Notes from the Head

And we’re off! The third and final trimester of the school year has begun. It never ceases to amaze me that we arrive at this point, and suddenly the end of the year seems much too close. There is so much left to do and a finite amount of time in which to accomplish it. In Chapel on Monday, I reminded our students that, using a baseball analogy, we are on third base and rounding the corner toward home plate. Rather than walk into home, why not run in, sliding across the plate and exclaiming, “Wow! That was an amazing year!” Our students work hard throughout the year. They play hard as well and often stretch themselves not only to try something new but work toward mastery in the process. It’s a delicate balance, trying to achieve goals while being mindful of the importance of growth and learning through the process.

All of us have difficulties at times finding that right balance. Being the often driven person that I am, I can hold myself to impossible standards.  I am well aware that many of our students do as well.  Striving to have a growth mindset rather than one that is fixed, however, enables me to allow for flexibility and acceptance of myself along the way. It’s not a matter of settling for something less. Rather, I can strive to do my best, learning and growing along the way, setting realistic goals, even at my more senior age. That’s the power of “yet.” It’s not so important what we achieve in the end, but rather what is being accomplished and learned in the process along the way. For our students, when they figuratively slide into home base at the end of the school year, my hope is that we can help them to recognize how far they have come, being proud of what they learned in the process, knowing that they have grown tremendously. So off we go, rounding third base. As we complete the year, may we all celebrate a year well lived with much progress achieved along the way.

Margaret Moore

Head of School

Coach’s Corner

Intramurals – Our spring intramural season of track for all interested third, fourth and fifth graders will begin on Monday, February 27th.  The track season will run for eight weeks, and practices will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from immediately after school until 4:45 p.m. A participation fee of $75 will be billed to your account, and each student will need a completed permission slip on file. You may pick up a permission form in the School Office or find it on our school website (under the parent link/forms tab).

The purpose of this program is to give kids an enriching experience in a non-competitive manner. While there will be inter-squad games and competitions, the focus of this program is on fundamentals and skill building. If your child can only attend a couple of days per week or has to miss a day here and there, it’s not a big deal. This is supposed to be a no-pressure, fun-filled situation. We are excited to announce that former St. Michael’s stand-out athlete Hailey Sanders will be coaching our track program!
Middle School Basketball – Basketball is off to a great start. Our only practice this week is Friday, February 17th. There will not be practice over Rodeo Break. Practices will resume on Monday, February 27th.
Middle School Track – Our Middle School Track season will begin on Monday, February 27th. Practices will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from immediately after school until 4:45 p.m.

Notice to Families Working with IBE

Each spring IBE provides scholarships to St. Michael’s families and also releases funds that have been held from donations to pay for tuition for the coming school year (2017-2018).
If you believe you have funds at IBE, you must register with them each year in order to have them released.  Their online registration is available at IBEScholarships.org.  If you would like to apply for a scholarship from IBE for the 2017-18 school year, the deadline is March 31st.
For further information you can contact IBE at 512-5438.

Condolences to the Connelly Family

Our sympathy and condolences go out to Brian, Gina, Kate, and Jack Connelly in the loss of their beloved mother and grandmother this past weekend.  Services for Kathleen Connelly will be held on Monday, February 20, at 12:00 noon at St. Pius Church, located at 1800 North Camino Pio Decimo.

Notes from the Head

On Thursday evening, our campus will be a happening place! Not only will we be welcoming visiting families as they tour our school, but we will be having a “STEMazing” opportunity to see Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at work. Our STEM Festival will feature our students and the research they have done in proving, or disproving, scientific hypotheses. We will have student reports on famous inventors and young researchers from our Lower School demonstrating our amazing sense of smell and the integration with taste buds. Science and language arts will be intertwined as middle school students share original science-fiction stories.  In addition, we have invited the Tucson community to join us. We’ll have experts in optics, laser games, physics challenges, and brain games for all ages. Scientists will be roaming around, eager to share what they do and how their careers evolved. This is all part of our expanding STEM initiative from K-8, which is broadening our understanding of the connections throughout various areas of study, including how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, as well as Art, Music, and Religion are linked together and complement one another.

Our growing STEM program at St. Michael’s is a result of our capital campaign and our commitment to bringing a greater presence of STEM education into our curriculum and school program. Funds raised through our capital campaign, Charting Our Course for the Future, are helping to support these efforts. Our STEM Festival is just one example of this initiative. Other examples include our growing robotics elective and presence at area competitions; our increasing presence at local and regional math competitions; and our expanding relationships with the University of Arizona STEM programs as well as with the scientific community at Raytheon. Across the board, our faculty is taking part in local and state professional development opportunities that provide tools for integrating STEM elements into classroom activities and into a variety of subjects from Kindergarten through middle school.

It’s an exciting time on the St. Michael’s campus and, as we look to next year, our students can expect to see even more opportunities to explore their world and expand their understanding of the relevance and connections between what is being studied and learned. I am grateful to the members of our faculty as they embrace this initiative and engage our young learners. It’s a team effort as we prepare our students to think critically and dream big! At St. Michael’s, there’s a balance between answering questions and questioning answers; a balance between discovering yourself and discovering your world.

Margaret Moore

Head of School

Digital Citizenship Certified School

digcit-school_badges_588x121pxWe are pleased to announce that St. Michael’s has been named one of Arizona’s few Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified Schools for the second year in a row! There are numerous criteria to fulfill before applying to become a Common Sense Certified School. This is an annual certification, and criteria must be completed during the current school year.

“Whether it’s cyberbullying, students divulging too much personal information online, or online issues creating classroom-management issues, schools across the globe are navigating the behavioral and social issues that stem from students’ online lives. To help students harness technology for learning, all schools, particularly those integrating technology into the classroom, should be working to help students learn how to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly with technology.” – Common Sense Media

St. Michael’s takes this responsibility seriously, and we teach digital citizenship K-8!

Coaches’ Corner

Flag Football – Our Flag Football team won their first-round playoff game, and they will  head to the semi-finals tomorrow(10/27) to take on Tucson Country Day School @ TCDS at 4:00 p.m. If they win that game, they will head to the finals. The site and team for the finals is to be determined.
 
Volleyball – Our Girls’ Volleyball team got the #1 seed in the tournament! We will be hosting the league tournament here at St. Michael’s. Their first game will be Tuesday, November 1, at 4:30 p.m. They will then play Wednesday, November 2, at 4 p.m. in the semi-finals, and then (we trust) at 6 p.m. again in the finals. Please note that for the playoffs, there is a $2.00 entrance fee for adults. Students are free. This fee helps to cover the league costs for referees, trophies, etc. 
 
Intramurals – Our Fall Intramural season will be finishing up tomorrow (10/27). Our Winter Intramurals will begin in mid-November. More specific dates will be announced next week. Permission slips for our Winter Intramurals will be available beginning November 1st. The sports offered in the winter are volleyball and basketball.
 
Winter Sports – Our winter sports season for the middle school is about to kick off! Our Coed Soccer will begin practicing on November 7th. Please note, the practice days will be Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. (Last week I mistakenly wrote M, T, Th).
Softball News – Unfortunately, we did not have enough girls sign up to field a softball team this year.

SMA News

Holiday Greens:  It’s the final jolly reminder that Holiday Greens orders are due in the office by Tuesday, November 1st. Keep in mind that these make a great gift for a loved one, neighbor, or colleague while supporting our school at the same time. Please contact Brigitte Townsdin or Amanda Kukla with any questions. 
Box Tops:  Thank you to the many box tops turned in.  The two top grades that brought in the most box tops were Second Grade for Lower School and Seventh Grade for Upper School; they will celebrate with a frozen treat.  In second place were Third Grade and Sixth Grade, and third place went to Kindergarten and Fourth Grade.  The top three individual high earners were Emma Claire Hoover (2B), Camryn Huerta Rojas (7th), and Josh Burke (6th), each earning a Bookman’s gift certificate.  Way to go!
Amazon Smile:  Before you start your holiday shopping, please take a minute to sign up with Amazon Smile and designate St. Michael’s Parish Day School as your charitable organization. Free money is earned any time you purchase via www.smile.amazon.com.  It takes only a moment.
Fry’s Rewards:  Please connect your Fry’s VIP number to St. Michael’s to earn more free money.  It can easily be done via the Fry’s app or online under their Community Rewards program.  If you’ve previously enrolled, you may be prompted to re-enroll the next time you shop, so please keep an eye out.
You can’t beat FREE MONEY!