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.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that we are already in the autumn season, and despite the ongoing pandemic, our school remains abundantly blessed to be together. We are thankful that St. Teresa's has been able to be in-person, as we deliver our mission to our students. The cooperation of our students and parents has been exceptional, and the extraordinary faculty and staff are superheroes! Their steadfast efforts are commendable. Our community is so very fortunate to have caring, hardworking, and dependable professionals teaching our young women. 

Despite our obstacles, we are reimagining and reinventing school programming in remarkable ways. For instance:

  • This year’s annual auction skit was a TikTok video compilation, instead of a large gathering. 
  • Our Freshman Retreat was held outside on the Quad and the McDonnell Sports Complex, where the students engaged in prayerful reflections and benefited from the guidance of Campus Ministry and peer student leaders.
  • Our music classes are belting out joyful noises in outdoor tents.
  • Biology classes are scampering about the campus identifying living objects.
  • English classes are frequently outdoors discussing classic and contemporary literary works.
  • Our fall sports teams have celebrated numerous successes. 
  • The Black Student Coalition is to be praised for sponsoring an after-school Equity and Justice March, commemorating the historic 1963 March on Washington, and the group brought attention to today’s social justice concerns.

Our young women are definitely learning, growing, and exhibiting tremendous compassion for global issues. 

Nonetheless, it is clear that we are all still facing ever-increasing, unsettling challenges. Our students and teachers have to navigate the school day socially-distanced, while wearing masks. Students have assigned seating for contact tracing purposes, and teachers roam to varying classroom locations, depending on their class sizes. These inconveniences can be unpleasant, but we must remain resilient. Our counselors and Campus Ministry directors are ready to listen and help in any way possible. 

We will continue to press on as we create and envision rejuvenating, joyful activities for our student body. The Lord will give us strength for each day. As it is written in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread ... for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.

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

October 2-22, 2020
These Shining Lives Shooting Stars Theatre Production

October 5-9, 2020
Spirit Week

October 6, 2020
NO Classes
School-Day ACT for Seniors
Virtual College Financial Aid Workshop for Seniors & Senior Parents

October 8, 2020
Virtual Star Parents Association Meeting
Parents in Prayer

October 9, 2020
First Quarter Ends

October 13, 2020
St. Teresa of Avila Celebration

October 14, 2020
NO Classes
PSAT Test for Juniors (on campus) & Sophomores (virtual)
Freshmen & Seniors Volunteer Service Project (optional)
October 15, 2020
NO Classes
Parent/Teacher Virtual Conferences by Appointment (details below)

October 16, 2020
NO Classes

October 17, 2020
Father/Daughter Fall Cleanup

October 19, 2020
NO Classes

October 21, 2020
Women's Circle of Giving Virtual Grant Reporting Meeting

November 1, 2020
Daylight Savings Time Change

November 3, 2020
NO Classes for Seniors
Virtual Practice ACT for Sophomores & Juniors
Please check the online calendar for other important dates this month.
From the Principal for Academic Affairs
Dear Parents,

There has never been a time more relevant than now to approach education with a focus on holistic well-being. The Academy believes that true growth comes through care of the whole child in mind, heart, body, and spirit. More than ever before, it’s essential that instruction encourages strong, caring relationships with adults and provides opportunities for students to think deeply, to connect with their peers and to get excited about learning again. Students thrive when they are aware of multiple perspectives while forming their own. 

Dedicated to equity, we are committed to doing more by working with our community to ensure that education lays the foundation for the change that is necessary. We have continued the school’s efforts by expanding the ways we support teachers, providing them with more content focused on advancing equity and dismantling bias and a platform to connect with one another for curious conversations. Education can provide the pathway to healing, understanding, and racial and social justice.

We thank all our parents and families for their continued fortitude and support as students and instructors find a rhythm for teaching and learning. Striking a balance of serving students in the physical classroom while simultaneously engaging students learning from home has been the ultimate challenge for all instructors. New computers will be issued to all educators this week replacing outdated technology. Teachers are pursuing new instructional pedagogies, integrating various software applications, creating flexible, adaptable assignments and redesigning assessments. They are truly pioneers in the profession. 

Warmly,
Barbara McCormick
Principal for Academic Affairs 
Take the Parent Survey
The STA staff wants to hear about your daughter's/student's experience thus far at STA. Thank you for taking the time to provide helpful feedback.

Please complete by Monday, October 5, 2020, by clicking below.
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
The October Smart Tuition billings include AP exam fees, which are $95 per test. 

Please login to Smart and review activity on your account. If you have any questions please email Cheryl Givens at cgivens@stteresasacademy.org
Upcoming Events
Star Parents Association Zoom Meeting
Thursday, October 8, 9:00 a.m.  
All are invited to attend. Please click here for the Zoom link.
  • Meeting ID: 853 1329 6223
  • Passcode: 89g3p7
Parents in Prayer
Thursday, October 8, 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
Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences 
Appointment Only 
Thursday, October 15, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Teachers will send out a calendar appointment email to the parents of their students. Parents will then sign up for an appointment time. 

As an institution, St. Teresa’s Academy values the expertise of the educator and the enlightenment of students. In regard to curricular materials and classroom discussion and activities, exposing students to a wide variety of academic ideas, cultural perspectives, and moral beliefs remains a top priority. When creating and implementing curriculum, teachers consider course description and rationale, making choices consistent with the STA Handbook’s Philosophy and Core Beliefs, and reflecting the school’s initiatives regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Parents are expected to first reach out to the classroom instructor regarding any curriculum or course concerns. Teachers value communication and feedback as opportunities to work together to enhance a student’s STA experience. It is in your daughter’s best interest to build a working relationship with her teacher. This model serves as a real world example regarding the importance of addressing an issue with that person directly and working towards solving it together.

Some helpful tips are: 
  • Avoid assumptions.
  • Set up a time to talk and have questions ready for the teacher.
  • Ask questions and listen.
  • Be positive and believe every STA teacher wants the best for every STA student. 
  • End with a collaborative plan.

If a parent does not feel comfortable going directly to the instructor, he/she will need to follow the protocol for challenging course material (including readings, assignments, teaching strategies, etc.) before completing and submitting the STA Curriculum Inquiry Form. This information is received by the Director of STEAM Projects and Education who will follow up parents, teachers, and or administration.
Fall tree
Father/Daughter Fall Cleanup on the STA Campus
Saturday, October 17
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

STA's St. Joseph Society invites dads and daughters to join in a fall cleanup on the STA campus. If you're able to join in the fun:
  • Dress for yard work.
  • Please bring the following supplies: shovels, gloves, rakes, and hoes
  • Most importantly, please bring chairs for you and your daughter to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your work and a delicious brat prepared by St. Joseph's Society Chair, Matt Scanlon. Beverages will be provided as well.


Questions? Please contact Barbara Cusick at bcusick@stteresasacademy.org
Women's Circle of Giving Virtual Grant Reporting Meeting
Wednesday, October 21
12:15 p.m.

Join the virtual Women's Circle of Giving (WCG) meeting to learn updates on the grants awarded in the spring of 2020. Please click here for the Zoom link.

  • Meeting ID: 860 8464 8146
  • Passcode:  f0TzTP

Questions? Please contact Barbara Cusick at bcusick@stteresasacademy.org
STA Strong Auction
SAVE THE DATE
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!

To adapt to pandemic conditions, this year’s Auction, STA Strong, will shift to a virtual event. Please mark your calendars to join what is sure to be a special evening celebrating all that makes STA strong - the premier education, unwavering faith, the bonds of sisterhood, and the commitment to love the dear neighbor without distinction.

Traditionally, gift gathering for the STA Auction means entertaining parties with parents, alumnae, and friends. Unfortunately, this year, parties have become a distant memory. BUT, gift gathering is still vital to the success of the STA Strong Virtual Auction.

Your donated auction item ($50 minimum) is valued and appreciated. Gifted items may include:
  • Gift Cards
  • Tickets to the Theater or Concerts
  • Services
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Artistic Creations
  • Or any Item from the Amazon Wish List

To donate, sponsor, or underwrite this year's Auction, please click the appropriate button below. Thank you for helping keep STA Strong!
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.
Academics
National Honor Society
National Honor Society applications will be available online 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 March 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.
Interim 2022
Launched in 2019, St. Teresa’s Academy’s Interim Week is a time of innovation, creation, and discovery as students step outside of traditional classrooms and participate in experiential learning. Over the past two years, STA’s teachers designed unique experiences focusing on exploratory, hands-on, and interactive learning with the goal of fostering knowledge outside of the normal academic schedule, allowing learners to broaden their appreciation and awareness for the world in which they live.

In order to meet the needs of our students during the pandemic, Interim Week is being reimagined. This year’s program will not take place during the week after Christmas break. Instead, planning for a modified version of Interim Week for May of 2021 is underway. Additionally, other exciting experiential learning activities are being developed for interested students. Please stay tuned for details!
Fine Arts
Shooting Stars Theatre Virtual Performance Schedule
This semester, the STA Shooting Stars Theatre will present a series of virtual performances. All shows will be recorded and available "on demand" for a two-week period so audiences may watch at their leisure.

The first show is These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich, based on the real women who lost their lives after working at the Radium Watchdial Factory painting watch dials with radium laced paint. It's a beautiful and haunting story!

Click here to visit the STA website for streaming information!

Upcoming Productions
  • October 2 (3:00 p.m.)-22: These Shining Lives
  • October 23-November 12: Confessions of Women from East L.A. by Josephina Lopez
  • November 12-30: A Voice of My Own by Elinor Jones
  • December 11-31: Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson
Counseling
MOCSA for Juniors
October 27- 30          
The MOCSA Teen Exchange Seminar will be returning to STA for the entire junior class. This programming is typically provided during sophomore year. With the challenges of COVID-19 this year, programming was postponed until this fall. The Teen Exchange seminar will be held for the sophomores, class of 2023, this coming February. 

This is an annual event for our students and specifically designed by MOCSA for the STA community. 

Juniors will attend the MOCSA seminar virtually during Zero Hour on their assigned day during the week of October 27-30. 

Students will have discussion and processing time in small groups with educators from MOCSA. Seminar topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Discussion of unhealthy and healthy relationships
  • Helping young women set healthy boundaries before dating and relationships begin
  • Learning about gender stereotypes and media influence
  • Learning about sexual harassment and sexual assault, how to recognize both and what to do if it happens
  • Learning to lessen the ill effects of sexual assault and abuse through prevention, education, intervention and advocacy.

Should you have questions or concerns about your student attending the MOCSA Teen Exchange Program, please contact Amanda Whitcomb at awhitcomb@stteresasacademy.org.
STA Group Counseling is back!!
Beginning this month, the counseling department will be working with intern therapists from Resolve Counseling to bring our students new and fun groups that can help them manage stressors and other events in daily life. This is a great way for students to take advantage of counseling services along with others who may be experiencing some of the same things your student is facing. 

If you are interested in more information regarding this program for your daughter, please feel free to contact Amanda Whitcomb, Personal Counselor. 
College Counseling
Though it looks very different this year, the busy, fall, college-visit season is upon us. A large number of colleges will be hosted virtually for the benefit of STA students. Over 30 colleges and universities will be welcomed in the month of September, and over 40 in October. The list continues to grow.

The ease of virtual visits has brought many new colleges to STA. We love getting the word out about our fantastic young women. The visit schedule is updated weekly on Naviance and students must register two days in advance. Juniors and seniors receive a visit reminder email each Wednesday with details for the following week. Juniors may attend visits in the Zero Hour, during an open room time, and lunch. Seniors may attend at the same times, but may also attend during class time with teacher approval. Our virtual visits provide an excellent format to learn about schools, ask questions, and connect with the admission reps that will be your advocate in the admission process.
 
Parents of the Class of 2022: Be on the lookout for your fall College Planning News. It will be sent via email in early October and will include details on the search process, standardized testing, visiting college campuses, and much more. Also, if you have not already watched the recorded presentations on highly selective admission, campus visits, financial aid, parent advice, standardized testing/test-optional, and more, which were sent out in early September from college counseling, you are encouraged to view them. These videos will help guide family conversations on the college search process prior to our first junior seminar in early November. 
  
Parents of the Class of 2021: Join us on Tuesday, October 6, at 7:00 p.m. for our VIRTUAL college financial aid workshop. The FAFSA will open on October 1! Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. You should have received our detailed financial aid newsletter last week with the link for the event.

TESTING
PSAT (Sophomores and Juniors): All sophomores and juniors will be testing on Wednesday, October 14.

Sophomores will take the test VIRTUALLY beginning at 8:30 a.m. and should end approximately 11:30 a.m. This is a practice test, but it is expected that all students will test.

Our friends at Revolution Prep will be helping us offer the sophomore class a Live Online Proctored Practice PSAT. We will provide Revolution Prep with student information and one parent contact information in order to create their Revolution Prep Portal, and their own unique login and password to their portal and for the mobile/tablet app. This allows for instant score results after the test, and the creation of each student's in-depth score report. Families will receive an email from Revolution Prep to confirm your student is registered for the exam, and to provide instructions on how to access your Revolution Prep portal, the scoring app, the electronic testing materials, and how to join the online room on test day. Be on the lookout for this email the week prior to the test. More info will be sent specifically to the class of 2023 and parents.

Juniors will take the PSAT on paper on campus! Arrive on campus NO later than 8:15 a.m. as testing check-in will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Late arrivals will NOT be allowed to test. Dismissal will be from 11:30 a.m.-noon. This is a national test date. PSAT information booklets were distributed through English classes at the end of September. Students must bring two no. 2 pencils, a calculator, and may dress out of uniform. Room assignments will be emailed by class and posted on the front doors of all buildings the week of the test.
 
Practice ACT- VIRTUALLY (Sophomores & Juniors): All sophomores and juniors will test on Tuesday, November 3, at 8:30 a.m. Our friends at Revolution Prep will be hosting the practice virtually and further details will be shared directly with the sophomore and juniors and their parents.
Equity and Inclusion
Updates from the Director of Equity Outreach & Inclusive Education
  • Are you interested in learning and expanding your knowledge around equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Want to learn how you can help in advancing the mission of St. Teresa's Academy?

We welcome you to join The Star Galaxy Parent Association. 
The mission of SGPA is to bridge the gap in communication between school and home, equip parents to embrace the teaching and learning at STA in order to support the school's mission, and to dismantle the walls that inhibit our community from “loving the dear neighbor.”

Our next meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, October 27, at 7:00 p.m. The topic of discussion will be Implicit Bias: How to Acknowledge and Reduce It. Please fill out the Participation Form if you would like to join us in the Star Galaxy.
March at Windmoor for Equity and Justice
On Thursday, September 3, STA students had the opportunity to March at Windmoor for Equity and Justice to commemorate the 1957 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom led by many civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

STA's March was led by Black Student Coalition leaders. Students leaders, teachers, and Dr. May-Washington spoke during a rally that followed. Students were engaged, confident, and welcomed the idea of using their powerful voices during such an important time in their lives.

There will be many other opportunities to engage the STA community with DEI opportunities. If you would love to learn more or share your ideas on how you can engage, feel free to reach out to our Director of Equity Outreach and Inclusive Education, Brianna Walker, at bwalker@stteresasacademy.org or 816-501-0011 ext. 115 .
Athletics
athleticlogo
Athletic News
Click below to discover more about the fall sports season, including updates on Cross CountryGolfSoftballTennis, and Volleyball.
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 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!