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The Messenger

December 18, 2015
Vol. III, No.17

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

This week we lit the third candle on our advent wreath, the rose colored candle that symbolizes joy.  The students have taken it to heart!  You could see it on their faces as they browsed through the Holly Jolly Christmas Shop in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones and as they practiced their grade level song for our annual Christmas Sing-a-long next Wednesday.  

As we get closer to Christmas and become more frantic over the tasks we still have to complete, let's take a lesson from our children and take time to enjoy each day of this Christmas season as we anticipate the birth of our Lord. 


Ms. Ann E. Dougal

Important Dates To Remember!

Please make note of these important upcoming dates:

Violin - every Tuesday
Banking - every Wednesday


Monday, December 21, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
"Christmas Traditions"
Gr. 1 Grandparent Event

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 10:20 a.m.
School Christmas Sing-a-long 

December 24, 2015 - January 3, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016


SMA Christmas Sing-A-Long! 
St. Michael's Academy will hold its annual holiday sing-a-long on Wednesday at 10:20 a.m. in the gymnasium.

Students are encouraged to wear holiday dress!

During this Christmas season of giving, we would encourage anyone who has not yet renewed or made their gift to The Fund for St.Michael's Academy to place SMA on your Christmas List.  Your year-end gift to The Fund  will help provide a vibrant culture of Catholic faith and formation, enhance the educational experience of our students, and produce engaged visionary leaders of tomorrow.  Every gift of any size supports the mission of SMA.

Please be sure to make your gift by December 31, 2015 for a 2015 tax deduction, but remember you have until June 30, 2016 if you prefer to make your commitment now and your gift later!

If you have any questions regarding The Fund for St. Michael's Academy, please contact   the Advancement Office, at (413)-782-5246 ext. 1202.  Blessings to everyone for your continued support.

Drumming Recital

Wow! The 3rd graders put on a great drumming show for their grandparents this week under the directions of their drumming instructor, Mr. Rick Marshall from the Springfield Community Music School. The students were incredibly synchronized and focused as drum sticks were flying in unison. 

From The Classroom of Ms. Kaimi - Gr. 8

12 Days of 8th Grade Christmas

On the Twelfth  day of Christmas my teachers gave to me: 12 math assignments, 11 handwriting pages, 10 story elements, 9 grammar pages, 8 measurement problems, 7 essay questions, 6 science experiments, 5 minutes REST, 4 U.S. History timelines, 3 schedule changes, 2 volunteer projects, and 1 week to get it all wrapped up.

12 math assignments - 8th grade math and science go hand in hand.  Often skills from one class are directly covered and used in the other.  It is important that children see that the things we are learning do not solely belong in one curricular area.  Instead we want our 8th graders to see the value and application in all they have learned.

11 handwriting pages - Handwriting and letter formation are becoming a lost art.  Practicing cursive writing helps build muscle memory and fine motor skills.

10 story elements - One of the greatest gifts we give our children is the ability to read.  Understanding who the protagonist and antagonist of a story is, helps them gain a deeper appreciation for the work of literature they are                                reading.

9 grammar pages - Speaking and writing fluently and in a concise manner is becoming more critical than ever for our youth.  The use of technology is making it easier for "slang" to be used instead of proper English.  Direct instruction on grammar helps students think, speak, and write more fluently.

8 measurement problems - The U.S. customary systems and the Metric system are both covered in the 8th grade science and math curriculums.  Using the tools appropriate to each measurement task, and learning to convert units, are skills that we will use repeatedly as adults.

7 essay questions - One word answers are not acceptable practice for responding to an essay question.  Identifying the main goal of the question, formulating a response that is thorough, and supporting your statements with details takes practice.  At this point in the school year 8th grade students are gaining a greater assurance in the way they attack essay questions in all classes.

6 science experiments - Since anyone can be a scientist, 8th graders are encouraged to look critically at the world around them, ask questions, and seek solutions.  Laboratory experiences that range from multiple weeks to a single period enhance the learning tasks we complete here at St.                        Michael's.

minutes REST.

4 U.S. History timelines - As a focus during this school year students have been asked to read and interpret information contained within a timeline as well as use information they have gathered to create their own timelines.

3 schedule changes - Similar to the weather here in New England the most consistent thing about the 8th grade schedule is that if you give it a minute it will change.  8th graders should be celebrated for their ability to adapt quickly to daily changes and still persevere to do their best.

2 volunteer projects - Many opportunities are provided to the students of St. Michael's to support the local community, specifically during the holidays.  We have had collections for food donations, good neighbor cards, and candy cane sales to raise money for purchasing Christmas presents for those less fortunate. 

1 week to get it all wrapped up.  When we leave for the Christmas holidays, the 8th grade students will have completed the first half of their last year here at St. Michael's.  They will return from break looking ever forward to their final months here and preparing for their new adventures in high school.  We are always busy here in the 8th grade and the learning never stops

Academics/Classroom Happenings - 

SchoolsNEXT Winners Present to City Council

St. Michael's Academy was again proud as the winning team from last year's SchoolsNEXT competition recently presented their ideas for a community center to the Springfield City Council. The SchoolNEXT national judges were so impressed with the student's presentation this year that they recommended they present to city councilors of their city. Another job well done!

Candy Canes Are Here!

Hats off to the members of the National Junior Honor Society for selling and delivering over 500 candy canes! 

Tune in next week to the Messenger to find out how they used the money they raised.

Nothing Better Than A Good Story

Thanks Mr. St. Pierre, one of our school's volunteers, for coming in to our classroom and reading us a great story! We appreciate it!

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 select one from PreK - 2nd grade, one from 3rd - 5th grade and one from 6th - 8th grade. Congrats to this week's winners!

        Thomas - Gr. 1                                Diane - Gr. 4

Daniel - Gr. 7

Holly Jolly Christmas Store

THANK YOU to all our volunteers who organized and shopped and hauled and wrapped and worked their fingers to the bone to help make this year's Holly Jolly Christmas Shop a huge success.

There will be many happy family members of SMA students this year because of your generous donation of time.

Parish News

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church will offer an adult Bible course starting on January 14, for 10 Thursdays. Come and learn about The Prophets. You can take the morning class while the children are at school or in the evening. Contact Bill & Theresa 413-203-5296 or for more information.

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

James Channing and Shelly Sankar
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Voudrin
Mr. and Mrs. Rolando Curtis
Mr. and Mrs. Foster Lee
Michael Cinq-Mars

And we pray in a special way for our recently departed:

William Collins

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