To view the entire Parent News, please click "[Message clipped] View entire message." at the end of this email.
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.
Dear Parents, 

In gratitude, I write this newsletter. I have been thinking about one of my favorite quotes by the Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen. He wrote, “To see one’s goal and to drive toward it, steeling one’s heart is most uplifting.” As our semester is heading towards its end, the success and goals that we have been able to drive toward and achieve together is remarkable and uplifting! As we approach the Thanksgiving season, I want to thank each and every one of you for your support in enabling us to keep our school safe and open. Thank you for helping to reinforce our protocols of social distancing and mask wearing both on and off campus. This semester has certainly had its ups and downs, but by faith and the support of our community, we have found a way.  

We are thankful for our beautiful campus and caring STA community. The hardworking faculty and staff have been so committed to fulfilling our mission of educating young women to think critically, encouraging them through Catholic values to love the dear neighbor without distinction, and empowering them to change the world. As we go forward, we will continue to deliver stellar academics, top-notch athletics, and excellent extracurriculars. 

I have heard from many of you concerning how happy you and your children are to be on campus. We, too, feel so very delighted to see their smiles and to hear their voices as they continue to blossom each and every day. Everyone has worked so hard this fall, so much so that we have decided to make adjustments to the final weeks of the semester.  

The administrative team, department heads, and I have decided not to hold a "formal" finals week. Instead, we have determined that the semester can conclude with course work. Instruction will culminate with teachers coordinating any remaining exams to take place during regularly scheduled class times. Final projects and assessments will be submitted in the last days of the semester. Additionally, we will not have a January Interim Week this year. The challenges associated with this historic pandemic have made it difficult to plan a new interim curriculum, plus some of the outside agencies and field trips that have traditionally been available in the past are not accessible because of COVID-19. We do foresee bringing it back in the future.

Our MRIGlobal partners continue to advise us to take precautionary measures in mitigating the virus. They have encouraged us to remind our families not to get lax with protocols and to be mindful during the upcoming holiday break. Click the following link to review key reminders from the CDC about celebrating the holidays: Coping During the Holidays.

We are committed to the well-being of our community. We will continue to be vigilant with our cleaning procedures and health maintenance efforts. The approaching winter season represents challenges with predictions of increased community COVID-19 cases and the confluence of the flu’s arrival. 

As a result of these realities, the administration has decided to extend our Christmas Winter Break. It will start on December 18 with classes resuming January 19. The cancellation of finals week and Interim Week gives us the opportunity to provide an extra break. It is important for us to take this time off before starting our second semester. Keep in mind that our school was one of the first in the area to start in early August, well before most surrounding private and public school districts began. Rest assured, in taking this additional time off, we are still over the recommended Missouri campus participation and instruction requirements. 

Happy Thanksgiving! I thank you for being part of the St. Teresa’s Academy family and for your steadfast support in partnering with us in our efforts. 

God Bless,
Dr. Siabhan May-Washington

October 23-November 12, 2020
Confessions of Women from East L.A. Shooting Stars Theatre Production

November 2, 2020
Senior Retreat: NO Classes for Seniors

November 3, 2020
Virtual Practice ACT for Sophomores & Juniors
NO classes for Freshmen & Seniors

November 11, 2020
Virtual Star Parents Association Meeting
November 12, 2020
Parents in Prayer

November 13, 2020
NO Classes

November 16, 2020
Chipotle Fundraiser for STA

November 20, 2020
STA Strong Auction

November 25-December 1, 2020
Thanksgiving Break
NO Classes

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,

In thinking about all that we do at STA, there is not a day that I am not filled with gratitude for the blessing of this school. Our STA girls are astounding. Our faculty and staff are some of the most dedicated, mission-centric individuals I have met, and our families are committed to being in partnership with us. 

Thank you, parents, for your continued support and the feedback you provided in our recent survey (click the button below to view additional feedback). This being a unique school year, 92.8% of parents reported feeling pleased overall with their daughter’s school year. 

When asked which improvements, new strategies, and expectations made in compliance with COVID-19 policies benefited your daughter the most:
  • 89.2% of parents selected face-to-face learning
  • 77% of parents selected social distancing, masks, and sanitization

Many of you provided additional feedback on topics such as social activities, lunch/advisory time, prayer, testing, virtual learning, before/after school care, and much more. Some updates include:
  • To date, clubs have begun to meet and extracurricular activities are underway. Some of these activities are being held during Zero Hour to accommodate for social distancing measures. 
  • Face-to-face prayer and retreats are being considered with considerable planning going into how to make these safe opportunities for students and adults.
  • IT has been equipping classrooms with cameras and additional computers to enhance the virtual learning experience. 
  • Before and after school supervision is available in Fahey Learning Center. You can learn more about this in the student/parent handbook or contact the school office. 
  • We have been coordinating grade level lunches in the Quad, giving each class an opportunity to gather with peers when weather permits. 
  • Administration continues to consult MRIGlobal and other health professionals regarding any changes in COVID-19 protocols, including testing. 

We are incredibly grateful for your sacrifice and partnership. Thank you for meeting with teachers virtually by appointment during conferences. We all look forward to the time when we can sit around the table together. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving season. 

With Gratitude,
Barbara McCormick
Principal for Academic Affairs 
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: 
  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 November Smart Tuition billing may include ACT exam and fall sports uniform fees. Please login to your Smart Tuition account or call 1-888-868-8828 to view your invoice. You can also contact Cheryl Givens ( in the Business Office with further questions.  
Upcoming Events
Star Parents Logo
Star Parents Association Zoom Meeting891 7906 4394
Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m.  
All are invited to attend. Please click here for the Zoom link.
  • Meeting ID: 890 768 9674
  • Passcode: SPA  
Parents in Prayer
Thursday, November 12, Noon
Join the Parent Liturgy Committee in this first monthly Zoom gatherings to share in a time for prayer and reflection.
Please click here for the Zoom link
  • Meeting ID: 891 7906 4394
  • Passcode: DKmxf8 
chipotle logo
Chipotle Fundraiser for STA!
November 16, 3:00 - 8:00 p.m.
4851 Main St, Kansas City, MO
Take a break from cooking and treat your family to dinner (or an after-school snack) from Chipotle on Main to raise money for St. Teresa's! Chipotle will donate 33% of proceeds to STA.
Fundraiser Details:
  • Ordering Online for Pickup Available: Remember to use STA's online ordering code: FRCVXLX. If you have questions about how the online ordering process works, click here. Please note that fundraiser online ordering is only valid through pickup during your fundraiser’s scheduled date, time, and assigned restaurant. Ordering delivery for fundraisers is not permitted at this time.
  • In-store Orders: Make sure to bring the STA fundraiser flyer (either a hard copy or on your phone) or tell the cashier at checkout that they are there for a fundraiser before you pay! If they don’t tell the cashier, St. Teresa's won’t get credit for the sale. Click here for the flyer.
STA Strong Auction
St. Teresa's Academy Auction
Friday, November 20, 2020
7:00 p.m.

As the 2020-2021 school year nears, many things surrounding St. Teresa’s Academy have been reimagined -- including the annual Auction!

Get comfortable and settle in for a cozy evening at home with the STA Strong Auction livestream event. There are several ways for you to take part in this year's fun:
  • You can join in from the comfort of your couch or anywhere.
  • You can organize a watch party with a small group of friends.
  • You can sponsor the Auction and STA will bring the party to you!

Premier (formerly live), silent, and super silent auction bidding will be available throughout the evening from the BidPal app on your phone.

Register now and you will be emailed the link to view the Auction closer to the event.
Proceeds from the Auction benefit students’ financial assistance, as well as the education, programs, and facilities provided by St. Teresa’s Academy. This year, more than ever, your support is needed. 
STA Raffle 2020
This year, raffle ticket sales will be online! Use the QR code or the link below to buy your tickets or to forward to neighbors, family, and friends.

Raffle tickets are available for $10 each.

The winning ticket will be drawn during the STA Strong Auction on Friday, November 20.

First Place
2018 Buick Encore
courtesy of Roberts Robinson Chevrolet Buick GMC
Gina and Mike Robinson

Second Place
$2,500 Cash

Third Place
$1,000 Cash

Winner must be a U.S. citizen and 18 years of age or older. Certain terms and conditions apply. You need not be present to win.
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.

Click the available links below to learn more about the reimagined admissions process:

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.
STEM/STEAM Certificate  
The STEM/STEAM Certificate was introduced in the spring of 2016. Students may apply anytime, but the spring semester of sophomore year or fall semester of junior year are ideal. Requirements for the Certificate include:
  • 87. cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintain each semester
Certificate requirements below must be completed by March 1 of senior year to receive designation at graduation and on the transcript. 
  • Course Requirements: 
  • Math - 4 creditsScience - 4 credits (biology, chemistry + physics or an AP level science course required for STEAM); (biology, chemistry & physics required for STEM). 
  • STEM/STEAM Electives - 2 credits (math, computer science, science, &/or digital arts courses). Courses will determine STEM Certificate or STEAM Certificate designation. Online Personal Finance may not be used to meet course requirements. 
  • eMentor (assigned in the junior year. For info contact Mrs. Holmquist
  • Membership in a STEM or STEAM-related club or extracurricular activity
  • Three job shadow/STEM/STEAM-related professional events totaling 9 hours
  • Ten hours of related volunteer experience (tutor in Math Hub, STEAM summer camps, KC STEM Alliance, etc.)
  • Create an online portfolio using with STEM/STEAM-related projects, papers, PowerPoints, etc. Due March 1 of senior year. 
  • Meet periodically as a Certificate cohort with Dr. Sonnenberg about STEM/STEAM opportunities.

For more info and a link to the application, click here. Questions - contact Dr. Mandi Sonnenberg or  Debi Hudson.
National Honor Society
NHS applications open on November 15. The application deadline is December 1. Criteria: junior or senior, minimum of 93.0 or higher cumulative GPA as of June 2020 (and prior to induction in Spring 2021), a minimum of 10 hours of service to STA, a minimum of 10 hours of community service to a non-profit organization, leadership, and character. Service hours must be from March 15, 2020, through the application deadline. To access the National Honor Society application, please click here.
Teresian Yearbook Accolades
The Walsworth Gallery of Excellence has announced that the 2020 St. Teresa's Academy yearbook, the Teresian, will be entered into the Walsworth Gallery of Excellence. Yearbook aficionados from across the country will view the annual publication, and it will be shown at workshops, conventions, and other platforms as a model of excellence and remarkable journalism! Congratulations to the entire yearbook staff, led by Riley Cowing, Journalism teacher, for this prestigious honor!
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Celebration
On October 1 of this year, Chinese classes celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival (also called Moon Festival and Zhōng qiū jié, 中秋节, in Chinese). The Festival is recognized every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar (八月十五日), when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year. China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia all celebrate "Mid-Autumn Festival/Zhōng qiū jié." It's like Thanksgiving in the United States. To celebrate, Chinese people get together with their family, have a reunion dinner, appreciate the moon outdoors, drink tea, and eat moon cake. Roughly the size of a human palm, these moon cakes are known for the salty yolk in the middle, which represents the full moon.

Chinese classes celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival by doing presentations, watching videos, singing songs, and enjoying treats.
National Hispanic Heritage Month Mural Project
National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities and the many ways these communities have influenced and contributed to American society. The "month" spanned from September 15-October 15.

To celebrate, the community was invited to participate in a mural painting project in honor and celebration of Hispanic/Latinx communities and what it means to be Hispanic/Latinx. Painters (photo on left below) were asked to convey:
  • What the Hispanic/Latinx heritage mean to you?
  • What images, words, or feelings arise in your mind when you think about Hispanic/Latinx heritage?

Day of Dead Altar
Día de los muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday, celebrated on November 1 and 2. It combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating one’s ancestors with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, which are celebrated within the Catholic tradition.

In preparation for Day of the Dead, many families throughout Mexico create altars in their homes in honor of their loved ones who have passed on. These altars usually involve pictures of their deceased loved ones and the things they loved the most, such as food, drink, or a favorite image or object. 

Every year at STA, students and teachers create altars at the main entrance of M&A. The altars will be in place through November 6. In the photo below, the mural is featured behind the altar.
Campus Ministry
St. Teresa of Avila Feast Day and Founders' Day
On October 13, the STA community celebrated the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila (recognized on October 15) and Founders' Day (the day in 1650 when the Sisters of St. Joseph were officially founded).

Students, faculty, and staff gathered for a prayer service and dedication of the new St. Teresa of Avila statue. Before joining in silent prayer, everyone spread across campus, connected together by ribbon.
Fine Arts
STA Shooting Stars Theatre is On Demand! 
The next two productions will be available during the month of November:
  • Confessions of Women from East L.A. by Josephine Lopez is streaming now and is available through November 12. 
  • A Voice of My Own by Elinor Jones will be available November 13 - December 10. 

How it works:
  • Click here, and click on the 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 the streaming dates listed), 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. 

Feel free to notify Shana Prentiss at with any questions or concerns. 

Upcoming Productions
  • December 11-31: Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson 
  • Date TBA: Disenchanted the Musical (School Version)
Attention Sophomore Parents!!!
Would your daughter be interested in attending the HOBY Leadership Seminar?

What is HOBY?
Founded in 1958, HOBY's mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. HOBY programs are conducted annually throughout the United States, serving local and international high school students. The programs provide sophomores selected by their schools the opportunity to participate in unique leadership training, service-learning, and motivation-building experiences. HOBY also provides adults with opportunities to make a significant impact on the lives of youth by volunteering.

How do I register my daughter?
There is a cost for the HOBY Leadership Seminar, which will take place between April and June 2021 with plans for both in-person and virtual attendance as local conditions mandate. To be selected as a HOBY Ambassador, your daughter will need to complete an essay of 100 words or less and submit it to Amanda Whitcomb, School Counselor. The theme of the essay will be: "Describe the most rewarding and challenging aspects of being a leader in your school and community." This essay will need to be completed by NOVEMBER 20, 2020. Registration is due by December 4, 2020 (including payment).

Questions? Please email Amanda Whitcomb,
Understanding Distractors and Coping Webinar
Parent Presentation Fall 2020 by Melissa Perry
Thursday, November 19, 7:00 p.m.
Melissa Perry from Research Psychiatric Center will present a webinar to parents offering 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 in the Adolescent Unit at Research, Melissa will speak 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 is designed for parents of adolescent students in the midst of our pandemic and is co-sponsored by Rockhurst High School, Notre Dame de Sion High School, and St. Teresa’s Academy. We are very grateful to Research Psychiatric Center for its support.

Webinar Link and more information will be sent out via Constant Contact as we approach the presentation date. 

For questions, please contact Amanda Whitcomb
Coping with COVID: 
A free webinar series on COVID issues and stressors 
Mental Health America of the Heartland is presenting mental health webinars addressing COVID issues and stressors that increase depression and suicide risk, including isolation, drug and alcohol use, unhealthy eating and sleeping, lack of hope for the future, loss of a loved one, and ecomomic loss. These webinars are designed for the general public and community. The one-hour sessions will be repeated through February 2021. Included is a Question and Answer session, with post session availability with staff and presenter to address individual issues, provide resources and referrals. See the listing of Zoom webinars below to find out more and register. 

  • Staying Social While Social Distancing: Mon., Nov. 9, 2020; 6:30-7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.
  • Recognizing Your Coping Skills: Mon., Nov. 16, 2020; 6:30-7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.
  • Envisioning Your Post-COVID Future: Mon., Nov. 23, 2020; 6:30-7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.
  • Grief During COVID: Mon., Nov. 30, 2020; 6:30-7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

Other Resources:
COVID-19 & Mental Health: Mental Health America has compiled a number of resources for individuals and families. Click here to learn more.
College Counseling
Senior Parents
Check your email for the monthly senior family college planning news. The newsletters contain valuable information on deadlines, college visits, scholarships, financial aid, and more. Many application deadlines are fast approaching. Please check in with your daughter on her progress. The FAFSA is now open! You may apply for federal financial aid by visiting their website at To date, over 85% of the class has requested transcripts to colleges and universities. Keep up with those deadlines, December 1 and January 1 deadlines are fast approaching. 
Junior Parents
You should have received an email in early October with a college planning newsletter. If you did not receive it, please contact Debi Hudson at The college counseling department will be holding junior seminars in the month of November. In early November, the ACT & SAT registration process, dates, timeline, frequency, locations, the rise is in test-optional admissions, and much more will be covered. The ACT & SAT registration process is the responsibility of the family. STA does not register students for these standardized tests. STA is a test site for the April and June ACT, but students must register and they are not guaranteed placement at STA. Please register at See your October College Planning News for details. We strongly encourage juniors to begin testing in February or April. In mid-November, we will cover the criteria in the college search process, creating the college list, and more. 

Juniors - PSAT score access is online and will occur in early to mid-December. Students will receive an email from the College Board when scores are available, along with access procedures. Original test books will be returned to students in the junior seminar.  

Upcoming events: 
  • Virtual Practice ACT - Tuesday, November 3, 8:30 a.m. - details emailed directly to students. 
  • Junior Seminars - early and mid-November, assigned during open room time. 
  • Individual meetings with juniors about senior year course selection, testing, and college planning (January through late February)
  • Junior Parent College Info. Night on Thursday, January 21, at 5:30 p.m. 
  • Monthly college planning emails will begin in January.

Sophomore Parents 
Virtual Practice ACT - Tuesday, November 3, 8:30 a.m. - details emailed directly to students.  

ALL Parents 
Our virtual college fair site from early September is still active! Check it out at You may visit over 125 college booths and view brief videos, quick facts, contact the admission office, request information, and more. You may also filter by your search criteria. 
Athletic News
Click below to discover more about the fall sports season, including updates on Cross CountryGolfSoftballTennis, and Volleyball.

Tryouts for the 2020-21 winter season begin November 2 for basketball, and November 9 for swim & dive.
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
New items are available in the Star Shop!

Sweatshirts, shorts, leggings, t-shirts, socks, and much more! Come by and get what you need for spirit wear days. In addition, snacks are available for students to purchase throughout the day.

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 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, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, 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!