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The Messenger

October 16, 2015
Vol. III, No.8

St. Michael's Academy
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St. Michael's Academy 

Our kindergarten students went on their first field trip today.  

They rode the bus to McCray's Farm and enjoyed many fall activities, including the picking of their very own pumpkin! Before leaving the school they received instruction on bus safety and the importance of listening to their chaperones. On the bus they viewed the landscape transitioning from suburban neighborhoods to rural living. 

At McCray's, their senses were totally immersed in the farm atmosphere and all it had to offer. All this, while enjoying the company of their classmates.  

   Who said learning can't be fun?

Ms. Ann E. Dougal
Important Dates To Remember!

Please make note of these important upcoming dates:

Grade 2 Violin - every Tuesday
Banking - every Wednesday

Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
School Mass - Grade 6 Readers

Thursday, October 22, 2015  
Trunk or Treat

Friday, October 23, 2015
Diocesan In-Service Day

News from the Advancement Department


IT STARTS HERE with faith formation.  We begin and end each day at St. Michael's Academy with prayer and reflection.  We pray before lunch and before every new class begins.  A decade of the rosary is recited each morning during the month of October, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Once a month we attend Mass together as a school community, and each class takes an active role preparing the liturgy on a rotating basis. 

The Catholic spirit is alive and thriving at St. Michael's Academy.  The essence of our faith is palpable and unmistakable as you walk down the hallways and enter the classrooms.  Certainly, the symbols of our faith are visible above doorways and throughout the halls, but it is the conduct and behavior of our students, faculty and  staff that reflect our true Catholicity.

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.  Please mark December 1, 2015, Giving Tuesday on your calendar.

News from Ms. Laporte - Computer Lab
 Since the beginning of the school year, the children have been working hard in the computer lab.
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten have been learning their numbers and letters using websites such as

  • Grade 1 has been typing skill lessons in Microsoft Word.

  • Grade 2 has been learning Microsoft Word basics such as opening a new document, adding content, saving and adding graphics to their documents.

  • Grade 3 is currently researching their favorite animals using specific websites such as

  • Grade 4 just finished writing letters to the President. They have started learning about internet safety through videos, discussion, and quizzes.

  • Grade 5 is designing a saint bio card and posting their thoughts on specific questions to

  • Grade 6 is using Microsoft Publisher to design a brochure on a specific destination.

  • Grade 7 is working with PowerPoint to construct a multimedia presentation on information they have accumulated through previous research and data collection.

  • Grade 8 is working with Excel. They have inputted data provided to them into a spreadsheet and are learning how to manipulate it to create charts, graphs, and histograms.
As you can see we have been very busy!

Academics - NEW at SMA

Portfolio Activities Begin

In our continuing effort to improve our programs here at St. Michael's Academy, department heads have been assigned to four areas of the curriculum.  Ms. Kaimi is the chair of the science department, Mrs. McQuade chairs the social studies department, Mrs. Wozniakowski chairs math, Mrs. Mathews and Mr. Piotrowski share ELA, with Mrs. Mathews focusing on Pre-K through 5, and Mr. Piotrowski focusing on grades 6 through 8.

In our work this summer, we determined that establishing portfolios for every student would be a good way for the 'team' (the student, teachers, and parents) to track the student's progress throughout his/her time here at SMA as well as showcasing what we as a school are accomplishing. The portfolios will consist of assessment data, collection data, and reflection data. 

On Thursday, October 15th the kindergarten through grade 8 students participated in their first formal portfolio activity using a tree theme. The students used charts, graphs, and timelines to answer questions relating to each of those items. Writing components were incorporated as well, so that all four departmental areas were covered. The objective is to give the students practice in each of these areas with the added goal of paying attention to details. In addition to these quarterly activities, our students, with the help of their teacher, if necessary, will be picking out work they are proud of to be placed into their portfolio. The older students may reflect and write about their learning throughout the year using teacher guidelines. Our youngest students in Pre-K, will work on the same tree theme doing an activity that their teacher plans. Their work along with photographs of them working will go into their portfolio. Imagine the great showcase our little folks will have by eighth grade!  Imagine the pride the 'team' will feel!

Classroom Happenings

Recycled Cells

Mrs. McQuade's 5th graders are at it again! This week they were creating plant and animal cells from recycled materials. Great job!

And So It Begins!

Our 8th grade students have begun planning for the 2015-16 SchoolsNEXT Design Competition (formerly know as the School of the Future competition.) This project helps students sharpen their skills with team work, research, creativity, organization and public speaking. Finished projects are presented to a panel of outside judges at the end of January. Nice team work students!

Perfect Attendance

Congratulations to our 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!
              Margaret - Gr. 1                                    Christina - Gr. 5

                                            Joel - Gr. 8

8th grade student Zechariah Gladden and his mom Yanira Torres attended the world meeting of families Papal Mass at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Thank you for sending along some photos! 

The Book Fair Is Coming!

The Scholastic book fair is coming to SMA the week of November 9-13! We will need lots of volunteers, so watch for the volunteer flyer to come home next week. In today's folder, you will find a pre-order form for the newest Dairy of a Wimpy kid book. All pre-orders count toward our fair profit and the school gets cash back. Pre-orders need to be back at school by Friday, October 23 with payment included.

Don't Miss The Fun!!

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!

Parish News

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 123 William Street in Springfield invites parish students in grades 6,7,8 to attend the teen-led NET Ministries evening this Saturday, Oct. 17. The event will take place at St. Francis Church in Belchertown from 5-9 p.m. with car pooling from Mt. Carmel at 4 p.m.  Pizza supper will be provided there. You MUST CALL the rectory 734-5433 by noon Saturday and ask for details from Mrs. Forna.

   St Catherine of Siena Church
Radio City Bus Trip!
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Bus departs at 7:30 a.m. 
and arrives back by 8 p.m.
Tickets are $159 pp and includes motor coach, driver gratuity and Mezzanine ticket for 2 p.m Radio City show.  
($75 deposit required ASAP)
Dinner at Blue Colony Diner on the way home-not included in ticket price
                                             Please call Betty at 896-8801
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
Arcadio Rodriguez
Donald Donnermeyer
John Mihalchick
Theresa O'Malley
Joseph Giannetti
Eddie Collins

And we pray for our recently departed:
Msgr. Hugh Crean
Gregory G. Croteau 
William E. Decoteau
Jean Whitlock-Bushey

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