Catholic schools raise the standards

4:48 PM, Jan. 21, 2013  |  Comments
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The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2013 is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards."

The theme expresses exactly what St. Mary's Springs Academy is all about. Students are challenged every day to improve not only academically but morally. Students strengthen their faith and their relationship with God every day. They concentrate on academics, which in Catholic schools are held to the highest standards, so they can reach their highest potential. They practice service - giving time, talent and effort to help others - as an expression of both faith and good citizenship. St. Mary's Springs Academy raises the standards in faith, academics and service.

Catholic Identity is what SMSA is about and it is incorporated in all that we do. Liturgical and prayer service experiences are some of the most important features of Catholic living at our campuses. They are celebrated in a form meaningful to the age groups, and involve the children through active participation. Each school begins and ends each day with prayer, prayer experiences are shared throughout the day, and students are involved in the planning of liturgies. At the high school, students serve as Eucharistic ministers, attend annual class retreats. This year we have held our all System masses at Holy Family Church - busing all students to pray together. It has been a powerful commitment of what Catholic Education is all about. We are grateful for the support we receive from Holy Family Catholic Community in promoting and sustaining Catholic education. We commit to service projects throughout the year, assisting local families and agencies in prayer and support with various activities.

Here are a few other areas that St. Mary's Springs Academy has raised the standards:

? Student Services - K-8 Student Services Coordinator provides support to students with Individualized Education Plans and other learning needs. She works close with teachers and students to make sure all have the necessary tools to provide a quality, individualized academic plan for each student.

? Academics - Raising the standards academically. Much focus has been on the math curriculum and while that continues to be a priority in our pre-school through high school, we are focusing on our reading and writing programs. A new Writer's Workshop program has been implemented which meets students at their individual level and allows them to develop at their own rate while still being challenged to grow with teacher guidance.

? Technology - Through a generous donation from an anonymous donor, we have purchased iPads for our Pre-K - 8th grades. Classrooms are equipped with document cameras and Smartboards along with upgrades to computer labs and Google mail accounts for students. Technology is integrated into all classes daily in multiple ways.

? Busing - In partnership with Winnebago Lutheran Academy, we are now able to offer busing to students in many outlying communities including: Iron Ridge, Montello, Princeton, Plymouth, West Bend, Kewaskum, Eden, Waucousta, St. Cloud, Rosendale, Brownsville, Green Lake, Lomira and Mt. Calvary.

? Wellness - We believe in the health and well being of our faculty and students. We have implemented a comprehensive wellness plan that outlines how we take care of not only physical but also spiritual health. We have added salad bars and revised our hot lunch menus to feature well balanced, healthy options. We have taste tests and ask for student input. We incorporate fitness outside of gym class with Fitness Fridays and recess for all grade school students. A Wellness Calendar offers daily inspiration and ideas to be fit socially, spiritually and physically.

? Lead Love Learn - At SMSA we believe in positive reinforcement for our discipline program - teaching children to make good choices and helping others are the foundation of our discipline plan. They learn to take responsibility for their actions and are rewarded for making positive choices. Weekly parent information is provided on the same philosophy so the message is carried out at home.

? Co-Curricular Activities - We are blessed at SMSA to offer a wealth of choices in co-curricular activities for pre-school through high school students. We had another successful year in football with another State Championship under Coach Bob Hyland. Our fine arts program has performed several plays including the Wizard of Oz for kids in the grade school through High School. Peter Pan and Guys and Dolls is planned this spring with opportunities for participation in many grade levels. From academic clubs, to sports, to fine arts, there is something for everyone. Our teachers and coaches are committed to instilling Christian values, promoting sportsmanship, creativity and the development of well-rounded students.

? Childcare - SMSA has added a year round child care program. The program is offered before and after school as well. Age appropriate field trips and activities along with nutritious meals are available in the program.

? Alumni - With over a hundred years of rich Catholic history, SMSA has been developing a stronger Alumni focus. All our graduates have a story to tell. We have held several alumni events including honoring some of our past state champs. We have a Facebook page dedicated to the rich history of St. Mary's Springs that highlights photos of past students. Make sure to like - Legends of the Ledge on Facebook.

? Service - Service has long been an important element of a Catholic education. In order to raise well-rounded students who have an understanding of our world and the needs of those in our society who struggle, SMSA elementary, middle and high school students participate in a variety of service projects. Students in all grades focus on service projects. This years' focus has been on the food pantries in memory of Fr. Vic who cared deeply for the poor. Many families and teachers participate in Super Spin Saturday Ride for Rosita - an event near and dear to Fr. Vic.

For more information, go to and like our Facebook page.

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports