EP3 and FCD!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of the Goshen CampusEP

EP3 and FCD? A new Star Wars drone? No! As we returned from a wonderful Holiday Break, a couple of old St. Francis “friends” were waiting to welcome us back! EP3 stands for Elective Projects Session 3 (as the faculty knows it). Our third session of Friday Projects started this week and will run until Winter Break. We sometimes take Projects for granted here, but they really are a unique component of our program and “so St. Francis”.

Every Friday for the last two periods of the day, teachers in grades 3 – 8 offer “mini-courses” that showcase a talent or passion they have that exists outside the regular school curriculum. These projects allow students to mix across grade levels and choose something that interests them. They get to see their teachers in a different light and learn and experience new things, and what a cool way to end the week! For this third session of projects, students in Middle School can choose among yoga with Patrick Donovan, working on a school newspaper with Heather Varda, watching Chinese movies and playing Chinese games with Qianxin Zhu, receiving additional math support with Erin.Staley, 8th graders will continue to work on this year’s yearbook with Rosanne Conlan, receiving an introduction to graphic design with Alex Taylor, achieving world dominance in WWI via the board game Diplomacy with Michael Mahoney, making the local and global community a better place through service learning with The We Act Club with Shelly Jones; conducting YouTube Chemistry experiments with Brian Kirby, busting moves with Angela Ponzio’s Dance Squad, competing on the school’s Science Olympiad Team with Jason Chlopek, staying ahead of their homework in an extra Study Hall with Sarah Wallace, sharpening their musical skills in  Bob Bertke’s School Band project, or being immersed in Greek comedy in the SFS Drama Project spring production of Aristophanes’ The Birds with Lon Church and me.

I think you’ll agree that’s a pretty impressive list! About the only drawback to Elective Projects is that students can only choose one! (Although we do find creative ways to “share” them when the situation warrants it!) A BIG thanks to Heather Varda, who heads up and organizes our Projects program and has the tough job of assigning students to all the different choices!

Welcome to our new 8th grader, Jonathan Erwin!  We are glad to welcome Jonathan and his family to St. Francis.  

Next week, an educator from FCD, Freedom from Chemical Dependency, returns to campus on Monday and Tuesday to educate our students in grades 5 – 8 about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.  See more information about this in the Counselors’ Corner article below and please try to join us for the parent presentation with our FCD educator on Tuesday, January 12th at 8:40 a.m.!