The Arc- SJA's School Blog

New Family Members

June 23, 2017
By SJA's Power of the Pencil Bloggers

SJA's Power of the Pencil Club will be continuing to hone their creative writing skills during the summer as bloggers for The Arc, SJA's blog.  They will be sharing their summer happenings, reviews of the latest rollar coasters, summer recipes, travel tips and much more.

Today, Meghan will be sharing a new addition to her family:

My aunt had a baby in early May. They named him William Aurther Hand III (AKA Trey).  I got to see him on Memorial Day.  He is so cute.  He has tiny soft baby hands, a tiny body, and adorable clothes. He is a non-fussy baby, which I love!  All of my cousins and family want to hold him.  When you hold him, you feel nothing but his soft skin, because he weighs like nothing.  William is our new baby cousin. He is the second boy in the Hand family. I hope William grows up to be strong and healthy boy. I just can't wait to see him again.


Celebrating Kitty Gallagher's 27 Years of Service

June 07, 2017
By Amy Switlick

In celebration of 27 years of service,  we would like to reflect on what we all love about Mrs. Kitty Gallagher.  She is retiring this year but she will always be a part of SJA.  Mrs. Amy Switlick, her kindergarten teaching partner, reflects on her partnership and friendship with Kitty.....

I remember the first time I met Mrs. Gallagher like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t yesterday.  It was August of 2004.  I had just been hired at St. Joan of Arc to teach Kindergarten, and we were both at school to get our rooms ready for the school year.  Within minutes Mrs. Gallagher realized she knew my husband and told me she was heading to her lake cottage for the weekend.  This memory makes me chuckle now because over the years I have come to realize that Mrs. Gallagher has a connection with so many people in the Toledo area.  I don’t think she forgets a name or a face of anyone she meets, but I wonder if she realizes that very few forget her name or her face.  

If you have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Gallagher, you know what I am talking about.  She has a way of really connecting with people.  She wants to know your story because she truly cares about everyone she meets.  She will listen to every problem you have and offer her motherly advice even though she is not your mother.  When you are finished speaking with her, you feel better.  You know that everything will be okay because she is going to see you though it the whole way.

I have had the opportunity to teach alongside Mrs. Gallagher for the past thirteen years.  Her caring nature has naturally made her a wonderful teacher.  Each student she has come in contact with has felt her warm hugs and heard her kind words.  They earned a place in her heart by simply walking into her classroom on the first day of school.  She treated each of them with respect and love.  She has been such a wonderful example of God’s love for her students.  She often says she tries to do one kind deed a day.  I doubt she has ever missed a day.

Her philosophy of teaching has always been, “let’s make it fun”.  I have many stories of bags of glitter, her tossing the football around with the boys at recess, and many, many Dum Dum suckers.  She always wanted each day to be fun for her students.  

I am going to miss my partner, Mrs. Gallagher, so much.  I know that she will have wonderful, long weekends at her lake cottage and trips to warmer places when the lake is frozen, so I am so happy for her retirement.  I am going to try to remember all that she taught me by her example every day.  Will I ever forget her? Impossible. She will forever have a place in my heart. As I am sure she does, in all the hearts, of all her students.  

Mrs. Amy Switlick


SJA's Young Authors Night

May 25, 2017
By Shannon Leonard and Kris Witker

SJA’s Young Authors Night
Wednesday, May 31st
6:00-7:00 pm

Please join our students as our year-long emphasis on writing winds down at SJA's Young Authors' Night. Take a stroll through the school and enjoy wonderful writing samples and artwork by our students, meet local authors, and see how our young  writers have developed over the year.  

It has been an exciting year for writing at St. Joan of Arc! In 5th-8th grade we have focused on the mechanics of writing to better prepare our students for high school. With most writing assignments we created cross-curricular connections to help increase student understanding and comprehension. We want the students to show all parts of the writing process and be exposed to a variety of styles of writing.

On Wednesday, May 31st, we are lucky to host a few local authors here at SJA. Kindergarten through 2nd grade will be visited by Stacy Lievens, author of Ricky Red Bird. “Ricky Red Bird is an inspiring tale of a little bird, who if he leads a life of virtue, will accomplish amazing things.” 3rd and 4th graders will host Jodi Bird, author of Going on a Tree Hunt; a story about a boy and his mother who identify various types of trees by their leaves and seeds.

Wing B students will be visited by a couple authors even closer to home. Bob Bowers, father of Ava & Nicholas has written several children’s books as well as songs and Karen Zickes, mother of Gregory & Nathan, a longtime contributor to Toledo Area Parent magazine and expert restaurant reviewer, will both discuss styles of writing other than novels. We are excited to have all four authors visit SJA and welcome them to our evening program as well.

This year for Young Authors Night you will be able to take a gallery-type tour through our school year. For each writing example we will have our cross-curricular connections (Art or otherwise) shown next to them. Students will lead the way and explain each piece to those who attend.  We hope this gallery style will encourage our students to take pride in their work and to be able to articulate each piece of writing.

We also welcomed this year a new creative writing club: Power of the Pencil. Power of the Pencil helps students learn to use written language to express themselves.  We will showcase some of their pieces along with some artwork to match during Young Authors night. Next year we plan to start our competitive creative writing club, Power of the Pen.

Thank you for your continued support in our quest to make St. Joan of Arc a wonderful place! We look forward to seeing you at Young Authors Night!

2017-2018 SJA School Initiatives

May 17, 2017
By Jennifer Guzman

Mrs. Guzman recently announced several initiatives for the 2017-20178 school year. Check out the excerpt below from last week's sjaweekly:

Dear SJA Family,

As we wrap up this school year, we look to exciting changes for next school year. The following information is a preview of what is to come:

1. In the fall, we are adjusting the Grade Level and Enriched class structure (Red and Gold classes). As we have observed the transition from 4th to 5th grade, we feel that our students would benefit from postponing the Grade Level and Enriched class placement until 6th grade. We have also identified the need to switch the Grade Level/ Enriched offerings to Reading, instead of Language Arts.

2. We are extremely fortunate to have the support of PSO and state funds to make the following purchases and enhancements to our school:

· Every classroom will be upgraded with new Clevertouch boards to replace our dying Smartboards. Clevertouch boards are interactive, touch-screen, wall-mounted computer boards that have a vivid display and sound. They will be a significant upgrade from the existing technology we currently have.

· We have purchased two 3D printers on mobile carts. These printers will provide our students with the opportunity to interact with innovative 3D technology while learning to problem solve using mathematical and engineering principles.

· These funds have also allowed us to purchase 25 more Chromebooks, desks and chairs for several grade levels, and student STEAM materials for all classrooms, Preschool through 8th grade, as well as, band, music, gym, art, and Spanish!

· Our school clinic will be relocated to a smaller room, allowing us to renovate the current clinic into a new space we are calling the “ARC”- Academic Resource Center. The ARC will be a place for students to take a test in a quiet environment and for teachers to take their class to work on STEAM projects. Potential future plans for this space include a 3D virtual computer lab.

· Our Kindergarten through 2nd grade classrooms are eager to receive a new Reading series- Journeys from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

· In addition, we are excited that over the course of the next year, our faculty will participate in Professional Development in the areas of GoMath, 3D printing, the new K-2 Reading series, Clevertouch boards, and continuing faith formation.

THANK YOU to everyone for supporting our PSO initiatives. Without your participation in our fundraising events these advancements would not be possible. Wonderful things are on the horizon!!

Mary, Queen of families…pray for us!

Recent Posts

6/23/17 - By SJA's Power of the Pencil Bloggers
6/7/17 - By Amy Switlick
5/25/17 - By Shannon Leonard and Kris Witker
5/17/17 - By Jennifer Guzman
5/2/17 - By Lilly H.