Congratulations to St. James alumni graduates in the class of 2013! We are proud of all of these college-bound seniors for their accomplishments and future plans. Check out their Senior Spotlights below:
For parents with children in preschool, school closures bring about a unique set of challenges. Without new places to visit or new friends to interact with, young children can grow restless and irritable, and so can their parents! Many parents are also trying to work from home, so they need plans for keeping their toddlers and preschoolers occupied while they answer emails and phone calls. Children ages 2-4 are not expected to be practicing time tables, reading independently, or writing in journals, but they still need activities to keep their little minds and bodies growing.
The St. James Early Childhood Development Center is continuing to provide an exceptional education for our students during the COVID-19 closure, while also being highly flexible and optional to meet the needs of each family. Our teachers post daily Morning Meetings, read-alouds, interactive videos, and lesson plans that highlight early childhood skills and concepts in our SeeSaw online learning platform. Thanks to SeeSaw, our First Year students can sing along to the Bumble Bee Song with Ms. Donna and Ms. Chandra, Second Year students can watch and listen to Ms. Laura read Mouse Paint to them, and PreK-3 students hear their teachers sing their names during their morning “We’re Glad You’re Here Today!” song, as if they were sitting on the classroom rug. Daily lesson plans include links to stories on YouTube, counting games, fine motor skill challenges, and more. This week, the ECDC teachers even dropped off supplies for egg dyeing at each child's house, as happy gifts for the students they love.
Instruction is asynchronous, meaning parents have the ability to decide if and when their child will do the activities, without the pressure of attending class at a certain time. Second Year parent Molly Israel said, “With both parents still working full time, we don’t follow the lesson plans to the letter, or finish every suggested project, but we like the flexibility to carry out the activities when it works for us. The look on Stafford’s face when he sees Ms. Laura (or DeSha or Janine) is priceless and melts my heart. Our favorite videos, like the butterfly song and morning prayer, are played over and over at Stafford’s request.”
ECDC director Janine Borne also shares resources and optional activities daily through the HiMama app. These resources such as a Color Scavenger Hunt or a Fruit Taste Test can be downloaded and printed easily, and most use items found around the house like cardboard boxes and cotton balls. All instructions are stored in HiMama for parents to access even after school reopens on rainy days, sick days, or long weekends at home.
While we miss seeing their precious faces on campus, we hope our students and their parents still feel loved and enriched by St. James during these unprecedented times. For more information about openings in our First Year, Second Year, or PreK-3 classes for next year, contact Admissions Director Julia Spaht at email@example.com.
With care in mind for our students, faculty, staff, and all our families, St. James Episcopal Day School is following the recommendations of our Diocesan Bishop and the Louisiana Governor's Office to close our buildings until we are directed otherwise. In response to this, we have shifted our learning into our students' homes, giving instruction via distance learning, offering prayers through video chapels, and keeping in touch with one another through technologies appropriate for our children.
We have taken the following steps to ensure we are supporting our parents and students during this time:
We are aware of the stress school closures place on many of us, especially those who are trying to work while tending to our families and often working in the same shared space. As we work through the challenges, our school leadership will continue to help keep our community of parents, students, teachers, and faculty connected. The St. James’ community will pull through this together. We are so grateful to all for taking on this challenge and believe that our school will be stronger having gone through this together.
St. James Episcopal Day School third through fifth graders have been busy reading the Louisiana Young Reader’s Choice Books for 2019-2020. The book list includes 15 outstanding books that are age appropriate for our young readers. The students participate by reading at least three of these books. In January students vote for a favorite from the list.
School wide voting happened last month, when the students had a the opportunity to cast their ballot using electronic voting machines from the Office of the Secretary of State.
The top three books chosen included third place winner The Princess and The Peas by Rachel Himes; second place winner Wedgie and Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors; and the top choice in first place was Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.
Congratulations to all of our students for participating, including the students pictured who went above and beyond the three book reading requirement!
First graders learned about America and its people in an integrated social studies unit this month, culminating in a Famous Americans Day on February 20th. The unit began with students reading several biographies about different Famous Americans, through which they learned how to take notes on their reading. They then turned their notes into an informative writing piece, which was one of many ways the students demonstrated their understanding of timelines and biographies. They also created timelines of their own lives.
In another math lesson, students ordered numbers from least to greatest by sorting Famous Americans’ birthday years first into centuries (1700s, 1800s, 1900) and then by sorting within each century by the range of when their Famous American was born (example: who was born in-between 1700-1750). Students also used their math abilities to solve challenging math problems around the classroom while figuring out a 100s chart mystery picture--a flag!
To close the unit, students chose a Famous American who has positively contributed and impacted society. Then they researched individuals such as Georgia O'Keefe, Neil Armstrong, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Katherine Johnson, Daniel Boone, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, and Mark Twain using books, articles, and the Internet. Following their research, the students created a speech that they performed in front of parents and the school on Famous Americans’ Day. In art, students created a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and they also produced a flag that hung on a poster above their station at the Famous Americans’ celebration in Bishops Hall.
Throughout the day, the whole school community enjoyed "pressing buttons" to hear the individuals come to life, viewing expert costumes, and learning about men and women who shaped American history.