As part of its continuing efforts to encourage literacy, the St. Mary’s Academy elementary division has partnered with The Kiwanis Club of Pontchartrain (KCP) to implement a new program that incentivizes reading. On Wednesday, January 16, members of the KCP will be on campus to kick off the Books for Bikes program which will run through May. Students in grades 2, 3 and 4 will participate in the initiative and will receive a free book and book report form at the B4B kick off.
When students complete their book reports, they return them to the teachers. Proper grammar and spelling are encouraged. One week prior to the end of the B4B session, KCP members collect the completed book reports, tabulate the results, and then let notify the school.
Each student who completes at least five book reports receives a certificate of participation. Students who complete at least ten book reports also receive a $5 McDonald’s gift card. In each grade, the student who reads the most books wins a new bicycle, bike helmet, and bike lock. Students must complete at least 15 book reports to be eligible to win the bike. In the past, the total completed book reports for the winner ranged from 18 to 68 books.
KCP awards certificates and the bike at an awards ceremony hosted by the school. All students from the competing grades attend the awards ceremony and parents are also encouraged to attend. KCP announces the bike winner at the awards ceremony.Read More
St. Mary’s Academy elementary teachers know all too well the importance of hands-on activities that engage and inspire their students. They combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, that activate multiple areas of the brain. Studies have shown that the more parts of the brain that students use, the more likely they are to retain information.
Developing the underlying cognitive abilities through an intensive individualized program is the goal of the BrainPower for Reading Program (BPR) at St. Mary’s Academy. Led by Sr. Mary Ellen Schroder, BPR represents the best practices in education, a result of the Sisters of Notre Dame’s 163 years of educational excellence and experience.
Conducted three times a week in the elementary division, BPR strengthens foundational cognitive skills such as attention, long and short term memory, auditory and visual processing and logic and reasoning, all required as a foundation for learning.
St. Mary’s Academy elementary students now have the opportunity to learn the game of tennis plus a whole lot more thanks to A’s & Ace’s, a non-profit founded in New Orleans in 2008. Students in grades 1-4 are given free tennis classes, life skills and academic assistance twice a week during their physical education class period.
According to organizers, tennis is more than “just a game” and is the least important component of A’s & Aces’ tripartite mission. While character developing life-skills and academic support are critical to having successful, productive lives, the sport of tennis also provides the ability to build social, academic and career networks through playing a fun, life-long, global, non-contact, co-ed, team and individual sport.
Founded in 2008 by David Schumacher, a tennis pro, tennis teacher and former women’s tennis coach at Tulane University; and Anna Monhartova, a nationally ranked college player at Tulane, A’s & Ace’s also conducts after school programs, weekend and summer literacy and tennis programs across the city.
St. Mary’s Academy will host young leaders from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) for a special event called Water Palooza on Friday, September 28 from 9am to 2:30pm at St. Mary’s Academy Elementary, 6905 Chef Menteur Blvd, in New Orleans East.
Water Palooza will feature hands-on activities and demonstrations designed to connect the next generation with water, how essential it is to everything, and how we are all responsible for taking care of it.
Organized by WEF’s Students & Young Professionals Committee (SYPC), as part WEFTEC 2018 – WEF’s 91st annual technical exhibition and conference, the event is designed to promote participation, foster networking and knowledge exchange, and encourage involvement in the cause of clean water within the water profession and the local community.
Nearly 300 elementary students from the school will enjoy a program of fun and educational water awareness activities. Activities will include a game about wastewater treatment, learning what you can and cannot flush down a toilet, a hands-on activity about Louisiana’s lines of defense from storm surge, and a demonstration on storm water and infiltration.
St. Mary’s Academy will begin its first full day of classes on Monday, August 13 but students can catch the Maryite spirit even before starting class. The Weeks of Welcome “WOW,” is a series of events and informative seminars geared specifically to getting new and returning students involved and excited about SMA from day one.
The WOW festivities will kick off on Tuesday, August 7 with a Family Bash. The picnic-style event will take place from 5:00-8:00pm on the grounds of the school’s campus located at 6905 Chef Menteur Blvd.
Three gourmet food trucks will participate including Cocoa and Cream Mobile Foods and Catering, Kenny’s Cajun & Creole Food Truck and Valerie’s Snow-Balls and Ice Cream. Additionally, the event will feature kiddie train rides, music, parent/student look-alike contest, manicures, pedicures, facials and other goodies by Spoil Me Rott’n Day Spa.
Admission to the event is free and is open to all SMA students and their families, faculty, staff and alumnae of the school. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, tables and blankets. Food truck items will be sold with costs ranging from $2 to $15. Menu items include chicken and waffles, fish, shrimp, crawfish and oyster po’boys; jerk shrimp tacos, gourmet pretzel burgers, hot sausage po-boys, ya-ka-mein, authentic lamb/beef gyro, hot dogs, ice cream, and snowballs. No outside food and drink will be allowed on campus.
SMA will also host its Welcome Convocation at 8:00AM on Thursday, August 9 in Austin Gymnasium. Signaling the formal beginning of the student academic experience, the Convocation will include messages from the school’s president and principal, keynote address by survivor, evangelist and alumna Anthonise McMorris Davenport and a performance by noted author, educator and alumna Arianne Craig Jolla.
Following the Convocation, students will be treated to a Sister to Sister Dialogue, offering alumnae perspectives on the SMA experience. Rounding out the day will be a Pinning Ceremony for the freshman class, officially signaling their arrival into the high school division.
On Friday, August 10, all students will take part in the Academic B.A.S.H. (Be a Success Here,) featuring seminars on topics such as time management, stress management, testing skills, improving concentration and reading effectively for academic success.
Additional highlights of WOW include a Project LEAD workshop for all students who plan on assuming a leadership role at SMA.
“WOW” is a collaborative, introductory effort to welcome, educate and transition our students to life at St. Mary’s Academy,” says director of Student Affairs Lisa Ross, adding that the events also serve as a vehicle to emphasize expectations, resources and traditions of the school. “Our ultimate goal is to equip all of our students with the necessary resources to navigate the school year with ease and academic success.”
A wide range of science concepts may be learned through cooking, but the logistics can make it difficult to cook in a classroom. Not a problem for kindergarten teacher Theresa Barnhizer who recently taught her preschoolers how to make ice cream using milk, sugar, ice and zip lock bags.
According to experts, making ice cream with preschoolers teaches about how properties of matter can change without having to deal with the potential dangers associated with cooking with a group of children. While an ice cream maker can be an effective tool, making individual portions in a bag is both fun and educational.
St. Mary’s Academy Elementary joined the City of New Orleans in celebrating Geaux Blue Day. September 13th was declared Geaux Blue Day by the NO City Council to demonstrate our appreciation for the New Orleans Police officers and their families.
At SMA, elementary students wore blue and gave officers words of support. They also supplied lunch for all Seventh District Officers.
The SMA Honor Society and the MLK Chapter of the National Honor Society has partnered with The Divine Foundation to collect the following items for the Hurricane Harvey families in Texas:
- Toiletries (Deodorant, Lotion, Soap)
- Underclothes (New and in Plastic) underwear, bras, undershirts, camisoles, socks
- Cleaning Supplies
Years of research has shown that family engagement and student academic achievement are inextricably linked. With that fact in mind, schools have begun to spend more time building the capacity of all the key stakeholders to work together in meaningful ways to improve student achievement.
Building the capacity of families and teachers to work together is the focus of a new pilot program currently being conducted in the SMA Elementary division. The pilot project called Scholastic Family and Community Engagement (FACE), is rooted in the research and best practices of the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships developed by the US Department of Education. Under the umbrella of Scholastic Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Dr. Karen Mapp’s Family Engagement Workshop Series consists of three interactive, full-day workshops that equip district staff and school teams with the tools and strategies needed to enhance student performance and enable systemic school advancement through family partnerships.
- Workshop 1: Redesigning Family Engagement provides foundational training which underscores the link between family engagement and student achievement while also covering the building blocks for elevating family engagement in schools.
- Workshop 2: Designing Family Engagement Activities deepens participants’ understanding of the Dual Capacity Framework and provides expert-guided, interactive exercises.
- Workshop 3: Engaging Families in Learning Throughout the School Year helps participants connect family engagement to student learning goals as they plan for the coming year.
To support today’s students, school districts must make family engagement a priority and high-quality professional opportunities are crucial to ensuring these programs are implemented successfully, said Dr. Karen Mapp. The Family Engagement Workshop Series’provides educators with the training they need to become ongoing partners with families, allowing them to foster student success together.
With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Karen Mapp has been devoted to cultivating partnerships among schools, families and communities for enhancing student achievement and school performance. The building blocks of both the Family Engagement Workshop Series and the Scholastic Literacy Events program are centered on Dr. Mapp’s 3 Prerequisites for successful family-school partnership.
“We are extremely excited to have been chosen for inclusion in the FACE pilot program,” said SMA Lead Elementary teacher Norma Bemiss, adding that all educators can benefit from any tools that help students achieve their full academic potential. “The FACE pilot provides us with a framework to partner with our families and communities to to ensure all students have the opportunity to benefit from the highest quality instruction.”
Darlene Hutchinson was recently named as the new Elementary Coordinator for St. Mary’s Academy. With more than 39 years teaching and leadership experience, Hutchinson, most recently served as a kindergarten teacher, a position she has held since 2006.
Prior to her tenure at SMA, Hutchinson worked at Corpus Christi School for 14 years and Perrault Kiddie Kollege. Additionally, she taught enrichment courses at UNO mini college.
As a proud graduate of St. Mary’s Academy, I have a vested interest and will do whatever it takes to build a legacy of excellence in this position, said Hutchinson, a 1977 alumna. With God’s help and the assistance of administrators I know that all things are possible.
Hutchinson earned a B.A in Education from the University of New Orleans.and also maintains credentials as a Child Development Associate.Read More