February
Principal's Message
Greetings!

February brings some of my favorite Villa traditions. The darling Kindergarten Valentine's Tea, the fascinating Junior High Science Fair, and the entertaining 8th grade musical are just a few examples of robust enrichment and educational programs allowing Villa students to develop and achieve their potential.

I hope you enjoy a view into this month's Villa activities!
EDUCATION
Cultural Fine Arts Day deepened student's knowledge of African, Native American, and Japanese cultures. Presenters and activities included dream catchers, Japanese calligraphy, karate, sushi, kimono dressing, Mancala games, African masks, and Nigerian drums. The day concluded with an assembly of Applalachian and Native American music. It was an amazing day! Thanks to all who helped make it possible, including LaRosa's for the delicious lunch for presenters and volunteers.
2nd graders are studying tropical rain forests, learning about the geographical locations of rain forests, and their ecosystems.  Students created posters about each layer of the rain forest and categorized animals into one of the four layers based on its habitat.
The 7 th grade Drama Club entertained us with delightful fairy tale parodies - Snow White’s Bad Day and Three Young Adult Pigs. Ticket sales resulted in $160 donated to Skool Aid, the organization that presented the recent assembly about adaptive sports and wheelchair basketball.
Traditional 3-year-old preschoolers visited their 2nd grade buddies to create Valentine's projects and enjoy time together.
4th grade Language Arts students created a dodecahedron 12-sided ball as a book report on a self-selected fiction book. The project required many elements, including researching their author, analyzing their characters, and creating an advertisement for their book .  
During the Science Fair, 7th graders used the scientific method to explore topics such as "Does the shape of an ice cube affect how quickly it melts?" and "How does sugar affect brain memory?" and 8th graders designed Rube Goldberg machines to complete a task using 3 simple machines and 10 transfers of energy. The Junior High students shared their projects and discoveries with younger students and parents.
Traditional 3-year-olds studied space while learning about the letter "S," reading books about planets and making rocket ships out of their names.
3rd grade students compared fact and fiction by choosing a Magic Tree House fiction book and a non-fiction book on the same topic. They compared and contrasted information within the books, graphically displayed their results in a poster, and presented their projects to the class.
4th grade Science students investigated how different liquids flow at different rates, comparing vegetable oil, water, syrup, and glue in a Chemistry unit on viscosity.
1st grade students celebrated the 100th day of school by creating and modeling "100 Shirts" that featured 100 items using feathers, craft strips, pom poms, and even the first letter of their name.
8th graders delivered two crowd-pleasing performances of Music Man Jr . to very enthusiastic audiences and raised over $700 in ticket sales. These funds will be donated to The International Foundation for CDKL5 Research which supports research and awareness of CDKL5, a rare genetic disorder. The 8th graders selected this charity for its connection with a classmate's family. Click here for more photos .
In recognition of February as Dental Health Month, Traditional Kindergarten and Early Childhood Students learned the importance of brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods in two separate presentations. Special thanks to both Lisa Rudolph, DDS and to Katie Blomer, DDS -- both whom are Villa parents -- for educating our students and helping them learn to “keep the sugar bugs away!” 
5th grade Outdoor Education students examined ice formation on the Nature Trails.
FAITH
St. Ursula Villa has launched an Ursuline Students of the Month program where teachers select students who exemplify important characteristics of an Ursuline education. We commend Courtney Doxsey (2nd grade), Caty Leahy (8th), and Mia Cowles (5th) for demonstrating February's characteristic of "Emphasis on the Development of the Whole Person."
Father Richard visited the Villa to express his thanks for the many ways our school supports his organization, Hope for Kabingo. Since they were Kindergarteners, our 6th grade class has led many school projects to improve the lives of Ugandan villagers, including helping fund a corn mill, purchase school books and supplies, install a drip irrigation water system, and erect a new school playground.
Student Council sponsored an opportunity for students to earn an out-of-uniform day by bringing in $1 and wearing red to support the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women campaign. Over $290 was donated to the campaign to end heart disease and stroke in women.
COMMUNITY
Our 8th graders dressed to impress and inspired the rest of the school during the faculty versus 8th grade volleyball game - a beloved Villa tradition.
Traditional and Montessori Kindergarten Music students performed at our annual Valentine's Tea, where they demonstrated their skills of matching pitch with their singing voices, keeping a steady beat with both three-quarter and four quarter-time, and identifying patterns through dance. They were also adorable! After their musical performance, the students and parents enjoyed a special Valentine's Tea. View more photos from the event here.
Villa Parents' Organization
The VPO provided beverages, goodies, and treat bags at the popular Kindergarten Valentine Tea for students and their parents. VPO is also kicking off the promo for their annual Villa March Madness event where Manor House and Main School families can fill out brackets for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and vie for the opportunity to win some awesome prizes! See RenWeb for more info.
Villa Boosters
As the 2018-19 girls and boys basketball season wraps up, we thank the many coaches and assistant coaches for volunteering their time to make this a great season. Congratulations to our boys 7 th grade A team for coming in 1 st in their league and Champions in their GCCYS tournament bracket.  
Faculty Feature
Ms. Elisabeth Mapes has taught 5th grade Science and Social Studies and 4th and 5th grade Math at the Villa for 2 years. Ms. Mapes grew up in Cincinnati with 3 sisters and 1 brother. Her interests include traveling, exploring the outdoors/hiking, and watching Alabama football.
Other fun facts about Ms. Mapes:
  • Favorite Food: Shrimp and grits
  • Favorite Movie Quote: "After all, tomorrow is another day." - Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind
  • Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Proudest Accomplishment: "I am most proud of my success in college. I graduated from the University of Alabama with honors in the College of Education. I put countless hours of work into my degree and my student teaching, knowing that the more I put in, the more I could make an impact in someone else's life."
  • Why I love working at the Villa: “I love working at SUV because of the sense of community. I was welcomed so quickly when joining the Villa faculty and am so appreciative of that!"