Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to a new decade 2020! With the reflection and possibilities of a new year, I wanted to open up a more direct form of communication with parents and families. In addition to the school wide emails sent out on Tuesdays, I have set a goal for myself myself to send a monthly letter to keep you updated on the ongoing growth of the school at large.
Security has been a top priority this year and I hope you see those efforts being made to make our campus a secure, safe and welcoming environment. In the first semester we have been making steady progress at enhancing our security, our technology and our facility and plan to continue on making updates in the future. We are grateful for the parish support throughout these endeavors. It is a process.
- New cameras were installed, inside and outside of our facility. We have a total 18 cameras on campus, double what we had when we started the year.
- Updated Emergency Plan (EOP), parent alert system, staff trainings and on-site drills
- Updated our onsite communication with state-of-the-art walkie talkies
- I-pads and Apple TVs in all classrooms (Thank you Jog-a-Thon!)
- New firewall, Internet Access Points and updated security for Internet connection for our students
- Improved use of Option C for parent access to grades, assignments and school information
- Replaced ceiling tiles and lights in the gym, take a look when you come by for the Book Fair and Catholic Schools Week. (Thank you Project 2017!)
In place for this coming semester:
- We will welcome Ms. Kelly Sykora back to Saint Francis de Sales as a curriculum specialist for math. We will begin the process of preparing our students for the opportunity to take Algebra in 8th grade on our campus.
- Next year we will be purchasing a new Math program to enrich all of our student’s math learning needs.
- Winter MAP testing will begin this week and ITBS will be given in March to grades 3rd-7th. The data from these test results assist us in planning for the next school year and most importantly fosters growth in all of our students.
- A new gate will be installed at the Curtis Street entrance in February.
- Dismissal procedures have been reviewed and are in the process of being updated.
- Doors will be replaced at school entrances
Future Goals and Initiatives
- New Social Studies and Science resources to increase vertical alignment between Elementary and Middle School
- Implement a STREAM project-based curriculum and apply for national certification through NCEA (National Catholic Education Association)
- New main entrance for the school
- Update our heating and fire alarm systems
- Replace classroom furniture
Teacher & Staff salaries are being reviewed and aligned to the local district scales. At this time many of our teacher salaries are well below the district levels. Although our teachers are committed to Catholic education and understand that there will be these discrepancies, our goal is to offer our teachers 80% of what their counterparts would receive. This will take a few years to meet, but it takes precedence on our agenda as we create budgets and move forward. Maintaining and hiring great teachers is a top priority and the foundation of any great school.
We look forward to our next round of parent, teacher, and student conferences on February 20th. We will have an early release that day and conferences will be 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Conferences will be scheduled for February 20th only. If you cannot meet the teacher on that day, they will schedule a time to accommodate you on another date. This conference is optional for parents to attend and opportunity to touch base with your teachers. MAP scores will be sent home prior to these conferences.
Please consider joining us for our parent meeting on 1/22 at 6 PM OR 1/23 at 8:40 AM. We will be discussing our Mission Statement and the expectations for the accreditation process we will go through next school year. The accreditation process will need support from all members of the school community, including our parents.
We do need parents who are interested in serving on our Home & School Board next year, and currently we need parent support for our major fundraiser on May 2nd, Derby Night (formerly Casino Night) or any of our home & school activities coming up. Please remember we all must work together to help the school grow.
This year Derby Night will be our major schoolwide fundraiser and is scheduled for Saturday May 2nd. Please mark your calendars. We have some great ideas and would love to see a large turnout to support our school. We plan to have the event from 4-9 PM and incorporate the Live Kentucky Derby. There will be hats! There will be betting games, contests and of course the silent and live auction of class created projects. Plan to bring friends, family, neighbors and anyone who is ready to have some fun, all are welcomed. More information to come from our volunteers.
Registration: Next week we will have registration forms go home with your child’s report card, on January 24th. All information on the report cards and the re-registration forms will be available in Option C. Please remember that tuition must be up to date to re-register. We are here to provide a Catholic education to those who want to be here, feel free to make an appointment with Ms. Pankau, our registrar, or administration if you have any issues or concerns with reregistration.
We have begun to advertise for new students. Please know that you, as parents are our best marketing tool. What you say outside of school about us it so very important. This is one of the reasons I recognize that this communication is so important to the growth of our school. If you need clarification on something going on at school, please feel free to come in to talk or email myself or your child’s teacher. Remember that when you talk about SFdS, you are an ambassador for our school and our community. No school is perfect, but we do have the best interest of our students at heart and the willingness to keep working towards growth and excellence.
I want you to be confident that your child is in the right school and that we are moving forward in our initiatives to enhance and better SFdS. Bring a family to our Open House (1/26 10:00 to 11:30) and share our wonderful community with them as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week with an all school Mass and a celebration of the feast of Saint Francis de Sales.
It is a pleasure and a Blessing to be the principal of this school and know that I have the best interest of our students in my heart. It has been an adjustment this year for me and for our school community. As the calendar year ended, I feel like we have a plan moving forward and a very bright future. I continue to pray to God for His continued support and guidance as we continue on together to strive for excellence that will extend beyond the classroom and into our daily lives.
Saint Francis de Sales Parish School