Thursday, December 15, 2016

Basketball @ ASA

A huge thanks to everyone who helped make hosting basketball games a reality in the Middle School Gym on December 10th!!! We are so thankful to St Jude for letting us use the gym! Thanks to all fans who came out to cheer on our team! Extra thanks to all those who invested time volunteering throughout the day. Cheers to Mrs. Mitchell, our amazing Athletic Director, for leading the way on opening the door for this opportunity for our student athletes this year!
It was such a joy to have our gym bustling with ASA families and to be able to welcome our guest teams back to ASA. Our 5th & 6th grade students and coaches were so excited to be able to play on their home court!
As we continue to talk about the possibility of hosting more games in the future, know that we are going to be reaching out for more help. At ASA We Believe That We Are One. One in celebration, and also one in supporting each other as we work to grow and give God glory. One team as we strive to Form Saints to Serve All.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Career Cafe

Friday December 2nd the 7th and 8th grade welcomed four professionals from the ASA-Grand Rapids community in to talk about careers. The event started with students sharing hot chocolate and cookies in the cafeteria. Then they moved into classrooms in small groups to interact with presenters.

Mr. Schneider, Dr. Frey, Mr. Potter and Sr. Rosita shared with the students, not only information about their own respective careers, but also tips for good study habits and pursuing your own interests and talents.

Student “Tweets” from the event:
“I learned there is a career for almost anything you want to do.” #AllThingsArePossible

“I learned that you can become anything, All you have to do is put your mind to it, out in the effort and you will be fine.” #AllThingsArePossible

“”I learned there can be libraries in companies.” #Innovation

“I learned learned to can borrow iPads and bicycles at libraries.” #Innovation

“I learned that jobs are a lot more interesting than they look.” #WeCanAllGrow

“I learned I want to be a dentist when I grow up.” #ThanksDrFrey

Friday, December 2, 2016

Advent @ ASA


Advent @ ASA

The season of Advent is a time of preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate Jesus’s birthday and also contemplate Christ’s second coming. We have many preparations, devotions and celebrations underway at ASA! You are welcome to join us physically, or in spirit, for any of these events.  

MS Band Concert - Tuesday, December 6th, 7-8pm @ West Catholic

EL Christmas Program - Monday, December 12th, 6:30-7:30am @ Blessed Sacrament Church

Family Christmas Movie - Polar Express, Sunday, December 11th @ 2pm in Brophy Center

Catholic Charities West Michigan - Needs Drive
We are again partnering with Catholic Charities Foster Care of West Michigan (CCWM)
“The goal of Catholic Charities West Michigan foster care is reunification of the child with the birth family and our foster parents provide the safety and security during the separation that are an integral part to the success of this process.”
Here is the list of items each classroom will be collecting from November 28 - January 9.
Pre - Diapers, Baby wipes
K- Baby Lotion / Baby Powder
1 - Craft kits / activity books
2 - Diaper Rash Ointment
3 - Onesies
4 - Socks - boys and girls
5 - Underwear - boys and girls
6 - Burp clothes
7 - Baby Shampoo / comb/brush
8 - Bar soap / body wash
EL Staff - NEW stuffed animals
MS Staff - board games / cards / games

AND - we will collect donations for CCWM with dollar jeans days on:
  • Dec 9
  • Dec 16

Other Events at ASA  
Dec 7 - Reconciliation for 4th-8th grade
Dec 8 - Mass for the Feast of Immaculate Conception 8:30 both campuses
Dec 9 - Adoration @ the middle school campus
Santa’s Secret Shop
  • Elementary Campus Dec 12 & 13
  • Middle School Campus Dec 14 & 15
Last School Mass of the calendar year - Tuesday, Dec. 20th, 8:30 at both campuses
Dec 20 - Christmas Caroling
  • K-4 Marywood
  • 5-8 Vista Springs
Dec 21 - Jeans Day & classroom Christmas parties

Advent Reflection Email Resources

Dynamic Catholic - Matthew Kelly - Best Advent Ever

Redeemed Online - Andy Lefnesky - #shareJesus

Word on Fire-  Daily Gospel readings and reflection - Bishop Robert Barron

John-Paul and Annie - one novena after another … it’s great!!  They are having an Advent Retreat.

Father Mike Schmitz - daily reflection - he talks fast but brings theology to our level


Thursday, November 17, 2016


Eaglefest was a great success! We weren’t sure how the new auction format would work out this year, but like in all things the ASA family exceeded our expectations with their enthusiasm and generosity. We had a great night raising funds for our greatest school needs and growing our school community by sharing a meal and many laughs together.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this event so amazing!

Forming Saints to SERVE All
6th graders petition H&S to support local North(east)Pole Store

This past Monday night Stephanie B. and Gabby A., two ASA 6th grade students, presented a request to Home & School for funds to support the local North(east) Pole Store. The girls volunteered at the event last year and approached Miss Giroux this fall about ways ASA could get involved this year. We  select one organization to partner with as a school each year, and this year we are continuing our work with Catholic Charities. The girls learned they were going to have to get a little creative and innovative, and eagerly agreed to be the first student group to test out a new “student service project request” idea from Home and School.

The girls prepared a proposal for funds and attended the November 15th Home & School meeting. They shared with Home & School that the North(east) Pole served 261 families last year and this year aims to expand to help 500 local families shop for Christmas presents. They talked about working with Ms. Starback to encourage ASA students and families to volunteer, but that they felt personally compelled to do more. So the girls asked for and were granted $100 to shop for gifts to bring with them when they volunteer for the North(east) Pole Store this year.

Nice job, ladies! We look forward to working with more students on similar project proposal ideas in the future!

Information about helpers Needed for the North(east) Pole Christmas Store
St. Alphonsus is looking for donations and volunteers for the North(east) Pole, a community Christmas Store. We sell brand new toys and gifts to low-income individuals for 10% of their retail value. For example, a $20 toy will cost $2 at the North(east) Pole. Our goal is to serve 500 families and over 1,000 kids this Christmas. We are in need of toys in the $10-$100 range as well as volunteers to work the days the store is open on December 5, 7, and 10th at the St. Alphonsus parish center gym. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact AJ Fossel at 913-4415 or email
A flier with additional information will be sent home with this week’s email blast.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

ASA Votes
On Tuesday November 8th both our campuses participated in voting. The elementary students showed their lunch id cards to Mr. Debri and cast their ballot for their pick for president. With 80% voter turnout the elementary vote very closely mirrored the country’s election results.

At the middle school students reviewed the election process, explored the electoral college and discussed a number of current events surrounding the election. Their vote, gave them the power to voice their opinion on items within the school they can influence. The middle school students’ popular vote indicated they prefer stuffed crust pizza and popcorn chicken to the other pizza and chicken menu options. They also indicated that they would be interested in a middle school fun day movie night. We are making plans for when and how to celebrate these selections at the middle school.

Middle School Electives

This 6th-8th elective cycle is wrapping up with the end of the first trimester. It’s been a fun and engaging 6 weeks. From logic and strategy puzzles, to the detail work of cake decorating middle school students practiced fine tuning their brains. From egg drop challenges and catapult designing to exploring history through movies middle school students expanded their understanding of how the world around them works. We are planning another round of expert guests and experiences in December, and then will be starting a new 6 week elective rotation in the new year.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

All Saints Day

On Tuesday November 1 we gathered together at St Isidore to celebrate our school’s feast day, All Saints Day, with Mass. It is so good to gather as one school periodically throughout the year! Even though our school community is spread out between 2 campuses and 4 parishes, at ASA we believe that we are one so it is a special blessing to gather as one school community at the celebration of the Eucharist to worship and be fed.

Students and staff gathered in our new school t-shirts proclaiming our shared purpose of Forming Saints to Serve All. We enjoyed the Saint Wax Museum prepared by our 8th grade leaders. We were reminded by Monsignor Ed Hankiewicz in his homily that right here and right now is where we “do the work” to become saints and join the Communion of Saints in Heaven one day. Students and teachers returned to their respective campus for the afternoon and closed our feast day festivities by praying a rosary.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Outdoor Day, Recycling Service Project, Jeff Veley Talk

Kindergarten Outdoor Day at the Middle School Campus

On Tuesday October 25 our kindergarten students spent the day outside at the middle school campus. They explored the woods and collected nature treasures. The students searched for water bugs in water samples from Lake St Jude. Our friend from the DEQ, Michelle Storey, brought an interactive water table to teach us about erosion. The kindergartners enjoyed recess with the middle school students and helped the 8th graders move 5 flats of plants from our garden inside for the winter. It was a lovely, sunny day of learning on 4 Mile!

At ASA we believe that we are one! We really enjoy these special events that bring classes from our two campuses together to learn and grow. The kindergarten classes will visit the middle school campus a few times during the school year to take advantage of our outdoor learning space and also build relationships with the "big kids."

Middle School Service Project connects Science, Social Studies and Religion

At ASA we believe that creativity and innovation promote success!
So, what happens when one teacher learns about a cool recycling service opportunity, another teacher is studying hurricanes, and the two teachers start talking? Creativity and innovation, of course!
The middle school students are embarking on a plastic mat making challenge to benefit our brothers and sisters impacted by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. With used, but clean plastic grocery bags and a little craftiness students will be working to crochet mats that will serve many purposes for families that have nothing. A special thanks to our two volunteers, Judy and Mary, guiding us through this process!

Jeff Veley Presentation - Access the Materials

A handful of parents joined us for a great presentation Tuesday October 18th with Jeff Veley. He spoke with us about raising resilient children, and tactics like “the peace sign” for navigating challenging social situations. Below are a number of follow up resources we purchased and would like to make available to our entire ASA community. Please take some time to check out one,or two, or all of these great tools.

  • 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 any student who finds themselves in need of help or wants to pass it on to help a friend.
  • Classroom Discussion Guide Designed for classrooms and small groups, this guide reinforces the key points of Jeff's message and get students talking about what they learned.
  • Golden Rule Online Game As seen in Jeff's presentation, this game is the ultimate tool for teaching students the social skills needed to respond to mean behavior and solve their social problems.  You will be supplied with an online game that guides you through each phase step-by-step.  Play the game whenever you'd like on any internet-enabled device (phone, computer, tablet).
  • Online Video Training 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.