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St. Michael Parish School Celebrates Mission Of Spiritual and Academic Growth

WHEELING — St. Michael Parish School has been a leader in education in the Wheeling area since 1897. It continues to be rooted in faith and committed to excellence, providing a top-notch education for area youth. Graduates go on to reach success regardless of the academic path chosen, and alumni have a strong tie to their alma mater. St. Michael Parish School employs highly qualified educators, challenges students with a rigorous curriculum, fosters a faith centered environment, and provides education for the whole child. During Catholic Schools Week, SMPS will celebrate its mission: faith, knowledge, community, and service.

The national celebration of Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2017. St. Michael Parish School plans to showcase its school, beginning with the Eucharistic celebrations on Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Students will demonstrate their commitment to their faith as they participate in the Mass. The participates will serve at the altar and lead the congregation in readings and songs, as they praise God in thanksgiving for the school community. Between the masses, families, parishioners, and benefactors are invited to a “thank you” doughnut and coffee reception in the cafeteria where they can enjoy video production about Catholic Schools created by the students. The annual penny drop will kick off on Sunday as the students raise funds for curriculum and technological advancements.

On Monday, SMPS will boast its school spirit and sponsor a blue and gold dress down day. Students will participate in a spirit assembly and cheer for their classmates as they play a volleyball game against the faculty and staff. That evening, 8th-grade student athletes will be recognized for their talents before the basketball games at 6:15 p.m. (7-8 Girls SMPS Blue vs. SMPS White) and 7:15 p.m. (7-8 Boys SMPS Blue vs SMPS White). Any student in SMPS gear is admitted free.

All are encouraged to support the outreach event and bring a can of soup that will be donated to the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center.

On Tuesday, the students will recognize the years of dedication and sacrifices that the parish community has put into the support of the school. They will recall this as they dress up in the attire of their favorite decade. To connect to the community, each grade will complete a service project. The young children in grade one will make art work for local citizens who are isolated during the winter months. Students in the 6th-grade will visit with younger students and read them stories. Eighth-grade students will visit with the residents of Elmhurst House of Friendship to create sensory objects that will be donated to the Augusta Levy Center..

On Wednesday morning, the students will celebrate their faith by attending weekly school Mass with the entire student body. Students are encouraged to bring canned soup as their weekly offering that will be donated to Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center. This day will also be a no test/homework day for the children.

Thursday’s focus will be on Science Engineering Math and Science (STEM) as Carnegie Science Center will be on site. The theme of the presentation is a blast into orbit around the Earth with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. The SDO is the center’s latest, greatest satellite for exploring the Sun.

In this show, students embark on a SolarQuest — a quest to learn about our star, the Sun. Students learn how the Sun works, how Carnegie studies it with its satellite, and how the Sun interacts with the Earth and makes life possible. Also, Wheeling Central Catholic High School, a partner in education, will also be on site and provide a pizza lunch as a special treat for the eighth-grade students.

Friday, in honor of the Feast of St. Blaise, all children will have their throats blessed. Because it is the Super Bowl weekend, students will dress in their favorite NFL team color or jersey. The day will end with a noon dismissal.

Jamie Kovalski, St. Michael Parish School principal, is looking forward to celebrating her first Catholic Schools Week with the students. She says, “I am so happy to have the opportunity to be able to be apart of Catholic education once again. The students and faculty of SMPS are some of the hardest working individuals I have ever worked with and I look forward to many years here.”

Daily, students are encouraged to foster their faith, explore the world around them, and connect with their community to serve like Christ. Jennifer Elias, a 28 year veteran teacher in the Catholic schools, says, “Catholic Schools are faith-based schools with families at the heart of all they do. From Sunday worship through weekday classes, priests, principals, teachers, staff, parents, and students work together for the benefit of all children.” This philosophy enables all children to grow and have success and continues the St. Michael Parish School’s tradition of excellence as they meet the demands of the 21st century learners.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the programs offered at SMPS, contact: Jamie Kovalski at mrskovalski@smpswv.org or call the office at 304 242-3966.

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