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Wildcat Weekly

Welcome to Episcopal Collegiate's weekly eNews, where you will find campus news and announcements. Please select and expand the appropriate section below for your division news!



December 13, 2019

All School News

Calling All Future Wildcats!

As we enter the admissions season for the 2020-21 school year, we continue to see strong interest in Episcopal Collegiate from prospective families. This fall, we hosted numerous admission opportunities for future Wildcats, and we have additional upcoming opportunities this winter including Kindergarten observations beginning December 5 and Pre-K observations beginning in January. If you haven’t completed an application for your child(ren), you may do so here. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about upcoming admissions events.

Additionally, we are frequently asked, “How can I help with the admissions process?”  The answer is simple: Keep spreading the positive word about your child’s experiences at Episcopal, and feel free to share our admissions events with your friends and neighbors.   

If you have any questions regarding Lower School Admissions, contact Mary Jane Briggs at 501-978-4404 or  

If you have any questions regarding Middle & Upper School Admissions, contact Matt Radtke at 501-978-4420 or

Parents' Auxiliary Auction Raffle Tickets

Still pondering the perfect holiday gift? Finish your holiday shopping with a $100 raffle ticket for free Episcopal tuition! What gift could be better? Act now, tickets are limited and you do not want to miss out on this opportunity. Family and friends are invited to purchase tickets through class representatives or by reaching out to Hannah Bryan at hbryan@episcopalcollegiate.


Parents' Auxiliary Auction Circle of Excellence

Become a member of the Circle of Excellence for the 2020 Parents' Auxiliary Stay Wild Auction. Make a $1,000 donation and receive two patron tickets to the auction, invitation to the Patron Party in February, have your names listed in the Circle of Excellence in the auction program, annual report, and on event signage. To become a member or for additional information, please contact Katie Huff or sign up here. Current Circle of Excellence Members are listed here.


Lower School

A Note from Mrs. Schuhmacher

The holiday spirit is definitely alive in the Lower School with students reading Christmas stories, sharing their wishes for this holiday season, creating holiday keepsakes, singing carols, and practicing their lines for our annual Christmas program. Just yesterday I sat in a PreK 3 Godly Play class with Mother Curtis and she asked students what they were grateful for this Christmas season. The answers varied from baby Jesus to Christmas food with several presents thrown in there for good measure. These moments are what make my day and what I am grateful for this holiday season. 

As we approach the weekend and the week ahead, I would like to wish our ChessCats good luck in their tournament. These kiddos work so hard and compete in tough competition with hundreds of kids from the area. I would also like to wish our PSL basketball players good luck as they compete in their second week of games. There are several games here at Episcopal on Saturday. Come by if you have a chance and celebrate these young athletes. 

Finally, I cannot wait to see you all next week at our annual Christmas program. Our younger students will perform at 10am, followed by our older students at 2pm and again at 6:30 p.m. We will end the week with our annual Sing-Along at 10:30 a.m. in the Erwin Hall Performance Hall and Gymnasium. Everyone is invited to attend our Sing-Along on Friday. Classroom Christmas parties will take place following the Sing-Along. We will then dismiss at noon so you can enjoy the next two weeks with your family. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Catherine Schuhmacher
Head of Lower School


Lower School Christmas Program - Wednesday, December 18

The entire Episcopal Collegiate School community is warmly invited to attend the Lower School Christmas Programs on Wednesday, December 18 in the Erwin Performance Hall.

PreK - 1st Program at 10:00 a.m.

Silent Mice, Holy Mice tells the charming story of how the carol Silent Night was written.  It’s winter and the church mice need a new home.  They find the church organ at St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, Austria and nestle in.  Unfortunately those nibbly mice cause the organ to break just before Christmas Eve!  What will they do?  Can Pastor Mohr and his friend Franz Gruber come up with something in time?

2nd-5th Grade Program at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Miracle at Bethlehem tells the story of Jesus’ birth with humor and love.  There are old and new stars, a swaggering Mayor of Bethlehem with his two sniveling assistants and a town full of citizens, shepherds from the countryside, an array of interesting angels, and even some overthinking wise men with a cantankerous camel!  We hope to make your heart smile with this funny and touching rendition of the Christmas story!

Christmas Program Concert Etiquette

We are teaching our young Wildcats about performance etiquette and manners.  Please help us set the example by staying for the whole performance, and waiting until the entire show is done to congratulate your student on their performance.  It shows respect for all the students who have worked hard to make a wonderful show.  Thank you and enjoy!

Christmas Program DVD Orders

Christmas Program DVDs are available for purchase for $20 each.  Fill out this form or see Tonya Thomas in the Lower School Office to order.  Orders are due by 6:30 pm Wed. Dec. 18.

Christmas Sing-Along

Please join us for the annual Christmas Sing-Along on Friday, December 20 at 10:30am in the Erwin Hall Performance Center and Gymnasium. This is a time for our community to come together and sing carols with one another. Christmas parties will take place in the classroom following the Sing-Along. We hope you can join us!


PreK Carpool Changes

Great news, PreK parents! We will begin offering afternoon PreK carpool on a trial basis when we return on Tuesday, January 7. All PreK students will be checked in each morning and out each afternoon using Brightwheel, which is the same student database system we use for Wildcat Club. PreK parents have received an email with specific details regarding afternoon pickup, but I would like to make sure all parents are aware of the changes. 

The PreK student only carpool lane will be open from 2:45-3:00 p.m. each afternoon at the north doors, which are the ones closest to the office and the current location for PreK drop off each morning. PreK students with a sibling will be supervised in the main carpool area and then escorted to their car by a PreK teacher. In addition to their Brightwheel code, parents and guardians picking up PreK students must have an official school carpool sign with all children listed.   

We anticipate there might be some delays in the first few weeks, as there is each year before we get into a routine with our main carpool. We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this time as we try to make this work best for all of our families. 

Questions about carpool? Please contact Catherine Schuhmacher. Questions about your Brightwheel code or log in? Please contact Emma Daily


Varsity Cheer Clinic

The Varsity Cheer Squad will host a cheer clinic on January 12 for K-5 students. Your student will learn a dance and cheers that will be performed with the Varsity Cheerleaders on the sidelines and during half-time at the January 17 Varsity Basketball game. Participants will also perform during the all-school pep rally in February (date TBA) and will receive a cheer clinic t-shirt, a bow, and pom poms.

The clinic will be held on January 12, 2020 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the Championship Gym. Check in will begin at 12:30 p.m. (please note the Kindergarten cheerleader clinic time will be 1:00-3:00 p.m.)

Cost for the clinic is $50, plus the Super Session processing fee. Participants MUST be signed up by noon on Monday, December 23, as this event is limited to 50 participants.

Register here: (look for Varsity Cheer Camp)

For questions, please contact Jamie Jones.


Co-Curricular News - Library

The Braunfisch-Stella Boyle Smith Lower School Library has been bustling with many fun activities and lessons! 

Lower School Students loved visiting author Audrey Vernick in October.  Mrs. Vernick spoke about the writing process, how illustrators are chosen for picture books, and where she gets her ideas (hint: from everyday activities!).  She shared with them a new book that hasn’t been published yet and the students loved that story!  We are already looking forward to our next author, Patricia Polacco, at the end of February! 

2nd quarter highlights included all students enjoyed fun spooky stories during our annual campfire stories week at the end of October, plus these by grade level:

  • Colors, shapes, and sorting have been the focus during Pre-K3 library class. 
  • Pre-K4 students loved playing Nut, Nut, Squirrel and matching numerals 1-10.
  • Kinders built works, made reindeer, and sequenced events from stories 
  • 1st Graders kept working on alphabetical order and sentence structure after reading holiday themed books.
  • Students enjoyed learning how to navigate, find information in Pebble Go! Databases, and presented their findings in 2nd grade.
  • 3rd graders have been working on alphabetical order, directed drawings, and sequencing events from read alouds.
  • Learning about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and creating their own book character floats in Google Drawings in 4th Grade.
  • 5th Graders reviewed the Thanksgiving Story by completing an escape room activity that left them asking for more!

Be sure to check out Mrs. Linder’s Library Webpage for all kinds of awesome resources.  You can find look up books, as well as, find author websites, fun links, classroom links, and database resources for students of all ages.  Mrs. Linder subscribes to several databases that are accessible at school and at home.  

This month’s library database focus is on Epic!  Epic! has hundreds of ebooks, read alouds, and videos that can be used on any device.  Educators receive a free membership and students may use Mrs. Linder’s class code: bqs7616 to access these resources.  Parents can also make an account for a small fee. Epic! is a fun way to keep kids reading over the holidays!

Finally, be sure to check out Mrs. Linder’s Library Instagram account: @episcopalcollegiatelslibrary and follow along with all the fun!


Super Session Highlight - Reindeer Camp!

Come get your jingle on! Calling all reindeer friends for a holly jolly afternoon with Mrs. Tursky and Mrs. Rogers! Come enjoy a reindeer snack while we make reindeer crafts, play reindeer games, and make magical reindeer food!

This fun camp will be held on Monday, December 16 or Tuesday, December 17 and is available to students in grades Kindergarten-Second. Reindeer Camp will run each day from 3:45-5:15 p.m. in Mrs. Tursky's classroom. Cost for the camp is $48.00

Sign up here!


Chapel News

Anticipation is building every day, as we journey through advent, in preparation for the celebration of Christmas. In every classroom, advent candles are being lit during devotions, our Jesse Tree ornaments have been made and hung on the tree, and we are gleefully rehearsing for the Christmas pageant. Through this season of advent, we are reminded of the great promise that God comes to us through the message of those who eagerly long and look for God, in the coming of Baby Jesus and in the love that fills our lives.  

This week our regular chapels will be replaced by Christmas Play performances.  

Please note that our Jesse Tree Ornaments will stay on our tree in the school atrium until Epiphany on January 6.  Please do not take the ornaments from the tree.  In January they will be carefully taken down, packaged and sent home with your child.

Happy Advent,

Mother Curtis+


Pride Patrol

Pride Patrol students assigned for Monday, December 16 - Friday, December 20 are:

PreK Carpool: Penn Dougherty, Corey Frazier, Grant Glover, Laney Hunter, Arden Jones

K-5 Carpool: Maddie Anderson, Anna Russell Brantley, Ruth Brantley, Lucy Busfield, Malcolm Foster


Mark Your Calendar

Monday, December 16

  • Little Rockers, 3:15-3:55pm
  • Taekwondo (K-1), 3:30-4pm; (PreK) 4-4:30pm; (2-5) 4:30-5pm
  • Reindeer Camp, K-2nd

Tuesday, December 17

  • Tiny Tumblers, PreK3-K, 3:30-4pm
  • Cheer Time! Grades 1-5, 4-4:30pm

Wednesday, December 18

  • Christmas Programs
    • PreK-1st - 10am
    • 2nd-5th - 2pm
    • 2nd-5th - 6:30pm
  • Wee Little Arts, PreK3-4, 3:20-4pm
  • Wee Little Arts, K-2, 4:10-4:50pm

Thursday, December 19

  • Chess Club, 3:15-4:30pm
  • Teeny Dancers Recital for both classes, 4-4:30pm

Friday, December 20

  • Christmas Sing-Along, 10:30am
  • Classroom Christmas Parties following Sing-Along
  • Noon Dismissal, No Wildcat Club


Find the LS Calendar here. 

Middle School

A Note from Dr. McCormick

Dear Parents,

Here are the tips that Mrs. Radtke shared with our students for exam prep for the next few days.  They were also included in last week's newsletter: 

Exam Resources from Mrs. Radtke

Weekend of December 13-16:  TEST YOURSELF

  • Don’t let the exam be the first time you realize you didn’t know the material as well as you thought you did. TEST YOURSELF.
  • This is the perfect time to take quizlets, make a practice test out of the study guide, etc. Now that you know what you don’t know, you know where to focus your remaining study time during exam week.
  • We remember things most effectively when we attach meaning to them and make connections. Don’t just memorize facts- understand the connections between the facts! This is how information gets stored into long term memory more effectively.

December 17-20: EXAMS

Exam week! Review in the afternoon, take a nice break to relax and recharge, and get to bed early so you are well rested!


Chuck McCormick
Head of Middle School


Sixth Grade November Top Cats

We recognized the following students at Monday's Morning Meeting for their great attitudes and effort in the core subject areas during the month of November.  Here is a selection of comments teachers made in their nominations:  ready to hit the ground running every day and always willing to help others; diligence in approaching history and all of the core subjects; very infectious smile and laughter; such a hard worker; typically brings joy to the classroom.  Great job, Wildcats!

Science - Ms. Butler - Will Jones

Sixth Grade Math - Mrs. Linna - Elois Moore

World History - Mr. Tamo - Emma Schnackenberg

English - Mrs. Sutton-Chaudoir - Jules Johnson

Spanish - Mrs. Balcom - Ellis Glover


Fourth Annual Middle School Spelling Bee

By Lucy Paul

Our Middle School Spelling Bee took place this Monday, with six, hard-working participants, including the defending champion, Todd McCormick. These contestants were provided many commonly misspelled words, and all contestants made it through two, difficult rounds before making a mistake. The last three contestants - Stella Cochran, Todd McCormick, and Ellis Glover - were going strong until Cochran slipped up in round five. Glover and McCormick went on to spell through 15 rounds, when McCormick slipped up and Glover had the upper hand.  However, she missed her final word and the bee continued. Later, McCormick, too, missed a final word and they kept going. Regular time ran out, so the two finalists returned after school to finish. The two contestants went head-to head for a few more rounds.  Opening the door for McCormick to pull ahead, Glover left out just one letter in the challenging word therapeutic.  With the pressure on, McCormick spelled his final word correctly to become the 2019 Episcopal Collegiate School Spelling Bee Champion.


Community Service Opportunity

A number of our students earned community service hours working at Grinchfest the past couple of years and had fun doing it!  While we shared this with our students, I am also passing it along to you as a great opportunity for your child to take care of their community service requirement during winter break. Students should contact Ms. Retting Hill (contact info. below) to sign up.

Volunteers Needed for Grinchfest!
We are looking for volunteers to assist with Grinchfest at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center. This year's Grinchfest will be held on Monday, December 23. Volunteers must be able to work from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and will assist with craft projects, passing out treats, taking tickets, assisting in the photo area, as well as set-up and clean-up. This would be wonderful and fun volunteer experience for students who need to complete community service hours.  

Date: Monday, December 23
Time: Shows at 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
Description of event: Come enjoy a special reading of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, read by Craig O'Neill!  Costumes are encouraged, and all ages welcome.  Crafts and treats provided.  Please register online to receive a free ticket for the event; tickets will be taken at the door.

Questions? - RETTINA OLIVE HILL, Branch Manager
Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center
4800 W. 10th Street, Little Rock, AR 72204
(e) | (p) 501.978.3886


Middle School Athlete of the Week

Caroline Brantley is our Middle School Athlete of the Week! Caroline is on the 8th Grade Girls’ Basketball team. Here is what Coach Marsh said in his nomination of Caroline:

“Caroline is a joy to coach. She always plays so hard with a smile on her face. Her dedication is evident by being the only 8th grader on the Junior High basketball team. Caroline has made improvements each year she has played, and we look forward to her leadership and dedication for the next few years.”


Summer Trip to Yosemite Park June 2020 with Mrs. Parker!

Summer Trip to Yosemite National Park June 2020 with Mrs. Parker! Please read this trip form regarding this upcoming June's Middle School adventure. Trip is open to rising seventh and eighth graders (current sixth and seventh grade students). Questions? Please contact Mrs. Parker.


Semester Exam Schedule

For your planning purposes, we have included the semester exam schedule here. Monday, December 16, is our last, regular class day for the first semester.  For those of you new to Episcopal or the Middle School, during exam days students are only present at school for their exam and possibly a review session for the next exam, if a given teacher schedules this. We do not hold classes, serve lunch, or provide after care during these days. Consequently, carpool pickup time is typically 10:00 a.m. most exam days.


Find the MS Calendar here.

Upper School

A Note from Mr. Urquhart

With one more Reading Day in the Upper School on Monday before semester exams get underway on Tuesday, this week has been one full of both preparation for exams and celebration of the upcoming holiday season. Among the holiday celebrations, we’ve had our service of Lessons and Carols, our Christmas concert at St. Margaret’s, parties in many of our advisory groups, the Class of 2020’s tree trimming luncheon, a party for our seniors and their kindergarten buddies, a performance in Chapel from our Lower School friends, and today, we’re celebrating by wearing some very ugly Christmas sweaters.

In my conversations with students this week, I know some of them are feeling a little anxious about their upcoming exams: they want to do well, and they care about their academic work. But I also know that they’ve done great work in their classes so far this year, and I hope that students will see next week’s exams as an opportunity to demonstrate the things they’ve learned and the skills they’ve developed during this semester. I’ve been encouraging them to trust the work they’ve done this semester, to eat a good breakfast before their exams, and to resist the urge to stay up late cramming, since we know the positive effects of sleep on cognitive performance. In fact, in a list of strategies to prepare for exams and to overcome test anxiety, the Princeton Review recommends a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast as its #2 and #3 strategies (behind being prepared, which--as you might expect--comes in at #1).

Troy Urquhart
Head of Upper School


2020 Washington D.C. Trip

Join us for a trip to Washington, D.C. to explore historic sites and the workings of the federal government. Highlights include the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, Mt. Vernon, and several museums--Holocaust Memorial Museum, International Spy Museum, Smithsonian Museum of American History, and the National Museum of African American History. The trip is all inclusive except daily lunches and personal souvenirs.

Dates: June 22-27, 2020

Leaders: Martene Campbell and Richie Marsh

Cost: $1,945 (15+ participants), $2,045 (10 participants)

Eligible to travel: Rising 9th- graduated Seniors

For more information, please contact Martene Campbell


Find the US Calendar here.


Upcoming Games

Friday, December 13

  • Girls Junior High Basketball vs. Saline County - 4:00 p.m., HOME
  • Boys Junior High Basketball vs. Saline County - 5:00 p.m., HOME
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Saline County - 6:00 p.m., HOME
  • Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Saline County - 7:15 p.m., HOME

Saturday, December 14

  • Boys 7th Grade Basketball - Jamboree at Mills
  • Boys 8th Grade Basketball - Appling (TN) at Mills

Friday, December 20

  • Boys Junior High Basketball vs. Baptist Prep, 5:00 p.m. - HOME
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Baptist Prep, 6:00 p.m. - HOME
  • Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Baptist Prep, 7:15 p.m. - HOME


Find the Wildcat Athletic Calendar here.