What a jam packed first semester.  Take a look back at all the experiential learning our students did outside of the traditional classroom setting these past few months.  We’re so lucky to live in a city with an abundance of cultural

institutions, activities and organizations that we can partner with to make these types of trips possible.  Thank you to all who opened their doors, provided bus funding, and helped educate our Belles!

The Blue Ties and Green Ties in Health Careers go on a monthly clinical visit to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center that provides a look into the numerous clinical areas at the hospital. Students shadow the clinicians in the operating rooms, surgical units, dietary department, physical and occupational therapy departments, women’s health center, laboratory, cardiac cath lab and bioengineering. Learning one on one from the dedicated staff at the hospital allows the students to apply what they study in the classroom to real health care world experiences. LCOM Medical Center is a wonderful and generous partner of SMA!

September 8- Through a new partnership with Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre our after school dance class attends professional performances by the company with a Q & A after.  For the first trip they went to see a performance at Culver City Hall which was part of Culver City’s Centennial celebration.

September 28- Photography and Yearbook classes went on a field trip to see two shows that are part of Pacific Standard Time. Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Led by the Getty Museum, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the latest collaborative effort from arts institutions across Southern California.  Thank you to The Hammer Museum for having us to see ‘Radical Women’ and Annenberg Space for Photography for having us today to see ‘Cuba Is’.

October 6- The Green Ties had Freshmen Retreat after school. They had a sleepover in the SMA Gym for further bonding time and spiritual deepening, led by Campus Ministry, student leaders, and faculty/staff.

October 8- For the past several years, the Health Careers Program students have been invited to attend and participate in the White Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The White Mass recognizes the dedicated work of Catholic Health Care Professionals from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Mission Doctors Association. The White Mass is a special celebration to acknowledge and thank the unique contributions made by all Catholic Health Care Professionals, and takes its name from the white coat most commonly worn by those in the medical field. The students assisted with the event by greeting and distributing the Mass programs to the attendees. After the Mass, the students are able to network with the health care professionals at a reception held at the Cathedral.

October 8-  A group of Belles who are a part of our new ACE Mentor Program (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) participated in All Schools Day and got to create and present incredible structures in a friendly competition.  Teams tried to design and build the strongest pasta tower!

October 12- Select Gold and Red Ties spent the day visiting Mt. Saint Mary’s University. The students had an amazing time learning about the University founded by our beloved Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

October 18- The 11th and 12th grade Health Career Path Program students had an enlightening and inspiring workshop with the founder of iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, Ms. Wenonah Valentine, (B.A. Black Studies and Economics At UCSB, M.B.A. Azusa Pacific University, SMA Blue Tie 1972) and Ms. Kimberly Thomson (UCLA B.S. Sociology, SMA Green Tie 1985). The students participated in leadership and racial equality in health care sessions including creating vision boards.

October 19- Media arts students enjoyed a tour at Sony Pictures Studio. They saw sample of all the moving parts involved in the production of television and movies. We’d like to thank Women In Media for helping make this trip possible.

October 25- Acting and music classes were brought to tears and cheers during Center Theatre Group’s performance of the Broadway Musical “Bright Star” at The Ahmanson Theatre. We would like to thank CTGLA for such an amazing program that allowed some of our students to see live theater for the first time in their lives. The also sent a teaching artist, Juan Parada, that led our Belles in a number of acting exercises, introduced them to the show beforehand, and spoke about what it is like to be an actor and director in Los Angeles. It was a truly inspiring experience for all.

October 25- Belles joined over 8,000 other students from the LA Archdiocese at the 5th Annual Christian Service 4Life Event with Archbishop José Gomez at USC’s Galen Center. This pro-life rally is an opportunity to learn about service and other pro-life issues, while enjoying music and special guest speakers, among many other activities. Some of our Belles were even invited to dance onstage with Joe Melendrez!

November 2- The Gold Tie Health Career Program students participated in a “Healthy Ties” workshop at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that included tours of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Rehabilitations and talks by several health career professionals.

November 2- Blue Ties focused on service and how they can serve “the dear neighbor” during their two-day class retreat.  Our sophomores volunteered at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank prepping food that will go to families in need. Then they attended an on-campus reflection on what it means to serve all with compassion.

November 3-  Dance students attended a workshop and preformed what they learned in a pre-show before the Fish Eyes performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre.  Some of the students performed the dance a week later at their annual gala, Ultramarine!

November 9- Red Tie juniors in Healthcare Ethics class took a field trip to The Museum of Tolerance. Students were given different passport photo cards that tell the story of a child whose life was changed by the events of the Holocaust.

November 15- ACE students participated in their first Trades Day with PCL Construction at the Banc of California Stadium site! Professionals guided the students through hands-on activities that would prepare them for a variety of careers within construction–from drilling and sawing to cement work and wall building. Thank you to our partner ACE Mentor Los Angeles for this exciting opportunity!

November 16- Belles from our engineering classes visited UCLA to tour its Department of Material Sciences and Engineering! Students got to experience the college campus, learn about the history of different types of engineering, and chat with some SMA alumnae who are current students there. Thank you UCLA Engineering for letting us visit!

November 16- Photography class takes a “photo walk” every Thursday to take photographs but this time they took a walk through the neighborhood to check out Residency Art Gallery. The show Barrio Logos: Displacement and Vanishing Iconography is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/ LA. They were given the special opportunity of meeting with the curator, Oscar Magallanes, and one of the artists, Aaron D. Estrada, to discuss the artwork.

December 4- The Engineering Career Path students along with students from the Girls Academic Leadership Academy participated in an #HourofCode event at University of Southern California. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering VAST Code Dojo takes place during National Computer Science Education Week, with USC Viterbi students majoring in Computer Science. Among the invited speakers were Joyce Edson, the current Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City of Los Angeles. The girls were given the task of creating various short animations using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Scratch programming language. SMA students enjoyed meeting other girls from nearby schools as well as meeting current USC Viterbi Engineering students.

December 4- Drawing, ceramics, and AP Studio art classes went to LACMA to view art. They saw special exhibits that are part of PST/ LA:LA as well as some the permanent collection. Students found artwork they were inspired by to write artist statements for as if they were the artist.

Most recently, college bound Belles woke up early on Saturday to learn about and explore the campuses of University of California San Diego and San Diego State University.  Our Juniors are getting a head start on the college application process by touring schools in the area they’re considering applying to.  Kudos to them for being so proactive and spending their weekend so productively.

We can’t wait to see what next semester brings!