2017 Alumni Reunion Weekend

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Alumna Profile: Kelly Wright Henrion ’92

Kelly WrightBriefly describe your path after leaving St. Francis. 
After leaving St. Francis, I majored in Latin American Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, MN – an extraordinary place, despite the very cold winters! I joined Teach for America upon graduation and was placed as a bilingual (Spanish/English) elementary teacher in a dual language charter school in its first year in Phoenix, AZ. Being part of a school in its founding years was a great experience that afforded lots of leadership opportunities.  

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Photo Gallery for Week of October 2 – October 6

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Photo Gallery for Week of September 18 – September 22

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Students Engage in Special Opportunities

HS Main ImageBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

We have had a number of special opportunities for students this month. Last week, the Biology students experienced the Pulse of Surgery program at the Kentucky Science Center. They viewed a live heart surgery and later were able to explore other interesting cutting-edge medical technology. Biology teacher David Word told the rest of the student body about the surgery the next day because the patient was a heroin user whose heart condition was a result of her drug use. He said that he has been taking students to this program for years, and never seen anything like it – an important caution to the student body as heroin takes an ever-stronger foothold in the Louisville community.

Yesterday, 10 students (our Black Students Association and Diversity Committee leaders among them) and history teacher Ralph Marshall (who is also this year’s Sacred Space Committee Chair) went to the Non-Violence Symposium sponsored by the Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion. Held deliberately on International Day of Peace, the Symposium included a morning component for young leaders and an afternoon session featuring Mayor Greg Fischer and other local civic leaders. At the end of the day, the group launched Nonviolent Compassionate Louisville.

Next Tuesday, 17 juniors and seniors will attend Thrivals, an annual student-oriented component of the IdeaFestival. This year’s Thrivals, subtitled “Finding Your Algorithm for the Future,” was preceded by each student being given copies of Grit by Angela Duckworth and Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil (who was also one of the presenters). Thrivals participants this year “will be challenged to use their imagination to consider not only how humans have used their minds to change the past but how humans might also use their minds to change the future.”

Both the Pulse of Surgery program and Thrivals were downtown, so our students were able to walk from school. As ever, this proximity to events is one of my favorite aspects of being a downtown school!

School Notes for Week of September 18 – September 22

The St. Francis School Jazz Band on the Goshen Campus returns for another concert season. Middle School woodwind and brass students, as well as drumset players, pianists, bassists, and guitarists of all skill levels are welcome. Interested students should meet briefly in the Middle School music room on Monday, September 25th during snack recess to pick up music and talk about our upcoming guest artists. Our first rehearsal will be Monday, October 2nd from 3:45-4:45 p.m. All rehearsals will be Monday afternoons.

Attention Goshen Campus Families: This is an important reminder that Student-Parent communication during the school day must go through Natalie Bruner in the front office or through a teacher’s classroom desk phone (with teacher permission) rather than through your child’s cell phone.

Your child’s health, safety, and whereabouts is of utmost importance to us. Rather than being out of the loop, we want to be sure that Natalie and your child’s teachers have a clear understanding of your child’s health and wellness needs, as well as after-school transportation arrangements.

Should you need to leave your child a voicemail or text, please understand your child is not supposed to have his or her phone out until 3:25 p.m.

Exploring Nature Together

PS Garden Art_Main ImageBy Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

This week, the preschoolers spent time with Garden Coordinator Christine Brinkmann preparing the planter barrels for lettuce seeds. Each group used their hands to move the soil, add seeds, and water. One child excitedly exclaimed, “Now the seeds need sparkling water to grow!” This knowledge of the growth process was shared by many of the children who participated. Our little Wyverns also had an opportunity to make SAGE pasta with ingredients right from our garden, and then they got to sample their culinary creations! The children aren’t just learning about seeds and their growth process; we also are supporting their sense of wonder and curiosity, and they are learning to respect nature.

Here are a few ways families can explore nature together: look for wildflowers and insects at parks or in your own backyard, adopt a tree and watch the changes that unfold throughout the year (take pictures of the tree with your phone and revisit them as the seasons change), and revisit your own sense of wonder about nature. Your child will likely follow!

Rosh Hashanah at Morning Meeting

Katy Roemer MMBy Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

As anyone who has spoken with me on the subject knows, I am a huge fan of our Morning Meetings and think they are such an important part of our school day. Whether in Lower, Middle, or High School, they allow us to gather together first thing in the morning to talk, listen, and simply share a collective experience. Wednesday was just such a day in Middle School. In addition to the usual “housekeeping” announcements (Picture Day details), routine business (who stays for drama rehearsal), sports scores (the field hockey C team beat Collegiate on Tuesday!), birthdays (Aidan Keegan), and Student Council updates (a Halloween Buddy Day in October!), we also had some special moments. In addition to our usual moment of silence (led off with a quote from Aldous Huxley, courtesy of Shelly Jones), we also took time to talk about the victims of the Mexico City earthquake, as well as Hurricane Maria wreaking havoc in Puerto Rico. It is good for our kids to reflect on what is going on in the world around them in addition to what they face in their daily lives. These moments are provided at Morning Meetings with careful and thoughtful framing.

They often provide amusement as well! On Wednesday, Brandon Doble gave an informational talk about Rosh Hashanah in advance of the the Jewish holiday beginning on Wednesday night. He explained its meaning and some of the traditions associated with it, such as eating apples and honey on those days (in fact, he also treated many of the Middle School kids to this delicacy at snack break!). Explaining the beliefs and customs of others is typical of a topic we might cover at a Morning Meeting. But the highlight occurred when he showed everyone a shofar, a hollowed-out ram’s horn traditionally sounded on Rosh Hashanah. No munchkin, Brandon admitted he couldn’t get the shofar to make a peep. At that point, 8th grader Katy Roemer volunteered to show him how it was done. She bravely came forward and produced a noteworthy blast to thunderous applause! Unscripted moments such as these at Morning Meetings occur all the time! If you’ve never seen one, I encourage you to pay us a visit on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday at 8:40 a.m. in the Middle School Amp, or on Tuesday in the Lower School Amp, to see all the fun!

Preschool Transportation Day!

unnamed (3)By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

Today we hosted one of our most highly anticipated events in the Preschool – Transportation Day! The assembly of vehicles mirrored the internal workings of a city. There were vehicles represented ranging in variation from a motorcycle to a city bus.

The Transportation Day committee would like to extend a BIG thank you to the following businesses and friends of the School who participated in our event: North Oldham County Fire Department, TARC, Kroger, Ernst Construction, Waste Management, Oldham County Police Department, and Pro-Lift. We also want to thank our friends from Keystone Learning Academy for spending the day exploring cars and trucks with us.

We could not have accomplished any of this without our fabulous Preschool PA Co-Chairs, Jacquelyn Stack and Renee Reithel, for the volunteer support and coordinating this event. We would also like to thank former Preschool parents, Lillian Brents and Randall Hood, for their continued dedication to Transportation Day (even after their own children have moved on to the Lower School). Thank you to parent volunteers Shari Broecker, Anthony Celasun, and Deena Neimat. And lastly, we want to thank our very own Preschool teacher, Holly Whitaker, for continuing to keep the event special in the eyes of our tiniest students.

Next week we will have Picture Days on the Goshen Campus. Preschool pictures will be taken on Tuesday, September 19th for the following children: 2 Day Twos and Threes,  5 Day Twos and Threes, and Mr. Paul’s group. Wednesday, September 20th, the 3 Day Twos and Threes and Ms. Kelly’s group will have their pictures taken. If you have a student in the Lower or Middle School and you would like a sibling photo taken, please contact your child’s teacher and Rosanne Conlan.

Associates in Pediatric Therapy screened the Preschoolers on Wednesday. Children who attend on Tues/Thurs will be screened on Tuesday of next week.

Please note: Preschool classes will operate on a regular schedule for Wednesday, October 11th when the rest of the school dismisses at noon for faculty professional development.

School Notes for Week of September 11 – September 15

Attention Goshen Campus Families: This is an important reminder that Student-Parent communication during the school day must go through Natalie Bruner in the front office or through a teacher’s classroom desk phone (with teacher permission) rather than through your child’s cell phone. 

Your child’s health, safety, and whereabouts is of utmost importance to us. Rather than being out of the loop, we want to be sure that Natalie and your child’s teachers have a clear understanding of your child’s health and wellness needs, as well as after-school transportation arrangements.

Should you need to leave your child a voicemail or text, please understand your child is not supposed to have his or her phone out until 3:25 p.m.

Picture day schedule for the Goshen Campus and Downtown Campus 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

Downtown Campus
10/18 – Retakes

Attention Goshen Campus Parents: We want to remind you that we are a nut-free campus. The only exception is for items sold at our concession stands during after school events. We have students with severe allergies to these and other foods. Any foods brought in for birthday/class/special event parties/extracurricular activities or even for personal lunches should be commercially prepared, prepared by our school chef, or store-bought with legible ingredient lists. Our approach does not seek to provide a completely allergen-free environment, but instead seeks to minimize the probability of exposure while maintaining heightened awareness about how to avoid exposure and deal with exposure if it occurs. As always, parent support, understanding, and participation are key to the success of our policy.

There’s still time to register for the CSA vegetable share through Ashbourne Farm and a meat share through Valley Spirit FarmCSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture, and it allows you to have direct access to high-quality fresh food grown by local farmers.

When you become a member of the CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from farmer Alaina Tobee. She will deliver that share of produce to the Goshen Campus every Tuesday between August 22nd and November 14th between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.  

A share usually includes 7-10 types of vegetables, enough for a family of four, and costs $390 for 13 weeks. Click here to fill out the required form or email Christine Brinkmann if you have questions.

Our winter CSA meat share for grass-fed beef and pastured pork will run November through April with pick-up once a month from farmer Joseph Monroe. Options include a half share at $100/month for 15 lbs and full shares at $200 for 30 lbs. You can also add on whole chickens for $5/lb. For questions, call  502-465-3040 or email Info@valleyspiritfarm.com.