Warm February Greetings!

National Catholic Schools Week was celebrated across the country the week of January 26th. I believe, however, that we don’t need a designated week set aside for Catholic Schools, because each and every day, we celebrate Catholic education at St. Thomas the Apostle School. With that said, it is always exciting for me to be part of a week that calls attention to what I believe is an affirmation of the choices you have made for your children.

The national theme for Catholic Schools Week 2020 was Catholic Schools; Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. Here at St. Thomas we added an additional focus to our week “Living in Harmony”. Each day carried a different theme; Harmony with God, Harmony with neighbors, Harmony with ourselves, Harmony with the earth and Harmony with our school community. A great week was had by all our students and faculty.

On Sunday, January 26th, we held our annual Open House for prospective families as well as for our St. Thomas School families.  I was excited to see so many of our families attend and I was very encouraged meeting many new families considering St. Thomas the Apostle School. I ask all of you to help us build our enrollment and mention St. Thomas School to a friend or co-worker. For over eighty-five years of Catholic education, we know the great gift we have at St. Thomas the Apostle School, please pass on the good news!

February is a month of hearts and valentines, of love, kindness and compassion. May we continue to be a community that reaches out to others, and may the great heart of St. Thomas the Apostle School, of which we are all a part, continue to feel the love of a gracious God.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sr. Patty                                              

FEBRUARY NEWS 

BE SURE TO CHECK THE ‘CALENDAR’ ON THE HOME PAGE OF OUR WEBSITE FOR IMPORTANT DATES AND EVENTS!

FAMILY PASTA DINNER NIGHT  –  A great big “THANK YOU” to all the families who attended the Family Pasta Dinner Night! Our faculty enjoyed greeting and serving the wonderful families who came out for this event. We are especially grateful to the West Springfield Lion’s Club for preparing the delicious pasta dinner. A great night was had by all!

THOMAS SCHOOL BOOK FAIR! February 4, 5 and 6 – We encourage all of our families to visit and purchase books from our Book Fair. Information has been sent home informing you of the day and time your child’s class will be attending the Book Fair. The Book Fair will be held in Mrs. Hourihan’s room, 2-3. Thank you in advance for your participation!

 SAVE THE DATE!! –

We are happy to announce that our Spring Concert will take place on Friday, May 15, at 12:15 in the church. Students in grades preschool through grade eight will participate in this great Spring event!                                           

Our Annual School Picnic for students and their families will be on Friday, May 22!                                                                             

These dates were not on the Master Calendar that was sent home at the beginning of the school year.

Did You Know……

We are excited to announce that we have started a BOYS CODING CLUB for boys in grades 4-8. The club began on Tuesday, January 21, and will run for 10 weeks. Mrs. Anne Crouss, Mrs. Kate Day and Fr. Jack Sheaffer work weekly with the boys after school, under the direction of Mrs. Agnes Gonet. The club teaches them about computer programming. Coding puts children in control of the computer and through experimentation, builds mastery in sequencing skill, problem solving, logical thinking, cause and effect and critical thinking.

GIRLS ON THE RUN coming to St. Thomas Spring 2020 –The second season of GIRLS ON THE RUN will begin in March, for girls in grades 3-5.  This is a 10 week program where the girls will develop essential skills to help them establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with a GIRLS ON THE RUN 5k running event which the girls train for over the course of the 10 weeks.

THOMAS MIDDLE SCHOOL STEM ACTIVITIES – St. Thomas School students have been chosen as STEM grant award recipients from the HESS Truck program. The program has awarded our school with STEM learning kits which include HESS trucks and a curriculum guide for students in grades 6-8.Using the HESS trucks provided, students will familiarize themselves with truck design, towing capabilities through towing challenges, and experimentation with hydraulic booms used by tow trucks. Investigations will be conducted to see how tire friction is essential for pulling vehicles from a rut. Students will learn the force capability of a lever and learn how to measure fuel efficiency while towing over different road surfaces, and use these measurements to estimate the cost of operating a towing business.  Many thanks to Miss Hawley for applying for and receiving this grant!

MORE STEM FUN FOR OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL – On Thursday, January 30, grades 6, 7, & 8 traveled to Interskate 91 and participated in a fun STEM activity day! The STEM lesson was entitled, “Formulas, Fractions and Fun”. Our students learned how math concepts can be found throughout the design of a skating rink. Students enjoyed measuring and calculating the speed of a skater. Measures of central tendency were reviewed and students used mean, median and mode to discuss the skate sizes of their classmates. Geometry was also part of the STEM lesson and different shapes and sizes were found and discussed throughout the skating rink. This hands-on STEM lesson was fun and engaging for our students!

SHARK TANK PROJECT – Students in grades 6 & 7 were challenged to create a product and business proposal as if they were planning to pitch it on the TV show, Shark Tank. During their math and enrichment classes, students worked together in groups or individually to create a project that the sharks on the Shark Tank TV episode would invest in. Group members shared in the presentation of their product by using power points, posters and flyers. Robotic doctors, an air-conditioned hockey helmet, pills for dogs to prevent shedding and a rolling date stamp/stapler were just some of the great ideas presented by our 6th and 7th grade students.