Volume 18~ January 12, 2020
St. Joseph's Regional Jr. High School
News & Notes ~ Week of January 12, 2020
Mission Statement: St. Joseph Regional Jr. High School is a Catholic, inclusive school for 7th and 8th grade where students learn and grow in respect for God, themselves, and others, engage in academically rigorous curricula and a wide-range of meaningful service and enrichment experiences. 
Busy Hands, Warm Hearts
Charitable Service Work at St. Joseph Regional Jr. High School

It's amazing to think about how an army of knitters could change the world.

But, we're on a mission.

Starting on January 17th, we will begin setting aside one Friday afternoon each month to unify our school community in service work. This joyful unity in service of others is what makes St. Joe's unique and special.

We will have several classrooms set up for students to learn to knit and crochet so they can craft scarves, hats, prayer shawls and tiny knit caps. We are here to spread warmth and compassion through these simple acts. I have purchased bamboo knitting needles, crochet hooks and I have enlisted a favorite aunt to teach our flagship lesson. We will be donating these creations to St. Teresa's Manor and the Veteran's Administration, Caps for Chemo, the Elliot Hospital's NICU, and Families in Transition.

If you have skeins of acrylic and cotton yarn, 9 or 10mm bamboo knitting needles or crochet hooks you would like to donate, we would be happy to take them! I have purchased many. Wool is not easily washable, so we can only take those two kinds or yarn.

Academic Benefits to Knitting, You Ask?

Why, yes, actually, there are! Adolescence is an opportune time to grow empathetic hearts and analytic minds. I chose knitting & crocheting for various reasons beyond that of the social and goal-setting, perseverance and increased focus that they can provide. Cathy Goodwin, our esteemed math educator is an avid knitter and attests to the cognitive benefits, " Knitting, as well as crocheting, are extremely mathematical art forms that allow for much more math than just counting rows. Crafters need to attend to precision and problem solve their way through a variety of different problems, such as “How do I make these congruent?” And “What is the slope of the diagonal line, so that I can copy it again?”. Of course crafters must also make use of structure and patterns to predict future stitches, especially if creating their own design. This kind of mathematical thinking makes more well-rounded mathematicians who are capable of dealing with problems that require algorithmic thinking and creativity. Thank you knitting!"

In the spirit the St. Joseph Regional Jr. High School mission , service work provides students with personal contribution, local and global awareness and challenge. With each knitted item they create, we will be sending an individualized prayer card, made by the students, and I have ordered fabric labels that say, "Made with Love, from the students at St. Joseph Regional Jr. High School".
In addition to this service work, our students have been writing letters of support to the most recent seminarians in Mrs. Jones classes.
St. Joe's Classroom Spotlights
Beginning this week, I have asked teachers to highlight some of the exceptional things going on in their classrooms. This week, I invited Mr. Rosa to share his terrarium project, funded in part by our growing PTO, thanks to funds raised in our online spirit wear store and Five Guys Nights. Mr. Rosa came to one of our PTO meetings, presented the project and they agreed to fund it. It's important for students to have dimensional, engaging instruction that inspires curiosity and collaboration.

Our First Highlight is in Earth & Life Science with Mr. Rosa:

The closed terrarium project is a sealed micro-ecosystem that gives the students a real example of the water cycle and a working process of photosynthesis in their hands. In the 7 th grade, I teach the process of photosynthesis with a small portion of chemistry so that the students fully understand how the process works. In 8 th grade, I work with the students on the water cycle which is a process that influences many other parts of science. 
This is a great way for the 7 th graders to preview the water cycle and for the 8 th graders to review photosynthesis. These two processes are a major driving force in understanding more complex processes in high grade levels such as chemistry, biology, and physical science. 
I want to thank the PTO, Mrs. Florino, and everyone else involved in the process to make this large project possible. I am always working to make science exciting, fun, and engaging in the learning process as our students go through middle school. Thank you everyone. 
Mr. Rosa

A heartfelt thank you to those of you who have visited our Amazon St. Joe's Library Wishlist and purchased books and display shelves, Kelly Dunn, Michelle Bouchard. Gradually, our multi-copy, curriculum-related library is growing and without a doubt our students are reading more and more. This week I've visited the Language Arts and reading classes to assure that all students have Goodreads accounts and are actively engaged in discussion, critical review and recommendations as we build our reading community. On a DAILY BASIS I am confering with students and distributing books. They leave me notes about how much they love the books and it brings JOY TO MY HEART! They are sharing their own books and through Goodreads I can see the reading trends and it informs the library decisions.

In addition, students are ALL working toward the 2019-2020 Fisher Cats Reading Challenge. Last year, St. Joe's won $1000 for all of the reading the students completed!
Spiritwear Delivery
St. Joe's spiritwear will be at the school before Catholic Schools Week. When you placed your orders, you included email and phone contact, so if you'd like us to give it directly to you, please let Mrs. Kane know at akane@stjoesjrhs.org. If not, we will happily distribute by way of the kids.

We will be opening it one more time before the end of the school year.
Parent Engagement News

  • PLEASE NOTE: We will not have school on February 11th (Election Day) and 17th (President's Day). Our building is used as a city voting location, as many schools are, so we do not want students here. We will, however, have a professional development day for teachers. Please note these days off on our lunch calendars. The school calendar will be aligned next year across all Manchester Catholic Schools.

  • PTO January Meeting: February 18th, 7-8pm, Click here to join us by video! Please consider joining us. The meetings are remote, video gatherings for your convenience and the more members we have the more we can do to support our teachers and curriculum projects like Mr.Rosa's terrariums.

  • Our Advisory Board meeting will be on January 16th, 6:00pm-7:30pm in the St. Joseph's library. Notes from the November meeting are here. This board has been reviewing outward facing documentation to assure it aligns with our mission. In January, we will be reviewing the St. Joseph Regional Jr. High budget.

  • Please see our new and improved website with Parent Page! I've been working hard to update our website one piece at a time. Check out all of the new content. I am open to any feedback that could help make it more easily accessible, so please feel free to offer that if you have it.
  • You may visit our Parent Page to pay for the January 31st, 10am-12pm, snowtubing trip to McIntyre, just one of our Catholic Schools Week Activities.
  • The January NYC trip payment is due. You will find a link on our Parent Page for payment. Checks and cash are also acceptable and should be delivered to Mrs. Martineau.
  • All re-enrolling students are encouraged to register before January 31st at the discounted rate of $140. After that, registration will be the normal $250. We want to be able to build our schedule for next year before the end of the year AND provide you with all you'll need to kick off 2020-2021 school year. Financial aid decisions will be made on a first-come-first-serve basis and we have a limited amount to distribute. Please do check out the new scholarship from CMC and DO APPLY! (see our previous Constant Contact and our website)

Bears Athletics

  • See coaches' notes from Mr. Frenette and Mr. Borromeo!
Looking Ahead
  • We will be in need of a track coach!
If you or someone you know has experience participating in or coaching track and enjoys mentoring students, please ask them let Mrs. Martineau.
Always on Top!
Please note, I am monitoring grades, conduct and effort throughout the quarter. Students must maintain a minimum of C in each class and 3 or better in conduct & effort to be eligible to participate.
Important Dates Ahead

Looking Ahead:
January 13: PTO meeting, 7-8pm, see above for link.
January 16th: Advisory Board Meeting at St. Joe's
January 17th: Service Workshop
January 20th: (No School) MLK Day
January 17-24th: 17th, Service Workshop - Knitting & Crocheting Service Work Winter NWEA testing, Quarter 2 grades close 1/24

January 27-31th: Catholic Schools Week!
27th: SPIRITWEAR DAY! Homeroom Games Begin!
28th: Pajama Day! Winter Wonderland "Registration Celebration" for ALL ASPIRING St. Joe's students AND RISING 8th Graders! Please invite 6th graders!
29th: Mass, 9:15am, wear mass dress code AT TRINITY , afternoon retreat with Sister Mary Joseph. We will be busing students to Trinity for this mass. Permission slips to come.
30th: Homeroom Games! Wear homeroom t-shirts
31th: SPIRITWEAR DAY! Snowtubing at McIntyre Ski Area, Hot Chocolate Social and Trivia
Enrichment at St. Joseph Regional Jr. High
New Activities ~ St. Joe's Choir
Choir will be meeting this week with lunch meetings for those interested. Mrs. Deignan has ordered the first songbooks and all students are welcome and encouraged to join! Our first performance will be for St. Teresa's Manor just after February vacation.
Growing St. Joseph Partnerships
Student Teaching News:
Mrs. Goodwin, our math teacher, has the good fortune of coaching a student teacher beginning January 21st, who I believe can teach us as well.

Please welcome, Mr. Daniel Dibwe. I have asked him to write a few words of introduction for you.

"My name is Daniel Dibwe, I am originally from the democratic republic of Congo, central Africa. My first language is French. I am a student at NHTI. My plan is to become a Math teacher in the USA. I did my middle and High education in a Catholic School “ Institut Matoleo” ( Matoleo means offerings). I have teaching experience in Mathematics for more than 10 years. I have taught in girls’ boarding schools and boys boarding schools. I was patron of different clubs at school, for example: YCC (young Christian club), anti-aids club, Science club,…
I am very glad to join St. Joseph Regional Jr. High school.
Thank you"

College and University Partnerships
I have been an instructor and mentor for aspiring teachers and school leaders since 2010. Through my work in higher education at SNHU, I have been able to assure that high quality educators enter our practice and lend support to schools as they gain expertise. Not only does partnerships with colleges and universities amplify the manpower in schools, but it lends real-time practical experience that allows teachers to grow their instructional "muscle".

My long-time relationship with Dr. Kelly Moore Dunn, the Department Chair of Education, the Director of the Teacher Education Conversion Program and the Center for Educational Excellence has helped facilitated a partnership with NHTI. I will return to teaching in higher education and be collaborating with Cynthial Lucero, Professor of Education to provide teacher observation time in our classrooms and conduct student teaching. This will further promote our teachers' reflections on instruction, curriculum and assessment and provide additional support and supplementation of our learners. Both Cynthia and Kelly sent their children to St. Joe's and are delighted to be working with us!

My partnership with Dr. Ben Horton, Asst. Director of the Academic Resource Center at St. Anselm College, will allow me to do the same in various ways including our after school programs. Dr. Horton is a St. Joe's alumn, incredibly insightful and informed, and will be working with me on curriculum design as a valued member of our Advisory Board. Not only does Ben have a heart for St. Joe's, but he is interested, as we are, in promoting preK-21 Catholic education.