Week 1 - Epic Adventures in Middle School
St. Jose opened its doors as a micro school on August 17, 2020. After nearly five months of students not setting foot inside a school building, the energy was high and excitement was contagious.
The first week was filled with new friends and new procedures on how to function in a micro school. We launched the day with prayer and the procedures for what we call "Collect" were outlined. Each morning, the Defenders start with the pledge to our national and state flag, a student led prayer, and our prayers to the studio patron saint, St. Dominic Savio, and our school's patron saint, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio. The students enjoyed getting to know each other through a series of ice breakers and exploring the campus as a group. When we visited the Holy Spirit Chapel, each student was able to select their own rosary to use for the rest of the year. Each student received their own Chromebook and learned to log in to Google Classroom and to each of their online eLearning platforms.
Their first challenge was to learn the school's mission statement and take a deep dive into the question: What makes a hero? Are heroes born or made? This was their first taste of Socratic Seminar where they learned a basic approach to building listening and responding skills. The exercise gave the students tools and material to begin drafting the studio promises and constitution. If you want to know how students want to be treated, just ask them!
Enrichment offered variety and fun. For physical education, we continued with team building activities while maintaining social distancing. A fun game of Zip Zap Zop always does the trick. During art enrichment, students learning about the namesake of our art studio - Antoni Gaudi. Called "God's Architect," students explored his nature-based inspiration and creative use of colors and curves. Students were tasked with designing a Gaudi-inspired "chair" from clay. Check out their creations in the picture.
Music class gave students an introduction to drumming with a master class given by the award winning drummer, Sheila E.! Our students have choice in selecting the instrument they wish to explore and learn, include the instrument of the voice. They each did singles, doubles, and para-diddles on a snare drum!
Our days ended with an epic meter rating, sharing glows and grows, and closing prayer. We did it! We did what we set out to do. Catholic education at St. Jose has a new and fresh approach to non-traditional learning. The middle school students are eager to see what their new adventure brings to their Hero's Journey.