Cardinal Post Summer 2015: Statue of pope

Cardinal Post Summer 2015

Letter From
the Principal

Dear St. Louis Friends and Families,

The 2014-15 School year was filled with many accomplishments. Not just for our wonderful students who worked so hard to learn and grow both spiritually and academically, but for the school as a whole. Each year Mrs. Shaw, the faculty, and I along with the support and guidance of Msgr. McArthur and the St. Louis School Board, analyze survey and academic data in order to set goals each school year. Some of the goals achieved this year were:

  • Begin the One to One Chromebook program in 5th and 6th grade
  • Strong Test scores overall in every grade on the Spring ITBS Achievement Test as well as Positive results on our ACRE Religion Test administered every year to our 5th and 8th grade students.
  • Expand our Robotics program to younger students.
  • Improve the effectiveness of our discipline plan in 7th and 8th grade
  • Expand our guidance program offering more classroom guidance sessions in all grades.

Our major goals for next year are data driven and continue our efforts to ensure that St. Louis Catholic School offers a high quality educational experience for all our students.

  • Bring the One to One Chromebook program down to 4th grade.
  • Continue to collaborate with the high schools to ensure that our Junior High curriculum is fully preparing our dedicated and hardworking students for the honors track.
  • Change from Edline to Plus Portals, a more user friendly Learning Management System which allows parents to update information online.
  • Utilize Discovery Assessment Benchmark testing to meet the individual needs of our students in a traditional school setting. This testing will help teachers identify specific objectives and skills each student may need to either receive remediation or enrichment.
  • Introduce our Code of Honor Prayer, calling our students to be honorable, trustworthy, and courageous Christians who stand up for what is right and good.

Every year is a new beginning! I guess that is why I love working in the education field. I want to welcome all our new families that will be joining our St. Louis Parish and School Community this school year; and I know that all our returning families will make you feel a part of the family. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer vacations and are excited about returning to school. Always know that Mrs. Shaw and I are here to help and serve our St. Louis community. We look forward to seeing everyone at registration.

Peace & Blessings,

–Mrs. Teddi Niedzwiedz, Principal

Important Dates

Aug 4
New Parent Mtg in the Youth Building @ 7pm

Aug 9
Ice Cream Social in the Dining Hall @ 1pm

Aug 9
Preschool & Kindergarten Orientation in new gym @ 2pm

Aug 9
Jr. High Parent Mtng in the Youth Building @3:30pm

Aug 11
K - 8 registration in the Old Gym 8:00am - 11:30am

Aug 13
First Day of School (half day)

Aug 20
Back to School Night in old gym @ 6pm

Aug 23
Feast of St. Louis Picnic 1pm-4pm

Aug 25
1st H&S Meeting @6:30pm in the Clunan Center

Aug 27
Room Parent Tea @1pm in the Clunan Center

Sept 4
Feast of St. Louis (Holiday)

Sept 7
Labor Day (no school)

Sept 10 & 11
school pictures

Sept 14
Return Fall Fundraiser packets

Sept 19
Men’s Club Appreciation Dinner

Oct 2
Professional Day
(no school)

Oct 5
Fall Break (no school)

Oct 9
Jeans Day for Feed My Flock (bring $1 to wear jeans)

Oct 11
Open House 1-2pm

Oct 13
8th grade parent meeting @ 6:30pm

Oct 16
End of 1st 9 Weeks

Letter From
Msgr. McArthur

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year at SLS. Welcome back to those families returning and a special welcome to the SLS family for all new families.

St. Louis Church and school are one. The most important mission of the parish is the success, growth, and development of our Parochial School. If you notice all of the additions, improvements, constructions, and developments of the past few years, please know that without the support of the Church community, this would have been cost prohibitive.

As pastor I am so proud of this school as it is a terrific home for your treasure and ours, the children. Here, in a safe environment, they can grow spiritually, academically, culturally, and personally.

It is our goal to challenge every child to reach their highest potential but also to do it in an environment where they are loved. I am proud to say that this is a reality.

The parish will have a picnic on Sunday, August 23rd from 1pm-4pm. This will follow noon Mass. Come join in the day of celebration.

Parents are the first teacher of their children in the ways of faith. Be a good teacher by being a great example and attend Mass every Sunday, pray with your children, and model a Catholic-Christian life for them to see every day.

Your children are in good hands. Mrs. Niedzwiedz, Mrs. Shaw, and all of the faculty are dedicated to giving your children and family the best experience possible. Fr. Bill Burke, Fr. Saji Ellickal, Fr. Dexter Noblefranca, Deacon Jeff Drzycimiski, and Deacon Jack Conrad join with me in being available for religious, spiritual, and liturgical support.

God bless you all. Welcome. Have a blessed year.

In Christ,

Msgr. John McArthur

2015 ITBS Test Results

This past fall, students took the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), which is an assessment tool that enables teachers to compare students’ yearly academic progress. ITBS test scores for our school show St. Louis students have again scored very well.

The graphs depict the overall Grade Equivalents (GE) for students in each grade. This standardized exam is broken into six core subjects: Reading, Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Sources of Information. The GE is a decimal number describing performance in terms of grade levels in years and months. For example, the Language Arts graph illustrates the average Language Arts GE score for fourth grade is 6.2 . This means that St. Louis 4th graders’ average Language Arts GE score is similar to the average of a typical 6th grade class at the end of the 2nd month of school. The average GE scores for St. Louis are above grade level in all core subjects for every grade. Our students continue to do well academically, and we are very proud of their accomplishments.

New This Year:

Our new Learning Management System will provide faster feedback for parents. Our new Science curriculum for grades 6-8 is technology-based and should improve our Science scores and better prepare our Junior High students for high school. Come to Back-to-School night on Aug 20 at 6pm in the Old Gym to find out more!!

Teacher Feature

SLS is excited to announce that we have four new teachers and two teachers that are taking on new roles this coming school year! Megan Hellen (former SLS 5th/ 6th grade teacher) will be teaching 7th & 8th grade Science and Lauren Hayden (former SLS Preschool teacher) will be teaching 2nd grade. New to the SLS family are Misty Williams, teaching 5th & 6th grade Religion & Social Studies, Racheal Yearwood, teaching Junior Kindergarten, Amy Brown, teaching Junior High Math, and the newest member of our IT Team, Beth Carson, teaching 7th & 8th grade Computer. We are excited to welcome and congratulate these teachers!!

Meet Mrs. Brown 
Hi! My name is Amy Brown. I am the new 7th/8th grade mathematics teacher. I am a University of Tennessee graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Secondary Education. I recently graduated from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga with my Masters in Secondary Education. I spent my time after college tutoring math at McCallie and Mathnasium as well as teaching middle school math for 3 years at Saint Jude School in Chattanooga. During my time at St Jude, I started a tradition of taking the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to local math competitions. At these competitions my kids always placed in the top 15! I also started a dance team for the 7th and 8th grade girls.

I am new to Memphis as of June 2015. So far, I have enjoyed learning the cityand meeting new people. Before June, you would find me in Chattanooga enjoying time with my family and exploring the outdoors. As a family we enjoy rock climbing, hiking, white water rafting, skiing, and traveling. Recently, my family rafted 10 miles of the Ocoee River, accomplishing the Olympic Rapids in the process! We have already started investigating locations near Memphis to get in our weekend hikes and climbs.

I look forward to my new adventure at St Louis and I appreciate you sharing your children with me! Let’s make this a great year!

Meet Ms Carson 
Hello! My name is Beth Carson and I am the Junior High Computer teacher as well as part of the Technology team. I received my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Crichton College and I have a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis on Technology from Grand Canyon University. For the past 7 years, I taught in Shelby County Schools. I am very excited to be able to combine my passion for technology with my love of teaching here at St. Louis School. I grew up in the Memphis area and

 have three children, Gabriel, Carys, and Lena. Together, we enjoy spending time outdoors, camping, biking, and traveling. I also enjoy yoga, graphic design, and DIY projects.

Meet Mrs. Williams 
Hi! My name is Misty Williams. I am so excited to be at St. Louis this year. I will be the new 5th and 6th grade Social Studies and Religion teacher. I graduated from the University of Tennessee with my Bachelors degree. Then I attended the University of Memphis and received my Masters degree. This will be my 11th year teaching. I previously taught in Shelby County Schools and Arlington Community Schools. My daughter attends SLS and will be in JK. We are so blessed to be a part of the St. Louis family.

Meet Mrs. Rachel 
Hello! My name is Rachael Yearwood and I'm excited to be a new Junior Kindergarten this year at St. Louis. I graduated from the University of Memphis with an undergrad3uate degree in Early Childhood Education. I also received my Master of Arts in Education from Bethel University. I have previously taught Kindergarten for Shelby County Schools and for the last 8 years I have taught 3 and 4 year olds at Trinity Baptist Church. My husband, Jeff and I have 2 children, Wilson and Molly Kate. I enjoy traveling with my family and I love a good book. I also have the honor of working with the Junior High girls at our church. I am very excited to have the opportunity to join the St. Louis faculty. I look forward to a wonderful school year!

Mr. Maurice Joins Us Full Time 
Maurice will be working in the cafeteria with Mrs. Carla and in maintenance with Mr. Scott. Maurice is from Memphis, and attended Hamilton High School. Maurice has worked part time at St. Louis for two years and loves the kids and teachers. He is looking forward to the coming school year and this new opportunity!

Save the Date: Mark you Calendars and plan to attend the 3rd annual St. Louis Feast Day Picnic! The celebration will be held on the church grounds Sunday, August 23 at 1pm. All of our parish and school organizations work together to provide an afternoon of fun for the whole family! You won’t want to miss it!!

Summer Camp & Aftercare

Did you know that SLS offers a Summer Camp?! Our school’s aftercare and summer camp programs are directed by Lori Tucker. Summer Camp begins one week after school dismisses for the summer and ends one week before classes resume in August. SLS Summer Camp is only open to SLS students entering K-8 grade. The camp offers a wide variety of activities, including: swimming, off-site field trips, visits from the fire department, McGruff the Crime Dog, and an ice cream truck every Friday! Students also have access to the computer lab two days per week so that they can complete summer IXL assignments. SLS Summer Camp is a safe environment for our children during the summer break. Our aftercare program is available to students in preschool through 8th grade. Aftercare is open on school days until 6pm, including half days. Aftercare is also open during some holidays. Please contact Lori Tucker at 907-6124 if you are interested in enrolling your child in our aftercare program. Please also contact Lori if you are interested in working for the aftercare or summer camp programs. Virtus training and background checks are required.

New Assessment Program

New this year, students will be tested in Language Arts and Math every nine weeks using Discovery Assessment benchmark testing. One of our school’s objectives is to stimulate academic achievement through: a curriculum that meets the needs of students and allows for individual achievement and progress, utilization of supplementary materials and community resources for reinforcement of learning, active involvement of the faculty in curriculum evaluation and planning, meeting the needs of all students through resource and enrichment programs, and utilization of technology across the curriculum. The new testing uses the latest in technology to assess students’ progress more frequently. Mastered skills and trouble areas will be identified by the teachers so that they can customize their lesson plans based on the needs of their students. Rather than taking the three day ITBS baseline test at the beginning of the school year, students will take a two hour test at the end of each grading period. We are excited to introduce the Discovery Assessment program this year and look forward to the impact it will have on our student achievement. We will continue to use the ITBS standardized test for testing in the spring.


Construction Complete

We are excited to announce that the final phase of construction is complete! The success of our Capital Campaign, “Spreading Our Wings”, has made quite an impact on our campus. Over the summer, we celebrated the dedication of our St. John Paul II Youth Ministry Center. We are also adding signs around campus to help direct visitors, we repaved the parking lot, and we added a fence to further secure the safety of our children and parishioners. The White Station gates will be open from 6am10pm. The Shady Grove gate is open at all times. Thank you to all who contributed to the capital campaign. We can all be proud of what we accomplished as a church and school community, united in our mission to educate children in our Catholic faith!!

Camp Invention

Once again SLS hosted Camp Invention where this summer almost 100 students in attendance were encouraged to explore science, technology, and their own innate creativity, inventiveness, and entrepreneurial spirit! Congratulations to our new 2nd grade teacher, Lauren Hayden, who directed the camp. She and many other parents and teachers played a major role in the camp’s success this year and we appreciate their hard work. Camp attendees participated in many activities including: the KartWheel™ module, the Design Studio: Illuminate™ module, the I Can Invent: Next Level Gamers™ module, and the Inducted™ module.

Robotics Club Gets an Upgrade

Another opportunity for your children to increase their love of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is available during the school year. Our Robotics program, led by Megan Scherson, is offered to children in grades 4-8. (Our Junior Legos program is available to children in 2nd & 3rd grade.) Thanks to the generous support of parents, Home & School was able to donate $1500 to the Robotics program last school year. The funds were used to purchase brand new equipment. Please sign up at registration if your child is interested in this growing program.

Stay in the know! Read the Wednesday Wire, our weekly email announcements, and like our Facebook page (St. Louis Catholic School Mphs., TN) to get updates all year!

Welcome New Families

We are happy to welcome several new students into our SLS family! Please encourage your children to help these new students feel at home. If you are interested in getting involved with the Home & School Cardinal Connect committee, please email Carol Sweeney or Kim Pesce at

Mason Brigham, Clay Crittendon, Noah Flournoy, Alexander Guerrero, Holly Grosshans, Owen LaChapelle, John Matsek, Sadie Peterman, Oscar Sanderson, Joey Ward, Grifin Walters, Wilson Wheat, Gus Williams

1st grade:
Max Tashi, Ben Nunn, Matthew Pendergrass

2nd Grade:
Wilson Jamison, Raul Sanchez, Riley Tull, Cody Miller

3rd grade:
Ella Colvett, Jack Young ,Molly Gorham, Chloe Jones, Caroline Hubbard

4th grade:
Grey Hooper, Peter Shi

5th grade:
Matthew Shi, Ava Browning Witmer

6th grade:
William Brooks, Anna Hooper, Rob Hubbard, Dottie Young

7th grade:
Taylor Somers, James Miller, Alex Cianciola, Luke Marzolf, William Patteson

8th grade:
Tyler Brooks

Welcome to our new PK & JK families, too!!


The Home & School Association will host SLS registration on Tuesday, August 11 from 8AM-11:30AM. Please visit all of the booths at registration to sign up for: lunchroom payment services, volunteer opportunities, extracurricular activities, and to purchase used uniforms and SLS Sportswear. You will also pay registration fees and receive your 2015-16 Student Handbook & Directory and carpool signs.

Beta Club will be selling snow cones by the back fence to raise funds for the upcoming school year.

Youth Group

Did you know that St. Louis Church has the biggest youth group in the Diocese? Come find out why! Junior High youth group will kick off Sunday, September 13 at 4:30pm in the new St. John Paul II Youth Ministry Center. Be sure to tell your 7th and 8th graders about this great opportunity to get involved and meet new friends.