December 8, 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: Snow Day Rescheduling; Mayor's Youth Advisory Council Delegates; Arts Showcase a Success; Professional Learning Opportunities for Teachers; Forensics Class; Cool Band Concerts; May the Best Beak Win; Thank Yous and Kudos; Please Note; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album and Athletic Corner.
Snow Day Leads to Rescheduling of Some Events
As the semester draws to a close, we were astonished to find our campus had been transformed overnight into a winter wonderland. Since this is such a rarity in South Louisiana, many schools and businesses, including Runnels, decided to close for the day in the interests of safety. This resulted in the rescheduling of a few events.

Today's Strings Concert: Elementary Strings will be in concert on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 9:00 am in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. The Jr./Sr. High Strings performance has been canceled due to mid-terms and will not be rescheduled.

The Dec. 12 dance performance in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre has been moved to January 8 at 9:00 am.

Mayor's Youth Advisory Council Revived; Runnels Delegates Named
Juniors Anna Claire Pousson and Tyler Robbins have been named to the newly reestablished Mayor's Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) as representatives from Runnels High School. All high schools in East Baton Rouge Parish were invited to nominate up to two student delegates to serve on the board. The mission of the board, according to its website, is to "represent and advocate on behalf of youth in the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish."
MYAC members will learn about city government and how it operates and have opportunities to interact with government officials, plan and organize service projects, and represent the interests of youth in the city and parish. The board is scheduled to meet once a month from January through May during this school year. Established in 2000, the MYAC has not met since 2015. (Photo: Anna Claire Pousson, left, and Tyler Robbins.)
Arts Showcase Proves All-Around Success
The glittering array of student performances and exhibits on display at last weekend's Visual and Performing Arts Showcase and Book Fair at Barnes & Noble added up to a spectacular success for our school. More than 300 students participated in the three-day extravaganza, sharing their accomplishments, talents and creativity with the Baton Rouge community and showcasing the dynamic arts culture in place at Runnels School.

"Our students were at their best," said Elementary Librarian Joni Orgeron. She extended her thanks to the students and teachers participating in the event and the many parents who came out to support our school. She said that book fair purchases resulted in a donation of approximately $4,000 by Barnes & Noble to our library programs. The funds will be used to purchase new books for the Elementary Library and the Andy Mack Memorial Library. (Photo: At the Opening Reception of the Student Art Show at the showcase is second grader Kalleigh Brown with her picture, "Royal Cat." The art show will remain on display at the Citiplace Barnes & Noble throughout December.)

Teachers Participate in Professional Learning Opportunities
Many Runnels teachers are taking advantage of opportunities to expand their expertise in the classroom by participating in professional conferences, conventions and workshops. This week, Kindergarten Director Paula Naquin and kindergarten teachers Lauren Downing, Stephanie Ezell, Beth Alfonso, Lisa Latona, and Tiffany Mouton attended the SDE (Staff Development for Educators) "Increasing Student Achievement through Teacher Excellence Conference for PreK-K Teachers" at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge. (Photo: Tiffany Mouton, Paula Naquin and Lauren Downing at the SDE Conference.)

Forensics Class Investigates CSI Techniques
Our high school students are trying to solve a murder—an imaginary murder, that is! Throughout the year Mrs. Reid’s forensics class has learned numerous techniques used in modern crime scene investigation and the theories behind them. This week, the Runnels crime scene investigation team focused on the science of blood spatter. When a violent crime has occurred, investigators often use the diameter and distribution of the blood droplets left behind to help understand what happened at the scene and catch the perpetrator. To simulate their “murder” the students first took turns squeezing droplets of theatrical blood from various heights while walking over long sheets of paper. The student investigators then measured and graphed the shape, size, and distribution of the blood spots to determine overall trends in their data. Through their experiment, the students learned about the meticulous nature of crime scene investigation and how crime scene specialists can build a detailed picture from the smallest pieces of evidence.  
Cool Band Concerts Herald Holiday Happenings
On Dec. 5 and 6, the Runnels Bands presented three rousing concerts that added sparkle and joy to the holiday season. The 4th and 5th-Grade Band, directed by Shanna Drescher, treated us to a very merry and bright performance in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Dec. 5. The following day, the 6th and 7th-Grade Band and the 8th-12th-Grade Band, in two different concerts, both directed byJill Swetnam, filled the theater with the sound of music featuring a blend of contemporary and traditional pieces, with a helping of jazz and a dash of holiday cheer thrown in. Congratulations to our musicians and their directors. (Photo: Fifth-Grade Band members tune up before this week's concert.)

May the Best Beak Win
Mrs. Foster’s 7th-grade life science honors classes followed in the footsteps of Charles Darwin recently when they worked together on an experiment that recreated the environmental adaptations of bird beaks. On his voyage to the Galapagos Islands, Darwin collected a staggering array of avian specimens that later played an important role in his groundbreaking book, On the Origin of Species . Darwin noticed that the beak shapes of the finch specimens in the Galapagos were not only different from those of mainland finches, but that the island finches had beaks that were specifically suited to their environmental niche.

In order to help her students grasp this difficult evolutionary concept, Mrs. Foster led the class in an activity in which they had the chance to play the role of the island finches and see how different beak shapes could lend a distinct advantage. They used “beaks” made out of everyday objects (tweezers, clothespins, spoons and chopsticks) in an effort to pick up their food sources (rice, rubber bands, toothpicks, and beans) under various circumstances. They found that different beak shapes were suited to different food sources. The lab was both successful and a lot of fun for the young biologists who learned a lot about how animals develop adaptations to their environments. (Photo: Working on the bird beak activity in life science class are 7th graders, from left, Simone Sharp, Emma Collett and Hannah Landry.)
Thank Yous and Kudos
We Sincerely Thank ... Dr. Roger Butner, LMFT, father of Shep, grade 8, who counsels teens, parents, and families, gave a presentation to our junior and senior high students in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre Dec. 6 about healthful ways for teens to overcome stress. (Photo: Dr. Roger Butner offers helpful pointers for teens dealing with stress and anxiety at Runnels Junior and Senior High this week.)
EBR Honor Band ... Congratulations to the five Runnels students named to the East Baton Rouge Parish High School Honor Band. They are Chris Yura, 1st chair, alto saxophone; Sam Day, 2nd chair, trombone; Preston Kyle, 3rd chair, saxophone; Ian Duke, 3rd chair, tuba; and Evan Beoubay, 4th chair, clarinet. The EBR High School Honor Band Concert will be held at Broadmoor High School on Feb. 2 at 7:00 pm. At Runnels, all of the students are members of the 8th-12th-Grade Band under the direction of Jill Swetnam. (Photo: From left, Preston Kyle, Chris Yura, Evan Beoubay, and Sam Day. Not pictured: Ian Duke.)
Angels Among Us ... The Senior Beta Club helped make the holidays merry and bright for those in need in our area and beyond with three service projects this month. The club participated in the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program and helped make the wishes of nearly 70 "angels" come true. Donations included sports items, clothing, educational games, headphones and speakers and other technology gear and lots more. Coordinators for the project were Ashley Stansbury and Anna Kadi. The club has participated in the Angel Tree Program for 10 years.

Club members also took part in the Cookies for Heroes project recently. They delivered homemade cookies to fire and police stations all over our city. In addition, during a club meeting, members signed personal notes and put them into Christmas cards for delivery by the Red Cross to soldiers serving overseas. Michele Stanfield, who sponsors the Sr. Beta sponsor at Runnels, said the club officers coordinated the projects. (Photo: Sr. Beta Club officers, from left, Anna Kadi, Ashley Stansbury, Austin Stansbury, Kalyee Freiberger, and Anna Claire Pousson.)
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
Through Dec. 14 /  Toys for Tots   Collection  sponsored by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. Please place new, unwrapped toys in the collection boxes located in the foyer of our Elementary School. The toys will be distributed as holiday gifts to needy children in the Baton Rouge community. 

Dec. 15 / Elementary Dramas , Grades 4-6: The Fairytale Network ; 2B and C and 3A, B and C: Sneaux Day (an original play by our drama classes), Elementary Drama Room

Dec. 14 - 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. 18-20 / Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre
Ticket Information: 
(Above) Elementary Chorus performs at the Runnels Visual and Performing Arts Showcase at Barnes & Noble.

In this week's album: Fifth-grade aeronautics; Forensics Class Blood Spatter Experiments, Preschool Activities, and Candids.

Athletic Corner

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.

(Pictured above: Seventh grade team with Coach Sam Coates celebrating a 1st place victory at the St. Theresa
Basketball Tournament. )

Monday evening at home, the Raiders lost a tough game to Doyle, 56-46. The boys fought back from 21-2 but were unable to take the lead. Cade Tate led the team with 15 points. On Tuesday night, the Raiders bounced back with a win against Catholic Pointe Coupee. The final score was 56-48, with Cade Tate scoring 35.

The Raiders play again this weekend in a tournament at Episcopal.

Last weekend, the girls soccer team played at the Copa Acadiana tournament in Lafayette. The Lady Raiders defeated Northlake Christian​, ranked 10th in D​ivision IV, 1-0. Hannah Barback scored the winning goal. The girls later lost to Teurlings Catholic, 0-1, and Caddo Magnet, 1-3. Kaylen Howe scored the only goal.

Wednesday evening, the Lady Raiders scored a win, 1-0, against Zachary. The goal was scored by Anna Kadi.
UPCOMING (Stay tuned for weather updates)

Tonight's Varsity Boys Soccer game is canceled!

On Saturday
Varsity Girls Soccer vs. Haynes at Burbank #13 – 11:00 a.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball – Episcopal Tournament

On Monday
Varsity Boys Soccer at Hannan – 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls Soccer vs St. Michael at Burbank #13 – 6:00 p.m.

On Tuesday
Varsity Girls Basketball vs Family Christian at Home – 6:00 p.m.
JV & Varsity Boys Basketball at St. Charles Catholic – 5:00 p.m.

Email photos to
Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .