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SFDS State of Our School – May 2021

Dear SFdS Families,
SFdS has had a memorable year. Covid has changed many thingsin our lives but
SFdS remained focused, safe and fortunate due to our collective community efforts.
We closed in-person learning for only one week all year to be extra cautious after

Thanksgiving. We are committed to the upcoming school year with students in-
person, without masks or limited cohorts.

At our last Home & School Board meeting it was brought to my attention that many parents have not
been on campus since March 2020 and perhaps I should share some of our ongoing projects and
updates. We continue to work on our budget. This summer we will have an Annual Report for our
parents and community which will include the costs per student, report our spending for the 2020-2021
school year and the proposed budget for next year. We did increase our tuition this year by 3%. Teacher
salaries have been adjusted to a scale that we will use the next few years to get to our goal of
comparable salaries of 80% of our public-school counterparts. This year we are at 75% of our goal.
This summer we will focus on installing a new fire alarm system for our school. Our present one is
working but outdated. We will also finish our new Mary Prayer Garden and outside classroom, donated
by the Graduating Class of 2020. A plaque will be installed to recognize their donation. This is the area
outside of our present 6th grade classroom. We will add flowers and new bushes, install a flagpole and of
course a statue of Mary in a prominent place. New benches and picnic tables will also be installed in the
garden area so we may use this space as an outside classroom.
Through many generous gifts, grants and fundraisers this year, we are able to do the following:
• Purchase IPads; 1 to 1 for all students in grades 1-8
• New software was purchased for benchmarking (STAR testing in Math and Reading)
• Accelerated Reader and Freckle were purchased and have proven to be a great asset for our
• Apple TV and 50” TVs were installed in all classrooms and a mobile one for our gym
• Classroom Teacher’s received new Mac laptops
• Implemented a new math series, Envision
Our facility and security upgrades this past year include:
• Bathrooms in the main hall have been updated with new dividers and fixtures
• Painted our hallways and other areas throughout the school as needed
• Ceiling Tile in the Gym was replaced last year
• Ceiling tiles in several classroom have been replaced, more scheduled each year
• Heaters installed in the office and grade 5, plans to replace all heaters is in process
• Installed additional security cameras throughout the school, over 20 on campus
• Office relocated closer to the main door entrance
• Increased security for entrance, video camera, Raptor secure visitor check-in and secure gate
• Pickup and dismissal procedures were revamped

Curriculum Enhancements include:
• PK 3 and PK 4 will be in their own classrooms for the upcoming year
• New Science and Social Studies curriculum is being purchased for the upcoming year
• Standardized test scores from this spring, showed our students did not regress but had increases
in both reading and math across our grade-levels
• Continue to offer an Algebra class to our 8th graders on campus with no additional fees
• School Wide STREAM projects
• SEL (Social & Emotional Learning) has expanded and been introduced into all classrooms
Other progress to celebrate:
• School Website and social media have been enhanced and are used more frequently to share
the wonderful activities and events going on at our school
• We were one of ten schools in the Archdiocese who continued with a modified sports program
this year
• Our musical “Shrek Jr” was a great success with all four shows selling out.
• Our SOLES walk was the most successful in the Archdiocese!!!! Thank you for your contributions
• New furniture is being purchased for our classrooms, thank you to H & S and our Annual Auction
We also formed an Athletic Board, updated, and passed By-Laws for Home & School Board and the
School Advisory Committee. Our Home & School Board is aligned to focus on fundraising and building
stronger relationships between home & school. School Advisory Committee has had trainings this year
and is moving in a positive direction to support our school long term vision and plans. Our staff has
invested many hours and extensive energy into our Self-Study and Accreditation Process. Our
Accreditation visit will be this coming Fall.
Of course, one of our many blessings this year is Father Ray!s arrival to SFdS. We are excited to have
Mrs. Sykora step in as our Principal next year. She is eager and enthusiastic to take on this challenge. I
know she will be a great asset for SFdS for many years to come.
As I prepared this communication it has granted me the opportunity to reflect on the many positive and
wonderful things happening during a time that was unprecedented in our lifetime. It has not been an
easy year for many of us, but there were many successes and lessons that were learned. I know that I
have only touched on some of our progress. The one force that has driven throughout all these changes
is the focus on, what is the best for our students.
As a Catholic School we continue to distinguish ourselves from our public-school counterparts by our
commitment to our faith and service. Our participation in attending Mass and religious services cannot
be underestimated nor duplicated in a non-Catholic School environment. We live each day with prayer
with the ability to share in our beliefs and turn to God during times of joy and in our struggles. I continue
to pray for SFdS’s ongoing success and look forward to my new role in supporting our dynamic parish
school. Please be prepared to share your time & talents and commit to volunteer for our school events
this coming year, we missed you and we need YOU. This will benefit you while it instills in our children
the importance of working as a community. I thank you for entrusting your child’s education under my
leadership and know that I recognize that I am the one that is blessed to be a part of this wonderful
community, Saint Francis de Sales Parish School.
Terry Maus