School Notes for Week of January 16 – January 19

Click here for a list of 2018-19 Major Dates!

Attention, Sophomore Parents: Mark your calendars for you and your sophomore to attend the Introduction to the College Admissions Process program on Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. on the Downtown Campus with Kit Llewellyn, College Advisor, and Annie Murphy, Associate Director of Admissions at Centre College.

The state of Kentucky recently added to its vaccination requirements for students, beginning with the 2018-19 school year. Your student may need to receive additional vaccinations and submit a new immunization certificate (or submit a new religious exemption form) by August. Of particular urgency, a new requirement is that all students must get two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine and they must be obtained at least six months apart, meaning that in order to be fully vaccinated by the start of school in August, students currently missing this vaccination MUST OBTAIN THE FIRST VACCINE BY MID-FEBRUARY. Please see below for specifics on these requirements, and consult a physician’s office/clinic for any questions.

  1. All students, of all ages, must have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. The minimum time between the doses is six months.   
  2. Students who are 16 and older must have received two doses of meningococcal ACWY vaccine. However, as of the start of school in August 2018, if they have not previously received a dose of the vaccine and are 16 or older, only one dose is required. For younger students, please consult with a physician for a recommended schedule of these vaccinations; two doses will be required before they turn 16.  
  3. If your child has had these vaccines, you simply need to provide the School with an updated immunization certificate; if s/he has not, the vaccines must be given and then a new immunization certificate provided. A new religious exemption certificate must be provided if your child will not receive the vaccines.

Again, because the Hepatitis A vaccine has a required six-month minimum between doses, students who have not been vaccinated must receive the first dose prior to mid-February in order to be eligible to receive the second dose by mid-August when school begins.

A summary of the changes from the Kentucky state government’s website can be found here. Please contact your physician for specific questions regarding the vaccinations.

Interested in helping our Garden Coordinator Christine Brinkmann with our animals over weekends and school breaks? Sign up here. In appreciation for your help, the free-range, farm-fresh eggs are yours to keep. Please email Christine Brinkmann with any questions.

Photo Gallery for Week of January 8 – January 12

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Diversity Corner January 2018

By Kisha Watts, Director of Diversity and Director of Admissions – Downtown Campus

Diversity, equity, and justice are core to St.Francis’ mission. We have been thoughtful about providing the community with strategies and tools to navigate diversity. Over the summer, the faculty and staff read Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum. This was a powerful book for us and allowed us to engage in great discussions during our opening professional development meeting in August.

In October, the Lower, Middle and High School faculty and staff had another professional development day dedicated to diversity, equity, and justice. We read three articles regarding privilege. Once again, we broke up into small groups and had discussions about the articles. These discussions were led by faculty and staff facilitators. The Preschool had a separate a professional development day and had the chance to discuss diversity, equity, and justice within their division.  

In January, we brought an outside facilitator to campus for a full day of diversity, equity, and justice work. Crissy Caceres (you can read her bio here) was our facilitator for the day and created one of the most engaging professional development days many of us have had the chance to experience. Crissy did several activities with us, and we were charged with creating a diversity, equity, and justice plan for St.Francis. Crissy is also going to send us recommendations for next steps within a few weeks.

Other exciting news involving diversity work includes a Middle School Black Student Association, a Preschool Diversity Book Club for parents, an affinity group for parents, and thriving student groups on both campuses. We also sent three faculty and staff members to the annual National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference, which had over 6,000 participants from all over.  

We are excited about building our “toolkits” at St. Francis so that we are able to fully support everyone in our community. While it’s hard work, it’s great work. As we continue this work, we will work with other constituencies in the community to fully engage everyone. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

Welcome to 2018!

By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Welcome to 2018! Hard to believe we are halfway through the year (1/8 of your high school career, as the freshmen and I discussed recently). The calendar turning to January always prompts us to be looking toward the next school year, too, so in this newsletter you’ll see the major dates for 2018-19.  

Despite some illness running through the school, as it seems to be everywhere, the Wyverns are back at it full throttle already. Ski Club is in full swing, the Science Olympiad squad has an invitational competition tomorrow, and the Quick Recall team goes for yet another league championship next weekend. We’ve also switched Projects, as we do every quarter, and there are some particularly interesting offerings. One is Coding, in which students will learn some basics in the programming language of their choice. Another is Vegetable Farming, a yearlong initiative to grow food on land owned by math teacher/Dean of Faculty Brian Ray. The produce will ultimately be donated to a local service agency, and during the winter months, the focus will be preparing the land for planting, planting early spring crops, and seeding later crops in a greenhouse. Other students are playing card and board games or games from around the world, planning the Women’s Retreat, preparing for the Kentucky United Nations Assembly, building props for our spring musical Little Shop of Horrors, playing jazz, working on the Yearbook, preparing for Science Olympiad competition, and focusing on AP World History.

Monday, of course, is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. I recently came across a paper that Dr. King wrote about the purpose of education in 1947 as a student at Morehouse College. It reads in part, “To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.” As we work to push students to think critically and think for themselves, Dr. King’s words resonate 70 years later.

March Madness? Wyverns Create December Delirium!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

St. Francis basketball has certainly had its ups and downs over the years. And for the second time in just a few years, our Wyverns have had to become “road warriors” due to gym construction or repairs. Well, all those road games paid off as both boys and girls teams brought home the championship in our Middle School Holiday Basketball Tournament at the Old Male Gym! 

In addition to winning two games each, there were many other highlights. Here are the students who earned their way onto the All-Tournament teams:

Girls: Elizabeth Boyd (7th grade), Ayda Marshall (8th grade)

Boys: RJ Ballenger (7th grade), Robert Boyd (8th grade)

And we also had two Hotshot Contest winners as well. For the girls, 8th grader Anna Hardwick-Jones won and for the boys, 8th grader Isaiah Robles took top honors, also setting a new Wyvern record with 36 points (eclipsing the 30 put up by sharpshooter Kyle McLaughlin two years ago).

Congratulations to coaches Shavar Cowherd and Kara Spalding for leading these teams to impressive tournament victories! Our Wyverns are really taking flight – but ready to return home for home games this week. Go Wyverns!    

2018-19 Re-Enrollment Information

As we begin the second semester of the 2017­-18 school ­year, it’s hard to believe that it is indeed time to think about the 2018-­19 school year and, therefore, time to re-­enroll your child(ren) at St. Francis.​ With continued growth in our school’s enrollment on both the Goshen and Downtown Campuses, and as many of our grades approach full capacity, it is very important that returning families meet these deadlines in order for us to be able to guarantee your child(ren)’s spot, as well as determine how many spots we may offer to new students. All families can review the Re-Enrollment Timeline, including important deadlines here.

Re-Enrolling without Financial Aid
For families not requesting financial aid, the next step is to complete your child(ren)’s Re-Enrollment Contract and return it with the enrollment deposit. The Re-Enrollment Contracts have been sent to you via email and are due back with a deposit before 2/8/18. If you do not receive an email with a link to your child(ren)’s contract, please contact Kelli Carter. St. Francis requires all parents to sign the Re-Enrollment Contract for each child. New this year, we will also require any students who are 18 at the time the contract is signed to sign it as well, and if a student turns 18 while enrolled, s/he will receive a document to sign at that time.

Re-Enrolling with Financial Aid
You have received an email with instructions to complete your Intention to Re-Enroll Agreement, which must be completed no later than 2/8/18 to guarantee your child(ren)’s place as you complete the Financial Aid process. If you do not receive an email with a link to your child(ren)’s Intention Agreement, please contact Kelli Carter.

It is extremely important that you meet the financial aid application deadline of 2/15/18. The FACTS application for 2018-19 is now available hereThose who submit all of the required materials (including 2017 taxes) by our 2/15/18 application deadline will be notified of their financial aid award by 3/15/18. Families receiving grants will have 10 days to return their Re-Enrollment Contract with the deposit. After this date, the Financial Aid Committee will begin offering financial aid to new families.

While we make every effort to meet the demonstrated financial need of our current families, and current families are our priority in granting financial aid, our financial aid is limited. Families who do not apply by the deadline cannot be guaranteed a grant.

Thank you for your help in meeting these deadlines. We truly appreciate your continued trust in St. Francis School, and we take our commitment to your children and your family very seriously. If you have any questions now, or as you go through the re-enrollment process, please don’t hesitate to contact Trisha Amirault on the Goshen Campus or Kisha Watts on the Downtown Campus.

Art to Enhance our Curriculum

By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

All of our Preschool classrooms are stocked with a variety of art materials for the children to use throughout the day. Creating self-directed art is a hands-on activity that helps children learn in many ways. By drawing, making collages, and using watercolors to paint, children learn about shape, color, and texture. They are practicing making decisions about what to make and what materials they will use. Those fine motor skills are enhanced by cutting with scissors, holding a crayon, or sculpting with clay. When children observe what their friends are creating, they are learning to appreciate the artwork of others.   

New vocabulary words are introduced when children talk about their work with adults. We use phrases like, “Tell me about your picture.” Preschool-aged children often create things that are symbolic of something else; for example, something they have just built in the block center or a butterfly they just observed outside. The practice of using symbols will become important when they are learning to read. Art can also enhance science concepts when colors are mixed or how adding paint to water can create changes.  

Creating art in any form helps children develop their imaginations and practice many skills for learning. At the Preschool, our goal is to give children the confidence to express themselves through art and to feel a part of a creative community of learners whenever they create something new.  

New Year, New Book Drive
Thank you so much for donating new books to our classrooms through the New Year, New Book Drive. Our classroom books endure heavy use and handling, so restocking our shelves with new titles is something we work on each year. This was the most successful book drive we’ve had yet in the Preschool! Thank you, thank you!

Thank you to Greg Rash for donning the Santa suit for our holiday sing-along! He is the husband of Kim Rash, our fabulous Lower School music teacher.

Alumni Profile: Louis Winner ’94

Louis Winner '94_4x6_2MPBriefly describe your path after leaving St. Francis. 
After high school, I attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and graduated a year early. Once I completed my undergraduate degree, I attended law school at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, which had an accelerated program that allowed me to complete law school a semester early.

After law school, I moved to Los Angeles, California and worked in a boutique, entertainment law firm for a few years. In 2001, I moved back to Louisville and began to practice law in Kentucky, focusing on complex family law cases. Currently, I am a Partner and the head of the family law department at the law firm of Clay Daniel Walton Adams PLC in Louisville, Kentucky. On occasion, I still litigate a few entertainment law issues as well.

In my free time, I hike, climb mountains, whitewater raft, and kayak (on occasion), and when I am on the coast, I surf.

[Read more…]

Celebration of Bobbie Evans ’09

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Managing Stress through Exam Week

Zen Zone_Main Image_2MPBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Exam time! High School students take seven sets of exams during their four years, each December and May (except that seniors are exempted from non-AP exams in May). The point, of course, is to prepare them for the kinds of cumulative exams they’ll take in college. We even use “blue books” for history and English, just as colleges do. In addition, we want to help them learn to manage their stress. So we provide “brain food” – muffins, bagels, granola bars, fruit, etc. – to ensure that they’ve had something to eat before they go into an exam; schedule “therapy” dogs and cats (“therapy” in this sense equals friendly, happy, and amenable to being petted for a day) to be at school each day; and, new this year, are featuring the Zen Zone, with tea and hot chocolate, a bubble wrap wall (pop to de-stress!), a coloring station, a relaxation area, and a “Words of Encouragement” wall. For me, the sophomore hallway is a feel-good area, with the lights festooned across the lockers and the Christmas/Hanukkah decor (not to mention some sophomores decked out daily in holiday wear; other students got in on the act this week, as well!).  

As this is our last Wyvern Weekly of 2017, I wish all of you a restful and peaceful Holiday Break and a very happy New Year!