Believe & Read Update

It was with great pride at the start of this academic year that we were able to announce that the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE) selected Frassati Catholic Academy to be a host school for the highly praised Groves Academy, Believe & Read program.

Since the launch of this curriculum in September, Believe and Read has enhanced and enriched the literacy instruction of our students in measurable ways.

Our Groves Academy coach visits Frassati every Tuesday, assisting each of the kindergarten, first, and second-grade classes in their literacy lessons for that day.

Over the past few months, our coach, Diane Morri, has built a partnership with the teachers she works with so that each teacher has the support they need to deliver this special curriculum with confidence. When there is an aspect of the teacher’s manual that is new to them, they will work with Diane for suggestions on how to successfully demonstrate the hand motions or teach the rules of that lesson.

In the spring we will share data, comparing how the students’ reading levels have progressed over the course of the year. We have already seen a glimpse into the early results, and can’t wait to share their progress as we reach the end of this first year of our Believe & Read curriculum.

Groves Academy will continue to mentor our Frassati teachers over a three-year period. Frassati teachers will share these lessons with our students, including daily 30-minute phonics-based lessons, helping our young readers grasp the reading rules to make them the best readers they can be. They will work with our K-2 teachers in 2020-21 and K-3 starting in 2021-22.

The specialized training provided to our faculty will transform literacy instruction for students at Frassati Catholic Academy for years to come!

Board Games Inspired by Books

How do you teach middle school students to dissect a book? To dig into the plot? To define the roles of the characters? And to look for themes?

Some teachers would assign a book report, some a basic Q & A sheet. However, in Mrs. Schmidtbauer’s class, the seventh graders were given a different kind of assignment that challenged them to not only consider the basic elements of their book but how to creatively share the theme of the story with others.

Each of the seventh-grade students read a book of their choosing and were given a month to design a board game based on their book. They had to create all the materials needed to play the game, along with an instruction sheet that would allow others to play the game without the creator’s guidance.

Mrs. Schmidtbauer (our middle school language arts and literature teacher) has saved other students’ board games over the years, so before digging into the assignment, the students had the chance to play board games from previous years to see how other students had completed the project.

As the students turned in their completed projects, the class broke into groups and took turns explaining their board games and how to play them. Each group then had time to play their creations and showcase their creative thinking!

Catholic Schools Week 2021

Founded by the National Catholic Education Association in 1974, Catholic Schools Week has been a long-standing tradition that reaches every corner of the United States.

Launching every year on the last Sunday in January, Catholic communities gather for special masses, open houses, and various other activities that are for students, families, parishioners, and community members. We gather to celebrate the significant value Catholic education provides to young people and its many contributions to our church, communities, and our nation.

These celebrations, now more than ever before, unify us in times when ‘togetherness’ looks very different. At Frassati in particular, Catholic Schools Week 2021 was a lively and refreshing celebration that showcased the strength of our Falcon family.

We kicked off Catholic Schools Week on Sunday, January 31 with mass at St. Mary of the Lake, and moved into our school week with specially themed days. There was mismatch day on Monday, hat and crazy socks day on Tuesday, favorite movie character day on Wednesday, red, white, and blue day on Thursday, and spirit wear day on Friday.

In addition to the wacky attire, there was a medallion hunt hosted for preschool through fourth-grade students, fifth through eighth-grade students participated in the first-ever (and surely not the last!) broomball tournament, and the week ended with a Penny Carnival that was hosted by the eighth-grade students for preschool through fourth-grade students.

While the theme days and special activities were a highlight, the discussions taking place in the classrooms were the most important aspects of the week. What does it mean to attend a Catholic school? How is this experience different? What do we celebrate as Frassati students? How do we share our Catholic faith in our school, in our home, and in our communities?

The conversations that took place around these questions were incredible and brought to light how lucky we are to call ourselves a Falcon family!

We would like to extend a special thanks to all who helped make Catholic Schools Week 2021 a success!

Also, we would like to congratulate the winners of the various activities and competitions: 


Broomball Tournament: Eighth Grade

Door Decorating Contest, Middle School: Mrs. Schmidtbauer’s 8th grade

Door Decorating Contest, Grades 3-4: Mrs. Benedetto’s 4th grade

Door Decorating Contest, Grades 1-2 – Mrs. Urness’ 2nd grade

Door Decorating Contest, Preschool – K – Mrs. Barry’s preschool class

The winners of the food donation drive will be announced on Friday, February 12; and the medallion is yet to be found, but we hope to announce a winner of that challenge soon.


** Please note that preschool students are not required to wear masks while in the classroom, and students are not required to wear masks when outdoors. 

D.A.R.E. Class of 2021

While there are many things that look different this school year, Frassati staff members have worked hard to carry on annual traditions, making adjustments when and where they are needed.

With the help of our amazing D.A.R.E. Officer, Tracy Mlynarczyk, our fifth-grade students were able to fully complete their D.A.R.E. curriculum and graduate with their peers last Friday, January 29.

As part of their graduation, each student took turns reading an essay that they wrote about what they learned while in D.A.R.E. Many also shared their favorite memories, and thanked Officer Tracy for all that she taught them during this experience.

Once all the students had read their essays, Officer Tracy led the graduates in their D.A.R.E. Oath, marking the official end of the ceremony.

Before returning to class, the students celebrated with cake and juice and ran around the gym for a bit to burn off that sugar rush.

A video was created of the entire ceremony so that family members could celebrate their students, even if they couldn’t attend the event in-person.

Congratulations fifth-grade students on your D.A.R.E. Graduation!

Thank you, Officer Tracy Mlynarczyk, Mrs. Barrett, and Mrs. Urban for your hard work and dedication in guiding Frassati’s fifth-grade students through this important curriculum!

PJs & Pancakes

In the thick of January, when the days are short and the temperatures hang in the single digits, teachers at Frassati get creative and find new ways to make the most ordinary of days feel special!

Inspired by the book Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle, the preschool teachers hosted a special Pancakes & PJs party, all based around the theme of the book – the process of making and enjoying pancakes!

The teachers first read the book to the students, and the little ones followed along with the steps: cutting the wheat, turning the millstone, collecting the egg, milking the cow, and so forth.

After they were done reading the book, the students went to their seats at their tables and took turns with the recipe instructions, assisting the teachers in mixing the pancake batter. It was fun to watch the reactions as these little helpers cracked eggs for the first time!

Once the batter was prepped, the students broke out into free-time play while the teachers flipped the flapjacks and prepared their tables for the special treat.

It wasn’t long before the hungry students were back in their seats, saying their prayers as a class, and excitingly watching as the syrup was poured onto their plates.

The students had a great time bringing Mr. Carle’s book to life as they spent a cozy morning indoors, playing in their PJs and enjoying pancakes with friends.

2D to 3D Thinking

In Ms. Geppert’s technology class, fourth-grade students are stretching their thinking from 2D to 3D, in preparation for upcoming lessons on 3D printing.

The students were given cards that had flat, 2D diagrams displayed on them, that guided them on where to place Keva planks to create various angles. Over the course of the lesson, students needed to create three different perspectives, and check their designs with the photo examples they were given.

This exercise helps students think about all 3 dimensions, which prepares them for their intro to Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), and how to think through alignment and design in 3D.

Ms. Geppert said that “it is pretty common for a student who is new to CAD software to make a creation and think it is aligned until they change the perspective on the screen and then find it’s leaning. Before we print, we want to have thought ahead about these kinds of design flaws.”

The fourth-grade students will continue their practice with Keva planks before moving into their computer work.