Congratulations to this year’s Battle of the Books winners!
Middle School - Sixth grade wins!
Lower School - And the top seven teams are!
The Battle of the Books competition is an exciting way to encourage a love of reading among students. After reading the assigned books, students compete in teams to determine the Lower and Middle School division champions. Middle School students participate in a multiple-choice, short answer and puzzle round, while Lower School students compete in a multiple-choice round in the Greer Center.
Battle of the Books has become an annual event at Episcopal. This year, 23 fourth and fifth grade teams participated in the Lower School competition. Lower School librarian Catherine Word says even the younger students are aware of the event and express interest in reading the books. “Kids this age are excited about reading,” she says. “They love reading.” To ensure that the competition has something for everyone, Word chooses books from three different genres that represent different characters and reading levels. She says English teachers Liz Crawford and Margaret Boudreaux keep students motivated throughout the competition by providing time for students to read and encouraging student participation.
The Middle School Battle of the Books competition day is a lively occasion with fist pumping and chest bumping. This year, five teams competed with the sixth grade team coming out on top. Library Director Tiffany Whitehead used the competition to encourage reading and to promote library services. The winning team now has two weeks to prepare for the READgional Battle of the Books event where they will face off against Central Middle School, Denham Springs Junior High School and Runnels.
Looking for a good book recommendation for your little reader? Check out the Battle of the Books reading lists below.
Have you read a great book recently? Share the title in the comments section below.
“Bob” by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
“The Trumpet of the Swan” by E.B. White
“Wedgie & Gizmo” by Suzanne Selfors
“Aru Shah and the End of Time” by Roshani Chokshi
“Beyond the Bright Sea” by Lauren Wolk
“Brave” by Svetlana Chmakova
“Clayton Byrd Goes Underground” by Rita Williams-Garcia
“Greetings from Witness Protection” by Jake Burt
“In the Shadow of the Sun” by Anne Sibley O’Brien
“Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus” by Dusti Bowling
“Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe” by Jo Watson Hackl
“Suspect Red” by L.M. Elliott
“The Red Bandana” (Young Readers Edition) by Tom Rinaldi
On Saturday, January 25th Episcopal placed 1st in Division 2 at the Catholic High Mu Alpha Theta math tournament. The tournament was attended by approximately 550 students from 32 schools. Episcopal brought 60 students in grades 5th – 12th that competed in subjects from Pre-Algebra to Calculus BC.
1st Comprehensive Math 0.5 – Luke Stelly, Nate McLean, Autumn Baldridge
1st Comprehensive Math 1 – Hayden Singh, Hayden Willett, Ahebwa Muhumuza, Ayush Patel
2nd Comprehensive Math 1 – Caroline Chick, Lauren McGrath, Shreya Kamath, Joie Lee
2nd Comprehensive Math 1.5 – Joey Roth, Ivy Jiang, Autumn Reynolds, Rebekah Reid
1st Calculus A – Allison Binning, Grace Scott, Sevie Breaux
1st Calculus B – Justin Dynes, Katie Knight, Arya Patel, Ryan Field
2nd Potpourri – Nick Johannessen, Andrea Norwood, Alex Nelson, Elaine Gboloo
2nd Middle School Interschool
1st Lower Interschool
1st Upper Interschool
Joan Moroney began teaching in 2007. She has taught Honors Geometry, Algebra II, and Honors Algebra II at Episcopal and is a co-sponsor of the Mu Alpha Theta math competition team. Before coming to Episcopal in 2014, Joan taught high school credit math courses to gifted students at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge. She has a Bachelor of Science in secondary mathematics education from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in education from Louisiana State University in gifted education.
On a gray January day, brightly colored flags cheerily blow in the wind near the Bonnet Carrè Spillway. These markers are soon replaced with 250 persimmon trees planted by Episcopal Lower and Upper School students. Considering that the planting takes place near the spillway and off the beaten path, the environment is bustling. Overhead, airplanes deliver travelers to and from New Orleans. On the highway, truckers blow their horns and wave to the young planters. Rusty, with the Army Corps of Engineers, points out a bald eagle perched on a powerline. Despite the winter cold, the sights and sounds of life are all around. The enthusiasm of the Episcopal students, who are all bundled up in hats and boots, only adds to the occasion.
Before planting begins, Dr. Pam Blanchard with the LSU Coastal Roots program offers instructions. She shows students how to efficiently plant each tree by doing the “dibble wiggle.” The wiggle involves firmly placing the dibble in the ground and shifting it back and forth to create a hole. Once the trees are placed inside, the dibble is used again to fill the hole and a ribbon is tied to the tree as a marker. The dibble wiggle generates lively discussion among the students as they demonstrate the move. It’s not long before the trees are all planted, and the students are ready for more.
Every winter, Episcopal students participate in this planting field trip as part of the school’s partnership with the Coastal Roots program. This week, AP Environmental Science students were joined by fifth graders who were excited to be involved. Both groups have been studying ecosystems, biomes and the importance of wetlands. The students were divided into groups, with the older students guiding the younger students through the planting process. The Upper School students were remarkable in their interactions with the fifth graders. In return for their patience and expertise, they were rewarded with the admiration of their younger counterparts.
According to the Coastal Roots website, the program encourages students “to learn about and become environmental stewards of their natural resources by establishing native plant nurseries at their schools.” These trees are then planted in a coastal habitat restoration project. Fifty schools from across the state participate in the program. Dr. Pam says over the past 20 years, approximately 175,000 trees have been planted by 25,000 students. LSU provides partner schools with the seeds and even the soil to begin the growing process. In a few weeks, the AP students will start the cycle again when they work with third graders to sow the next crop of trees to be planted in 2021.
The army corps’ Rusty says the project is especially meaningful because years from now as students travel through the area, they will remember that they contributed and helped restore the wetlands. The program makes them an active participant in coastal restoration. In an interesting note, he says the trees are planted near the spillway to absorb the tremendous amount of fertilizer that travels downstream. The goal is to reduce the amount of fertilizer that reaches Lake Pontchartrain and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.
After the planting is complete and the little trees are ready to become a part of their new environment, students take a break. Even with all of the new sights and sounds, many of them report that their favorite part of the experience was getting to work with students from the other division. The Upper School students shared stories of working with the younger students and the younger students simply thought their group leader was the best. The project certainly had an academic component, but it also highlighted the benefit of a school that serves students of all ages. Students learn from each other and mentor each other in a way that makes a lasting impression.
The Coastal Roots experience is a way for students to leave a lasting, positive impression on their environment. Long after they graduate, the trees planted this week will serve as a reminder of their shared day in the wetlands.
A new year means new project-based lessons in Lower School. Most grades are in the exciting initial stages of their new units. “Students are interested in learning if topics are meaningful to them,” says Lower School Division Head Bridget Henderson. “By starting out each unit with Phase 1: Making Personal Connections, students are able to draw from their own experiences to bring relevance to any subject.” During Phase II, students investigate and research their topic by participating in field trips and learning from guest speakers. Finally, during the last phase students share what they have learned with their classmates and families.
The students have started the year with exciting new topics. You can learn more about the projects below. We know you are going to love the final presentations!
Oviparous – producing eggs that develop and hatch outside the maternal body Merriam-Webster dictionary
Episcopal kindergarteners will soon know the definition of oviparous. That’s because they just started a project-based unit on animals. Recently, students had the opportunity to learn from the experts at the Baton Rouge Zoo who brought animals to the Greer Center.
Three little pigs and Jack and the beanstalk. A look down the first grade hall confirms that it is time for the annual enchanted engineering unit. Students analyze classic fairy tales and think about the engineering involved. For example, students discuss whether a straw house or a brick house can withstand strong winds. Look out for the big bad wolf!
Students recently had an opportunity to learn more about wildlife in Antarctica and how researchers live on this frozen continent. LSU PhD student Maddie Myers spent three months in Antarctica studying snow and living in a tent in the Dry Valley region. Students were thrilled to learn more about her adventures. How do you get your food? How long does it take to get there? Why is some of the ice not covering the rocks? These are just a few of the questions the students asked. Students are learning about the continents and will continue exploring throughout the unit. By the way, an average emperor penguin grows to 45 inches tall and weighs up to 88 pounds.
Third graders are in the beginning stages of learning the principles of business. The lesson is sure to spark their interest in entrepreneurship. Look for an exciting Phase III when students showcase what they’ve learned! Third graders already learned about Louisiana's culture and traditions in a project-based unit earlier this school year. Students enjoyed a field trip to the Old State Capitol.
Yellowstone. Denali. Crater Lake. Episcopal fourth graders were eager to share everything they learned about our national parks during the finale of their national park unit. Students shared facts about park landforms, animals and climate. However, there was much more to the project. Numerous students said their favorite aspect of the project was putting the presentation slides together, making clay models or brainstorming ideas on how to stop problems such as littering at the parks. The national park unit is a comprehensive study and includes field trips to the Waddill Outdoor Education Center and LASM. BREC Superintendent Corey Wilson even stopped by Episcopal to speak with students about the importance of parks for a community. Of course, he brought along some of his friends!
Fifth graders are learning about their place in the global community and the impact they can have on others. As the school year progresses, the teachers will continue to relate class material to this global theme. In English, students read the book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. In science, they learned more about wind energy and other forms of renewable energy during hands-on activities. In April, the lesson will culminate in the annual global marketplace showcasing everything students learned.
Project-based learning is a meaningful way to learn, no matter the grade. This way of learning encourages exploration and discovery. It also boosts student confidence and helps them develop a lifelong love of learning. Isn’t that exactly what a school should be doing?
Diplomat for a Day
Congratulations to junior Alex Nelson! Alex was one of four Louisiana students selected to be a French Diplomat for the Day through the French Consulate in New Orleans. Alex and her fellow student diplomats had the opportunity to shadow the Consul General of France Vincent Sciama. You can learn more about the day by clicking here.
Tops in Math
Congratulations to fifth grader Nate McLean! Nate won first place in the Louisiana Elementary Math Olympiad at Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School. Congratulations also to Meg Kantrow who placed in the top 25 and Episcopal participants, Tripp Veillon and Diya Kankar. Way to go Lower School Knights!
Red Stick Bowl Selection
Senior center Griff Strain has been selected to play in the Red Stick Bowl. The game features top senior players from East Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes. The action gets underway Saturday, December 21st at 2 pm at Zachary High School.
Congratulations to Leland, Lucy and Molly Cramer! The Cramers will compete in the 2019 Amateur Athletic Union Cross Country National Championship in Knoxville, TN on December 7th! Lucy (5th) and Molly (4th) will run the 3K and Leland (1st) will compete in the 2K. The Cramers qualified for the national competition after competing in the Southern District Championships in Hammond. Molly had the fastest time among nine and 10 year olds, Lucy was second and Leland was second among 7 and 8 year olds.
Episcopal Yearbook Editor Earns Recognition
Congratulations to Mason LaFerney ’19! Mason won the top individual award in the Graphics/Artwork category for the 2018-2019 Episcopal "Accolade" yearbook design. Honorees were announced at the Fall 2019 JEA/Tom Bell Silver Scribe Yearbook Contest held at the Loyola University New Orleans School of Communication and Design. The contest was sponsored by the Press Club of New Orleans, the Journalism Education Association and Loyola University New Orleans. Mason is currently studying at Boston College.
From Knights to Tigers
Episcopal graduates are making an impact in college sports. As members of the LSU cross country team, Adele Broussard ’19 and Alicia Stamey ’17 were both named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association 2019 All-Louisiana Cross Country women’s team. Adele was also named the Freshman of the Year after scoring in five of the seven meets she entered. Stamey scored in all six of the races she ran, including a second place finish at the Nicholls Invitational and a sixth place finish at the LSU Invitational.
All-America Team Honors
Welcome back! Members of the Class of 1994 and the Class of 2009 recently held reunions.
Mark your calendar for the next opportunity to reminisce at the upcoming Alumni Christmas party.
December 27 at 6 pm: Beau Soleil
Lights, Camera, Action!
Episcopal’s campus serves as the backdrop for a Bounce TV original Christmas movie. Crews were on campus recently filming “Greyson Family Christmas.” The film premieres Sunday, December 8th at 9 pm. Click here for additional air times.
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Share it with us by emailing it to email@example.com.
What are you thankful for this season?
We asked Episcopal PreK-3 students the same question and answers ranged from airplanes and puzzles to bikes and Barbie cars. Happy Thanksgiving!
“I’m thankful for airplanes because they fly in the sky and land at the airport. I’m thankful for Dad and grandpa because we are going to Ohio. I’m thankful for Spiderman birthday. I’m thankful for Mom because she plays dominos with me.”
“I’m thankful for pumpkin patches. I’m thankful for my pink bunny because I like my stuffed animals. I’m thankful for watermelon. I love to eat it! I’m thankful for my mommy because she makes me laugh.”
“I’m thankful for playing games because it’s fun. I’m thankful for blocks. I’m thankful for Lily because I like being silly with my sister.”
“I’m thankful for Cindyrella because she drops her glass slipper. I am thankful for Daddy because he makes me apples.”
“I’m thankful for flowers because I like to hold them. I’m thankful for Mommy because she picks me up. I’m thankful for my puppy because he makes me laugh.”
PreK-3 and PreK-4 students love Thanksgiving!
Episcopal’s presentation of “The Little Mermaid Junior” was anything but junior. Lower and Middle School students wowed audiences with impressive vocals and fun choreography – there were even a few flips! The set, lighting and costumes transported audiences under the sea with vibrant color and movement. It was another successful production that truly showcased the talents of these young artists and the arts department staff who support them.
This was the best day ever!
Such an exclamation is frequently heard in the kindergarten classrooms in Frazer Hall. Kindergarten students still have the enthusiasm and willingness to get messy and explore the world through play, while also reaching critical academic milestones. In many ways kindergarten is the sweet spot of Lower School. Here, students are developing skills that will forever change the way they interact with the world, such as reading, writing and adding. At the same time, Episcopal kindergarteners still have the opportunity to play and have fun while learning.
Recently, students in Sara Henderson’s classroom began putting books in their book box. The excitement for such an occasion is obvious in the wide grins on students’ faces. Students, teachers and parents have every reason to be excited about what is happening in Frazer Hall. Students may begin the school year only knowing letter sounds or recognizing the letters of their name, but by May they are reading. Kindergarten provides a tremendous transformation for these little Knights and it’s something Henderson is delighted to be a part of even after 17 years of teaching.
Kindergarten students are five or six years old. They are still filled with the wonder of exploration and discovery. They are eager to learn and eager to share what they have learned. Henderson and her fellow teachers, Maria Campbell and Erin Dufour, recognize this and intentionally make learning fun. “We try hard to balance between academics and play,” says Henderson. A sight word hunt, learning stations or pumpkin game day are examples of that balance. Students are having a great time on these adventures while also learning new skills.
"Let them be little."
Henderson says it’s important to remember that kindergarten students are still trying to make sense of their world. They may become overwhelmed with busy schedules and “big kid” expectations that are placed upon them. Allowing kindergarteners to be little and learn in age-appropriate ways helps them develop a love of learning that will serve as a solid foundation for their educational journey. For example, playing something as simple as Uno can be a great learning opportunity for kindergarten students. The classic card game helps them think strategically while also helping them with color recognition and fine motor skills. The same thing happens when they play with Legos, paint or make up performances in the puppet center.
Kindergarten is also a time when students are learning how to work with each other. Henderson says social/emotional learning is a big component of kindergarten learning. One example of this is the All About Me project in which students participate at the beginning of each year. Students share information about themselves and truly get to know each other. This helps them build a community and develop friendships with their classmates. Henderson says they use the responsive classroom approach to boost that sense of community throughout the year. Episcopal kindergarteners also have the opportunity to be a part of the larger school community. Each year, students are partnered with a senior as part of the senior buddies program. Senior students participate in special events with the kindergarteners, such as a Halloween party or the annual kite fly. The senior buddies program is one of Episcopal’s most beloved traditions with alumni remembering their buddy even after graduation.
Fundations, project-based learning, responsive classroom.
The kindergarten team is using best practices to help these little Knights reach their academic goals. The best part is that the teachers are staying true to the students’ age and tailoring the lessons in a way that resonates with five and six year olds. Whether students are making sets of ten using pumpkin seeds or visiting the band room to learn about sound, they are developing a true love for learning. Ultimately, the kindergarten adventures set the students up for continued success as they transition to first grade and beyond. They will be well prepared for adventures such as the first grade triathlon, the third grade vocabulary parade and the fifth grade global marketplace. These little adventurers are tomorrow’s leaders and we look forward to seeing where they go.
Are you looking for the right early childhood learning opportunity for your little adventurer? Episcopal is now enrolling for the 2020/2021 school year. Join us for a Lower School mini open house event on November 19th or December 3rd from 8:30 am to 10:30 am to learn more about the Episcopal experience. You can also contact our admission office at 755-2684, firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.episcopalbr.org/admission.html for more information or to set up a campus tour.
Enter first grade teacher Mary Kathryn Vey’s classroom and you may find students working in groups or seated together on the rug. Each group encourages each other and there is an enthusiasm for learning as a team. This cooperative approach to learning is called Kagan Learning Structures. Learning is organized into structures including mix-n-match, quiz-quiz trade, stand up-hand up-pair up and I have-who has. Vey shares more on how the approach works and the benefits of this type of learning.
The Kagan approach to learning creates active classroom engagement. Teachers engage students to boost achievements and lower discipline problems. In a traditional learning structure, the teacher leads a whole-class discussion and asks for responses. The Kagan approach creates a less intimidating environment. With Kagan Structures the teacher uses one of several approaches that create and boost the classroom environment. Students use the learned structures to quiz each other or answer the questions collaboratively. Cooperative learning is a positive alternative and creates student interaction.
The Kagan structures promote collaboration and student communication. They use the learned structures to help guide pair and group work; which increases student participation. Kagan is a positive, hands-on approach to help students use team building and positive classroom language. The students learn to praise their partners and work collaboratively together. Students feel empowered and ready to share collaboratively with their peers. The Kagan approach promotes a positive learning environment where all students want to actively participate.
With Kagan, the teacher forgoes the traditional “whole class discussion” or the “one answer at a time” approach and instead has students use one of the structures that involves everyone and encourages student participation. Kagan promotes powerful and positive teacher language that in return creates positive student interaction. It helps create cooperation and self confidence. It’s a non-threatening way for all students to feel actively engaged within their classroom. The Kagan approach helps increase student communication skills and aids in positive student growth. The students will practice several Kagan strategies that they will use throughout the year to check for content knowledge.
Mary-Kathryn Vey joined the Episcopal faculty in 2015 as a first grade teacher. Before joining Episcopal, she taught first grade for six years in Mississippi and received the Teacher of the Year Award in 2013. Mary-Kathryn graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in child development. She continued her education and obtained a second degree in the area of elementary education. Mary-Kathryn is passionate about creating lifelong learners and enjoys instilling the love of reading in each of her students.
It was a fun-filled week on Episcopal’s campus as students celebrated Homecoming. All three divisions displayed school spirit with theme dress days, pep rallies and campus decorating. Everything culminated with the Knights' Homecoming victory over Catholic Pointe Coupee. Congratulations to the 2019 Episcopal Homecoming King and Queen - Griff Strain and Sarah Collier!
Alumni also got in on the celebration with a Cochon De Lait in the alumni tent. We hope the classes of 1979 and 1989 enjoyed their time back on campus.