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Notes from the Principal's Desk: School Board meeting, Giving Tuesday, prep for SLCs, and more

Last week, the School Board met to discuss school achievement, marketing, Catholic identity, and institutional advancement. I find these meetings to be very useful as I have the opportunity to hear feedback and receive advice from the many talented individuals on the board. Below I share a brief overview of what was discussed:
  • Report of the Principal: I shared the Iowa standardized testing trends and enrollment trends with the Board. The Board discussed student achievement and examined factors affecting enrollment.
  • Marketing Committee: The committee presented enrollment campaign initiatives including data collection from fall Open Houses for review and Coffee and Conversation events.   
  • Catholic Identity Committee: The committee discussed their social media/print media campaign designed to highlight our Catholic Identity through service.
  • Institutional Advancement: The development team provided a written report updating the Board on the status of this year’s Annual Fund.
  • CASPA: The written report summarized the productive and integral efforts of CASPA volunteers to support our Cathedral community.

On December 3, for the second year in a row, The School of the Cathedral will be participating in Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Last year we raised $3,000 for the Annual Fund, and this year I am confident we will far surpass this amount. Any student whose parent makes a gift will receive an out-of-uniform pass to use on December 13 and will also be entered in a Mustang Market Swag Bag Contest! Thank you in advance for your support. 

This week we welcome Mr. Eric Nelson, a student-teacher from Coppin State University, who will be completing a portion of his student teaching rotation here at Cathedral. While we have many students from Coppin State University completing their student-teacher observation rotation, we are excited to have Mr. Nelson working with Mrs. Lemon in 6th grade.  

A big thank you to CASPA and the parent volunteers who helped with the Open House this week. While the weather was a bit nasty on Tuesday, we had a good showing with more than a few families visiting to learn more about our Middle School.

On Monday we will have a Coffee and Conversation with 3rd and 4th grade parents, so they can learn more about our Middle School. On Tuesday, we have another Coffee and Conversation for our 5th grade families. Both events begin at 8 AM, meet in the Science Lab and last approximately one hour. The time allows for conversation, a question and answer session, and a tour of the Middle School.

This weekend is the 8th grade Class Mass and Rite of Enrollment at 9:30 AM. I hope to see everyone at the Liturgy.

Next week our Book Fair begins. It will run from Monday, November 18th until Tuesday, November 26th. It is a great chance to pick up that special gift for the holidays. And don’t forget, the Book Fair will be open during Student-Led Conferences! Watch a sneak peek of books available in the Book Fair.

Speaking of Student-Led Conferences, you might be wondering, “What can I as a parent or guardian do to prepare for the conference?” Below are some helpful tips.

What is a student-led conference?

  • A student-led conference is a preplanned meeting in which students demonstrate responsibility for their academic performance by providing a review of their work for parents and teachers. The students lead the conference by presenting work samples and discussing their learning.
What is the role of the parent?
  • Parents participate as active listeners and as advocates for their children.

Before the conference, parents:

  • Encourage the child’s involvement in the learning process.
  • Support their child’s review of learning goals for the student-led conference.
  • Prepare a list of questions for discussion.

During the conference, parents:

  • Provide encouragement, praise, and reinforcement.
  • Assist their child in identifying strengths and learning goals.
  • Work with their children and teachers to determine the next steps for learning.

 After the conference, parents:

  • Participate in the conference evaluation.
  • Discuss the long-term value of their child’s engagement in learning.
Continue to review new goals and the next steps for learning with their child

Finally, as you may already be aware, Mr. Ford has been out of school this week. It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Mr. Ford’s mother, Peggy Ford, passed away November 11 at the age of 65 from complications relating to Early-Onset Alzheimer's. A dedicated early-childhood Montessori educator, Mrs. Ford’s sons followed her into education. She will be greatly missed. Please keep the family in your prayers during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in honor of Peggy’s commitment to children and education to St. Louis School, Calvert Hall College High School, or the Sisters of Providence. May Peggy’s soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed rest in peace. This morning, I spoke with the third grade about Mr. Ford’s loss, and they will be writing sympathy cards for Mr. Ford in Ms. Moore’s class.

God bless,
Michael Wright