The School of The Month for February is St. Bonaventure School in Huntington Beach.
At St. Bonaventure School there has been a concerted effort to create a strong focus on 21st century Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum. Teachers and staff are constantly finding new and exciting ways to engage learners in activities that encompass these areas. One example of their commitment to STEM is a field study trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This field study trip gave students the opportunity to connect their science lessons with real world experiences such as launching rockets and building robots. St. Bonaventure students had the privilege of experiencing an exclusive private tour which included viewing of mission control, replicas of rovers and the clean room where rockets and satellites are assembled. Students also saw the beginnings of the building of the next Mars spacecraft due to launch 2021. St. Bonaventure learners were able to connect NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) that they are currently learning in the classroom to what the engineers are doing at JPL every day. Thanks to this incredible opportunity St. Bonaventure student academic ambitions are “out of this world!”
For more information visit https://StBonaventureschool.org/
The School of The Month for January is St. Pius V. Parish School in Buena Park.
Every day, the faculty and students at St. Pius V. Catholic School realize that it is a blessing to be in a Catholic school but it is especially evident during the Advent and Christmas seasons, as they are reminded to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” At this time of year, they are reminded of the need to “make every mountain low” by searching their hearts and minds for the things that make them feel above others – sins like jealousy, greed, dishonesty – and confess them to the priests and experience the amazing gift of reconciliation with God and their community.
It is also a time that they “raise the valleys” – a time that they lift up those in need. As a school community, they do this in many ways but, most importantly, they do this by giving.
During the month of December, St. Pius V. Parish School participated in several community drives. This year, the school donated over 200 toys to “Giving Children Hope”, a non-profit organization, located in Buena Park, which works with vulnerable children and families. Over 50 bags of food were donated to the St. Vincent DePaul Society to help feed the hungry in our community. Additionally, St. Pius V. families donated over 800 pounds of shoes to the Knights of Columbus Shoe Drive. The money from this shoe drive was used to provide a free shopping trip for Buena Park children in need. The TK and Kindergarten classes host a special service project called “Get a Smile, Give a Smile”, in support of Smile Train, a non-profit organization that provides free cleft lip and palate surgery to children in over 80 developing countries. Although the goal was to help three children, thanks to this project, St. Pius V. Parish School was able to raise enough money to help 11 children. Finally, to spread the love and joy of this Christmas season with their families and parishioners, all of their students share the wonder of the Christmas story through an original play, filled with Advent and Christmas music.
To see what makes St. Pius V. Parish School such a wonderful, loving community, visit their website to schedule a tour.
The School of The Month for December is Saint Justin Martyr Catholic School in Anaheim.
At a time when there is growing violence and distrust in the United States, it is more important than ever to build relationships and understanding between various groups through education and personal narrative. On Wednesday, October 11th, Orange Crescent School in Garden Grove was invited by the seventh grade class at Saint Justin Martyr School in Anaheim in an effort to build interfaith relationships and dialogue between Muslims and Catholics. A group of eighth grade students, their two teachers, and a few parents graciously accepted an invitation to visit the school and present the Muslim faith from a personal perspective. Catholic students listened respectfully, as their peers presented information about everything from prayer to cultural traditions. The adults then fielded questions from the students and presented each seventh grader with the gift of their name in Arabic. After taking pictures, shaking hands, and promising a reciprocal visit to Orange Crescent School everyone present realized that this was a wonderful first step toward tolerance and that the foundations had been laid for a new friendships. Saint Justin Martyr School also recently hosted a visit with Rabbi Michael Mayersohn who spoke with grades 5-8 about Judaism and the Holocaust, and they hope to host a visit from a Hindu priest later in the year. Hopefully, these visits will build new bridges in the school community and beyond.
For more information on Saint Justin Martyr School, visit their website at www.SJM-K8.com.
The School of The Month for November is St. Polycarp Catholic School in Stanton.
St. Polycarp has been named to the prestigious Blended Learning Universe index. This honor officially designates them a Blended Learning Universe (BLU) School. Presently, only 560 schools worldwide, both public and private, have received this designation. St. Polycarp Catholic School is one of only three recognized BLU schools in Orange County and the only recognized Catholic School in Southern California.
The Blended Learning Universe is an online center of blended learning resources for educators and parents. The BLU is managed by the Clayton Christensen Institute. This nonprofit research organization is highly respected for their research in blended learning and the ability of blended practices to provide a more equitable, personalized learning environment for all students.
A blended learning approach allows for a more personalized learning experience. All students are given the tools to succeed, based on their individual needs. While blended learning does include both face-to-face and online learning, simply having computers or tablets in a classroom does not constitute blended learning. It must also include some element of student agency over their learning. To encourage this, students are taught in small groups through a station rotation process. According to the Principal, Alison Daley, group activities include: “small teacher group, various digital adaptive programs, independent/collaborative practice, and project based activities (incorporating the 4 C’s: creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking).”
For more information on St. Polycarp School, visit https://StPolycarpSchool.org/ or to schedule a school visit, call Principal Alison Daley at (714) 893-8882
The School of the Month for October is St. Anne Parish School
St. Anne Parish School in Santa Ana has been the recipient of many generous donors in the past, but this time St. Anne is the one doing the giving. The students were moved by the devastation that occurred in Texas and wanted to help. Sister Teresa, the principal at St. Anne, has a close connection with one of the Catholic schools that suffered immense flooding. Through Notre Dame’s Latino Enrollment Institute program, Sister Teresa was connected to St. Catherine of Siena in Fort Arthur, Texas. Both schools benefit from the myriad of workshops and support offered by Notre Dame.
The Student Council planned a Relaxed Dress Day where students donated $2.00 towards repairs to St. Catherine of Siena. Together, the students raised a total of $500. Helping St. Catherine ignited a desire to continue to help others. This time their sight is set on those affected by the earthquake in Mexico City. The goal has been set at $500, but the students are confident that they can surpass this goal.
Service to others, and in particular the Corporal and Spiritual Words of Mercy, is a big part of St. Anne’s Catholic Identity. Students believe in giving back regardless of how much they can give. Visit www.SaintAnneSchool.net or call (714) 542-9328 to learn more about the school and the many service projects the students participate in.
The School of the Month for September is St. Junipero Serra Catholic School
Siempre Adelante – Always Forward. These words are what inspired a group of concerned parents to approach their Pastors over 20 years ago about the feasibility of establishing a much-needed Catholic elementary school for their children in South Orange County. Their commitment and determination resulted in the doors opening to 250 students in September of 1995. St. Junipero Serra Catholic School now serves 1,000 students from preschool through eighth grade, and remains a leading, Catholic faith-based school in the Diocese of Orange. Today, SJSC parents remain at the very heart of the school just as they did 23 years ago. Many gifted parents and grandparents give so generously of their time and talent for the benefit of the students and the future of SJSC.
St. Junipero Serra Catholic School seeks to provide students with a moral center, a virtues-based education, and a challenging curriculum for all types of learners, nurturing curiosity and inspiring the love of learning through innovation, investigation, and imagination. As the largest elementary school in the Diocese of Orange, SJSC offers the opportunities for students to thrive, whether in athletics, academics, community service or faith formation. However, what St. Junipero Serra Catholic School is most proud of is the “small school” sense of community that is prevalent in the classroom, on the playground, at school Mass, fundraising functions, sporting events, and anywhere SJSC students, parents and staff come together. It is a community filled with the loving charism of Christ, which is taught to the students and reflected in all aspects of the school’s life.
Today, St. Junipero Serra Catholic School maintains to live by Siempre Adelante… Always Forward. SJSC continues to grow and anxiously awaits the completion of the sacred Chapel that will bring the Blessed Sacrament to the campus along with a Student Creation Center (STEAM education and the Arts education), administration wing and parent hub. This project will complete the final phase of the school’s permanent structure development. A groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated by the Most Reverend Bishop Kevin W. Vann of the Diocese of Orange on Monday, April 3, 2017. The final phase of development is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018, with the dedication of the Chapel October 6, 2018.
Learn more about St. Junipero Serra Catholic School by attending one of their Meet & Greet or Open House events or visit www.Serraschool.org. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram. To schedule a tour of our beautiful 10-acre campus, contact Shirley Merchant at email@example.com, (949) 888-1990 ext. 123.
The School of the Month for August is Mater Dei High School
Located in the heart of Santa Ana, Mater Dei High School has a long history of excellent academics and strong community building. For over a decade Mater Dei has invited incoming 6th grade students from Saint Anne, Saint Barbara, Saint Joseph and School of Our Lady for a summer enrichment Junior Monarch program. The five week program offers these students enrichment classes, field trips, athletics and performing arts. The culmination of the program ends with a heartwarming awards ceremony and graduation where families come to recognize the students’ hard work. This year students had the honor of a special message from Bishop Vann.
Mater Dei works diligently to help students continue their Catholic education through high school. Contact the admissions office to set up a tour!
The School of the Month for July is Blessed Sacrament School
Helen, a 7th grade student at Blessed Sacrament School in Westminster, is an excellent example of what makes the school so special. Helen was recently awarded the title of Grand National Champion for her grade level in the annual Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Contest. For this outstanding achievement, Helen received an engraved trophy and a check for $1,000.00.
Mrs. Joanna Peters, her 7th grade homeroom teacher, will also receive a round trip flight to attend the Zaner-Bloser conference in Orlando this summer, 3-4 nights lodging, and admittance to the conference, in addition to a framed certificate from Master Penman, Michael Sull.
Blessed Sacrament School takes great pride in promoting the importance of penmanship to their student body, believing it to be an important foundation for academic success. From an early age, students are taught the four ‘S’ rules: size, shape, spacing and slant.
Please call 714-893-7701 or visit www.bsscatholic.org to learn more about all of the diverse learning opportunities the school has to offer students in Preschool-8th grade.
Schools That Make a Difference, Schools that Produce Results
The Orange Catholic Foundation’s annual Conference in Business and Ethics continues to be an essential event for the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Orange. Thanks in part to this conference, schools are able to offer financial assistance and change the lives of children in the community. See for yourself why we can proudly say, “Catholic schools of the Diocese of Orange are Schools that make a difference, Schools that produce results.”
The School of the Month for May is Holy Family Cathedral School in Orange.
Holy Family Cathedral School is a Preschool-8th grade school located in the city of Orange. The school prides itself on excellent curriculum with a great history of project based learning. An example of this is the much anticipated “Greek Day.” Every spring the 6th grade students from Holy Family learn what it’s like to live in Ancient Greece for a day. This unique event, “Life in Ancient Greece”, gives the students an opportunity to demonstrate what they’ve learned and researched about Ancient Greece. Preparation for this event starts around a month beforehand. Students first brainstorm ideas and work in teams to create a unique product to enhance the class experience in the Greek Marketplace. The students also learn debate skills as they formulate their opening statements for the debates on topics important to preteens that the students will vote on at the Marketplace. The sixth graders are assigned teams, named after Greek city-states, and design posters that relate to their research about their city-state. Finally, they learn how to make a Greek toga/chiton to wear for the big day.
Project Based Learning is just one of the many ways Holy Family Cathedral School’s curriculum stands out. Come and see our students and all of their hard work on May 12, 2017 or call to schedule a tour!