Blank white spiral notebook pages, full boxes of sharpened crayons, iPads with new apps, and sturdy backpacks with unbroken zippers mark the start of the school year. New tennis shoes squeak as students walk on shiny floors to their classrooms. Everything is fresh and new as another school year opens full of possibilities.
We are delighted to welcome your children into our Catholic school communities this year! We look forward to working in partnership with you to provide your children with a strong foundation rooted in the Gospel. Our Catholic schools provide education steeped in the faith, focused on the whole child and geared to form individuals who are faith-filled, competent and compassionate. Our Catholic academic programs are excellent and prepare students to be knowledgeable, active learners whose faith informs leadership, stewardship, good judgment and decision making. Ultimately, our students are called to transform themselves, others and the world in light of Gospel values.
A new school year is a time for shaping — students setting goals in academics, formation, service, and activities. A popular back-to-school activity is for students to set a bucket list of what they want to accomplish and look forward to in the new school year — encourage someone who is struggling, join a new club, improve in spelling, give someone a high five, read 10 books by Christmas, send cards to homebound seniors.
In the upcoming school year, our students will encounter a variety of new experiences. All elementary school students will participate in a new interim assessment to measure growth in reading, mathematics, and language. They will also experience a new mathematics curriculum focused on mastering concepts and trying several approaches to reach a solution. Many of our students return to campuses where technology upgrades have occurred, library spaces have been renovated, and buildings have been spruced up with new paint, flooring, and other upgrades.
A new school year is a time for shaping for all of us. Let’s take the opportunity to savor each day and reflect upon the gift of our Catholic school journey. Here is a portion of a prayer we are using throughout the school year:
A time for shaping is ours …
A time to love God more intensely in ourselves and in each other.
A time to believe in the Jesus whom we share.
A time to look at our Catholic school journey with new eyes.
A time to lift up to God our gratitude for all who have been a vital part of the history and life of our Catholic schools.
A time to trust in our God whose name is Love.
A time to implore our patrons to be with us as we strive to carry on the work of Catholic education in the Church.
A time to rely on the guidance of the Spirit who accompanies us in our searching.
A time to enable our Catholic schools to become all that God hopes for them.
A time of shaping is ours … remembering, as clay in the hand of the potter, so we are in the hand of God. Amen.
As we begin this new school year, we join together in supporting our schools as they enable students to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ, broaden their knowledge of their faith, and connect their faith to their daily lives.