February
Principal's Message
Greetings!

February brings some of my favorite Villa traditions. The sweet Kindergarten Valentine's Tea, the fascinating Junior High Science Fair, and the interesting Cultural Fine Arts Day 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
The Class of 2020 hit a new Villa record with $982,532 in merit scholarships and awards from Cincinnati's competitive high schools. These scholarships are based on High School Placement Test (HSPT) scores, student records, and teacher recommendations. We commend these 19 students - 51% of the 8th grade class - for this achievement!
Cultural Fine Arts Day deepened students' knowledge of African, Native American, and Japanese cultures. Presentations and activities included learning Karate, creating African masks and Native American dream catchers, mastering chopsticks, discovering Japanese calligraphy, and playing African drums. The day concluded with an entertaining and exciting school assembly by musicians and performers from all three cultures - joined by Villa students and teachers. We are thankful to the many volunteers who helped make this amazing day possible!
Traditional Kindergarteners used magnifying glasses to observe and identify characteristics of a seashell in their Science lesson.
3rd graders researched and "dressed" dolls to represent a historical figure ranging from Mr. Fred Rogers and Rosa Parks to Amelia Earhart and Muhammad Ali. Students also developed public speaking skills by presenting their projects to the class.
Preschool through 2nd grade students attended an active and fun presentation by author Connie Bergstein Dow. Ms. Dow shared her book, From A to Z with Energy!, a rhyming ABC book with 26 ways to move and play.
During the Science Fair, 7th graders used the scientific method to explore such topics as " Which filtration method most effectively purifies contaminated water?" and "Can people tell the difference between natural and artificial smells?" The 8th graders designed Rube Goldberg machines using 3 simple machines and 10 transfers of energy to complete simple tasks such as turning on a blender, shredding paper, or feeding a goldfish. The Junior High students shared their projects and findings with younger students and parents.
Kindergarten and 1st graders celebrated 101 Days of School by dressing as 101 Dalmatians. They paraded through the school, did 101 exercises, created dog ear origami, made yummy dog treats, and had a "paw-tastic" day!
As part of Dental Health Month, Manor House students learned about properly flossing and brushing their teeth, choosing healthy snacks, and other ways to keep their teeth strong and clean.
1st graders traveled to Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve to experience "Maple Sugaring." They tapped a maple tree, collected sap, observed the boiling process, and sampled the delicious result - maple syrup.
FAITH
In preparation for Lent, the St. Ursula Villa community observed Ash Wednesday with a school mass organized by our 7th and 8th graders. Following the mass, Ursuline Campus Minister Laura Riehle distributed ashes to preschool students saying "Remember, you belong to God."
St. Ursula Villa commends Andrew Halaby (3rd grade), Reese Heidrich (7th), and Thomas Crowley (5th) as our Ursuline Students of the Month. They were selected for demonstrating "Commitment to Christian Service" - this month's Ursuline characteristic.
COMMUNITY
Our 3rd grade Girls on the Run team is participating in the program's lessons, discussions, and activities, as well as training for their upcoming 5K race on May 9th.
Kindergarteners from our Montessori and Traditional programs came together at our annual Valentine's Tea. They demonstrated their musical 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. After the performance, the students and parents enjoyed a special Valentine's Tea.
Villa Moms' Bunco Night II was another great evening of fun and community. Watch for details about another event coming soon!
Villa Parents' Organization
The VPO hosted the Montessori and Traditional Kindergarten Valentine's Tea. The kids all loved the cookies, goodie bags and décor! Coming up in March: Manor House Donuts for Dads on March 3rd and the ever-popular March Madness NCAA basketball brackets. Watch for March Madness details coming soon on Renweb.

Also, the VPO is looking for new members for the 2020-21 school year. To learn more about the school activities supported and organized by VPO, please attend our next board meeting on Thursday, March 5th from 8:00 - 9:00 am in the Manor House 2nd Floor Conference Room. We hope to see you then!
Villa Boosters
We are proud of all the Villa basketball teams for a great season! Special congratulations to this undefeated 5th grade boys team for winning their GCCYS League and the GCCYS post season tournament. Go, Eagles!
Faculty Feature
Ms. Joy Wood has taught Religion and Language Arts in St. Ursula Villa's 4th grade for 2 years. She grew up in Cincinnati and lives here with husband and four daughters, ages 3 through 9.
O ther fun facts about Ms. Wood:
  • Favorite Food: "Anything with peanut butter!"
  • Favorite Book: The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. "It was such a huge part of my childhood and now I love sharing it with my children."
  • Hobbies and Interests: "I am very passionate about swimming. It has always been a part of my life and I enjoy that I can continue coaching two times a week even while teaching. I also am developing new hobbies through my daughters and I'm now a Dance and Cheer Mom."
  • Favorite Movie Quote: "Always." from Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows Part II
  • Most Beautiful Place: "In 2018, we visited Pawley's Island, S.C. We found a private beach that mostly only locals visit. It was stunning. I was able to find God in so much beauty during our week there."
  • Why I Love Working at the Villa: "I love feeling so loved and welcomed here. The students come in every day with huge smiles that, not matter how rough my day started, immediately reminds me of why I teach. And my co-workers are incredible - the camaraderie here is like no other!"