Monday Memo May 22, 2017

Principal’s Corner

Is praise always good?

A new study presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference showed regular parental praise, specifically five times a day, improves a child’s well being. The study, based on England’s De Montfort University’s Five Praises campaign, surveyed 38 parents of 2- to 4-year-olds, Time reports. The Five Praises campaign encourages parents to praise “the child’s effort or achievement” during activities such as brushing teeth, learning to ride a bicycle or caring for a pet.

The word “effort” matters.

Carol Dweck, a Stanford professor who has spent decades studying motivation, believes in the power of praise, but has said the kind of praise matters.

“The wrong kind of praise creates self-defeating behavior,” she has said in The Perils and Promises of Praise. “The right kind motivates students to learn.”

Jonice Webb, a Massachusetts psychologist specializing in childhood   emotional neglect, said “positive feedback” is a better way to think about effective praise.

For example, don’t tell Harper she’s amazing, tell her you loved how focused she was putting together her science project. If she lost interest along the way, maybe ask, “were you getting tired?”

Webb said millennial parents, who “helicopter” more than the generation before them, could struggle with this. As parents interact with children, it’s important they offer honest feedback, she said. That means if Chris is a horrible violinist, don’t tell him he’s a great one. White lies could lead to problems down the road.

“That sets the child up to need praise and seek it,” Webb said. “It sets up a narcissistic dynamic – a false sense of self-esteem that’s based on things that aren’t real. It’s very damaging.”

Kenneth Barish, clinical associate professor of psychology at Cornell University, disagrees with the feedback philosophy, saying praise is as necessary as oxygen and young children should be praised all the time. But, he said he understands other philosophies and does advise praising effort above all else.

In other words, children are amazing. Tell them why.

As children grow older, the frequency and type of praise can also be adjusted. It’s simply one ingredient in the recipe of parenting. So, Barish said don’t be consumed with praise practices.

“We actually focus too much on the importance of praise,” Barish said. “Raising kids who want to be good kids, it’s not all about praise, it’s about the things we do with them.”


Dates to Remember

May 25       Field Day

May 26       Last Day of School -11 AM All School Mass, Noon Dismissal & NO Extended Care

Athletic Association News

Registration for the fall soccer and volleyball seasons and the annual St. Ambrose Soccer Camp, which takes place June 12-15, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at Berra Park!

Please log into your EZRosters account via the following link to register:

Soccer is available to boys and girls who will be in Pre-K (at least 4 years old) to 8th grade this fall. Volleyball is available to boys and girls who will be in grades 3-8 this fall.
The early-bird registration fee is $30 per child, per sport until May 31st. This discounted fee will go up to $60 per child, per sport after May 31st.
The deadline to register is Friday, June 9th.

The soccer camp is run by Brian Haddock, head varsity soccer coach at both Vianney and Nerinx Hall. Helping Coach Haddock will be his assistant coaches from Nerinx Hall, as well as players from both high schools. Each camper receives a t-shirt, and a promise of fun and quality instruction in the beautiful game!!
It’s open to boys and girls who will be in Kindergarten to 8th grade this fall. The fee for the first child in a family is $60, and then $45 per child after from the same family.
***When registering via EZRosters, please indicate your child’s t-shirt size***
The deadline to register for the camp is Friday, June 2nd.

PLEASE NOTE: Payment is separate from registration. Once registration is complete, you should follow the steps to submit payment online via a debit or credit card. No child will be placed on a team roster, nor given a uniform, if the fee is not paid. If you need to pay by check (payable to: STAAA), you can do so by sending your check through school to my attention, or by mailing it to me at my home address below.

If you have any questions about paying for either sport, or your account balance in general, please contact Tom Cissi or Amy Rafferty.

Field Day

Field Day is this Thursday, May 25th. Students can dress in comfortable, athletic clothes. They may choose a shirt color to coordinate with their team candy if they like but please no solid white clothes. A BBQ lunch will be provided by IPC. If they do not want BBQ, they must bring their own lunch as Chris’ will not serve lunch that day. PTO will provide a snack for everyone. Please send a water bottle with your child(ren) and be sure to apply sunscreen before school. Hats are also a great idea since we will be outside most of the time.

Penthouse News

If you are looking for a summer refresher in a particular subject for your student, or you are looking for a preview of the coming school year, Acellus may be the answer.

Acellus is a computer-based learning system of online education.  Acellus uses “Intelligent Interaction” technology that enables it to cater educational content to the individual skill set of each student through customized, personal instruction.  The program is used by over a million students in the U.S. and around the world. Acellus has online courses for any subject at any grade level and it is very affordable.

For $35, you can purchase a student license for Acellus, which would allow your student access to any courses offered.  The student can use any personal device to access the course, and spend as much or as little time on it as you decide over the summer.  The license is good for a year, so access could be continued through the school year.    Each course is taught through short video lessons with experienced teachers, followed by interactive practice problems.  Through this interactive approach, students can either progress or be assigned to a re-teaching lesson.  The course includes assessments and a grade report can be obtained.

Mrs. Grellner and Mrs. Horner are available by phone or Fast Direct to answer any questions, help you decide on the grade level, and course(s) you may wish to choose and arrange for your student license.  Please contact one of them if you are interested.

Giving is in the Bag

St. Ambrose School has been selected as the FIRST recipient of the Schnucks – Bag 4 My Cause program!
How does the program work?
During the month of May, for each Giving reusable bag sold at the Schnucks store located at 5055 Arsenal St., St. Louis MO,    St. Ambrose Catholic School will receive $1!

Be sure to let your friends and family know about this great fundraising opportunity.


Congratulations to our eighth graders who graduated on Friday evening! The Mass was followed by an awards ceremony. The families then headed to the cafeteria to celebrate. Best wishes to all of the graduates as they begin their high school careers!


STEM & STEAM Classrooms

The fourth grade hosted a STEAM Showcase to show off all of their work from the STEAM class they have participated in this year through a grant with COCA. The third graders stopped by to see their displays and projects and the fourth graders enjoyed sharing all they have learned.

The third grade recently worked on a STEM challenge. They had to create the longest paper chain they could using only 2 pieces of paper, 12 inches of masking tape, a ruler and scissors. They had 30 minutes to complete the challenge and then headed to the hallway to measure. The longest chain measured was over 16 feet!


Girls on the Run

GOTR finished off the 2017 season with the 5K race in downtown St. Louis. All of the girls had a fantastic time meeting their goals. They celebrated the end of the season with a party on Monday, May 15th. The girls enjoyed watching a video of the season and each received a certificate for completing the program. Thanks to our awesome teacher-coaches who make this program possible!


4Warn Weather Visit

News Channel 4 Meteorologist Megan Danahey visited our second grade class on Wednesday, May 17th. She talked to the class all about storms, weather, and how she does her job. It was so cool! The class picture that was aired on the 5pm News Broadcast on the 17th.

Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony

The 7th grade Cadettes of St. Ambrose were honored on Saturday at the annual Girl Scout Bridge Ceremony. The 9 girls, Abby Walsh, Allison Ruggeri, Anna Steck, Audrey Fuse, Corie Longland, Grace Grana, Grace Kelly, Mary Kate Stephens and Morgan Berkley were recognized for earning their Silver Award. The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. The Silver Award represents a girl’s accomplishments in her community through Girl Scouting as she grows and works to improve her life and the lives of others.


Several of the other troops participated in the Bridging Ceremony and enjoyed an end of the year celebration. A special thanks to all of the wonderful troop leaders!

St. Ambrose 2017 Track Team

2017 was a great year for the St. Ambrose track team. We had 30 participants this season and were able to get 5 of them to the final meet this past weekend! Congratulations goes out to Gabrial Nugent, Anna Steck, Adeline Lawhorn, Elinor Lawhorn and Sophie Gayer for making it to the finals! A huge shout-out goes to Anna Steck for placing 1st in the 800 m and 2nd in the 400 m!!!

I want to thank all team members for a wonderful season and their parents for their contributions! I would also like to thank my awesome assistant coaches (Andrew Gayer, Roy Ezell and David Lawhorn) for helping as much as you did. I hope to see you all out again next year. Have a great Summer!   -Amie Lawhorn