catholic schools week

Students eager for parents’ help in growing in faith

Our Lady School eighth-grader Vincent Mueller answered a question from principal Tracy Kempfer in religion class. Mueller and his classmates desire more guidance and help from their parents in preparation for confirmation.

At the beginning of the school year, Tracy Kempfer posed a simple question to eighth-graders at Our Lady School in Festus.

"I asked them, 'What do you need from your parents to help you prepare for confirmation?'" said Kempfer, who teaches religion to the eighth-graders in addition to serving as school principal. "I gave them a piece of paper and they just wrote their thoughts out."

The consensus of the anonymous responses struck at the heart of the Catholic faith and the realities of being Catholic — even a young Catholic — in this day and age. The students wanted their parents to ...

Federation of Catholic Schools fosters collaboration

St. Angela Merici eighth-grader Jeremiah King talked on camera about what makes the school great and, pointing to a picture of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, said, “this guy’s cool.” Cara Koen, director of advancement for the Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools, visited with students at the schools of the federation to shoot a video.

Cara Koen aimed her iPhone at the young student standing in front of a brightly colored bulletin board at St. Norbert School. "OK, let's do the come-and-explore part again," she told second-grader Cadence Levin.

Koen visited the Florissant school earlier this month to shoot video promoting Catholic Schools Week. As director of advancement for the Federation of Catholic Schools in the Northeast Deanery, such work is a regular part of Koen's routine.

Incarnate senior credits God for leading her to twirling, diagnosis of rare medical condition

Incarnate Word Academy senior Julia Jones says baton twirling gives her a “freeing feeling.” Jones was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, in which the brain grows outside of the skull, crushing the spinal cord. This led to a second condition, Syringomyelia, the formation of a cyst in the spinal chord, leading to nerve damage.

Watching Julia Jones twirl a baton has a mesmerizing effect. The metal baton glides through her hands with ease and across her arms and shoulders, as she twists and spins to catch it with every toss.

Julia described it as a freeing feeling. "My mind goes completely blank and all I am doing is focusing on my baton," said the senior at Incarnate Word Academy.

Never-give-up attitude prevails at Most Holy Trinity Academy

De Smet Jesuit High School sophomore Cameron Rodgers played one-on-one basketball with Most Holy Trinity eighth-grader Davion Ford. Cameron is part of the “Give Back” work- study program at Access Academies, in which graduates of the academies who are in high school or college return to provide assistance and mentoring to current students.

Cameron Rodgers is comfortable at De Smet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, where the sophomore excels in the classroom and on the football field and track.

That comfort level is matched or exceeded at Most Holy Trinity Academy in north St. Louis, where he serves as a tutor and assistant basketball coach. He's an effective leader, assisting the grade-schoolers with their studies and athletic skills.

Partnerships help school with hands-on learning

Students at St. Francis of Assisi School participate in Project Lead the Way-Launch program that empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through activities, projects and problems that build upon each other. Third-graders Max Rekart and Colin Burton tweaked their airplane before the first test flight of the “Shark III”model glider as a lesson on aerodynamics.

St. Francis of Assisi School kindergarten teacher Erika Zambo turned to a student and said, "I like your bones." To another student, she asked, "Can I have your bones?"

The students took part in "The Structure and Function of the Human Body," one of 24 interdisciplinary modules of Project Lead the Way-Launch that bring learning to life. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through activities, projects and problems that build upon each other.

No napping at your desk in Vianney’s 360 Math classes

St. John Vianney High School has installed high-tech glass boards in its math classrooms for a program known as 360 Math. Matthew Thomas, a sophomore, worked on a geometry problem given by his teacher, Robert Prost, as the class worked on the boards surrounding the classroom.

Xy=42

xz+zy=xy

Substitution

3(n+4)+3n=42

3n+12+3n=42

6n+12=42

n=5

It was midday, gloomy outside and students filed in for a 90-minute geometry class. at St. John Vianney High School.

Time for a nap at your desk, you might say?

Not for St. John Vianney High School's 360 Math program, where all students worked through math problems on quarter-inch-thick glass writing boards attached to every wall in the classroom.

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