Catholic Schools Week
National Catholic Schools Week celebrations begin this Sunday, January 30th! Like Catholic schools across the country, St. Mary’s Springs Academy will mark each day next week with a special theme, all designed to celebrate our Catholic school identity and heritage. Appropriately CSW begins with Mass and ends with Mass.
SMSA families are encouraged to attend the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass at Holy Family Church to help kick-off the week. Students are encouraged to wear spirit wear with dress pants or skirts. Students, faculty and staff will have various roles in the celebration, Fr. Justin Weber, our chaplain, is the celebrant, and Mrs. Akey will be sharing remarks after communion. Of course, coffee and donuts will be served after Mass!
Here is the high school plan and themes for Catholic Schools Week:
- Sunday, January 30th – Celebrating Your Parish
- 10am Mass at Holy Family followed by reception/ hospitality
- Monday, January 31st – Celebrate Your Community
- Wear Spiritwear to show Ledger pride! Ledger Wear Hats allowed
- Tuesday, February 1st – Celebrating Students
- “Hats off” to students – students pay $5 to wear an appropriate hat and jersey. Money donated to MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer)
- Student Council distributes treats to students
- Assembly at 1:45pm in Hutter Gym featuring activities as well as student and faculty testimonials about the value of Catholic education.
- OPEN HOUSE for prospective families, 6-7:30pm followed by Girls Basketball in Hutter Gym
- Wednesday, February 2nd – Celebrating the Nation
- Students wear appropriate, non political patriotic USA apparel (hats not permitted)
- Thursday, February 3rd – Celebrating Vocations
- Students may wear University/college apparel (no hats)
- Friday, February 4th Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers
- Dress up day for all students
- All System Mass at Holy Family Church at 9:15am
SMSA Adopts GoGuardian Beacon
GoGuardian offers a variety of online services such as GoGuardian Admin and GoGuardian Teacher that over 10,000 schools use to help protect 5.5 million students from harmful or distracting online content while using school technology.
Ever since the decision was made to adopt 1:1 Chromebooks for students, Go Guardian has been an important partner on the Ledge. This school year, SMSA has expanded our GoGuardian product services to include GoGuardian Beacon as part of our school’s broader suicide prevention program. GoGuardian products are used in over 8,500 schools and 5,000 districts in the US, supporting over 23 million students.
GoGuardian Beacon is important to our school community because suicide is now one of the most pressing issues facing youth; in fact, 18.8 percent of high school students in 2019 reported having seriously considered attempting suicide over the past 12 months, according to the Center of Disease Control. CDC, 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) (2019). Additionally, GoGuardian Beacon may help SMSA intervene even when students have difficulty asking adults for help. Nine out of ten teens (90%) who report symptoms of depression say they have gone online for information on mental health issues – Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-Being Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S. (2018).
Soon, SMSA parents will be receiving more details about how to engage with GoGuardian Beacon. In the meantime, parents are urged to view the short 3 minute video introduction found at this link GoGuardian Beacon Demo
Internet Safety Presentation – Save the Date!
We are very pleased to announce that on February 23, SMSA will be hosting special live/in-person presentations focused on Internet safety. Mr. Eric Szatkowski shall present to all high school students during the school day and will provide a special adult only presentation to parents at 6:00pm on that same evening in Baker Gym.
Now retired from law enforcement, Mr. Szatkowski was a distinguished Special Agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice/ Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for 24 years, 16 assigned to the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Milwaukee. He was recognized as the Wisconsin Attorney General Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2014, and selected as a Special Agent-in-Charge in 2015. Eric’s law enforcement experience also included undercover murder-for-hire, homicide, cold-case homicides, tracking fugitives, and drug enforcement. .
Eric’s dynamic presentations, attended by more than 300,000 people from Wisconsin and the U.S., use real life examples to take an in-depth look into the latest trends of digital exploitation of children and a comprehensive approach to Internet safety. All programs for youth are age-appropriate, and at SMSA will be designed for 6th-8th graders, high school students, and a powerful parents/adults-only program, “The Dark Side of Cyberspace: the Internet, Smart Phones, and Social Media.”
More details about Mr. Szatkowski’s presentation will be shared in the weeks ahead. At this time, we urge all parents to save the date for this important opportunity for our Springs community.
Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us!
Eamonn O’Keeffe Principal, High School