School News

Sheila Powell is the President of the St. Michael’s Parents Association. She is the mother of Mary in grade 4 and has been a St. Michael’s Parent since 2003. Her two older boys attended St. Michael’s before the family moved to Rochester, NY. The Powells returned to Newport two years ago and are thrilled to reconnect with the community here at St. Michael’s.

Sheila states emphatically that her favorite thing about St. Michael’s is the teachers. They have made a huge impact on the lives of her children and she deeply appreciates the ways they have made St. Michael’s feel like a second home for their children.

Early on, Sheila decided that she would do all she could to support the teachers and staff at St. Michael’s in the community. She volunteered in the younger grades and began to get engaged with larger activities in the school community. When the Parents Association asked her to serve as their president, she was honored to take on this role to serve the community.

One of her favorite school-wide activities has always been the Fall Frenzy. It is simply a wonderful time at the start of the school year to meet new families and revisit old friends on the school grounds. The event is this coming Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00. A number of school parents have helped to organize games and challenges for the children, pony rides, bounces houses, refreshments and carnival games. Says Sheila: “I know that people are busy with many activities on Sundays, but I hope that everyone can find time to come and join our community in celebrating a new school year. See you Sunday!”

Welcome Back Day and the first week of classes offered a warm return to the school year. Students and staff, families and faculty all delighted in seeing familiar friends and making new friendships. Said one mother new to SMCDS: “I’m amazed at this community already!” See who YOU can find in this gallery of SMCDS friends!

 

The Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE) recently put out a call inviting teachers from member schools to submit proposals to speak at the AISNE Lower School conference on October 6, 2014. Results? Only twenty were selected from a field of fifty proposals. Three of those twenty are St. Michael’s faculty; Jessica Boyle (Kindergarten), Lauren Hutchinson (Grade 2), and Kate Joubert (Grade 4).

“I’m so proud of our faculty. This opportunity to share ideas with their colleagues at a regional conference is the start of widespread recognition of our school and talented teachers that will soon, hopefully, extend to a national level,” said Lauren Abraham, our Head of Lower School. Jessica Boyle will present a workshop called Making Numbers Make Sense about the importance of developing number sense in young children that includes activities she has created. Lauren Hutchinson’s workshop Shouldn’t Every Student Have The Opportunity To Be An Einstein? will focus on the Genius Hour when students are able to explore topics and pursue projects (for 60 minutes each week) based on their individual interests and passions. Kate Joubert will present her workshop “What If?” where students study a period of history and answer a related hypothetical question. For example, a unit on the Civil War might include the query “What if President Lincoln had not been assassinated?” AISNE’s Lower School Conference “will focus on highlighting all the wonderful topics, approaches, lessons, and best practices that are underway in our lower school classrooms,” according to the association’s website. Congratulations to our accomplished faculty!

Being a 3PS-8th grade school means that our “Tweeners” are “Leaders” and nowhere is this more obvious or meaningful that when our older students mentor our youngest students. Peruse the photo gallery of our 4th grade students as they guide and assist our PK and PS students in the garden and on the playground.  Enjoy!

 

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 8.45.09 AM

“Almost every employer; in every occupation, prefers workers who know how to problem-solve, be creative, work collaboratively, and communicate well,” states Steven Paine, Ed.D, President of Partnership For 21st Century Skills.

The third graders practiced all these skills when they participated in a design workshop with Bobbi Jarvis, a freelance product designer and inventor who has worked for Hasbro Toys, Fisher-Price, and Nike. Bobbi challenged our students to create a toddler’s push or pull toy that was based on a children’s book and had at least one unique feature.

Bobbi led the children through the design process for eight weeks that included: collaboration, brainstorming, sketching, reviewing, revising, fabricating  prototypes, creating supporting illustrations, and product demonstrations. The results were 16 creative and innovative toy prototypes which included stacking toys, nesting toys, noisy toys, and toys that lit up.

Toy GroupPic-1 The students proudly presented their toy prototypes, sketches, and illustrations to a panel of four professional designers last Thursday. We are very grateful to Brian Jarvis (Design Director at Hasbro), Steve Linker (Senior Design Director at Hasbro), Bobbi Jarvis (Owner, Bobbi Jarvis Design, LLC), and  Leslie Keohane (St. Michael’s Art teacher) for their wisdom and participation. In his summary comments, Brian told the children, “The work you produced in this class is fantastic, and it is inspiring for us to see all of your ideas presented together in this way. Well done!”  Bobbi commented,  “Their ideas were as strong as those of high school students but with the charm and inhibition of a 9 year old.  The students were wonderful and wacky but really great thinkers.  They came up with some toy concepts that were well thought out, and I was so impressed by how hard they worked to get the result that they imagined. ”

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 8.45.21 AMEach of the students  learned something new from this experience. One third grader shared, “The judges gave us great feedback. The process we used to design our toys is the same process we can use to create anything else we can imagine.”

“This was such a fabulous experience for the children. They used math, art, engineering, and technology skills to  problem solve and create fabulous toy designs. All their hard work was validated by the praise they received from our panel of designers. I was truly amazed by what they created,” said third grade teacher Lorie Loughborough.

Greta Toy Presentation 

The Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE) recently put out a call inviting teachers from member schools to submit proposals to speak at the AISNE Lower School conference on October 6, 2014. Results? Only twenty were selected from a field of fifty proposals. Three of those twenty are St. Michael’s faculty; Jessica Boyle (Kindergarten), Lauren Hutchinson (Grade 2), and Kate Joubert (Grade 4).

 “I’m so proud of our faculty. This opportunity to share ideas with their colleagues at a regional conference is the start of widespread recognition of our school and talented teachers that will soon, hopefully, extend to a national level,” said Lauren Abraham, our Head of Lower School. Jessica Boyle will present a workshop called Making Numbers Make Sense about the importance of developing number sense in young children that includes activities she has created. Lauren Hutchinson’s workshop Shouldn’t Every Student Have The Opportunity To Be An Einstein? will focus on the Genius Hour when students are able to explore topics and pursue projects (for 60 minutes each week) based on their individual interests and passions. Kate Joubert will present her workshop “What If?”  where students study a period of history and answer a related hypothetical question. For example, a unit on the Civil War might include the query “What if President Lincoln had not been assassinated?”  AISNE’s Lower School Conference “will focus on highlighting all the wonderful topics, approaches, lessons, and best practices that are underway in our lower school classrooms,” according to the association’s website. Congratulations to our accomplished faculty!


In May, the fourth graders spent time reflecting upon “What If.”

They chose an event or time period from history to immerse themselves. After becoming an expert, the students determined what if that event didn’t happen and how history might  have changed.

Here are some excerpts from their “What If” project:
 

What if the Mexican-American War did not happen?  Texas may not be part of the United States.  ~Bilal

What if the Peace Corps was not created?  Education in third world nation may not exist and poverty levels would continue to rise. ~John

What if the Women’s Rights Movement did not continue after they received the right to vote?   Women would not be in government or have “traditional” male occupations such as doctors and lawyers. ~ Sophie 

What if Poland was not invaded by Germany?  The Cold War would not have happened. ~ Hudson

What if Unites States did not enter World War II?  America’s economy would not have rebounded from the Great Depression.~ Keeley

What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand was never assassinated?  World Wars I and II would not have happened. ~ Alex

What if all the countries involved in World War I were not so power hungry?  There would not be nuclear warfare today. ~Elliot

What if North and Korea and South Korea did not divide into two countries? The Korean War would not have occurred because North Korea would not want to expand its borders. ~Margret

What if Saddam Hussein was not captured by American forces?  Terrorism would be a common threat and World War III could result.  ~ Donald

What if World War II did not happen?  More than 1,000,000 people would not have died. ~ Jee

 
What if is Adolf Hitler was not born? World War II would not have happened. ~ Patrick
 
What if George Washington wasn’t a general in the Revolutionary War? The United of America might not exist. ~ Ali
 
What if the United States did not join WWII? The atomic bomb would not have been used  in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. As a result, the Cold War may not have happened. ~Sophia
 
What if Watergate had never happened? Gerald Ford may not have become president. ~Makenzie
 
What If Germany won World War I? France would be a part of Germany. ~Grace
 
What if The Spanish-American War never happened?  Puerto Rico would not be a part of the United States. ~Jordan
 
What if Gavrilo Princip was not born?  Millions of people would not have died in World War I because  Archduke Ferdinand wouldn’t have been assassinated. ~ Katherine
 
What if Archduke Ferdinand was not assassinated? World War I would not have happened and the  African American soldiers who fought in this war would not have been able to help the movement for equality move ahead so the Civil Rights Movement would have been delayed . ~ Owen
 
What if Abraham Lincoln was not elected president? Slavery would still be legal and the Civil War may not have happened. ~Campbell
 
What if the Woman’s Rights Movement never happened? Nancy Pelosi would not have been a Speaker of the House. ~ Christina
 
What if America did not join the Vietnam War?   America would not have given asylum to Cambodian and Laotian refugees. ~ Cameron
 
 
What would happen if the North and South became two different countries before the Civll War? The Civil War wouldn’t have happened because they would have each been able to have their own laws and government. Slavery would probably still exist in the South. ~Shira

Dear Parents,

Please help us spread the word about the wonderful summer camps that we offer here at St. Michael’s by posting flyers and/or dropping off postcards at various locations or merely telling your friends.   A stack of postcards will be available at the front desk along with a list of suggested locations and brief guidelines.  Thank you in advance for helping us get the word out.
Sports Camp Poster draftJr. Adventure Camp Poster

 

On Monday Lower School students began their Dr. Seuss Day being greeted in the carpool line by the Cat in the Hat (Mr. Slade in full costume) and Things 1 and 2 (Mrs.Loughborough and Mrs. Hutchinson). Out of the cars came students dressed as red fish, blue fish, the grinch, Cindy Loo Who, the Cat in The Hat and Thing One and Thing Two. We even had Theodor Giessle  himself (fourth grader John Lanza)  visit all lower school classes to tell the students about his life. Dr. Geislel was accompanied by his friend the Cat in the Hat (Ted Ferry) who read his favorite Seuss tale, Green Eggs and Ham.  This special day set the stage for  our  trip on Tuesday to see Seussical at the VMA Arts and Cultural Center in Providence. This musical play, based on the Broadway version, was adapted for young audiences. The Cat in the Hat was the host and emcee as the audience “romped” through Dr.Seuss classics and learned important lessons about loyalty and friendship. Students in kindergarten through grade four enjoyed the show and then had a picnic lunch together at Wilson Park in North Kingstown. This experience provided us with a wonderful opportunity for community building and learning  across the grade levels.


On Friday students enjoyed our annual St. Michael’s Day.  The entire day was a resounding success full of games, food and loads of fun.
Students in grades.1-8 divided into 2 teams. One blue and one white.
The cottage students led the spirit by making signs, coming out and cheering for everyone.
Wed had a number of fun events this year.
Water Sponge Relay
Big Ball Battle
Long Jump
40 yard Dash
Tug of War
Sack Races
Shuttle Run
Basketball Free Throws
It was close, but white team won this year.
After the events the whole school got together on the field for a cook out. Burgers and hot dogs were cooked by Mr. Ferry, Mr. Day and Mr.Slade.
Weather held out…fun was had by all!