Progress Reports

Hello Lower School!

Yesterday our K-4 students were treated to Pinocchio, performed by Live Theater Workshop. The adaptation was complete with unique costumes and characters, and held true to the moral of the original story, emphasizing truth, integrity, and compassion. The actors and directors held a ten minute Q & A after the show, providing students the opportunity to get the inside scoop on how to write a play, the amount of time it takes to put a show together, and how they managed to get Pinocchio’s nose to actually grow! Thank you to Ms. Allen for organizing this wonderful experience for us!

Vision/Hearing/Speech Screenings
This week our students will participate in speech, hearing, and vision screenings.
Monday & Friday – speech (Kyle Meades, speech therapist)
Tuesday & Thursday – hearing (Nurse Erika Huff)
Friday – vision (Arizona Lions Vision & Hearing Foundation)
These screenings are free to you. If you do not want your child to participate, please let your child’s classroom teacher know by Monday. You will be notified of results only if your child is recommended for further evaluation.

Progress Reports
Your child will receive their first progress report on Wednesday, inside the Eagle Express folder. These progress reports provide an overview of how your child is currently performing academically and socially. These reports are a great way to acknowledge student strengths and weaknesses, and identify specific goals moving forward. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

Grandparents Day! – and Special Friends:)
We are thrilled to be hosting a special Grandparents Day October 18th! We have some very special activities planned including a welcome breakfast, a performance by our advanced choir, photo ops, and an opportunity to spend time with grandchildren in their classroom. If your child will not have a grandparent present, please feel free to invite a special friend to join instead. This could be an aunt, uncle, cousin, or close family friend! Be on the look out for more information in the coming weeks.

New Parent Reception
This Wednesday (10.2) we will be hosting a New Parent Reception from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Smith Parish Center. This is a social, providing new families with the opportunity to mingle while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine. I hope to see you there!

Over the last seven years I’ve found St. Michael’s to be much more than just a school. It has always felt more like a family that celebrates success, faces challenges together, values integrity, perseveres, and sets the standard for commitment to children. We are stronger together, and it is our kids who ultimately reap the benefits. This is an incredible K-8 journey we are on together, and it is a true blessing to be part of a school family that cares deeply and supports one another.

This Week
Monday 9.30
All School Chapel
Speech Screening
Musical Rehearsal 3:30
Karate 3:30

Tuesday 10.1
Value of the Month – Love
Hearing Screening
Hip Hop
Musical Rehearsal
8th Grade Fundraiser at Chipotle 6501 E. Grant Rd 4:00-8:00

Wednesday 10.2
SMA Meeting 8:05 AM
New Parent Welcome 6:30-8:00 Smith Parish Center

Thursday 10.3
Hearing Screening
K-4 STEM Club
4-6 Math Club

Friday 10.4
3rd Grade Bake Sale 7:30-8:00
Speech & Vision Screening
LEGO Class

Have a wonderful weekend!

Warm Regards,
Ms. Hart
Lower School Director

Thanks for a great week!

Hello Lower School Families!
Thank you for coming to our K-4 Back to School Night last Thursday! It was a wonderful opportunity for us to present important information, and for parents and teachers to socialize and get to know each other better. I received great feedback and will look to keep the same format for next year.

Friday’s Welcome Back Night was also a huge success! My favorite part was definitely the soccer game. Our kids showed off some serious skills, and our faculty brought their A game. It would be great to make it a new St. Michael’s tradition. I’d like to thank SMA, Vaqueros, Back Up Bakers, and Sean Pollard for all the work they put into preparing for the event. The hanging lights, food trucks, baked goods, games, and beautifully decorated campus made for a lovely evening. Thank you to all!!

So, what is the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)? The Renaissance Star Reading test provides teachers with individual ZPD scores for each student. These results help students select leveled books within a reading range specific to their skills that foster growth without frustration. Click here for more information.

How to Support Your Young Introvert is a great article that discusses a variety of strategies to develop strength and confidence within introverted children.

This Week
Monday 9.23
All School Chapel
Karate 3:30
Musical Rehearsal 3:30 – Full Cast

Tuesday 9.24
Division Directors Meeting 1:00
Pizza Lunch with Ms. Hart (parents will be informed of winners Monday)
Musical Rehearsal 3:30 – please check the Into the Woods Google Classroom for the list of needed cast.

Wednesday 9.25
Faculty Renaissance Training 3:45 English Room
Recycle Day – Thank you Student Council
Chess 3:30
Co-ed Flag Football – away at Casas Christian
Girls’ Volleyball – away at Leman Marana

Thursday 9.26
Lock Down Drill 1:45
Math Club 3:30
STEM Club 3:30
Girls’ Volleyball – home vs. Desert Christian

Friday 9.27
Pinocchio Theater Performance 10:00-11:00 (K-4) in the student center
LEGO Club 3:30
Last Frozen Friday

Last week, during our faculty inservice, our teachers participated in some Minute To Win It games! These are wonderful team building activities that can easily be incorporated into the classrooms. Such fun!!

I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Warm Regards,
Ms. Hart
Lower School Division Director

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)