During last week’s Board meeting for the month of May, our Education Team proposed a handful of class offerings and changes for consideration for adoption in the 2017-18 school year. The stated purpose of these changes was to address a number of issues in our current academic schedule, many of which have come to our attention via conversations with students, parents, and teachers in ongoing discussions on how to improve what we do at Petra.
All of these proposals were researched among other Association of Classical and Christian Schools and carefully considered over many months by our administrative and teaching staff. Both our administration faculty and our teachers agreed that these proposals were the best solutions to these academic issues, and on the heels of much good and honest discussion at the Board meeting last Tuesday, I’m pleased to report that each of the proposals passed. I invite you to read more about each in this week’s Scholar’s Forum.
Congratulations to our Petra Ultimate Frisbee teams, both of whom won their season-ending tournaments in Missoula this past weekend. In addition, our varsity squad, having beaten every team in the tournament and with the best overall win-loss record among the Montana Christian Athletics Association (MCAA) teams, claimed Petra’s third state title in five years. “The team demonstrated superlative teamwork,” said varsity coach Sam Koenen, “and it’s hard to express the level of play they achieved in the last half of the final game. Everything we had been practicing came together as a thing of beauty.” Well done, Griffins!
We are pleased to introduce our new hires for the 2017-18 school year:
Kaitlyn Gannon, 5th grade
A familiar face around Petra the past several months serving as a maternity substitute for Mrs. Skinner and her 5th grade class, Miss Kaitlyn Gannon is excited to join our faculty full-time in the fall in the same role. A graduate of Montana State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, Miss Gannon is a volunteer at Journey Church with their youth ministries and meets regularly with middle school-aged girls.
Lucy Dresser, 4th grade
Having invested the past five years teaching as a 3rd/4th and 4th/5th grade teacher at Hamilton Christian Academy in Hamilton, MT, Miss Lucy Dresser is eager to get back to Bozeman and join us in a dedicated 4th grade classroom. A graduate of Montana Bible College, Miss Dresser holds certifications with the Association of Christian Schools International as well as Spalding Education International. Her hobbies include taking road trips, hiking and walking, playing any sport, going to baseball games, huckleberry hunting, cooking new recipes, kayaking, skiing, and swimming.
Megan Dunham, 1st grade
A familiar face around Petra, Mrs. Dunham earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Oklahoma State University as well as a graduate certificate from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. She is a former director for Classical Conversations, and has written for WORLD Magazine on the topic of Christian education. She and her family attend Trinity Church.
Giuliana Rodriguez, Upper School Spanish
A native of Peru, Mrs. Rodriguez holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation & Interpretation and a minor in Linguistics from Ricardo Palma University in Lima. Marrying her husband, Tanner, and moving to Bozeman in 2016, Mrs. Rodriguez is the owner of My Spanish Villa, a Spanish tutoring service providing language help for toddlers and adult travelers, but has worked with all ages and especially enjoys high schoolers. She is a member of Connect Church in Bozeman.
Friday, May 26
8:30 a.m.-noon: Field Day/Picnic (outside school)
1:00 p.m.: Early Dismissal
Monday, May 29
Memorial Day (no school)
Tuesday, May 30-Thursday, June 1
Secondary final examinations (download exam schedule)
Wednesday, May 31
8:30-9:30 a.m.: Kindergarten/6th Grade Graduation (Performance Hall)
Friday, June 2
8:30-10:30 a.m.: Elementary Final Activities (classrooms)
8:30-10:30 a.m.: Secondary Final House Activities (Flex Space/Performance Hall)
10:45 a.m.-noon: All-School Awards (Performance Hall)
12:00 p.m.: Early Dismissal
7:00 p.m.: Senior Graduation (Performance Hall)
Petra families are invited to attend our Senior Graduation, so come celebrate God’s work in our seniors and their accomplishment. A cake and punch reception will immediately follow.
“Contrary to popular belief (or at least my 8th grade Logic class), I’m not old enough to have been around in 1968 when Olympic marathon runner John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania cramped up while running due to the high altitude of Mexico City. When interviewed later and asked why he continued running, Akhwari said this: ‘My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.'” Read Mr. Dunham’s post with three practical helps to finish the school year in our Scholar’s Forum.
Our May Board meeting (originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 2) was rescheduled to Tuesday, May 16. Enrolled families should look for their packet this coming Friday, which will include new initiatives to improve our Secondary Humanities curriculum, as well as list next year’s courses and electives schedule.
So as to facilitate any needed follow-up with families after that rescheduled meeting, we’re extending our Monday, May 15, tuition agreement timeline by a week to Monday, May 22. On this date, families must have returned their signed tuition agreement and finalized payment arrangements; not doing so will result in the loss of all student spots and deposits for 2017-18, but families will not be liable for the remaining tuition balance.
With the exception of families waiting for placement testing and/or to hear about financial aid, all families should have received tuition agreements. If you believe you should have received your tuition agreement but haven’t yet, please contact Business Manager Tosha Bos.
We’re looking forward to unveiling our Summer Scholae – two different weeks (June 19-23 or 26-30) of opportunities for elementary-aged “scholars” to further develop their reading and writing abilities – to keep up on their math and science skills, and to grow in their dramatic, artistic, and athletic interests.
Implementing dedicated members of Petra’s teaching staff, as well as astute and enthusiastic secondary students as models and assistants, we hope these two weeks of Summer Scholae will grow into more expanded summer opportunities in the future, awakening a greater love and wonder for learning than ever before.
Watch for our Summer Scholae announcement soon!
Just in time for Summer Scholae at the end of June, we hope to install the next phase of our elementary playground. The elements are here and ready to be assembled; Operations Manager David Storebo just needs some help putting them together before we dig holes and pour concrete. Mr. Storebo’s first available work day is next Tuesday morning, May 16, starting at 8 a.m., so if any dads (or moms!) have some flexibility, please email him.
Beginning with Elementary Recitation at 8:35 a.m. this Friday, May 5, Petra is glad to welcome grandparents as part of Grandparents’ Day, when we honor those who play a pivotal role in the lives and education of their grandchildren. Friday’s schedule is:
Interested in signing up to help with refreshments or have other questions about Grandparents’ Day? Email Office Manager Karen DeGroot.
5: Elementary Recitation/Grandparents’ Day
8-12: CTP Testing (6th-9th grades)
16: Board Meeting, 3:45 p.m. (rescheduled from 5/2)
19: Elementary History Parade & Fair
26: All-School Field Day, Picnic, 1 p.m. dismissal
29: Memorial Day (no school)
30-June 1: Secondary Semester Exams
31: Kindergarten/6th Grade Graduation
2: All-School Awards, 12 p.m. dismissal / Senior Graduation, 7 p.m.