Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the (still somewhat) new school year! Can you believe we are barely a month into classes? The seniors are looking at home now in their blue shirts, the juniors are starting to really look ahead and beyond high school, our sophomores are enjoying having a full year under their belts, and I am fairly sure that our freshmen have learned the ins and outs of the rotating schedule and lunches. Our students continue to bring smiles to our faces every day. What a blessing they are!
It is easy, even in a school with only four grades, to lose sight of what the other grades are doing, and there are joyful happenings all over these days. I thought you would like to know some highlights happening for all our students:
- The Freshman Class of 2022 is gearing up for leadership elections and working to unravel the mysteries of Intramurals. They have mastered their freshman dance, and I loved hearing their cheers and laughter get louder every day as they grew more confident in the steps. They are looking ahead to their first class retreat later this month and then their formal welcome into the Ursuline community at Convocation.
- The Sophomores are focused on their year of Serviam and already doing great work. They also have had a new and special experience in their theology classes. Each of the teachers had one-on-one chats with each of their students to get to know each girl better. During these conversations, teachers invited students to share their goals for Sophomore Theology and to ask any questions they might have about the class, God, or faith. These conversations also opened the door for future conversations throughout the school year. Teachers will tailor future lesson content and pedagogical approaches from what they gleaned from student conversations. While the one-on-one chats were in progress, the other students circulated quietly among numerous prayer and reflection centers stationed throughout St. Ursula Hall. Students meditated upon the stained glass in St. Ann's Chapel; reflected upon religious art and everyday items such as water, grain, and salt; and had the opportunity to pray, read Scripture, journal, and create their own artistic responses. These centers were designed to give students a quiet break from the busy pace of their lives and provide the opportunity to reflect upon their faith and their relationship with God.
- The Junior Class is pouring their energy and excitement into their first powder puff game. They have also been engaging with the college search in new ways, attending the recent college night at Jesuit and taking time to visit with the numerous college representatives who are on our campus every day. They will be placing ring orders sooner than I can believe, and I think they are quite excited to be going to the "big" homecoming dance next month! Junior year is magical, and I hope they are enjoying all that comes with this memorable year.
- Finally, our dear Seniors have set a tone of kindness and joy as our leaders among the student body. The freshman dance they created and led was so fun, and every day teachers and administrators had a reason to compliment them on their excellent leadership. They are having a good time planning the upcoming Harvest Dance/"Fright Night," and I am enjoying hearing the creative ideas they have for their senior shirts. Please hold the seniors in your prayers on Monday mornings, as they began serving at their year-long placements this past Monday and will continue through April. I am so proud of the work they do!
Of course, all the above is happening within the framework of their academic growth every day. The experiences they are gathering, in the classroom and out, are uniquely theirs. I continue to feel privileged to be part of their lives, and I know every teacher or fellow administrator here would say the same thing. Thank you for sharing the gift of your daughters with us!
Dr. Andrea Shurley