Back to School Night

Photo Credit: Mr. Aaron Gould

Happy Sunday!

How to Develop a Greater Sense of Motivation in Students is a great article that emphasizes the importance of building healthy motivation without the use of tangible rewards and incentives. As teachers, we are always striving to instill in our students a growth mindset – “the belief that we can change and improve through practice, and that our talents and skills aren’t fixed.” As you read this article, think about the variety of approaches you use at home to motivate your child.

Sue Waters (Edublog support) informed us on Friday that the Edublog mail server has been down. We’ve had a frustrating start to our blogs this year, but hopefully those issues will now be resolved. In the meantime, you may receive an email from your child’s teacher in lieu of a post. Thanks for your patience!

Frozen Fridays
Our 8th graders will be selling frozen treats ($2) every Friday in September to raise money for graduation. Treats are sold outside, in front of the school office.

Coming Up This Week
Monday 9.16
All School Chapel -Eagle Slip Winners recognized

Tuesday 9.17
Class Pictures – official St. Michael’s uniform required (red shirts/khaki bottoms)

Wednesday 9.18
Sibling Pictures 7:30 AM
Individual Pictures – free dress
Half Day dismiss at 12:00 – aftercare available
Faculty/Staff Meeting 12:30-3:30

Thursday 9.19
Fire Drill 10:30
Back to School Night 6:00-7:30

Friday 9.20
Welcome Back Night 5:00-8:00 PM hosted by SMA and Vaqueros. Tacos, hot dogs, and gelato trucks will be on site! Hope to see you there.

The Wildcats beat Texas Tech last night 28-14! GO CATS!

See you tomorrow!
Warm Regards,
Ms. Hart
Lower School Division Director


Renaissance Testing

Happy Sunday!

K-4 Renaissance testing is underway. Students in K/1 are taking the Star Early Literacy test, while grades 2-4 are taking Star Math and Star Reading. Teachers use these initial assessments to identify student competency and to guide instruction. Renaissance is a computer adaptive test, which means the test adapts to each answer a student provides. Students will be taking the test three times this year – September, January, and May.

Eagle Slip Awards
It was such a joy to acknowledge the Eagle Slip Award recipients last week. Each student was recognized in front of their class, received a phone call home, and will be entered in a drawing to eat pizza with me at the end of the month. The kids were beaming from ear to ear!! These students will also be recognized in all school chapel on Monday. This will be the process every single week for the remainder of the year!

Lower School Back to School Night
Please join our K-4 faculty/staff on Thursday, September 19th from 6:00-7:30 for our Back to School Night. Teachers will begin presenting in their classrooms, or a multipurpose room, at 6:00 on various topics related to academics and special events. Following the teacher presentations, everyone will join together in the student center (gym) for a social that will include a brief welcome from our head of school, refreshments, and the chance to meet our enrichment teachers and mingle with parents and faculty. This is a parent only event. We really hope to see you there!

Class/Individual Pictures
Class Pictures – Tuesday, September 17th – students must wear the official St. Michael’s uniform (red top and khaki bottoms).

Individual Pictures – Wednesday, September 18th – students may wear free dress. Please send a change of shoes if your child will be having PE on this day.

Half Day
Wednesday, September 18th is a half day. Students will be dismissed at 12:00. Aftercare will be available.

Coming Up This Week
Wednesday 9.11
First grade will be visiting the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium
Friday 9.13
SMA Coffee Corner 7:30-8:00

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I’m about to go play in my first soccer game in four year – wish me luck!!

Photo Credit (blog header image) – Mr. Aaron Gould

Warm Regards,
Mandy Hart
Lower School Division Director


Happy Labor Day Weekend!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful break! Our family kicked off the weekend with burgers on the grill and football. I always look forward to Labor Day because it signifies the nearness of fall, beloved holidays, and cooler weather.

Morning Greetings
One of the many ways teachers build rapport and establish authentic relationships with students and families is through morning greetings. This routine allows us to set the tone for the day, and take the pulse of each student as they enter the classroom. A smile, fist bump, high five, or “go shine” always makes for a great start. These little daily interactions foster trust and a positive attitude towards school. As you drop off your child this week, see if you can identify the various ways our students are greeted and welcomed to campus by faculty/staff!!

Project Based Learning
Throughout the year our students engage in Project Based Learning, which allows them to solve real world problems while developing critical thinking, communication, and collaborative skills. “Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, complex question, problem, or challenge.” – PBL Works

Do you know the difference between a project and Project Based Learning? Watch the video to learn more!

Projects and Project-Based Learning: What's The Difference?

Projects have been around for…forever. Here's how PBL is different from them.

Posted by Edutopia on Tuesday, May 28, 2019


My Meal Order 
School lunches can only be paid for online through the MyMealOrder site. Lunches are prepared ever day based on the orders that are submitted electronically. We no longer have the ability to accept money the day of. Please use the link to the right to register and get started. If you need further assistance, please contact Tracy Holsinger. Thank you!

Math Club
Our after school math club will begin this Thursday (9.5) for grades 4-6. If you are interested, please check out the flyer!

Grade Level Team Meetings
Collaboration plays a major role in the overall success of our school. Weekly grade level team meetings help facilitate a strong partnership among teachers, and provide consistency throughout each classroom. Every week, grade level teachers engage in rich dialogue related to planning, curriculum, field trips, assessments, homework, student progress, and so much more. As we move through the year, take note of the collaborative efforts our teachers are making to provide consistent, seamless opportunities for all our students at every grade level, in every classroom.

Important Upcoming Events/Reminders

    • Lower School Renaissance Testing Window 9.3 – 9.17
    • Eagle Slips begin this week
    • Hip Hop begins this week on Tuesday at 3:25 in the Smith Center
    • Back to School Night (K-4) 9.19 from 6:00-7:30PM
    • Noon Dismissal 9.18 for teacher inservice – aftercare is available

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your break! Week 3 is about to start!

Warm Regards,
Mandy Hart
Lower School Division Director

PHOTO CREDIT: Mr. Aaron Gould (3rd grade teacher)

Great First Week!

Dear Lower School Families,
Our school year is off to a wonderful start! The students learned about important routines and procedures last week, and they played an active role in determining important classroom rules that foster integrity, responsibility, collaboration, and positive attitudes about self and school. Thank you for helping your child establish important routines and procedures at home too! The best thing you can do for your child these first six to eight weeks is maintain a consistent bedtime schedule. Keep in mind, they are giving 100% every day and may need more sleep than usual. So, turn off those electronics, pick out a favorite book or two, and get them to bed no later than 8:00 PM.

Eagle Slips
Beginning the week of September 2nd we will begin recognizing students for their good works/deeds. St. Michael’s faculty and staff will award ten Eagle Slips a week. Students who receive a slip will be acknowledged at all school chapel on Mondays and will get to put their name in a drawing to eat lunch with me. This is a great way to build community and acknowledge students who go above and beyond to help others and demonstrate strength of character. You will also receive a phone call from me, letting you know that your child has received an Eagle Slip. It’s all very exciting!

Intake Conferences
This is the last week for intake conferences. If you haven’t met with your child’s teacher, please do so! This is a great time to become acquainted with teacher expectations and share information about your child with the teacher.

After School Specials
Karate, Chess, and LEGO Engineering classes all begin this week. Karate (Monday) and Chess (Wednesday) will begin at 3:30 in the Smith Parish Center. LEGO Engineering (Friday) will begin at 3:20 in Ms. Allen’s ART/MUS room. Students who are signed up for these after school activities will be walked over by their classroom teacher at the end of the day. If you are interested in signing your child up for one of these after school classes, please contact Mary Virginia in the front office.

Into the Woods Musical
Auditions for Into the Woods, our St. Michael’s Musical for this school year, will be held Monday and Tuesday afternoon, August 26 and 27, and the first read-through rehearsal is on September 3, at 3:30. Interested students must sign up for a five-minute time slot on the Music Room door and prepare a short song of their choice to sing a capella. This audition is open to 4th through 8th grade students. Please contact Tony Antista ( with any questions.

Renaissance Testing
The first round of Renaissance Star 360 standardized testing (Reading & Math) will take place September 3rd – 17th. K/1 students will take the Star Early Literacy Test, while grades 2-4 will take the Star Math and Star Reading.

Labor Day
There is no school Monday, September 2nd due to Labor Day! Enjoy!

Back to School Night
Mark your calendar for the Lower School Back to School Night on Thursday, September 19th from 6:00-7:30 PM. This is a parent only event, so please make any necessary arrangements. This is a great opportunity to talk with your child’s teacher, review curriculum materials, ask questions, and meet our enrichment teachers. It will be a fun and informative night!

Week two here we come! See you all tomorrow.

Warm Regards,
Ms. Hart
Lower School Division Director