Student Life

At Holy Spirit Catholic School, student life is strong and extensive. Each child who walks through our halls is embraced fully by our school community. Students are known and loved: by their teachers, their peers, the faculty and staff and beyond. We work to provide opportunities for students to grow in friendship both in and outside the classroom.

School wide camaraderie and competition are celebrated during the Student Council’s Fall Spirit Week, the annual Turkey Basketball Shoot-out, Catholic Schools Week celebrations and the PTO sponsored Field Day. The Holy Spirit School Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society sponsors both spirit and service oriented days throughout the school calendar. All students participate in the school-wide buddy program where older students are partnered with a younger student and then provided opportunities to socialize and bond, including sitting together at school-wide Masses. Additionally, there are days throughout the school year where students have in-class celebrations.

Outside the classroom, whether it’s sports, music, academics, social or service, there are many opportunities for students to explore their interests.

Band:

Band is open to all students in grades 4-8. The program is run through the Garwood Whaley Music Program, which is the instrumental music program for the schools in the Diocese of Arlington. The band is currently under the direction of Dr. Little (rlittle@holyspiritflames.org)

Battle of the Books:

This reading program is open to all 5th and 6th grade students and is sponsored by the Office of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Arlington. The selected 15 books are read by the students and discussed at book club meetings. The Holy Spirit Team competes in the Spring against teams from across the Diocese to answer questions about these books. The group meets 2-3 times per month after school.

Teacher moderators: Mrs. Locke (mlocke@holyspiritflames.org) and Mrs. Sansaver (asansaver@holyspiritflames.org)

Book Club (Primary Grades):

The Book Club for the primary grades is open to students in grades 1-3. Stories are read and retold by students through play-acting and crafts.

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Barger (kbarger@holyspiritflames.org)

Book Club (Middle School):

The Book Club for the Middle School is open to students in grades 7 and 8. Popular novels are chosen and discussed in a low-key, but engaging format.

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Sansaver (asansaver@holyspiritflames.org)

Boxing Club:

Open to boys in the 7th and 8th grades to learn self-discipline and increase physical fitness.

Teacher moderator: Mr. Gordon (ggordon@holyspiritflames.org)

Chess Club:

Open to students in Kindergarten through 8th grade; there are two sessions during the school year which typically meet on Mondays after school. Learning the game of chess assists students in developing social skills, memory, spatial skills, numerical abilities, verbal aptitude, creative thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills.

Moderator: Silver Knights Chess Company (https://www.silverknightschess.com)

Choir:

The School Choir serves the Holy Spirit Parish as the choir for the Friday 9:00 am mass. The Honor Choir has two concerts during the course of the year: a Winter concert and a Spring concert. Weekly rehearsals are held after school on Tuesdays (Honor Choir) and Thursdays (School Mass Choir) to practice proper singing technique and a repertoire of music. The choir is open to students from grades 3-8.

Teacher moderator: Mr. Toussaint (atoussaint@holyspiritflames.org)

Coding Club:

Open to students in grades 2 -8, there are three sessions during the school year which typically meet on Thursdays after school. Students learn to code their own games and animations using the MIT developed Scratch program and will challenge all students from beginner to advanced coders.

Moderator: Silver Knights Chess Company (https://www.silverknightschess.com)

Cor Unum for Boys:

This group is meant to help our young men learn what it means to be a man of God in today’s world. Led by dedicated adult and college age men, this group is an incredible way for our boys from all different middle schools in the area to come together to discuss topics of the Faith, form good friendships and have a lot of fun! The group meets on Friday afternoons directly after school.

Contact: Mrs. Renner (msyouthministry@holyspiritchurch.us)

Cor Unum for Girls:

Cor Unum for girls is a place where 7th and 8th grade girls from all different middle schools can come together to discuss important topics of the Faith, pray together, create new friendships and learn how to be young women of Faith in today’s world. Led by some of our dedicated school teachers this is not something you will want to miss! The group meets on Friday afternoons directly following school.

Contact: Mrs. Renner (msyouthministry@holyspiritchurch.us)

Geography Bee:

Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in the annual Holy Spirit School Geography Bee.  Traditionally held in December, the school winner goes on to compete via a written test to advance to the Virginia State competition and possibly a national competition.

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Webb (twebb@holyspiritflames.org)

Got Life? Club:

To help students develop a respect and appreciation for all human life from conception to natural death. Students are given a meaningful way of showing this respect through tangible projects and opportunities for spiritual growth. Monthly meetings include prayer, projects and food! Open to grades 6 – 8.

Teacher moderator: Ms. Gregas (jgregas@holyspiritflames.org)

Math Club:

Assists students in grades 1-5 who may need extra math support. Inclusion in the program is based on teacher recommendation. Students receive math help from “peer tutors” in grades 6-8. Math Club meets once a month.

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Payne (mpayne@holyspiritflames.org) and Mrs. Gibbons (sgibbons@holyspiritflames.org)

Math Olympiad:

Math Olympiad is a nationally recognized, fun math competition team. Students meet twice a month from November to May. Students learn skills, mental math tactics, and practice speed drills in order to be competitive math students. Monthly math competitions allow the students to be ranked locally and nationally with their peers.  Math Olympiad is open to students in grades 6-8

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Cline (jcline@holyspiritflames.org)

National Junior Honor Society:

Members of the society must meet and maintain the academic, service, character, leadership and citizenship criteria of the Society. Students in the second semester of 6th grade, 7th and 8th grades are eligible for membership. The Society maintains the gardens in front of the school, co-hosts a school dance with the Student Council, conducts fundraisers to donate to worthy causes, completes 15 hours of service every school year and promotes academic achievements.

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Lencz (clencz@holyspiritflames.org)

Robotics Club:

This extra-curricular activity is open to students from Third through Eighth Grade. Students are introduced to basic programming and problem solving strategies using the VEX Robotics kit. Students learn to construct, control and program these robots through project-based activities. Students work in teams to plan, build, test, and modify their robot creations with an emphasis on applying the engineering design process.

Moderator: Mr. Sibal (bsibal@holyspiritflames.org)

Running Club:

Holy Spirit Running Club, open to grades 3-8, participates in CYO Cross Country in the Fall and CYO Track and Field in the Spring. Students meet one day per week to enhance their strength, endurance, and running abilities in a fun and supportive Catholic setting.

Contact: Parish CYO Coordinator, Ms. Olivera (cyo@holyspiritchurch.us)

Safety patrols:

Sixth grade students may participate in AAA National Safety Patrol program.  Students learn leadership skills in a friendly environment focused on keeping our students safe during arrival and dismissal.

Teacher moderator: Mr. Farnham (jfarnham@holyspiritflames.org)

Shakespeare Festival:

Huzzah!  Eighth grade students merrily embark on a discovery journey of the “Bard of Avon” resulting in a 30 minute Shakespeare production performed at the Diocesan Shakespeare Festival in May.

Teacher moderator: Mr. Gordon (ggordon@holyspiritflames.org)

Spelling Bee:

Students from grades 1-8 have the opportunity to participate in leveled bees. Classroom champions compete across grade levels (Primary, Intermediate, Middle School) Traditionally held during Catholic Schools.

Teacher moderator: Ms. Maggie Flynn (mflynn@holyspiritflames.org)

Soccer Club:

Run by The Players Sports Academy, this activity is open to students in Kindergarten – 4th grade. There are two sessions during the year (Fall and Spring) with students being provided instruction over an eight week period after school and typically on Wednesdays.

Moderator: The Players Soccer Academy (https://www.thepsasports.com/)

Strings:

The Strings program is open to all students in grades 3-7 under the direction of Dr. Hwan-Ah Lee (stringsthebest@gmail.com)

Student Council:

Holy Spirit Student Council consists of students from 4th -8th grades, however, only students from 6th – 8th grade are eligible to run for an officer position. The mission of the Student Council is to promote an understanding of school events by communicating with the students and teachers; work for the greater good of the students by providing an opportunity for student expression; develop leadership skills among representatives; improve school spirit; and promote positive citizenship. The student council meets monthly, to plan activities such as the Ton of Love and Spirit Week.

Teacher moderator: Mrs. Webb (twebb@holyspiritflames.org) and Mrs. Hoagland (jhoagland@holyspiritflames.org)

Yearbook:

An annual tradition, the school’s yearbook is designed and created by 8th grade students. Meetings are held weekly from October through April.

Teacher moderators: Mr. Toussaint (atoussaint@holyspiritflames.org)

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