Queen of Apostles

A Catholic Education - Emphasizing Academics & Community

Queen of Apostles Honors the Queen All Year Round

Queen of Apostles Honors the Queen All Year Round

February 2016

 

“Bring flowers of the rarest,
Bring blossoms the fairest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.”

 

 

Mother Mary is the patron saint of Queen of Apostles School. This school year, as their theme for the year, they have chosen to honor her and her mercy. Each class has been allotted a month wherein they bring in a generous amount of flowers in bouquets and vases to display and decorate the grotto in the school courtyard. It is a sight to behold when the students walk in the morning, hands laden with a multitude of colorful flowers, heading to Mary’s statue in the courtyard, with a smile on their lips, seeking her blessings before the day begins. Their class teacher helps the students arrange the flowers in vases and sets them at the Blessed Virgin’s feet. In addition, each student draws a defining image of Mary as he or she pictures her in his or her heart. These pictures and paintings are displayed in the courtyard and school office. Each class also teaches the student body about Mary during a Wednesday morning school prayer. Mother Mary’s statue overlooks the school courtyard where the students eat their daily lunch. Invoked as their advocate, helper, benefactress and Mediatrix during school masses, the Blessed Virgin looks upon her students at Queen of Apostles School with much benevolence and mercy.

Queen of Apostles School Annual Authors and Artists’ Faire

Queen of Apostles School Annual Authors and Artists’ Faire

January 2016

 

Sunday January 31st, the creative talents of all of Queen of Apostles' students were on display for the entire community to admire. Held in the Father Jim Mifsud Community Center, the annual Author and Artists' Faire put over 1000 pieces of art on display!

Even more impressive than the quantity though, was the quality of the work. Even the 3 year old and 4 year old preschoolers proudly covered one wall with their caterpillars, seahorses, hand-print turkeys, and popsicle stick ladders. The large crowd in attendance enjoyed the colorful and diverse selections presented by each class. Clearly Queen of Apostles' art teacher, Theresa Knight, is doing an amazing job helping each student connect with their inner artist.

In addition to the artwork covering every wall in the Community Center, a variety of sculpture, writing, and other art was presented in the middle of the room. The Robotics club was also on hand with a demonstration of autonomous Legos they built and programmed – a big hit with many of the children in attendance.

Congratulations to the staff and parents who helped stage the Faire, and especially to all the Q of A students for producing such fine work.

Queen of Apostles School Unveils A New, Innovative Science Lab

Queen of Apostles School Unveils A New, Innovative Science Lab

December 2015

 

Science has always been an integral part of the academic fabric of Queen of Apostles School. As part of an all rounded education, the importance of keen observation, methodical evaluations and critical judgment has been emphasized. In keeping with this, Queen of Apostles School unveiled a new primary science class with its own exclusive science lab devoted to the classes Kindergarten through third grade. The lab was created to enhance the already the already in place fourth through eighth grade program.

In the new, primary lab students are introduced to different scientific concepts and process that information through hands-on experiments and daily activities. A former Queen of Apostles student herself who graduated with a B.S. in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State, Mrs. Christine Usis, the new Science teacher emphasizes various methods of observation and experimentation to encourage her students to come to their own scientific conclusions. She believes that in order to develop a logical mind, students should be able to see, feel and figure out the ‘science’ behind various facts themselves with her gentle nudge in the right direction.

Following this path she has had her young students ‘engineer’ their names on a nametag; create vertebrates from construction materials; and use their senses to get a better understanding of what each sense does. Kindergartners made their own paper plate musical instruments to shake loudly or softly and quickly or slowly. First graders have taken a listening walk outside and then discussed and recorded what they learned. Second graders have studied states of matter and then used Fruit Loops cereal to show how molecules would look as those states of matter. They also intensively worked on concepts of density by engineering their own canoes and getting them to float. Third graders are focusing on habitats and what it takes to make suitable habitats.

The excitement and enthusiasm among the young students is reflective of the successful approach that Mrs. Christine Usis adopts. When not teaching, Mrs. Usis travels extensively around the globe. But even when she does that, she meets with the local schools, students and professors and comes back with a load of stories about different cultures and different approaches towards science in various parts of the world. This surely makes for a very interesting class experience for her students in Queen of Apostles School.

Christmas Performances Showcase Students’ Musical Talents

Christmas Performances Showcase Students’ Musical Talents

December 2015

 

On Tuesday December 15th, all the students from Queen of Apostles School performed a magnificent Christmas concert to a standing room only audience in the church. The fifth grade class set the bar high, opening the concert with a beautiful rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The second grade, sixth grade, and seventh grade classes followed with “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy,” “Mary, Did You Know?” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” respectively. The orderly way that each group of students entered and exited the stage suggested careful rehearsing, and each class’s narrators expertly introduced their songs to the large crowd.

Midway through the show, the pre-school students took the stage in white clothes and halos to perform “Angels We Have Heard On High” with the most enthusiastic possible “Gloria” refrains. The Kindergartners proceeded in next to perform “Do You Hear What I Hear,” followed by the fourth graders “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” first graders “Star Shine Bright,” and the third graders “We Three Kings.” The final class to perform was the eighth grade, singing “Joy to the World.”

The best was yet to come though. For the finale, the entire student body filled the aisles of the church and performed a complex arrangement of “Christmastime.” The performances really showcased the musical talents of the students as well as the Q of A staff and teachers. When it was finished, the audience leapt to their feet to show appreciation for the wonderful concert. Afterward the Community Center was filled with smiling faces enjoying some post concert Christmas cookies and hot cocoa, courtesy of Zanotto’s markets. Special thanks to music instructor Donna Vehawn and pianist Daniel Oh for their huge contributions in making the evening a complete success!

Queen of Apostles’ Eighth Grade Class Holds Successful Halloween Carnival

Queen of Apostles’ Eighth Grade Class Holds Successful Halloween Carnival

November 2015

 

Congratulations to Queen of Apostles’ eighth grade class on a very successful Halloween carnival October 30th! The day began with a costume parade throughout campus. Afterward the entire student body enjoyed a variety of different game booths including Candy Count Guess, Treasure Chest, spin art, face painting, and a haunted house, each created and staffed by the eighth graders. The cake walk booth was especially popular – fortunately 200 plates of sweets were donated so the prizes lasted all morning.

The fifth and sixth grade students also contributed to the success of the day. Each “big kid” helped a younger grade buddy play the games, manage their tickets, and get lunch. By not just enjoying the carnival but also contributing, students develop a keen sense of commitment to its success. A current eighth grader observed, “It felt pretty good, knowing that we were able to run a Carnival that had been so important to us through the years here at Queen of Apostles.”

Planning for the event began in early September, and the eighth grade class organized weekly bake sales to raise money for game supplies, prizes, and clean up expenses. The day of the event, all 33 8th graders, at least one parent volunteer for each student, and the entire teaching staff worked together to ensure success. Asked about the biggest challenge hosting the carnival, the eighth grade homeroom teacher Brian Yocke reported, “There weren’t any major challenges because the eighth graders and their parents were so supportive.”

Kindergarten Mom’s Night Out

Kindergarten Mom’s Night Out

November 2015

 

Mix together guacamole, a dozen babysitting Dads, some vino, and what do you get? Kindergarten Mom’s night out! Organized by Room Moms Karolyn Hill and Amanda Flynn, the evening was a chance for our new Kindergarteners’ Moms to get better acquainted.

“This was a great opportunity to meet some of the other Moms without the distractions a room full of five-year-olds usually brings,” said first time Q of A Mom Erin Mannas. She continued, “My son will learn and grow with these classmates for the next nine years, and this is the beginning of my experience doing the same thing with their Moms.”

Much fun was had by all the Moms, and the next get together is eagerly anticipated!

Queen of Apostles Cub Scout Pack 328 Annual Water Rocket Derby

Queen of Apostles Cub Scout Pack 328 Annual Water Rocket Derby

October 2015

 
Queen of Apostles Cub Scout Pack 328 recently held its annual Water Rocket Derby. What a “blast”! Thirteen Cub Scouts, boys in the 1st – 5th grade, made their rockets out of empty soda bottles and cardboard tubes. Parent volunteer Denver Lewis helped the boys learn how fins help guide their rockets, and how water and compressed air act as an engine.
Other parents helped by timing each rocket’s flight. The rocket that stayed in the air the longest (average of three flights) won the coveted hang time award. Several design awards were also presented for best paint job, fastest looking, funniest, most creative, and best overall design. After a day filled with fun and learning, the Q of A scouts are looking forward to hosting the water rocket booth at the Silicon Valley Monterrey Bay Council’s Scout o Rama next May.
I have to thank Christy Choate for her help writing this, and for the photo.

Queen of Apostles School Community Dinner

Queen of Apostles School Community Dinner

September 2015

 

On Thursday, September 10th over two hundred moms, dads, students, siblings, alumni, grandparents, and friends enjoyed a great meal and great company at the year’s first Community Dinner. A delicious menu of tri-tip, baked chicken, pasta with red sauce, steamed veggies, salad, and bread filled everyone’s plates (and tummies!) The meal was topped off with pink lemonade, wine, and delicious cookies. Many guests lingered long after they had finished their meal, catching up with old friends and meeting new friends. Heartfelt thanks go to Debbie Fieber and all the volunteers who prepared and served the food; the fourth grade class for setting up the tables and chairs; and everyone else who helped in making the evening a great success.

Schoolwide Learning Expectations at Queen of Apostles School

Schoolwide Learning Expecations at Queen of Apostles School

September 2015

 

The new school year is all set to begin and students all around are gearing up to face a fresh beginning to a new year. While students are anticipating the usual challenges of math, science, and reading along with the fun of PE, art, and music, the students of Queen of Apostles Elementary School are also expected to meet the Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) based on the school’s mission. These expectations consist of being a Caring Christian, an Active Learner, a Self Confident and Responsible Individual, and a Healthy Individual. A Caring Christian is someone who is actively involved in his/her community. An Active Learner takes pride in all of his/her work and gives his/her best through his/her education. A Self-Confident and Responsible Individual is someone who takes responsibility for his/her actions and displays a “Never Give Up” mentality. A Healthy Individual aims at being healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

While on one hand, these expectations instill qualities of sharing and community involvement, they also motivate the students to aim higher and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The entire team at Queen of Apostles inculcates these expectations among its students and indulges in various ways to ensure it is embedded in the very fabric of the school. The younger students receive ‘SLE C.A.S.H.’ when they embody the SLEs; they turn this in at the office and are rewarded with a prize. Some other classes keep a SLE chart in the classroom and note when students have been Caring Christians, Active Learners, etc. The older students complete a culminating project in which they reflect how they have embodied and instilled the SLEs in their lives. These are represented in various creative ways like painting posters, making videos, or giving a slideshow presentation. Emma, a graduating student at Queen of Apostles School says, “Putting these projects together required a lot of time, effort, and passion”. The most interesting part about this assignment was watching people reflect on their past years in happiness, but also in sorrow, because now they are leaving it all behind for a new adventure.” …Of course, armed with a solid foundation of these Schoolwide Learning Expectations that holistically prepare them to take on the next chapter of their lives.

The Bible – The Foundation of Learning at Queen of Apostles

The Bible – The Foundation of Learning at Queen of Apostles

May 2015

 

Queen of Apostles school believes that the Bible has a special place in the academic curriculum of its students. The school has established the bible as a key component of its religious program and uses its guiding principles to mould the children into mature and honest Catholic individuals. Says Marijane Lovell, Vice Principal, “having their own Bibles throughout their Queen of Apostles careers allows the students to grow in love and understanding of God’s word. They use them in class and each week as they prepare for the readings of the coming Sunday. It is a pleasure to see the delighted faces of the fourth graders and the pride in the fifth graders when the Bibles are presented.”

Leading the way, fifth graders prepared a special bookmark for each fourth grader’s Bible. The Bibles were blessed in the church and the teachers presented it to them in a solemn ceremony emphasizing its sacredness and utility for the rest of their time at Queen of Apostles. The fifth grade students taught the new owners how to navigate the bible and cherish it for the beauty and knowledge that it imparts. Studying the Sacraments of the Church will be their first lesson from their new bibles.