We have such a gem of a middle school here at St. Therese Catholic School and so often I find that parents remark that they do not really know anything about our middle school. As we start 2023, Mrs. McInerny and I are working together to send out some Middle School Monday memos highlighting some of the many benefits of our St. Therese Middle School. The adolescent years are a roller coaster no matter what, so hopefully you are in a school setting where you have a strong partnership with staff and faculty to support your child and family along the ride!
There was a recent Star Tribune article that highlighted the increase in stress and anxiety about MN teenagers. As a result of that, Mrs. McInerny focuses our first Middle School Monday on mental health and well-being.
Dear STS Parents,
Over the past few years, there has been much discussion of the rise in mental health issues among school-age children. It seems that every week, we see data from a new study or a new article about the stress and anxiety that students are feeling. As a former teacher and now administrator, I see that students and families are looking not just for academic rigor, but for a safe and responsive school environment for their children. We all want a place where we can work as a team to nurture our children and help them through challenging experiences in their lives.
I feel so lucky that St. Therese’s middle school provides exactly that kind of environment. Our teachers know our students so well and are incredibly responsive to the needs of our kids. They are vigilant in identifying when students seem down or when something has changed in their personalities. We have an in-house counselor who is available to talk with students and point parents to resources very quickly when an issue of mental health does arise. As a parent, I feel so reassured knowing that if my child is showing signs of struggling with her mental health, someone is going to notice and help me find resources for getting her the help she needs.
Our middle school schedule, curriculum, and programming has been set up with the mental health of our students as a major priority. Mrs. Hardie meets with each advisory class once a month to do a lesson on social and emotional needs. We have play time and free time at recess and physical education twice weekly so that students are getting the activity they need to keep their minds and bodies healthy. We understand that middle schoolers are still children, and yet they often have to deal with stressors that seem really big for their developing brains. I think we strike a healthy balance of allowing them to experience academic rigor while also providing scaffolding like homework help every day after school. Our students know where to find an adult if they need help, and they know that our adults care about their well-being. Our parents know that if they need anything, they can reach out to us at any point for a phone call or meeting. So, if you have any questions about our St. Therese Middle School, please do reach out!
Clarey McInerny, Assistant Principal
Adam Groebner, Principal