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May 2017

Federation of Catholic Schools
United and 
Alive in Christ
News from the Federation 
of Catholic Schools
sendoff 3Congratulations to more than 200 8th graders who are graduating from our North County elementary schools this week and are ready to move on to do great things in high school! May God Bless each of them as they continue to grow into faithful Christian citizens. 

Sharing Strengths: Beyond Sunday Grant to Help Teachers Focus on Differentiated Instruction
     Sharing strengths is one of the biggest benefits of the collaborative programs of the Federation of Catholic Schools. What started as one new principal's passion is now blooming into an opportunity for all schools in the Federation to tap into the benefits of differentiated instruction and promote continued academic excellence at all north county Catholic schools.
     Last August, when Mrs. Rebecca Nestor started her first year as a principal at St. Norbert in Florissant, one of her main goals as a new principal was to bring her passion for differentiated instruction (DI) to the school.  "Every child is going to learn something new every day, and differentiated instruction can make that happen," said Mrs. Nestor.
St. Norbert Kindergarten
     After learning more about the Beyond Sunday grants and the collaboration of the Federation of Catholic Schools, Mrs. Nestor teamed up with her fellow north county principals, the Federation's director of advancement, Cara Koen, and Sacred Heart School's learning consultant, Susan Gieseke, to develop a grant project that the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri announced in March that they would fully fund: $100,000 for "Empowering North County Catholic School Teachers and Students for the Future Using Google Classrooms, Blended Learning and Differentiation." (See the recent St. Louis Review article about all projects being funded by the Beyond Sunday ACE Grant.)
      Through this project, all teachers in the Federation of Catholic Schools will be participating in a book study of Carol Ann Tomlinson's The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners in their Professional Learning Teams (PLT) in 2017-18. There will also be increased access to professional development programs focused on specific ways to implement differentiation at various grade levels and subject areas.  At their final PLT gathering of 2016-17 in May, each teacher completed a brief survey to help the principals work with EdPlus to develop a plan for professional development to serve their needs. "It's not one-size-fits-all," said Koen. "Our goal is to ensure that teachers get the training they need to begin or enhance how they are using technology and differentiated instruction techniques in their classrooms in whatever way is best for their particular grade level and subject area."
     Mrs. Nestor has already been encouraging DI in the classrooms of St. Norbert this year.  Jennifer Brinker, a reporter for the St. Louis Review, recently visited St. Norbert School to observe a Kindergarten math class where teacher Mrs. Ernst has been using DI techniques throughout this year with her students. Even with a math class moved to the afternoon to accommodate visitors, the learning was evident among the spirited 5- and 6-year-olds who worked together in groups to sort shapes by different attributes (i.e. size, shape, color, etc.). Mrs. Ernst had intentionally grouped the students, knowing each of their strengths, so that those who have mastered the concepts could reinforce their own knowledge by helping their peers. She facilitated the activity, but drew the answers out of the students and let them coach one another. "The students love differentiation. They know they will learn something and it's fun - not boring worksheets," said Mrs. Nestor. 
St. Norbert Principal Office

Looking for Tutoring Help or Summer Programs for your Kids?
  • Summer Tutoring Options: If your child needs some extra help with academics this summer, several teachers from our Federation schools are available for fee-based private tutoring.  If you would like a copy of the contact list for these teachers, please contact your school's principal or send an e-mail requesting the list
  • Metro Theater Company, who brought the "New Kid" production to our middle school students this school year, offers a variety of fine arts summer camps - learn more at the Metro Theater Website.

  • Magic House Kings & QueensThe Magic House is hosting its first summer satellite location in North County. They are partnering with the City of St. John to host the Kings, Queens & Castles chess exhibit at St. John’s Municipal Center throughout the summer. This exhibit will be free for families to attend and it will be open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. 

"For the Bread of God...
Gives Life to the World" (John 6:33)

Parishioners, Students, Parents, Teachers, First Communicants, Those Recently Baptized or Confirmed, Friends, Neighbors… ALL ARE WELCOME to participate and witness this ancient tradition of our faith as we celebrate the unity of our schools and parishes, ALIVE in CHRIST in North County. 

The Eucharistic Procession will begin on Corpus Christi Sunday at 1pm at Sacred Heart Church and pass through the streets of Florissant until it reaches the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine. Parking at Sacred Heart Church, 751 N. Jefferson St.  Refreshments (afternoon snacks) and fellowship will follow at the Knights of Columbus Grounds and Old St. Ferdinand Shrine. Buses to return to Sacred Heart for those who need them.

Everyone is invited to donate a non-perishable food item that may be dropped off at the beginning of the procession at Sacred Heart for T.E.A.M. (The Emergency Action Ministry)

Prayers for St. Angela Merici School Teachers, Students & Families
      Earlier this month it was announced that St. Angela Merici School will close after this school year.  On May 11, a school information fair was held in St. Angela's gym, inviting families to visit with principals and representatives from the other 8 schools in our Federation. We continue to pray for everyone involved in this transition.  If any St. Angela Merici family needs help connecting with other Catholic elementary schools in north county to enroll for 2017-18, please contact any school principal directly, or Cara Koen, Director of Advancement for the Federation of Catholic Schools at 314-537-3174 or

Keep Sharing the Good News!
Enrollment for the 2017-18 school year is happening now at each of our Federation Schools. Word of mouth is always our best marketing tool - so please share your experiences with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to explore our Catholic schools in north county as an excellent education option! 

Congratulations to the North County CYC 2017 LePage-Graham Scholarship Winners!
Several 8th grade students have each been awarded a one-time $500 scholarship by the North County CYC Athletic Association.  

Read the Good News about Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis in The e-Vangelizer archive.

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. 
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Keynote Address
Jonathan Doyle on Finding Purpose in the Education Vocation
      Thousands of Catholic educators and administrators who attended the NCEA 2017 National Convention in St. Louis last month enjoyed an inspirational keynote by Jonathan Doyle, an author, speaker and educator – and founder of the Going Deeper Program, which is now in use in over 400 Catholic schools around the world. Over the past decade, he has spoken to over 300,000 people on topics related to leadership, education and peak performance.
       A video of Doyle's talk is now available on the NCEATalk Blog.  Whether you had the chance to see it live at NCEA and would like a recap, or are simply interested in learning more about the vocation of our Catholic School teachers, watch the video - you won't be disappointed!

Upcoming Events and Activities
Looking for faith formation opportunities or a fun night out with friends? 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!

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!

    (314) 537-3174