Mrs. Veronica Slain: Espiritu Principal Selected For Prominent Leadership Program

Please join us in congratulating, Mrs. Veronica Slain, our school Principal, on her selection to The Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy. This distinguished honor offers a job-embedded and research-based program for principal professional development for those selected. Mrs. Slain was one of only six private school principals chosen to receive this esteemed distinction in Florida.
The leadership program is a collaboration between the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) and the North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC). Education leaders throughout Florida were nominated by their district superintendent as leaders poised to make a difference in their school.
This demanding program provides an opportunity for school leaders to acquire new and innovative skills to help them make a lasting impact on student learning in their schools. It is a year-long course of study in which Florida principals, principal supervisors and education leaders participate in job-embedded and research-based activities designed to increase their knowledge and abilities about teacher effectiveness and student achievement. The rigorous professional development programs include three learning institutes and five school site “learning walks” to practice instructional leadership skills and build a cadre of school district facilitators.


Espiritu Science Fair: A Winning Collaboration Between Science and English Language Arts Programs

Last week, seventh and eighth grade students participated in our school Science Fair. Since August, students have been working diligently on a science fair project of their choice. Following the scientific method, students conducted background research in English Language Arts class, designed an experiment, gathered and analyzed data, and communicated their results with their classmates and the school community. On Wednesday, November 7, students shared their projects with our judges – science professionals from our community. The judges selected 11 students who will go on to compete at the Diocese STREAM Fair

Scholastic Book Fair

Thank you to everyone who helped support this year’s book fair! There were many volunteers who set-up, worked the registers, and packed-up. Thank you to Mrs. Jacke and the students for the beautiful decorations and to the students who helped with the character costumes and the book fair advertising. Thank you to Mrs. Shuler and her family for their contributions to the decorations and also helping with the planning of the fair. Many hands make light work and I am so thankful to everyone who helped!
The fair was a huge success with over $14,400 books sold – an all-time record! Of that, families donated $1,124 worth of books to our classroom teachers. Wow! Thank you to those who visited the fair (many families more than once!). I am so grateful for your generosity.
May you each be blessed with a fabulous Thanksgiving!
Peace and Blessings,
Mrs. Susan Salesses

Girls Volleyball Team Has Winning Season


Our Varsity girls’ volleyball team had a fantastic season this year. They were undefeated in regular season play and crowned champions of the Pinellas Youth Conference. They finished in third place out of sixteen teams at the Indian Rocks Tournament where one of our players was named MVP of the entire competition. Additionally, the Lady Patriots played to a first place finish out of twelve teams, in the Keswick Christian tournament. 

Eagle Scout Projects :Three Boy Scouts from Troop 487 To Improve School’s Backyard Space

Three Life Scouts from Troop 487 chartered by Espiritu Santo Catholic Church and School are working on their Eagle Scout service projects, which will benefit the School’s Outdoor Area.
The Three Eagle Scout Service Projects to benefit the Espiritu Santo Catholic School Outdoor Area are as follows:
  • Outdoor Classroom: Guillermo Romero
  • Prayer and Meditation Garden: James McCarthy
  • Art, Music and Performance Area: Dean Brown

Sixth Grade Social Studies Transformed: Ancient Civilizations Brought To Life In Mr. Bennett’s Class

The sixth-grade social studies students are learning about the first civilizations which developed in the Fertile Crescent, the area of the world known today as the Middle East. Rather than just reading about each ancient group of people in the region, the students took on the role of a recruiter. They were challenged to promote their civilization to star citizens who were looking for a good place to live.
Each group was assigned a civilization to study.  After gathering information from the text and online, they had to decide how they would teach the class about the civilization and also advertise it. Some groups created PowerPoint presentations, mimicking newspaper or magazine ads. Others wrote and presented skits, imitating television commercials. Would you want to join the Babylonians and visit their famous Hanging Gardens, race one of the first chariots invented by the Hittites and Kassites, chose the security of the powerful Assyrian army, live next to the famous Chaldean leader Nebuchadnezzar, or sail the Mediterranean with the Phoenicians? After such quality presentations, potential citizens were left with a difficult decision.

Espiritu Santo Catholic School Recognized As 2019 National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School

Watch The Official Announcement Here (Minute 4.17 in Video) 

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 362 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is

based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.
Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On Nov. 14 – 15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:

Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

International Peace Day: Middle School Students Combine Faith, History and Learning

The Espiritu Middle School students are working hard in their social studies and religion classes to prepare for the 2019 International Peace Day celebration. By popular vote of the students, in each class, they chose their country to study. The students then learned about the culture, physical features, history and other characteristic of their country, and are creating project boards and PowerPoints to share their findings with visitors to the Sunday festivities. However, the central focus in Middle School this year is to connect with heroes within each country.
Our Middle School students worked in teams to research, learn about, and report on modern groups of heroes, from within each country, who are working to make positive change in the world. Our students researched groups working on human rights, homelessness and hunger, literacy and education, poverty, and other issues, with a particular focus on climate change and environmental protection issues. This focus ties in with the 2019 United Nations IPD theme of Climate Action for Peace.
In their religion classes, students connected the work of the groups they researched, and the related problems they are addressing, to the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching. The project and religion class focus also connects the students to the Catholic Church initiatives based on the Pope’s 2015 Encyclical: Francis: On Care for Our Common Home.
The student teams have prepared brief, high-quality, professional looking brochures and fliers for the IPD event. Visitors will be able to read and learn a little about the not-for-profit and educational organizations, and the individuals involved, who are making positive change within these countries, and about some of the projects they are undertaking. Students also reported on how these groups connect with activities right here at home; in our school, community and country. They are hoping to see you there to share in their findings.

New Original Artwork Brings Joy To School Community


Special thanks to Mrs. Jacke and our fifth graders who created original works of art to line the walls of our dining room. Each colorful masterpiece was a collaborative effort among classmates and featured four letter words that reflected what the children loved most about attending school at Espiritu Santo