Patrick Henry Post

October 21st, 2021

Congratulations on an Amazing 1st Quarter!

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1st Quarter Success Stories at Patrick Henry

Can you believe that we have been in school for an entire quarter already? We have experienced quite a lot in our first quarter of the 2021-2022 school year, but I want to highlight some of the amazing success stories here at Patrick Henry over the last two and a half months:

  • We welcomed several new teachers to our staff team and connected with each other to start our school year off on a collaborative, positive note (click here to read about our summer professional development)
  • We prioritized relationship-building with our students and worked hard to get to know every student in our classrooms (click here to read about our relationship-building strategies and successes)
  • We were highlighted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for our first day of school coming back in-person (click here to read the full article)
  • We were featured in the New York Times for our commitment to our community and our students even in the face of a global pandemic (click here to read the full article)
  • We taught and retaught the expectations for every area of our classrooms and school so that students understood how to be successful throughout Patrick Henry
  • We started our first P.T.O. in years! Parents, teachers, administrators, and community members met virtually to begin a plan of improvements for student experiences at Patrick Henry and made headway on many initiatives, including an anti-bullying campaign and a neighborhood clean-up campaign (click here to see a snapshot of our first meeting)
  • We were recognized as one of six Missouri Green Schools across the entire state because of our initiatives with our school garden and our commitment to making our neighborhood more sustainable (click here to see our announcement, and click here to read the state announcement)
  • We became the first A.I.M. Zone school in St. Louis Public Schools when we installed an activity corner into every classroom so students could learn while maintaining physical activity at any point of their school day. We also installed active hallways, so students can move with purpose throughout the school, making the most of every transition! (click here to see some of the fun)
  • We celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month in our general education classrooms and our Related Arts classrooms (click here to read about the Worry Doll project in art class)
  • We began a partnership with COCA to integrate the arts into our first and second grade classrooms - much more on this integration project coming soon!
  • We continued our partnerships with Girl Scouts and Girls in the Know to begin girls' empowerment groups to teach our female students important self-esteem lessons and life skills
  • We made improvements to our physical building through our partnerships with St. Louis Public Schools Buildings & Grounds, who cares for our historic school with love and care to ensure it lasts for the next generation of students
  • We worked with HomeWorks! to create a Parent Resource Room to make sure we have an inviting space for parent meetings, parent work space, and parent-teacher collaborations
  • We celebrated back to school with Spire, who brought a fully loaded backpack for every single student with an individual water bottle and supplies (click here to read about our experience with Spire)
  • We engaged in Parent-Teacher Conferences and had the highest number of participants in the past two years
  • We rescued a stray puppy from a life on the streets, named her Spooky The Patrick Henry Puppy, and found her a permanent home with a loving family (read Spooky's full story here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
  • We introduced a new curriculum for English Language Arts (ELA) and challenged our teachers to rethink their reading and writing instruction
  • We celebrated excellent student attendance for the months of September and October, and for overall first quarter attendance. We also celebrated our students for meeting high behavioral expectations in Related Arts class with our new S.T.A.R. program (click here to read a sample of our celebrations)
  • We created literacy spaces all over Patrick Henry - in the hallways, in two new reading rooms, in all of our classrooms, even in the gym! (click here to see our creative literacy spaces)
  • We focused heavily on literacy instruction at every level, meeting students where they're at and challenging them from every starting point (click here to read about our Reading Specialist and the work she does as an interventionist)

First quarter was all about building strong relationships between students, staff, families, and community partners. We are SO PROUD of what we have accomplished as a school community! Our goal for second quarter is not only to reinforce the relationships from first quarter, but to harness the power of those relationships to dig deep into the curriculum and challenge our students to grow academically. We invite you to continue this journey with us and stay strong for our students!

Highlight on Parent-Teacher Conferences

Welcome, Parents!

Our family conferences took place after school this week on Tuesday-Thursday on Microsoft Teams. Though we missed seeing our parents in person, we were happy to welcome so many parents virtually! The purpose of the conference was to review attendance, grades from first quarter, and academic or behavioral areas of growth. We loved seeing everyone who was able to join us! If you would like to schedule a conference with your child's teacher at any time of the school year, simply call the school at 314.231.7284, or email your child's teacher directly.

A.I.M. Zones

Active Learning

A.I.M. Zones are areas of our schools that promote Academics In Movement. The purpose of these spaces to provide focused movement that not only increases physical activity, but it also enhances academic learning. Patrick Henry is the first A.I.M. Zone School of St. Louis Public Schools, which means that we have an A.I.M. Zone in every single classroom, including our Reading Specialist's area! We are part of the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities grant in St. Louis Public Schools, and we are one of six Missouri Green Schools. Our commitment to health, wellness, activity, and sustainability makes us appreciate initiatives like the A.I.M. Zone because we recognize the connection between physical movement and academic achievement for so many of our students. We also believe strongly in a child's need to move for their physical and mental well-being. We have made it our mission to keep our students active while they are learning, and our A.I.M. Zones help us achieve that goal.

Welcome, GGO!

Gateway to the Great Outdoors

GGO, or Gateway to the Great Outdoors, is a nonprofit community partner that has been a part of Patrick Henry for several years. GGO provides St. Louis youth with weekly lessons in environmental science and outdoor skills, provides mentor relationships with students from Washington University, and increases students' access to outdoor experiences through special field trips. GGO aims to increase St. Louis students' opportunities to experience all that the environment has to offer while instilling a value of environmentalism, leadership, teamwork, and physical activity. This year, our Covid restrictions keep our meetings virtual, but we are hopeful that we are able to take advantage of the field trips offered in the Spring semester. Ms. Ivory and Ms. Hammock's classes are participating this year and we are excited to see where their experiences will take them!

Garden Repairs

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Thank you, Gateway Greening!

All outdoor equipment goes through a normal season of wear and tear. Our garden is hitting a critical age where we have to put in some extra work to maintain our structures and protect the space from further damage. This week, Gateway Greening came to Patrick Henry with their power tools and their skill sets to repair our handicap accessible ramp, a key step in ensuring we can become an intergenerational garden with our senior citizens in our neighborhood. It also improved the safety of our structures for our students and added a much-needed support system to the ramp itself while also replacing broken or worn down boards. Thank you to our community partner for keeping this space beautiful, safe, and growing!

Congratulations, S.T.A.R. Winners!

Every day in their Related Arts classes, students have the opportunity to earn a S.T.A.R. for meeting the expectations of the class. We are trying to promote consistent and high expectations for all of our students throughout every setting in the building, and in Art, Music, and P.E. students have the opportunity to be recognized for their daily efforts. Their S.T.A.R. tickets are compiled and winners are drawn out of the basket every week. Well done to those listed below!

Highlight on Former Students

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Graduated, but always welcome!

Four of our former Patrick Henry students paid us a visit this week after their school day ended. It was amazing to see how much middle school has changed their looks, personalities, interests, and drives! Mrs. O'Shea asked them what they liked about their middle schools, and while they each had a few funny answers ("I like that we don't have to walk in a line!"), one answer stood out: "My school pushes me to my limits." It was amazing to hear their excitement about being challenged academically and personally. We are so thankful that our students end up in amazing places, and we are proud of our Patrick Henry graduates!