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Student Health Online Check-In Form
Due to the pandemic, all students and/or parents are to fill out the online Health Check-in form prior to entering campus each day. You will find a link to this online form on the Mobile Up App or on the STA website. We encourage students to remain at home if not feeling well and that they be fever free for 72 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to school.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Parents, 

As we near Christmas, I have been thinking about Mary and how weary she must have felt during her extensive journey. Mary and Joseph were denied a room at the inn when she was about to give birth to Jesus. Through it all, they were faithful. They knew God’s prophecy would be fulfilled. It states in Luke 2:7, “ And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” 
  
The year 2020 has been a weary and arduous journey in many ways. The global pandemic has created a great deal of worry, fear, and anxiety throughout our nation and world. There are economic concerns, racial injustice issues, and political turbulence. Additionally, some of us lost loved ones this year. And yet, we should reflect on how Mary and Joseph’s faith is an example for us all. We can follow their lead to count our blessings and remain hopeful.

I have so much gratitude for the diligence of our hardworking faculty and staff. They have worked diligently to deliver our educational mission. We have been blessed to have new technological advances that have resulted in teaching and learning successes. Fall sports was very successful with many of our teams competing in post-season tournaments, and our Cross Country team competed in State! Several of our seniors signed letters of intent to participate in collegiate athletics! Our Shooting Stars Theatre Department and Choir re-imagined their productions in innovative ways. The student-led St. Teresa’s Broadcasting Company, as well as the Campus Ministry Department, have engaged us all semester long in facilitating meaningful dialogue and reflective prayers.  

Thank you for your generosity as parents in helping our community in so many ways. Your partnership and understanding during this difficult time have been amazing!

We have been blessed that our campus has been able to be open and thrive. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation as we continue to navigate the evolving pandemic and other challenges. Through our heightened protocols and community cooperation, we have been fortunate not to have COVID-19 campus transmission outbreaks. All of our positive cases have resulted from off-campus circumstances. 
 
I hope you and your family will be able to enjoy a well-deserved, safe, and healthy break. We will be ready to move forward with many new goals in semester two!  

On behalf of the administrative team and the entire faculty and staff of St. Teresa’s Academy, I wish you the blessings of a joyful Christmas, a peaceful holiday season, and a happy New Year!

God Bless, 
Dr. Siabhan May-Washington
UPCOMING EVENTS:

November 25-December 1, 2020
Thanksgiving Break
NO Classes

December 2-17
Clothing and Toy Drive

December 3, 2020
Admissions Informational Evening

December 5, 2020
Star Shop Sale

December 11-31, 2020
Silent Sky
Shooting Stars Theatre Production

December 12, 2020
Incoming Freshmen Scholarship Test
Star Shop Sale

December 14, 2020
Preferred Application Deadline

December 18, 2020-January 18, 2021
Christmas Break
NO Classes
Please check the online calendar for other important dates this month.
From the Principal for Academic Affairs
Dear Parents,

As we welcome the season of Advent, we commit ourselves to reflecting on the birth of Christ, often using the symbols of a wreath and candles to journey through the Christmas story. Each week of Advent leading up to Christmas Day, we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: hope, peace, love, and joy. Let us all embrace these virtues in the days ahead as we continue to face the unprecedented challenges of 2020. 

Student Engagement Days are set for Wednesday, December 2, 9, and 16. Each week an email will be sent with an updated list of optional/required activities available for students' participation. Some students may be required to attend school in person or virtually on Wednesday, December 16, due to semester assessments being scheduled. 

There will be no finals week schedule; however, classes will continue through Thursday, December 17. Students may have exams, quizzes, projects, presentations and papers due during their final class periods. Wednesday, December 16, is a Student Engagement Day, which some students may be required to attend in person for final assessments. Electronic progress reports will be sent via School Messenger the week of January 11, 2021. 

From our heart to yours, we at STA wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Blessings,
Barbara McCormick
Attendance Protocols
We thank parents and students for taking time for a health assessment each day prior to entering the campus. Currently, your efforts have allowed STA to remain on campus with in-person learning. Attendance during the pandemic will continue to be monitored and adjusted as we work with families in addressing each individual student’s situation. If attendance becomes an issue for a student, the administration will contact the family. This is not the year to be overly concerned about absences unless they are negatively impacting a student’s academic performance.

Calling or emailing the school about a student’s absence does not result in a student being labeled virtual for the day. The school nurse, Angela Sweeny, and attendance officer, Allison Wilson, collaborate each morning on addressing the daily attendance line calls and emails. They respond to each parent's request in a timely manner and work together on changing the status of students in PowerSchool so teachers are made aware later in the day of a student’s situation.

Short-term virtual learning status is reserved for students who have been identified by the school nurse as having an absence due to COVID-19 or another health-related issue. This is not for students going home sick or not feeling well for the day. These students should rest and take care of themselves so they may return to school the following day. 

In Case of Absence / Who to Contact
For On-Campus Learners (daily on-campus): Parents are asked to call the school’s auto attendance line before 9:00 a.m. Dial (816-501-0011), select #5. Please leave your daughter’s name, reason for absence, and a phone number where you can be reached. If no call is received, the school will contact the parent/guardian. All students that are out for the day will be marked absent. If the situation is determined to be COVID-19-related or a long-term absence, the nurse will change the student’s status to a short-term virtual learner. The attendance officer will then enter the appropriate attendance codes in PowerSchool.
Visitor Procedures
Per the guidance of the CDC and advisors from MRIGlobal, nonessential visits to campus will be limited until further notice. To keep the STA campus operational and as safe as possible, only employees or essential people needed for school operation should visit campus. In some circumstances, if a visit is authorized or deemed necessary by STA administration or STA Directors, visitors must abide by the following:

  • Wear masks/face coverings inside the buildings.
  • Wash or use sanitizer for hands upon entry.
  • Answer essential health-check questions required of employees and students: 
  1. In the last 48 hours have you had a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher? 
  2. In the last 48 hours, have you had a cough, shortness of breath that is not relieved by allergy medication?
  3. In the last 48 hours, have you had chills, body aches, sore throat loss of taste/smell?
STA COVID-19 Protocols
If your student tests positive for COVID-19, please follow the following steps:
  1. Contact Nurse Angela Sweeny: asweeny@stteresasacademy.org 
  2. Nurse Sweeny will contact the health department, and the health department may follow up to ask additional information. 
  3. The Kansas City Health Department will conduct a contact tracing interview on confirmed positive cases.  
  4. The parent and student involved in contact tracing will receive an email letter indicating date of return.
  5. Note: Out of an abundance of caution, we follow guidance from MRIGlobal and the CDC guidelines for contact tracing whether students are masked or unmasked.

The STA administration will direct any communications regarding a change in a student's learning plan (in-person, hybrid, or virtual) to the students' instructors.
Business Office
Your Smart Tuition bill due December 10 may include fall sports travel and spirit wear, winter sports fees, and second semester dance fees and costumes. Please be sure to log in to Smart Tuition to review and pay your account (and avoid late fees). 

Accounts MUST be current through November in order for your daughter to return to class in January. Please contact Kathy Rohr (krohr@stteresasacademy.org) in the Business Office immediately if you have any questions.  
Upcoming Events
STA's Book Drive
Through December 4

This book drive supports Reach out and Read Kansas City, an organization that works with KU Med to bring new books to underserved families with children ages 0-5. 

New books for children birth through 5 years old can be dropped off in the collection box in the STA Learning Commons. If you would like to make a cash donation, students may give it to their Advisors.


Any student who makes a donation to the drive will receive a dress-down day on Thursday, December 3, or Friday, December 4.

For questions, please contact: Marcia Warwick, Learning Center Coordinator, at mwarwick@stteresasacademy.org.
Clothing and Toy Drive
December 2-17
The Student Leadership Team will be sponsoring a clothing drive for Morning Glory Ministries and a stuffed animal drive for a ministry in Grain Valley called the Santa Bus. This drive will take place from December 2nd to December 17th.

There will be bins in M&A and Donnelly labeled Clothing (ADULT SIZES ONLY) and Stuffed Animals. Morning Glory Ministries serves the homeless in downtown KC and the Grain Valley Santa Bus gives stuffed animals to children in Grain Valley.
STA Strong Auction
Powerful STA Supporters Joined Together at the STA STRONG Auction!
From small, outdoor gatherings to the warmth of a cozy couch, the STA community embraced an extraordinary virtual world by bolstering the mission and vision of St. Teresa’s Academy. In their commitment to the education, encouragement, and empowerment of young women, STA supporters shattered Auction goals!

The giving STA community united to help deserving students qualifying for financial need. This year's Fund-a-Future effort raised over $188,000, capturing the matching gift offered by an inspiring anonymous donor.

As in 2019, the bidding began with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who raised their paddle to donate $25,000 to Fund-a-Future. The Sisters were joined by a $25,000 gift from Kitty Tierney, providing great examples (of many) of loving the dear neighbor!

The success of the STA STRONG Auction would not be possible without the dedicated committee members, volunteers, sponsors, donors, and supporters giving so generously to STA.

Special appreciation goes to the tireless efforts of the Auction Chairs: Erica & Steve Coppinger, Erin (Donnelly, '93) & Dan Cowan, Jenny & Warren Erdman, Chrystal & Ken Johnson, and Keli (O'Neill, '94) & John Wenzel.
InstaBuy Items Available for Perfect Stocking Stuffers
It's not too late! You can still fill your STA fans' stockings full of STA-branded items, including two styles of face masks, frasier fir-scented candles designed by an STA student, and STA Strong travel mugs. Click below to place your order now.
Updated Admissions Process
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought necessary changes to the STA admissions process. Innovative alternatives have been created to offer interested students helpful insights into the transformative education, encouragement, and empowerment possible at St. Teresa's.

Upcoming admissions events include:


If a family member or friend is interested in finding more about STA, please encourage them to visit the Admissions webpages on the STA website. Kelly McKee, Director of Recruitment and Enrollment, is available to answer any questions or provide additional information.
Academics
STA Publications Win Best of Show
During the recent NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) convention, the Dart and DartNewsOnline both won Best of Show awards. This is the same competition the Teresian yearbook won 6th place in last year.

This year, the Dart won 9th for newsmagazine and the DartNewsOnline won 5th. There are 10 awards for each category and hundreds of schools submitting publications. Congratulations!
Campus Ministry
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This past Sunday marks the first Sunday in Advent, a season of waiting and a time to prepare our hearts for Jesus's birth on Christmas. This year, Campus Ministry invites you to journey through Advent with this video reflection which is a compilation of Scripture and music from the Advent season. Click the button below to view. Together, we journey to Bethlehem.
Counseling
This has been a challenging year for for everyone. The stressors surrounding physical and mental health, wellness, and relationships are numerous, but there is always support available to you.

Time out of school will be longer than in a typical year. To help, click here to access resources that will provide you and your student with tools and new strategies/skills to manage any struggles you may be facing. Please know you can reach out to any of the counselors at STA. They are here to support you!

Take care, stay safe, and be well this holiday season and throughout the year!

Kathy Brodie - Director of Learning and Leadership
Mary Gajewski - School Counselor- Last names A-L
Angela Sweeny - School Nurse
Amanda Whitcomb - School Counselor- Last names M-Z
Normal Teen Behavior vs. Warning Signs
Adolescence can be a complicated and challenging time in the life of a child. It is common and expected for teenagers to have periodic struggles with self-esteem, identity, peer relationships, and emotional regulation. But at what point does normal teen behavior turn into a warning sign for a more significant concern?

All teens are different, but these signs can indicate that your child is struggling with a more significant mental health issue:

  • Missing days in school or poor school performance
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, sports, or activities previously enjoyed
  • Lack of motivation for fun activities
  • Sleep disruptions, including insomnia and nightmares
  • Lack of focus on tasks, or inability to sit still
  • Seemingly anxious or worried all the time
  • Lack of energy or sleeping more than usual
  • Constant irritability or agitation
  • Engaging in risk taking behaviors
  • Smoking, vaping, drinking or drug use
  • Self-harming behaviors, such as cutting, picking, burning, or hair pulling
  • Having suicidal thoughts or actions

As parents, you know your child best. If you notice a marked change in your child’s behavior, please reach out to your child’s doctor, school counselor, or a mental health professional for guidance.

In the event of a mental health emergency, please dial 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room. With appropriate intervention and supports, children can learn the coping skills necessary to build resilience and restore mental health and well-being.
Understanding Distractors and Coping Webinar Video Link
Parent Presentation Fall 2020 by Melissa Perry
If you were unable to attend the November 19 webinar on Understanding Distractors and Coping, click here to view the video.

Melissa Perry from Research Psychiatric Center offered parents her insights about how individuals may react to stressors by means of using distractors and/or coping methods. From her background as a licensed clinician, Melissa spoke about the differences between distractors and coping that many of our students tend to experience unknowingly, and how parents with improved understanding of both might support their child's most effective, healthy responses to anxiety. This webinar was co-sponsored by Rockhurst High School, Notre Dame de Sion High School, and St. Teresa’s Academy. 
College Counseling
The KC Private High Schools’ Virtual College Fair that was held September 9 with over 125 colleges and universities may still be accessed at https://KCPrivate.Swoogo.com/KCPrivateHSFair (there are no live chat features, but you may search for schools, watch videos, request info, etc.)
 
STA hosted a record 140 colleges and universities this fall in a virtual format during the school day for juniors and seniors. This is a 15% increase in visits over last year.
 
Parents of the Class of 2023
  • Mark your calendar: Sophomore College Planning Night (students and parents) will be Thursday, March 25, at 7:00 p.m. This program will be virtual, details TBA.

Parents of the Class of 2022
  • Junior Parent College Information Night (virtual) is Thursday, January 21, at 7:00 p.m.  We will discuss calendar planning, college visits, Naviance/Scoir [online college planning tools], ACT/SAT/test-optional admissions, and other hot topics and helpful hints for parents navigating the college process.
  • Registration deadline for the February 6 ACT is January 8; go to www.actstudent.org to register. When registering, look for St. Teresa's as Saint Teresa's (school code is 261700). The ACT/SAT registration process was shared with juniors (November seminar) and junior parents in a follow-up email. 
  • PSAT scores will be available online on December 7 through their College Board account. Test books will be returned to juniors in the next couple of weeks. We also hope to plan to offer a brief "how to read your scores" session later in December. 
  • During the months of January and February, we will meet individually with all juniors to discuss senior year courses, college list, and how we may help with that list, testing plans, and much more. Our notes on suggested senior year courses for your daughter will be found in PowerSchool under Academics>Junior Worksheet. Detailed info will be shared later about the course registration process for 2021-2022.

Parents of the Class of 2021
To date, we have submitted over 1,000 applications to colleges and universities nationwide. Congratulations to those who have received acceptances and scholarship offers. Please see your detailed College Planning News for more information on scholarships, deadlines, enrollment details, and much more.  
Fine Arts
STA Shooting Stars Theatre is On Demand!
Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson
December 11 - 31 

How it works:
  • Go to https://stashootingstarstheatre.anywhereseat.com/ and click on the red ACCESS button.
  • Click on GET TICKET. All tickets are “Pay What You Can” so you can watch for free or make a donation by entering a ticket price. CONFIRM the order after entering your email address.
  • An Access Code will appear on the screen and will be sent to your email address. You will also be sent a google calendar event reminder that will save the link and code to the event so you don’t have to worry about losing the email!
  • When you are ready to watch (anytime between December 11-31) just follow the link, enter the code and enjoy! If you truly love the experience, there will be an option to make a donation during the performance! All ticket sales and donations go directly to funding future STA Shooting Stars Theatre productions.
  • Each ticket is valid for one viewing of the show and can be purchased at any time during the run of the performance.
  • This same process will be used for all 4 shows. 

Feel free to contact Shana Prentiss at sprentiss@stteresasacademy.org with any questions or concerns. 
Athletics
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Athletic News
Click below to discover more about the end of the fall sports season, including updates on Cross Country and Volleyball, and the start of the Winter season.

In addition, read about the six STA student-athletes who have committed to playing a sport in college.
Facilities Wish List
Crucifixes Requested
The facilities department is looking for 18 new or used crucifixes to hang in STA classrooms and offices. The goal is to display a crucifix in every room.

If you have a crucifix of 12 inches or less that needs a new home, please let contact Becky Flores, Director of Campus Operations, at 816-501-0960 or bflores@stteresasacademy.org.
Ordering Bistro Kids Lunch
To add funds to your daughter's Bistro Kids lunch account, click here.

When planning lunches for the week, your daughter might consider the chef's weekly menu schedule:
Star Shop
Explore the Star Shop for your Christmas Gifting Needs!

STA's Star Shop is one-stop Christmas shopping for your favorite STA student or fan! Sweatshirts, shorts, leggings, t-shirts, socks, face masks, and much more. Come by and get what you need for spirit wear days.

STAR SHOP SALE:
December 5 and 12, 9:00 a.m. - noon

The Star Shop will be open when school is in session, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Click here to shop online.

Any questions, please contact Kristen Walker at kwalker@stteresasacademy.org or at 816-501-0011 ext 117.
Giving Back
Give Back to STA Through AmazonSmile
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support St. Teresa's Academy every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to St. Teresa's (when designated as your charitable organization).

Amazon Smile is now available on the Amazon app. In the past, you could only give back if you shopped from a web browser. Now, when you shop from their app you can give to the charity of your choice. 

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Get shopping and giving now!