School News

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December is Generosity Month

Generosity is a quality that distinguishes truly successful people from their peers. The successful person understands how to engage others and finds fulfillment not just in the material trappings of success but also in the camaraderie and teamwork of success. Successful people know how to give of themselves to others and, in return, reap the profits of others who give back.

From the earliest of ages, parents teach generosity to their children. We ask our children to share their toys, to be polite and considerate, and to show gratitude for their blessings. At times, generosity can seem such a mundane and everyday kind of expectation. But generosity is at the core of critical skills that will open the doors for your child’s future.

The gift of a small classroom and a school where everyone knows everyone else provides daily opportunity for teaching generosity. There are no impersonal relationships in a school like St. Michael’s. Our children must learn to work with everyone and though this is not always an easy task, the closeness of St. Michael’s provides the strength and the confidence to manage the complexity of relationships in the larger world outside.

Our teachers this month will be engaging our students in thoughtful discussion about the ways we reach out to others. Our student government will be choosing service outreach projects and will ask each child to support them in small, but significant ways.

During this month of religious, cultural, and community celebration, find time to talk to your children about the importance of generosity. Elevate it to the level of critical qualities for your child’s and your family’s future. Think about the most successful people you know and ask yourself the question, “Are they truly generous people?” I am very confident that the answer will affirm what our habits and predispositions as parents have already informed us. We celebrate, admire, and respect generosity. It is a skill that will drive our children to future success.

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~ School Happenings ~

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From the Desk of Mr. Zurn

December is Generosity Month at St. Michael’s. Generosity is a quality that distinguishes truly successful people from their peers. The successful person understands how to engage others and finds fulfillment not just in the material trappings of success but also in the camaraderie and teamwork of success. Successful people know how to give of themselves to others and, in return, reap the profits of others who give back.

 

 

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Wheres Waldo presented by the third grade geography lessonWhere’s Waldo?

Remember the “Where’s Waldo? book series? To go along with their study of the States the Third Graders are doing a “Where in the U.S.A. is Waldo?” project. They are creating an interactive bulletin board with “Waldo” hidden in images and landmarks from each of the States they’ve studied. Students from every grade can look for Waldo and try to identify which State he is visiting.

To get the Lower School excited about this project the third graders are also hiding a “Waldo” around the school for everyone to try and find!  This fun and educational project was introduced to the Lower School students by Waldo himself (aka. Mrs. Loughborough) at their Morning Meeting on Tuesday.

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Mannequin Challenge

Lights, Camera, Freeze! Movie Making Club took on the Mannequin Challenge and they did a fantastic job. Take a look!

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A Plastic Ocean

Last week, our 7th grade took part in newportFILM’s Youth Program, where 1,100 students from Aquidneck Island viewed the powerful environmental documentary, A Plastic Ocean.  The screening was held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Casino Theatre and included an information session where students could ask the question “what can I do?”

Read More and learn how we can #saveourseas and take part!  Join the next Clean Ocean Access beach cleanup on December 3 in Hull Cove, Jamestown from 12-2 pm.

Photo credit: Jennifer Manville Photography

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The Mitten Tree

Our annual Mitten Tree fundraiser is underway!  Students are encouraged to bring in new hats, gloves, scarves, or mittens as a donation for Lucy’s Hearth.  The donated items will go to children who are supported by the program, with the intention of keeping them warm during the cold winter months.
There are two holiday trees, one is located in the Lower School main entrance and the other is on the second floor of the Middle School.  When students bring in hats, gloves, scarves or mittens they can “decorate” the tree with their donation.  All items need to be brought in by Friday, December 9.
Let’s get these trees looking full!

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Raising money for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center

As part of their science curriculum, the third grade has been actively involved with the St. Michael’s Teachers’ Farmer’s Market, working in our community garden, tending to the beds, and harvesting the crops.  So far, they raised $157.25 for the MLK Food Pantry by selling the vegetables they grew in the garden.  The class goal is $200 and when the students observed how the cooler weather was affecting the slower growth in the garden and they knew they needed another idea to raise the last of the monies needed.  They’ve been discussing how they could accomplish this goal using the remaining plants and one large plant stood out: SAGE! Fourth grade student Eva suggested we create wreaths from the sage as a way of reaching their funding goal.

Alyson Novick, Director of Development for the MLK Center, visited the third graders’ science class and spoke about how the center acts as a community resource, how they distribute food to those in need, and how this donation can benefit the center. The class presented Mrs. Novick with a (giant!) check for $200.  Way to go 3rd grade!

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Special Visit to the PreKindergarten

Today James Hackbarth’s dad, Col. Jim Hackbarth, visited our class as part of our “Community Helpers” unit.  He talked to the prekindergarten about flying the C-130, explained the parts of the plane, and the many jobs that it does.

He showed several videos of some of it’s capabilities, including firefighting, landing in Antarctica on skis, as well as charity missions helping Santa drop gifts by parachute to Micronesia.  The visit concluded with everyone getting C-130 pins!  << More Photos in gallery. 

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~ School News & Events~

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grinch-logo-bHoliday Performance: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The St. Michael’s Acting Workshop students invite you to come see Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on Friday, December 9th at 7:00 pm and Saturday December 10 at 2:00 pm.  The production is directed by Christina Johnston, designed by Ellyn Eaves-Hileman, performed by members of the Acting Workshop class, and tech support is given by the Stagecraft class.

Performances are in the Hill House Arts and Athletics Center, and open to the public.  Refreshments will be offered, and donations are appreciated.  We hope to see you there!

Questions, contact Mrs. Johnston at cjohnston@smcds.org, 401-849-5970 ext 330

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Spring Performance: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Rehearsals have begun and the cast list is set!  St. Michael’s annual Spring Performance will be The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

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Parent Information Meeting

When: Wednesday, December 7, 8:15 – 9:00 pm
Where: The Betsy Wylie Conference Room, in the Rose Canepari Library.
What: Join us for a conversation about the school’s Campus Master Plan initiative, Strategic Planning, expansion of our InnovationLab, curriculum directions, and an open discussion about issues important to you!

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Campus Plan Meeting for Parents

When: Tuesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm

Over the next three months, we will be working with the architecture firm, designLab Architects, to create a campus master plan for the school campus.  The plan will eventually demonstrate how campus buildings and functions (present and future) might be best integrated on the existing site plan here at St. Michael’s.

Members of the firm will be listening for your ideas about how to thoughtfully separate dual function spaces (like Art and Gym), how to best manage potential uses of the Cottage, how to design parking and drop off/pick queues, classrooms and areas that we need to keep in mind for future uses, etc..  The end result will be a bird’s eye view of the campus as it might look in twenty years.

In order to create the plan, members of the designLab team will be meeting with various school groups to discuss space needs and compile a list of things to consider in their design process.  The designLab team will also be meeting with interested parents on Tuesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm.  Please mark the date in your calendar.  It is very important that we get broad participation from our parents.  Thank you!

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Parent Information Meeting

When: Wednesday, December 7, 8:15 – 9:00 pm
Where: The Betsy Wylie Conference Room, in the Rose Canepari Library.
What: Join us for a conversation about the school’s Campus Master Plan initiative (see below), Strategic Planning, expansion of our InnovationLab, curriculum directions, and an open discussion about issues important to you!

Campus Master Plan Meeting

When: Tuesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm

What is the Campus Master Plan?

Over the next three months, we will be working with the architecture firm, designLab Architects, to create a Campus Master Plan for the school campus.  The plan will demonstrate how campus buildings and functions (present and future) might be best integrated on the existing site plan here at St. Michael’s.  Members of the firm will be listening for your ideas, including

  • How to thoughtfully separate dual function spaces (like the Arts and Gym)
  • How to best manage potential uses of The Cottage
  • How to redesign parking and drop off/pick queues
  • Any classrooms and areas that we may need to keep in mind for future uses

The end result will be a bird’s eye view of the campus as it might look in twenty years.

In order to create the plan, members of the designLab team will be meeting with various school groups to discuss space needs and compile a list of things to consider in their design process.  The designLab team will also be meeting with interested parents on Tuesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm.  Please mark the date in your calendar.  It is very important that we get broad participation from our parents.  Thank you!

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Lights, Camera, Freeze! Movie Making Club took on the Mannequin Challenge and they did a fantastic job. Take a look!

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Early Childhood Thanksgiving Feast

The PreSchool, Pre Kindergarten, and Kindergarten came together as the Wampanoag Tribe and the Pilgrims for their annual feast.  Each class prepared and shared delicious food for the feast, including Corn Bread, Indian Pudding, and Apple Crisp.  Students sat together making new friends from the other classrooms.

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I am not a Turkey!

Second graders had their turkeys “undercover” for the holiday with a detailed artwork and a description to match.  Students created a persona for their “non-turkey” character, using adjectives, verbs, and imagination.  Elvis, a Rockstar, a Flamingo and a Christmas Tree were all presented before the school assembly and remember “I am not a turkey!”

More Photos >>

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Buddies!

Each month the 8th grade and Kindergarten buddies come together to do a collaborative lesson, led by the Middle School students.  This month, the 8th grade finished reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding and created a project for their buddies centered around what they would pack in their suitcase if they were on a deserted island.

From basketballs to blankets, the kindergartners drew pictures of what they would bring and the 8th graders presented before the school with their buddies close by.

More photos >>

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Thanksgiving Assembly

The whole school gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and share projects they’re working on.  Students stood before the entire school and shared with their friends and peers.
Our Kindergarten performed a poem called “Thanksgiving Dinner” and shared an art project.  More Photos <<

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Thanksgiving Poem

The 3rd grade collaborated on a Thanksgiving poem in class. Students worked together on each line, making sure there was a rhyming component and that each sentence worked with the theme.  They read the poem aloud at the assembly and did a wonderful job!

<< More Photos

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Fourth Grade Gives Thanks

I am thankful for…riegel_161027_0470

Music, it sooths my soul.
The winter because I snowboard.
My family and the endless support they give me.
For pets to keep me company.
My house because it keeps me warm and safe.
Snuggling with my car on a sunny day.
Peace, Love, and Happiness.
Family because they love me in every way.
Education because it makes me smart.
My feet because they let me move and discover new things.
My family because they cheer me up when I’m sad.
My family because they love and support me.
Soccer because it keeps me active.
Family and friends because they make me laugh.
Books because they expand my imagination.
A great family, the food and water, and my beautiful house.
A roof over my head to protect me during bad weather.
My supportive family because they encourage my to do things I’ve never tried.
My family becsause I love them and I need them for support.

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Holiday Performance

Rehearsals are underway for students in the St. Michael’s Country Day School Acting Workshop. They will present “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” on Friday, December 9 at 7pm and Saturday, December 10 at 2pm.

Based on the book by Dr. Seuss, the play is directed by Christina Johnston, with scenic design by Ellyn Eaves-Hileman.

This holiday classic will be brought to life by a cast of sixth through eighth grade students. The performances will take place in the Hill House Arts and Athletics Center on the school’s campus. Admission is free and open to the public, donations to benefit the St. Michael’s theatre program are welcome.

For more information please call 401-849-5970 ext. 330.

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STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math)

In Plant Ecology & Art, 5th and 6th graders picked 2-3 plants from the St. Michael’s community garden and brought them back to inspect under the microscope.  We used the patterns, colors, and textures we saw as inspiration for abstract watercolor/crayon resist paintings.

The 5th grade has been learning about memoirs.  They wrote their own and hand bound their work into a book.
Each student then drew a self-portrait for the book’s cover in a media of their choice.

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Community

Former Middle School Head Bob Tavares made a surprise appearance at this week’s Monday morning meeting! He read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and spoke with students about the importance of giving back.

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November is Courage Month at St. Michael’s

Far too many people define courage as a once in lifetime occurrence – that singular moment in which someone selflessly puts aside great fear, or anxiety, or danger to save a life, to stand up to the bully, or to right the egregious wrong.   The decision to act in the face of extreme adversity is surely a circumstance worthy of heroic admiration.

But the notion that courage is a once in a lifetime opportunity misses the point.  Courage, in fact, is a muscle that needs to be practiced.  Our children need to view it as a daily endeavor, a responsibility to search for those circumstances in school and in the world, in which we demonstrate our human capacity to do the right thing.  We need to let our children know that they each have this heroic capacity inside of them.  How better else to encourage our children to demand a world of respect and kindness than to ask them to view their own responsibilities in heroic terms?

Suppose you woke your child up in the morning and told her that today was “Courage Day” and that there were a dozen moments during this day when you expected her to act courageously.  And suppose that as an adult, you took the same challenge with you to your office, your morning routine, your social network, your daily conversations.  What would your dinner conversation sound like?

When we define success for our children at St. Michael’s, we make it clear that success can’t be achieved in a vacuum.  As humans, we are social animals, and the greatest riches in the world will not satisfy our need to be recognized and appreciated amongst our family, our friends, and our colleagues.   

I encourage you to speak to your children today about courage and consider ways to make it a daily conversation.

 

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Food for Thought:

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” ~ Maya Angelou

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”  ~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”  ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter

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Bulb Planting with Buddies

Fourth grade and Pre Kindergarten buddies came together to plant daffodil bulbs around St. Michael’s. The older students showed their younger buddies how to dig, place the bulb, and cover them for the winter. We are excited to see the new plantings come up in the spring and add color to our campus!

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Courage in Grade 4

Our 4th graders read the book Courage by Bernard Waber.  “There are many kinds of courage.  Awesome kinds.  And everyday kinds. Still, courage is courage – whatever kind.”  Each student took a different page of the book, drew a picture of that example of Courage and presented before the whole school during the Veteran’s Day Assembly.
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Not only did the students learn about varying levels of Courage, from being the first to make up after an argument to tasting a vegetable without making a face.  But they also learned the courageous skill of public speaking, before their teachers and peers.

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Courage in Grade 1

Mr. Zurn visits the first grade each month to read a book related to our Trait of Success. This month he read the book One by Kathryn Otoshi.  Through this tale about different colors who are not always nice to each other the children learned that it just takes one to have the courage to stand up to a bully.

Inspired by this story, the children talked more about courage and shared times when they challenged themselves and stood up for what was right. At this week’s Morning Meeting, courage was modeled by the first graders when stood up in front of all the Lower School children to share their own stories of courage which are also  posted on the bulletin board outside their classroom.

  • Courage is telling someone to stop bothering you. Ask a friend who was getting bullied to play. -Camryn
  • Courage is learning to read and write in another language.  -Geffen
  • I showed courage when I went to the dentist. -Einya
  • Courage is when you get hurt and don’t cry. I challenge myself. -Penelope
  • Courage is when you do something you don’t want to do. Then you feel good about yourself. I was courageous when I went through surgery. -Blake
  • Courage is when you have faith in someone. I was courageous when I had stitches. -Gillian
  • If you have to stand up to a bully and you don’t want to, that’s courage. -Charlie
  • People that fight in wars have courage. I had surgery and stitches and I was courageous. -Elizabeth
  • Stand up for someone when they are bullied. I played through pain in hockey. –Mason

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Thinking of Others

6th Grader, Ali V, recently donated her hair to Locks of Love! We are so proud of Ali for this very thoughtful gesture!
Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss. They use donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics, which helps to restore self-esteem and confidence.”

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Tuesday, November 22
7:45 – 8: 30 am | 2:45 – 3:30 pm

Each fall, the Parents Association has sponsored a school bake sale prior to Thanksgiving to help raise funds for a good cause.  This year, our 8th grade class has asked for support to raise funds for their trip to Quebec in February.  While we are expecting strong support from our 8th grade families, we hope that others will consider supporting our students by donating a favorite family or special store purchased treat.  Treats will be available at each recess, students will need to bring a $1.00 or $2.00 to purchase items.

All items must be received wrapped; bakers are welcome to wrap items like cookies and brownies in smaller quantities. If you would like to bake please call Jane McPherson (401-849-5970 ext 300) or Send Email.  Please drop off baked goods on Monday, November 21st to the main office.


Pre-order a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from the Bake Sale!  Pies are $25 each and  your order will support the 8th grade trip to Quebec.  Quantities are limited, orders must be received by 9:00 a.m.on Monday (11/21).

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Students in Movie Making club had a short quarter one, but made the most of it!  Club meetings are led by Technology Teacher Bridgette O’Boyle who brings experience in the film world to St. Michael’s Country Day School. Students take part in the whole movie-making process including pre-production, production, and post production.

Pre-Production: Students first pitch their movie ideas to the class, & then vote on which films they’d like to work on.

Production: Crews work on writing their scripts, gathering costumes, and location scouting around the school.

Post Production: Students work in iMovie to edit the final product to show their classmates.

The camera equipment, green screen & editing software did not intimidate this crew of students one bit, and we wouldn’t be surprised to find we may have some future filmmakers on our hands!

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Locked In School — directed by Lily P. & filmed by Hunter L. was awarded “best film” by their classmates.

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Check out the other videos from Movie Making Club!

 

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Students filmed their own version of the comedic youtube series ASDF.

 

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Students in 5th and 6th grade used the green screen to re-enact different scenes from the film Return of the Jedi

 

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Based on the comedic youtube trend “lyrics in real life” these students incorporate pop songs in dialogue around the school.

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Captain Robert Sanders, from the US Naval War College, spoke at our Veteran’s Day Assembly.  In recognition of Courage month, he shared the story of Jocko Graves, an unsung, twelve year old hero from the American Revolutionary War.

During the War, Jocko Graves was too young to join the battle but he was determined to support General Washington. As Washington prepared to cross the Delaware River for the Battle of Trenton he realized he could not transport his horses.  Jocko volunteered to hold the horses at the river’s edge, making sure they were secure when the troops returned.  Sadly, Jocko froze to death awaiting the soldiers, but never let go of the reins.  Legend has it that his sacrifice spurred the troops on to victory and Washington was so touched by Jocko’s Courage that he erected a statue in his honor at Mount Vernon.  This statue, the story goes, was the precursor to the lawn jockey.

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Veteran’s Day Assembly

St. Michael’s students gathered together on Thursday, November 10 to honor and recognize those in our community who have served in the military.  The discussion at the assembly was around our trait for November: Courage.

What does Courage mean and how can we display it in our every day lives?  In honor of Veteran’s Day and in recognition of the military families at St. Michaels, we created a “Wall of Heroes” filled with the names of St. Michael’s family members in the Armed Services and those who have served.

I am willing to stand up for what is right.  I challenge myself.

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Courage in Grade 4

Our 4th graders read the book Courage by Bernard Waber.  “There are many kinds of courage.  Awesome kinds.  And everyday kinds. Still, courage is courage – whatever kind.”  Each student took a different page of the book, drew a picture of that example of Courage and presented before the whole school during the Veteran’s Day Assembly.

Not only did the students learn about varying levels of Courage, from being the first to make up after an argument to tasting a vegetable without making a face.  But they also learned the courageous skill of public speaking, before their teachers and peers. (click through the photos on the left)

 

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