STBCS Connections Newsletter – Spring 2022

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A NOTE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Dear Friends of Sister Thea Bowman,

Welcome to Connections, we look forward to sharing our good news each semester! It’s difficult to believe that the school year is flying by and that we are well into the second semester. For many of us, a new year means the opportunity to reflect on the past while also setting goals and making plans for the future. As a school community, we too, take this time to be reflective of all that we’ve accomplished, of areas where we need improvement, and of excited anticipation for all the future holds.

At the beginning of the school year, our staff selected a quote from our namesake, Sister Thea Bowman, as our theme. “With God, I can change things. I can make things happen.” All year, I’ve been astounded by all the things our students, staff, families, volunteers and benefactors have done to “make things happen.” And we’ve done it together, with God guiding our hearts and the school’s direction.

Despite the challenges of an ongoing pandemic, our students continue to work hard and shine their beautiful lights in this world. From violin performances at a reception for Cardinal Wilton Gregory to students decorating the restrooms to make the school a more welcoming place to our Peacemakers upholding the highest standards for themselves to our National Junior Honor Society holding a supply drive for refugees and a food drive for our community — our students are truly changing things and making things happen. Getting to know them and watching their beautiful impact is humbling and a true gift to witness every day.

Just as humbling is watching the work of our staff and volunteers. Our teachers continue to give their all, every day, to teach, guide and love our students. From events like our Reading Night and Advent Prayer Service to our newly added “Donuts with Dad” to countless volunteers who come to help support our students in so many ways, I can proudly proclaim that there are so many caring adults who fill our building. We’ve been grateful for the support of our parents and families, as well. We are committed to creating a school community that cultivates the intellectual, spiritual and social growth of our students through a partnership with families.

We’ve actively committed to seeking input from families — through tools like our first quarter report card, completed by parents — to ensure we foster open communication. We also have tried to strengthen our presence on social media to keep families and benefactors informed of school happenings.

Lastly, another important reason that Sister Thea Bowman is able to make so much happen is because of our grantors, donors, and sponsors. Through your generosity, our students’ lives are being enriched now, which we know will have a ripple effect far and wide, for generations to come. Our school is blessed beyond measure because of the financial support we are given.

Please enjoy this issue of Connections, which will further highlight many of our first semester achievements. Thank you for helping us make these many wonderful things happen.

Blessings,
Tim Keefe
Principal

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Life-Changing Help

Posted in Town & Style Saint Louis
August 10, 2021
By: Stephanie Wallace

4th student from the left is Yannah – Sister Thea Bowman Alum – Class of 2021. (Cover design by Julie Streiler / Cover photo by Bill Barrett)

While many of us may be a little reluctant to think back to our middle school years thanks to a lingering sense of awkwardness, there is no question that it’s a pivotal time in a young person’s life. The transition from child to teenager comes with new responsibilities, challenges and opportunities for growth, but if poverty and a lack of resources are part of the equation, the future can feel limited. Since 2005, Access Academies has provided support for students who have been historically underserved so they can thrive as they move to high school, college and beyond. The organization partners with urban middle schools and assists participants through enrichment, counseling and scholarships.

Access Academies’ mission centers on creating equitable opportunities in education. More than 90% of participants qualify for free or reduced lunch, a federal indicator of poverty. “Too often in St. Louis, a child’s ZIP code pre-determines their life outcomes, and we’re working to change that,” says executive director Shelly Williams. “By eliminating barriers to education, students are invested in their futures and have a pathway to follow their aspirations.” The nonprofit’s results speak for themselves: 99% of graduates are accepted into private college-prep high schools and 96% go onto college or other post-secondary institutions.

The program starts when students are in sixth grade, and counselors continue working with them through their entire academic journey, a more than 11-year partnership. Graduate support directors help middle schoolers prepare and make important decisions about secondary school and guide them through their senior year, when a college and career counselor takes over. Williams notes that this creates a strong bond with the students and Access Academy staff. “That individual attention and commitment makes the difference as students transition to—and persist in—their next level of education,” she says. “Our strong and trusting relationships allow us to understand their needs and help them address challenges.”

Along with counseling, Access Academies provides extended school day programs for enrichment in areas like academic and career development, the arts, STEM, and leadership and character growth. It also offers financial support in three ways: high school scholarships, work-study scholarships and preparation for post-secondary plans, including covering costs related to ACT testing, applications and college visits. “Our program contributes to the vitality of our region,” Williams explains. “Our students work hard and are committed to their education. They are future community leaders and productive citizens who are ready to make a difference.”

On Sept. 9, Access Academies will hold its 12th annual Celebration Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. To prioritize health and safety, there will be both in-person and virtual options for guests. All attendees will get a special look into the lives and achievements of students through a documentary screening. Williams says the event plays a major role in making the organization’s mission possible. “As our main fundraiser, the dinner supports every facet of Access Academies, from enrichment programming to helping make private school tuition affordable,” she notes. “Our students, families and partner schools work incredibly hard, and the support we receive ensures our enduring success.”

Access Academies partners with urban middle schools to prepare students for success in high school, college and beyond through enrichment, guidance counseling and scholarships. It hosts its 12th annual Celebration Dinner Sept. 9 at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Pictured on the cover: Executive director Shelly Williams with Access Academies students. For more information, call 314.898.0430 or visit accessacademies.org.

READ ARTICLE ON TOWN & STYLE WEBSITE

Yannah – Sister Thea Bowman Alum – Class of 2021 is featured in this documentary – Congratulations Yannah! WATCH WE ARE ACCESS VIDEO

 

 

Weekly Newsletter – February 16, 2022

The Roman martyrology – the lists of martyrs and the anniversaries of their deaths – tells about two Saint Valentines, both martyred around the year 269.   One of them may have been the bishop of Terni in Italy and the other a priest in Rome.  A legend says that the priest sent letters of encouragement to people who lived in fear of persecution.  The legend is meant to explain why people send valentines in his name.

Another explanation for the custom of sending valentines is that people noticed that in mid-February birds begin returning from their winter nesting sites and then choose mates for the springtime.  All that raucous singing of birds is a method of claiming nesting territory.  So the day was regarded as the perfect day to choose a sweetheart.

Some important dates:

  • February 18 – NO SCHOOL
  • February 21 – NO SCHOOL

For Your Information: 

  1. If you have received a progress report for mid-3rd quarter in the this Thursday envelope, it is because your student is receiving a D or F in a core class (Math, Science, E/LA, Social Studies).   If this is the case, please email your student’s teacher at your convenience to discuss what can be done to better the grades.
  2. We were originally scheduled to have a Sister Thea Bowman Open House for current and prospective students on Tuesday, February 1.   Yet, because of COVID, we are trying to limit the number of outside individuals into our building.   We are tentatively planning on having our Open House / STEM Night on April 7.
  3. If you haven’t already, please continue to visit our Facebook page as we continue to recognize some of the great accomplishments of our students, daily “happenings”, and other pertinent information.
  4. In this week’s Thursday envelopes, we have included step-by-step directions in our FACTS system to print out your family’s tax information for upcoming tax season.
  5. Please make sure you remind your students about our dress code.   Black or white shoes and a belt seems to be an issue frequently.   Thanks for your support!

Virtual Gala & Auction – March 12

SISTER THEA BOWMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL

CORDIALLY INVITES YOU

Virtual Gala & Auction

Please join us on Saturday, March 12, 2022, for our 19th Annual Auction & Mega Raffle

Early Bidding begins Wednesday, March 9 at 10 a.m.
Bidding closes Saturday, March 12 at 9 p.m.

REGISTER TODAY!

“Sowing Seeds” – $30 online registration per person

“Legacy of Success” – $600 – Includes gift, online registration & catered dinner for Eight (8)

Catering by: Big Mama’s – Cafe on the Abbey – Rich & Charlie’s
More details will follow


“Each One Teach One” Fund-A-Need
When you give to the Heart of Thea Foundation, every dollar you give will be matched up to $25,000

Sister Thea Violinists and Liturgical Praise Dancers
Experience our Education through Music & the Arts with a pre-recorded welcome video from our talented students


Mega Raffle – Chance to win $10,000

1st Prize – $10,000 / 2nd Prize – $1,000 / 3rd Prize – $500
Buy 1 – Get 1 Free / Buy 2 – Get 3 Free / Buy 3 – Get 5 Free
Ticket Price – $100
Contact Karen Waide | (618) 397-0316 | kwaide@srthea.org

or click on the DONATE NOW button below, submit your donation and note “Raffle”





EVENT SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Contact Roberta Trost for more info (618) 397-0316 | rtrost@srthea.org


Weekly Newsletter – February 10, 2022

Despite not being able to celebrate our full-scheduled week of Catholic Schools Week, we did have the opportunity this week to participate in the activities that were originally scheduled.   Wednesday, students were able to dress up as their favorite book character.   Thursday, we recognized our Saints of Color.   Friday, Fun in the Classrooms.   Thank you to all staff members who were flexible and helped make this week what it was intended for:   To recognize the great and wonderful things that are happening in our Catholic Schools across the nation!  In conjunction with our Catholic Schools Week activities, we also have been participating in daily activities that promote the successes our African American heritage during Black History Month.  We are doing t-shirt sales, morning trivia, bulletin boards throughout our school and discussion and curriculum within our classrooms!

Some important dates:

  • February 18 – NO SCHOOL
  • February 21 – NO SCHOOL

For Your Information:

  1. The students of Sister Thea Bowman will have many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom with many field trips planned.
    • Today (Thursday, February 10), our K-5 visited the Metro Theater in St. Louis to see a production of  “The Last Stop on Market Street”.
    • In conjunction with our Access Academy, our students will be visiting various post-secondary institutions:
      • *6th grade will visit Fontbonne University on March 30
      • *7th grade will visit Ranken Tech. on February 16
      • *8th grade will visit Greenville College on March 23
  2. We were originally scheduled to have a Sister Thea Bowman Open House for current and prospective students on Tuesday, February 1.  Yet, because of COVID, we are trying to limit the number of outside individuals into our building.   We are tentatively planning on having our Open House / STEM Night on April 7.
  3. If you haven’t already, please continue to visit our Facebook page as we continue to recognize some of the great accomplishments of our students, daily “happenings”, and other pertinent information.
  4. Just a reminder that students are not to bring big bags of chips/snacks and juices to school UNLESS the snacks and drinks are part of their sack lunch.
  5. BE CAREFUL!  Our custodial staff is out every morning salting our sidewalks to make sure they are safe.   Still, with the snow melting during the day and freezing at night, it makes for some difficult conditions, especially in the morning.   Take your time!
  6. Congratulations to our Sister Thea Bowman Spelling Bee Winner and Runner Up!!   Pictured below (L to R):  Ms. Mary McGeathy (Spelling Bee Coordinator), Zen Lyles (5th Grade – Runner Up), and ASHANTI WILSON (6th Grade – WINNER!)

Weekly Newsletter – January 27, 2022

National Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. Now entering its 48th anniversary year, CSW has traditionally been held the last week in January.  Yet, even though we have one week out of the school year to recognize the important role that Catholic Schools play…..each day, Catholic school teachers challenge over a million students to engage in innovative learning, to problem-solve, to work in teams, and to stretch their thinking. Our teachers show students how to live a faith that is infused throughout their day and help students create an environment that demonstrates concern for others and for God’s creation.

Thanks to the hard work of our Sister Sharon and Sister Kathleen, we have some wonderful activities and surprises planned for next week.  In the meantime, if you are able, you can help us kick off Catholic Schools week by attending mass at St. Augustine of Hippo at 9:30 AM this Sunday.

We will also be celebrating Black History Month beginning next week.   Even though most of our activities next week will center on Catholic Schools Week, we will have more information about our various projects and activities through the month of February in our next Thursday envelopes.

Some important dates:

  • February 18 – NO SCHOOL
  • February 21 – NO SCHOOL

For Your Information: 

  1. We were originally scheduled to have a Sister Thea Bowman Open House for current and prospective students on Tuesday, February 1.   Yet, because of COVID, we are trying to limit the number of outside individuals into our building.   We are tentatively planning on having our Open House / STEM Night on April 7.
  2. Regularly scheduled bus transportation will begin back up on Monday, January 31. A few procedural items:
    • Morning Drop will be as we have done this week:  All students will go to the cafeteria between 7:15 – 7:45.
    • All other students after 7:45 will enter through the front doors (we will not utilize the back doors for middle school)
    • This also means transportation for Access
  3. Field Trip opportunity for our Kindergarten through 5th grade students.    In collaboration with Metro Theater and the St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature’s Believe Projects…..on Thursday, February 10, our students will be traveling to the Grandel Theater in St. Louis to see a performance of “The Last Stop on Market Street”.  The play is based off the award-winning children’s book by Matt de la Peña. It is an inclusive ode to kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places.   There is a field trip form included in your Thursday Envelopes.
  4. Finally, report cards will be sent home Friday with your student.  Please look over the reports with your students and discuss areas where there was success and where there could be growth.   If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your student’s teacher.

Weekly Newsletter – December 16, 2021

The liturgical calendar doesn’t mix Advent, the season of preparation, with Christmas, the season of play, but the work and the play both bring joy.  The anticipation during Advent is sweet. Our preparations can be emblems of the yearlong work we must do, in reflection of the season’s scriptures, to “beat swords into plowshares,” to clothe one another in “the garments of justice and mercy,” to wait patiently for the Lord’s peaceable kingdom.  In this kingdom, according to the prophet Isaiah, the wolf will be the guest of the lamb, the baby will play safely with the cobra, the ox will share its hay with the lion – and the lion will be completely contented with its vegetarian meal!

School Year / Church Year

Some important dates:

  • December 21………………….Advent Prayer Service
  • December 22………………….½ Day / 12:30 Dismissal
  • December 23 – January 3……..Christmas Break
  • January 4………………..……Students Return
  • January 17……………………Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (No School)

For Your Information:

  1. In this week’s Thursday Envelopes, you will find a sealed envelope which contains two tickets for next week’s Advent Prayer Service.  If you have multiple children in school here, we have placed the tickets in your oldest child’s envelope.
  2. A few announcements as it pertains to our Advent Prayer Service:
    • Students will need to arrive at school that evening at 6:30 PM
    • Students need to be dressed appropriately (white button down shirt, black pants, etc.)
    • Advent Prayer Service is mandatory for all students.
  3. There will be no Extended Day nor Access Academy next week on Tuesday, December 21 or Wednesday, December 22.
  4. One more time this week, we have included the flyer about No School Announcements for Inclement Weather as well as Permission forms for Extended Day Session 4.  Extended Day Session 4 will begin on January 4.  (Students return to school).
  5. We have also included again the flyers for our upcoming Trivia Night  & Open House, as well as another permission slip for Extended Day.

**Due to our shortened week next week, we will not be sending home our regular Thursday envelopes.  Be on the lookout for an email with any important information. 

Virtual Trivia Night – January 22

Our Virtual Trivia Night will be Saturday, January 22, 2022 @ 7pm. $20 per person. $160 per team of 8. To register, email aking@srthea.org. (Please list first and last names, as well as email addresses, of each team member when registering.) To pay, go HERE and add a note of “Trivia Night.”

Advent Prayer Service – December 21

Christ, the Gift of Peace

Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School uses EDUCATION THROUGH MUSIC AND THE ARTS, an integrated curriculum, which engages artisan and academic teachers in providing a holistic approach to learning.  Violin, modern dance, and for heightening inner discipline, focus, self-esteem, creativity, and teamwork.  Teachers participate in the fine arts classes as a way to partner with the artisans in reinforcing skills and to model life-long learning.

This Advent Service is an expression of our mission of deepening faith in Jesus Christ and providing a holistic learning approach to faith development and education with a Catholic framework.

*Due to COVID-19 and spacing there will only be 2 tickets per family given. If you do not have a ticket, you or your family member will not be allowed to enter. NO EXCEPTIONS.  Tickets will be sent home in students’ weekly Thursday Envelopes on December 16.  They will be in a sealed envelope. 

*For those unable to attend, the ministry can be witnessed on-line.   A Zoom link will be sent via email closer to the event.

*Student participation is MANDATORY

*Students will need to arrive at school that evening (December 21) by 6:15 PM and they will go to their homerooms.  Teachers and/or aides will be there to help prepare.  Please note that ALL students (boys and girls) will be required to wear a white, button-down dress shirt, black pants and dress shoes (no heels).

Thank you so much for coming out to pray with us this year, and may your Advent and Christmas Season be filled with Peace, Love and Joy!!!!!

Weekly Newsletter – December 9, 2021

What Does the Second Week of Advent Candle stand for?

The first advent candle (“The Prophet’s Candle”) is purple and represents hope. The second advent candle (“The Bethlehem Candle”) is also purple and represents peace. In some traditions, the second candle and the fourth one (“The Angel’s Candle,” representing love) may be interchanged.

Peace is a central theme of the advent season but the main focus of the second week of Advent. One of the prophecies about Jesus calls him “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7). When the angels appeared to the shepherds, they ended their message by saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). When Simeon saw baby Jesus in the temple, he thanked God that he could now die in peace for he had seen the Messiah (Luke 2:29-33).

Some important dates:

  1.  December 21…………………….Advent Prayer Service
    *PLEASE NOTE:  THERE WILL BE NO ACCESS ACADEMY OR           EXTENDED DAY ON DECEMBER 21.  ALL STUDENTS WILL BE DISMISSED AT 3:30
  2. December 22……………..…….½ Day / 12:30 Dismissal
  3. December 23 – January 3……….Christmas Break

For Your Information:

  1. Thank you to all those who attended our Donuts with Dads this week.  We will be doing this again soon. Plan on having a similar event with our wonderful mothers, grandmothers, and mother-figures in the future.
  2. A friendly reminder that all students need to have masks when they are in the school building.   New masks cost $.50.   Please note this is not for punishment.   First, it is a safety measure so that our COVID numbers continue to stay low.  Second, we are running out of masks, and will need to continue to purchase more.
  3. Another reminder for our Annual Advent Prayer Service which will be held on Tuesday, December 21 at 7:00 PM.   2 Tickets will be sent home in a sealed envelope in your Thursday envelopes next week.
    Do not forget:  The Advent Prayer Service is MANDATORY for all students.  Our Advent Prayer Service is an annual event, but our students have not ministered for the past few years (due to COVID).   This is an integral part of our faith-based education and one that our students have been preparing for many weeks.
  4. Please note that consistent attendance at school is imperative to a quality education.   Your child’s attendance also could effect whether your child is promoted to the next grade.   Your child is expected to be at school every day, even our ½ days.
  5.  ith the VERY minor flurries we had on Tuesday, please see the included flyer about      No School Announcements for Inclement Weather
  6. Permission forms for Extended Day Session 4 will be in your Thursday envelopes for this week and next.  Extended Day Session 4 will begin on January 4.  (Students return to school).