Queen of Apostles

A Catholic Education - Emphasizing Academics & Community

3rd Grade Monterey Bay Aquarium Virtual Field Trip

3rd Grade Monterey Bay Aquarium Virtual Field Trip

May 2021

 

Queen of Apostles School third graders attended a virtual field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Wednesday, May 19th, 2021. Ahead of this field trip, they prepared in their science classes and were very knowledgeable about aquarium creatures and their habitats.

Field trip hosts were Alena Dooner, who has been working with the aquarium for just about 15 years, and Diane Hoffman. They shared slides and videos of hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and abalone with the students. Everyone was invited to use their own arms and hands to get a sense of the size and feel of some of the aquarium inhabitants they were studying. In addition, they could make comparisons to how their hands worked compared to body parts of the sea animals. Students also took time to carefully observe and then make a scientific drawing including labels for body parts they knew for a sea urchin.

Toward the end of the virtual trip, Alena reminded students to think about survival strategies of animals in their own neighborhoods. The third-grade teacher, Mrs. Lefort, asked if the Aquarium is open now and learned that it just reopened this past weekend so students and their families can make reservations to visit in person. Finally, the students used their hands to wave thanks to their hosts and teacher and they unmuted to say a big thank you.

Queen of Apostles School Stations of the Cross Presentation

Queen of Apostles School Stations of the Cross Presentation

April 2021

 

Stations of the Cross were presented to our whole school community by the third and fourth graders before Easter and our spring break. This is an annual tradition that was reinstated virtually this year. Our principal, Mrs. Trela, expressed that she was so excited for everyone to see and hear the great work done by the two classes. She was right! The artwork and narration led everyone through the Stations of the Cross. There were accompanying prayers offered from a student’s viewpoint that everyone was invited to join in reading together. Those prayers started out with. “O God, my problems may seem small to other people, but You know they are big as far as I am concerned…but when I’m about to complain about them, help me to remember Christ and His Cross.” They also included “help me be aware others have problems… that others need help” and “help me make this a happy life for everyone I meet.” Toward the end of the presentation of the Stations, the student narrating exclaimed, “Jesus Christ has risen!” … “Alleluia!”

Queen of Apostles School Art Night

Queen of Apostles School Art Night

March 2021

 

Our art teacher, Mrs. Seifi, and several dozen Queen of Apostles School students and their families celebrated the start of spring with a flower themed virtual art night project. Everyone gathered their sketchbooks, colored pencils, and watercolors for the project. The evening started with Mrs. Trela, our principal introducing our new art teacher who greeted everyone with enthusiastic waving.

Mrs. Seifi shared the tulip and daffodil project and gave all the artists basic instructions on how to draw and color their flowers. Periodically, the students would share their progress, and Mrs. Seifi would offer tips and words of encouragement.

Throughout the evening students and family participants held up a barrage of colorful artwork. They added their own touches to their art compositions to which the art teacher exclaimed “fantastic”, “amazing”, and “beautiful flowers”. She also told everyone, “so proud of you guys, parents and students.”

Future Art nights were planned for learning things such as how to shade with watercolors in a realistic way.

Valentine’s Day = Gratitude Day

Valentine’s Day = Gratitude Day

February 2021

 

This year for Valentine’s Day, Queen of Apostles Students were guided by room parents, principal, faculty, and staff to focus on gratitude and service. They were encouraged to express their gratitude through an act of service and/or by writing and sharing a “Mahalo-Gram” with essential workers, Queen of Apostles teachers & staff, fellow students, and loved ones. In Hawaiian, “Mahalo” means “Thank You.” The Mahalo-grams conveyed kind messages of praise, admiration, or appreciation and were posted on community Padlet walls such as the Padlet Wall for Essential Workers.

In addition to these community Padlet walls, families could write a hand-written note to lonely elders who may need an extra boost of encouragement as we endure the global pandemic. To do this, our school teamed up with www.loveforourelders.org, an organization helping isolated seniors who may need some extra love and kindness.

The more we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude this Valentine’s Day, the kinder the world can become.

Queen of Apostles School Students Begin School Year With Community Service

Queen of Apostles School Students Begin School Year With Community Service

August 2020

 
Community service is always a part of every school year for our students. This year is no different. All students started out with the First Responder Supply and Words of Encouragement Drive in August. Students and their families collected eye drops, water, and baby wipes for first responders. They also made signs and pictures with words of encouragement, support, and appreciation that were added to poster boards and delivered to be shared outside of stations where those battling the fires can see them. Our third-grade teacher delivered the supplies that were gathered and also provided an address where students can continue to mail supportive notes, letters, and pictures.

8th Grade Schoolwide Learning Expectations Presentations

8th Grade Schoolwide Learning Expectations Presentations

May 2020

 

Our 8th grade class demonstrated how truly impressive they are when they presented their Schoolwide Learning Expectations oral projects over the past couple of weeks. They thought about the people that influenced them to be better Caring Christians, one of the Schoolwide Learning Expectations. They asked each other thought provoking questions as they discussed how they influenced each other. For example, one of the boys in the class, when asked who influenced him in being a better Caring Christian, referred to two of the girls in his class who he said are “always kind”. Even as everyone sheltered at home, they created posters featuring family and friends, and constructed physical models of the school. They expressed themselves through amazing hand drawn artwork and selected and shared important quotes and people impacting their lives. They reflected about learning the school wide learning expectations from their earliest experiences, when they first arrived at Queen of Apostles School; until now, as they prepare for graduation. These experiences that helped mold them into Caring Christians will be carried forward with them as they look forward to new challenges as they enter high school.

Queen of Apostles 5th Graders Continue Community Service

Queen of Apostles 5th Graders Continue Community Service

May 2020

 
Community service and supporting those in our community is an important part of the education that students receive at Queen of Apostles School. During the school year, the 5th grade class visits the Morgan Center, where they work with clients on various tasks. Games are played, chats are had, and projects are completed. This is one of the things that students missed when the school transitioned to distance learning. Their teacher, Mrs. James reached out to the Morgan Center and found a way to continue these connections. Students wrote letters to the clients and shared what they have been doing during shelter-in-place. They wrote about parents and grandparents helping them with school work and how they would prefer to be on campus. They shared stories about having time to practice new songs on the piano, making puzzles with their siblings, having time to do some more free time and fun reading, and finding different ways to practice and play sports, and one student even used emojis to help express the various projects he has been working on. As part of their learning experience students had to learn how to write a letter that may not get a response; learning how to change an open-ended question such as, “How are you doing?” into “I hope that you are doing well.” During one of their zoom meetings, they talked about how writing these letters impacted their lives. Students expressed that it felt good to share some kindness with people they had met earlier in the school year during Morgan Center visits. They also expressed that they wondered how the clients at the Morgan Center were doing. While students may not receive responses to their letters, they know that they have been a connection to another person during this time that all of us are apart from one another.

Queen of Apostles Students Are Learning From Home – April Updates

Queen of Apostles Students Are Learning From Home – April Updates

April 2020

 

Queen of Apostles School continues to conduct distance learning from home. The students miss each other and are able to communicate that with each other online. They are adapting to this new learning environment quickly. It is wonderful to see the innovations by their teachers for communicating the coursework. Thank you to the Diocese of San Jose who already hosted online resources for teachers and to Google Classrooms, Zoom, and all of the many other companies who have made it possible for students to continue their learning and their social interaction.

Apr 4-5
Kindness is being defined by the students each day through Lent. Before our distance learning started, they paired up with their buddy students more frequently during the Lenten season and discussed topics such as kindness.
The first few definitions of kindness by the students included taking care of each other, not being deliberately unkind, and giving each other space when needed.
Now, online they are replying to their teachers and the principal, Mrs. Trela with their thoughts about kindness. They are encouraged to do kind things at home daily and have mentioned that they are helping their siblings and parents while they are at home. They have also been invited by Mrs. Trela to keep a daily kindness journal.

Apr 11-12
The Queen of Apostles School community wishes you and your families a Happy Easter!
If you are considering applying to our school or would simply like to learn more about Queen of Apostles School, please see our school website at www.qofa-school.org or contact our school office.

Apr 18-19
Our learning away from the campus has been extended through at least May 1st.
Teachers meet daily online and generously share things they have learned about teaching online and they teach each other programs they have used successfully. The students are also encouraged to gather socially each day with each other and their teachers to share together. Similarly to their teachers, as they are learning, they are being kind to each other and volunteering how-to steps for assignments to each other.
Our principal, Elizabeth Trela, has started an Instagram page for our school.

Apr 25-26
Each day of our learning from home, students are responding to a writing prompt from our principal, Mrs. Trela. The day after she receives the responses, she shares them during the morning prayer. Late in March the prompt was about kindness and we are sharing some of the student responses here with you.
Kindness has the power to…
… make someone who is sad smile and make love spread around the world (kindergartner)
… bring love (1st grader)
… make the world more peaceful (2nd grader)
… bring people together (3rd grader)
… make someone’s day (4th grader)
… empower us (5th grader)
… change someone’s whole day (6th grader)
… change someone’s day (7th grader)
… change hearts and minds (8th grader).
We all appreciate these thoughtful and uplifting responses.

Queen of Apostles School Students Are Self-Confident and Responsible Individuals

Queen of Apostles School Students Are Self-Confident and Responsible Individuals

March 2020

 

The students are learning to be self-confident and responsible individuals at school and in their daily lives. These past few weeks, students in each of the grades listed specific instances of being self-confident and responsible:
Preschool – Sharing toys and taking turns with toys
Actively participating in daily learning curriculum activities
Learning to say the Hail Mary and praying before meals
Kindergarten – Cleaning up after ourselves
Picking up trash in our community
Doing our schoolwork
Believing in myself
Watering plants
Being a role model
1st grade – Staying focused
Picking up trash
Treating others the way you want to be treated
Doing homework
Listening to our teachers
2nd grade – Turning in homework on time
Picking up trash on campus
Talking to adults for help
Returning our library books on time
Having good sportsmanship
3rd grade – Believing in ourselves
Turning in homework
Dreaming and believing to achieve strong mental thoughts
Having a growth mindset
Loving ourselves
4th grade – Turning in homework on time
Helping others
Paying attention
Doing what is expected
Taking pride in our work
5th grade – Trying our best in class
Telling the truth
Displaying good sportsmanship
Getting ready for class quietly
Taking responsibility for our actions
Respecting others
6th grade – Believing in themselves
Doing their homework
Owning their actions
7th grade – Following up with teachers when you miss school
Going beyond the limit
Asking questions
Making good decisions
8th grade – Support each other to help build confidence
Completing and turning in homework on time
Doing the right thing even when no one is looking
Taking ownership of our actions, community, and selves
Making the right choice even if it is the hard choice

It is exciting to see each how each grade applies the schoolwide learning expectations through their own experiences as the develop and mature from young children into older more responsible youth.

Queen of Apostles School Third-Grade California Academy of Sciences Field Trip

Queen of Apostles School Third-Grade California Academy of Sciences Field Trip

February 2020

 

Reports by 3rd grade class about their field trip to the Academy of Sciences were filled with anecdotes of amazing experiences and astute observations. They touched animals in the tidal pool. A Blue Morpho butterfly landed on one of the students in the rainforest. They visited an albino alligator named Claude. in addition, they enjoyed getting shaken by an earthquake simulator and getting their arms squeezed by an anaconda simulator. Here are some of their experiences, feelings, and observations, in their own words: “Claude was the coolest animal”, “I felt we had a special connection because he just started staring at me”. “I liked the twilight zone because there were a lot of cool fishes”. One of the boys wrote that the leaf insect and the moon jelly were “a few of the coolest animals” there. Another one of the students listed the snake, jellyfish, and butterfly as her three favorites.

There was a general consensus among the third-grade class that they enjoyed the visit and would like to go again: One third grader wrote that he “really, really wants to go back” with another writing “I wish I could go one million times”. One student wrote, “it was my favorite ever field trip…I loved it so much”.