Reflection and Action
Healthy Catholic schools offer both a timeless core mission and identity while also allowing programs and opportunities to evolve so that students are best prepared for the world they will inherit. This is why students have regular and meaningful opportunities for prayer, worship, and formation in the Catholic worldview alongside activities such as makerspace, coding, and advanced computer science principles. Our school’s “Strategic Plan 2019-2022” calls us to maintain identity and build opportunity, and I believe this is the key to our institutional vitality.
As a New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC)-accredited school, we are challenged to engage in deep, focused reflection on the school’s current state and lay out plans that will enable the school’s future growth. A decade ago, St. Margaret Regional School (2010), St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School (2012), and Pope John Paul II High School (2010) were accredited separated. Now, as one school, we undertake one intensive self-study, will host one visiting committee (October 2021) as we seek our decennial re-accreditation as one school. On Tuesday, March 3, NEASC Deputy Director Jim Mooney will address staff members as we kick-off this 16-month process. We will utilize the input you have provided via the annual parent satisfaction survey; we will survey students and staff; and we will engage in focused self-reflection and planning. I believe that this intensive process comes at an excellent time: we are coalescing around a one-school/three-program vision, we have strong support from parents and stakeholders, yet we are clear-eyed about the challenges ahead. I promise to update you regularly as this self-study process unfolds.
I write to you early in the holy season of Lent, a time when Christ calls us to repentance and new life with Him in the Easter joy of resurrection. Lent is a different time, and the school’s Lenten program reflects the season’s depth. Students will pray for repentance and to know God more closely. Opportunities for alms-giving invite students to serve others. Students will pray the Stations of the Cross, worship at Mass, and experience the sacrament of Reconciliation. Let us all turn our hearts again to the Lord.
As a reminder, in October, we announced the “continuous enrollment” process. With continuous enrollment, families sign one enrollment contract that will keep their children enrolled automatically, or until they say otherwise, with no need to complete re-enrollment forms each year. Therefore the tuition contract that you sign for 2020-2021 will then become continuous right through graduation or your opt-out.
The fifth annual school Auction & Gala (OddBall 2020!) takes place on Saturday, April 4, at Oyster Harbors Club. This is the school’s primary fundraising event and promises to be a first-class evening for all. Auction co-chairs Kristen Hyde and Katie McConnell have planned something a bit “odd” (expect the unexpected!), Silent Auction Chair Nicole Delman is collecting enticing items, and Justin Manning will again serve as emcee and auctioneer. Do not miss out!
Thank you for all you do for St. Margaret Primary School, St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School, and St. John Paul II High School.
Christopher W. Keavy