The Real Cost of Education

Did you know that the cost to educate each student at Mother Seton School is $6442 per child? Yet, our tuition is set at $4950. That means before tuition assistance is even granted, each student receives a $1492 subsidy.

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We could raise tuition to cover the actual costs, but Mother Seton School is committed to honoring the legacy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, not just in words but in action. She believed all children should have access to Catholic education if their families so desired, regardless of financial means. We strive to make that possible for families today, which is why we have the lowest tuition in Frederick County.

chelsie-cropIt is only through the generosity of our donors we are able to continue to offer an affordable and incredible school experience, one in which our students excel academically, are encouraged to develop a deeper spiritual understanding and connection with their faith, and are appreciated for all their gifts and talents. This is why the Annual Giving Appeal is so important. It helps to bridge the difference between the true cost of education here at Mother Seton School and our tuition rate. Your gift to the Annual Giving Appeal allows us to remain accessible to more children without compromising our innovative curriculum or diminishing our outstanding fine arts program. It provides us the opportunity to reach more families and allows our students to thrive in a school environment that respects and treasures the whole child.

Joseph-Layla.3x2.jpgDuring this season of giving, we ask you to think about what it means to have your child educated at Mother Seton School and to prayerfully consider making a gift to the Annual Giving Appeal. We understand and appreciate the financial sacrifice many of you already make in sending your child here, but even a small gift–$5, $10, $25–would go a long way toward making sure the spirit of Mother Seton will continue to live on for future generations.

 

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New Faculty Spotlight: Theresa Graupner

TheresaOur new Kindergarten teacher is a Baltimore native
who earned her BS in Elementary Education at Eastern Michigan University. This is her first year of teaching and she’s excited to be here! She loves the children’s creativity, imagination, and energy, and enjoys the challenge in reaching them. She lives in Carroll Valley with her Golden Retriever Tasker. When she’s not being entertained by the Kindergarteners, she likes to make jewelry, cook, read, and write.

New Faculty Spotlight: Meet Amy Incaprera

AmyWe’re welcoming back another face that might be familiar to many! Our new middle-school language arts and 7th-grade religion teacher, a Maryland native, has a BA in Education from the College of Notre Dame of MD and an MS in Educational Counseling from McDaniel College. She loves teaching because it gives her the opportunity to be creative and inspire students, and to witness her students’ growth. Married to Brian for the past ten years, she has a son (Ben) and daughter (Cassie) at home, along with cats, Bean and Autumn, and dog, Olive. She’s a bit of a renaissance woman, enjoying creative pursuits like reading, writing, and painting, as well as playing tennis.

New Faculty Spotlight: Meet Rhona Stocksdale

RhonaOur new P.E. teacher was born in Ohio and moved to Baltimore when she was three-years-old. She now lives in her dream home, an old stone house in Cascade, with her husband, 2 children (Travis, MSS ’11, a Freshman at Shephard, and Nora, MSS ’13, who is starting her sophomore year ), 6 chickens, 2 hamsters, and a cat. She loves working with children because they have an openness that adults grow out of. Rhona has a passion for fitness and health, and is a certified personal trainer. When she is not at MSS teaching the students to be healthy, you can find her at Ft. Richie Community Center, where she’s been a personal trainer and fitness instructor for the past 12 years. Rhona is always up for a good challenge. She loves to bike ride and kayak, as well as sing and dance.

 

Volunteers make a difference

We rely on volunteers for many things. From landscaping to assisting with classroom parties, to building a playground fence or helping raise funds for our technology program, our volunteers give so much to make students’ experiences at Mother Seton School as awesome as possible. Most of this is through our Home and School Association (HSA).

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Many of the traditions that we love–like Fall Fest, Father-Daughter Dance, and the Carnival–are only possible because there are people willing to step up and make sure it happens. We are all very busy with jobs, children, sports, and other obligations, and sometimes it seems that adding just one more thing to our already overflowing to-do list is impossible. How do you squeeze in one more obligation in an already-packed day? We never want people to feel overwhelmed. But the truth is, we are a small school community and we just don’t have the resources to continue these and other such events without help from our parents.

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We appreciate all our volunteers and we are forever grateful for the time, talents, and treasures that we receive from our community. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to become one of our cherished volunteers, for whatever reason, we ask you to prayerfully consider sharing your time and talents. Many of our current volunteers have been involved for years and will be moving on, either because their children are graduating or they need a break, or they want to take on another challenge. We need people willing to step up and step into their shoes so that we can continue to give to our students the best possible experience.

If you have suggestions or would like to be contacted about volunteering, please email the HSA at hsa(at)mothersetonschool.org. (Replace (at) with the @ symbol) Also, watch for volunteer requests coming home for our end-of-year events, such as the Carnival and Field Day. Over the summer, a volunteer interest form will be sent home with more details about opportunities to volunteer.

Thank you for all you do to make our school community a welcoming place of learning!

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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!