Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Alleluia Day 2017
“It was extremely awesome!”

At ASA we believe that we are one, so we get our community together a few times during the year to celebrate together as one body in Christ. Alleluia Day is the our final all school celebration of the year and this year it was also the day we invited grandparents and other special people to celebrate with us.

Alleluia Day.jpg

"My mom said she had tears in her eyes like seven times today.  She said today's event was beautiful.  We are so proud to be a part of the ASA community and I share that fact with everyone I can." -Middle School Parent

A Mass.jpg

Alleluia means God be praised so it is fitting that this day begins with Mass and ends with a praise concert! For Mass students sat with their multi-age groups. These are the same groups student walk with for Via Dolorosa and are organized so that siblings and family guests can spend the day celebrating together!

It was a really fun. This was one time I was able to spend with my sister. She even enjoyed it.”
“Alleluia Day was a fun experience for me and my brother. We loved all of the art there.”

el art.jpg

After Mass our guests enjoyed a small reception while the students practiced briefly for the praise concert and then everyone toured the middle school hallways to check out student art work. Many people also explored our budding school garden and spent time playing on the playground and socializing before a soup and sandwich community lunch.

“I thought the art fair was a really good idea.”
“ The food was yummy.”
“It was a beautiful day.”

praise concert.jpg

After lunch we ended our Alleluia Day celebration with a praise concert in the Church.
The music was great!”
Check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed for video of our band performing When The Saints go Marching In!


Although the toddlers and preschoolers were not able to join us at the middle school campus they had there own celebration at the elementary campus. They marched through the hallways playing band instruments.

“It was a lot of fun. All the kids enjoyed it.”

Alleluia! He is Risen!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The first three chicks: Early Bird, King Black and DJ

The Chicks Have Hatched!

It was a very exciting day at ASA  elementary this past Monday! The chick eggs started hatching in kindergarten.

There are about 18 chicks that have hatched so far. For 21 days, the students monitored the temperature and humidity levels of the incubator. They helped to “candle the eggs” periodically to see which ones were growing and which weren't.

Then on May 22, The students  saw a small crack in one of the eggs. An hour later they observed the first chick to hatch out of its egg! About 24 hours after the eggs hatch the chicks move to a little pen in the classroom under a heat lamp. Within 24 hours of the first hatching, we had 17 more chicks.

The classroom was full of excitement as the students could see the chicks hatch, listen to the chicks peeping, name the chicks, share and write about what they observed. The students welcomed visitors and enjoyed explaining how the chicks start out so small inside the egg and grew inside the egg until they were ready to peck out of their shell. In about a week, the chicks will be given to local farmers to raise, including at least one school family.

The excitement of just watching these adorable creatures that God created seems to be their favorite part!


Newborn chick in the incubator!


           Waiting for their feathers to dry.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017


ASA Community Garden 2.0 - A Design Thinking Challenge

Have you seen our second attempt at a school garden? It already looks incredibly improved compared to last year! Although our first ASA community garden was very successful, we spent time this past fall asking how we might improve. Space use, water, nutrients, staffing and produce use were identified as key areas for growth. This year’s 7th grade class was then posed with the design challenge of “How might we improve our garden in terms of space, water, nutrients, and community partners?” As students began exploring this problem we were blessed with important new community connections.

Fr. Tom Page passed on information about World Renew, an organization with headquarters in Grand Rapids that works around the world to renew hope, reconcile lives, and restore creation. In some of our initial contacts with World Renew, the 7th grade was interested in learning international farming techniques via a World Renew missionary working in Malawi. This presentation inspired ongoing research about the prospect of how chickens and even goats might one day become a part of our garden project.

mobile classroom.jpg

While building our relationship with World Renew we learned they are partnering with Urban Roots of Grand Rapids to provide resources to budding new urban garden projects. We are so honored to be one of the first grant recipients for this new partnership. You can read more about the program here.

Our new partnership with Urban Roots has already produced an improved space use design and a more intentional produce planting schedule. We also have a watering stand and irrigation timer so manual watering is no longer necessary. On Monday afternoons members of the Urban Roots team drive up in their mobile classroom to work with the 7th grade in the garden. This past week they were also joined by the kindergarten. Next week 3rd grade will have a chance to do some work in the garden when they visit the middle school campus, and 4th grade has also spent some time working with Miss Giroux in the garden recently.

kinders planting.jpg

Urban Roots will continue to come to ASA Monday afternoons from 1:50 to 2:50 through the summer. All ASA community members are invited to stop by during this time to do a little garden work. Tools and tasks will be provided by Urban Roots. When possible there will also be mini educational sessions on these Mondays. We may open a few evening community gardening options. Details will be communicated when ironed out.

rain barrels 2.jpg

The 7th grade has also reconnected with one of our Groundswell partners, WMEAC, this spring to begin construction of rain barrels. One of the twist tables at Eaglefest this year was for garden irrigation. Not only are rain barrels a proven and easy strategy for storm water management and improving local water quality, they are also an ecologically responsible method for watering our garden and native plants.


Since the 7th grade used the Design Thinking process to drive our garden work this year we were invited to share our Garden 2.0 work at a Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Schools Student Showcase. The event was held at Aquinas College in April, and highlighted Human Centered Design Projects from 5 local Catholic schools, as well as leadership projects using this process. Students spoke with about 150 community members about their work and also shared ideas with each other.

“At the design thinking showcase, I had the opportunity to talk and share our garden ideas with many people, including Sister Rosita (above), the assistant superintendent, Mrs. Annable,  and the superintendent, Mr. Faber!  The experience at the showcase was an amazing one! I enjoyed talking about something that I was passionate about!”

-Aiden McGavin

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


3rd Grade Goes to Lansing
“Best trip ever!” - Lucas Puls

The third graders had the opportunity to visit the Michigan Historical Museum and our Capitol on Friday, April 28.  
At the museum the students were able to learn about many different things like: the civil war, copper mining (they even walked through a mine), how the Native Americans used birch bark for canoes, and much more!  
While visiting the capitol building they received a private tour from the Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.  This was a real treat for the third graders!  

"When we looked up at the dome it was really cool." Austin Phillips

“The museum was interesting because it was very detailed about the history of Michigan."  Dean Armock

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Via Dolorosa 2017

“I really enjoyed the Via Dolorosa, as I always do. I really love the Seder Meal, and the walk, this year in particular because I helped carry the cross in my group.” - ASA middle school student

The “Via Dolorosa” is believed to be the path Jesus walked through Jerusalem carrying his cross on his way to crucifixion. For All Saints Academy it is also a very special and somber community celebration.

At ASA we believe that we are one, and periodically during the school year we gather the students and staff from both our campuses together to celebrate being one community united in our Catholic faith. Holy Week is one of those special celebrations of faith and community for All Saints Academy.


Our Via Dolorosa day begins with kindergarten through 8th grade students gathering at the middle school campus for living stations of the cross led by our 8th grade students.

After The Stations of the Cross, multi-age student groups along with teachers, staff and parents head out on the 2.2 mile walk to the elementary campus. On the walk student continue to reflect on Christ’s passion. What is especially neat about these groups are not only siblings paired together, but the groups have remained the same of the course of four years of this tradition, with graduating 8th graders being replaced by incoming kindergartners.

. via d.jpg

Once everyone arrives at the elementary campus we sit down to do something we don’t often have the chance to do, share a meal together! It is heartwarming to step back from passing out lunches and opening juice boxes for just a minute to watch and listen to our kindergarten through 8th grade students talk and build relationships. It really is a big groups of students when you see them all together!


6th Grade Seder Leaders! 
After lunch and a little recess, students gather again to participate in a Seder Meal adaptation. The Seder Meal is a ritual meal celebrated during Passover that commemorates the events in Exodus. In the Christian tradition the Passover Seder is believed to be when Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper. This year we started and ended our Seder with beautiful song!


Student insights from the day:

“It was nice to experience the pain that Jesus did, even though it wasn’t even close.”

“It was relaxing and showed me what Jesus had to go through.”

“I had fun talking with people from different grades.”

“I got to feel the fresh air as we commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice for us. It was relaxing and a good time to reflect.”

If you have not had a chance to check out the 2015 MLive article about ASA’s Via Dolorosa Walk, check out this link:

So many thanks go out to all the people that have a hand in making this such a great day for the ASA community!