President’s Perspective: Upcoming Events

September 29, 2016

Dear Mater Christi Families,

Fall has officially arrived and our students are settling into new routines and expectations.  It’s hard to believe that fall conferences will be taking place in just two weeks.  Time flies when you’re having fun!  In this week’s Monday messages, you should have received notification that we are having you sign-up for conferences differently this year. Rather than calling Mrs. Rock to request a conference time, we are using an online portal called Sign-Up Genius. If you haven’t signed up for conferences, please follow this link:  Sign-up for conferences is on a first-come first-serve basis, so I encourage you to sign up as soon as possible so that you get your preferred time.

Tomorrow we will be having our annual Grandparents & Special Friends Day.  We have had an overwhelming response and expecting over 150 grandparents and special friends to visit our school.  Our festivities will begin at 9:30 am in the gym with a special prayer service that has been prepared by our amazing and quite lovable first and second graders.  Please note that for those grandparents who might want to arrive early, we will be having coffee in the gym from drop-off until our program starts at 9:30 am.  Following the prayer service, students in grades 6-8 will remain in the gym with their grandparents for a special activity while students in grades preschool through grade 5 will go back to classrooms.  We will dismiss school at 11:30 a.m.

Tomorrow afternoon our faculty will be meeting for an afternoon dedicated to ongoing professional development.  You will notice on our school calendar that each month we have one half or full day dedicated to ongoing professional development. This time is extremely valuable for our staff to dig deeper into a few topics over the course of this year that will enhance teaching and learning at our school.  Tomorrow I will be introducing a curriculum review process that our faculty will be engaged in this year and the years ahead.  This review process will involve curriculum mapping what is taught, along with the ongoing review of curriculum and instructional practices as well as the vertical alignment of curriculum from preschool through grade 8.  This ongoing curriculum review process is a best practice in high performing schools and is also required for our continued accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  This year we will be examining our mathematics curriculum.  Each year we will examine one core subject area (science, social studies, English/language arts, and religion) and beginning next year we will also examine one specialist curriculum area.  

This year we will also be working in partnership with the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education at the University of Vermont to strengthen teachers knowledge and practice regarding Responsive Classroom; a research based approach to K-8 teaching that focuses on the strong link between academic success and social-emotional learning (SEL).  Some of our veteran teachers have received training in this approach a number of years ago but with the large number of new staff we agreed that it would benefit our entire staff to reexamine and recommit ourselves to Responsive Classroom as we work together to continually improve the climate and culture of learning at our school.  Part of our afternoon tomorrow will be dedicated to learning more about Responsive Classroom with the help of Scott Thompson who is an experienced school leader and professional development coordinator at the Tarrant Institute.

Next Friday, October 7 I will be hosting First Friday Coffee in our school library.  Please stop by after drop-off for a cup of coffee and enjoy some conversation with other parents and some of our school staff.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend our state of the school meeting on Wednesday, October 19 from 6-7:30 pm. At this meeting representatives from the Sisters of Mercy, our Board of Trustees, and school staff will speak about our school’s current reality, as well as outline some strategic initiatives as we look to the future of our school’s mission and Catholic identity, academic excellence, governance and leadership and operational vitality (enrollment, finance and development).  We hope you can join us for this community meeting.

Have a great weekend!

Patrick A Lofton, Ed.S

President/Head of School