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December 2017

Federation of Catholic Schools
United and 
Alive in Christ
News from the North County
Federation of Catholic Schools

Prepare the way ... 3

Preparing the Way for the Lord:
School Communities Serve & Pray 
this Advent Season

Students and teachers at the 10 schools of our Federation have been preparing the way for the Lord this Advent season.  From prayer services and retreats to Advent concerts and service projects, their work and offerings are a blessing and inspiration to our community.  Here are a few examples:

  • Blessed Teresa of Calcutta students donated bread, meat & cheese and made sandwiches to feed the hungry through St. Vincent De Paul Parish. They are also preparing to collect birthday party celebration supplies in January.
  • Christ, Light of the Nations student council members are "helping others follow Jesus from head to toe" by leading two services projects this month - collecting nonperishable foods for Helping Hands food pantry and new warm socks to distribute to the homeless. 
  • Holy Spirit Kindergarten and 5th grade students worked together to build a fabulous Gingerbread City of St. Louis. Check out a video slideshow of the finished product.
  • Holy Trinity students selected ornaments from the Angel Tree and purchased small gifts for those in need. Students also participated in Christmas Caroling at Heritage House. Learn more in the school's December newsletter.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe students showed their dancing skills performing for guests at the OLG EncounterPoint breakfast.  The students participate in the Dancing Classrooms program. St. Ferdinand and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta students also participate in St. Louis Dancing Classrooms.
  • Sacred Heart students are focusing on being God-Centered in December. Here are a few examples of how teachers saw this virtue in their students so far this month.
  • IMG_1537 3St. Ann students continued their "Filled with Love Bags" Food Chain tradition and delivered over 200 bags of non-perishable food items to their neighboring Caritas Food Pantry. Their delivery method is unique - they form a human chain and pass the bags across the parking lots.
  • St. Ferdinand students performed their Advent concert and portions were streamed live on the parish's Facebook page so that friends and family who could not attend could still enjoy the spirit of the children's singing. Check out the archived videos here.
  • St. Norbert Student Council sponsored a toy drive to benefit "Friends of Kids with Cancer."  This organization maintains a toy closet at the children's hospitals so the child cancer patient can choose a gift after one of their serious treatments. 
  • St. Rose Philippine Duchesne students gather for a prayer service each Monday morning during Advent. Check out this video of the primary grades sharing an Advent song.  4th and 5th grade students at St. Rose also recently participated in a mini-retreat led by The REAP Team. 
REAP Team Retreat

SSM Health DePaul Physician and Nurse Visit BTC Middle School Students
Mrs. O'Connell, science teacher at BTC, invited Dr. Patel and Nurse Mary Moran to speak to her science students in grades 6-8.  These local health professionals led the students in great conversations about wellness in four main areas: physical, social, intellectual and spiritual.  In this brief video hear the conversation about the importance of sleep to all areas of wellness!

Updates on 
New Partnership School 
The principals and pastors at St. Ferdinand, St. Norbert and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Schools have been working closely with the Director of North County Elementary Schools to move forward with the new Partnership School for the 2018-19 school year.  A Parent Advisory Committed is meeting regularly, and names of the members of the new board of directors have been submitted to Archbishop Carlson.  Stay tuned! Information and updates will be posted to this web page: as more details about the new school become available.  

ArchStl Podcasts
Did you know the Archdiocese produces several podcasts? Check out this "Word of Mouth" podcast, led by Michael Horn, Evangelization Coordinator in the Office of Laity and Family Life:

Upcoming Events 
Christmas is almost here! Looking for last-minute opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or a reminder of your parish Mass times on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Browse the parish bulletins for a wealth of information about events and activities that our parishes and schools are hosting in the coming weeks. You can access each parish's weekly bulletin online through these links.

Spread the Word! Follow our Schools and Parishes on Facebook

Many of our Federation schools and parishes are becoming more active on social media, especially Facebook.  Please consider "Liking" these pages on Facebook and sharing their posts when something may be of interest to your network! You can also catch a glimpse of the many great academic programs and service opportunities that our Catholic school students engage in throughout their days!

Think about why you choose (or chose if you have alumni) a Catholic school for your children. Share your thoughts on social media or simply in conversation with friends and family members.
    And, most importantly, PRAY for our students, teachers, principals, pastors, parishioners and all who support Catholic education in our community.

    Other North County Catholic institutions are also on Facebook - be sure to follow them, too!

    Know of someone who would be interested in hearing about our Catholic Schools?  Forward this message to a friend and invite them to join our e-mail list. 
    imagesFollow us on Twitter

    STREAMing up Curriculum: Coding and Robotics
    Teachers are are continuing to explore new ways to use technology in the classroom and beyond this year. With access to Chromebooks and a lead technology teacher (Google-certified) at each campus, there is an increasing amount of experimenting and exploring going on!  This was made possible by the $100,000 Beyond Sunday Academic Capacity Enhancement Grant received by the Federation of Catholic Schools for the 2017-18 school year.
         For the past five years, students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta have participated in the Hour of Code, which they did again the first week in December.  St. Rose Philippine Duchesne started an after-school Robotics Club for middle school students last year, and is continuing this year with the addition of a program for younger students.  
        The two St. Rose middle school robotics teams competed in the FIRST Lego League Robotics Competition (also hosted at St. Rose) on Dec. 2-3 and both teams advanced to the regional championship to be held at Florissant Valley Community College on Saturday, January 13.  
    SRPD Robotics
         The Federation's marketing commission is planning an "expo" event this spring featuring the various STREAM activities that are underway at our schools. If you would like to help plan this event, please contact Cara Koen at 314-537-3174 or send an e-mail.

    Program Enhancement Grants Available to all North County Schools
    As was announced in February with the Renaissance in Catholic Education, there are grant funds available through the Catholic Education Office for 2018-19 program enhancements at north county Catholic schools.  Principals have been given an application to submit to Rick Danzeisen by January 12th.  Schools will be notified of funding awards in February.  It will be exciting to watch for what our schools will be able to accomplish with these grants!

    Sounds of the Season - Watch Channel 2 on Christmas Day
    As we prepare to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we are pleased to announce that HEC TV will air two outstanding Catholic programs on Christmas Day from 3 to 5 pm KTVI, Channel 2. Read more...