Below, click on the photos below to enjoy the Senior Speeches, given by each student. We will add highlight photos from Graduation, and the Graduation Ceremony once they’ve been edited. We’ve also included a copy of all the Seniors’ speeches at the bottom, in case you would like to download them and follow along as you watch their videos.
Thanks to the Prom Program Committee and to all who worked to make this year’s High School Prom the extraordinary event it was! A Mardi Gras theme, dinner catered by Spiros Restaurant, a photo booth, and ice cream by Lugia’s added to the festivities. All the students, parents and teachers who came looked awesome! Below, take a peek at the action that took place on Saturday, May 21 and for more photos from the prom, visit our facebook gallery!
Each year on the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend, Hope Hall’s students, teachers and staff take a one mile Walk for Hope around the community in which the school is located. Following the walk, everyone returns to school for a picnic, followed by a field day with sports, games, chalk drawing, prizes and more.
For many of our students, this is one of their favorite days of the year.
Our fifth grade students are so enthusiastic about the Walk for Hope that they created business plans, made handcrafted items, and sold them in school on May 13, raising $400 for their class’ Walk for Hope Campaign
In the May newsletter, Sister Diana Dolce put out a call for “Sole Mates” for our students…supporters who would make a donation to assist students who have been challenged to make the $100 or more that each participant is asked to raise.
We thank the many, many “Sole Mates” who contributed funds to help these students achieve their goals, as well as the donors who sent in gift cards, or funds to be used to purchase gift cards that will be used as prizes for students who reach or exceed their goals
We also send an ENORMOUS thanks out to our Community Supporters!
If you haven’t already, and would like to get involved in our Walk for Hope, there’s still time to create a team or individual page and raise funds for the Walk for Hope. You can also become a “Sole Mate” to students striving to achieve their goal of $100 or more, or donate gift cards that will be used as thank you gifts for students achieving their goal. Simply click this link for more information on the Walk for Hope.
Please take a look at the video below in which Sister Diana thanks our many “Sole Mates” who are helping our students achieve their $100 goal, and shares the importance of this walk to our school and our students.
The theme for this year’s ASL Classes is “Accessibility,” which led ASL Instructor Sarah Hauser to develop a wide variety of experiences in her curriculum. In multi-part Workshop Ms. Hauser taught over the past few weeks, students got an opportunity to experience a simulation of what it would be like to be DeafBlind, and how they, as students, could help someone they encounter who has these physical challenges.
Part 1 of Workshop
Having taken a semester of DeafBlind interpreting, Ms. Hauser decided to provide her students with a DeafBlind Workshop. In the first part of the workshop, the students wore goggles that were treated to simulate aspects of low vision and blindness, including:
tunnel vision, associated with Usher’s Syndrome, a very common DeafBlind illness
She then set up five work stations around the room so the students could experience what it would be like to try to perform everyday actions with vision loss. The students found it quite challenging to do such activities as unlocking combination locks, sorting buttons by color and size, finding images within another image, measuring water, and determining what was in a box when their vision was obstructed.
Part 2 of Workshop
The next phase of the workshop was to experience what it would be like to be a person who was Deaf and Blind, and to be the guide for such an individual.
Before starting the Workshop, they discussed the need to follow COVID protocols. They also talked about how important it was to take the experience seriously so no one got hurt, and to trust and rely on their classmate guide. The classmates then paired up, each taking a blindfold and a pair of ear plugs. The students alternated being the guide.
Becoming the Guide
They learned that the proper etiquette to notify someone who is deaf and blind that they are willing to help is to tap the person gently on the shoulder. Next, they allowed that person to determine whether s/he preferred to put a hand on the guide’s shoulder and follow behind the guide, to hold the guide’s upper arm, or to wrap their arm through the guide’s arm and walk alongside.
When guiding the person, the guide should walk at an even, normal pace, giving the person enough space so they won’t bump into obstacles.
To help a DeafBlind person sit down, the guide puts the person’s hand on the back of the chair, so they can find where the chair is and seat him or herself.
The students alternated guiding each other around the room until they felt comfortable, before they attempted going down the stairs, or out onto the playground.
Going Down the Stairs
Some of the students found relying on another to go down the stairs very challenging.
To help a DeafBlind person descend the stairs, you take them to the edge of the stairs, stop, and take their hand to put it on the railing. Then, the guide descends one step and stops, until the person they are guiding goes down that step. The guide then steps down one more stair, and so on.
If these steps are followed, both the guide and the DeafBlind person can both get down a set of stairs safely.
Every class took their assignment very seriously, and they all felt they got a lot out of the Deaf Blind Workshop.
Excerpts from students’ post-workshop essays:
“It can also be hard not to hear when people are talking because it makes you feel like they are talking about you.” ~Lexi Gagner
“A daily problem that DeafBlind people face that I got from this workshop is having to use more of their senses instead of their eyesight. A DeafBlind person would also need a professional guide.” ~ Lamar Bennett
“The word thing of all was trying to walk outside, trying to step over the barrier. I had Mi’Year as my guide. He was a good guide because he didn’t lead me into a door or fall down the stairs.” ~Derrick Crawford
“During the water station I had mixed emotions. I was nervous I might spill the water. I was curious to see what would happen. I was proud of myself because I got really close to how much water should be in the container. I was uncomfortable because I got wet. At the end I realized how hard it was to be blind.” ~ Julian
“The most challenging activity in the workshop was when we had to solve locks while half blind. It was very difficult to do, it was so hard to the point where we didn’t even finish. After doing the activity it make me think, “This is how hard [it is for] DeafBlind people [to] live in the world,” and I was grateful to know the fact that I can hear and see.” ~ Caleb Hall
Ms. Hauser wishes to thank Ms. Eaker, Ms. Fouchie and Ms. Hamilton for pushing into the workshop classes to make sure everyone remained safe throughout the class.
For more about Hope Hall’s ASL Program, CLICK HERE to view a video from the ASL class’ “Around Town” Unit.
In May’s newsletter, Sister Diana departs from her traditional format to ask for community assistance in support of Hope Hall’s Walk for Hope, that takes place each May. This year, the school Walk for Hope will take place on Thursday, March 26. Each student and staff member participates in the Walk for Hope, and all money raised — each person strives to raise $100 or more–goes directly to helping Hope Hall’s students.
Sister Diana invites Members of the Community to participate in any of the following ways:
Doing a fundraising walk as an individual, or as part of a team any time during the month of May
Setting up a fundraising page to help Hope Hall raise funds for its students
Sponsoring a student who may have a challenge being able to raise $100 for the walk
Donating a gift card in an amount between $5 and $25 to be used as a thank you gift for those who achieve success in reaching or exceeding their goal of $100.
A form for donations and more information is included in the newsletter.
In addition, the newsletter features:
How the Fifth Grade Class has created micro-businesses to raise money for the Walk for Hope
A Science Project in which students practice sustainability in upcycling paper to become books
A Video Story Project in which 9th Grade ELA students collaborated to write a story of the Underground Railroad
The making of a new video series called “The Hope Hall Difference” to promote Hope Hall to new audiences
Letters from the Heart, in which students share their experience about attending Hope Hall versus other schools
A registration opportunity for the High Hopes Golf Tournament (Register soon! Foursomes are filling quickly!)
Ms. Shelby Dunning tries to focus on real-life applications in her Environmental Science classes. The year began with her classes exploring such topics as ecosystems, carrying capacity, bioms, carnivores vs. herbivores, and other topics pertaining to the environment. They then transitioned to environmental problems such as different forms of pollution. The focus in the second part of the year is on sustainability, where the students work on projects in which humans can positively impact the environment.
In March, Ms. Dunning sent an email to faculty and staff asking for donations of used paper. Ms. Dunning’s 12th Grade Science classes then, literally, ripped the paper to shreds. The ultimate goal was to upcycle the paper into books. In a multicultural crafting class in college, Ms. Dunning had studied the ancient art of Coptic book binding, which is a way of binding books without glue or staples. This style of book binding is attributed to early Christians living in Egypt some 2000 years ago. And it definitely captured her students’ attention and interest!
Each student was asked to create forty pieces of paper in the multi-week sustainability project, using the following process:
Step One: Shred enormous piles of paper in all colors into small pieces. Place the shredded paper into a powerful blender, along with ample amounts of water, and blend, starting on a slow speed.
Step Two: Add several blenders full of the pulp to basins of standing water, then evenly cover the deckle (which is a rectangular frame with mesh screen) with the pulp. If the mix is too thin, it will fall apart; too thick, and the final product becomes inflexible. Hold the deckle over the basin and allow the moisture to drain.
Step Three: Place the mold on what is called a couching cloth that absorbs the moisture. Tamp the mold down with a sponge to force out excess water and smooth the paper pulp. Tip the flattened, wet pulp onto a clean cloth and allow it to dry.
About the Paper Creation: Different colors in the original paper creates pulp producing variety in the shades and patterns, depending on how the student mixes the pulp and adds it to the basins and the deckle.
Step Four: Iron the paper on both sides with a warm iron, then allow the pages to be flattened for a day or two within a book or compressed between two flat surfaces.
Step Five: Cut front and back covers to size and decorate the covers.
Step Six: Trim the pages to size to match cover size. Use tape to reinforce the inside edge of the paper, then punch evenly-spaced holes through the covers and pages with an awl. Next, use a tapestry needle and waxed thread, to stitch the books so that the pages are exposed on all sides, and so the book will lie flat when opened.
Ms. Kayla Swan used the book as inspiration to have her 9th Grade ELA students write their own version of the story, sharing what they thought was happening in the book. Each had an opportunity to read his story in front of the class, practicing public speaking skills while sharing his creativity. The stories were well-developed with smooth transitions and rich detail. While all of the stories shared the common thread of a young girl helping a runaway slave, the variety of interpretations was fascinating.
The readings inspired the idea to have the students work on a collaborative version in which the group picked out favorite parts from each student’s story to include, harmonizing certain elements, such as the girl’s and the cat’s name, across all sections.
At that point, Hope Hall’s Marketing Manager Ms. Carol White Llewellyn recorded the story, with each student narrating the section he wrote, to create the video book embedded below entitled The Girl Who Helped the Underground Railroad.
The students enjoyed a viewing party on Monday, April 11, complete with popcorn, while discussing the results and commenting on how different they sound in a recording than when they hear their own voices. They’re looking forward to sharing the story with family and friends.
In Sister Diana’s Director’s Corner this month, she discusses the theme of Prudence, which is April’s theme. Throughout the school, we will be nurturing the virtue of Prudence by helping our students think before they act, and consider their choices, as well as their consequences, and how those choices solve a problem or make it worse.
In this issue, you’ll also discover articles about:
The Hope Hall Spirit, On and Off the Court
Thanks to the Italian American Sport Club for another successful and memorable Experience Italy
Part II of our students thoughts about Hope Hall
Beyond Hope Hall: Guiding Career and Academic Transition
How Hope Hall supported Ukraine through a schoolwide initiative
Click on the image below to download and read the April newsletter.