Saint Ursula School
3937 Kirk Avenue, Allison Park, PA 15101 / 412 486-5511 / www.stursulaschool.org
St. Ursula School News Visit the news archives
Catholic School Week
Third grade had a great time making their own bagels. They had a lot of helpers and many samplers!
Kindergarten’s Learning Adventure
Our goal is to give children a friendly, hands-on introduction to insect metamorphosis, entomology and life-cycle learning. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if children could see the miraculous metamorphosis of butterflies up close?" Thanks to a generous donation by Baumgartel Family, the kindergarten class are actually doing it. April 7th, when the eggs arrived was Day 1. Kindergarten students read books about butterflies, learned a butterfly song, studied a butterfly life cycle poster and began their own journals to track the development. They waited and watched patiently until April 15th, when the chrysalides moved into their home, a see-through, reusable, pop-up mesh habitat. On April 25th and 26th, out came the beautiful and colorful Painted Lady Butterflies. Soon the butterflies will be released to begin the incredible life cycle all over again in the great outdoors. All the primary students were able to come and visit and enjoy them also.
All Star Band
So proud of our St. Ursula Viking band & the wonderful concerts they perform several times each year. Eighty four students from north, south & central Pittsburgh Diocesan elementary schools have been invited to Central Catholic High School to participate in All Star Band. Thank you Sr. Serafina for organizing and Mrs. Chambers for your instruction. So proud of our All Star Band students.
St. Joseph’s Day Celebration
Students were invited to bring their dads, grandfathers, godfathers, & other special men in their lives to honor St. Joseph’s Day with a light breakfast.
Pot O' Gold 2016
The annual Pot O' Gold Dinner & Auction was held on March 5 at La Roche College. The event was a fun evening for all and another big success! The results are in, and the profits are $33,500!
Thanks to everyone who donated packages, solicited ads, sold raffle tickets and attended the event. The Pot O' Gold had another successful year because of our dedicated staff and families!
Catholic Schools Week
This year's theme of National Catholic Schools' week is based on community: "Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. The theme focuses on key components: faith development, academic excellence and dedication to service.
Our Catholic Schools' Week was a great success. Every day last week there was something exciting for the kids. We had many different activities that made the week educational and fun.
St. Ursula Catholic Schools Week Pot Luck Dinner
7th and 8th graders working with Kindergarten class.
Sink or float experiment!
The students from grades 7 & 8 work with the Kindergarten class to students predict the weather. The older students guide the younger students as they test whether an object will sink or float. So many smiling faces!**
St. Ursula Robotics
The 2015 Robovikings ended their season on a high note! The team won a 2nd place award for programming at the FIRST LEGO League Grand Championship on January 9th, 2016 at LaRoche College. The theme for this year was Trash Trek and focused on recycling and reusing. This year, the grand championship in Western PA was the largest grand championship in the United States, hosting 73 teams. In preparation for this event, the Robovikings attended 2 competitive scrimmages. On November 6th, they went to the Sarah Heinz House and placed 3rd overall for robot performance and also won a 1st place award for the most creative use of trash bags. On November 21st, the team competed in a scrimmage at Aquinas Academy in Hampton. For this event, teams were encouraged to compete in a pop song parody contest. This is when the students began working on the Trash Bag Song, using Katy Perry's song Firework. The students wore trash bag costumes and received a 2nd place award for their efforts. For the research project, the students presented their Trash Bag song and also did a demonstration on Furoshiki, a technique that reuses bed sheets and linens as useful items.
The students added 2 trophies to the school trophy case and won 2 additional awards for their research and creativity, but that is not all that they gained from this season. They became better programmers, learned a lot about recycling, worked well as a team and had a lot of fun while doing it!
St. Ursula School students presented the Las Posades at the All School Mass before the Christmas break. The students performed the reenactment of Mary and Joseph's search for a lodging in Bethlehem.
Cookies with Santa
St. Ursula School students in seventh and eighth grade created games during their recess, for children to play at this year's Cookies with Santa event, held on December 5. It was an afternoon of fun for all the children who came to visit with Santa AND for all the middle school students who were there to staff the games. The 8th grade students set the games up at school and invited the Ready-K and K students to try them out and the 7th grade students did the same thing for the 1st grade students. Many thanks to Student Council Sponsor, Mary Heyl for encouraging our students to look for ways to provide service all year long!
All School Mass
The Immaculate Conception Mass was on Tuesday with a visit from St. Nicholas. St Nicholas spoke to the children after Mass and gave them a treat!
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast
Thank you to Mrs. Pontoriero for a fun Paint Night!
Our students know how talented our art teacher is and now so do 32 artists in-the-making. By following her instructions, school parents, friends & parishioners painted & went home with a great winter scene. Plenty of laughs and a nice night out. Although it was not a fundraiser, over $1,000 was raised.
Also shown in the photos are some students who participate in Mrs. Pontoriero's Painting Picassos art class.
Thank you Mrs Pontoriero!
Thankful for a Successful Open House!
Thanks to members of the Enrollment Management Committee for coming, sharing your story, and for spending time with these families. Thanks to the teachers for giving us their Saturday morning to talk to the potential families. The building looked great, and it was abuzz with activity from the craft fair and from our student helpers! It was a great event!
*Billboard is going up on Rt 8 December 7th--and it is going to be great!
*Next Open House--Sunday, January 31 at 12:30.
Blessing of the Créche
Beautiful day for the blessing of the crèche at the USX plaza. Congratulations to all the students from the St Ursula advanced band who attended and joined with students from St Mary's to provide the music for the day. Mrs Chambers is the band director for both schools and has been joining the 2 bands together for this event for 15 years!
Roboviking Students bring home 3rd place trophy!
Eighteen students on the robotic team attended a competitive scrimmage at The Sarah Heinz House on Friday, November 6th. The focus of the scrimmage was on programming the robot to complete tasks in the table game. St. Ursula students competed in 4 rounds of the table game and won a 3rd place trophy for the day! The theme for this year’s challenge in Trash Trek, and a contest was held for the most creative use of trash bags. The Robovikings performed an elaborate demonstration showing how trash bags could be used for camping and they titled their project “Trashy Camping.” By a unanimous vote of the judges, the students won first place! Keep up the good work Robovikings!
Congratulations to the Varsity and JV soccer teams for representing St. Ursula in the diocesan soccer playoffs this weekend. The varsity lost a nail biter 3-2 in a hard fought game and bowed out of the playoffs on Saturday. The JV made it to the championship game on Sunday, but lost to St. Thomas Moore 2-0. Each of the JV players received a medal for being diocesan runner ups. The team also received a trophy for winning their section. The trophies will be on display in the school lobby later this week. A special shout out to Dave D. for being named to the diocese all tournament team.
Students, parents, siblings, and faculty enjoyed a fun day of parades and parties to celebrate Halloween.
Robotics is in full swing preparing for competitive scrimmages!
St. Ursula Robotics students in grades 5-8 are working to prepare for 2 FIRST LEGO league scrimmages in November and the Grand Championship in January. This year, the theme is Trash Trek Challenge, and teams all over the world are discovering the hidden (or not so hidden) world of garbage. Students meet after school 2 days a week to construct the field (out of LEGOs of course!) and to program the robots to perform very specific tasks At the competition, each of those tasks will be assigned points and the teams try to get as many points as possible in 2 1/2 minutes. Several students are also doing research about issues dealing with trash, so that they can prepare a presentation for judging at the Grand Championship.
Congrats to all of our runners for a fantastic cross country season! We ended last week with a meet at Pine Park on Tuesday and Championships at Cooper’s Lake in Slippery Rock on Saturday. All of our runners showed so much improvement – the dedication, teamwork, and strength it takes to run are lessons that will stay with them for life.
Special congrats to our 8th graders who raced for the last time with St Ursula: Annessa D, Evie H, Anna N, Hannah V, Thomas C, Dom D, and
This also marks the end of Paul Hanlon’s cross country coaching; he has been with the team for the last 5 years. His dedication to the team is very much appreciated and he will be missed!
St. Ursula Scary Skedaddle 5K Race
Saturday, Oct 24th St Ursula School hosted The Scary Skedaddle: its 1st (of hopefully many) Halloween-themed 5K race and 1 mile fun run/walk. The event included race shirts designed for St Ursula, an officially timed 5k and 1 mile, food, fall drinks and entertainment with music! Participants and their families enjoyed costumes contests, fun photo booth props and a large variety of prizes given away by random drawings. Winners in each age group received medals and pies! Costume contest winners were treated to Pamela’s Diner gift certificates and random prizes included a dozen donated pies, Up N Running, and Pamela’s Diner gift certificates. The weather was perfect and everyone looked great all dressed up in costumes. Many Thanks to our Sponsors and Donors : Genco, English Funeral Home, Pamela’s Diner, Up N Running, Serge Orchards, Shop’n Save, Harvest Valley Market, Giant Eagle, and King’s Restaurant. See you all next year!
Volunteering opportunities for all ages, shown below -
Enrollment Management committee getting ready for open house! Open House is scheduled for November 14th 10-12
8th graders sponsoring the concessions at the Christian Mothers Rummage Sale
St. Ursula School - Red Door Lunch Service Project
On the Feast of St. Ursula, October 21st, the St. Ursula School students prepared a bagged lunch for 150 needy in connection with the Red Door program run by St. Mary of Mercy Church in downtown Pittsburgh. This has become a school tradition which serves those less fortunate in the community.
Pastor Fr. Aaron Kriss and the Eighth grade Student Council personally delivered the lunches to the Red Door early the next morning. The students were surprised to see some who would receive the brown bags had already started to line up outside of the literal Red Door at St. Mary of Mercy Church, even though they would not be distributed by the staff for two more hours. Putting a face to the service project really had a positive impact on the children. They took pride in the efforts of their schoolmates to make a difference in another’s day. A lunch; something most kids can take for granted.
Marshmallow Roast - September 18
St. Ursula Student Life Committee hosted a marshmallow roast for school families on September 18th. This was the first opportunity of the school year to get together as a community. Music was provided by our own School DJ, Jim Tolley, campfires were ablaze for roasting marshmallows, and opportunities were provided for playing and socializing. The evening was also highlighted by the release of candlelit lanterns into the night sky. Thanks to the wonderful group of parent volunteers, some who have been at our school for years, and some who are new to the school, who made it all come together for an evening of fellowship and fall fun!
New Looks for the Gym an Ready K Classroom
The 8th grade class of 2015, along with parents and businesses, donated their time and talents have created an inspirational gym space in the school. Read about it here in this Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.
In addition to the renovations in the gym, the Ready K room received a very artistic updating. Read about both the gym and Ready K renovations on the TribLive webite.
PDFs of the newspaper articles can be found here.
“HONK! Jr.” 15th Annual Spring Musical
Once again St. Ursula School was honored as a Broadway Junior School of Excellence for their production of Honk! Jr. with a certificate signed by the authors Anthony Drewe and George Stiles. It states: “We applaud your outstanding production and celebrate your commitment to educational Theatre.” The production of “Honk, Junior” certainly proves that the many ways we are different can come together in a wonderful way.
Many thanks to all who are a part of these amazing annual spring musicals.
St. Ursula School Newsletter is available online
Kids Bingo, A St. Ursula tradition, was held on Sunday, April 12th. The event was sponsored by the 8th grade class and their families. The students remembered Conrad Carney at the event, who started bingo at St. Ursula many years ago. Joyce Carney and her daughter, Tina attended the event and Joyce was presented with a gift from the students as a memento for this Kids Bingo and all kids bingos in the past.
Visit this link to a Triblive story
about Father Strelinski.
Week of Giving 2015
Our donors contributed $3,000! $500 from the Christian Mother's Guild of St. Ursula resulted in matching $500 donations from two additional supporters. The list of supporters included teachers, alum and current parents of St. Ursula School and parishioners.
900 pair of shoes were collected for the Soles 4 Souls campaign!
Our effort to introduce a campaign following the example of the Pittsburgh Foundation's Day of Giving was a success and we look for ways to grow it. We continue to welcome gifts through the end of the school year. It' s not too late to be part of this inaugural drive.
Thank you for the support as our motto "Enter to Grow, Exit to Serve" is demonstrated daily in our classrooms, as strong today as it was in 1911.
On Good Friday students from the 7th and 8th grade classes were prepared by Mrs. Catherine Duffy, religion teacher for our middle school, to interpret the Stations of the Cross with readings, prayers and scenes in tableaux. The school was in attendance before break for Easter and the parish community was given the opportunity on Good Friday at 7pm.
The Living Stations is a yearly project of the school and has acquired costumes and props to enhance the impression of Jesus's journey on the last days. The presentation concludes with Jesus's rising and joyful prayer of gratitude for saving us.
A very large Pot O' Gold for St. Ursula!
The 22nd Annual Pot O' Gold was attended by over 216 friends of St. Ursula school. This event is our largest fundraiser of the year, but is also our biggest social event of the year! We want to thank all of our donors and guests along with all the parents who plan and run the event for such a successful year!
Pot O' Gold Dinner & Auction
Over $35,000 was raised at this year's Pot O' Gold
--which ties last year's record! Thanks to everyone who attended the event, donated an item or purchased a raffle ticket after mass. The profits from the Grand and Giant Eagle Shopping spree alone were over $5000!
A very big THANK YOU to our generous sponsors:
Stepke and Associates, Giant Eagle, English Funeral Home,
Sue's Cleaning Service, LLC and PNC Investments, to name a few.
Mark your calendars for next year's Pot O' Gold scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2016!
On March 18th, Twenty-three students in 7th and 8th grades competed at The Southwestern Regional PA Science Olympiad on the campus of California University. The students competed in nine events and placed 4th in "picture this" (a pictionary type event with science terms), fifth in "simple machines", an event where the students built a balance and used it to calculate the mass proportions of three unknowns, and fifth in "wheeled vehicle" where they built a car that ran with the energy from an elastic force (in this case, a fishing rod). Other St. Ursula Students placed in the top ten of three other events. St. Ursula was the only Catholic Middle School in attendance.
The students began working on their projects several months ago, under the direction of 7th and 8th grade science teacher, Mrs. Mary Heyl.
Kindergarten Workshops & More
As you can see, parents, grandparents, teachers and students embrace workshop. Recently the children composed books about an imaginary friend, Emma Kate the elephant. The children were inspired by Patricca Polacco's darling tale, Emma Kate. They wrote sentences about their own adventures with Emma Kate, and they drew precious illustrations, using hearts and rectangles to design their elephants. One little boy spent his workshop time, recess and afternoon free time composing 11 well written pages. This activity was a hit!
The large fish next to the sign announcing that the Apostles will be fishers of men, contain the names of prayer partners for Lent. The child whose name appears on the large fin pray for the child whose name is on the small fin. The children designed eggs with signs of new life and grouped the eggs around suggestions as how to do things "eggsactly" Jesus way.
Finally, the lions' manes are name of kindergarten tablemates and other friends who the children are roaring about in this early part of March.
St. Ursula School in Hampton to show off 104-year success story
Irish Catholic Group Donates $750 to School's Angel Fund
The Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization, recently donated $750 to our school's Angel Fund for tuition assistance. The Tuition Assistance Fund Committee of the AOH St. Patrick Division 4 of the North Hills also made $750 donations to 11 other Catholic elementary schools from the North Hills and North Side. Over the last five years, the AOH has donated $2,000 to each of the following schools' Angel Funds: Assumption School (Bellevue), Northside Catholic, Christ the Divine Teacher Academy (Aspinwall), St. Alexis (McCandless) ,St. Alphonsus (Wexford), St. Bonaventure (Shaler), St. James (Sewickley), St. Kilian (Cranberry), St. Mary (Glenshaw), St. Sebastian (Ross), St. Teresa of Avila (Perrysville), and St. Ursula (Hampton).
The monies raised for this event come from AOH Division 4's Irish Heritage Golf Classic held in late September at Diamond Run Golf Club in Ohio Township. The event has been held the last seven years and has raised nearly $25,000 for the mentioned schools. This year's event will be held on Monday, September 28th with a shotgun start at 0930. Sponsorships, both tee, and corporate, as well as prizes are welcomed and deeply appreciated. For more information on the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 4 of the North Hills, go to www.pittsburghirish.org/AOHDiv4
With your help, we can give these donations to your school’s Angel Fund annually!
Principal Sr. Joanita receives a check for $750 from AOH Division 4 VP Bob Parry for St. Ursula School Angel Fund
St. Ursula School Newsletter is available online
Catholic Schools Week – A Huge Success
Each day of Catholic Schools Week we celebrated and demonstrated our Faith, Knowledge and Service while having a great time.
All the students had a special prayer of the day for all the intentions for family, friends, priests, parishioners, community service personnel and teachers and sent them a special thank you. We had special visits from former alum who are now part of the Hampton Police Force, Sarah Hoffman and Peter Halli. They detailed how and why they chose to become officers and help others. Questions were invited as they spoke to the group and also visited the tables while all enjoyed Ice Cream Sundaes. The officers were presented with a St. Michael the Archangel pewter visor clip in appreciation and remembrance of the school.
“Abe Lincoln” a.k.a. Rick Miller enthralled us with his life and times. Up next was the afternoon of “Minute to Win It” games that the Student Council coordinated with all the students who came to school in their pajamas. The annual Pot Luck Dinner on Wednesday evening was very tasty and entertaining with rounds of “Family Feud”. All the students and teacher participated in volleyball games. This was enjoyed most by the 8th grade who beat the teachers for the first time ever!
Thanks to Student Life and all the parents and teachers who made this week “No Place I’d Rather Be”.
St. Ursula School in Hampton to show off 104-year success story
St. Ursula Robovikings receive awards!
Two teams of students in grades 5-8 participated in a competitive scrimmage on Saturday, December 13th at Carnegie Robotics in Lawrenceville. The scrimmage was part of the Western Pennsylvania FIRST LEGO League Tournament Series. Both St. Ursula teams, under the direction of coaches, Charlotte Lehmeier and Jason Mizgorski, had a great day at the scrimmage. A total of 44 teams competed and trophies were awarded to the top 10 teams. St. Ursula Robovikings 1 and Robovikings 2 came in 6th and 13th place, so the students brought home a trophy for the school trophy case! As an extra bonus for the students, Our Roboviking Mascot took first place in the mascot competition! The coaches captured video of each competition so the students can review what went right and what they can improve upon, before The Grand Championship, which will take place at LaRoche College in January.
St. Ursula Middle School Goes for the Chrome!
The beginning of a new school year is always exciting, and the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at St. Ursula School take it up a notch thanks to the new tech hardware made available through Act 195 and additional funds bringing over $10,000 of Samsung Chromebooks into the school –one for each student’s use this year. The personal use of the Chromebook is a way to empower students to maximize their full potential and to prepare them for high school and college. The students and teachers are discovering together the benefits of working with a Chromebook. Dynamic interaction among students, educators, parents and the extended community is the obvious, but learning responsibility is another benefit as they are entrusted to take it home and to school each day fully charged and ready to go. Effective teaching and learning with Chromebooks integrates technology into the curriculum anytime, anyplace.
“This is a measurable boost to the curriculum because it allows teachers and students access to documents, videos, experiments, and textbooks online,” says Sister M. Joanita Fedor, principal. Science Fusion is a source for the science classes and a new Social Studies program will offer interactive lessons. Other programs that have been utilized at St. Ursula School for years: Criterion Writing program, ALEKS - an individualized math program, and First In Math have a new life with use of the Chromebook. “And there are games, educational games that will get the students excited about learning and pursuing other topics in the subjects. Kids learn through games,” Sister adds. A parent meeting for the students was held and they received detailed instructions of use, care and guidelines. The students read the handbook and received verbal instructions then were assigned a Chromebook to use for the 2014-15 school year.
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!
Cookies with Santa is an annual event hosted by St. Ursula School Student Life. On December 6, over 170 children and their families enjoyed games made by the 8th grade class, visiting with Santa, a balloon artist, cookie decorating and seeing their friends. This event is open to the public and is generally attended by students of St. Ursula School as well as children from St. Ursula Parish. This is just one of the many community building events at St. Ursula School. Hope to see YOU there next year!
Thanks Giving Pancake Breakfast Sunday!
Thanks to everyone in the 8th grade class for the amount of work and service kids and parents did to make a successful pancake breakfast on Nov. 30. We had the griddles, goods, and manpower to serve many-- but unfortunately turn out for masses and for the breakfast was light. No matter, we knew what we were there to do, and we can be grateful for the ability to be visible as hard workers for our school and shed a good light on St. Ursula in the community. We advertised in the local publications and area bulletins. The class of 2015 will leave a mark of dedication, love and service to our school and parish. Our goal is to raise money for a class remembrance gift and will assist at the Easter Carnival to achieve the $1,000 target of a gift of Sister Joanita's choice! The students' efforts produced a profit of $619.82 toward that goal!
St. Ursula School Christmas Music
The advanced band performed at the Blessing of the Creche in downtown Pittsburgh November 21. It was a wonderful experience despite the freezing weather. Mrs. Susan Chambers beautifully directed ours and St. Mary's bands to fill the Pittsburgh air with Christmas songs and the message that Christ is the reason for the season.
St. Ursula students returned to a warm cafeteria and Pizza from Pasquale's Pizzeria and home made treats from parents and Mrs. Chambers famous red velvet cupcakes!
St. Ursula School Newsletter is available online - Fall 2014 Edition
Bring Someone to Lunch
Friday October 10th was the first Bring Someone to Lunch day. Students in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade enjoyed their lunch time with a special guest.
St. Ursula School Newsletter is available online - Back to School Edition
St. Ursula School Newsletter is available online
On Palm Sunday, St. Ursula hosted a Pancake Breakfast in the morning and an Easter Carnival. The Easter Carnival featured an Easter Egg Hunt, several Easter crafts, cookie decorating, several games, face painting and an opportunity to have a photo taken with the Easter Bunny. 79 children age 10 and under attended the event and another 25 students in grades 5-10 worked as volunteers alongside many parents and teachers. It was a beautiful 80 degree day, which helped to make the day a very memorable one!
North Pittsburgh Honors Band
St Ursula was well represented at the North Pittsburgh Honors Band concert held at CWNC on Sunday March 23. Seven students from 6th & 7th grade attended & played to a full house - receiving a standing ovation at the conclusion of the concert.
Mrs. Susan Chambers did an outstanding job teaching and instructing in preparation for the annual concert event.
Participating students: Thomas C., Aletta F., Anna N., Kate S., Annie S., Morgan S., and Hannah V.