Ms. Monaghan's Message

May 11, 2018

Important Dates

May 14: Book Fair Begins - Buy One, Get One Free!

May 15: MS Field Trip to Planetarium; DARE Graduation @ 1

May 16: 8th Grade Graduation Practice @ 10:30 ; 8th Grade Luncheon @ 11:30

May 17: 8th Grade Graduation @ 7

May 18: Field Day @ 9 & All School Movie Lock-in @12:45 (bring your pillow/blanket)

May 21: All School Picnic @ 11

May 22: Last Day of School - Noon Dismissal

Thank you!

I want to give a big shout-out to our PTO for providing our staff with a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week! From the delicious meals to the fun treats...not to mention the massages and was a week of being pampered and spoiled. Thank you to everyone who made this week possible! We are truly blessed with some wonderful parents at St. Patrick School!
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Talent Show

Every year, I look forward to this day and this year did not disappoint! Many of our talented students braved their fears and performed for a pack house! We are so incredibly proud of each of you!!

Ms. Monaghan's Miles

Today, I will walk my final mile! Actually, on Thursday, I walked my last mile for every student in our school and, then, walked a mile for the entire St. Patrick faculty and staff. On Friday, my mom and sister are going to join me for my final mile in honor of my sister, Kerri. If I'm being honest, I'd have to tell you that the thought of it has me a little emotional! I'm really surprised that it's gone so fast!

After walking a mile for my sister, I am going to invite the students and staff to join me for one last mile for our school. I thought it would be fitting to let anyone who wanted to walk along with me jump right in. There's strength in solidarity!

This has been such a great experience for me; from watching the kids' excitement when I call their name each day, to the personal accomplishment and determination I have experienced, this has been life changing for me. There have been many days when I didn't feel like walking, and even days when I tried to talk myself out of it. But, in the end, I knew I could never let my students down. I made them a promise and I was never NOT going to fulfill that promise!

Outside of that, every single mile has been in memory of my sister, and it's been incredibly therapeutic for me. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with Kerri during my morning walks, and the emotion that has built up inside of me wishing she would have been able to complete this along with me.

In the end, I know she is smiling down on me and is happy that I've accomplished this goal. Most importantly, allowing my students to be a part of this journey has changed the way I view every single decision I make. Knowing that 125 pairs of eyes are watching me and counting on me is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

Here's to mile #127, for my students, for Father Robert, for our entire school, and for my sister!

The Great Homework Debate

Homework: To Have or Not to Have?

I've read many articles debating the importance, or lack thereof, of homework. I can honestly see both sides. For one, young kids need the practice: sight words, math facts, reading fluency, etc. Older kids need to learn to study, take responsibility for their learning, and prepare for higher education. For years that has been the mantra at middle schools around the world. "We're preparing them for high school."

The reality is, I have 3 kids in high school right now and one who graduated in 2017. Probably once a week one or more of them will actually have homework or a test to study for...and not because they're major slackers (which let's be honest, occasionally they are). They simply aren't given homework, or are given time in class to complete it.

So what, then, are we REALLY preparing our kids for?

During our professional development day on Monday, I posed the question to the teachers, "What is the purpose of homework?" There were many good responses. In the end, homework should be used to practice the skills that were taught in class. I asked teachers, "Why, then, should we give a child 30 problems, if he can practice the skill in 5?" "Why insist a child reads for an hour at night, when 20 minutes is just as meaningful?"

The world is a changing place. People live busy lives. Our students are with us for 8 hours a day and leave at 3:00 to run to practices and other family events. If you're like me, often times you don't even think about dinner until you finally get home at 8:00 or 9:00 pm and by then, no one is up for homework... not even me.

I think it's time we take a look at the purpose of homework, that we ensure we are meeting this purpose with what we assign, and that we take into account that one of the most important things in a child's life is not how many math problems she can finish, but how much quality time is spent with family. I don't know all the answers to this debate, but I'll continue to research, ask questions, and seek out the answers that will be in the best interest of our kids. In the meantime, you can check out the great homework debate here:

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Educational Games for Kids

Check out this website if you're looking for ways you can engage your child in learning from home or on the road!

St. Patrick School

The mission of St. Patrick School is to develop young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We stress the total development of each child: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. Encouragement is given to students to bring their lives into conformity with God's will and plan, so that He is glorified.