Notes from the Principal's Desk: January 22, 2019
This week, the students begin taking exams. There are many reasons for students to take exams beginning in third grade and continuing through eighth grade. The primary reason is to benchmark student learning and progress through a summative assessment. Another valuable reason to take exams is for students togain experience and practice taking high-stakes assessments in order to gain an understanding of what is needed to prepare for these types of tests. It is a fact that many of the schools our students will matriculate to require high-stakes testing in order to gain admission, and these tests continue once they begin their high school journey. Part of our job at Cathedral is to help prepare the students for these types of learning environments.
By scaffolding an exam experience for students in grades three through eight, Cathedral students gain the necessary skills to organize themselves, study, and take exams in a developmentally appropriate manner.
We are eagerly awaiting the start of Catholic Schools Week next week. You can check the website HERE for the list of events. Some of the highlights include:
- Student leaders speaking at the weekend Masses
- The 4th grade choir singing at the 9:30 Mass
- Open House for current families and potential new families on Tuesday, January 29th. This Open House is a great opportunity to visit the middle school if you are unaware of the great things that are happening in grades six through eight. If you are planning to visit the middle school, please RSVP by Friday, January 25th to Mrs. Diemer at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can properly plan for tours.
Tomorrow, the Cathedral Island Ball committee concludes the Teacher Experiences Auction with a brief assembly before exams. Make sure to check your bids, as the auction closes tonight at 9pm! On Thursday, The Island Ball celebrates 100 days until the Ball with a Kids Island Day Party! The Kona Ice truck will be on campus and students will be able to get a snow cone during lunch/recess.
A quick reminder that Friday is the last day to register for the Winter Sports Club! If you haven’t had a chance to register, we invite you to do so. The sports club is a great way to keep the kids engaged after school and spend some time with their friends.
I’d like to share an update on the school’s strategic plan. As the 2018-2019 school year comes to an end, so too does our latest strategic plan. The School Board has begun the process of developing the next strategic plan, and I’d like to share the value of long-term planning for the School of the Cathedral.
First, a strategic plan is an opportunity to articulate and reaffirm the school's mission and vision. Second, it organizes our resources, school, and staff as part of a larger success strategy. Next, it provides a chance for the school to set long term goals and define how we will measure success.
A strategic plan helps the Pastor, School Board, and Principal track, evaluate, and modify decisions while providing a direction for the future of the school. A strategic plan increases communication and engagement. It allows us to solicit feedback from multiple stakeholders which in turn the school board and strategic planning committee use to develop the three or four overarching goals of the plan.
A strategic plan keeps everyone in the school connected and accountable while encouraging collaboration to reach the school's goals. And finally, a strategic plan focuses on the most important part of a school - the students. By focusing on improving the educational practices within the school, we rededicate our effort towards increasing student achievement.
In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing more about the strategic planning process, including a survey that will be sent to all parents and families within the community. We also anticipate hosting a meeting for all members of the community as we give an update on the state of the school. Be on the lookout for an email with the dates and times for this event.