Queen of Apostles

A Catholic Education - Emphasizing Academics & Community

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”.

Queen of Apostles Student Council Attends Catholic Schools Week Mass

Queen of Apostles Student Council Attends Catholic Schools Week Mass

January 2020

 
On January 27, 2020, the Diocese of San Jose celebrated the Catholic Schools Week Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. Bishop Cantu, who would normally lead the Mass was away in Rome; however, many other priests were there to celebrate including our Queen of Apostles Pastor, Fr. Jeff Fernandez. The Queen of Apostles Student Council, teachers Mrs. James and Sra. Colpo, and chaperones joined him for the Mass. In addition, one of the students served as an altar server and wrote that it was amazing to represent the school and be serving God inside the beautiful Basilica where everyone was so kind.

Fr. Hao Dinh spoke softly during the homily and talked about how all the students came to mass wearing different uniforms, but the uniform we all wear is love.
He also spoke about how St. Angela de Merici, an Italian religious educator, made schools for other people. He spoke of the “color of love” too. The congregation also enjoyed incredible music from the Notre Dame Choir during the service.

Following their visit, the students wrote about how large the cathedral is with ornate and lovely details. They really enjoyed seeing people from all the different schools and all the priests.
The students found the Cathedral visit to be very inspirational. One student wrote: “I could not have foreseen how powerfully Fr. Dinh’s homily resonated with me. All the other schools, despite the different uniforms, wore the same thing as us: love.” That student also wrote that “the story of St. Angela de Merici was moving and inspiring, and I walked away with a new understanding of Catholic education.”

Special Person’s Day at Queen of Apostles School

Special Person’s Day at Queen of Apostles School

November 2019

 

Students celebrated Grandparents and Special Person’s Day at Queen of Apostles School on Nov. 1, 2019. Students were able to invite a grandparent or other ‘special’ person from their lives and host them at the school. While a lot of students invited their grandparents, the school campus saw several aunts, uncles, and older siblings walking around. Some even had their own parents over to celebrate the special day and showcase their efforts in class.

Every year, Queen of Apostles holds this annual event to help get the children celebrate and show gratitude to those closest to them. The day started with Holy Mass with Bishop Oscar Cantu who was kind enough to concelebrate Mass with Father Jeff Fernandez and Father Richie. The Kindergarten class dressed up as saints to bring attention to All Saints Day. The students could sit with their ‘special person’ during the Mass. This was followed by a delicious spread of snacks and coffee for all the guests. Students took their special person to their respective classrooms to participate in individual activities and games that allowed them to get to know them better. One of the activities in the first grade involved doing a personal interview where the students asked clever questions that revealed unknown, ‘special’ facts about their special guest. Some of the answers brought out a lot of giggles and wonderment among the first grade students.

One of the parents volunteered to capture these moments and photograph the students with their guest. A lot of happy faces and expressions were captured that day! The day ended with a trip to the Scholastic Book Fair being held and well timed with this event. The students got to buy books of their choice either for themselves or their classroom or even contribute some to the school library. This marked the end to yet another beautiful and blessed day of bonding, camaraderie and fond memories for the students of Queen of Apostles School!

Queen of Apostles Students Attend Spanish Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph

Queen of Apostles Students Attend Spanish Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph

November 2019

 

Sra. Colpo and her 8th grade students made their annual trip to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in downtown San Jose for the Spanish Mass that is offered weekly there. Attending the Spanish Mass is a longstanding tradition for Sra. Colpo. It is the 14th year that Sra. Colpo has invited students and their families from this school to attend the Mass offered in the Spanish language. Students reflected on their visit by writing that they felt very welcomed and felt a sense of family and community. The priest’s emphatic hand gestures portraying the gospel made it easier to listen in Spanish. One student wrote that they were introduced and a couple of our Queen of Apostles students were selected to take up the gifts during mass. She wrote that the mass is the same sacrament, but in another culture it is so different. Another student wrote that the songs were upbeat and it felt like a celebration. There was a point in the mass where a baby was raised up high over the priest’s head showing life being celebrated. In conclusion, one 8th grader wrote that she found it “interesting to see how different cultures may celebrate mass with their own unique traditions”. She enjoyed going to the mass and was happy to experience something that she was not used to. While another student concluded that his “experience at the Basilica was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced.”

Planting the seeds of inspiration

Planting the seeds of inspiration

October 2019

 

Each of the classes at Queen of Apostles School takes care of the main courtyard and for one month during the school year focuses attention around the Mary statue for their class. This year, as part of a social studies lesson about the state of California, the third graders planted California Poppies in small blue green plastic pots. Poppies are the official California state flower. The students have been monitoring the progress of the plants to learn about their life cycles as part of a science lesson. They recently exuberantly proclaimed “they’re sprouting!” Once the plants have grown a bit more, they will be placed near the base of the statue of Mary in the main courtyard in November.

It’s All About Family at Queen of Apostles School

It’s All About Family at Queen of Apostles School

September 2019

 

As one of our previous pastors, Fr. Jim Mifsud, often told the students: “This is your family, this is your home.”

Queen of Apostles has a long standing tradition of fostering a strong sense of family and community that is embodied in this 2019-2020 school year’s theme “Stepping forward as One”. Throughout the school year, a parent committee coordinator schedules monthly Community Dinners at local restaurants. Also, the Development Department and school hold a Community Dinner on campus once in the fall. These Community Dinners are festive events for the school’s families to join together to share a meal, share time together, and build stronger relationships. This year we are fortunate to have two of our alumni students Amanda Lahey and Victoria Staudenraus returning as teachers. Amanda, our K-3rd science teacher, brought in pictures of her family including her brother, parents, and grandparents so her students could analyze traits in her family such as similar hair color and eye color and face shape. Our principal, Mrs. Trela visited her maternal grandparents, who were celebrating their 70th anniversary. When she returned she brought her parents to visit the school and students that she now leads. Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez each read a book to the kindergartners and then toured the school. Mrs. Trela said her parents engendered a love of reading in her and they spent time here doing the same with some of our youngest students. We look forward to having Grandparents and Special Persons on campus to visit at the start of November.

SLE 8th grade reflections

SLE 8th grade reflections

June 2019

 
Near the end of the school year, each of the 8th graders reflects on the Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) that have guided them throughout their school years at Queen of Apostles School and their lives. There is some laughter and some tears as they share their memories. Students often appear in each other’s pictures and reflections of their activities, even as far back as kindergarten, both at school and outside of school. They’ve matured and can express their changing views of the expectations. Often there is a basic view of being a Caring Christian and knowing they should take care of each other when they can as they start school. But this grows into a deeper understanding that they should seek opportunities to be caring and helpful. As Active Learners throughout their time at school and in their daily lives they develop the ability to learn all kinds of information and the ability to seek out learning experiences. They learn that being Self-Confident and Responsible Individuals is more than just the ability to do small things on their own, but also for example to be able to pack and take care of themselves when they are away on extended overnight field trips and be mature while doing so. And finally, the expectation of being a Healthy Individual grows from eating right to encompass exercise and having a strong mind and spirit (being strong mentally and physically). They know they are doing all these things for others and for themselves and that it is forming them into the people they are now and are going to be in the future.

Often these reflections are about starting and continuing in school to the 8th grade and looking ahead a bit to high school, but many have ingrained these values and formed lifelong virtues that shape their outlook on life. Parents who are fortunate enough to get to see the presentation are often moved to tears along with the teachers who are there to see and support the presenters. Each student’s personal growth and readiness to move on to the next part of their education is shining.

Queen of Apostles Students Bring History to Life

Queen of Apostles Students Bring History to Life

May 2019

 
The fifth grade class at Queen of Apostles School brought history to life during their recent Living Museum class activity. Students each read a biography or autobiography about a person of their choice. After reading the books and learning about the life of the individual, they created posters and “became” the person. Parents and the fourth grade class were invited to the living museum where they asked the fifth graders questions. The fifth graders then answered as the individual would have.

Queen of Apostles Teacher Serving Worldwide

Queen of Apostles Teacher Serving Worldwide

April 2019

 
Queen of Apostles School third grade teacher, Mrs. Christine Usis, volunteered a week in January to support schools and children in Cambodia. Christine described her mission and goals: “ I am traveling with the non-profit organization, Jordan International, to aid in humanitarian relief. I have been presented with a life-changing opportunity, to establish temporary schools in the floating village of Siem Reap. It is my goal to serve this community by teaching children how to do basic math, learn letters, and arts and crafts. More than education, I want to give my time to these children to give them hope for the future. I have realized that if you can change a classroom, you can change a community, and if you change a community, and if you can change enough communities, you can change the world.”

When she arrived, she was able to accomplish her goals of serving and teaching. She led the hygiene education station, where she taught approximately 60-80 children/day. The main goal of teaching this topic was to educate children on the importance of washing hands in order to prevent common illness and disease. She taught the basic procedures, while making personal connections with each child.