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Bulletin Board – Immanuel Lutheran named National Blue Ribbon School

Immanuel Lutheran celebrates its Blue Ribbon status.

Immanuel Lutheran celebrates its Blue Ribbon status.

Immanuel Lutheran named National Blue Ribbon School

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. recently announced that Immanuel Lutheran School in St. Charles has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School.

Immanuel is one of just 11 schools in Missouri to have received the honor in 2016. Nationwide, 50 private and 279 public schools were selected for the award, which is based on a school’s overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Immanuel is now a two-time National Blue Ribbon School, having previously received the award in 1990.

“This is one of the highest honors a school can achieve,” said Principal Diana Meers. “It means so much to our teachers and to our entire school and church community to be recognized in this way and to be included in this impressive group of schools,” Meers said.

Immanuel’s administrators will represent their school community at a two-day awards ceremony in November in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their hard-won achievements.

Talented teens

The following Fort Zumwalt School District musicians have earned a spot in the Metro 8 District Honors Orchestra. They will perform Nov. 5.

Auditions are open to students from almost 30 public and private schools in St. Charles County, St. Louis and St. Louis County. Some members will have the opportunity to audition for the All-State Orchestra later this year. One-third of the musicians are from West High, including all of the section leaders.

East High: Bass: Rachael Beckerman and Keagan Perkins; Viola: Sarah Benton and David Doom

North High: Bass: Christopher Shanks; Cello: Tanner Burke, Morgan James, Alicia Powers [Principal] and Michael Todd; Viola: Elisabeth Johnston, Rachel Jordan, Anna Meyer, Noah Mikulin and Jayson Reyes

South High: Bass: Sarah McGowan; Cello: Nicholas Deimund and Emily Harrelson; Viola: Grace Conrad; Violin: Unsun Lee [assistant concertmaster], Ashleigh Hixson, Joshua Laya, Seungju Lee and Ashley Maempa

West High: Bass: Malia Johnson; Cello: Tanner Tipton; Viola: Anna Hutnyk, Keaton Immekus, Edward Scalise and Jordyn Sengl; Violin: Julian Lema [concertmaster], Aliyah Amerin, Safia Amerin, Emily Lo, Drake Nagle, Rachel Sengl, Jiyu Son, Seokju Son, Lacy Slezak and Emily Vago

Limelight Theatre announces fall production

The Award Winning Limelight Theatre at Francis Howell High has “You Can’t Take It with You!” as its fall production. The play will be presented in the school auditorium.

“You Can’t Take It with You!,” the classic comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The play was later adapted as a movie directed by Frank Capra and starring the legendary Jimmy Stewart.

Performances of “You Can’t Take It with You!” will take place 7 p.m., Nov. 2, 4 and 5. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and are available at the door.

Francis Howell MAP scores top state’s 5 percent 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released the 2016 Missouri Assessment Program [MAP] scores for all 518 school districts across the state. These scores include student achievement in English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The MAP Performance Index is a single composite number that represents the MAP assessment performance of every student by awarding points to each student based on the four achievement levels [advanced, proficient, basic and below basic].

“The latest MAP scores reflect how well our students know and understand key concepts in core subjects,” said Chief Academic Officer Dr. Nicole Whitesell. “As a result of the achievement of our students and the work of our teachers, we are honored to be the top performing school district in St. Charles County. We will never stop working to provide the high quality instruction our students need to help them continue their academic growth,” Whitesell said.

Francis Howell continues to lead St. Charles County in English/language arts, mathematics, and science achievement. In addition, when comparing combined MAP scores from around the state, Francis Howell scored in the top 5 percent of all Missouri school districts.

A  Castlio Elementary student depicts Sir Francis Drake.

A Castlio Elementary student depicts Sir Francis Drake.

Castlio ‘wax museum’ brings history to life

Fifth-grade students at Francis Howell’s Castlio Elementary created a living “wax museum” to bring to life the historical events they were learning about.

Fifth-grade teacher Tracy Branstetter said, “The project was done after my students saw Native American artifacts made by another fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hamp.”

Inspired by their peers, the students created a wax museum, presentation boards and artifacts.

“They designed the project and then I created a plan to implement it. It was important for the students to have a say in what they wanted to do to showcase their learning. It made learning more meaningful for them and they seemed so excited about it,” Branstetter said.

Giving more meaning to instruction by offering choice is valuable, but finding another way to incorporate something the kids love into the lesson was even more effective.

“They also created explorer Pokémon cards to hand out for each explorer,” Branstetter said. After each speech, the wax figure [or student in costume] gave the audience a card. The students also designed an explorer Pokémon invitation to pass out to people that they wanted to invite.

“I wanted this project to be led by the students as much as possible,” Branstetter said.

The museum showed each student’s individual creativity, gave them a chance to practice public speaking, offered an opportunity to improve their collaboration skills and, most importantly, offered fun while learning.

“It is important for students to make history come alive because they learn so much more by assuming the role of a historical figure rather than by just reading about it in a textbook. It made them more motivated to learn. I believe that it will have a lasting impact on their learning,” Branstetter said.

St. Louis Teen Talent Competition calls for entries

Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation [FPACF] has opened registration to all high school students in the St. Louis metropolitan area for its 7th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition to be held in spring 2017.

The event will follow a competition format with students vying for scholarships, special awards, prizes and the opportunity to compete in the finals onstage at The Fabulous Fox Theatre on April 8, 2017. Interested candidates must attend a high school or be homeschooled within a 50-mile radius of the Gateway Arch and must complete the requirements for entry by Nov. 11.

Performing arts categories include [but are not limited to] singers, dancers, actors, musicians, comedians, rappers and circus skill artists. Contestants may perform with original or published material.

In addition to scholarships and prizes, finalists will be provided unique performance opportunities within the St. Louis area arranged by FPACF and by request. Finalists from the past six years have performed at the Muny, Sheldon Concert Hall, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Six Flags, Fair St. Louis, Taste of Maplewood, Let Them Eat Art and MidTown Taste and with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis and Winter Opera Saint Louis.

For more information or to register online, visit www.foxpacf.org.

National Merit Scholarship semifinalist named 

The Wentzville School District has announced that Matthew Brawner from Holt High has been selected as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

Additionally Connor Monahan and Alexandra [“Ally”] Schulte from Timberland High, as well as Cameron Dierks from Liberty High, have been named Commended Students in the 62nd Annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $33 million. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

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