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The Messenger

September 25, 2015
Vol. III, No.5

St. Michael's Academy
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St. Michael's Academy 
IT STARTED HERE at different places around the school block today. St. Michael's Academy students walked, ran, skipped, trotted and raced their way around and around the school during our sixth annual St. Michael's Academy Walk-a-thon. Each student did it at their own pace and with their own style. And with great enthusiasm and creativity, they cheered each other on. I love it when individuality works together for a common cause!

Today, our students and their families in a fun loving, individual way, showed their unified support for the mission of St. Michael's Academy. Thank you! (And a very special thank you to all of our volunteers!)

Have a great weekend!


Ms. Ann Dougal
Important Dates To Remember!

Please make note of these important upcoming dates:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
Grade 7 Mass and Grandparent Event

Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Middle Level DanceTickets are on sale!
$7 now and $10 at the door.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.
The Fund for SMA Leadership Recognition Reception
Samuel's at The Hall of Fame, Springfield

SMA Had Special Visitors!

St. Michael's had two VERY special visitors this week! If you happened to walk by Mrs. Ruell's Kindergarten class and heard music, it was none other than former SMA music teacher, Mr. Rancitelli and his wife! The students were delighted with singing and guitar playing while acting out different songs.

News from the Admissions and 
Advancement Departments

       Invest in a child's education AND their FUTURE!

Did you ever take a moment and stop to think about the gift that you are giving your child by sending them to St. Michael's Academy? Do they realize how many steps ahead of other children they are by having the privilege of a private education? 

At St. Michael's Academy, students don't just learn. They are "empowered" with knowledge, experience and a strong, vibrant faith that will inspire a lifetime of learning, leadership and service. We help to create the solid platform that launches success.

Spread the word...It Starts Here.


IT STARTS HERE with a welcoming environment and a sense of community.  Today was a great example of the warm and inviting atmosphere that has been established at St. Michael's Academy over the past few years.  The number of parents, grandparents, and SMA volunteers who arrived at 8:30AM to help support our annual Walk-a-thon was heartwarming!  Some parents were new to the school, but many had volunteered in the past and were happy to donate two hours out of their busy schedule to help facilitate this majoy event.  Thank you!!!  Without your help, we could not do what we do.
7th Grade Grandparent Mass

All 7th grade Grandparents, we look forward to seeing you at Mass on Tuesday, September 29th at 9:30AM at Holy Cross Church to celebrate the Feast of St. Michael.  After Mass, you are invited to join your 7th grade grandchild in the cafeteria for refreshments! 
Please direct any questions regarding The Fund for St. Michael's Academy to the Advancement Office, at (413)-782-5246 ext. 1202.  Blessings to everyone for your continued support.
 The Fund for St. Michael's Academy

News from Sr. Constance  

Welcome to the United States, Pope Francis!  It has been an exciting week for everyone living in the United States, no matter what faith they practice. 

There has certainly been excitement for us here at St. Michael's Academy!  We have been doing many different activities to be united with our Holy Father and to be with him in spirit, while he is with us.

Recently Pope Francis published, "Laudato Si!"  Praise be to You!  This is the second encyclical of Pope Francis.  This encyclical is subtitled, "On care for our common home." 

Pope Francis uses this encyclical to show us our interconnections. All people of the world and our earth itself are connected.  In this document, the Holy Father explains how the changes in the environment, technology, global warming, and consumerism affect our earth and our lives, especially the lives of the poor.

To help the students at St. Michael's prepare for the arrival of our Holy Father, and learn more about his second encyclical, the 8th grade students organized various activities showing ways to recycle or reuse items. They formed groups and planned activities that were appropriate for the various grade levels. 

An example of one activity helped the students sort items into piles labeled TRASH or RECYCLE. Teams did this in relay fashion and the team to correctly sort all their items first, won!  For the second activity, each student was given 3 recyclable objects and 10 minutes to create something with the items. The team with the best creation won a trophy made from recycled material!  Everyone had an awesome time learning a little more about recycling and helping protect the earth.

Pope Francis had many other things to tell us.  In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis writes, "I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation that includes everyone, since the environment challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all" (#14). Pope Francis challenged Congress and all of us to live the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

At the United Nations, Pope Francis was called "The Defender of the Dignity of Humanity." Our Holy Father stated during his address that "to harm the environment is to harm humanity."

We have watched and listened to the Holy Father in his many activities here in the United States and we can see his great love and care for us and for our common home. 

What can each of us do to help bring about the changes that are needed to protect our common home?

Check Out Our New Math's Mate Program!

Math's Mate by Mrs. Wozniakowski, SMA Math Dept. Chair
What is better than Math....A Math's Mate!  In order to continually improve academics, St. Michael's Academy has instituted a program of math instruction that infuses repetitive practice with multifaceted word problems.  The Math's Mate program is the perfect "mate" for our math curriculum because it builds upon skills introduced and practiced across the grades and helps students retain information from year to year.  

Math's Mate's philosophy is based on the belief that regular, structured practice helps the development of short and long term memory in students.  The Math's Mate sheets consist of material from the current and previous year's math curriculum and includes grade appropriate problems that increase in difficulty over each successive term.  Students have the opportunity to work on the sheets outside of school and use whatever tools necessary to help them solve math problems and complete the sheet.  At that point, the work is corrected in class and students keep track of their scores. As a result, students move toward becoming independent learners and taking responsibility for their own progress.

Teachers also use the information from the Math's Mate sheets to individualize math instruction with the program's Skill Builder worksheets.  These enable the students to get help in specific math content areas.  Overall, the new Math's Mate program provides both achievable and challenging levels of work for every student and assists in the development of overall good study skills! 

Classroom Happenings

Grade 8 Students Teach Lessons to Younger Classmates on Papal Encyclical

To help the younger students understand the teachings of Pope Francis, our Grade 8 students prepared a lesson for their younger schoolmates. The lesson will focused on the latest Papal Encyclical and taught students the importance of taking care of our environment. As promised in last week's edition, here are photos from some of the activities.
"Hmmm...recycle or don't recycle?"
"We CAN build something!

Beautiful Kindergarten creations!
Who is going to get Bingo?

Gr. 4 Science Experiment

If you happened to walk by Miss Wuller's 4th grade science class this week and saw celery sticking up out of cups of colored water, you weren't seeing things! It was all part of an experiment to see if celery was a vascular plant. This hands-on experiment tied in nicely with their science lesson of how plants transport water and nutrients through xylem tissue.

Apple Tasting in 1st Grade

In honor of Johnny Appleseed's birthday tomorrow, Mrs. Logan's 1st Grade class was doing some apple tasting. Each student had the opportunity to taste three different kinds of apples and vote for their favorite. After writing about what they liked best, the students will graph their results and see what apple was the overall class favorite!  

This just in...the graphing has been calculated and, although an extremely tight race, red delicious came out the winner!

So...How long is one lap of the 

As part of their math class, Ms. Kaimi's 8th grade students were charged with measuring the entire course of the SMA Walk-a-thon.  They quickly realized that the parallel borders were equal distances so they only had to measure 2 of the 4 sides. Way to go students!

Perfect Attendance!

Congratulations to our three perfect attendance dress-down winners! In order to qualify for the weekly drawing, a student must have no absences, tardiness or early dismissals the previous week of school. We will select one from PreK - 2nd grade, 3rd - 5th grade and 6th - 8th grade. Congrats to this week's winners!

Angelysmari - Gr. 2B
Bradley - Gr. 3A
Ethan - Gr. 7B

SMA Walkathon

It was a beautiful day for a walk and an even better day for a walk-a-thon. Faculty, staff, students, family and friends were on hand at St. Michael's today for the sixth annual SMA Walk-a-thon. Thank you to all our volunteers for helping to make it a very special day. The awards assembly will be held on November 6th and some lucky students will win a limo ride to school!

Stay tuned but in the meantime, check out these pictures! We will post some this week and some next week!

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight - Mr. Frank Ryan

This month we catch up with Mr. Frank Ryan. Mr. Ryan, a communicant of Holy Cross Church, was a teacher for 38 years at Broad Brook Middle School in East Windsor, Ct. Upon retiring in 2003, his love of teaching continued as he volunteered his time to help students.

Initially volunteering to tutor in the Kindergarten computer class, Mr. Ryan smiled widely as he recalled his little friends. "They provided me with more entertainment than I gave them in instruction," he said with a laugh.

For the past three years, Mr. Ryan has been tutoring 5th Grade students at St. Michael's from Mrs. McQuade's and Mrs. Senecal's classrooms in the areas of reading and math. Every Thursday he can be found in the second floor conference room for two 45 minute periods helping students to catch up on a lesson or explaining a particularly difficult concept. His students are identified by the classroom teachers and can vary week to week.

When asked what he liked about St. Michael's Academy, Mr. Ryan didn't hesitate. 
"St. Michael's is a special, caring place that focuses on the whole child and you can see it in the students," he said. 

Thank you Mr. Ryan - we appreciate you!

Help SMA Every Time You Shop!
Stop and Shop will continue its A+ school rewards program. St. Michael's will earn A+ School Rewards points every time you shop. 

Sign-up begins on September 14th - It's simple and easy - just click here and register your card. St. Michael's school ID is 06566. Previously registered cards will automatically be renewed. Now every time you shop, you will be earning reward dollars for our school!


Mrs. Dean's 2nd grade class was recently spotted in the second floor conference room learning about sacraments and saints. This will be a big year for second grade students who will receive the sacraments of First Penance and First Communion!
Good job boys and girls!

News From The Diocese

The Catholic Church wants to hear from you!

Whether you are a practicing Catholic or have drifted away from the Church, Bishop Rozanski wants to hear from you! A brief survey has been created by the Diocese seeking information from western Mass. Catholics. This information will be gathered, evaluated and used to effectively plan for the future. The survey closes October 5 so please take a moment to not only complete the survey yourself, but also to share it with your friends, family and neighbors.
The survey can be accessed  through both and also through This is a valuable opportunity so take a few minutes and share your thoughts. Thank you!

Parish News

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, 123 William Street in Springfield, invites you to a "Taste of Italy" on Saturday, October 3rd at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium at 56 Margaret Street. Come and sample 40 Italian dishes along with amazing desserts, wine and beverages!

Holy Cross Parish, 221 Plumtree Road in Springfield, will hold a Grand Tag Sale in the St. Michael's Academy Gym on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. -2 p.m.
Stop by for bargains! Contact Gail at 626-9652

The Holy Cross Knights of Columbus invites you to its second annual Family Fun Night on Saturday, October 10 at 5 p.m. at Westview Farms Creamery located at 111 E Hill Road, Monson, MA 01057. Tickets are $10 per person and include a Hay Ride, Pumpkin Picking, and a Bonfire with S'mores. Join us for an Outdoor Mass celebrated by Father Darcy at approx. 6:15 PM with limited amount of seating, so please bring your own lawn chairs and a picnic meal.
Tickets may be purchased after Masses, or using credit, debit, or paypal through the Holy Cross K of C website - 

Prayer Corner
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us! 
We pray for all St. Michael's Academy students, families, faculty, and staff, and their special intentions. 

This week we pray in a special way for:  rosary-beads.jpg
Peter Rakouskas
Stephen and Carol Dougal
Dan and Leora Cosenzi
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Crowley
Mrs. Rosetta Adornato
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Hioe

And we pray for all our dearly departed:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. 
Our prayers continue to be with Mr. Rancitelli, who is undergoing treatment for a cancer recurrence. Each week, a different homeroom sends him cards. If your family would like to send a card, please send it to school with your child, clearly marked for Mr. Rancitelli. His family has set up a blog to write about this experience.Click here to read the blog. 

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St. Michael's Academy 
153 Eddywood Street - Springfield, MA 01118
413.782.5246 office 
413.782.8137 fax