Admissions Open House!

Open House Feature ImageCome to our Admissions Open House to meet current parents, students, teachers, and staff, so you can see why they wouldn’t think of going anywhere else! For questions and to RSVP contact Kelli Carter at 502.795.3464 or KCarter@StFrancisSchool.org, Preschool (2s – 4s) – 8th grade, or Kisha Watts at 502.736.1007 or KWatts@StFrancisSchool.org, 9th – 12th grade.

Downtown Campus
Tuesday, November 7
th at 6:30 p.m.
9th – 12th Grade

Goshen Campus
Tuesday, November 14th at 9:00 a.m. 

Preschool (2s – 4s) – 8
th Grade

Downtown and Goshen Campuses Have a “Field Day”!

Two-Campus Field DayBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus and Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

This Tuesday brought one of our most fun events of the year – our Two-Campus Field Day, held at Goshen. With our two campuses 20 miles apart, our students don’t get to interact together nearly as much as we wish they could, and this event brings them together in a fun-filled (and wacky!) way. After a delicious picnic cookout of hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs courtesy of Chef Matt and his incredible crew, and an opportunity for our 4th and 9th grade penpals to meet one another, our JK – 12th grade students banded together in groups with various grade levels mixed together. Each group had an animal name with a tall sign to match to keep them together. Thus, Goats, Turkeys, Bees, Hedgehogs, Pandas, Zebras, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, and more parade around the campus (many in costume or make-up!) doing fun activities and games together. A group of teachers designed the activities this year, and we decided to branch out and include more activities than team-building games. Our kids rotated every 20 minutes and moved from stations inside (“Just Dance!”), to the play shelter (creating a Mandala art mural together), to team-building games on the soccer field, and finally to the track for field games. This was where we were both stationed and got to watch all ages work together in tug-of-war, sack races (their different techniques were fascinating!), and everyone’s favorite – a water balloon toss! The little ones were particularly adorable during the water balloon toss – they would approach us and say “My balloon broke so I need a new one” and it was difficult to have the heart to explain to them that the balloon breaking is when the game ends! Admittedly, we handed out more than a few “second-chance” balloons.

Article Image Field Day_1What we noticed this year was a heightened sense of camaraderie among the kids. As we’ve now done this three times, it gets better every year, and everyone knows what to expect. It was touching to see the kids during the unstructured times hanging out together. Many Middle School and High School kids played basketball together on the sport court and had a ball (literally and figuratively!). More than one Lower Schooler managed to hitch a piggyback ride from a High Schooler in their group. The students clearly enjoy seeing each other and there is a palpable nostalgia as the older students look back in fondness at their “youth,” while the littler ones are in awe of the “big kids.” It helps us to be one school – and Wyverns (as opposed to cockroaches!).

We also wanted to share with you what we did on our Professional Development afternoon on Wednesday. After students dismissed, the Downtown faculty traveled to Goshen for discussion around three articles selected by our Director of Diversity, Kisha Watts (who is also our Downtown Campus Admissions Director). Related to the book all faculty and staff read this summer, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, the articles were “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh, “What White Children Need to Know About Race” by Ali Michael, and “What Happens When Minority Kids Are Taught Not to Talk About Race” by Jesse Singal. We had small-group discussion about the articles, talking about the importance of open communication, recognizing privilege, and working with students on issues that are really complex. Our commitment as a school is to having these hard conversations, to not shying away from the difficult moments, because we believe that within the St. Francis community, we have a real (and perhaps rare) opportunity to talk openly and honestly with one another, living out a few of our core values in particular: inclusivity, community, thought, openness, and expression. Our Professional Development day in January (right before students come back) will continue this work, as we are led in sessions with Crissy Caceres, Assistant Head of School and head of the Office of Diversity and Equity at Georgetown Day School.  

Photo Gallery for Week of October 9 – October 13

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Learning to Follow Directions

Hank WasherBy Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

One thing we work on every day is following directions and taking care of one’s own needs. Being able to listen and then follow instructions is important not only in Preschool, but throughout life. With our younger children, we use age-appropriate choices and expectations. Our goal is to then increase each child’s independence as s/he approaches Kindergarten. We want to share with you how this looks during snack time with our Trailblazers class. 

During snack time, Kelly Pfeiffer or Paul Harshaw might ask the children what they need for the snack they are having. As they think about it, they may answer that they need a napkin, cup, and a spoon. Then, as snack begins, it is their responsibility to pick up these items and take them to the table. We try to give short, concise directions and illustrate by holding up the items they will need. If they get to the table without a necessary item, it is their responsibility to go back and get it. They are responsible for opening any snack packages with scissors and they help clean up after snack is over. Their competence in these skills is increasing each day. Soon they will begin pouring their own cups of milk or water at snack times.

At home you can help refine these skills by playing a game where you give directions – one to two steps for our younger children and three or four for the older. Also, you could give your child jobs to carry out, such as putting napkins at each place setting or wiping off the table after a meal. Remember, the focus is on learning to follow directions. Your child’s competency at placing napkins and wiping off the table comes in time.

Upcoming Dates

Tuesday, October 17th is our in-house Pumpkin Patch Fall Fun Morning. Our older children will find pumpkins in the garden and our younger children will find their pumpkins on the playground. We will have a face-painting station and Faith Murphy will delight us with a fall sing-along. We will spend most of the morning outdoors.

Thursday, October 26th is a professional development day for our Preschool teachers. The Preschool will be closed and no childcare will be offered.

Friday, October 27th is Parent-Teacher Conferences. You can sign-up for a 15-minute conference with your child’s teachers using the link emailed to you Thursday. The Preschool will be closed and no childcare will be offered.

Tuesday, October 31st brings our Halloween Parade and Parties. This is a low-key event with a parade in costume around the front drive of the School and then a party in the classrooms. Your teacher will send home more information as we get closer to the big day. The Parade will follow 9:00 a.m. carpool drop-off and parents can line up on the circle in front of the Main Entrance.

Diversity Week!

Diversity Week_Main ImageBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

As the photos included in this newsletter show, we had an amazing Diversity Week! This annual tradition showcases students’ heritage through a Diversity Fair, a Diversity Potluck, flag-making, and more. The Diversity Fair on Tuesday showcased tables staffed by students and from organizations in the community. Our students from Spain, Germany, and China had tables; there was African storytelling and Norwegian fortune-telling; and Mexican and Somali heritage were represented (to name a few), along with community partners such as the Adelante Hispanic Achievers organization. The Diversity Potluck fed dozens from dishes brought in by both students and adults in the community, featuring some favorite recipes. Friday afternoon after Community Service brought the finale of Diversity Week activities. The week was enjoyed by all! Terri White spearheaded the Diversity Week events, assisted by Angela Katz and a fantastic student Diversity Committee. A huge thanks to all of them!

The We Act Group is excited to report that the Color Run raised over $2,000 and the final tally on the Penny Wars (together with the Goshen Campus’s Coin Drive) for hurricane relief is also over $2,000! The Color Run funds will support the Offin Children’s Center in Ghana, and the Penny/Coin funds will be divided into fourths, with an equal allotment supporting relief efforts in Texas, Florida, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. On behalf of the We Act students and of the nonprofits we are helping, thank you so much for your support!

Just a reminder that next week brings our Two-Campus Field Day at the Goshen Campus on Tuesday and a half day for the PSAT on Wednesday. The quarter ends next Friday, and grades and comments will be out the following Friday, October 20th.

St. Francis Day, Uniquely St. Francis, and “Honest Abe!”

Jayden and ElizaBy Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

It’s been an active week on the Goshen Campus! Tuesday, of course, brought one of everyone’s favorite events – St. Francis Day! And this year the weather cooperated gloriously, as did the menagerie of animals (for the most part!). I think we may have had our most varied “turnout” this year. Along with the many handsome dogs and cats, I saw a hedgehog, a snake, a miniature bull (a zebu, according to expert Devyn Hebel), rabbits, a lizard, miniature horses, a turtle, a ferret, and even a pineapple (don’t ask). All were blessed under a glorious sun, and as I said at the next day’s Morning Meeting, I think St. Francis himself would have been proud of the event and atmosphere on our campus. Look for many awesome pictures in the gallery this week.

Wednesday we had a full-school Morning Meeting to showcase our teachers’ offerings in Uniquely St. Francis, a component of the Our Good Earth Gala next Saturday night. As part of the fun, Eliza and Jayden Frazier were “Mr. Gabhart for the Day,” which they won at last year’s auction. They kicked off the assembly with IU garb, bad jokes, and pink slips to show off! But what was most impressive was that 22 of our teachers were onstage to describe all the wonderful activities and services they were willing to offer to our students. That’s pretty phenomenal when you think about it, such a high percentage of faculty willing to share weekend time with kids in the school to help support this critically vital fundraiser. And just as noteworthy is the fact that students at all age levels want to spend time with their teachers outside of class! I think this speaks volumes about the ethos of our school.

And lastly, while we looked forward to a visit from Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton Friday, we were surprised with a presentation from “Honest Abe” himself earlier this week! Arranged by 5th grade teacher Billy Spalding to complement the class’s unit on the Civil War, Mr. Lincoln was quite the public speaker (upholding his vaunted reputation!). Here is a comment from Billy:

Abe Lincoln“5th grade had a surprise visit this morning from President Abraham Lincoln. The Great Emancipator was there to teach the students about his life, from his humble log cabin days to his time in the White House during the Civil War. His visit coincides with our study of the Civil war and our abolitionists projects.  

5th grade really enjoyed the visit from Abe and had the following to say:

Nola Melhuish: “He was really good. He had the voice of Abraham Lincoln and he had a bunch of real things to show us. Like, he had a fake family Bible that he learned to read and he had a model of the cabin he grew up in.”

Zoe Petiprin: “I liked him, but he didn’t mention any of the negatives about Lincoln, like how he imprisoned people at the beginning of the war without trial.​​”

Molly Waggener: “He was amazing! I really liked it because it wasn’t the basic stuff that you already know, he went much deeper into the story.”

Abby Hairgrove: “I learned a lot! He was really fun and energetic. You should definitely bring him back next year.”

Eden Bess Farmer: “I liked that he didn’t only talk about the Civil War. He gave a bunch of information about his life growing up as well.”

History coming to life! Next week brings our annual Two-Campus Field Day with our High School students visiting Goshen to connect with their Lower and Middle School counterparts, and, of course, the Our Good Earth Gala next Saturday! Buckle up and stay tuned for more wonderful stories!

School Notes for Week of October 2 – October 6

As a reminder, the Goshen Campus will dismiss at NOON on Wednesday, October 11th for staff professional development (Preschool students have a normal school day). For students in JK through 4th grade, childcare will be available on the Goshen Campus from 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Please sign up no later than Monday, October 9th at 12:00 p.m. if you need to utilize this service. The link to register can be found here. The charge for childcare will be $30 per child, and you may choose to pay by cash/check or be billed by our Business Office. We will also be offering the 5:30 p.m. Activity Bus for those that need it as well. Lunch and a snack will be provided for students who are registered for Enrichment. Because we need to plan our staffing accordingly, drop-in service will NOT be available on this day. Due to staffing limitations, we are unable to offer Homework Hall/childcare for our Middle School students on this day.

For bus riders, we will offer our normal bus service, but on an adjusted schedule. This means that students will be dropped off approximately 3 1/2 hours earlier than their normal scheduled time. For example, if your child normally gets dropped off at 4:00 p.m., then the bus will arrive at 12:30 p.m.

Attention High School Parents: Next Friday, October 13th at 8:30 a.m. there will be a Parent Discussion Group with Terri White, LCSW, Director of Counseling Services on the Downtown Campus. The topic of the discussion will be Adolescent Depression and Suicide Prevention. Terri will be providing education to all of the students this month and would like to present some of the same information to parents and guardians. Approximately 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood, meaning that all of our students will be affected by it through friends, if not themselves.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. The Parent Discussion Group will take place in the Space for Thought on the Downtown Campus. Please RSVP to Terri WhiteRSVP is not necessary, but it is appreciated.

Terri has now had introductory student meetings with all new students. Students were informed about how the School Counselor can be a resource for them as they are trying to navigate high school and adolescence. As a parent or guardian, if you have any concerns about your student’s social and emotional well-being at school, please contact her.

Attention Parents: Your child(ren)’s school photos have been emailed to you. Retakes will take place on Thursday, October 12th and Friday, October 13th for the Goshen Campus and Wednesday, October 18th at the Downtown Campus.

Attention 6th Grade Parents: Please join us for a Pine Mountain Trip parent meeting on Friday, October 20th at 8:30 a.m. in the Main Amp.

College Corner October 2017

college-cornerBy Kit Llewellyn, College Advisor

College Corner appears in the Wyvern Weekly once a month, with suggestions and dates to help make the college search and application process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible! Read on to see what you should be doing now as a freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior. 

Freshmen:   

  • Get acquainted with your teachers, the coursework, and the activities available for Wyverns
  • Know that how you perform and how you get involved this year are strongly considered by colleges/universities

Sophomores:   

  • The PSAT is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11th from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Commons Room (Kit Llewellyn has registered all students). Please bring 3 (#2) pencils and a standard calculator fully charged or with fresh batteries.
  • Colleges take your grades from this year into consideration, so be sure to study hard!
  • Begin some college research and visit with the college reps who come to school (always check the calendar in gathering space)
  • Get involved in sports and extracurricular activities, and explore your interests!

Juniors:      

  • The PSAT is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11th from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Commons Room (Kit Llewellyn has registered all students). Please bring 3 (#2) pencils and a standard calculator with new batteries.
  • Begin reviewing your personal preferences, strengths, and weaknesses in order to make your college search meaningful and thorough
  • Accumulate data for your brag sheet/resume so that during your senior year when you are preparing it, you do not omit any activities or extracurriculars

Seniors:       

  • By October 11th, be ready to complete your Common Application, put finishing touches on your essay, learn some tips regarding interview techniques, and generally begin to see the light re college application deadlines
  • Take the SAT and/or ACT, and, if required, register for SAT Subject tests. Remember, many selective colleges require literature, math, and possibly a third subject test of your choice.
  • Confirm all college and financial aid application deadlines
  • Finalize your list of colleges with Kit Llewellyn
  • Complete your resumes and submit to Kit Llewellyn
  • Your teacher recommendation requests were entered in Naviance by Kit Llewellyn
  • Work on college essays as directed/guided by the English department
  • Determine your college costs with your family, research scholarships on fastweb.com, and obtain all related financial aid forms from each of your colleges/universities
  • If you are planning on applying early decision or early action, the usual deadlines are November 1st; your teacher recs and High School report forms should be in the appropriate hands by the last week of October
  • Send in rolling admissions applications – the sooner the better, particularly to the state schools

As a reminder, the registration deadlines and test dates are as follow:

ACT:
Deadline/Test Date November 3rd for the December 9th test and January 12th for the February 10th test

SAT:
Deadline/Test Date – October 5th for the November 4th test, November 2nd for the December 2nd test, and February 9th for the March 10th test

Celebrating Fall!

Carrot HarvestBy Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

Throughout the Preschool, children are learning about the wonders of our beautiful world. They are noticing the changes in the weather and the addition of more leaves under the oak tree. The Pandas and Adventurers classes have been learning about the colors of fall in various ways: gluing fall leaves on paper, painting with fall colors, creating nature collages, experimenting with fall-themed sensory bins, and tasting carrots harvested from our garden. (I can’t believe how many carrots we were able to harvest!) The Trailblazers class taste-tested red, yellow, and green apples and made apple crisp – which was delicious, too. When children participate in activities that engage their senses, the depth of their learning and experience is enhanced.

On Friday we enjoyed our first Big Sing of the season! Faith Murphy introduced us to a few of the Preschoolers’ music class favorites.

Join us in the fields of St. Francis!

Marigold and OGEEach fall, with the help from a wonderful committee of volunteers, St. Francis hosts its Annual Gala. We have two galas that rotate annually — Our Good Earth and Imagine! Art Auction + Scholarship Fundraiser. This year’s event is Our Good Earth, an outdoor farm-to-table dinner and auction that is set in the fields of our Goshen Campus. There are many opportunities to get involved, including serving on the committee, sponsoring the event, donating or procuring auction items, and, of course, attending the event. This is our largest fundraising event of the year and we hope you will participate. If you would like to get involved please contact Kim Hales. To purchase tickets click here.