The 29th Annual St. John’s Student Leadership Retreat

Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins,  twenty-four 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attend an on-campus “retreat.”  The morning sessions of August 5th, 2019 provided this year’s team the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events it will host for the upcoming school year, including:

      • Spring Spirit Week planning
      • Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
      • Habit of Mind presentation training with Mr. Mercier

 

  • Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier

 

    • Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle
    • Life Group Leader training with Mrs. VB
    • Shepherding instructions with Mr. Stuewe

After eating lunch with Dr. Hollatz,  Mrs. VB was gracious enough to host a team building pool party at her house.  This gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our schools student body, our congregation and community.  What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2019-2020 school year.

By: Mr. Nathan Mercier, 6th grade, Student Leadership

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Peru Project – Part II

In part 1 I outlined this project which St. John’s students have been supporting for the past 9 years.
Once my wife, Patty, and I have a list of projects our work begins. One of the major projects we wanted to take on was quickly started:  the awning to cover the space between the two classrooms.
The biggest consideration was where the awning would be of most benefit. The next was timing:  how to get the structure built and the awning made so that both would be done before we leave in July.  Two different people are needed, a carpenter and an awning maker.  The last consideration was that the entire structure needed to be done in such a way that it can be unassembled and moved when the government comes through with the funds to remodel the school. This could be as early as this September or up to several years.
Lola wanted the space between the two largest classrooms covered. (See the first picture.)  This decided we then began to work on how to best coordinate structure with awning.  The carpenter gave us a time frame for completion just before we were to leave Perú. That meant the awning person would have to work from dimensions given by the carpenter rather than taken from the actual structure. This is risky at best. In the end we decided to have the carpenter build a structure the same size as the structure covering the play structure. (See picture #2)  to our amazement these dimensions fit almost perfectly into the desired space. And even better: because the two structures will be identical it will allow  Lola to design the space in the new school around the shade structures, placing  them end-to-end. It will add continuity in the long-run.
This decision also allowed the awning person to take more accurate measurements from the existent awning for the new awning. We took bids from several awning makers and chose the one who offered quality and the best price. It would cost about $850 for a high quality, water/weather proof material made to special order and installed.  About a week later we returned from a short trip to Cajamarca to find the rolled up cover (photo #3) hand delivered and ready to installed when the carpenter finished his work.  It weighs about 300 lbs.
The carpenter was called and came to the school to get the measurements for the awning structure. We agreed on a price (about $1500 equivalent in national money: Soles) and we went to Trujillo to exchange dollars. (Picture 4 shows the structure being put in place.) While there we went to a local store called Sodimac to see if they had prefabricated shelves the size we wanted. Sodimac is a Homedepot-like store which recently has come to Trujillo. While convenient it doesn’t offer a lot in terms of shelving. Nothing we could find fit the dimensions needed.  We wanted to steer clear of donating something which would just be makeshift. The units we did see were expensive and low quality.
So we began looking for plan B.  A family member recommended a young man in the town who had recently built some cabinets for a local restaurant. The young man’s name is Meikel and he works with a material he calls melamine, a kind of particle board covered in formica-like material. He could build sturdy shelves to the dimensions we wanted at less cost than the prefabricated odd-sized units we had looked at.  It did mean more footwork for us, but assured something which will endure the hard use they will receive, while adding uniformity to the classrooms.
The photos 5 and 6 show Meikel, the handy man, constructing the five shelves in our living room. It took he and his wife two days to put them together and they looked great.
Part three:  going shopping for things on the wish list.

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Peru Project Update!

The Perú project is well under way. For those who dont know, the students at St. John’s have been supporting a small preschool in the coastal town of Las Delicias, Peru for the past 9 years. The school provides education to the poorest children in the small town.   The significant impact these donations have had over the years can be viewed here:
http://perunuevaesperanza.weebly.com/donacion-2017.html
This year we arrived at the school on June 14th, 2019 to determine how we could best help the school.  The fund had over $7,000 which was raised over the past several years by SJLS students. We hoped to do something with technology for the students, and as well to replace the awning structure donated by St. John’s 8 years ago. This original structure was only to be temporary and outlasted our expectations considerably.  Being made of metal the ocean breeze has eaten away at the structure and awning. We planned to replace it with a wooden structure. The first picture shows the original awning and it’s poor state of condition.
The present principal is a real go-getter.  Since the beginning of her time at the school she has recognized the importance of St. John’s donations and has done her part to meet expectations.  All of this can be seen in the video link given above.  The principal, Lola Kong, let us know that the best technological support we could give would be large screen televisions with USB ports. They have free access to educational videos. This seemed a very viable way we could help. As seen in the second photo, far left, the television for the 5 year olds is small and ineffective.
As well, Lola expressed the desire to have a series of shelves,  all of the same size and color to replace the makeshift shelves used around the classrooms. (see the third photo) These makeshift shelves have served a purpose but not being made for storing things, they were second best.
And finally Lola gave us a “wish” list of items they could really use:  dolls for the children to play with (see video link mentioned above—at the very end), as well as puzzles, musical instruments, costumes (firefighter, police, nurse/doctor, carpenter), hand puppets, a First Aid box, megaphone (for emergency drills), basketballs, volleyball, soccer balls, cones for PE, curtains for the 5 year old classroom, play kitchen sets, magnifying glasses, rulers, plastic chairs for adults (12 for parent meetings) and PE/emergency whistles to name a few.
Patty, my wife, and I had our work cut out for us. In my next installment I will show the progress being made.
Doug Stone, Spanish Teacher grades 7-8
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Rockin’ Recorders!

Third graders were rockin’ the last week of school at their “Rockin’ Recorder” concert!  This concert culminated their year of recorder lessons in music class.  In class, students learned how to read music, play a wind instrument, work together as a group, and persevere as they play the recorder.  They also take part in the “Recorder Karate” program, as they earn different colored “belts” that wrap around their recorder.  They enjoyed showing off the belts they have earned based on the different songs they have learned and mastered.  Parents, families, 2nd graders, and 1st graders were in the audience to listen to their progress.  The younger students are now looking forward to third grade so they can play the recorder, too!  Third graders now have a great foundation to build upon as they are given the opportunity to join band in fourth grade and also play the ukulele in fourth grade music class.  We love our “Rockin’ Recorders” and the third graders who play them!

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Tide Pool Fun and Learning!

The 5th grade students and teachers wrapped up their school year by exploring the tide pools at Little Corona Beach.  Before going to explore the 5th graders studied what the tide pools are made of and the different types of animals that can be found in the tide pools.  After visiting the tide pools, the students had to use the information they learned from the field trip to create an animal that they thought would be perfectly adapted to live in the tide pools. The students also wrote a haiku to describe what they experienced on their trip and to summarize their learning.

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Rainy Days and PE…What to do?

This year was quite the year for rain.  With so many rainy days, it can be very easy to lose the interest of students during a Physical Education period.  This situation entices a teacher to be creative, spontaneous, and most importantly find an activity that the kids have never tried before.

This year, the middle schoolers were introduced to a few amazing and creative ways to get exercise, even when locked inside for days at a time.  Two favorites stood out, Tic-Tac-Toe relay and Opposites Race.

Tic-Tac-Toe Relay is taking a classic and putting a big twist on it.  First you tape the traditional grid on the floor, the you set students in teams, and hand out colored bean bags.  Let the fun begin, the students get to sprint, dive, and slide to put their bean bag where they want it to go. The students have a ton of fun and really enjoy the exercise through friendly competition.

Next is Opposite Race:  It sets up to be so simple… yet so confusing.  Fun for 25-80 students, this game incorporates quick muscle reflexes (type 2 muscles) and the ability to listen and process directions before doing the opposite. What a blast to watch the students sprint the wrong way, laugh and have fun with each other, with no hard feelings.  The best part was watching all the kids cheer for their peers who made the finals. What a great game for a rainy day.

Success…for sure!!!

Mr. Harrison, 8th grade

Photography 101: Online elective powered by CREAN Lutheran

This year, our students have had the opportunity to take a photography class online during the elective period. Hosted by CREAN Lutheran, Mrs. Bloomfield shares her expertise in photography with the students.  Not only do they learn about how to take great pictures, she also empowers them to become experts of their own devices. Whether it is an iPhone, DSLR, or a point and shoot camera, she teaches them how to take their photos to the next level.

Students are allowed to walk around campus during their elective, try new things out with their friends, and have fun while accomplishing her challenging tasks.  Whether they are playing with light settings, foreground focus, shutter speed, or symmetry; these students grow in their ability to recognize both candid and fixed opportunities for photographs.  

Please take a moment to look at the pictures below.  This class is so exciting for the young photographer, I strongly encourage anyone with this interest to take this course.

–Mr. Harrison, 8th Grade

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