St. Mary Elementary School, Transfiguration Elementary School, Frassati Catholic Academy

October 2014
Fall into Education
St. Mary School 2nd graders learn essential keyboard skills in the computer lab

Educational Technologies at our CCLC Schools


Technology never replaces the benefits of live human connections, but it does have an important role in educational programs at our Catholic Consortium of Lake County (CCLC) schools.  From the time a child enters our Preschool program until they graduate to high school, some form of technology is integrated into classroom learning from the most rudimentary "home row" keyboarding technique, to collaboration with Google Docs, to engagement with interactive smart boards, to multi-media presentations.  As early as kindergarten, students work in small groups to gain a familiarity with laptops and learn through educational games.  Primary grade lessons enhance the learning experience by providing an interactive and visual way for children to learn.  Our students are using technology for inquiry based units, doing research for science and social studies, and publishing compositions. The Kidspiration program develops strong thinking skills, strengthens reading and writing skills, and builds conceptual understanding in math for third graders.  Even more, this grade level is working in MS Publisher for reports and brochures, MS Office, as well as Discovery Education's Puzzlemaker - outstanding!


3rd graders at Transfiguration School publish their descriptive papers

We strive to create a love of reading at every grade level.  Elementary teachers use RAZ reading, Accelerated Reading or STAR reading assessments to motivate students and assess their understanding and progress.  The RAZ-Kids program even delivers reading through its free apps, so students can read and take quizzes on their iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire tablets. Middle school students use an annotation tool for close reading called "NoRedInk".  Many activities are focused on the skills of close reading, learning to how to read traditional texts as well as electronic text and context clues.  These strategies are designed to prepare students for secondary school reading materials.  The tools and techniques guide readers through the informational age we are living today.  In math and language arts, IXL has an online learning center which makes practicing more than 4,000 skills enjoyable for the elementary students.  Similarly, several of our Frassati teachers use Quizlet for individual student study on subjects taught in the classroom.  


Frassati guides the science and math curriculums to integrate a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) focus within daily activities. Students often have assignments that require hands on demonstrations and manipulations. Technology is integrated within every academic discipline; science, math, language arts and reading all have digital/eTextbooks and online resources.  With one to one MacBooks as their instructional tool, students design graphs, charts, spreadsheets, presentations, DVDs, and activity based videos for classroom

In the Frassati science lab, students identify an unknown solution by looking at reactions between known solutions
instruction. Classrooms are often arranged so that students can sit and work in groups. This encourages collaboration as students discuss their work and challenge each other's ideas as part of blended learning.


Principals and faculty are collaborating on technology integration and best practices for the benefit of all CCLC students - teaching multiple competencies to inform and develop students as 21st century learners who have an appreciation for a global perspective and broad skill set.  In an online universe that has no boundaries, be assured that our CCLC schools consistently use the Netsmartz curriculum for teaching internet safety at primary grade levels. At the middle school, students are guided through media literary, including internet safety steps published by Alan November, and the "Be Aware and Beware" online/internet safety programs. 

GOOD STUFF - Entrepreneurial Spirit Led by Love

Felix has all the ingredients for success!


No need to sugar coat this story, as every aspect of what Felix Castillo does is filled with sweetness.  Felix is a 4th grade student at St. Mary Elementary School, formerly of Santa Maria del Popolo School.  His story starts with his Grandmother Toni (Balboa) who shared her Mexican shortbread cookie recipe, called "polvorones", with Felix and his family only weeks before she passed away.  At 6 years old, he was inspired to host a table and give out samples of his cookies at the Santa Maria Annual Craft Fair.  He told his mom, "I bet I can make Grandma Toni's cookies famous!"  He thought things were going pretty well when he kept hearing - "These are amazing. We came back to the Craft Fair just for these cookies!" Felix says he's made some slight changes to Grandma's recipe, but he's pretty sure she would be happy with what he's doing with these delicate, delicious treats. 

As time went on, the cookies kept selling at the fair, and this hobby quickly turned into an opportunity to give back. His first $176 in profit went to the Texas State Genealogy Society in memory of his Grandma Toni. Next to St. Vincent de Paul, Santa Maria conference and the winter hat/gloves drive, then disaster relief after the tornado in Washington, Illinois, and this year to the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation. In all, over $450 to help others in need.  Felix says as a matter of fact, "I didn't even think of using it for myself."  This from a kid who watches Shark Tank and CNBC!  He says, "It's going to be a long holiday season.  I already have pending orders for over 40 dozen cookies."  And what's next?  Don't be surprised if you can find Felix's Famous Cookies in local grocery stores in 2015.

Felix is definitely living a mission of goodness with his heart firmly in the right place.  What will happen when he hits $10,000 in gross sales?  He'll get a dog and name it Cookie :) 
The best thing Felix liked about his Grandma was that "she had a smile that would light up my heart."  Now, he's giving that gift forward by lighting up other hearts. 

You can find Felix's Famous Cookies and other fun and festivities, including Frassati's 8th grade table, at the this year's Santa Maria Annual Craft Fair on Saturday, December 6th  from 10am - 5pm in the Parish Life Center at 151 N. Lincoln Avenue, Mundelein.

2014 - 2015 GOOD STUFF Students

                   Band Schedule of Events for 2014 -2015
CONCERTSt. Francis6:30PM7PM(Snow Date Monday, December 15th)
Solo & Ensemble FestivalFrassati TBDTBDALL Students to Attend
CONCERTSt. Francis6:30PM7PM
Honors BandElmhurst, ILTBDTBDSelect Advanced Students Only
CONCERTSt. Francis6:30PM7PM


School Choice Rally - Thank you for your support!

Read more about School Choice
Catholic Consortium of Lake County
316 W Mill Street, Wauconda, Illinois  60084
22277 W. Erhart Road, Mundelein, IL  60060

O Lord, You taught your disciples to welcome the children in their midst and to imitate their childlike innocence and love.  Bless our efforts to form our children in the spirit of the Gospel and to educate them for their life and work in the world. Through the Catholic Consortium of Lake County, may we achieve our highest aspirations for Catholic Education and raise up a new generation of well-educated disciples who are dedicated to you and to your kingdom.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.