The OLMA Overview -- October 18, 2019
By now all freshmen, sophomores and juniors have selected their Mini-Mester courses. The buzz around campus as they receive more details on each course is in full force and makes my heart happy. Introducing new programs come with their share of worries, but years one and two of Mini-Mesters were fantastic success. Each and every course challenged our students to try something new and step out of their comfort zone. Both academic and personal learning took place and leaders emerged. While the experiences differed by course, they were all rich and resulted in newfound confidence and stronger relationships between students as well as with their teachers.

Speaking of teachers, they deserve all the credit for this program's success. Just when I think the courses can't get any better, they do. This year's lineup is proof of that. Students will travel to Italy where they will explore Rome, Sorento, Herculaneum, and Capri. Others will participate in a Biological Survey of the Northwestern Coast of Costa Rica, while another group of students will spend three weeks in Spain. Still others will explore Yellowstone National Park. They will learn about America's park system, get up close and personal with wildlife, and even participate in a citizen science project. Other courses include exploring New Orleans and spending five days at an Artist's Retreat in the Pocono Mountains.

Options closer to home include a course on Forensic Chemistry that will take students to the FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC. We are offering two service-related courses this year. Compassion Quest will take place over the course of the school year and involves students working in teams to research, propose, plan, and implement a service activity involving 20-30 girls. Students also have the option of immersing themselves in service with the adults and children at St. John of God. Finally, back by popular demand is Culinary Arts with Mr. Coyle here in the OLMA Cafe.

My thanks to all of you for assisting your daughters with their choices. I know it was not easy. We met with students this week and will continue communicating the details of these courses as the year progresses. While I'm not one to wish the year away, I can't wait for these to begin. For now, enjoy next week's trip to Broadway and have a great weekend. -- Mrs. Coyle
Student Spotlight: Meet Aliana Melendez
Class of 2021
While this young woman would rather be in or near water than anywhere else, she is most definitely on fire these days when it comes to her academic performance. So much so that she was recently presented with OLMA's first-ever "Girl on Fire" award. Now in her junior year, Aliana Melendez was recognized with this award during a school-wide assembly for her nearly complete academic turnaround since freshman year.

"I chose OLMA because it was small and all girls," said Aliana. "Plus, I wanted to do something different than my friends. While I loved the school, the academics were more challenging than I expected and I struggled for part of freshmen year." The good news is that Aliana did not give up. Instead, she dug in, focused, and leaned on her teachers, friends, and family for support. "I did better last year," she said. "Things just started to click. This year, I"m going really well with nearly all As so far this semester." Aliana credits much of her success to surrounding herself with people who really care and want to see her succeed. "It makes a huge difference when everyone is positive and pulling for you," she said. "I was surprised by the award, but it felt great."

In addition to excelling academically, Aliana is fish-like when in the water. "I've been swimming since I could walk," she said. "My grandma had a swim school, so my whole family swam all the time. I absolutely love it and enjoy anything involving water and water sports."

Last year, that love took Aliana to Cedar Key, FL for a biodiversity focused Mini-Mester. "It was so much fun and it was great to understand and see first-hand the effect that plastics are having on our waterways and wildlife," she said. "It was a great experience." She is in for a completely different experience in January when she travels to Spain along with other students from OLMA, St. Augustine Prep and Malvern Prep. Aliana will participate in the Spain Exchange Mini-Mester. She will attend school, travel and live as a guest in the home of a local student. "I have to say that I never thought I'd be brave enough to do this, but I am," she said. "OLMA is all about challenging us to be our best. That's what I'm shooting for."

In the classroom Aliana is really enjoying Anatomy and Physiology. She also loves Psychology and says that it could end up being something she pursues in college. For now, Aliana is looking forward to the rest of junior year, especially Ring Mass, her trip to Spain and Prom. The rest will come. Congratulations, Aliana. We are so proud of you.
OLMA OPEN HOUSE -- OCTOBER 27
Just nine days to go until OPEN HOUSE! It's set for Sunday, October 27, from 2-5 PM. We have a great afternoon planned. We will be showcasing all that OLMA has to offer with the help of faculty, staff, students, families, and alumnae. Prospective students and families can register by visiting our website , or calling us at 856-697-2008. For more information, contact Mrs. Kinkade in OLMA Admissions at mrs.kinkade@olmanj.org. It's going to be a great day!
Let's BOWL!
Vaping Me Crazy:
Student and Parent Assemblies
Our Lady of Mercy Academy and St. Augustine Prep will be educating students about the dangers of using e-cigarette devices during special day-time assemblies taking place on November 4 . An assembly for parents of students from both schools will be held in OLMA's Carew Hall that evening from 6:30-8:30 PM.

The assemblies will be facilitated by Steered Straight Inc. Students and parents alike can expect an atypical presentation that covers the following topics:

  • How nicotine can alter nerve cell functioning in adolescent development
  • Each JUUL pod is equal to 200 cigarette puffs (a full pack of cigarettes)
  • Popcorn lung & other bronchial problems
  • Studies that link a higher rate of depression among JUUL smokers
  • Vapes may contain formaldehyde, embalming fluid & other dangerous substances
  • Health risks of inhaling metal particles & metal traces
  • No long-term scientific studies supporting safety of use OR if it lowers addiction to nicotine products

Join us as we address and educated our school community about one of the most serious public health crisis facing our children and the world today. For more information see College Guidance or send an email to mrs.szawlewicz@olmanj.org.
A Duel AND $100 Up for Grabs!
Every event ticket will earn its owner a chance to win a raffle worth $100 at the new OLMA OUTFITTERS online store or the OLMA Cafe! The more tickets you sell, the more chances you get!

Join us for an evening of Dueling Pianos on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 7-11 PM . There will be music by The Philly Keys, the tri-state area's best dueling pianos band. The event will also feature auction items and raffle baskets. Ice, dessert, water, and coffee will be provided. BYOEE -- Bring Your Own Everything Else! This event is sponsored by the Green & Gold Club in support of OLMA Athletics. Click here to get tickets!

NOTE: NEW reduced price for table of 8!
SIGN UP to SAVE LIVES

An estimated 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood or platelets, but of those, less than 10 percent actually donate each year. If you are healthy and eligible, please come out to donate on November 12 at OLMA. Most donations take about an hour, so book your appointment, roll up your sleeve and become a part of our effort to save lives. If you are not sure if you're eligible to donate, come on over and find out. We will have cookies waiting either way!

Drive Details:
November 12, 2019
8:30 AM--1:30 PM AND 2:00 PM--8:00 PM
Carew Hall

Make your appointment today. Go to REDCROSS.ORG and sign up using sponsor code: OLMA.
Got Sneakers?
OLMA Volleyball is raising money and helping others at the same time by collecting new and gently used adult-sized sneakers. The collection will run from now through March. The sneakers will be re-distributed by family entrepreneurs in third-world countries. Look for the collection bin located outside the Athletic Director's office.
Upcoming Events

Daughters of Mercy Pasta Dinner -- October 20 (Desserts Needed)

Last Call for Powder Puff T-Shirts -- October 21

Tights Season Begins -- October 21

OLMA on Broadway -- October 23 (ONE TICKET STILL AVAILABLE; Contact Mrs. Blackshear to claim it.)

Parent-Teacher Conferences -- October 24; 12 PM--6 PM; 12 PM Dismissal

PARENT MEETING for Basketball -- October 24; 6:30 PM in Carew Hall

PARENT MEETING for Swim - October 24; 7 PM in OLMA Cafe

OPEN HOUSE -- October 27; 2-5 PM (Student and Parent Volunteers Needed)

All Saints Day Mass at PREP -- November 1

Dueling Pianos -- November 2

School Photo Retakes -- November 4

Dangers of Vaping Assemblies -- November 4

College Interview and Instant Decision Day -- November 5

OLMA Powder Puff Game -- November 6

GROUP Shadow Day -- November 7


CLICK HERE for all Athletic Schedules

CLICK HERE for the 2019-2020 School Calendar


We hope you enjoy the OLMA Overview. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Mrs. Kinkade at 856.697.2008, ext. 140, or email her at: mrs.kinkade@olmanj.org