The Community Music School
In addition to our regular music curriculum, St. Michael’s Academy partners with the Community Music School in Springfield. This partnership provides an opportunity for students to experience either an instrument or receive vocal guidance from instructors from school. These instructors come to St. Michael’s Academy during the regular school day.
Violin Program (Grade 2)
Second graders may opt into a violin program. Instructors visit St. Michael’s Academy once a week throughout the school year to teach students how to play the violin. The year’s instruction culminates in a performance where students may demonstrate what they have learned. This program is made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Drumming Program (Grade 3)
All third graders participate in a half-year drumming program, led by instructors from the Community Music School. At the end of the program, the third grade students treat their family and friends to a drumming performance to showcase their talents.
Choral Program (Grade 4)
All fourth graders participate in a half-year choral program, led by an instructor from the Community Music School. Throughout the program, the fourth graders often sing at local community events outside of the school. At the end of the program, the students delight friends and family with a final performance.
National Junior Honor Society
Seventh and eighth graders may be eligible for membership in the National Junior Honor Society. The NJHS recognizes students who excel in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, character, and citizenship. SMA students are eligible for membership beginning in the second semester of seventh grade, assuming they have completed the equivalent of one semester of enrollment at SMA. They must achieve and maintain a 3.5 GPA. Candidates for NJHS membership are selected by the Faculty Council and are awarded membership at a spring induction ceremony. Participating students hold fundraising events in order to support the community’s needs.
The Student Ambassador Program
The Student Ambassador Program is available to students in Grades 6-8. This program allows students to increase their inter-personal skills, boost their self confidence and be a role model for other students. Duties of an Ambassador might include providing tours to prospective families, greeting attendees at events, representing the student body at events or performing clerical duties.
In order to become an Ambassador, students must complete an application, write an essay, obtain a teacher recommendation and undergo an interview process. A minimum grade average is also required.
As part of their science curriculum, eighth grade students participate in an annual competition entitled SchoolsNEXT. Sponsored by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, the SchoolsNEXT competition challenges students to design a learning environment that incorporates the best in environmental and educational practices and technology. Students are given a budget and must research all associated costs, build a 3D model using primarily recycled materials, design plans using computer technology, produce a detailed written report, and give an oral presentation before a panel of judges. The winning eighth grade team’s entry is submitted to the regional contest and pending outcomes, may progress to the final national competition.
Living History Museum
Our middle school grades 6-8 participate in the Living History Museum. Each grade level is assigned a period, place or person in history for study. They are then tasked with bringing their assignment to life! A most enjoyable evening to see the creativity of the students!
Eighth-grade students demonstrate their abilities as young scientists by performing experiments using the scientific method and displaying their results at an annual science fair. Students must be prepared to explain their findings to a group of judges, and prizes are awarded at the end of the fair.
Does your child have amazing math abilities? Middle school students (grades 6-8) have the opportunity to practice their math skills together and then show them off at a day-long competition against other middle school students called MathCounts. This national middle school mathematics competition builds problem-solving skills and fosters achievement through four levels of fun, in-person “bee” style contests. For more information, visit mathcounts.org.
After weeks of studying poetry in class, 8th-grade students are challenged to write their own poetry. Their self-penned poetry is then highlighted in an evening capstone event – The Poetry Café. Students present their poetry through readings, recitations, and musical performances to an audience of family members.
Students in grades 4th through 8th are eligible to compete in the annual Spelling Bee. This competition includes students from several area Catholic elementary schools who via for the honor of Spelling Bee Champ!
All students are given the opportunity to learn about financial literacy and responsible stewardship of goods through Springfield’s Freedom Credit Union. Each week students may meet with representatives from the credit union and deposit money into a personal student banking account, learning to save wisely.
St. Michael’s Academy respects the relationship that an older student can have with a younger friend. On multiple occasions throughout the year, younger students get to enjoy their older “Buddy” for reading, making cards for troops or special occasion arts and craft projects for family members. It is beneficial for both age groups!