Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Welcome, Ms. Herdegen!

Hi All Saints Academy families!

My name is Beth Herdegen and I am very excited to be teaching 6th-8th grade Math at All Saints Academy this year.  

I grew up in Grand Rapids.  Graduating from Forest Hills Eastern High School in 2012, I continued on to Aquinas College to get my degree in Mathematics with a minor in Physics in 2016.  I student taught at Forest Hills Northern High School. The last two years I have been a substitute teacher at various schools in the area and was a long-term substitute at Northview High School for physics and Forest Hills Eastern High School for math and physics. Starting in High School, I have been the lead mathematics and reading instructor for the last 8 years. 

I have been an active parishioner at St. Robert of Newminster for the last 19 years.  I am a cantor, member of the choir, and a percussionist. Last year, I started working as an Assistant Youth Minister with two parishes in Kalamazoo.  It has been fun and rewarding to help the youth of those parishes learn and grow in their faith and start to engage God. 

When I am not teaching, I read, tap dance, and spend time with my friends and family. I love to travel and see new places.  As of this summer, I have been to all 50 states and 13 countries.  Traveling helps to give you a new perspective on life and how the world works.

I am excited to start teaching at All Saints Academy and getting to know all of the students and families in the community. I look forward to a great year!
Beth Herdegen

Thursday, August 23, 2018

New Diocese Curriculum Standards

ASA Mission Statement: All Saints Academy is a Catholic School inspired by the Holy Spirit and dedicated to teaching and living as Jesus did. Our mission is to serve and partner with our families, parishes and communities as we focus on the spiritual, intellectual, moral, social, and physical development of our children. 

We are excited to share the link to the new, official Diocese of Grand Rapids Curriculum Standards! Over the past two years teachers from throughout the diocese have worked with our Assistant Superintendent, Jill Annable, to update our common curriculum documents.

All subjects K-12, except religion, have been redrafted based on founding documents and organizations such as Catholic Curriculum Standards, Cardinal Newman Society, Encyclical Letters, various National Councils (Mathematics, Social Studies etc), Michigan state curriculum frameworks, ISTE Standards, and College Board SAT and AP objectives.

This new curriculum emphasizes cross-content literacy standards and seeks to form learners who are: empowered, digital citizens, knowledge constructors, innovative designers, conceptual thinkers, creative communicators, and global collaborators.

A little background:
During the 2016-2017 school year teachers engaged in an interactive process with our assistant-superintendent as curriculum standards were drafted, reviewed and edited. Each subject has a program goal draft similar to this statement for the study of mathematics:

“All logic and order have come from the existence of God and the human capacity to organize and classify God’s earthly creation (CCC 299). The study of mathematics provides a foundation of logic, reasoning and calculation skills and an experience in current technology which enables the student to succeed in his/her chosen earthly vocation…”

Curriculum drafts have been reviewed by our bishop and a number of our pastors with education backgrounds, as well as the Aquinas School of Education, and a number of other “experts in the field.”

2017-2018 was a transition year as teachers began incorporating new curriculum standards, while working to tie in skills and sequencing from the previous curriculum to assure there are no gaps in learning for students.

What changes will you see this year?
In the 2018-2019 school year you will see a slightly new report card format to align with the new curriculum. The new report cards will include a section for Spiritual and Social Development as well as Work Habits.

We have been updating instructional materials to support the new curriculum. Teachers are continuing with Battle Creek Kits, Go Math and the Sophia Institute Spirit of Truth series. Teachers continue to research and develop supplemental instructional resources. We will be reviewing social studies materials this year.

Look for curriculum and report card updates from teachers and at open houses and parent informational session. Check out the Frequently Ask Questions section on the Diocese of Grand Rapids curriculum informational page. Please let us know if you have questions!

The new curriculum standards will also be linked on the All Saints Academy website for your convenience.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Seasons of the Saints Summer 2018

2018 ASA Graduating Class

Summer Edition of the ASA Newsletter 

We are excited to share our summer electronic flip book newsletter!  

Inside you will find stories about summer at ASA, notes about Eaglefest 2018, student core value speeches from graduation 2018, biographies of two of our newest staff members, and a new alumni and parish spotlight article. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Crafty Campers & Care for God's Creation

Creativity in Week 2 of 2018 Summer “Camps”  

The second week of summer camps at ASA this July was a little different than the first. 

At the middle school campus we had a group of six 7th & 8th grade girls gather with Mrs. Zimelis Monday through Thursday (July 16-19) to bake yummy sweet treats and work on “Pinterest Crafts. Below are a collection of their fabulous creations! 

During the same week at the elementary campus Miss Giroux worked with the Saints Club and Eagle’s Club crew on Creation Crafts at 10 o’clock each day. Our Saints and Eagles learned how to tell how old a tree is by decorating “tree cookies.” They learned about solar energy by creating solar art and planting seeds for our garden. Monday the group went on a nature scavenger hunt and on Wednesday the class participated in a recycling art project by coloring old plastic water bottles and then constructing a Chihuly-inspired sculpture for the Eagle’s Club Room! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Welcome Mrs. Ockaskis - Middle School Interventionist

Dear All Saints Academy Families,

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.      -Psalm 16:11

The joy of life is always there for us to behold.  My dear mother, who died in April, 2018, taught me to recognize God’s presence in every moment.  Many years ago, as I carried on as a disgruntled teenage girl who would rather go off with friends than stand at the kitchen sink washing the daily dishes, my mother paused me to say, “Feel God’s presence in the warmth of the water at the kitchen sink.”  My mother was a child of God who recognized joy in everything; even in her final years of suffering; she was called to teach those who cared for her to recognize God’s calming presence at all times. 

As I follow God’s call in my life to return to teach, I feel richly blessed to be your new Response to Intervention (RtI) teacher.  However, it is not a response to my intervention that will create joy in learning for your child; but the call of the Holy Spirit within your child that will facilitate us in strengthening your adolescent child’s recognition of his or her potential.  Our prayers are for recognition of His pleasures forever. 

I join you with twenty-two years of teaching experience with degrees from both U of M and MSU.  So blue, yellow, green and white all work for me!  I served as a public school teacher at Godwin Heights and Northview.  I then answered the call to raise my son and daughter with my tremendously supportive husband, Todd.  Todd is a commercial architect at Paradigm Design.  My son, Alec, is a percussion student at U of M.  My daughter, Anna, is starting her first year of college at GVSU on the path to a career in the medical field.  My children are proud graduates of West Catholic High School and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary where I served as the RtI teacher for seven years.  Eager to return to the classroom, I taught first grade at Sacred Heart Academy until God’s call to be with my mother during her final months became a blessing of eternal joy with Christ.  As with all the Saints, my mother’s presence is wholly with me.

It is in partnership with you and the staff of ASA that I partake in guiding students to recognize God is truly there for them even in the most difficult challenges.  Middle school students are transitioning from being a child to becoming a young adult.  This can be a stressful time, but it should be a joyous time.  Stop and sit with your child at the kitchen table when homework or life gets them unwound.  “Feel the warmth of the water at the kitchen sink!”  God is truly present at every moment; in all things.  Remind them of this. There is no hurry.  Be calm.  Set a small goal.  “Wash one dish at a time.”  We are all children of God. The homework will get done and the pleasure of God’s presence is within, even this!

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!   - Psalm 118 24