December 15, 2017
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
Welcome to Friday Focus , our weekly e-newsletter from Head of School Marcia Mackay. In focus this week are: "Book Tasting"; Gingerbread Houses; All-Parish Honor Orchestra Recruits 14 from Runnels; Commitment to Cursive Handwriting; Holiday Sweater Contest; Thank Yous and Kudos; Please Note; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album and Athletic Corner.

Warmest wishes to you and your family for a joyous holiday and a safe and Happy New Year!
"Book Tasting" Builds an Appetite for Reading
To stir up interest in their next book report, 4th-grade reading teacher Amanda Albin hosted a "Book Tasting" in her classroom on Wednesday. For the event, the room was set up as a cozy bistro, complete with red checkered tablecloths, accent candles, place mats and "menus." The "menus" were actually tri-fold rating sheets on which students could record their impressions of the books they were "sampling."

The "entrees" on the "menu" were five enticing Newbery Award winning books: The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate, Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

To get a "taste" of each book, a video trailer was presented on the Smartboard. Copies of the book were passed out to each table so students could examine the blurbs and summaries on the covers, look at any illustrations, and read a few pages. The children recorded their observations about the book, along with its title and genre on the "menu." In addition, they rated each books on a scale of 1-9 and decided whether they would like to read it or not. The class spent about five minutes with each book before rotating to the next one. When the book previews were over, students enjoyed a snack.

According to Ms. Albin, the "Book Tasting" earned a thumbs-up review from her students, and two of the books they previewed, Flora and Ulysses and The One and Only Ivan , are now flying off library and bookstore shelves. (Photo: Ms. Albin passes out copies of 'From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' to Conner Joubert and Sawyer Suchanek.)
Gingerbread Houses Make Good Eats
Visions of sugarplums may have danced in the heads of our kindergartners this week as they created their own unique gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, frosting and piles of colorful candies and snack foods. For the seasonal project, which involved eating as well as construction, their teachers showed them how to make pretzel windows, gumdrop hedges and marshmallow chimneys with silver smoke candy kisses. To prepare for the activity, the kindergartners have been enjoying all things gingerbread lately. They had gingerbread races, read books about gingerbread, worked on gingerbread art projects and ate gingerbread which they baked themselves! (Photo: Belle Fischer displays her completed gingerbread house.)
Fourteen Recruited for All-Parish Honor Orchestra
Congratulations to the 14 Runnels students named to the All-Parish Honor Orchestra.

They are seniors Harrison Bonaventure and Sean Parker, junior Anna Claire Pousson, sophomore Ally Sutton and freshman Connor Porthouse, 6th graders Sela Basso, Olivia Chaisson and George Forgey, 7th graders Ali Guerin, Hannah Landry, Brooke Parsons and Madeleine Reonas, and 8th grader Farzeen Wahid. Their concert will be held at Baton Rouge High on Jan. 27 at 2:00 pm.

All 14 students perform with the Runnels String Orchestra conducted by Dan and Jennifer Cassin. (Photo: Runnels students selected for the All-Parish Honor Orchestra.)
Cursive Handwriting, All the Way
Mastering the fine loops and swirls of cursive handwriting is an important accomplishment. To celebrate this achievement and commemorate the big switch from printing to cursive in 3rd grade, Dec. 11 was declared "Kick-off to Cursive Day" in April Wilkinson's English classes. Students lined up to sign a "Declaration of Intentions," promising to use their best cursive handwriting for all of their schoolwork from that day forward.

In class, they also enjoyed writing their names in shaving cream on their desktops and and using glue to write their names on construction paper and sprinkling it with glitter. (Photo: Lauren Ly, grade 3, signs the cursive handwriting "Declaration of Intentions.")
Height of Holiday Fashion
Congratulations to the winners of our junior and senior high "Holiday Sweater Contest," which was held on Wednesday. Taking 1st place with her "It's Lit" design is sophomore Julia Sager, who was awarded a $30.00 Target gift card. Placing 2nd with her "Happy Llamakkah" entry was senior Catherine Henning. Her prize was a $20.00 Target gift card. Coming in third and winning a $15.00 Target gift card was 8th grader Emily Schacht with her "All the Jingle Ladies" sweater. (Photo: Julia Sager.)

Festive Fun at Preschool
The sights and sounds of the season were everywhere in the preschool this month. Students had fun painting pictures with evergreen boughs and decorating gingerbread cookies. They also learned about holiday traditions celebrated by different cultures.

After listening to The Gingerbread Man , students in Debbie Schacht's pre-literacy classes decorated gingerbread cookies. The next day, they discovered that the cookies had run away, just like the Gingerbread Man. Later, after hearing the story, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro, the children rang bells to summon the missing gingerbread. Later, they were finally able to track down the cookies and gobble them up. (Photo: Chase Wiltcher, Ethan Cheeks, Benjamin Murphey, Sadie Oakley, and Ellie Katzman 
Thank Yous and Kudos
We Sincerely Thank ... All of the parents who helped make the holidays merrier for teachers by generously contributing to the "Nice List." We are so very grateful to have you and your precious children in our lives.
At the preschool this week, David Oakley , father of Sadie, Pre-K, shared the story of Christmas with our preschoolers; Amanda Kivell , mother of Kyle, preschool 3s, and Zachary, grade 1, offered information about Hanukkah traditions; and Hina and Neel Shah , parents of Janak, preschool 3s, and Rayan, grade 1, gave a presentation about Diwali, the Hindu celebration of lights. (Photo: Neel and Hina Shah and their son Janak tell preschool students about Diwali.)

Preschool teacher Gloria Howell , mother of David, K, and Danyel, grade 5, visited our kindergarten this week teach students about Hanukkah.
We Sincerely Thank ... The many families who so generously supported the Marine Reserves' Toys for Tots Program at Runnels this year. The three collection boxes in the the elementary foyer were overflowing with donated gift items, which will be distributed to disadvantaged children in the Baton Rouge area. Many thanks to Elementary Secretary Pamela Culp for organizing the drive. (Photo: Kindergartners, from left, Chase Pittman, Aniya Farhat, Ayla Lee, and David Howell with Toys for Tots donations.)
Saving the Manatees ... The Runnels Nature Club held a bake sale recently to help protect manatees and their habitats. The funds raised will be used to sponsor a manatee in Florida through the Save a Manatee Club, the world's leading manatee conservation organization. (Photo: Nature Club sponsor Sydney McGraw and junior high members, from left, Emma Allerheiligen, Mia Welch and Isabella Yan.)
Power Runners ... Congratulations to Runnels Kindergarten Fitness teacher Mary Winnett for running in this year's St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Her efforts raised $1,000 in sponsorships for the charity. At another running event, this one in Biloxi last weekend, she met up with Alex Hayden, grade 3, and Lily Hayden, grade 6, and their mom, Dr. Julie Martin. They all ran the 5K race on Saturday, and the next day, Mrs. Winnett and Dr. Martin tackled the half-marathon. (Photo: In Biloxi for a 5K race are, from left, Lily Hayden, Mary Winnett, and Alex Hayden.)
Stellar Performances Light Up Drama Room ... If you love music, dancing and comedy, this week's elementary dramas were for you. On Friday morning, 4th-6th-grade drama students presented The Fairy Tale Network , a hipster retelling of the Three Little Pigs , Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears . Directing the shows was Kendall Krebsbach.

In the afternoon, 2nd and 3rd graders (2B/C and 3A/B/C) staged a new musical entitled Neaux Sneaux. "It's our own creation," said director Julie Horridge. "The story takes place in Baton Rouge and centers around what happens when school is canceled because of snow." Congratulations to the actors and their directors. (Photo: In a scene from the 3B production of 'Neaux Sneaux' are, from left, Alyssa Lee, Shane Gros, Luke Kennedy, Jonah Kennedy, Lucas Holden, and James Gawronski.)
Elementary Strings in Concert ... Our Beginning String Orchestra and Elementary Advanced String Orchestra under the direction of Dan and Jennifer Cassin performed a winter concert of holiday songs, folk music and traditional pieces in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Dec. 12. Mrs. Gladys Runnels provided the piano accompaniment, and Mr. John Baird performed with the orchestras on string bass. Congratulations to the performers and conductors. (Photo: Beginning String student Adam Chittom, grade 4, on stage and ready to play on Dec. 12.)

Note: This performance was originally scheduled for Dec. 8 as part of the Runnels String Orchestra Concert but was postponed because of snow. The Advanced String Orchestra portion of the concert was canceled due to mid-terms. 
Please Note
Sibling Enrollment: If you are interested in enrolling siblings of currently enrolled Runnels students for the 2018-2019 school year, please contact Sarah Haase in the Admissions Office at  225-215-5706  or via email at .

New Calendar : The yearly Runnels calendar for the 2018-2019 school year has been posted on our website.
Friendly Reminders
Dec. 18 - 19 /  Junior and Senior High Midterm Exams
Click here for Midterm Exam Schedule...   (Dates are also on the website calendar.)

Dec. 20 - Jan. 3 /  Winter Break

Jan. 4 /  School resumes

Jan. 15 / Martin Luther King, Jr., Day - School Holiday

Jan. 19-21 / Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical,
 Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre
Ticket Information: 

Jan. 22-27 / Homecoming Week
(Above: The Annual Jr./Sr. High Seasonal Sweater Contest brings our close knit student body closer together.)

In this week's album: Strings Concert, Cursive Handwriting, Book Tasting, Elementary Dramas, Preschool Holiday Happenings, Kindergarten Gingerbread Houses, Toys for Tots, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

Tuesday evening, the Raiders lost to St. Charles Catholic 47-28. Humza Pirzadah led the scoring with 12 points, followed by Griffin Kennedy with 10. 

The Varsity Boys Basketball team is 10-7 so far this season. Over the winter break, the boys will play in French Settlement's tournament on Dec. 21 and participate in the Red Stick Classic at Catholic High on Dec. 27.

The girls soccer team lost a close game to St. Michael, 2-3. Ally Garrity scored the team's 2 goals.

The Lady Raiders play next on Dec. 21 at Live Oak.


On Saturday, Jan. 6, the Runnels Indoor Track and Field Team will kick off its season at LSU.

Last weekend at the St. Theresa Basketball Tournament, the 7th grade boys team scored a big win, claiming 1st place. In a stunning fashion, the Raiders defeated Denham Springs, 29-17, Prairieville, 38-32, and Dutchtown, 34-31.

The 8th grade team played hard, taking 3rd place. In the first game, the boys lost to Praireville 38-31. They came back strong, defeating Denham Springs 49-21 and St Theresa, 39-24.

On Monday, the 7th grade suffered a loss to Holden, 31-35, while the 8th grade beat the Rockets 37-34 in overtime. Robbie Harrison scored 18 points, while Charlie Garrison had 10.

(Photo: Eighth grader Brock Toney takes his shot. )


On Tuesday, the junior high girls basketball team enjoyed a sweet victory against St. Luke's, winning 18-5. The Lady Raiders had previously lost to the Sharks at the Jamboree. Chloe Bueche led the team, scoring 16 points, with Reilly Wilks scoring 2. 

The Lady Raiders will play Parkview on Monday, Jan. 8 at 5:00 pm at Parkview
Sporting Events During Break

Varsity Girls Soccer – December 21 at Live Oak – 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Boys Soccer – December 21 at Live Oak – 6:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball – French Settlement Tournament – December 21
Varsity Boys Basketball – Red Stick Tournament at Catholic – December 27- 30
Varsity Boys Soccer – January 3 at Burbank #13 vs. Westminster – 6:00 pm
JV & Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Church Academy at Home – January 3 at 5:00 pm

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