Community Voices: A Message from the Principal
Dear Ursuline Community Members,
I hope that everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend and ate enough food to keep them satiated until Christmas! As we enter this Advent session, I am reminded of our need to focus on hope, peace, joy, and love. At Ursuline, it is easy to find those emotions as one walks through the halls, the Tea Room, and in the Reynolds Center. Our girls are hopeful, joyful, and can express their love for their friends and family. And we are all hopeful that we find peace in our daily lives.
Our Campus Ministry office, along with our Director of Mission, has incorporated regular prayer into our mornings and during Advent, we will offer additional reflections in the afternoons two days a week. During these times, we ask everyone to turn away from their computers and phones, and join in the quiet reflection. I hope that we can all find time for quiet reflection during the busy month of December. Along with these prayerful initiatives, we are adding in some joyful activities during the month of December. Whether it is a Christmas movie afternoon or an ugly sweater contest, we will embrace and spread as much joy as possible.
Please remember that the holiday season can be wonderful for many and is a challenging time for some. It can be especially difficult for our young women. Many seniors will be hearing from colleges, and sharing this news, whether good or bad, is an emotional event. As you know, we have all been impacted by COVID; holiday traditions may be back to "normal" this year, or they might be changed forever by the loss of a family member. Tufts University Office of Student Life published a set of tips for managing holiday stress and some of them are relevant to our students and families.
- Aim for "good enough": Start by setting expectations at realistic levels. Don't expect things to go perfectly. Give yourself (and others) permission to be the imperfect humans we are.
- Plan time-outs: If you will be with family or friends this holiday season, make sure to build in time for yourself. Get outside for a walk or run, read, or go to another room and call someone. Even breathing deeply in a quiet place for a couple of minutes helps reduce stress.
- Practice acceptance: When difficult feelings arise, allow them to surface and acknowledge them. Try taking a few slow, deep breaths. Notice, without judgment, what you are thinking or feeling. Then return your attention to your breath. Repeat the process until you feel better.
- Respect your boundaries: There may be many demands on your time during break. It will be helpful to be clear with yourself and with others about what you are willing to do and what you are not. Beware of taking on more than you are comfortable doing, whether it's socializing, taking care of others, or anything else.
- Simplify: If your tradition includes gift-giving, consider giving the gift of your time by planning to do something together. Research demonstrates consistently that investing in experiences and relationships is better for our overall happiness.
- Remember the basics: Make time to get good sleep, include healthy foods and snacks in your diet, and drink plenty of fresh water. Also, regular exercise has long been known to decrease stress, so try to keep up with your exercise program, if you have one. If not, this would be a good time to begin, starting out slowly with walking or yoga, and focusing on keeping a consistent practice.
I would add number 7 and that would be to read some books over the vacation. Any books will do. If you are looking for suggestions, Ursuline has already arranged for Lisa Damour to do a Zoom presentation in February. Her two most recent books, Untangled and Under Pressure, present information about stress and anxiety in adolescent girls, and offer some suggestions to parents on how to help their girls navigate the transition into adulthood. It would be great to have people read her books before she speaks to the school. Another fabulous book, Enough As She Is by Rachel Simmons, again focuses on practical ways to help your daughter thrive through adolescence. If you have other suggestions, please pass them along.
Please enjoy this Advent season and I hope to see everyone at our virtual gala on December 12th and the Christmas Gathering, our annual concert, on December 15th.
Annual Christmas Gathering
Our annual Christmas concert is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15 at 6 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the season of Christmas with prayer and music. We are grateful that we can gather in person again to hear the sounds of the season from our Choral Group, Chamber Ensemble, Glee Club, and Bearitones. The event is free and all are welcome. Masks will be required.
School Store Christmas Shopping
The Online Store's deadline has passed for Christmas delivery, but the On-Campus Store is here with some new merchandise. We are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In addition, we will be open after school on Tues., Dec. 7 and Tues., Dec. 14 until 3:30 p.m., as well as before (5-6 p.m.) and after (to 7:30 p.m.) the Christmas Concert on December 15. You are also welcome to Contact Kate Gormley to set up a shopping appointment at email@example.com.
Applicants' Night on Wednesday, December 8
The Ursuline Admissions Office will be hosting its annual Applicants' Night on Wednesday, December 8, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. If you know a prospective family who missed Open House, this is a great opportunity to hear directly from students about their Ursuline experience! After the speaking program, families will have a chance to mix and mingle with faculty and department heads to ask questions and learn more. Interested guests may contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Freshman Event on December 10
Grade 9 parent representatives have planned a Christmas event for the freshman students in the Tea Room on Friday, December 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents should have received an email with the details. Please contact Tracy McGrath at email@example.com with any questions.
One of Ursuline's longest-standing traditions has been its collaboration with Boston's Yawkey Center (a Catholic Charities Center in Dorchester, MA) to help with their holiday Clothe-a-Child program. All homerooms have been assigned a child and students should know the gender and requests for their homeroom child. Please remember that all items must be new and have price tags removed. All gift donations are due on campus by Tuesday, December 14 so that we can wrap the gifts and deliver them to the Yawkey Center on Thursday, December 16. Thank you to the community for your continued generosity to these families in need.
The College Board has stated that PSAT scores will be released around December 6. Gr 9,10, and 11 students who took the October PSAT exam will be able to view their scores. Students will be sent an email from the College Board. Students will need to access their College Board accounts in order to review their scores. Grade 9 and 10 classes will be setting up a College Board account in Guidance classes. Any questions, please contact Mrs. Ferrucci at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Rikleen at Irikleen@ursulineacademy.net.
SAT/ACT Prep Classes for Winter
Summit will be offering SAT/ACT Prep classes at UA beginning in January. SAT Prep classes will meet on Tuesday afternoons from January 25 - March 8. ACT Prep classes will meet on Tuesday afternoons from February 15 - March 29. See SAT flyer here and ACT flyer here for details.
Ursuline's Virtual Gala on Sunday, December 12
Remember to register so you can vote!
- $100 VIP Ticket includes Door Prize Drawing entry
- Complimentary viewing tickets are also available.
Click here to purchase a sponsorship or register to view the show.
Celebrate with the Ursuline community at Ursuline's Got Talent, our virtual gala event, streaming to you live on Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. Pre-show begins at 6:15 p.m. Finalists will be chosen before the event and viewers will vote for the winner from those finalists, one vote per registered device.
Parent volunteers are needed next week to help prepare auction baskets, prepare sponsor packages, and deliver sponsor packages. If you can help, check our sign up genius here to see specific needs. Thank you!
A Prayer for Advent 2021
Loving God, may we remember to appreciate each day as a gift as we prepare for Christ's coming in our lives during this Advent 2021 season.
A – Attention: to notice the Divine in all humanity, creation, and within
D – Deepen: to embrace solitude in order to listen
V – Value: to re-evaluate what is important and needs my time and energy
E – Engage: to reach out to others even beyond any boundaries
N – Now: to live in this moment, recognizing that now is all I have
T – Thanksgiving: to be grateful for all
2 – 2 qualities: to be open to receive, and to be generous in giving of self
0 – 0 fear: to trust that God is here
2 – 2 responses: to embrace what is life-giving and to let go of what is not
1 – 1 goal: to appreciate that life is too short to cling to the past
We pray these words inspire reflection and recognition of where God is leading each of us now: personally, communally, and globally. Amen. (Adapted excerpt from Stephanie Romiti, SSJ)
Year of Serviam: How do YOU serve?
As part of our 75th anniversary efforts, we are taking the opportunity to recommit to the Ursuline value of Serviam. We are calling this effort the "Year of Serviam," and it is quite simple. We invite all members of our community - students, parents, alumnae, and parents of alumnae - to tell us about the organizations that you support in your daily lives, whether it is a food bank, your local parish or place of worship, or another cause. Our goal is to serve 75 different organizations by May 14, 2022, which will be celebrated as International Serviam Day by Ursuline schools across the country. Please use this brief form to tell us about organizations with whom you currently volunteer, recently volunteered, or plan to volunteer, wherever they may be.
December After-School Service Opportunities
Thursday, December 9: Community Servings
Wednesday, December 15: Tea Room event for New Life Furniture
Students can sign-up for these events through the Google Forms found on Campus Ministry Service.
The first gathering of our advent prayer group, "Soup and Spirituality," held this week on Tuesday evening, was attended by alumnae, staff, and parents.
New England Math League
Round three of the New England Math League Contest for this year will be held this coming Tuesday, December 7 during Activity Period! Please report to one of the Math classrooms. ALL STUDENTS are eligible to participate. We look forward to seeing you!
Winter Drama Productions
Have you always wanted to be involved in the school plays? Do you like to be on stage or backstage? Here's your chance! After the success of Clue, Ursuline Drama is at it again. Our winter productions will be a series of One Acts directed by Mrs. Glancy and two seniors - Daphne Partridge and Katherine Ziska. The seniors will be directing two 15-minute comedies and all grades are welcome to audition. The longer play, Reunion on Gallows Hill, is open to grades 9-12 and will be our entry to the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild's High School competition. There will be an informational meeting on Monday, December 6 from 3 - 4 p.m. in Angela Hall and auditions for both plays will be in the CARRIAGE HOUSE on Wednesday, December 8 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. There is no audition sign up - please come to the Carriage house at 3 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there!!
French and Latin Student Meet for Colloquium
Last month, French 2 and Latin 9 students met for a casual colloquium to discuss Greek and Roman mythological episodes. Students and teachers used room 102 for the colloquium, the UA room adorned by the late Sister Ursula Binnette (UA's former Latin and Art History teacher). Earlier in the month, French 3 students worked on and presented a project on a featured goddess.
International Trip to Japan, April 2023
Ursuline Academy is planning an international trip to Japan for students in April 2023. Current 10th and 11th graders are eligible to enroll. The tour itinerary will include Tokyo, from the Imperial Palace to video game mecca; folk villages and gardens in the Japanese "alps" Kanazawa and Takayama; an overnight in a traditional Japanese inn (Ryoken); Kyoto with its Geisha district; a Tea Ceremony and traditional dancing show; Himeji Castle; and a visit to Hiroshima (atomic bomb site) via bullet train. April is cherry blossom season in Japan. Enroll at: explorica.com and use Tour Center ID: Petti-9568. Contact Mrs. Petti in Room 104 or email email@example.com with questions.
Volleyball Teams Donate to Dana Farber
This week, Ursuline's varsity and JV volleyball players presented a check for almost $2,500 to a representative from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/The Jimmy Fund to support cancer research. The team raised the funds at its annual "pink out" game in October. Great work, girls!
Intramural Basketball Program
All those interested in Intramural Basketball are reminded that Monday is the deadline to let Mr. O'Connor know you will be participating. Practices will begin on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the gym. If you are interested and have not informed him yet, stop by Mr. O'Connor's RC office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fitness Center Schedule for Week of December 6, 2021
Monday, December 6:
3 p.m. - Hockey
3:30 p.m. - Hockey
4 p.m. - JH Basketball
4:30 p.m. - open
Tuesday, December 7:
3 p.m. - Track - Throwers
3:30 p.m. - Ski
Wednesday, December 8:
3 p.m. - Track - Distance
3:30 p.m. - open
4 p.m. - open
4:30 p.m. - Track- Sprinters
Thursday, December 9:
3 p.m. - open
3:30 p.m. - open
4 p.m. - open
4:30 p.m. - open
Friday, December 10:
3 p.m. - Track- Throwers
3:30 p.m. - JV Basketball
4 p.m. - open
4:30 p.m. - V Basketball
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