Dear Parents,

We are gearing up for the start of the school year.  This week our pre-K teachers have had training in Creative Curriculum as part of a year long pilot.  Our Community Ministry team met to develop our theme and ongoing spiritual development for our faculty and staff.  Middle and Intermediate School faculty met to plan for the year.  Early next week, a number of teachers will be at SPU at a conference entitled: Creating a Dynamic and Engaging Classroom.  It is getting to be that time of year when the ads all say, “It is Back to School Time”.

So, let me get started with directing your attention to who your child’s teacher will be for the upcoming school year. Last year’s teachers carefully considered the most appropriate placement for each of their students; all parent input has been weighed: and classes have been balanced for student needs, gender and class size.   Full class rosters are posted on the school doors and on our web site.  If we missed something, please let us know. 2017-18 Class Lists

We have had time to analyze our Accreditation report, MAPS testing (Measure of Academic Progress) and our own reflections and there are some specific areas that we want to focus on from the beginning.  Your help with these will reinforce their importance.

  1. Reading:    Our reading scores were lower than desired, with some grade levels not showing steady growth throughout the three testing dates.  We will be planning on exactly how we want to approach reading in our curriculum, but research clearly shows that kids who read a lot, score better on all reading subtests.   We still have summer days left, so push those books and magazines to your kids, get them off video games, take a field trip to the library (air-conditioned).  Any way to hook them will make a huge difference.
  1. School Readiness:   Looking at the number of tardies; hearing from teachers about a casual attitude about homework completion; and too many in-class disruptions, we will be focused on behaviors that lead to school success.  Just age old stuff: get to school on time, be prepared with homework completed and questions ready, and contribute to the overall learning by being respectful and attentive.  Dynamic and engaging classrooms start with the teacher but students showing up on time and ready to learn moves us from a good school to a great school. Please make every effort to get to school on time.  If it is a choice that students are making to not get up and moving, we will note that as unexcused with consequences appropriate for the age.
  1. School Pride:  Wearing “spirit wear” is good, feeling like you belong, that “St. Pats is my school” is the real deal.  I don’t know the ASB theme for the year yet, but I do know we have a fantastic group of leaders and a record numbers of students who ran for office with great ideas on how to make school more fun and inclusive.   We will be attentive to creating opportunities for student leadership. building a more caring community, and generating greater St. Pat’s Pride from how we care for our surroundings to how we invite all to be friends.  More on this will be forthcoming.

I go into every school year with the feeling that this will be the best one ever.  I am excited about our new teachers and the families who join us; Barbara Bolanos will be our full-time Vice Principal, who will provide greater support for our teachers and students; and we have a clearer sense of the affective and academic changes we want to bring to our school.   Parent involvement has been really phenomenal so I look forward to partnering with you in making this another great year.

Stay in the shade and enjoy our beautiful Northwest.