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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcome Wimbledon Delegation!

After weeks of saying "The British are coming!,we can now say "The British are here!"  The delegation from Ursuline High School in Wimbledon, our sister school in England, arrived in Dallas just last night! The excited and welcoming UA Host families met their new daughters at DFW airport and quickly whisked them away for Friday night  family activities such as football games and casual dinners out. The teachers were also whisked away by UA teachers for their first Texas meal which, of course, included "cowboy" steaks and baked potatoes. It was a great beginning for what will be a short but excellent time together this week. The 13 students and 2 teachers will be with us until November 1 and we could not be more excited about the week ahead! Welcome to Texas!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Junior World Affairs Council Dines at ZENNA

One of our most active clubs at UA is the Jr. World Affairs Club. Student members regularly attend speaker events sponsored by the World Affairs Council of DFW which include authors, politicians, diplomats and more. Last night, however, the club sponsored a more social and cultural event. Students and faculty moderators dined together at ZENNA, a unique restaurant in Carrollton which serves a huge variety of Asian foods. For some of the students, this dinner was the first time to try foods such as Sushi, Tempura, Panang Curry and Pad Thai noodles. All enjoyed practicing eating with chop sticks as well as experiencing new flavors. The international dining experience is one that club intends to repeat on a monthly basis so please stay tuned to learn where you can join Jr. WAC for dinner in November!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Welcome Jennifer P. !

We are now back home in Dallas and, upon our return, we were delighted to meet our newly-arrived exchange student, Jennifer P. Jennifer is from a small city in Honduras where she has lived her entire life. In fact, this is the first time that Jennifer has been outside of Honduras. Jennifer attended a bi-lingual high school in Honduras where she was a top student. Jennifer is the oldest of 4 children in her family. She loves to play volleyball and also likes dogs very much (she has 2 labs back home). In the few days that she has been here, Jennifer tells us that she has enjoyed the State Fair and also her classes at Ursuline. She has found UA girls to be "so nice and helpful." Jennifer plans to spend the rest of the school year with us here in Dallas. She looks forward to participating in Serviam activities as well as improving her already excellent English and preparing for college. Welcome Jennifer!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Melbourne Girls' College

After leaving Queensland, we had one more stop on our Australia itinerary: Melbourne. Melbourne is Australia's second most populous city and is the capital of the state of Victoria. It is a cosmopolitan city known for a wonderful standard of living, sports, tourism and education. Melbourne is also home to Melbourne Girls' College, an outstanding Australian government girls' school which is also an international member of the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS), an organization to which UA Dallas also belongs. We were invited to visit Melbourne Girls' School by fellow educators who we met in 2012 at an NCGS conference in Dallas. It was a fantastic visit and we now have a long list of possibilities for collaboration and exchange between our schools.


The School Library

Student Leaders 

Posing with our NCGS colleagues (and Charlie!)

Change of class - looks very familiar

Meeting with the Student Executive Council
Print-making class

Overlooking the Yarra River - perfect for Crew practice!

International students in class

Thank you to our friends for hosting us and inviting us to Melbourne! 

Joyful news!

It is with great joy that we confirm that St. Ursula's College of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia is now an official sister-school of Ursuline Academy of Dallas, Texas, USA. Our plans for student cultural and educational exchanges have begun! We look forward to hosting a visit from St. Ursula's in 2015 and we also look forward to bringing UA Dallas students to Australia.

As we reflect on this happy news, it is worth noting that Ursuline Academy of Dallas now has sister schools and partnerships on every continent. This reality is a dream come true for us at Ursuline Dallas and is a result of years of work and effort by countless Ursuline educators. We send a special word of thanks to our brothers and sisters at Colegio Santa Ursula in Brazil who, through Rafael Bianchi, sent us the following words of congratulations:

Feeling proud of you! You've been connecting Ursuline schools and educators worldwide. Angela had an attitude of pilgrim. She herself was a global woman at a time when the term globalization had not even been coined. Educators like you work to continue her project and make the charism fresh and alive! I am pretty sure she's been watching your steps! Congrats!

We are humbled and excited and are very certain that St. Angela is blessing our Ursuline connections. Here are a few last photos from our precious time with our sisters at St. Ursula's College, a place that we will miss but also one that we will visit again soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Making future plans in Toowoomba

As we are hoping to return to Toowoomba in the future with UA Dallas students, we have been discussing possible lessons and activities which could occur during their time in Australia in addition to all that they will experience as part of an educational and cultural exchange. Here are just a few of our ideas:

There are countless possibilities for studying native Australian birds and plants in the many parks around  Toowoomba. Here you see some Kukooburras, a popular native Australian bird.  

With its rich history, Toowoomba is the perfect place to study traditional Queensland architecture 
Beautiful Aboriginal art can be found in the art galleries of Toowoomba - we'd love for our students to have a chance to learn about art unique to Australia 
Lamingtons are a popular Australian treat - Our students could learn to make them in Hospitality class
With the great emphasis on sports here, our students could practice the sports they already love such as swimming or, they could learn something new like bowling on the lawn. 
As you can see, there is so much waiting here for our UA Dallas students. In looking ahead, we also took some time to tour the house where our faculty will stay when they come here with our students. It's a cozy and comfortable early 20th century home, just across the street from St. Ursula's. So lovely and convenient! After considering all of the possibilities here for our students and teachers, we are confident that this is going to be a great partnership for all!

Future residence of visiting UA Dallas faculty 

Classes at St. Ursula's College

One of our favorite activities during our visit to St. Ursula's College has been visiting classes and learning about the St. Ursula curriculum. We have had an opportunity to observe many classes including Chemistry, Music, Japanese Language, Hospitality and Art. The interdisciplinary lesson in the art class was of particular interest to us as we are also very focused on interdisciplinary learning at UA Dallas. The unit studied is called "Praying & Meditation through Art & Music" and involves a three week task where students research images and religious texts related to sacred representations, symbols and marks relating to meditation.  Students study the elements of art and the principles of design to examine symbolic religious work and to reflect on drawing as an expressive medium related to mandalas. We also talked to the teacher about other interdisciplinary units especially the representation of icons in religious art. As you can see below, classes at St. Ursula's are inspiring and innovative - we are learning so much during our time here!

Hello Dallas!!  from the Chemistry students at St. Ursula's College

Art Class Meditation & Drawing

Coloring a beautiful mandala

Student work on religious icons

Student work reflecting "those who do God's work on Earth" including 2 Americans, Oprah & MLK
Music Class

Another lovely student & lovely mandala

Discussing the Interdisciplinary Art Class & Student tasks

Making Puddings in Hospitality class

Using all senses in Hospitality class

The delicious finished product! 

Japanese Class

The Japanese classroom