Fifth-graders honored by CorTrust

Fifth-graders honored by CorTrust "Friends of the School," sponsored by CorTrust Bank of Vermillion, recognizes St. Agnes School�s fifth-graders for a year of success.

The fifth-graders will soon be bringing their years at St. Agnes School to a close. But this has been an active year for the students, as they have been busy with many responsibilities at St. Agnes throughout their final year.

�One of the most important responsibilities for a fifth-grade student is to be a positive role model for other students attending St. Agnes, including their peers,� said Principal Betsy Gottsleben. �That�s why we have a ?Big Buddy� program.�

In the Big Buddy program, a fifth-grader is paired with a first-grader each week to do a special activity together.

�The positive interaction that comes from this activity creates a connection that promotes unity across grade levels within the building and on the playground,� Gottsleben said.

Another important emphasis at St. Agnes for the fifth-graders is being involved in service. They provide service to their church through serving at Mass, preparing the church bulletin and preparing liturgy. They also provide service to their school community through tutoring younger students, lunch room responsibilities, flag duty and demonstrating stewardship by promoting recycling throughout the school.

�A goal of St. Agnes School is to provide experiences for the students to grow in service to God, church, the community and one another,� Gottsleben said.

Academically, the fifth-graders have done well, too. According to Gottsleben, the class participated last fall in the newly mandated South Dakota Department of Education Stanford Writing Assessment. The class scored in the 61 percent range when compared to other fifth graders in the nation, and in the 73 percent range compared to other fifth-graders in South Dakota. The assessment consisted of the students being given a prompt and then asked to complete a narrative composition. The scoring took into consideration the balancing of strengths and weaknesses of the students� writing.

The opportunity for each student to put their writing talents to use was also made available by publishing four issues of the school newspaper, The St. Agnes School Times. The newspaper is made available to the school and parish community.

St. Agnes School fifth-graders will graduate on Friday, May 21. A school Mass will be held at 9 a.m., followed by graduation and a short program in the St. Agnes School gym.

�As the students leave St. Agnes School, they look forward to attending the Vermillion Middle School and facing the many exciting challenges that are in store for them,� Gottsleben said. �Through education at St. Agnes School, it is our goal that as each student leaves, they are empowered to meet every circumstance of life with the attitude of Christ.�

In recognition of St. Agnes School�s fifth-graders� achievements, CorTrust Bank will provide a pop and pizza party for the students during the last week of school.

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