From the Office of Eamonn O'Keeffe

All in this Together 

After the spring virtual term concluded last June, SMSA parents were surveyed about the experience with virtual learning and about their hopes for returning to school in the fall.  Faculty and staff received a similar survey.  Overwhelmingly, both constituent groups revealed a strong preference  and hope that in-person learning could return to the Ledge in the fall.  It appeared that we were #allinthistogether, motivated and unified by a mutual desire for in-person learning and committed to making that dream a reality for our Ledgers. 


The Return to the Ledge plan, RTTL2.0, was finalized in July.  The plan transparently underscores what would be necessary to make in-person learning a possibility.  The document highlighted the critical importance that wearing masks, social distancing and regular hand washing plays.  Without these key health protocols, in-person learning is not possible.  This fact has been reinforced lately by Fond du Lac County’s return to Phase I status due to the negative trajectories of the County COVID dashboard data. Thankfully, since August, SMSA faculty, staff and parents have dutifully executed our plan.  It is because the Springs community has accepted the fundamental call to be all in this together that success has followed! 


As these early weeks have unfolded, the resilience of our students has been impressive! The benefits of both in-person learning and ‘blended’ (synchronous and asynchronous) learning, have come into focus.  Likewise, each day it is clearer and clearer that our community must continually, consciously strengthen its resolve to remain ‘all in this together.’  We cannot take it for granted. We all have to stay working at it.  


Put directly: if we hope to remain learning in-person at SMSA, there can be no room for division or dissent within our community of teenagers, parents, faculty and staff around the core values, health habits, and protocols of Return to the Ledge.  Metaphorically speaking, if we do not ‘sing from the same hymnal’  regarding the importance of masks, social distancing, and hand washing, I fear that the resulting disharmony may produce fractured, negative consequences for our community that nobody wants and that does not serve our students. 


It is a challenge to achieve consistent unity of purpose from within a community that is as beautifully rich and diverse in perspectives (spiritual, political, social) as the Springs. I believe SMSA has met this challenge in the past, and I believe we will successfully meet the challenge again moving forward together!  What inspires my confidence? I see how much we all love our Ledgers and want what is best for them! I also believe that God is present within our school-family partnership.  Because we mutually love the children with whom God has blessed us, we are each prepared to make any sacrifice to keep our kids safe, healthy and learning in-person together! 


SMSA has the capacity and grace to demonstrate what true beauty and unity results when parents, students, teachers and benefactors all sing from the same hymnal – even when we may not equally like the music!  We are all in this together, and I thank God for that. 


Mid-Quarter Progress Reports

Wednesday, August 26 – Friday, September 25 is the first of eight grading periods of the year.  Teachers have until Monday, September 28th at 11:59 p.m. to add and post grades for this period. On Tuesday, September 29th, at 3:30 p.m. parents can open Skyward, navigate to “Family Access” and then click the “Portfolio” tab to see a posted progress report. 


We Are All Connected

You may know that three positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within our high school during the first 5 weeks of school.  The three positive cases were contracted off the Ledge.  Together, these positive cases  resulted in the exposure and quarantine of around 75 students that contact tracing revealed had close contact with the positive case.  In each case, we are pleased to report that as of today, none of those quarantined have contracted the virus!


This tells us that we are not transmitting/spreading the virus on the Ledge!  It tells us that our protocols and safety measures are working to keep the maximum number of students learning in-person! It also tells us that what happens away from school may impact those on the Ledge.  


I urge colleagues, parents and students to understand that the social choices we may make away from the Ledge may have an impact on our program and community.  Please choose your social plans thoughtfully and prayerfully, with an eye toward your impact on others and your added social responsibility to the Springs community.  


Spirit Week is Coming!

We are all disappointed that a traditional Homecoming will not be experienced this fall on the Ledge.  Of course, football, volleyball and soccer have all been postponed until the Spring season.  Due to the local health conditions and Phase I status of the County, regrettably a dance is not possible on Saturday, October 3rd as hoped.  


However, the Student Council and a committee of committed teachers have been making plans for a mid-October “Spirit Week” that promises to help us celebrate our Ledger pride. Stay tuned for more information in next week’s eLedger! 


Ledger Learning Guide

Parents are encouraged to check the Ledger Learning Guide to keep updated on instructional expectations and course learning targets for their teens.  The LLG can be found on the SMSA Website under the tab for Parent & Family Resources.  We recommend that all parents bookmark the LLG landing page  SMSA Ledger Learning Guides Home Page

News and Information

Fall Drama Goes Virtual!

We will be going virtual for the fall drama program! We are introducing monologues, which are one person speeches often taking place within plays, but so many possibilities of one topic monologues to be chosen from. We will be meeting in the HS Band and Choral room at 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday September 30th to talk over how this will work and see what interest is out there. There are options for people interested in tech as well! Please email me at if you have conflicts with the meeting date or time.

High School Counseling

News and Information

University of Notre Dame – Financial Aid 101

You know of our reputation for academic excellence. We also want you to know that we are committed to need-blind admission and to meeting 100 percent of financial need.


Wondering what these statements really mean? In this issue of Financial Aid 101, we’ll start by defining a few financial aid terms.  Click here to learn more!

Upcoming Dates

Service Academy Day – September 19th

Congressman Tom Tiffany is having a Service Academy Day on Saturday, September 19th at 11:30 a.m. at the The Eagles Club (outdoors) under a 40’ x 80’ FT tent in Wausau, WI. (Registration at 11:00 a.m.).

Address- 1703 S 3rd Ave, Wausau, WI 54401 (Tent in the Baseball Diamond)


Admissions counselors from all 5 Federal Service Academies will be represented (USNA/Annapolis, USMA/West Point, USAFA/Air Force, the US Coast Guard Academy, and US Merchant Marine Academy/Kings Point) The student does not need to reside in Congressman Tiffany’s district to attend…not every Congressman/woman does these information seminars.


Gaining admissions to USNA is a two part event. The student must obtain a nomination from his/her Senator, Congressman, the Vice President (or President if they have an active duty parent or guardsman). This year, Senatorial nominations close out at the end of this month. Each Congressman also sets his/her own date, typically mid-Oct to submit the required paperwork and sign up for an interview.


Then he/she must apply for one of the 800 slots for HS students from around the country. This involves getting letters from an English and Math teacher, as well as an in-person interview with a Blue and Gold Officer (BGO). There is also a physical fitness screening administered to each student.


Admissions into a service academy is on par with being admitted to an Ivy League school due to the selectivity.


Wisconsin typically has anywhere from 7 to 25 students admitted.

Career Exploration

Virtual Manufacturing Day at Sargento Foods – October 2nd

At this Virtual Career Experience we will share our Sargento Family Culture, Company History, 2 minute video, Career Conversations with Manufacturing Employees and LIVE STREAM from our plant floor.


Click here to register today!  The event will be held on Friday, October 2nd at 11:00 a.m.


Here are the four areas you and your students can learn more about:

  1. Production – requirement high school diploma  to work in production utility with the opportunity to advance your career in any area: production, maintenance, engineering, information technology based on job performance and pursuing a higher education degree through the Sargento tuition reimbursement program
  2. Maintenance – requirement electro mechanical associates degree to work on robotics, industrial controls and Mechatronics 
  3. Engineering – requirement electrical or mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree
  4. Manufacturing Information Technology – requirement high school diploma or associates degree pending job applying for that has to do with computer science and internet of things used on a plant floor 

Job Opportunities

No news at this time.

Scholarship Opportunities

Epic Flight Academy – Deadlines October 1st

Do you have students whose heads are in the clouds? We invite U.S. high school students who are interested in flight training (click here) or aviation maintenance (click here) to apply for Epic Flight Academy’s 3 aviation scholarships. We are located in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and welcome applicants from all around the U.S.


For full details and link to the online application, please click here.

College/University SMSA visits

No updates at this time.

College/University Visits

Virtual Wisconsin Education Fair – Multiple Dates

Exploring colleges this fall?

Register for the virtual Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) to find colleges, universities, military branches and specialty schools that you’re most interested in from the comfort of your own home. Plus, it’s FREE to attend!


WEF Fall Dates:

  • Wednesday, October 7, 2020
  • Sunday, November 8, 2020

To attend any of the WEFs offered this fall, please register as a student. Once you’re registered, you’ll get to:

  • Attend all of the virtual WEFs offered during the 2020-2021 school year
  • Filter through schools to find the ones you’re most interested in
  • Live chat with college admission representatives to get your questions answered
  • Attend an interactive financial aid session brought to you by College Goal Wisconsin


For additional details on virtual college fairs, visit Plus, check out this short video so you can get the most out of the virtual college fair.

University of Notre Dame – Virtual Preview Days

This summer we hosted Virtual Preview Days (click here for more information), a week-long event that included application workshops, student panels, and student perspectives. Although this event was designed for high school seniors, younger students may find the sessions helpful as they begin their college search.

Please encourage your students to visit our website to watch the sessions on demand to learn more about Notre Dame. They can also visit our website by clicking here for additional opportunities to connect with us virtually! 

UW-Green Bay 

Through the gracious support of our donors, all application fees have been waived for students who apply by Saturday, October 31, 2020. 


Please connect with us during the virtual Wisconsin Education Fair.  Click here to register for one of the following dates:

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021


Please click here to view this year’s Counselor Update for new topics for this year.

Marian University Sabre Days

Virtually join the events and choose your adventure of a visit.


Want a live streaming campus tour?

Hear from faculty in your area of interest?

Q&A with Financial Aid? Let’s get your visit tailored to YOU!

Click here for more information!