A Message from the 6-12 Principal - Dr. Julie Shively. EdD

Dear Parents,
What a wonderful summer in Wisconsin this is!  I remember hearing that Wisconsin has two seasons: Winter and the Fourth of July; how true!  I hope that you and your family are enjoying summer break.  I have truly relished this month of reflecting on my first year at SMSA. The foundation of SMSA is strong, and the work that has been done over the years to advance the school and its mission are undeniable; in fact, it is why I was drawn to SMSA a year ago.  I am so grateful to be a part of this next chapter of the school’s rich history and relish the opportunity to continually improve the quality of our education.
This past year, we put a lot into place behind the scenes at multiple grade levels that has or will positively affect your children.  As we now begin planning for the upcoming school year, I would like to give you a summary of my observations over the past academic year at the middle and high school levels, the changes that were implemented last year, and what you might see in the upcoming year, including:
Curriculum & Instruction:
Much of our curriculum (the content) is relevant and deep.  Some of the curriculum, however, hasn’t been aligned to standards and therefore was not preparing all children for the next level.  Additionally, it is our vision to provide “individualized academic achievement” for all students, requiring us to evaluate our instructional practices as well as the courses we are offering to our students.
Accomplishments and Plans-

  1. The teachers documented their curriculum as they taught it this year.  It highlighted where there were gaps and overlaps in the instruction among different grade levels, and ensured they were following the standards.  This road-map will be used to refine our curriculum across all subject areas over the next several years.
  2. An instructional coach was hired this past spring for the next three years to work with our middle and high school teachers to coach them on how to use the standardized testing and classroom observations for deeper instruction.
  3. Expansion of course offerings will include: World Languages at the middle school level (Spanish and German), adding Advanced Placement courses in the 2019-2020 school year to compliment the current college courses offered and researching additional electives for students at high school level.


The Forward Exam, administered to students in grades 2-8, showed Mr. Kelnhofer and me the positive impact on students from the recent curriculum change (Math Expressions) in math at the upper elementary level.  However, there exists a continued need for targeted assistance in grades 7-12 because those curricular changes came after some students transitioned out of elementary school.
Accomplishments and Plans-

  1. Additional math sections added at HS to target individual math needs.
  2. Hired additional math faculty member to reduce class sizes.
  3. Math instructional coaching at middle and high school levels will fill in gaps and move students forward at their pace.

Cohesion of Faculty/Staff:

Over the course of the last two years, several teachers have joined the SMSA community, some who were new to the field. As a result, we continue to grow together as a team as we learn the strengths of one another.
Accomplishments and Plans-

  1. We began to build departmental teams that included all teachers from grades 6-12. The teams provided advice and support among colleagues and familiarization with what was being taught at other grade levels in their content areas. This knowledge will help ensure curriculum is appropriately scaffolded.
  2. Teachers and staff will continue to work together in their departments and grade levels to deepen peer bonds and create common language, common strategies, and common goals; all tied to the mission of the school.


Standardized Testing, ACT testing and other internal assessment tools were not providing useful or timely data for teachers to support their classroom instruction.  Not enough “real time” data was being used to evaluate student progress and achievement.
Accomplishments and Plans-

  1. After researching several options, we have decided to shift to MAPs testing (https://www.nwea.org/map-growth/) for all students in grades 2-8.
  2. Ninth and tenth grade students will be taking the Pre-ACT to give teachers real time data and allow students to practice taking ACT-type testing.
  3. High School Placement Testing was conducted for all incoming 9th grade students.  This gives a snapshot of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, offering greater insight into class placement as well as preparing teachers for the individual needs of students.
  4. Mr. Kelnhofer and I agreed that all students need to be tested annually with the state’s Forward Exam through grade 8.  This gives an additional data point for teachers to see their students, and gives us an indication of how our students are doing in comparison to students across the state.

Student Services Department:
The Student Services Office has great potential but needed direction and the high school Student Services Department needed a specific mission.  This resulted from staff turnover, new teachers, and lack of usable testing data.
Accomplishments and Plans-

  1. We hired a 6-12 Director of Student Services to oversee the program in middle and high school.  Ms. Reilley hit the ground running to organize the department and to collaborate with the elementary school Services Director for a smooth transition of students through all levels, and craft a specific mission for the department.
  2. We added a new Middle School Student Services Specialist who will work directly with teachers and students to support students in middle school and transition them out of Student Services or transition them into High School Student Services.

Culture & Community:
SMSA has a great mission, wonderful core values, and an incredible strategic direction.  It isn’t about revising, rather refining!
Accomplishments and Plans-

  1. Mr. Kelnhofer and I are working with teachers to continue to use the language of Love and Logic and the Core Values with our students, both in and out of the classroom.
  2. Our six Core Values (Faith, Learning, Respect, Leadership, Community and Responsibility) will continue be infused throughout the school, in the student and teacher handbooks, daily instruction and all activities.

We are all excited about the direction of SMSA as a System, and are proud to share with you what we have done and the goals we have established to fulfill our mission.  There is work to do, but it is good work because it is for your children and for our Church.


In Christ,Julie Shively, EdD
SMSA 6-12 Principal


*Stay tuned for the mid August eLedger featuring an update from the Elementary Principal, Steven Kelnhofer

A Message from the Campus Ministry Director - Kollin Petrie '07
Do you want to be a leader? Are you up for the challenge of following Christ and making a difference in the SMSA community and beyond?
SMSA Campus Ministry offers opportunities for middle and high school students to take leadership roles in the Liturgy, Peer Ministry, Sacred Music and Service.  We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year (due August 1st).
Check out the links below to learn more details about each role and to submit your application.

To view the Campus Ministry Student Leadership roles description, please click here.

To fill out the Campus Ministry Student Leadership Application, please click here.

News & Updates

Early Childhood Updates 2018/2019

Due to growing enrollment, SMSA will be adding a 4th section of Kindergarten next year.  As a result, one of our classrooms will be located on the 3rd floor, right next to the 1st grade classrooms.  This adjustment will allow us to keep our classroom size to no more than 20 students per room.  Small class sizes will increase learning opportunities for students and build good parent, student and teacher relationships.  In Early Childhood, we will be offering three 4K morning classrooms and two P3 morning classrooms.  Parents will have the opportunity to choose to take their child home for the afternoon or enroll them into an Enrichment classroom.  Enrichment lunch will be cold lunches only and be eaten this year in the cafeteria instead of the classroom.  There is still space in both our 4K, P3 and Enrichment classrooms, so please continue to encourage neighbors, friends and family members to enroll at SMSA.


SMSA Awarded School Safety Grant

SMSA was among several schools throughout the state awarded School Safety Grants by the Department of Justice. The nearly $22,000 grant awarded to SMSA for the 2018-2019 school year will be used to improve main and secondary entrance safety on our campus in addition to enhancements to the school’s security/surveillance system. The grant also requires schools to work in partnership with local law enforcement agencies on an annual audit of the school’s crisis prevention and response planning; a practice that has already been implemented by SMSA and the FDL Police Department. The safety of our school community is something we take very seriously and this grant allows us to enhance our existing practices and procedures in the coming year.

New Gym Floor in Hutter Gym

Starting in mid-May, SMSA began renovating Hutter Gym and the progress over the summer months has been incredible.  Due to the generosity of anonymous donors, this project is 100% funded, and includes replacing all of the basketball hoops, a new floor, and new bleachers. We are eager to see the finished product by the end of August. We salvaged some of the old flooring and bleacher boards which are being recycled into a handful of re-purposed projects that will be a part of an online auction in December.  Stay tuned to get your hands on a little piece of SMSA history!

Below are a few photos of during and after the summer construction.









Swing Fore Springs and Summer Fling

Swing Fore Springs is almost filled to capacity!

Let’s make it a record year and fill the few remaining foursomes at Rolling Meadows Golf Course! 

First come, first serve.  Don’t forget, if you are not a golfer, sign up for the evening portion of the event, Summer Fling (dinner, auction, games, etc.).

It’s going to be a great day for SMSA!  Hope to see you on July 27th!

Attend the event please click here.
Volunteer at the evening event and/or provide baked goods for our dessert bar, please click here.

Donate a gift card to our new “Grab N Go” board click here.
Contact Chris Gilles with any questions: 920-322-8059 or cgilles@smsacademy.org

NFL Sports Blitz Sweepstakes

Back by popular demand! The NFL Sports Blitz Sweepstakes cards will be distributed to Middle School and High School students during their Co-curricular code meeting later this month and will also be available for sale in the Scrip office.  Each student (grades 6-12) will be given 10 cards to sell at $20 each; $14 of each card comes directly back to SMSA!  Cards are due back no later than August 29th.  They can be returned to the Scrip office anytime during Scrip office hours, or brought to our Open House on August 29th.

Rules and Prize Information:
Your card purchase automatically enters you into a weekly NFL Sweepstakes for the entire season, and is loaded with great discounts including the Bucks, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and several Fond du Lac restaurants!  If your weekly randomly selected teams score the highest (or lowest score) among all other SMSA competitors, you instantly win a CASH prize!  Over $2,550 will be given away in cash prizes among our SMSA community over the NFL regular season.

Additionally, prizes will be awarded to the top student sellers and the class that sells the most cards will be awarded a special class trip.  More information will be shared at the upcoming co-curricular code meetings.

This fundraiser replaces the long-standing SMSA magazine drive and is intended to get our students involved in supporting the development efforts of the school.  Proceeds will be distributed to the Athletic Booster Club (who purchases uniforms, athletic equipment, sponsors athletic buses for tournaments, etc), Parents of Performing Arts (who purchase equipment for our performing arts programs, support performances, etc), and also the Annual Fund (which bridges that gap between tuition and the operational costs of the school).  By having our students involved in fundraising, they too, are learning about the importance and impact of their efforts on the school.


School Supply List

Please visit the links below for your child(s) grade level.

P3 & K4 click here

K-2nd grade click here

3rd-5th grade click here

6th-8th grade click here

High School click here


Tuition Assistance Available

Each year, SMSA supports families by offering nearly $300,000 in tuition assistance grants.  These grants are made possible by both the SMSA Foundation and several other generous donor agencies.  We encourage all families who feel they need support to apply.

If you have not already done so,  for the 2018-2019 school year, please click here to register or sign into TADS.


Staffing Updates

Trisha Welker – Kindergarten Teacher
SMSA will be adding a 4th section of Kindergarten next year, and therefore, will be welcoming Trisha Welker as a new teacher. Ms. Welker is a familiar face at SMSA as she subbed throughout elementary last year. She is a 2017 graduate of Marian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Elementary Education (minor in Music). Trisha shares that same intrinsic values at SMSA and commented that she “values (our) mission of providing a clear path for students to be successful and reach their unlimited potential.” Please join us in welcoming Trisha to the Ledger family!

Brittnee Freund – Morning 4K/Afternoon Enrichment
Britnee Freund ‘13, is a 2017 graduate of Marian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Elementary Education. Ms. Freund shared that her “sole reason for pursuing a degree in education was to make an impact on the lives of future generations.” Not only is she a graduate, but she has the opportunity to work alongside her mother, Lori Freund, who was hired last year as a P3/Enrichment teacher as well. Welcome “home” Britnee!

Sheila Skiff – Middle School Student Services Aide
Sheila Skiff is no stranger to SMSA, having previously served as a 4K teacher’s aide and a parent within the System. However, with the evolution of our Student Services Department, a position opened up to provide additional academic support to our middle school students in partnership with Director, Heather Reilley. With a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Life from UW-Stout, Mrs. Skiff brings a wonderful set of skills to the table to support our student body. Welcome back to the SMSA staff Sheila!

Office of Advancement Changes
A few weeks ago, Barb Cramer announced her departure from SMSA to pursue an opportunity within the UW-FDL Foundation office. Since Barb joined SMSA in 2004, she has been an extremely valuable team member and often referred to as the “go to” person.  We were very fortunate to have her and wish her the best!


Host Family Needed for families near the Sheboygan area

A German exchange student is in need of a host family for the 2018-2019 school year.  He is 14 years old and will be entering the 10th grade.  He speaks excellent English and will be attending the Sheboygan Area School District.  The dates he’s looking for a host family are August 29th* thru December 12th.
*Start date can be flexible; some time the week before school starts.

For more information on the student and/or interest in being a host family, please contact Beth at  bhejl21@gmail.com.

Important Upcoming Dates

Land's End 30% off sale

Land’s End 30% off sale is now available!  The sale is valid now until Tuesday, July 24th.  To take advantage of this great sale, sign up or log into your Land’s End account, chose your school as St. Mary’s Springs Academy, fill your cart, and then at check out enter Promo Code: TEACH and PIN: 4967!

Click here to go directly to the Land’s End school uniform website.


High School/Middle School Co-Curricular Code Meeting - HS July 24th - MS July 31st

All students interested in co-curricular activities and their parents (grades 5-12) are encouraged to attend the code of conduct meeting.

Student athletes, this co-curricular meeting is required and you must attend with at least one of of your parents/guardians.  Please click here to visit our website, scroll to the bottom of the page to view required forms and then print and sign all “required forms” and bring them with you that evening.

All other students participating in clubs, performing arts, etc. are encouraged to attend with their parent(s)/guardian(s) to better understand student expectations.

At the meeting, many necessary topics are covered, including:

Code of Conduct
Academic eligibility
Player, coach, and parent roles
Concussion information
Medical/physical cards
MS/HS NFL Sports Blitz student fundraiser

For questions regarding the Code of Conduct meeting please contact Greg Hoffmann SMSA Athletic Director, at (920) 322-8067 or ghoffmann@smsacademy.org.

The high school co-curricular meeting will be held Tuesday, July 24th at 6:00 p.m. in Baker gym.

The middle school co-curricular meeting will be held Tuesday, July 31st at 6:00 p.m. in Baker gym.

(It is recommended that you attend on the evening for your level.  If that date doesn’t work, it will still be beneficial to attend the other meeting.)


Summer Chapel Mass - August 1st

Join our summer staff for our last summer Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary: Our Lady of the Ledge.  Fr. John will preside over this abbreviated Mass.

Wednesday, August 1st from 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.


Back to School Sales Tax Holiday - August 1st - 5th

The tax department wanted to bring to your attention an opportunity to save a few dollars on your back-to-school shopping.  Sixteen states have set periods when they will not charge sales tax on qualifying purchases of school supplies, computers, clothes and footwear.  Below are the dates for Wisconsin:

August 1st-5th, 2018
-Clothing with a sales price of no more than $75 per item
-Computers, laptops, or tablets (purchased for personal use) with a sales price of no more than $750 per item
-School computer supplies with a sales price of no more than $250
-School supplies with a sales price of no more than $75 per item


New Family Orientation - August 8th

Join us for our New Family Orientation on Wednesday, August 8th, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the SMSA Commons (located to the right when you enter the North Entrance).  This event is for families new to the SMSA community.  Childcare will be available on campus for families with small children.  This is a wonderful way to learn about all things at SMSA including student life, parent connectors, athletics and activities, scrip, uniforms, traffic and so much more.

We hope to see you there and welcome to the family!


Uniform Exchange - August 9th

The Uniform Exchange will be held Thursday, August 9th, from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Holy Family Parish Hall (271 Fourth Street Way).

We will be accepting gently used uniforms, that comply with school uniform dress code, at the Scrip office from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. starting July 30th – August 2nd and then again August 6th & 7th.  Please make sure all uniform items are clean and free of holes, stains and torn seams.

Please complete the exchange form by clicking here and place in an envelope inside the bag/box of uniforms you are exchanging.

Contact Mary Jaeger at mjaeger1111@charter.net or 920-960-7635 with any questions.


Life on the Ledge Event - August 17th

All incoming 6th graders, 9th graders and any new middle and high school students to SMSA are encouraged to join us Friday, August 17th at SMSA!  See your classrooms, meet your classmates, teachers and unpack supplies into your locker.  All students and parents will receive free admission to the football game vs Markesan that evening.

Excited to see you at SMSA for this wonderful event!

New high school students and 9th graders – 5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

6th grade students – 5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.


Solemnity of the Dedication of the Chapel - August 20th

Save the date! On Monday, August 20th, we will be hosting our dedication to our Chapel of St. Mary: Our Lady of the Ledge.  This is an annual event held each year to celebrate the day our Chapel was first dedicated.  We encourage our SMSA community to join us in celebrating this joyous occasion.


Open Campus- August 29th

All families/students should plan to attend our Open Campus event on Wednesday, August 29th, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Drop off your school supplies, meet your teachers, set up lunch accounts and turn in required forms.  This event is a great way to ensure the first day of school runs smoothly.


Scrip Summer Hours

What is SCRIP?

SCRIP is gift card fundraising.  When you join the St. Mary’s Springs Academy SCRIP program, you’ll be purchasing gift cards and gift certificates that are used just like cash.  You can use SCRIP to purchase everyday expenses like groceries, gas, clothing and other essentials. With every purchase, you earn tuition credit and revenue for SMSA.  A portion of the rebates you earn go into your SCRIP account and are used to offset your tuition costs at SMSA or any tuition-based school.  The remaining rebates are used to offset the operating costs of the System, thus SCRIP is a major fundraiser for SMSA.

Please contact Chris Gilles at cgilles@smsacademy.com with any questions regarding Scrip!


Scrip summer hours begin June 5th and run through August 17th:
Monday & Wednesday: 8 am – noon
Tuesday & Thursday: noon – 4 pm
Friday: Closed