Great Performances at Immaculate Highlight the Fall Semester
Immaculate students displayed their amazing acting, singing, dancing and other talents at three great events this Fall -- the drama "Twelfth Night," the immersive and original theater experience "A Tale of Woe: The Story of Juliet and Romeo" (by Matthew Farina), and the Cabaret. Click the slideshow to see snapshots of some truly great performances. Special thanks to Fine Arts teachers Kathleen Czel Samantha Kohler, Samantha Murtha, Niall Reynolds, Leslie Quinn and Alexa Wild, and to Matthew Farina, Carol Stone and the parent volunteers who helped make these events so successful.
Celebrating International Education Week
The International Club celebrated International Education Week to develop a broader understanding and appreciation of world cultures and languages. Each day they began the school day with a prayer in a foreign language representing one of the first languages of members of our community. Students and staff also contributed many items for display that represented their heritage or travels. Many teachers incorporated a cultural component to their lessons this week as well. Immaculate is truly a "melting pot" of cultures and it is so valuable to share our differences as well as similarities with each other.
Ethnic Heritage Day Celebrated with Fabulous Foods
Mrs. Stockmann's US History students recently explored the history of our nation of immigrants. Students identified their own countries of heritage, as well as those of their classmates. They also studied ethnic groups who migrated to the United States during various historic "waves" of immigration and did an in-depth study of their own ancestors, their family's history and their key motivations for immigrating to America. Students also brought in homemade foods from their ethnic heritage to share with classmates -- the 47 students shared such dishes as lasagna, Italian meatballs, fried rice, shepherds pie, empanadas, fried plantains, Portuguese sausage bread, potato pancakes, sesame chicken, guacamole, chicken rice as well as desserts of tiramisu, sponge cake, cannolis and an assortment of cookies. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all parents and grandparents who prepared these dishes for the classes!!!
Alan Pimentel Cruz, Director General of Jardin de Ninos' Alejandria bilingual school in Mexico, visited Senora Courchene's Spanish class for a project to help our students better learn Spanish and his students better learn English.
Senora Pimentel's students colored drawings to celebrate the lives of departed family members or people who they admired. They did this project in connection with the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead and our All Saints Day.
Completing their study of Kinematic motion and as an introduction to two-dimensional motion, students in Mr. Merten's the three AP Physics 1 classes constructed and launched paper rockets in Mustang Valley. The rockets were test-fired to determine aerodynamics and then adjusted as necessary; test firing was accomplished by using a 2 liter plastic bottle attached to a PVC launcher and stomping on the bottle to generate pressure. For the actual "competition" a pressurized air launcher made of PVC pipe and an air compressor was used to insure that all rockets were launched with the same pressure ( 20 psi). The trajectory of the rockets is referred to as "projectile motion" and introduces the students to Dynamics: Newton's Laws of Motion.
Immaculate Hosts Distance Learning Program for Area Catholic Elementary Schools
Immaculate High School launched its first virtual Distance Learning (DL) Program this school year. Coordinator and math teacher Monica Ortega teaches an Algebra I Honors course to 15 eighth-grade students from St. Gregory, St. Joseph Brookfield, St. Joseph Danbury and St. Mary School Bethel electronically. Students are chosen based on their middle school math grades, placement test, teacher recommendations and parent approval.
Unlike a traditional course where students and teachers are physically present every day, a distance learning course is self-directed. Students complete assignments based on a teacher-created schedule. Each morning students and Mrs. Ortega log into a daily meeting module where they communicate through video/audio conferencing as well as text chatting. To ensure the safety of the elementary students enrolled in the program, a teacher monitor is assigned by the elementary school to be present in the classroom. Mrs. Ortega uses Educreations to post lesson videos for the students to use to take notes, learn vocabulary and engage in independent problem-solving activities. Through the use of Google Hangouts, students engage in some flipped classroom sessions which provides an opportunity for students to peer-learn through group work with enrolled virtual classmates.
Immaculate High School credit is awarded to the enrolled DL students who complete the two-semester course requirements which includes an official high school final examination. The credit and grade are recorded on the student's Immaculate High School transcript during their eighth grade year and transfers to their first year of any high school the student wishes to enroll. The Immaculate High School Student Distance Learning Program provides opportunities for students to take selected high school courses outside of the traditional classroom setting, allowing students access to online accelerated courses. The Algebra I Honors DL course follows a blended learning model, requiring two or three face-to-face meetings, parent-teacher conferences and individual student meetings.
Personal Finance Classes Learn About Healthy Investing: Life Worth Vs. Net Worth
Mr. David Whitmore, CFO of Wealthcare, came to speak to all of the Senior Personal Finance classes to share his wisdom regarding investing and stewardship. His message was valuable beyond finances: "Life Worth matters more than Net Worth." Mr. Whitmore's alignment to the curriculum, passion for the content and sharing of personal experiences inspired the 60 students who were privileged to attend his presentation.
During the class, Mr. Whitmore challenged the students to think of their "True North" as well as what gifts and talents do they have? What brings them joy? What do they hope to accomplish? He shared that once they knew that, they could direct their financial decisions to reflect and achieve that.
Students learned about how to invest, what to invest in, and when to begin investing. They learned how those decisions can make a compounding impact on their futures thanks to compound interest. They also learned about smart debt versus debt that does not overall improve their life worth. Mr. Whitmore reiterated the idea learned in class that we can have anything, but not everything. We have to make sacrifices in some parts of our lives in order to continue traveling North instead of "running on a treadmill" and getting nowhere.
Meet the New Faculty and Staff Kathleen Maloney, Counselor
Mrs. Maloney joined the Immaculate Counseling Department in time for the 2017-18 school year. "I truly enjoy my role in encouraging all students to strive for their personal best and I am thrilled to be working with students, teachers, administrators and parents whom I so highly regard," she said.
She is more than qualified to guide students towards the path of college enrollment, as she "shepherded" her own four children through the high school and college process. Mrs. Maloney received an MA from Fairfield University and a BS from Fordham University, and served as a school counselor at Norwalk High School, East Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield, Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven and Danbury High School.
Kelly Collier, School Therapist
Ms. Collier joined Immaculate as the School Therapist at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. She is an LMSW and certified School Social Worker, having received her Masters in Social Work with a focus in Educational Settings from Southern CT State University. Her past experience includes providing counseling services for women and children experiencing homelessness at a faith-based transitional home in Waterbury, CT, in addition to working as a School Social Worker for the district of Thomaston, CT.
Ms. Collier is the faculty advisor for Peer Leadership Club, and also teaches the advisory program for juniors (which focuses on empathy, self-advocacy, coping skills, time management and financial management skills for life beyond high school). She is passionate about helping to grow a school climate that centers around mindfulness and care for others - and her favorite word is RESILIENCE.
Benedict Delfinado, Business Manager
Mr. Delfinado joined IHS this October as Business Manager. He is a certified public accountant who has over twenty years of professional managerial experience in financial, operational and compliance audits, financial analysis and control using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). In addition to working closely with the Business Office team on student tuition accounts, scholarship disbursements and the Mustang Bucks program, Mr. Delfinado will assume the responsibilities of all school financial reporting, budgets, payroll and human resources. He is a graduate of San Beda College in the Philippines.