Notes from the Head

This fall, it seemed providential that our monthly values fit perfectly with this very unusual time in our country. We have been accustomed to “the way we have always done it” with regards to elections and public debate. The months leading up to the election threw many of us off kilter.  Politics aside, what has thrown me most off balance was the manner in which we, as a society, have found a sense of freedom in expression that lost civility, respect, compassion, tolerance, and kindness. This new freedom represents a huge step backwards, giving voice to those who are much less tolerant of people who may be different in mind, body, or spirit. Hate crimes have been on the rise, and disrespectful behavior is openly displayed without regard for the harm that it causes. In many ways, my heart is breaking for our country. And the main reason for my heartbreak: the children.

For those of us who teach, lead, and model for our students, we have agreed to certain principles that, although not always perfectly carried out, do establish how we should treat one another. We carry a huge responsibility to model civility, respect for one another, kindness to all, forgiveness, and humility. We often discuss, beginning in Chapel, the need to choose our words carefully, to be inclusive, to avoid teasing behavior that is hurtful to others. Above all, we speak about the courage it takes to be kind, to make St. Michael’s a place of kindness, and to practice forgiveness when feelings are hurt. With that being said, however, our students see different behaviors displayed at times, both at school and out in the world. Our community is a family, and therefore the expectation is that we will treat one another with compassion and care. It is much too easy, however, to use alternate forms of communication through electronic devices or social media to exclude someone or to say hurtful things that ultimately cause a sense of discomfort at school or within a class community. So what are we to do, particularly when so many role models in the world display a different behavior?

I believe that it is important that we, as adults, continue to reinforce our expectations for how we treat one another. That message should come from our faculty and staff at school and from parents at home. As members of the faculty and staff, we have agreed always to demonstrate integrity and honesty, show concern for the welfare of others, act responsibly, demonstrate respect for the rights of others, build trust in professional relationships, and demonstrate professional demeanor at all times. In living into this, we strive to be true role models for our students. At the same time, we can give our children social tools that will help them to navigate successfully through challenging situations, while learning to treat everyone with kindness and respect. It’s not a one-shot lesson. Constant reinforcement is necessary, both for adults and children. But I believe that we have an obligation to be different from the trends of the world. We have an opportunity, in the face of the current challenges, to be a different type of school: one that is respectful, tolerant, safe, and, above all, kind. It does take courage, but the students we send out into the world can be leaders and set the example for a kinder, gentler world. For that, I remain optimistic.

Margaret Moore

St. Michael’s School Christmas Giving

As we turn our attention to the wonderful Christmas season, St. Michael’s students and families will continue to make a difference in the Tucson community through their compassion and generosity. In our Lower School, our younger students are well aware of the necessity of not only food for babies but also diapers. The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, the first diaper bank in the nation, needs roughly two million diapers annually. With resources for free or discounted diapers being few, the goal of the Diaper Bank is to bridge the gap in available resources for our community’s neediest and most vulnerable populations. Lower School students and families (grades K-5) are invited to join in this wonderful Christmas community outreach project by donating a package or box of diapers through Friday, December 16, as together we build a mountain of diapers for babies in Tucson. Donations can be brought to classrooms as the mountain grows.

In our Middle School (grades 6-8), the students will be putting together one hundred gift boxes for Catalina Village, a retirement home near Speedway and Craycroft. This group came to our attention last year through several St. Michael’s faculty and families. Many individuals at Catalina Village live on very limited budgets. A gift card to Walgreen’s and some warm socks are much appreciated gifts and can make this month extra special. Students are being asked to bring in a shoebox and $10-20 to put towards the contents of each gift box. Each box will have a pair of socks, a full-sized bar of hand soap, tea bags, hot chocolate mixes, individual cheese or peanut butter cracker packages, and a gift card to Walgreen’s.  (These items will be purchased by the school using the monetary donations from students.) On December 21, each student will assemble and joyfully wrap the boxes. Middle school teachers will deliver the gifts that afternoon. Donations should be in by Wednesday, December 14.

SMA News

Holiday Greens are here! If you ordered something for local delivery, it will be delivered to your child’s classroom on Wednesday. We will try to put it somewhere shady, so please be on the lookout for it.

If you forgot to order something for yourself or need a hostess gift for an upcoming holiday party, we do have a select few extras available. If you are interested, please contact Brigitte Townsdin or Amanda Kukla.

Coffee Corner Time!  Stop by on Friday morning to catch up with other parents.  Thank you to Anna Martinez-Ross and Dave Ross of Martinez-Ross Marketing for sponsoring this month’s Coffee Corner.

Thank you also to the decorating crew for changing seasons on campus and getting the festive spirit going as we head into our school’s various Christmas programs!  Volunteers included Gabi Johnson, Tom and Amy Petrow, Robin Riley, and Julia Rebert.  Thank you for you time!!

Finally, thank you to all the families that supported the SMA / Sauce Fun-Raiser!  It was one of the most successful fundraisers they’ve had, and we earned $300 for our school.  Be on the lookout for another dinner-out fundraiser in the new year!

Coaches’ Corner

Co-ed Soccer
Upcoming games:
Monday, 12/5 @ Tucson Country Day School – 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, 12/6 @ Academy of Tucson – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, 12/8 home vs. Calvary – 4:00 p.m. (home field is Udall Park)
 
Girls’ Softball Training
The girls are working hard every Tuesday in the park behind the school. It’s not too late to join! Come check it out if you are interested in trying softball. It is very casual, so it’s okay if you can’t make it every week.
Intramurals
There will be NO intramurals this Thursday, December 1st. The stage has to be set up for the St Nicholas Day performance, so we will not have access to the gym that day. Also, there will be no intramurals next Wednesday, December 7, due to the early release.

St. Nicholas Day Program

If you would like your middle school student to attend the St. Nicholas Day concert, please send a note to the middle school child’s homeroom teacher giving permission.  Students will not be allowed to attend without their parent’s permission.

Boy Scouts in the El Tour de Tucson

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Members of the St. Michael’s Boy Scout Troop 122 completed their Cycling Merit badge on Saturday by riding 54 miles in El Tour de Tucson. Congratulations to Nick Martinez-Ross, Nate Crutchfield, Dean Favre, and Cameron Liu. The boys trained for seven weeks for El Tour. Many thanks to their trainer, Charlie Weesner, and parents Dave Ross, Kelly Favre, and Merle Crutchfield for training with the boys and riding along with them in El Tour.

Kindergarten Admissions for Siblings

Kindergarten applications for 2017-2018 have already started coming in so if your child has a little brother or sister that will be joining St. Michael’s next year, it is time to drop off an application.  The application can be found online at http://stmichael.net/admissions/apply/, or we can provide a copy for you in the Admissions Office.  We are anticipating a full Kindergarten class next year so please don’t hesitate to reserve your spot.  Thanks!
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday,
Paul Pierce
Director of Admissions

Christmas Shows

Coming up sooner than you think will be our anual Christmas shows. Now is a good time to let you know dates, times, and attire requirements.

St. Nicholas Day Christmas Program
It is hard to believe that St. Nicholas Day is just around the corner, but ’tis true. We have been singing up a storm, and perhaps you have been hearing “Twinkle and Shine” being sung in the shower! Our spirits are high, and we are looking forward to sharing the joys of Christmas with you on Friday, December 2, at 2:00 p.m. in the Student Center. The Kindergarten through Fifth Grades will be performing.  Please note the following dress to be worn to school on the day of our program:

Kindergarten
Any color top with Navy blue slacks, shorts, skorts, or skirts

First Grade
Any color top with Navy blue slacks, shorts, skorts, or skirts

Second Grade
White shirts (they can be long or short-sleeved with either a turtleneck or button neck); Navy slacks, shorts, skorts, or skirts. (No high heels, please.)

Third Grade
Any color shirt with Navy slacks, shorts, skorts, or skirts. (No high heels, please.)

Fourth and Fifth Grades

Students should wear Christmas dress attire. Boys can wear black dress pants and dress shoes with a white or red button-down long-sleeved shirt and a Christmas tie or Christmas sweater or vest. Girls can wear a Christmas dress or black pants with a white blouse and a Christmas sweater.
The Middle School Christmas Show

The show for grades 6-8 is on December 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center.  Call time for students is 6:30 p.m.

Please wear Christmas dress attire.   Boys can wear black dress pants and dress shoes with a white or red button-down long-sleeved shirt and a Christmas tie or Christmas sweater or vest.   Girls can wear a Christmas dress or black pants with a white blouse and a Christmas sweater.   Please refer to the St. Michael’s Handbook for specifics on the dress code. The idea is that everyone should look very professional and dressed up.