From the Office of Eamonn O'Keeffe: High School Principal

J-Term FAQ’s

Q: Is J-Term required for all Ledgers?
A: Yes. To fulfill the required annual instructional hours required by DPI and the Archdiocesan Office of Schools, all Ledgers are required to register for a single (1) January Term course each school year in which they are enrolled at SMSA. Semesters I & II have been shortened to 82 days each, and combined with the 13 days of J-Term total 177 days of school and the required instructional hours for the year.


Q: Are J-Term classes graded Pass-Fail?
A: No. Each J-Term course will use the unweighted SMSA grading scale (4.3 GPA for A+). Students will earn a letter grade for J-Term courses.


Q: Do students earn academic credit for J-Term Courses?
A: Yes, the instructional time during J-Term equates to 0.5 academic credit hours. This is equivalent to the academic credit hours earned for one semester long course.


Q: What if a student is absent during J-Term?
A: The compulsory attendance policies of the State of Wisconsin, SMSA and the Archdiocese apply to J-Term. Parents/guardians are required to notify school attendance officials whenever a student will miss any part of a school day. Since J-Term is a compressed learning term – with a single J-Term class period equal to three classes of a semester cycle course – missing one day if J-Term shall be significant and may hinder a students academic progress and term grade. As always, Ledgers with an excused absence are responsible for all missing class work unless a formal medical exemption is approved by the principal. Students who experience illness during J-Term can depend on the support of teachers, school counselors and administration for learning support.


Q: What if our family has made plans out of town during J-Term?
A: The academic administration has prepared an approved credit recovery plan for any student who may be unable to participate in J-Term. The 0.5 credit lost must be recovered immediately upon return to school in Quarter 3. Further details will only be shared as needed/appropriate.


Q: When does J-Term occur?
A: The first day of J-Term is Wednesday, January 3, 2024. Students will meet for J-Term classes every weekday through Friday, January 19, the final day of J-Term.


Q: When will Semester II begin?
A: Semester II classes begin on January 23 (NOTE: There are no classes scheduled for Monday, January 22)


Q: Will J-Term courses cost extra?
A: J-Term courses are included in the cost of SMSA annual tuition. To help support this new initiative, SMSA received an Archdiocesan G.I.F.T.S. grant of $10K.


Q: Will students be on field trips during J-Term?
A: Yes. There will be days that students will leave the SMSA campus to engage in specially planned experiential learning opportunities…some of which may be 3-4 hours in duration, others that may last an entire day (7-10 hours). Most days, however, students will be on-campus. Like normal practice, any learning that may take place off campus will require parental permission slips which will be facilitated through the J-Term teacher.


Q: Will J-term offer students the opportunity to enroll in Tech/Shop style courses?
A: Yes. SMSA is very pleased to partner with Moraine Park Technical College to offer 5 courses during J-Term. These five courses will meet for a full school day, and have limits on enrollment to abide safety norms. MPTC credit may also be earned.


Q: Will lunch be available to high school students during J-Term?
A: Yes. When students are learning on campus during J-Term, lunch will be scheduled at the usual time. When students are off campus, teachers and chaperones will make sure to plan for lunch, and these specific plans/needs will be communicated to parents and guardians by the J-Term instructor(s).


Q: Are J-Term classes taught in teams?
A: About half of J-term classes will be taught by more than one teacher in a team approach. Whether taught by one or more instructors, all J-Term courses offer interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities.


Q: When will students choose J-Term courses?
A: Students and parents will receive a brochure/course guide for J-Term at the end of October. Students will also learn about their J-Term options at a school wide assembly during the week of October 24. During registration, students will indicate a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of J-Term classes. While we hope to accommodate student’s 1st choice as often as possible, most students will be taking a class that is their alternate choice.


Q: Are seniors expected to do service during J-Term?
A: Yes. Mrs. Gentile, Mrs. Sales and Mrs. Theel are coordinating our new “Beatitude Project” for seniors during the 13 days of J-Term. Seniors will be free after 12:40 pm during J-Term to engage with their chosen community service in the afternoon.

Watch for additional J-Term information next week in this same space!


Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us.

News & Information

Winter Sport Athletic Forms

As fall sports start to wind down, the SMSA Athletic Department is beginning preparations for winter sports. If you have an athlete interested in participating on a winter sports team, the athletic paperwork needs to be completed prior to the season start. If your athlete has competed in a fall sport, they do not need to complete the paperwork again. The forms are included in the link below.


Please contact Kelly Mueller at with any questions. Good luck to our fall sports teams as they finish their seasons. Go Ledgers!


Registration Form



Booster Club Admission and Concession Volunteers Needed!

If you are the parent of an athlete, please consider giving of your time to help out in one of our concession stands or with admissions. The Booster Club supports ALL SMSA sports, so feel free to help out at activities your kiddos are not in, to assure other parents can watch their son or daughter in that particular sport. This is a great opportunity to serve and see/meet more of our Ledger family.


Signing up is easy…..just click on one of the links and select a date that best fits your schedule.


A big thank you to those that have already signed up and given their support!


Varsity Football

JV Football



It's Big Money Raffle Time!

It’s that time of year again! Time for St. Mary’s Springs Academy’s “Big Money Raffle” (BMR). Who will win $20,000 this year!?


This cash raffle is one of only three major fundraisers for SMSA that involves EVERY family, Pre-K through 12th grade. Each family receives 5 BMR tickets to sell and/or purchase. Tickets are being distributed this year as follows:

  • If your youngest child attending SMSA is in high school, you may have picked up your tickets at the North Hall entrance on October 3 & 4th.
  • Any remaining tickets that were not distributed on October 3 or 4th will be sent home with your child at SMSA on Monday, October 9th.

Please review the information included in the envelope regarding this fundraiser. Tickets may be returned to school with your child or to the North, South or Scrip offices any time before the noon drawing on Friday, January 12, 2024.


If you have any questions, or if you would like to purchase additional tickets, please contact a member of the BMR committee, listed below.


Valerie Everson
Stephanie Fessler
Katie Mathos
Lisa Shannon
Sasha Smith



Student Picture Retake Date - Thursday, October 12, 2023

Picture retakes are Thursday October 12th, 2023. Please send your child(ren)’s original pictures back to turn in when they go for their retake. If your child was not at school during the original date, they will also be getting their picture taken on this date.



Upcoming Dates

October 5 & 6: No School (Teacher in-service)


High School Counseling

A good Starting Point for Class of 2024!

This PDF lists college visits, scholarships, and will be a good starting point for you. Use this link to schedule a meeting with Mrs. McCarthy or Mr. Resop:


Schedule a meeting View PDF


Scholarship Opportunity - Lands' End Starboard Scholarship


We’re excited to announce our 2023-2024 scholarship program is open for entries. Since 2019, we’ve awarded 24 scholarships—a total of $215,000—to students who have shown exceptional leadership skills.


Up to five $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to eligible Preferred School students in grades 8-12. Visit for full eligibility guidelines.



Tobacco Compliance Check Student Opportunity

We need your help!!