September 11, 2017 - Weekly Update

Welcome back, Markers! We had a very active and productive first week of school, as we hope you heard from your children at home! As we had mentioned last spring, the staff wanted to invest a good portion of our first week to preparing for the year. As such, each morning, we focused on a specific topic that included different approaches to helping the kids engage in the topic. (Preschool students, so dependent on learning their routines, wisely opted out of these sessions but will join us later this week for our first Extended Family Time of the year).

In the gym on Tuesday, we cheered for our returning staff, introduced the new staff and students, played a game to learn more about our team, and welcomed new students. We learned a new dance, The Marker Mash, and practiced it just a bit. The middle schoolers then sent the K-5 students out with a "You Matter Gauntlet". The middle school students then remained for a pep talk about the critical role that they will play as servant leaders for the school. By all accounts, they really took the message to heart.

On Wednesday, we met in the cafeteria to address the importance of rules and routines. With examples from our mascot, Leo, we discussed a number of behaviors for the halls, bathrooms, cafeteria, and classroom. We also played an interactive listening game and practiced our new Marker Mash to help bring home this point - and Leo really rocked the dance routine! When the K-5 students returned to class, the middle school students and teachers discussed some particulars about middle school rules. Again, they seemed very engaged and positive.

Thursday's focus on the brain took us into the gym and then onto the playground. We learned about how a person learns new facts and skills, and then we headed to the playground to practice being a synapse in the brain. An activity with water balloons was a memorable way for students to practice this piece. Following the K-5 students' departure, we applauded the middle schoolers for their strong first two days, and we let them know that new responsibilities can come with new fun. To highlight this idea, we had a 6-8 grade water balloon fight. Immediately afterward, they picked up the scraps, so not a trace was left behind.

Finally, on Friday we headed into the church to discuss our faith and appropriate Mass behaviors. This time was both formative and educational for the students who were very attentive. We then went into Carolyn Hall where our teachers had prepared some improvised parable skits. The kids did a great job of guessing the modern parables that the teachers had acted out for them. For the middle schoolers' final session, they watched two short video clips about engaging in the mystery of faith in a more mature way and also about how we approach church to grow from it. They had great conversations following each video.

While the summer presented some changes for us as a school, the first week really could not have gone much better. Our new team of teachers has already been such a blessing to the school. Our 17 transfer students are finding themselves at home, and the year is off and rolling! Things are off to a great start, but we know there will be questions along the way. As such, please be sure to be in touch with your child's teacher or with me, or with a SAC member as concerns arise. This is how we will help one another to succeed at our shared goal of developing our children throughout the year.

God bless each Marker family today and all year.

My best,
Zach Zeckser
Principal

Marker’s Updates

Virtus Training
The Virtus program is the brand name for the National Catholic Risk Retention Group. The program aids in ensuring that there is a better control of risk and an improvement to the lives of everyone who interacts with the Church. By next fall, all Marker parents will need to complete a Virtus training course. Our first course offered on site will be in Carolyn Hall on October 5th from 6-9 pm, but you may go to any. For more information, check out virtusonline.org.

K-5 Recess Change
We have moved from having two morning recesses and are instead offering one long recess before lunch in order to maximize time with the kids. All teachers are making sure to be intentional with brain breaks and activity in the classroom as well.

Uniform (Boy’s hair)
The kids are looking great so far this year! As fashion trends change with the times, so do uniform infractions. Currently, long hair has become more popular with some boys. A few have expressed concern about this, and we are always gentle in our approach. That said, if you think your child may be out of uniform, please do see the handbook for more details and to ensure that children are coming to school in uniform.

SAC 2017-2018
special thank you to our wonderful SAC members-
Steve Rahn (co-chair)
Joan Kerkvliet
Maria Langford
Amy Stitch (co-chair)
Mike Perfect
Mike Halloran
Kelly Zweber
Brian Bergson
Mary Laskowski.
We appreciate all of your hard work!

Pick up and drop off
During morning drop off, please drop off on west-bound of Dayton Avenue and exit quickly. Adults who would like to stay at school for more than a moment are welcome to park in the lot, but for student safety, people may not park during drop off time on Dayton Ave.

During afternoon pick up, it is okay to park in the lot and wait but please do not park on the street to wait. Additionally, please stay and socialize! It is great to catch up with friends, and it is essential that parents remain present to attend to their children on the playground.

News & Events
Boys and girls soccer had their first games this weekend! In a tale of two halves, the 8th grade boys’ team won 8-2 with goals from four different players, including one sixth grade goal. Our goalie didn’t touch the ball in the second half! The 6th grade girls’ team defeated St. Paul Academy by a score of 4-2 with all players from grades 4-6 contributing for the win. Great team play to start the year, kids and coaches!

This week we have our Back to School Nights on Tuesday the 12th and Thursday the 14th. Both evenings begin at 6 pm. Please refer to Principal Zeckser’s email from last week for more information.

All of us Markers have been getting excited about our new school theme song and dance for the year! We are brushing up on our skills here at school and would love if you would do the same. A big thank you to Danielle Robinson-Prater for putting it all together!

Uniform fleeces and crew neck sweatshirts are still available!

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