Welcome Back Crusaders
Dear Crusader Families,
Please take time to read through all of the exciting initiatives starting this year!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Back to School Bash on Sunday, August 13!
SCHOOL GARDEN AND HEALTHY EATING INITIATIVE
St. Francis de Sales School is excited to offer an outdoor classroom experience for all of the Kindergarten-8th grade students this year.
The School Garden is located next to the playground. The garden has 8 garden beds that are growing a variety of items such as wildflowers for a butterfly garden, strawberries, lavender, basil, tomatoes, carrots, etc. Each class will be responsible for a section of the garden. The students will water, weed, harvest, and plant the next crop to ensure the school garden continues season after season. The School Garden will be a year-round experience for the students.
The future goal of the School Garden is to add more garden beds, produce a bounty of a variety of fruits and vegetables, make the foods and flowers available to the students, families, and parishioners, expand to the Lebanon community, and to provide future cooking courses for students to fully apply the farm to table mentality.
Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Barhorst are excited to incorporate the food grown in the school garden into a School Salad Bar that will be assembled and available to the students in the school cafeteria. More information will be forthcoming regarding the School Garden Salad Bar initiative.
Many thanks to Mrs. Erin Barhorst, Mrs. Jennifer Johnson, and their entire families, for spending their summer constructing the Vego School Garden beds, working with community members to obtain the items needed to put inside the garden beds, and planting the seeds + plants to begin the school garden so the students are able to see, learn, observe, and harvest the school garden starting in the Fall.
Below is a sneak peek of some of the School Garden pictures. Make sure to stop by the School Garden to see all the various plants growing!
Many thanks to Burke Melzer who built the School Garden benches as part of his Eagle Scout project. Burke Melzer assembled 6 benches that allow for 4-5 students to sit on each bench. The benches not only add an aesthetically pleasing appearance, but the benches allow for the teachers to take their entire class outside to teach a lesson and have a place for all the students to sit, observe, learn and tend to the garden.
Library Update and Book Donation
During the transformation of the library, there were extra books that were either duplicates of items currently in the library, outdated materials, or items that were no longer needed. In an effort for the materials to continue to be utilized, St. Francis de Sales has donated the extra library books and materials to Project READ in Dayton, OH.
Project READ has actively been working to help improve literacy in the metro Dayton area for over 30 years. Project READ has distributed over 16,780 books to help with tutoring and provide enjoyable reading materials for anyone who needs them.
The St. Francis de Sales Library is currently stocked with ample reading materials and items for the students. The Kindergarten-5th grade students will receive a dedicated Library time each week. Mrs. Tebbe will read with the students and help the students check out books. The Middle School students will have more materials in their classroom to supplement their English Literature curriculum and aid with independent reading. Middle School students may still continue to check out library books if they wish.
Make sure to stop by and check out the updated Library at the Back to School Bash!
Transforming the Library Into a Makerspace
Over the summer, there have been many groups of people who helped to transform the library into a Makerspace. The project was very intensive with lots of heavy lifting, moving, painting, prepping and setting up the space to be a true Makerspace for all of the students to enjoy.
Many thanks to the following groups of people who took time this summer to help with the Makerspace transformation:
- The entire Melzer Family for painting the room and making updates to the PA system.
- The 8th grade boys (Luke Hathaway, Noah Schmitt, Keegan Schrameck, Owen Morwood) who helped to move boxes and furniture.
- Mr. Barczak and the Knights of Columbus for coming to help with the movement of furniture.
- Mrs. Tebbe for filtering, packing, organizing, unpacking, and displaying the library books on the bookshelves.
- Mrs. Boland for assembling the desks and stools that are located in the Makerspace. She also placed all of the orders for the materials and equipment within the Makerspace.
- The entire Bitzer Family for spending many weeknights and weekends doing lots of arranging, heavy lifting, and organization to prepare the room for the staff and students.
The Makerspace will be utilized by all classroom teachers for projects, labs, and activities. STREAM will be taught in Makerspace on Thursdays and Fridays. More information about the STREAM initiative can be found below.
What is a Makerspace?
Make It Yourself (MiY) gives students of all ages access to tools, techniques and hands-on learning experiences that will spark their imaginations and enrich their lives. A particular focus will be given to young people, with the goal of inspiring/nurturing their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). STEM education is increasingly important as students prepare for careers in our 21st century, technology-dependent, global economy. Looking at global technology trends, these learning and "making" experiences are going to be vital for current and future generations.
The SKETCH Large is an easy-to-use 3D printer designed for the classroom. Enabling both teachers and students to expand their classroom or makerspace's capabilities, the SKETCH Large is the perfect EDU-friendly 3D printer for both experienced users and beginners alike.
Within the Makerspace, there are 2 Sketch Large 3D printers.
Mr. Harasz will be teaching a STEM on Thursdays and Fridays to all of the K-8 students. The students will attend the Makerspace for class. The students will receive 60 minutes of STEM instruction weekly. Mr. Harasz will utilize the student laptop devices, robotics equipment, and the 3D printers during the 2023-2024 school year.
St. Francis de Sales is incorporating the STREAM model which includes a Religion component. The STREAM model will be incorporated in all curriculum classes. The STREAM acronym stands for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, Math.
Mr. Babacar Fall was born in Senegal, West Africa, where he is one of 10 children. He has five brothers; Bara, Cheik, Djily, Karin and Laba Fall. He has 4 sisters; Racky, Lota, Sokhna and Khady Fall. Mr. Fall lived on a farm with his brothers and sisters growing up.
Mr. Fall loves to watch sports such as soccer and wrestling.
Mr. Fall received his degree from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal. Mr. Fall traveled to the United States and received his teaching degree from the University of Dayton. Mr. Fall has taught in several schools in Senegal and the United States. He has taught at the Horizon Science Academy, New City School, Trotwood Madison High School, Colonel Powell Leadership Academy, Dayton Urban Academy, St. Albert Catholic School, St. Patrick’s School in Troy, and currently teaches at Piqua Catholic.
Mr. Fall has learned to fluently speak seven different languages. Mr. Fall can speak Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Tucouleur, Sere and Wolof.
Mr. Fall met his wife while they both worked at Maria Joseph in Dayton. They have 3 beautiful children, Mamjarah Fall who just graduated high school this past spring, and a set of twins, Bashir and Arame, who are 13 years old.
On the first day of every school year, Mr. Fall likes to wear a brand new tie to start the year off fresh! At Piqua Catholic, Mr. Fall has earned Outstanding Staff and is loved by all of the students. Mr. Fall will continue to teach at Piqua Catholic on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Mr. Fall will be teaching Spanish to the Kindergarten-8th grade students at St. Francis de Sales School on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students will receive 60 minutes of Foreign Language instruction per week. Since the Foreign Language program is new, no grades will be given. Students will experience the culture and learn the language without the pressure of grades. St. Francis de Sales School is grateful to have Mr. Fall on our staff this year!
SCHOOL BUILDING SAFETY UPDATES
New School Safety Windows
St. Francis de Sales School submitted a Safety Grant to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, who is administering the safety grant program in partnership with the Ohio School Safety Center, to update the windows and security features around the school building.
This past Spring, St. Francis de Sales School was Awarded a $100,000 from the State of Ohio for the Ohio School Safety Grant.
This summer, the $100,000 was fully spent on updating the school windows. The school windows received new safety features such as double pane, safety glass. All windows around the school's perimeter and school cafeteria have received the upgraded safety windows.
SCHOOL BUILDING ENHANCEMENTS
Many, many thanks to Burke Melzer, and the entire Melzer family, who took time from their summer vacation to come and paint the 4th-8th grade classrooms, Makerspace, and update the PA intercoms.
- The 4th, 5th, and 8th grade classrooms have been upgraded from the Green and Purple paint to a modern Gray.
- The 6th and 7th grade classrooms have updated modern gray cabinets.
- The Makerspace/Library has been upgraded from a rose color to modern gray, green, and blue.
Many, many thanks to Mrs. Jennifer Johnson and Mrs. Barhorst for painting the entire school cafeteria! The new colors brighten up the space and make it so fun and inviting for the students.
As part of the school safety window installation, the parish paid to enhance the outward appearance of the school. All the outside window frames and main school doors have been painted a darker color to match to trim around the building. The new paint allows the building to look fresh, updated, and more cohesive with the Parish Activity Center.
Below are some sneak peek pictures of the paint colors. You will be able to see the finished products at the Back to School Bash on Sunday, August 13!
Outdoor Gathering Space
The Parish has purchased tables and umbrellas for anyone who would like to eat lunch outside, have an outdoor class experience, or just take a break and enjoy the outdoors. The space is located between the school and parish center.
CHANGE FOR THE 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR
MAP Growth Test
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Schools Office has mandated that schools use a different Standardized Test for the 2023-2024 school year. The IOWA and COGAT Tests will no longer be used.
The new mandated test is called MAP Growth. The test is designed to support student learning. Students in grades K-8 will take the MAP Growth test. Subject areas tested will be Reading/English Language Arts and Math. The tests will be completed on the computer (student laptop devices), three times during the school year.
The test results will be sent immediately after the test is complete. A Family Report will be sent home after each testing session so the families can see how their child is progressing throughout the school year. Receiving the testing results in real time allows for instruction and support to occur and be differentiated throughout the school year for each student.
The St. Francis de Sales School MAP Growth Testing will occur on the following dates:
Fall Testing: September 11-22
Winter Testing: January 16-26
Spring Testing: April 29-May10
TUITION ASSISTANCE FOR ALL FAMILIES
Edchoice Expansion Opportunity
St. Francis de Sales School appreciates everyone's patience and support as we navigate through the daily EdChoice updates. It is exciting to see all of the families that are taking advantage of this great opportunity!
If your family is interested in applying for the Edchoice Expansion Scholarship, please take time to review the information below.
Please email the following documents to Mrs. Bitzer at email@example.com:
- Request Application
- Copy of a Utility Bill
- Student's Birth Certificate
After those items have been emailed to Mrs. Bitzer, please follow the directions listed below to create an Income Verification Portal.
If there are any Edchoice questions, please contact Mrs. Bitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there are any tuition questions, please contact Carl Whittenburg at email@example.com.
UPCOMING SCHOOL EVENTS
UPCOMING PARISH EVENTS
Beginning on Sept. 6, the NEW Wednesday evening Moms' group will meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 7 pm -9 pm. and will be doing "Courageous Women" by Stacy Mitch, a study on the heroines of biblical history. For more information and to register, contact ElissaWhittenburg@yahoo.com , 513-824-2437. The group will meet in the St. Francis de Sales Parish Center. Books can be purchased online. There will be 8 sessions.
Beginning on Sept. 13, the Wednesday morning Women's group will meet weekly from 10 am to 12 pm and will be doing "Courageous Generosity" by Stacy Mitch, a bible study for women on heroic sacrifice. For information and to register, contact Norma Lonnemann at firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-934-7607. The group will meet in the St. Francis de Sales Parish Center. Books can be purchased online. There will be 8 sessions.