The Spirit of Service is in Abundance Today! #CSW14

It’s the penultimate school day in our week of celebrating Catholic Schools Week (#CSW14). (There’s a National School Choice (#SCW) event on Saturday, but it’s not technically part of #CSW14) Yesterday, despite the weather delay, we welcomed our local Pastors, Ministers, and other church workers to join us for a special prayer service and luncheon in their honor. Pardon the cliche, but it really does take a village to make sure our youth grow into intelligent, moral, compassionate, and productive members of society. The support we get from our local churches (not just the Catholic parishes, either!) means so much to us. Lunch and prayer is the least we could do to show our gratitude.

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Today, it’s School Spirit and Service Day. Your children probably wore their spirit shirts to school, but the Spirit we’re focusing on today isn’t limited just to showing our MSS Pride. One of the things that we hear often from people who visit our school is that there is an indescribable, but positive, feeling in the air. Warmth, community, intimacy, spirituality–they all describe what it feels like to walk through the halls here. But none quite capture the exact essence. The Germans would call it gemütlichkeit. We like to think it’s the Holy Spirit that abounds. And it’s the Holy Spirit that we are honoring today as our students perform little acts of service. For Jan 30 Spirit and Service 003example, the Kindergarteners are practicing their reading skills by pairing up with the Pre-K students to read to them. The 7th-grade is visiting the 2nd-grade to teach them the hand motions to “All You Works of God“. Each class will put the spirit of service into action today.

A great way for the whole family to participate is to extend Spirit and Service Day to your homes. Maybe one sibling can do something nice for another. Or perhaps they can serve you dinner for once. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; the point is to show love by serving others. It’s how we serve Christ.

The mission of Mother Seton Catholic School…is to inspire students to strive for academic excellence and dedicate their lives to love and serve Christ in the tradition of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Vincent de Paul

Let us know how your children give service to others outside school!

What’s It Worth to You?

Your child’s education, that is. Like almost all parents, it’s probably priceless to you. But to the State of Maryland? It’s worth $92. That’s right, $92. That is what Maryland spends annually per private school student in the form of textbook grants and school improvements. That’s compared to the $11,500 per public school student that the state spends. Comparatively speaking, Pennsylvania spends approximately $1400 per private school student in the form of tax credits, transportation assistance, and textbook grants.

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The Maryland Education Credit, if passed, would provide funds to non-profit Student Assistance Organizations (SAO) that provide scholarships and financial assistance to both public and private school students. It encourages private enterprise to invest in schools. Businesses that donate to SAO would receive a 60% tax credit up to $200,000. This would go a long way to helping alleviate the burden on parents who only want to make sure their kids receive the best education possible, be it public or private. The cost to taxpayers is capped at $2 million; considering how much money is saved per private school student, the state could receive a significant return on its investment.

This week, as we jointly celebrate both Catholic Schools Week and School Choice Week, let’s do what we can to help parents receive the resources they need to make the right school choice for their families.

Visit www.educationmaryland.com for more information and resources so you can be an effective advocate for your child!

We join the March for Life in D.C. in Spirit

JesuswithChildren_1_mToday, on the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the 41st annual March for Life is happening in Washington D.C. Despite the cold, snowy conditions, thousands of pro-life marchers have banded together to show their support for the unborn, to give a voice to the billions who do not have one. We offer up our prayers on behalf of the marchers and for those they are marching for, as we join them in spirit, and we encourage you to do the same.

You can follow the March on Twitter by clicking on the hashtag #whywemarch. Share your own prolife stories or prayers by using the #Seton4Life hashtag.

Snow Day! Activities and Crafts to Keep the Kids Busy and Keep Yourself Sane

For some of us, it’s a glorious snow day; for others, it’s a dreaded snow day. Whichever category you may fall into, we have some ideas that will help make the day fun. Check out our Pinterest board for some great crafts and activities perfect for a snow day. And please, share some of your own ideas in the comments below!

What is Tag Day?

cloud-tagEver wondered what in the world Tag Day meant? By now, you’ve probably figured out that it’s a small fundraier for the Student Council in which a student pays 50 cents to $1 in order to come out of uniform for a special day. But why Tag Day?

When the idea was first conceived decades ago, students would have to make payment to a student council representative, who would then give them an actual tag to stick on their shirt to show that they paid for the privilege to go out of uniform. At some point, we got away from the literal meaning, but the name has stuck.

Mark your calendars: Catholic Schools Week 2014

13-14_CSW_Logo_Circle_RGBConsider it the Pro Bowl for Catholic Education–Catholic Schools Week is a way to celebrate the blessing of Catholic education and to highlight the achievements of our students. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service. We have a host of events lined up for that week, so be sure to mark your calendars and plan on getting caught up in school spirit!

January 26: Spaghetti Dinner (12-5) and Open House (1-3): An annual tradition, our Spaghetti Dinner features homemade dinner, desserts, and raffles. $7/ages 11+ and older, $6/ages 3-11, Free/ages 2 and under. An Open House and school tour will be available for any prospective family. An information meeting will be held at 1:30pm.

January 27: Teacher Appreciation Day: Contact your homeroom parent if you are able to donate a homemade dish for the teachers’ lunch. Some other ideas to show the teachers how much you appreciate them: have your child create a thank you card for them, send in a small token (flowers, candy), or donate classroom supplies.

January 28: Catholic Schools Week Mass (10:15)

January 29: Pastor and Church Workers Appreciation Reception (11:00): Invitations will be sent out to the pastors and ministers in our community who help support us all year round through their encouragement of Catholic education. If you would like an invite for your pastor or other special church worker (e.g. Youth Minister, Choir Director), let us know!

January 30: Spirit Day-Service in Focus: Students will wear their Spirit Shirts and participate in an act of service (to be determined by homeroom teacher) to demonstrate their school spirit.

January 31: Academics in Focus: We will begin with a student-parent coffee-and-donut social from 7:30-8:15, followed by presentations from the HSA and our talented students, and recognition of named scholarship donors and recipients. Guests may also tour the classrooms for a first-hand look. Test your knowledge against your student’s by playing “Are You Smarter Than a 6th-Grader?” If you can only make it here for one day, make it Friday! (Did we mention there’ll be donuts?)

Parents…Our First (and Best!) Ambassadors

Did you know that most families choose a private school based on word-of-mouth? It makes sense when you think about it; who better to recommend a school for your child than another parent?Mother Seton School Emmitsburg MD

That’s why we think of you as Ambassadors. There’s no better way to spread the word about how great our school is–how much spirit we have–than through our parents, both current and former.  As you know, we are always seeking ways to promote our school. We are a hidden gem in this area–sometimes a little too hidden. We aren’t as flashy as some of the other private and religious schools in the area, something that is truly a virtue but which makes recruitment sometimes difficult. That’s why we need your help!

Enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year has begun. If you know anyone interested in finding an alternative to their current schooling situation, or their child will be starting school for the first time, here are some talking points you can use:

  • 86% of our students score at or above the national average on the standardized tests.
  • More than half our families receive financial aid, $2000 on average.
  • We’re not for Catholics only! 32% of our students are actually non-Catholic.
  • We offer extended day for Pre-K students, and after care for all students, making this an affordable alternative for working parents needing day care.
  • Our curriculum incorporates many aspects of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, so our students aren’t merely learning the basics, but are challenged to develop critical thinking skills that will make them more competitive in high school and beyond.

So the next time someone asks what Mother Seton School has to offer, let them know: a little bit of everything!