Where in the World is Mother Seton? A look back on her adventures

Last year during Catholic Schools Week, we launched an initiative to send Mother Seton (a flat version, like Flat Stanley) around the world. We sent her to families, friends, alumni–we even sent her to the Pope! She made it to some amazing places and met many wonderful folks. Thanks to Archbishop Lori and the staff at the Baltimore Archdiocese, she was even present at the canonization of the two Popes!

We have been surprised and touched by how many people eagerly participated. It shows us that the legacy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton truly is far-reaching. Our thanks go out to all of you for the support you’ve given this project–and our school–this past year. Please enjoy this look back on her many adventures!

Please also enjoy our thoughts on being a Community of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, a three-part series in honor of Catholic Schools Week 2015.

Mother Seton School: A Community of Service

13-14 CSW_Logo_Circle_CMYKWe have noted previously that MSS is indeed a community of Faith and Knowledge. Realizing that, like parents and grandparents, our teachers are committed to helping students not only learn the basic tenets of the faith, but also put their faith into practice. The action of putting our faith in practice can be seen throughout our school through a spirit of service and dedication to helping others. Without our Faith and Knowledge about God, our community of Service would have little meaning.

The bible has many notations regarding service. The gospel passage, Mark 10:45,  says “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The primary lesson this passage is telling us is that each of us must strive to do as Jesus did: serve others.

If you look at MSS’s track record regarding service to others you would find it remarkable. The following are just a few examples of how the students help others:

  • In September there is a school-wide food drive for the Seton Center which provides services for people in need.
  • Kindergarten visits the elderly at St. Joseph’s Ministries (formerly St. Catherines Nursinc Center & the Villa at St. Michael) during the school year to show them their Halloween costumes, sing Christmas carols, and more!
  • K5PP-butter3One of the beloved examples of service at MSS is having older students partner with younger students (Prayer Partners) to pray with throughout the year, as well as work together on a variety of service activities. For example at Christmas, Grade 5 partnered with Kindergarten to create blankets for the Linus project that provides blankets to children facing surgery.
  • In another Advent Project, Grade 7 collected stocking stuffer items and made homemade cards for the children at John’s Hopkins Children Center, while 6th graders collected items for the Catoctin Pregnancy Center.
  • Putting faith into practice in the lower grades also includes making cards for people in nursing homes during the school year and collecting new items at Christmas time for families in need.VMY-hochschild-roberts-haller-EFB-PhyllisKelly-clever-Cropped
  • Vincentian Marian Youth: Seton Council (VMY) is comprised of Middle School members (Grades 6-8), who form teams of 4-5 students lead by an adult sponsor to work at service sites of their choice one or two times monthly outside of school hours.
  • Throughout the year, students in Grades 4 -8 take turns cleaning the cafeteria to prepare for the next lunch wave which includes and wiping tables, sweeping areas under the table so that it is ready for the younger students that follow them.
  • Among our in-house students services, we also have a tech crew, stage crew, chair crew, and safety patrol (who help younger students get to their buses, hold doors and so on) that are from our Middle School! Recently, we have trained 7th– and 8th-grade students as Ambassadors for special events which are coming soon.
  • All 8th-graders are required to make contact with a non-profit organization(s) to perform 5 hours of service learning by April 1, 2015.

An important part of our service learning is to also take time and help our students understand why they are called to serve and the spirit in which they should work to help one another. This is a wonderful tool for helping them to live the Golden Rule, also. These are some examples of service projects at MSS for this school year! Thinking of others, as Jesus did is a key trait that we want to develop in our children.

In conclusion to this Catholic Schools Week Theme, MSS truly is a Community of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Together as a school of wonderful teachers and staff working with parents and grandparents we will continue to foster these lessons into our children’s character!

Mother Seton School: A Community of Knowledge

DSCN6158The mission of Mother Seton School states that as a community of knowledge, our goal is to inspire students to strive for academic excellence. As an educational institution, we offer a variety of resources for children begin the journey of learning that will prepare them for high school and beyond. All learners begin with what they know and build on this foundation working with our dedicated and well prepared teachers who give our children tools needed to succeed. With these thoughts in mind note the following:

  • As an accredited school, we offer the core classes of Religion, Math, Science, Technology, Social Studies, Language Arts (reading/literature, English grammar, application and writing; vocabulary/spelling), and Physical Education. Our teachers are committed to assisting each child in meeting grade level benchmarks. 
  • We are very fortunate to offer our students quality special programs in the areas of technology, music, band, art, Spanish and library. Technology is integrated in all curriculum areas. Most recently, Chromebooks were added to our technology classes. Through the Penny Power fundraiser, we were able to purchase a  classroom Chromebook “lab” and cart that can be moved to any classroom and used in a variety of subject areas.
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    Our Chorus produces, directs, and performs at our Christmas Program

    Added to these are student activities and clubs that include: Art Angels, Chorus, Liturgy Chorus, Tech Crew, Instrumental Music and Band, Healthy Eating Club, Engineering Club, Science Club, STEM Club, Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY), Spanish Club, Student Council, Yearbook, Seton Scribblers Club, and a Book Club. We also have an after-school program that offers our students time to do homework and work collaboratively playing in a variety of educational games!

  • For students in need of academic support and/or enrichment, we are blessed to have the Mother Seton Learning Center. This program provides academic/social and consultative support, including speech and language services, support for English Language Learners, service and school-based learning plans, and enrichment opportunities to challenge our more advanced students. At this time over 70 of our students currently visit the Learning Center for support and enrichment.
  • A variety of educational contests are offered during the year that include Geography and Spelling Bees; contests that vary from writing assignments, art, music, and physical education.
Two of our 3rd-graders who won their classroom Spelling Bee.

Two of our 3rd-graders who won their classroom Spelling Bee.

In addition to the student learning community, our teachers are committed to being members of a professional learning community. Teachers and classroom assistants meet on a regular basis to learn about and discuss educational trends which can enhance what is happening in the classroom.

Mother Seton School is a community committed to growing in faith and knowledge. By partnering with the parents and grandparents we can work together to make sure our children succeed through these elementary and middle school years. As mentioned last week, we can not only put our faith into practice, but  together we can do our best to instill in our children the skills they need that will carry them onto higher learning in high school, college and beyond!

 

Mother Seton School: A Community of Faith

praying-girls-massWe all know that Faith does not just happen. Somehow, usually in our childhood, our parents or perhaps our grandparents spoke to us often about God. They were wonderful role models for us and made sure we got to church as a family. If we were lucky, we went to a Catholic or Christian school where the teachings of Jesus Christ were incorporated into our daily lessons. We learned eventually that Faith was believing without seeing! We trusted, as we do today, that God knows all things and is with us every step of the way.

At Mother Seton School, we offer a Faith-filled environment for our students through our Catholic teachings and modeling what it means to be a Christian. From the early beginnings, Mother Seton taught children about the faith. Her example of her devotion to God will never go unnoticed! The fact that Mother Seton is the first American-born Saint and started the first Catholic free school for girls, St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School, here in Emmitsburg makes us ever more aware that our primary purpose is to carry on the teaching of the Faith to our children as she did. All of us who work at Mother Seton School partner with you, the parents and grandparents, in instilling a foundation of faith that will last a lifetime for our children.

In Vatican City, November 14, 2014, Pope Francis talked about our Faith as not mere words that we say but the example we give. Journalist Ann Schneible writes:

“Addressing the children who filled the chapel at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis said that – in an age dominated by images and cellphones – the faithful must rely on example, rather than words, to transmit the faith to young ones. As he looked out onto the young congregation comprised predominantly of children from a Roman parish, Pope Francis said it was as though he was looking at ‘a promise,’ and at ‘the world that will be.’ With this in mind, he asked: ‘what do we leave’ these children, who are our future. He then asked if the children are taught ‘to walk in love and in truth,’ or if we merely ‘teach them with words, while our lives take another direction?’ ‘It is our responsibility to look out for children!’ the Pope said, stressing that these ‘little plants’ cannot be ignored.”

gifts-mass“We all have a responsibility to give the best that we have “to children, and the best that we have is the faith,” the Pope said. However, this transformation of faith must be accompanied by example.

There is no question that teaching and giving example regarding our Faith is key in the formation of our children at Mother Seton School. We are fortunate that we can have activities that promote our Faith through daily morning prayer, religion classes, school Masses, promoting service projects to help others, living the Golden Rule (Luke 6:27),  and so on. All of this assists in creating a Christ-centered atmosphere, which is what our school is all about.

As noted in our Parent/Student Handbook, Mother Seton School affirms the truth that the goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ. Faculty and staff strive to clearly and fully transmit the message of the Gospel as reflected in the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

We all know that Faith does not just happen. Together we can continue to build on the gift of our legacy and live the core beliefs of our mission. Truly, the greatest gift we have as the New Year begins is our Faith.

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!