Staying in the Moment by Blaine Wyninger, Assistant Principal

Staying in the Moment by Blaine Wyninger, Assistant Principal

A little over a year ago, my wife came up to me and asked me, “Do you mind if I go out to eat with my friends tomorrow evening?” At that moment, I thought to myself what most men with multiple little ones would think when they realize that they will be solely responsible for homework, dinner prep, bath time, and overall well being of their brood: “No way!”. Fortunately, I was able to work up the little bit of virtue I possessed, and simply said, “Sure thing. Go have fun with you friends. I got it.”

The next day I began the mental preparation.: I would make an easy meal, that way I wouldn’t be bogged down in the kitchen while I was trying to help my 3rd grader with his homework. I would make the little ones go play in the backyard while there was still daylight, get them bathed after dinner, and then have them all asleep before my wife gets home.
And then Life happened.

The noodles boiled over. My son spilled his drink. A couple of the others got in an argument, that sent the younger one into an uncontrollable sobfest. All the while, in the back of my mind I had something I wanted to get to: Finish the podcast I had begun the day before. With ever new event that life threw at me that evening, the thing that I wanted to get to at the end of the evening, my beloved podcast, was right there at the front of my mind, tainting my view of what was right in front of me, which was precious time with the children God had given me.
The evening culminated at bath time with my two youngest daughters, Zelie and Gianna. After the boiled-over noodles, spilled drink, and fight club session between siblings, to say that I was a little “short” would be an understatement. Every ounce of my body language was communicating to them, “Get in. Get clean. Get out.”

As I’m rushing to get my daughters clean, Zelie says to me, “Can we have a bubble bath?”
And then suddenly, I felt a Nudge. A little Thought that sounded like it came from me, but I knew it wasn’t from me. In my younger years, I missed these Nudges often. To be honest, I still do more times than I’d like to admit. but this time, I didn’t. I felt The Presence whisper to me in my heart of hearts, “Don’t rush it. You might not ever get to give them bubbles again.”
At that moment I felt a warmth come over me that I know was from the Holy Spirit. God’s peace came over me, and I was able to enter in and give my daughters the play time in a bubble bath that they wanted. There they were, oblivious to the chaos that was going on in my own little universe, partaking in the simple joys of bath time, playing with bubbles. And I was able to get out of myself, and see my beautiful daughters enjoy their time with one another. What began as one of the worst evenings, was now transformed to one of the best, because I stopped listening to myself saying how bad of an evening it was, and started listening to God tell me how blessed I was. Right here. Right now. The podcast wasn’t important anymore. Being present with my daughters was.

I write this, because I’m sure we all at times have our “podcasts” that keep us from entering into the beauty of the present moment. Maybe it’s preoccupation with insurance settlements, rather than working on homework with our kids. Maybe it’s vegging out on TV when your son just wants to play one on one. Maybe you’re just like me, and you just want to rush through the afternoon to get to the thing that you want, rather than entering into the beauty and mystery of family life. I challenge you to reflect on my experience, and take to prayer this question: “What are thing(s) in my life that I can’t control, that I am letting take me away from where God has placed me right now?”

I’m thankful for the gift of that evening. I have drawn upon it many evenings since. It is my hope that the Grace that God bestowed on me will be a blessing to you as well.

-Blaine Wyninger, Assistant Principal

Personal Finance students prepare for College and Careers

Personal Finance students prepare for College and Careers

This week, our Personal Finance students finished up the Paying for College Unit. Students took a deep dive in learning the Financial Aid process. Topics included: filling out the FAFSA, reading a Student Aid Report, learning the difference between a college sticker price and net price, scholarships and grants, and analyzing the financial aid award letter. To conclude the unit, we invited Mrs. Susan Holmes to come in to share her expertise on preparing for college.

Star Testing for Saints

Star Testing for Saints

This week and next week, students will take the STAR Assessment in both English and math. Teachers will use this data to accurately measure their mastery of certain skills in these subjects and to check for learning gaps that may exist. Students who show growth from their fall assessments will be entered into a raffle for a gift card. 

PSAT Testing is January 26th for 10th & 11th Graders 

PSAT Testing is January 26th for 10th & 11th Graders 

PSAT Testing is January 26th for 10th & 11th graders

What is it and why should I care about it?

Cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT)—often shortened to PSAT—is a standardized test targeting 10th and 11th graders in the US. Every year, approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT test at various high schools. But why take it at all?

As it stands, the PSAT is heavily connected to the SAT. One of the test’s primary purposes is to act as a precursor to the SAT—as the name suggests, as an SAT practice test. But the two tests aren’t identical. Regardless, for many students it is also the first exposure to any college admissions exam, including the ACT we tend to take in Louisiana, so students can get the practice on what to expect of a real college admissions testing.

In addition to being a preparatory test for college admissions testing, the PSAT is a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program. PSAT scores determine students’ eligibility for National Merit scholarships. Each year the top 1% of 11th-grade PSAT takers become Semifinalists. Semifinalists receive national recognition which can lead to lots of scholarship offers from various universities. Each year, SLCHS has been fortunate enough to have one to two Semifinalists.

How can my student prepare?

Through our English & Math classes, we have had our students completing test practice questions through a software program called Prep Factory. We encourage students to continue to take these assignments seriously.

There is also an official PSAT Student Guide that offers students insights and practice questions. In a normal year we receive a paper copy for each student, but College Board has indicated that we shouldn’t expect any materials before January 15th. Should the study guides arrive, we will certainly pass them out, but the document is linked above.

My student has a Service Plan, what happens?

We have filed your student’s paperwork with The College Board. The College Board makes an independent decision regarding disability accommodations and has notified us of their decision. Mrs. Holmes will be sending out emails to parents about the College Board accommodation decisions and what that means for the disabled student.

Ughovwa Selected to the Ambassador Leadership Program by the National Society of High School Scholars

Ughovwa Selected to the Ambassador Leadership Program by the National Society of High School Scholars

A role model to peers, Nicholas Ughovwa ’21 was selected out of hundreds of applicants for demonstrating strong academic achievement and a commitment to community service. Each year, student members of NSHSS are invited to apply for leadership roles responsible for representing the society in their schools and inspiring peers to become more involved in community activities.

Nicholas serves the community with a pure heart. Early in the year when the pandemic hit, Nicholas and his sister began reaching out to the community through their Psalm 91 boxes. This act of service not only brought joy to the community that were closed in due to the pandemic, but it brought hope.

Congratulations Nicholas on an amazing accomplishment! Keep being the hands and feet of Christ.

Saints 12 Days of Reading

Saints 12 Days of Reading

You are invited to participate in the 12 Days of Reading activity. It’s so easy to participate and will get your brain ready for the new year PLUS prizes will be awarded. Check out the instructions and template.

Do you know the benefits of reading 20 minutes per day? According to the New York Post (https://nypost.com/2019/12/31/the-new-years-vow-everyone-should-make-read-at-least-20-minutes-a-day/), studies show that the benefits are:

  • sharpens skills valuable to workforce such as memory retention, social-emotional skills, and critical thinking
  • creates empathy
  • increases vocabulary
  • better performance on standardized tests
  • it’s fun, helps with stress, and increases imagination and creativity

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

Self-Paced Lessons: Algebra II Transformations of Parent Functions

Self-Paced Lessons: Algebra II Transformations of Parent Functions

Mrs. Manns’s Algebra II classes are learning Transformations of Parent Functions by completing self-paced lessons. During this time, students watch videos, complete interactive assignments, and work together while Mrs. Manns is able to provide direct and differentiated instruction to all students.

 

 

Academic Remediation a Huge Success

Academic Remediation a Huge Success

Academic Remediation was a huge success! Students were able to use the 70-minute period to see teachers for tutoring, complete any missing or make up assignments, meet with the Counselors, practice for the ACT or participate in a spiritual activity.

Here’s what a few Saints had to say about the gift of time in Academic Remediation:

” I was so grateful for the extra time.” – Maggie H. ’22

“What a wonderful thing it is for us to be able to attend a school that cares enough to focus on the classes we need extra help in.” – Kyleigh A. ’23

Entrepreneurship Class holds YE Auction

Entrepreneurship Class holds YE Auction

Students in Mrs. Lavine’s Entrepreneurship class earn YE Dollars to bid in the auction. Students learn about scarce goods, inflation, voluntary exchange, personal choice, subjective value, as well as the foundational values in the Youth Entrepreneurs program. Auction items included: 2 snack packs (1 sold at $50.00 and 1 sold at $15.00, and a choice of one $15.00 gift card sold at $115.00)

HOSA Meeting

HOSA Meeting

HOSA members will meet Wednesday, December 16th at 7:15 am in room 12. We will be electing officers. Only members that have paid their dues will be allowed to run for office and vote. Dues deadline has been extended to Monday. Remember dues are $25. (checks only) Make checks to St. Louis, in the memo line, put HOSA and the student’s name. Email Mrs. Richard with questions.