Leading with Data, Research, and Heart
Welcome to the first entry of The Clark Report. New posts will be available at the beginning of each month. Please continue to check the Wednesday Weekly for announcements and upcoming events.
Back to School
The beginning of the school year has been filled with learning, team building, collaboration, trust, respect, and fun. Our incredible Middle School students were ready to #BringtheJoy as they attended classes, participated in K-State’s Challenge Course, and celebrated the beginning of a new school year at our Grade School Convocation. Likewise, our wonderful start to the school year would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication, enthusiasm, and expertise of our amazing Sion Faculty, who is always ready to help students succeed and reach their goals.
Our Middle School program meets the needs of the whole child (academic, spiritual, social, emotional, and physical) in a safe and nurturing environment, which embraces the unique gifts and background of each individual student. In alignment with Sion’s mission and lifelong commitment to academic excellence and to deeply value diversity within Sion’s 21st century learning curriculum, our outstanding Middle School faculty have been dedicated to building knowledge and future-ready skills through creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, ensuring that students acquire the necessary skills for the college-preparatory curriculum of high school of choice and beyond.
Likewise, our STEAM-focused electives provide students with additional learning opportunities to explore courses according to their interests, passion, and skills, providing an intellectual, physical and emotional balance to students. Some of our new electives this year include: Sion Debate Team, Innovation, Design & Modeling, Jazz Ensemble, Yoga, the Art of Play, and Sion Literary Magazine (The Compass), among others.
Academic Labs and Sectionals
Subject-specific academic labs in mathematics, language arts, and world languages are offered from 3:30-4:00pm to provide additional support for all students as well as before-school sectionals from 7:30-8:00am for our Instrumental Music program as follows:
Study Skills Seminar
All grade 6 students participate in our study skills seminar designed to provide all sixth grade students with the necessary critical learning, organizing, and communication skills to be academically successful and thrive in middle school and beyond. The seminar is taught by Mrs. Esquivel, our Learning Specialist, and is held during Study Hall on B days.
National Hispanic Heritage Month
Every year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by recognizing contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States, as well as by celebrating their heritage and culture. As part of this celebration, Sra. Gonzales' students have been working collaboratively to carry out in-depth research and present this week in Spanish class, about the profound and positive influence that Hilda Solis (Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of President Obama), Mario Molina (1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), César Estrada Chávez (agrarian labor leader), Severo Ochoa (biochemist and educator), and Sandra Cisneros (acclaimed author) among others, have had and continue to have in our country. In addition, Grade 7 students will attend a Latin American Ballet performance on Monday, October 10, for an immersive and interactive learning experience.
Insect Field Trip to Smithville Lake
This annual 7th grade field trip took place on September 30 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Mr. Flournoy immersed students in an authentic and hands-on learning experience to study the Class Insecta in their natural habitat. Students had a day full of fun and learning collecting different species, which were further investigated in class. Students used their own grasshopper specimens for lab dissections in order to locate and assess function of the main anatomical features. The remaining insects will be used to construct a display box with specimens classified by orders, families, genus, and species. A variety of online websites and ID books are made available to learn classic Linnaean taxonomy!
Middle School students gather every “C” day in the chapel during 5th hour (12:50) for prayer services. The readings follow the Catholic lectionary for the liturgical year, and special services for holidays are also included. We are currently in the cycle of Year C in Ordinary Time. Students read Bible verses, prepare prayer petitions, share commentaries about the readings, and may also dramatize some Bible selections. The eighth graders prepared a special service for Rosh Hashanah on October 4.
This year our Masses will be held in the Gym, and will be led by Fr. Sunoj Thomas from St. Catherine of Siena Parish. All Middle School students are required to wear their dress uniforms on these days. Please note that all family members are welcome to attend. A big thank you to all 8th grade students and musicians who contributed in making o Mass service To access our 2016-2017 Spiritual formation calendar please click here.
Maisons, or “Houses”, are six team groups of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders who work and play together. Maisons meet every “A” day during 5th hour and wear their “House shirts” every “A” day. Students participate in three main activities during this time period: Sports, Scholars, and Service. Two Maisons compete in sports activities in the gym, two compete with academic questions in Ms. Dasenbrock’s classroom, and two participate in service by being “reading buddies” for students in first and second grade. Maisons also participate in community service activities, like donating food for the St. Francis Xavier Food Pantry, donating toys at Christmas for families served by Operation Breakthrough, and visiting residents of Bishop Spencer Place for games and craft projects. Students earn points for their Maisons by doing such things as volunteering, displaying kindness, participation in service work, or welcoming a new student.
The schedule for visits to Bishop Spencer Place for this school is as follows:
Blue House - Oct.21
Green House - Nov. 4
Orange House - Dec. 9
Purple House - Jan. 6
Red House - Mar. 31
Yellow House - Apr. 28
Parent drivers are needed for these brief field trips. Please contact Mrs. Pearson if you are available to drive when your child’s House takes this trip.
Our Fall Festival, organized by the 8th grade students and families, was held this past Saturday, October 1 from 3:00 - 7:00 pm to raise funds towards student scholarships for the annual 8th Grade Trip to Washington, DC in the Spring. Students prepared for this family-friendly event by celebrating Spirit Week last week and a Pep Rally assembly, hosted by eighth grade students– they did a fabulous job!
This year's Fall Festival was a lovely day filled with joy, fun, and entertainment for the whole family. Thank you very much for supporting this year's Fall Festival! Likewise, a big thank you to all volunteers, students, parents, sponsors, donors, and entertainers that helped make the day a great success. To view pictures of the event please click here.
Storm Stomp will take place on Friday, October 14 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm at the High School. The 3-on-3 basketball tournament (it’s just for fun, no skills required) raises money through sponsorships and team registrations for an endowed scholarship fund for financially qualified students. Registrations were sent in Homeroom folders, and handed out during Chapel. Additional registration forms are available in Mrs. Kenney's office.
Please note that all boys will go to Cool Crest in Independence for a fun day of mini golf and camaraderie on that day with our male faculty. More details will be sent via e-mail this week.
Grade School Open House
Our Open House will take place on November 17 at 4:00 pm. Please help us spread the word about this wonderful opportunity to visit and experience first-hand the Sion difference!
Sion Grade School is proud to offer girls Volleyball and Cross Country in the Fall semester. We have 5 volleyball teams and 2 of the them will be participating in the A division of the Parochial League. On the other hand, our Cross Country team consists of 20 runners, lead by our 7 eighth grade students. This year, our Cross Country team welcomes 6 new third grade students. Sion athletes are having a great season: 7th grade girls placed second in the Blocktober Volleyball tournament over the weekend, 6th grade girls played very well, 8th grade girls lost their match but remain in first place in their division! Also, cross country meets were at O’Hara High School. All of our middle school runners ran in the top 10 for this meet! We can’t wait to continue hearing about our athletes’ accomplishments! Thank you to all of our Coaches for their dedication, time, and energy. Go Lions!
Articles on Teaching and Learning
Dr. Paola V. Clark
International Educational Leader