National Junior Honor Society Induction 2017

On Friday, September 15, the St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society inducted three new members.  Our Principal, Mr. Priest and the  NJHS advisors, Mrs. Teri Lerch and Mr. Joel Munyon, along with the current members, welcomed the new inductees in a formal ceremony that celebrated the qualities that are the hallmarks of the society. Student members resolved to carry out the five pillars of Character, Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Citizenship.  The new inductees included eighth grader Ryan O. and seventh graders Caleb B. and Jacquelyn K. They were ushered into the NJHS by our existing eighth grade members Luke A., Vince C., Ian M., Scarlett O., Julia P., and Alex P.

True to the mandate given to these young people during their induction, our NJHS students strive to be "servant leaders". NJHS members work throughout the year to foster the touchstones of NJHS by sponsoring projects that benefit the community, our parishes, and St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School.  We are very proud of these hard-working students. 

Kindergarten Learns to Use QR Codes

The Kindergarten students are learning how to access on-line storybooks using QR codes! They learned how to do this with the iPads and the Quafter app during computer class. Now they will be ready to use their new skills in their classroom with Mrs. Fleming during their Daily Five reading sessions. Learning to read is so exciting!

Apple Activities in First Grade

Our first graders learn all about apples during the Fall season! Last week, they performed many apple explorations. They learned that apples do float in water. The students tried balancing apples on top of one another. They also tried to balance apples on their own heads! First graders combined apples and geometry by forming geometric shapes with cut up apple pieces and toothpicks. The children are also creating a diagram of an apple tree in all four seasons in the computer lab and they will be graphing the results of other apple investigations they will do in the classroom. Apples are amazing!

STEM at St. Als/St. Pats: Eighth Grade Airplane Design

Our eighth-grade students are introduced to the art of designing airplanes through paper airplane constructions. The goal is for our students to learn aircraft design considerations and how engineers must test their designs to achieve success. They learn about the use of flaps that can be found on any airplane and their functions. This prepares students for the associated activity in which they first make and test several paper airplane designs. 

The students pictured here experimented with constructing airplanes with flaps and without flaps and then investigated which flew farther. Each group of students used their own original designs and they carried out their trials using good scientific method. 

The Eighth Grade Leadership Mass

We can tell that we are officially back to school when our eighth grade class accepts the mantle of leadership during our traditional Leadership Mass.

All week, the eighth grade students developed and led our morning prayers---helping to prove that they are ready to be the leaders of the school.  

During the Liturgy on Friday, September 8, the eighth grade class pledged to use their gifts and talents to lead and to carry out the Celtic Mission. They prepared for this commitment by reading and listening to speeches by prominent Americans and leaders of our Church; they examined the characteristics of effective leaders. Although they know that they are still learning, they pledged to do their best to be leaders for the school and for their younger classmates. 

Throughout the year our eighth grade leaders will help us understand the gifts we have been given by God and how He expects us to use them to actualize our theme, We Are One Body. They will help us work together to make our school community and our world a better place. 

Lemont Keepataw Parade: Proud to Be Celtics!

Many of our teachers and students represented our school in the Lemont Heritage Days Keepataw Parade on Saturday, September 2. Our float depicted our school theme, We Are One Body, and featured the class silhouette creations. The St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School contingent marched with Celtic pride!

The Opening School Liturgy for 2017-18: We Are One Body

No matter how many days of school have already gone by, it is our opening Mass that really starts the year. This special liturgy actualizes our theme for the year, We Are One Body, in an artistic and creative way thanks to the work of all of the children and the school community. This year, each class created a silhouette of a child that symbolized the gifts and talents each individual brings to the whole community.  Special mention must be made about the extraordinary contributions of time and talent from Mr. and Mrs. Bruno for the original conception and woodworking.  

On Friday, September 1, the entire school community gathered for our opening celebration liturgy. The unique silhouettes created by each class will serve as a constant reminder this year of our theme. We are Celtics...Living Our Mission....and We Are One Body. Father Brian's homily spoke to the fact that we are all called to contribute our gifts and talents to the whole community, and that if one part of the whole is missing the community is diminished. He told a story of a teacher who illustrated this concept with a puzzle. Finally, the entire school community stood and recited and recommitted to our Celtic Mission statement.

We are Celtics:

Carrying out the mission of Christ,

Excelling in academics,

Leading by promoting respect, integrity, discipline, and citizenship,

Teaching a foundation of right judgment, values, and confidence needed for a life of success and purpose,

Instilling a commitment to serving others according to Gospel values,

Celebrating our varied cultures, heritage, learning styles, and social backgrounds, and

Sharing the Word of God through prayer, worship, and example.

STEM at St. Als/St. Pats School: Science Safety Songs

Each year, Mrs. O'Hara challenges her eighth grade science students to review the science lab safety rules in a creative and entertaining way. Captured here on video are the safety rules set to song by the students. The students did a fine job performing their musical parodies and taught important lessons along the way.

Welcome PreSchool Students!

St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School is happy to welcome our youngest students! Our three and four year old preschool students started this week. We are so excited to have them begin their school career with us.

Chromebooks Add to Our Technology Integration for Learning

We are pleased to offer a one to one Chromebook program for our junior high students in sixth through eighth grade.These devices enable teachers to deliver content and learning opportunities enhanced by technology all day long. They will further boost student's technology skills and empower our children to do increasingly complex and creative work.
 
There are additional Chromebooks available in the Collaborative Learning Center so that children in grades three through five can also have occasional experiences with these devices.  Our students experience computer use on regular PC computers, iPads, and now also Chromebooks. They will be prepared for a variety of technology platforms when they leave our school.

The First Grade Commits to Kindness

Every year, Mrs. Gottardo invites Mrs. Yakes to come into her first grade classroom to read one of her favorite stories.....the story of Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. The first graders listened to the story and understood the hurt feelings of the main character. After the story was finished, the children tried to repair a torn and crumpled flower in much the same way that we might try to make up for hurtful things we say or do. They noticed that even though the flower got put back together, it was not as smooth and pretty as it was at the beginning. Even though we may try to make up for unkind words, they still leave their mark. The children decided that it was best to use kind words only!

STEM at St. Als/St. Pats: Our Eclipse Experience

Thanks to some early planning by our Science teacher, Mrs. O'Hara, our third through eighth grade students were able to view the eclipse that occurred on August 21. The students used special viewing glasses and the the clouds broke just in time for us to get a clear view of the eclipse. Students learned ahead of time about the unique set of circumstances that needed to align in order for the eclipse to occur. Our youngest students also participated by watching the NASA coverage of the eclipse in the Collaborative Learning Center. There are plans to share our viewing glasses with school children in Chile where an eclipse will occur in 2019. Events such as this connect us to other parts of our country and other parts of the world and universe.

The Class of 2018 Symbolizes Our School Theme

Each eighth grader chose a color of sand and layered the colors in one vase to symbolize how individual beings come together to work as one body. Then each class member poured a bit of his or her sand into the "heart" of each classmate to remind us all how we will work together as one, bringing our individual talents to the whole for a wonderful year. We wear the hearts on our necks as a symbol of unity and placed our vase on our prayer table to remind us of our goal to be ONE BODY.

Welcome Back to School! Meet the Teacher Day....

Students and parents took time to come in on August 17 to meet the teachers and drop off supplies. Our school community is ready for a great school year during which we will live out our theme: We Are One Body.