fun and Tributes

By Suzanne Bizot Gorman, Head of the Downtown Campus

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Today is one of my very favorite days of the school year – our annual Advisee Group final breakfasts, Awards Day, and Senior Luncheon.  Awards Day is a tradition in which students, faculty and staff gather for awards that range from serious to silly.  It always feels like a fitting conclusion to the school year, a reflection of the close community that is St. Francis.  Then the faculty and staff and the seniors meet parents at the Senior Luncheon (this year held at the Brown Hotel), where the faculty and staff speak individually about each senior.  The community feel of the morning continues into the afternoon, as the heartfelt tributes and gentle jokes shared by the adults of St. Francis send each of our beloved almost-graduates off in fitting style.  

And then, after the utter loveliness of Friday, we all come back down to earth next week for final exams!  You’ll see the schedule posted in this newsletter.  Exams conclude on Thursday afternoon, May 26th, and we will post grades in the parent portal the following week (and email you to let you know they’re ready).  

Everyone is welcome to join us for Graduation next Friday, May 27th at 4:00 p.m. at Actors Theatre (Pamela Brown Auditorium).  We can’t wait to have one last chance to celebrate the 46 amazing graduates from the Class of 2016!

The weeks of summer break will pass quickly, and it’ll be time to greet the 2016-17 school year!  I’ve got one of the best jobs I could ever imagine, getting to work with the amazing students, faculty, staff and parents of St. Francis School.  I wish you all a wonderful summer – see you in August!

Preschool Spent Year Learning, Exploring

By Renee Hennessy, Director of Preschool

It is hard to believe that the school year is nearly over! We had a great year of learning and exploring with our friends. It seems like just yesterday we were walking around the Gym parking lot looking at all of the cars and trucks on Transportation Day. (The Transportation Day committee is already hard at work planning next year’s event.) Time seems to go by quickly when watching young children grow. This year, the children have painted, glued, counted, colored, rested, asked questions, cried, laughed, made new friends, read stories, and pretended. The joy of childhood was celebrated each day. We want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your children with our program. The hard work and dedication of the Parent Association is deeply appreciated by us all. I want to give a special thank-you to Jessica Washer for her planning, coordination and support of all things Preschool. As this year comes to a close and I reflect on the events and day-to-day comings and goings that made memorable moments, I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank our wonderful teachers for their hard work and dedication.

It has been another great year at St. Francis Preschool. I hope everyone has a relaxing summer. If you find that you are not ready for the long days of summer and your child needs a camp, we have spots available in our camps for June! Click here for more information. 

Last week of Preschool happenings:

May 24 – Crocodile Creek visits (rescheduled from last week due to weather)

May 25 – Last Day – Big Sing in Multi-Purpose Room with a slide show, starting at 9:00 a.m. Dismissal at 2:30 p.m. for everyone. We will not have extended day on the last day.

June 6 – First day of Treasure Hunters Camp!

A big THANK YOU to Mr. Paul for constructing our mud kitchen for the playground with funds generously provided by the PA grant!   

School Year Comes to a Special Close

By Reed Gabhart, Head of the Goshen Campus

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It’s hard to believe we’re in the final days of school. It really is true that “time flies” – especially in a vibrant school of 2-year-olds to 8th graders! And while these last few days are a little more noisy and messy (and there seem to be more popsicles and Krispy Kremes appearing in the halls), the spirit and heart that is so prevalent here on a daily basis is still abundantly present. Students continue to do service work, talent is still being shared, the peacocks just keep getting prettier, visitors are still amazed by our open school, 8th graders are leaving their “memory prints” in lots of places … I could go on and on.

The end of the year is welcome, yet bittersweet. We’ll soon bid a reluctant goodbye to another wonderful class of 8th graders and send them off with a formal dance, lock-in, awards day, and, finally, Goshen Graduation. Some tears will be shed along the way, and also many laughs shared. It has been another wonderful year, and in this final weekly newsletter installment, I want to thank all of you for choosing St. Francis School and for the trust and faith you have in us each and every day. This is a joyful, honorable profession, and we are fortunate to get to practice it in such a magical environment.

On a practical note, I want to share a special project that occurred this week even as we’re tying up the loose ends. 5th grade science teacher Debbie Adkins and her students have been working on a special project with students in a school in the UK. This week they had a very special culminating moment with their science counterparts! From Debbie:

On Wednesday morning, the entire 5th grade class had the wonderful educational opportunity of meeting, via Skype, students from the Ashley C of E Primary School of Surrey, UK.  The SFS community was first introduced to the Ashley School when Head Teacher Richard Dunne visited the Goshen Campus last fall.  A world leader among eco-schools, the Ashley School follows the principles set forth in the book “Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World,” written by The Prince of Wales. The book encourages people to make better sense of our relationship with the world through an understanding of the principles of harmony, which are based on the premise that nature is our greatest teacher.

During the students’ study of energy, I collaborated with two teachers at the Ashley School, as well as with our own Garden Coordinator Christine Brinkmann.  Students have learned about energy use and ways we can become more environmentally friendly.  Students at both schools have shared ideas and projects related to electricity, food waste, water, and pollution, so Wednesday’s Skype session was a great way for students to ask questions and learn from each other firsthand.  5th grade students were very inspired and look forward to building on this foundation and expanding their efforts throughout the school next year!

I was in the “audience” for this Skype session and it was so inspiring to see these youngsters from different continents and backgrounds giddy with excitement in seeing their educational peers “across the pond” discussing the same matters of concern (with a little “social aspect” mixed in for good measure!). Kudos to Debbie and Christine for spearheading this, and we look forward to what lies ahead next year!

Look for a special “Thoughts” newsletter later this summer with features on all the special year-end events.  We all already look forward to the wonders that the 2016-17 school year will bring!

Of Talent Shows and Sports Banquets!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of the Goshen Campus KDErby_1

The final two weeks of school bring SO many events to the calendar it’s literally hard to keep up! It’s like our own version of the Kentucky Derby Festival (the “Wyvern Fortnight”?). Since our last newsletter, we’ve had the heartwarming Kindergarten Derby, which was moved to the gym for poor weather, and was just as charming as outdoors in full sunshine! My favorite moment was when one “pony” took a tumble and the other three stopped to help him up! Sorry, Vince Lombardi, but “winning isn’t everything!” We also had our highly impressive 8th Grade Capstone Project Showcase! Once again, our oldest students shared months of work on a topic of their own choosing in a variety of attractive and educational ways. I think what strikes their “audience” most is both their passion for their topic and the amount of knowledge they have clearly gained in doing their research, editing, and preparations for the showcase. Topics included anxiety disorders, life after death, the impact of 9/11, gender bias, genealogy, the positives vs. negatives of social media, hydrocephalus, superstitions, and Tourette’s Syndrome. You can see many of these are pretty “deep” – and personal in many cases. As always, kudos are in order to 8th grade teachers Patrick Donovan for leading this process once again and Rachael Dobring for tackling her first endeavor at such a monumental undertaking.

This week we had our Lower School Talent Show on Tuesday, which is always a “Lollapalooza” of fun and laughter! From hula-hooping to Michael Jackson dances to Star Wars skits to even the periodic table song (from 1st grader Charlotte Pappas!), it brought down the house once again! Kim Aberle and company work their magic every year and this year was no exception. And afterwards, the Lower School Choir treated us to a 25-minute musical revue to cap off the show with a Broadway flair!

Tuesday night was our annual Middle School Sports Banquet. We had a fantastic turnout (despite stormy weather), and it was a wonderful celebration of a triumphant year in athletics on the Goshen Campus! It was especially touching to see how much the coaches cared about their teams and the lessons they hoped to impart. Many commented on the improvement their teams and individuals made regardless of wins and losses. Effort, commitment, desire, and teamwork were the qualities stressed. All the coaches commented on how difficult it is to single out two trophy winners among so many deserving kids (and many couldn’t, in fact!). Coach Shannon Ragland really put some lumps in throats as he had trouble getting through his speech about “The Undefeateds” (as he has coined our unbeaten 6th grade girls’ basketball team). Ditto for Coach Shavar Cowherd when talking about the boys’ 7th/8th grade A basketball team, who were a gaudy 28 – 1 with three tournament championships! And it is also inspiring to see how our students cheer for each other as trophy winners are announced. Egos are parked at the door and everyone is happy for those selected. It is a true reflection of what is right in amateur athletics, and we are so appreciative of the dedicated work Tony Butler, Shavar Cowherd and ALL our coaches (faculty and parents alike) are doing for our kids.

The “fortnight” rolls on with many events on the way: The Parent/Daughter Dance tonight, the 8th Grade Car Wash on Saturday (hold off rain!), the Formal for 7th and 8th grades next Friday, followed by the 8th Grade Lock-In, Class Day, our Final Assembly, and Goshen Graduation. Hold onto your hats!

Last Day Bittersweet for Class of 2016

By Suzanne Bizot Gorman, Head of the Downtown CampusSeniors 2016

Today is the last day of school for our Class of 2016!  It is so emotional for all of us to begin this two-week process of celebrating their high school years and saying goodbye.  We commemorated their last Morning Meeting; celebrated our athletes headed off to play in college (bowler Aliya March and soccer players Michael and Chris Malpartida); and now (well, after Prom ends tonight!) bid them farewell till next Friday’s Awards Day and Senior Luncheon festivities.  

At the same time we’re starting the process of saying goodbye to the Class of 2016, we’re saying hello to the 47 students in the Class of 2020!  Our largest incoming freshman class ever came to Registration on Wednesday night. We can’t wait to welcome them in August!

Wednesday night also brought our annual Student Art Show and Senior Project Showcase, which was absolutely superb.  The Senior Project Showcase evidenced hours of research, writing and more on the part of our seniors, and was a fitting almost-conclusion to their time at St. Francis.  The art classes’ photography, films, paintings, drawings, and sculpture reflected talent and hard work, and the music class’s full-length rendition of David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars set the mood for the evening.  

We are headed to celebrate Prom tonight at the Frazier History Museum, and then onto the last week of classes!

Preschool Derby Celebration a Success!

By Renee Hennessy, Director of PreschoolPreschoolDerby_2

The Preschoolers had a wonderful time last week celebrating Derby 2016! The parade was delightful, the races were exciting, and the desserts were delicious. We would like to thank the many grandparents, parents, and special visitors who joined us and made our Derby event a huge success. We are also grateful to the parent volunteers who coordinated the refreshments. I want to thank Jessica Washer for her coordination of the desserts and staying to serve the grandparents, Alissa Shoemaker for helping with everything, and Nicole Butcher for assisting with cleanup. We couldn’t have done it without you!

This week the 4s classes took a trip to the city – we went downtown!  We rode the school bus to visit our friends at Keystone Learning Academy.  Fortunately, the rain held off, and for two hours we were able to enjoy being outside. We splashed at the water tables, danced and played instruments on their stage, rode tricycles on the bike path, and enjoyed a nice picnic melon snack outside.  One child from the Otters class excitedly exclaimed that there was an airplane flying by: “Look, it’s right there!” We don’t usually see airplanes when we are playing on our playground.  We were all happy to share in his joyful discovery. We gave our friends two Paw Paw trees to plant on their playground and a terra cotta pot with our handprints. Alexandra Thurstone surprised us with a visit while we were there, too. Thank you to our chaperones – Randall Hood, Kasia Harshaw, Sarah Whitty, and Kirstie Smith.      

Coming up:  Crocodile Creek visits us on May 17!  May 25 will be our last Big Sing with a slide show by Mr. David just before the performance, so plan to arrive by 9:00 a.m.  

Last Day Dismissal:  We will close at 2:30 p.m. on May 25.  We will not have extended day on May 25.  If your child typically leaves at noon, s/he will dismiss at the regular time.  

School Notes for Week of May 9-13

  • Got dirt? Come one, come all to the SFS 8th Grade Car Wash this Saturday! You will leave with a squeaky clean vehicle and feeling good knowing that you contributed to the Class Gift for the wonderful Goshen Class of 2016! The car wash will be at Arby’s in Holiday Manor on Brownsboro Road from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. At the moment, the weather looks a little unpredictable, so do your “Sun Dance,” please! Tell your friends, and we hope to see many of you on Saturday!
  • Fantastic results for the Science Olympiad team at the State Competition!  St. Francis finished 11th overall, with individual top-5 finishes for several of our pairs: Will Yelton and Charlie Owen (2nd place, Dynamic Planet); Lucy Lv and Matt Siciliano (3rd place, It’s About Time); Sam Borden and Chris McDearman (4th place, Astronomy), Lucy Lv and Zoe Koss (4th place, Chemistry Lab), and Sam Borden and Sam Edwards-Kuhn (5th place, Protein Modelling).  Congratulations!
  • Intensive Summer Chinese Language Program: Free! The Asia Institute at Crane House is sponsoring an intensive three-week Chinese language immersion program this summer. It is open to rising 5th to 8th graders. Funded by the U.S. government, the program is free to participants. The dates are June 13 to July 1, and the program will be held at Field Elementary School in Louisville. Applications will be accepted until all spots are filled. This is a unique opportunity for any student who is already studying Chinese or for those interested, to see if they like it. For more information and an application, go to the Asia Institute/Crane House website and look for StarTalk. Students need a referral from a teacher to participate.
  • High School final exams are coming up the week of May 23rd!  The schedule is below and is also posted on the website:
    • Monday 5/23 – English
      9:00 – 11:00  English III
      12:00 – 2:00  English I and English II
    • Tuesday 5/24 – Math and World Language
      9:00 – 11:00  All math classes (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus)
      12:00 – 2:00  All world language classes (French, Spanish, Chinese)
    • Wednesday 5/25 – Science
      9:00 – 11:00   Chemistry and Biology
      12:00 – 2:00  Physics
    • Thursday 5/26 – History
      9:00 – 11:00  Culture and Civilization Ancient and Culture and Civilization Medieval
      12:00 – 2:00  US History
  • The annual 7th/8th grade formal dance will be Friday, May 20 at Gingerwoods in Prospect. Admission is $10, and our theme for the evening is
    “Las Vegas”!

Photo Gallery for Week of May 9-13

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