Wednesday, November 15, 2017

School Rosary

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Rosary wall at the middle school campus 
All Saints Academy Prays The Rosary
Sr. Rosita Schiller , RSM
I attended a recitation of the Rosary at ASA Middle School last week. It was different than I expected. I came with a mind-set. I took along an extra rosary in case one of the children might need one. I later saw that this was surely not needed. The previous evening, I participated in the Diocese “Bridging Faith and Future” Board Summit. This was a meeting of school Boards of Directors from around the diocese. Bishop David Walkowiak spoke about the need for Catholic schools in our society. He said that one essential role for Catholic schools is to teach children how to pray and he mentioned the rosary as an example. I was eager to participate.
The children filed into the Gym a few minutes before 8:00, chatting quietly with each other. As the 8th grade came in, several scooted through the gym down the opposite hallway. I wondered what was going on. A few minutes later, they returned with a huge rosary that they spread on the floor in a large circle. Younger children scrambled to stand around the rosary, eager to hold a bead. When all the beads were taken, older students were welcomed to be a prayer buddy. They stood with a younger child at their bead. Others sat on the floor in the middle of the circled rosary.
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Elementary students praying the rosary
With the count of 5-4-3…all were silent. “Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,” said Miss Giroux. “Who remembers what has been our theme for the week?” Several hands went up. “Vocation Awareness,” answered one of the younger students. All were invited to think of a priest or sister they knew and to offer the rosary for them. The group was then directed to call to mind other intentions for which they wanted to pray. Everyone was encouraged to share their intentions with one other person near them. Miss Giroux noted that, since this was a Friday, we would recite the Sorrowful Mysteries. She reminded us that because Jesus suffered so much, we could trust that He would share any pain, suffering, or anxiety. He would always be with in hard times.
The rosary began. A set of 8th graders lined up at the microphone. One began by leading the Apostles Creed. Then one by one, the child holding a bead lead their designated prayer: The Our Father, the three Hail Marys, and Glory Be to the Father prayers. The next 8th grader in line at the mic announced the First Sorrowful Mystery. He gave a brief meditation focused on the Agony in the Garden. As before, the child cradling the next bead lead the appropriate prayer – Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father – all others answered. The decades were punctuated with the Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins…. You could feel the reverence, the recollection. At the end, all present recited the Hail Holy Queen.
When recitation of the rosary was finished, the “carriers” stepped forward to return the rosary to the wall where it hangs. This rosary is a prayerful reminder for those who pass by in the hallway. The next time you see EL Rosary or MS Rosary on the calendar, why not attend? You too will be inspired.

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Mary Grotto and the elementary campus

Friday, November 10, 2017

Vocation Awareness Week 2017

David Sacha in front of the coast of Amalfi in Italy, near Pompeii and the island of Capri.

Say yes to service, & listen for God in the silence of your heart. 

During Vocation Awareness week 2017 we want to encourage you to pray for vocations, pray to be open to God's call in your life and the special mission he has for you, & pray for our seminarians like David Sacha! This article was featured in our recent newsletter, but we thought it would be great to share it again here!

David Sacha is a senior at Saint John Vianney Seminary and graduate of both All Saints Academy (2010) and West Catholic (2014). His family are active St Alphonsus parishioners.
David started his Catholic school career at St Isidore and made the switch to All Saints Academy with his classmates in 7th grade when ASA opened. According to David his two years at ASA were exciting due to bigger classes, more people to share ideas with, more band options and the hardworking teachers committed to helping students learn and maintaining a strong Catholic identity!

David recently returned from a semester studying abroad in Rome with the Catholic Studies Program at St Thomas University. He was struck by the universality of the Church during his time in Rome as he was privileged to study and pray with priests from Romania, Haiti, Africa, and Italy, as well as a groups of Irish seminarians. These men  became role models and excellent images of universal Christ-centred lives for David.

When asked about hearing God’s call in his life, David spoke passionately about the important role his family, especially his parents, played in “tilling the soil of service at home and the community.” He shared how his family life helped him come to understand the importance of serving others in even the littlest things like cheering on teammates and classmates to do their best. It was the emphasis on serving others, David says, that prompted him to say “I could do that” one day during a classroom visit from Fr. Don Lomasiewicz who asked “Who will replace me?”

David went on to give advice to all those seeking God’s call in their own lives, whatever that call may be. He pointed out that this world is full of noises and demand telling us where to go and what to do. Inspired by Saint Therese of Calcuta he continued “this is not the Lord’s invitation. Vocation arises from the deepest places in our heart, not from the world. Listen to you heart in silence,  in front of the Blessed Sacrament.” David emphasized the importance of quiet time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He noted that “no one delights in us more than Jesus!” so we should quiet ourselves enough to listen to him in his presence.

Please join the ASA community it praying for David this year. He specifically asked for prayers that he may be a holy, pure and loving priest!


This past summer when a group of seminarians went to a cottage for a few days to relax! Just enjoying some spiritual reading!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

All Saints Day & All Souls Day in Pictures

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All Saints Day 2017

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Saint Raphael the Archangel, Pray for us!

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Saint Agatha, Pray for us!

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Saint Demetrios, Pray for us!

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Saint George, Pray for us!

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Saint Gregory, Pray for us!

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Saint John Paul II, Pray for us!

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Saint John the Apostle, Pray for us!

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Saint Michael the Archangel, Pray for us!

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Saint John Paul II, Pray for us!

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Saint Therese the Little Flower, Pray for us!

Saint Sebastian, Pray for us!

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Saint Jude, Pray for us!

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Saint Luke, Pray for us!

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Saint Martin of Tours, Pray for us!

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Saint Patrick, Pray for us!

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Saint Therese the Little Flower, Pray for us!

All the holy men and women in Heaven, Pray for us!

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For all the friends and family of ASA who have passed away in the past year:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them!

10 years, 4 Parishes, 2 Campuses, 1 Purpose
Forming Saints to Serve All as we step into the next 10 years of ASA! 

Friday, November 3, 2017

7th Grade Top Ten List 2017-2018


7th Grade Top Ten 2017-2018

10. PJ Day/ Gym &
Whatever Happened to Once Upon a Time Play
9. Archery
8. Field Day
7. Documentaries
6. School Sleepover
4 & 5. Mr. Fillman’s Demos & CNN 10
3. Teacher vs. 8th grade games
1 & 2. Matlak’s Olympics & Capture the Flag

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Love Changes it All - Be Like Christ!


Love Changes it All - Be Like Christ!  
National Tour

A Peaceable School Approach to Aggression

At All Saints Academy we aim to minimize social conflict and promote safety for each of our students. We believe that a positive behavior intervention approach and Christian character development is not only in the best interest of our school community, but for society as a whole. Based on ancient wisdoms, moral philosophies, research-based psychological principles for resolving conflict, and our faith, we have been working as a staff to build our positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) tool kit.

At ASA we believe we can all grow and we strive to be the best version of ourselves, but we know conflict still happens from time to time. Since the beginning of time conflicts between people have occured. Unfortunately friends and enemies exist in all areas of the globe. At ASA we also believe that all things are possible through Christ, so we continue to work for peace and hold each other accountable to “Being Like Christ.”

As a Catholic school we embrace conflict as a teaching opportunity, and we persist in community because ultimately we believe we are One Body in Christ. At All Saints Academy we focus on the spiritual, intellectual, moral, social, and physical development of our children. We cultivate faith-filled relationships among our community, strengthening our commitment to love and service. Because of these founding principles we have dedicated instructional time and resources to support social and emotional learning efforts. As with other subjects like math, science, and social studies, we know that some students will find these lessons and life’s social conflict to be especially challenging. At ASA we believe creativity and innovation promote success, so we work together to balance the time we invest into all of the great learning going on at our school! As a Catholic school we are blessed to be able to integrate faith, prayer and virtues into all aspects of our day. Please know we are dedicated to equipping all students with skills so they might be empowered to navigate social conflict over time. We aim to assist our students in mastering the ability to solve social problems on their own and reduce social conflicts.

Discerning Types of Aggression

The word bullying is a confusing term to discuss aggression. It is often misunderstood, misused, and the definition is ever-changing. While our school abides by anti-bullying laws, we are also committed to using clear language to describe specific behaviors so that we might better communicate with one another and find practical solutions to any problem that exists. We encourage you to use specific language (such as name-calling, rumors, jokes, etc.) to describe behaviors commonly referred to as “bullying” with your students and school staff. This helps us better identify and address these behaviors.

An Overview of Our Efforts

As a staff we have worked with Jeff Veley on resilience education. There are links to a number of great resources from him below.

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In addition to a lot of great background information and professional development work our staff practiced the “peace sign” approach with Jeff.

The Peace Sign: Ninja Skills for dealing with social conflict, aggression and bullying:  
  1. Don’t get upset
  2. Treat Them Like a Friend

We have also been working with the Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame to define and develop a PBIS framework at ASA. At the elementary campus our PBIS phrase is: Be Fair, Be Kind, Be Safe.

At the middle school campus our phrase is: Be Like CHRIST
Honor with respect

Handling Social Aggression
Social aggression that causes subjective harm (behavior that is aimed at hurting someone’s feelings) is a violation of our positive school expectations. We ask our students to treat others in a friendly and loving manner to build a positive school culture: Be Fair, Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Like CHRIST!

Giving consequences for non-criminal acts of social aggression (like name calling) has been proven to raise hostility, increase victimization, and perpetuate negative behavior. Therefore, our staff will work with students to replace negative behaviors and cope with any negative emotions in a way that is healthy and productive while supporting those affected by negative behaviors.

We encourage all students, staff, and parents to ‘take action’ when they see social aggression in a way that encouraged peace, civility and friendliness.

Handling Physical Aggression

Acts and threats of physical aggression (behavior that causes objective harm to someone’s body or property) are a violation of our Aggressive Behavior Rubric. Behavior that does not cause pain (such as horseplay or pushing and shoving) will be addressed by staff and consequences will be given based on the severity of the incident(s).

Criminal behavior and threats thereof are a violation of our Aggressive Behavior Rubric and the law. Students that break the law may be subject to additional consequences outside of school.

Bringing it All Together

Our student behavior expectations are governed by the Golden Rule which states to “Treat others the way that you want to be treated.” In the spirit of the Golden Rule, we will do our best to work with parents to “Communicate in a way that we would like to be communicated with” and to “Discipline in a way that we would like to be disciplined.” In other words we aim to “Teach the way we would want to be taught” because our focus is on promoting healthy behaviors and learning from mistakes to help all at ASA grow and become the best versions of themselves.

We do our best to give consequences that match the severity of the behavior, offer opportunities for students to solve their own problems and fix mistakes, promote relationship skills, and encourage positive behavior while working to help students improve responsible decision-making. We strive to provide disciplinary action that is in the best interest of our students and the overall learning environment.

ASA parents, we are so happy and proud to be partnered with you, the primary educators of your children, as we work to Form Saints to Serve All!

A very special thanks to Jeff Veley and The Campus Peace-Building Initiative for working with us the past 3 years and helping us to articulate this believe and peace focused approach to social conflicts! It is an honor to build on their great work and add into the discussion our ASA beliefs as we work to strengthen our community!


Educators, parents, and mental health professionals will learn how to help students grow in their resilience and peacefully respond to social aggression. This video is easy to distribute to staff and parents through an email newsletter. Those that sign up will receive additional resources and follow up materials from Jeff throughout the year.

Peace Cards w/ Digital Resources (Sample Student Link)
Wallet-sized resource cards for students that include social skills to respond to mean behavior, coping skills for dealing with stress,  a 24/7 crisis hotline, and a downloadable video from Jeff sharing the key points of the program through one-on-one teaching. A perfect way to reinforce Jeff's message and offer a resource for students who find themselves in need of help or wants to pass it on to help a friend.
We have these at both our campuses and use them with students as needed.

Access Jeff's weekly radio features, online blog, and free video training for students and parents.  Subscribe to get a weekly tip from Jeff in your inbox as a discussion starter.

Additional articles, interviews, podcasts, and blog posts are provided on a weekly and monthly basis. Staff can simply access these at

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kindergarten Outdoor Day & Middle School STEM


Kindergarten Fall 2017 Visit to the Middle School Campus

Check out this video of our day:

Wednesday October 18th the Kindergarten class visited the middle school campus for the first of a series of outdoor days. Their visit started with Mass where Fr. Tom invited them to lead the St Jude parishioners in an opening song!


During their visit the kindergartners also got a church tour from Fr. Tom, they read with 4th grade reading buddies, and they had lunch and recess with the middle school students. Most of their day was spent outside exploring God’s creation!


Exploring God’s Creation by looking for Water “Bugs” from Lake St. Jude!

Some of the critters we found:

Midge Larva


Water Flea


Exploring God’s Creation by working in the garden!

The kindergartners collected marigold seeds to dry and plant this winter for our garden next spring. They also harvested some basil that we used to make Pesto Pasta. The class loved tasting the fruits of their mini-harvest on Monday!

Our favorite things about our day…

“I liked playing on the big playground”  Evy

“I liked finding bugs in the water” Andrew

“I liked eating lunch outside in the sunshine”  Lydia

“I liked going on a nature hike to find shelter for animals”  Wes