To Be, Rather Than to Seem

New Families

Welcome to the Academy! This page is for families entering pre-K through 8th grade. As we move through the summer, we will email you when the site is updated or when we need further information from you.

Other Important Information

AHN "Dictionary"

Academic Resource Time – In the middle school, most days end with a ½-hour time period in which students can meet with teachers for extra support or can attend a study hall to get a head start on homework. You will hear this referred to as ART.

Academy Cup – This is an intramural tournament held in the spring each year. Seventh and 8th-grade advisories compete to be the soccer and/or kickball champions. Fifth and 6th-grade advisories cheer on their assigned buddy room, and the whole school gathers to watch the finals between the winning 7th-grade homeroom and the winning 8th-grade homeroom.

Advisory – This is what homeroom time is called in the middle school.

AHN, Academy – Both are short-hand for the Academy of the Holy Names

All-School Mass – Held in the Brady Center, these Masses are attended by all grades, pre-K to 12. Students in pre-K to 4th grade should be sure to wear their school uniforms on this day even if they have PE. The dates for these special events are located on the calendar, which is found on the website. All are welcome to attend; parking is available along the West Drive.

Ambassadors – A group of high school students who assist the director of admissions for recruiting purposes and who help support special events.

Attendance Line – We ask parents call the school if their child is going to be absent. Parents may leave a message on the attendance line, which is extension 525.

Bailey Family Center for the Arts – This building houses the fine arts classes (visual arts, music, and drama) for our 1st- through 8th-graders and the high school students. The 350 seat theatre is state-of-the-art!

Blessed Marie Rose – The foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary; her given name was Eulalie Durocher.

Block Schedule – Starting in 5th grade, the schedule is a “block schedule.” There are many different versions of a block schedule. In ours, students have four classes each day on an alternating basis.

Blue and Gold – the school colors

Blue and Gold Days – In the middle school, each day is delineated as either a Blue Day or a Gold Day. This allows students to know which classes they will have each day.

Brady Center – This is the building that is along the West Drive of the school. It serves many purposes, from being a lunch room to hosting 8th-grade graduation. It can be split into two sections, which one may hear referred to as Brady Center North and Brady Center South.

Clothes Closet – Gently worn school and PE uniforms are available through this store, which is run by the Mothers Association. Dates and times when it is open are posted on the school calendar. It is located in the MacDill House on the northwest corner of the Bayshore campus.

Courtyard – The area between the Brady Center and the Prince Family Middle School Center.

CPR – Three to four days a week, middle school students have extended advisory times during which they participate in “CPR.” Students gather in a circle and greet each other and then participate in activities that aim to build community amongst the students and faculty. This time is also used to have students set goals and to reflect on their progress towards those goals. As the year progresses, students also begin to develop leadership skills by developing and leading CPR activities and conversations. This advisory program has the goal of helping middle school students fulfill their needs for positive relationships, autonomy, competence, and fun!

Dads Club – This organization is for all dads. Meetings are normally held on campus after work hours and will be noted on the school calendar. This is a great way for dads to meet other dads and to help support the school and its programs.

E-News – This weekly parent email is our main form of communication. Be sure to check your email each Thursday of the school year for it. If one or both parents are not receiving it or you have any other issues, feel free to contact Emily Wise at

Early Bird – Pre-K to 4th-grade students are permitted to go to classrooms at 7:45 a.m. each day (8:30 a.m. on Wednesdays). Students who arrive earlier than that congregate in the Brady Center for Early Bird. This free service is offered each day starting at 7:00 a.m. Middle school students have the privilege of congregating in the courtyard from 7:00-7:30 a.m. and are then allowed to come into the MS building at 7:30. 

Electives – Students in 7th and 8th grade are given the opportunity to choose a class to be their elective for the school year. The offerings for the 2019-2020 school year are visual arts, drama, tech theater, photography, web design and coding, guitar, and rock band. 

ES, LS, MS – On the calendar and in different publications you will see these abbreviations used. ES (Elementary School) refers to all grades Pre-K to 8.  LS (Lower School) events are for pre-K to 4. MS (Middle School) events are for grades 5-8.  

Esse Quam Videri shirts – At the beginning of the school year a contest will be held in the middle school to design a T-shirt that reflects our mission and something about our foundress, Blessed Marie Rose. On the back of the T-shirt is the year’s theme. This year it was “To Be a Leader.” All students receive a T-shirt in time for the Mass on October 6th, which is Blessed Marie Rose’s feast day. Once the T-shirts are distributed, students may wear them with their uniform bottoms every Friday. 

Extended Day- This fee-based program is available every day after school until 6:00 p.m. for registered students and drop-ins. Sign-up is available through the website.

FCC (Florida Catholic Council), FKC (Florida Kindergarten Council) and FCIS(Florida Council of Independent Schools) and AdvancED - accrediting agencies through which we are accredited. 

Holding Room – Students who are staying after school for middle school sports or after-school activities congregate in Brady Center South after school before going with adults to their destination. This is referred to as holding room.

Jag Shop – Run by volunteers in the Mothers Association, this store is where families can buy school spirit items ranging from bumper stickers to sweatshirts. A schedule of days that it is open is on the website, and it is open at most school-wide events. It is located in the MacDill House on the northwest corner of the Bayshore campus.

Jaguar – the school mascot

Junior Beta – This is an honor society for students in 6th– 8th grade. Qualifications and membership requirements are found in the handbook.

Learning Commons – Throughout the middle school are areas that are designated learning commons. These areas serve many purposes, including being a place for instruction, group work, research, presentations, checking out books, and individual work.

Learning Studio – In the middle school building, each class in each set is assigned a space in a learning studio.  These rooms allow for flexible seating and multiple modalities of teaching, including whole-group instruction.  Learning studios are what adults traditionally call classrooms.

Mothers Association - This organization is for all moms. There are many ways to get involved in this organization.  Look for the dates for sign-up coffees to learn about the various opportunities.

Morning Meeting – In grades pre-K to 4, each morning starts with a classroom morning meeting. During this time, students greet each other and do a sharing exercise and a short activity. This time of community building sets a positive tone for the day and also builds important speaking and listening skills.

No School – There is no school for students.

Oak Grove – The term used to describe the south front lawn. Old-time alumni remember spending their freshman year eating lunch in the oak grove. It is now used in a variety of ways such as for the kindergarten Easter Egg Hunt, for quiet reflection/journaling time for religion classes, or as the site of the 8th grade end-of-the-year class lunch. 

October 6 – The feast day for Blessed Marie Rose. Each year this is celebrated with an all-school Mass. All are welcome to attend.

PRIDE – This acronym was developed by a group of teachers as a way to make the school motto of “To Be, Rather than to Seem” into an Elementary School theme. The letters each represent values that are important to our whole school community. Eighth-grade students are our PRIDE leaders each year, and they plan and run all-school assemblies and events to promote school spirit and the community’s commitment to the ideas behind the slogan.

         P – Positive Attitude

         R – Respectful Behavior

         I – Independent Learning

         D – Dedicated to Safety

         E – Engaged in Learning

Retakes - In the middle school, students are given an opportunity to retake tests. Retakes are optional and must be requested by the student him/herself. They require a student to show evidence of additional preparation and to come to the retake room at the assigned time. 

Safe Environment Training – If you are interested in chaperoning, safe environment must be completed online.  Information can be found on the website under the Parent tab. Click Parent Association, then click Volunteer Background Check Approval. Specific instructions may be found there. Feel free to contact Deb Norris in the office if you need help finding this information.

SAGE – the company that provides our lunch service; directions on how to create accounts and see menu options are found on the website.

School Closed – Thereis no school for students or faculty/staff. The building is closed.

Set – In the middle school this is what each class is called. There are four sets each day for a total of eight sets in each student’s schedule.

Student-Led Conferences – In the middle school, the spring conferences are student-led. During these conferences, students present their work, strengths, and areas of growth. This conference is attended by students, parents and advisory teacher. It is an opportunity for the student to reflect on his/her growth and to set goals for the rest of the year and coming years.  

Trimesters – Our school year is broken into three, 12-week sections. At the end of each trimester, 12 weeks, a report card is sent home for grades 1-8.  

Veracross – Starting with the 2019-2020 school year, Academy will be using Veracross as the learning management system and student information system. Information on how to access and use this system will be given at a later date.

FACTS Account Registration

Academy of the Holy Names has engaged FACTS to collect tuition and related fees. Parents or guardians understand that tuition statements will only be available by enrolling with FACTS. Parents or guardians can also choose to receive invoices from FACTS and remit payment to them directly rather than pay electronically. Parents or guardians also understand it is their responsibility to enroll their new child/children in the FACTS program within 10 business days from registering their child/children and to select a payment plan and a payment method. If you have an existing account with FACTS, there is no need to do anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many PE uniforms will my child need?
Pre-K students attend PE one time/week, however they should have an extra set in their bag at all times. All other grades attend PE two times/ week. We suggest two PE uniforms.

Will my child need a backpack?
All grades, except pre-K, will need a backpack (no wheeling backpacks). Pre-K will receive a tote bag from the school.

What will my child sleep on in Pre-K?
Your child will receive a rest mat from the school. Your supply list will ask for a towel for rest time to use as a cover for the rest mat. These need to fit in the cubbies, so size does matter.

How often are there free-dress days?
Pre-K has one dress-down day every week (color related, theme related, alphabet letter related). For students in grades K-8, free-dress days will be noted in the e-news or written in the student planner. These are usually planned for a special occasion (ex: holidays).

What is a student planner?
Student planners are used for homework, organization, and written communication between teachers and parents.

Will my child need a snack?
All grades, except pre-K, will need to bring their own snack each day. Pre-K will receive a healthy snack each day from their teachers that is related to the theme of the week.

Does my child get a snack if they attend the Extended Day program?
Yes, a snack is provided at Extended Day.

What about nut products for snack and lunch?

We are a “nut aware” school because we have several students with serious peanut/tree nut allergies. Snack must be nut-free. Lunches may include nuts, but sending nut-free food is appreciated to reduce possible exposure to some of our students.

How do I celebrate my child’s birthday at school?
Parents are invited to join their child at lunch time and bring his/her favorite food of choice. Students also get free dress on their special day. No treats are brought in to share with classmates. If a child’s birthday falls on a non-school day (ex: weekend or breaks), the family can decide when they want to celebrate.

In what grades do students participate in swimming?
Swimming as part of the PE curriculum begins in 1st grade and continues through 8th grade.

Is there a hot lunch program?
Yes, SAGE is our hot lunch provider for all grade levels. Students in grades pre-K to 4 receive a set meal each day. Students in grades 5-8 have the option to do a la carte or the daily entree.

Helpful Names and Numbers


Absent Student Attendance Line, ext. 525,

Extended Day, Courtney Franks, ext. 728,

Assistant Principal, Becky Elliott, ext. 240,

MS Athletics, Chris Severini, ext. 270,

LS Curriculum Specialist, Heather Graham, ext. 388,

MS Curriculum Specialist, Tricia Dieck, ext. 334,

Dads Club, Chris Growcock

ES Admin. Asst., Deb Norris, ext. 339,

ES Office Asst., Karen Rocha, ext. 275,

LS Guidance/Learning Resource Specialist, Megan Lopez, ext. 340,

MS Guidance/Learning Resource Specialist, Cheryl Conlan, ext. 344,

Lunch (SAGE), Dee Bell, ext. 317,

Media Specialist, Emily Swiger, ext. 380,

Mothers Association, Michaelle Popovec,

Nurse, Patti Alberts, ext. 342,

Principal, Bridgid Fishman, ext. 406,

Technology, Lisa Cohen, ext. 325,

Uniforms, Risse Brothers, 813-282-8338,



Although the handbook will be updated for the fall, you may find it helpful to access the 2018-2019 handbook on the website.

Nut-Aware Policy

There are a number of students with serious peanut/tree nut allergies. The Elementary School’s goal is to reduce the risk of exposure to peanuts/tree nuts in the school building. Any food item that is brought to school for sharing (e.g. class holiday party) may not contain peanuts or any other tree nuts (e.g. sesame seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.) This includes all products containing nuts, traces of nuts, and nut byproducts (peanut oil, peanut flour, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, etc.) Most food products are clearly labeled and state "may contain nuts or traces of nuts."

By following this procedure, we hope to avoid any chance of cross-contamination. Any individual snacks or lunch items that a student brings from home are not to be shared with anyone for any reason. Please help us in reminding your child(ren) that food is not to be shared because we are trying to keep all of our students safe. Whenever possible, sending the snack or lunch item that is nut-free is appreciated so we may reduce possible exposure for some of our students.

Summer Office Hours

The Elementary School Office will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.