It’s never too early to discover STEM. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 9 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®.
Guided by two or more adult Coaches, teams (grades K-3) explore a real-world scientific problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. Then they create a Show Me poster that illustrates their journey of discovery and introduces their team. They also construct a motorized model of what they learned using LEGO elements. In the process, teams learn about teamwork, the wonders of science and technology, and the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values, which include respect, sharing, and critical thinking.
At the close of each season, teams come together on a regional basis to strut their stuff, share ideas, celebrate, and have fun!
Click here for more information about the program.
To sign up for St. Francis League, Contact Leah Cyphert at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Math Field Day is a county-wide competition for students in 5th-12th grades. Participating students are challenged in several math-related activities that are both computational and physical in nature. The activities include:
- Written examination
- Mental math problems
- Math relays and estimation problems
Students that win their division then move on to the regional competition in Fairmont. From there, winners can compete in the state competition at Marshall University.
Competing in Math Field Day gives students the opportunity to match wits and math abilities with other students in the county.
There are 8 regions created from the 55 counties of the state. The counties of each region are:
- Region I- Raleigh, Wyoming, Mcdowell, Mercer, Summers, Monroe
- Region II- Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Wayne
- Region III- Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Putnam
- Region IV- Pocahontas, Webster, Fayette, Braxton, Nicholas, Greenbrier
- Region V- Wood, Pleasants, Calhoun, Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt
- Region VI- Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel
- Region VII- Barbour, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongolia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur
- Region VIII- Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton
All students in grades 6-8 participate in our Middle School Advisory Program. This program was established to build a sense of community within the school. Middle school and specials teachers serve as group leaders. Each group is comprised of 9-10 students. The groups design shirts with a team name, color, and logo.
The program engages students in community work, fundraising, team building and social interactions with all grade levels. The students carry out our school mission statement, “We are here to serve, not to be served”. MSA has raised over $1052 by selling and purchasing “Katelynn Bears”, to help with a child’s medical expenses. They collected $1789 for playpens and cribs. Annually they purchase Christmas gifts for families that are less fortunate. MSA often extends these programs throughout the entire school by coordinating school wide collections for those in need. As a school we have collected over 15,000 can goods, over 10,000 diapers and $2500.00 for a local public high school students family to assist them with funeral expenses.
- Movie and Popcorn
- Pin Dodgeball Tournament
- Capture the flag competition
- Pumpkin Rolling Contest
- St. Francis Jeopardy
- Read Aloud to the younger students
- Internet Safety
- Bullying Stress
- College Preparation
- Motivation, setting goals, leadership
- The students will learn how to function as a group.
- The students will learn how to respect ideas from others.
- The students will learn how to work with a more diverse group.
- The students will learn sportsmanship through various activities.
- The students will learn generosity through program activities.
- The students will learn cooperation and how to help one another.
- The students will gain friendships with peers of different ages.
- The students will learn teamwork.
- The students will learn team strategies.
- The students will learn how to motivate others.
- The students will learn how to serve the surrounding community through various activities.
- The students will learn about real world situations through guest speakers.
- The students will learn how to make goals and strive to meet them.
- The students will engage in community and team building activities.
Middle School Band is an ensemble that provides students with learning and performance opportunities on wind and percussion instruments. This is a beginner level band which includes the basic elements of music playing skills, and introduction to band literature.
Band is considered an elective course open to all Middle School students. It provides an opportunity for each band student to make an attempt at instrumental music education. The students also participate in the West Virginia Secondary School Association’s Band Competition held in WV once a year in the spring, as well as perform at school functions.
Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.
“Seek peace and pursue it” PSALM 34:14
PSALM: Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs
St. Francis students in Grades 3-8 are offered the opportunity to join PSALM: Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs. PSALM students in are dedicated to educating others about the dangers of landmines and cluster bombs and prevent future casualties through service projects. PSALM youth leaders are excellent ambassadors and are internationally recognized as youth leaders. PSALM works on various projects throughout the year including poster making, awareness days and presentations in our school, community and state. They are amazing in their understanding of complex issues and their expression of compassion and concern for those who suffer. PSALM students make visible our Gospel values of caring for those in need. 2013 marked an amazing passage of time for PSALM celebrated the fourteen year anniversary of our founding by an amazing group of students who wondered, “How can we make a difference in the world today?”
Message From The Committee on International Justice & Peace/ United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“The projects PSALM has undertaken to advocate for the abolition of landmines and cluster munitions as well as to assist the victims of such indiscriminate weapons are truly a model for others who seek to energize young people into action on social justice issues. We keep your fine work in our prayers”.
PSALM meetings are held after school from 3 pm to 4:15 pm usually once or twice a month. We try to hold meetings on different days to accommodate students that participate in other after school activities. Meetings will begin in September.
Students may purchase PSALM t-shirts that may be worn with their uniforms on meeting days and special awareness events. T-shirt order forms will be sent home at the first meeting.
PSALM events include:
- September 20th – Peace Day
- November 1st – Awareness balloon release
- January – art and photo exhibit at the Monongalia Arts Center
- February 28th – Celebration of the Mine Ban Treaty and PSALM Anniversary
- April 4th – “Lend Your Leg” Day
PSALM students have been invited make presentations at the WVU Global Health Day, Diocesan Social Justice Day in Charleston, the Vatican Embassy, and to meet with national and state leaders in Washington, D.C. PSALM students are members of the Catholic, United States and International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition.
For more information, contact Ms. Sheets: email@example.com
The National Energy Technology Lab is a part of the U.S. Department of Energy laboratory system. Each year, the NETL sponsors the National Science Bowl. Teams of students can qualify to compete in the competition if they place first in their region. Our students compete in a Regional Science Bowl in Wheeling, WV.
Science Bowl challenges students in their knowledge of Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences as well as in Math. Science Bowl is a fast-pace and intense competition, which offers an incredible academic challenge.
In the fall of 2015, the St. Francis Service Club, H.O.P.E (Help Other People Everyday) was formed. It consists of 5th through 8th graders and is lead by teacher and parent volunteers. The student who committed to H.O.P.E. not only live the school motto of “Here to serve, not to be served” during the school day, but they volunteer their time after school as well. There are monthly meetings that the club members attend to plan out the service activities in which they participate. The members joined by filling out an commitment form and attending meetings.
The inaugural year activities included decorating the school for Advent, hosting a babysitting night (to raise money for project MUSHROOM-a homeless outreach program), making gift bags for project MUSHROOM, making dinner at the Ronald McDonald House for the families, and making decorations for local nursing homes.
Our school’s mission is centered around the commitment “to serve, not to be served.” Our students live this out in ways that are too numerous to count, but include being Head Start sponsors, giving to St. Ursula’s Food Pantry, volunteering for Adaptive P.E. class at WVU, our yearly Linus Blanket project during Catholic Schools Week, the Gabriel Project, Christian Help, the Bartlett House, and the Starfish Project for wells in Cambodia!
The following are personal experiences from our 8th grade students volunteering with the Adaptive P.E. class at West Virginia University.
|1st Semester 8th Grade Shell Building Personal Experiences
|“By working with the kids, I realized that helping people who need it is rewarding. It made me think of new ways to connect and communicate with other people. I believe everyone would benefit if they got a chance to work in this program. Although I was scared and nervous at first, now I feel as if it were as comfortable as walking into my house. The Friday experience was a great and fun learning experience and I would definitely do it again.” -A.J. Adams
|“I had a good time every time I went to the Shell Building. I think that the kids had a great time also when we played with them. They usually liked what we did because we played games like baseball and scavenger hunts. I always liked to see the huge smiles on their faces.” -Jackson Campbell
|“It was a great experience for me. I enjoyed the kids and had a lot of fun. I loved going to the Shell Building because I got to work with kids who I never thought I would get a chance to. Also, it was like no other work I had done because it was fun! I would choose to come back next semester in a heartbeat if I could. My experience taught me to appreciate the gifts and talents I possess and to use them to the best of my ability. No I’ve realized how fortunate I really am. When I first began, I was nervous. But after a few minutes, I felt calm and had a blast. I wish I could go again.” -Jared Fagan
|“Although my time with the shell program has been short lived it has been a very fun and educational process. I have found myself surrounded by good people and enjoyable kids. All in all, my time at the Shell Building has been great, and if I had the chance to do this again in school I would definitely take it. If you’re thinking about working at the Shell Building, take it. Simple as that.” -Sam Gorski
|“The best part about this experience was seeing the kids have a smile on their faces after completing an activity. It was amazing because we take so much for granted and seeing their disabilities makes you realize how grateful you are for the things that you have. Those kids go through so much and will go through so much more than what we will ever have to experience. Even though they have a lot more challenges than we do, we have to remember that we have disabilities too. We just don’t experience them every day.” -Samantha Hatcher
|“My experience at the Shell Building was a really fun one. Not only did I help kids with disabilities, it was an experience where the kids could also have fun at the same time. Being able to do these activities with these kids and being able to help them is an opportunity that most people don’t get. Also, it helped me because I got to help someone else.” -Evan Johnson
|“I realize that I am very fortunate to be healthy. Others, however, are not. I’m happy that I had the opportunity to work with children who have mental or physical disabilities. This opportunity gave me a special feeling inside. That feeling can only be attained by working with those who really need your help. The experience at the Shell Building gave my a feeling of gratitude, happiness, and love that I will cherish forever. I am so happy that I was able to work with this special group of people. Each person taught me life lessons that I would not be able to attain from just anyone.” -Vinitha Joseph
|“I have enjoyed it a lot and it has been very fun, not just because we get to miss classes, but because it has helped me understand and appreciate the everyday things that we can do. Little things like raising your arm and sitting down seem so simple to us, but it’s a struggle for them. All the kids in the program are wonderful. They are so sweet and kind and are willing to listen and work. What I also liked about it is that we aren’t just sitting there the whole time. We actually taught and helped them. It was a great experience that I will never forget.” -Sara Linn
|“When we go to the Shell Building every Friday I feel like I have a chance to make someone’s life that much better. It is amazing to not only put a smile on the kids’ faces but to put one on yours too, because it just feels great to know that you are helping someone out. If yo udo accomplish helping someone then you should also feel good because you are not only helping them but you are helping yourself by building character and becoming an overall better person.” -Antonio Mascaro
|“The most important thing I learned from helping the Special Needs children at the Shell Building was to be thankful for everything that I have. Many of the things they cannot do, such as walking, talking, and running, are things that many of us, myself included, take for granted. Even though they cannot do these things, they alway try their hardest and give their best effort. Instead of taking our gifts for granted we should use these kids as examples that inspire us to always do our best and be thankful for what the Lord has given us.” -Katherine McFerrin
|“I personally enjoyed going to the Shell Building because it allowed me to help and have fun with some of the children less fortunate than I. I can now go to sleep at night knowing I made a difference in someone’s life. I liked seeing the kids in my group progress and ge more in tune with the water and learn to like it. We had one child who was afraid of leaving the wall, so we came up with a system where we would let him get into the water and then we would put a ring around him to make sort of an artificial wall. My partner then felt safer. Even though the water was cold, our hearts were warm.” -Noah Miller
|“Overall this experience was very cool. It is nice to know that other children can be helped. It is a very eye-opening experience and helped me to appreciate the little things I can do every day in life. One of the girls was in a wheelchair and had trouble kicking and grasping. I personally worked with her on some things. One of the things I did to help her improve was to grasp beanbags. I look forward to helping more children in the future.” -Ana Richter
|“The Shell Building was a very fun experience. My favorite part was teaching the kids bowling. At the beginning they were not the best, but through the weeks, they improved with the activities. I thought it was fun teaching kids stuff they did not know. I loved that part and it was a good feeling helping out kids that have problems some people don’t understand. I had more fun than I expected to have. It was a life-changing experience for me.” -Andrew Riley
|“My experience in the Friday program at the Shell Building is one I will never forget. I learned that people with disabilities are not all that different from us, they just have a harder time doing tasks that we think are easy. The kids in my group were a lot of fun to be around. I wish I could do this program again. As the weeks went on I began to figure it out and started to like it more and more. I have a whole new perspective on how I look at other people now because of these kids.” -Hannah Shepherd
|“The Shell Building was a great place to help other people. The kids were well behaved and fun to play and hang out with. All of the activities we did were based on the fact that the kids were special needs, which was good so they got tun especially directed for them. All the kids I helped were super excited to be there which made it even more fun for everyone there. I would say doing this has made this year one of my best years at St. Francis by far!” -John Wafle
|Column 1 Value 16“My experience in the Shell Building Program has been very humbling. I have realized how fortunate I am and everything I take for granted. Forming a relationship with Special Needs children was a priceless experience and I would do it over again if I could. Overall, I enjoyed helping out the children and trying something I never thought I would have the chance to do.” -Jordan Weiss
The purpose of a spelling bee “…is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives” (E.W. Scripps Company).
Fifth through 8th grade students are invited to participate in the Monongalia County Spelling Bee, and St. Francis can send one student per grade. The grade representatives are selected through in-class spelling bees. The winners of the county spelling bees then compete at the regional level, and the regional winners move on to the national competition.
St. Francis Central Catholic School enters two teams every year into the state-wide West Virginia History Bowl. This competition is sponsored by the West Virginia Archives and Cultural Center. Four 8th Graders comprise each team and answer questions about West Virginia history, geography, government, economy, and culture.