FROM MY DESK TO YOURS #35
April 24, 2016
“The Heart of St. Paul … Growing Together in Faith, Knowledge, and Virtue”
I spent many hours this morning trying to find the perfect prayer to open my bulletin. I know the virtue for this month is “Acceptance” and considering our circumstances we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect virtue. Somehow in times like this, I find myself praying the Serenity Prayer. There is no greater prayer for me when I am struggling for courage and acceptance. It’s my “go to” prayer if you know what I mean. I hope you agree.
This past week, the teachers received their contracts for the 2016-17 school year. Our Marketing Committee has done an outstanding job this year getting the name of our school out to the public. I am so thankful for their commitment. But, we had an unusual number of families moving out of the area taking advantage of the current housing market. Some of our families decided to place their children in the public school system. So, Father and I held back giving contracts by two weeks in hopes that we could get those final few registrations into the mix. Even with all of this effort, we still had a decline in enrollment which has caused a reduction in teaching staff. This did not come as a surprise to our staff for I have been transparent with them since registration began in January.
When there is a reduction in force there is a protocol that I am obligated to follow. It is a protocol that was approved by our Board of Education and given to us by the Archdiocese. This protocol exists so that these decisions can be made as objectively as possible. It is not a matter of just picking and choosing. It is not a matter of years in the building. It is my understanding that at times in the past, this protocol has not been followed so families are left with a false impression as to how the protocol works. The protocol is a systematic approach to reduction in force and is helpful when being placed in the position of having to make these difficult decisions. There are categories that are placed in a specific order that I am obligated to follow. I am asking for your trust and in return I promise you that this protocol was followed to the letter and will always be followed under my administration.
Reducing force is only the beginning of the decision making when placed in the situation that we are currently experiencing. Shifts in classroom assignments must occur to compensate for any voids that we may be experiencing. Class size and support for children is always a priority. Along with that is teacher certification and prior teaching experiences. This is a large puzzle that must be put together carefully and intentionally so that we have a combination of staffing that meets the student’s needs and is best for our children. I was very careful in placement of staff this year and only placed staff in positions that they felt comfortable teaching, in which they have proper certification, and have previously taught.
Attached to this bulletin is a list of teacher placement for next year along with our Parent Input Form. I have spent much time praying for guidance and put much thought into this configuration of staffing. All of our contracts are signed and the staff is aware of the new configuration and is comfortable with the changes. It is my prayer that you, the families of St. Paul, will trust my judgement as we came together as a staff with a fit that we feel is best for our kids.
In closing, I have to admit that I am feeling many mixed emotions right now. I am sad. I am sad for the teachers who are involved in this reduction. I am sad for our staff that is suffering a loss of teammates, and I am sad for the students and families. I am also thankful. I am thankful that we have a Catholic School at St. Paul for our students. I am thankful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in making these decisions. I am thankful that we are able to maintain class sizes that are conducive for student learning, and I am thankful for the overwhelming support and prayers that I have received during this process from our school community. Finally, I am optimistic and positive. We have a strong School Community and we will weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side of it.
Let’s remember, “Change does not change tradition; it strengthens it. Change is a challenge and an opportunity, not a threat.” We as a school community are here to accept the opportunity and the challenge. It’s who we are. It’s in our core and we can do it together.
With blessings from my heart,
HATS OFF TO:
•St. Paul Students, Families, and Staff – Together we raised $927.oo for Cystic Fibrosis. WOW … what outstanding support. Thank you!
•Michelle Hanock and the Spirit Sprint Committee – Thank you for organizing this year’s Spirit Sprint. A good time was had by all who participated. We couldn’t have asked for better weather!THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE:
Monday, April 25
o Homers for Health Cardinals Day – Show your Cardinal’s pride and support Homers for Health. Donation is $1.00
o NCADA Classes K-3
o Homers for Health Finalists Competition – follow specified schedule
o Girls on the Run – 3:00 p.m. – Parish Center
Wednesday, April 27
o All School Mass – 8:00 a.m.
o Energy Bus Parent Book Study – after Mass – Room 206
o Girls on the Run – 3:00 p.m. – Parish Center
o Bricks 4 Kids – 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Room 206
Thursday, April 28
o NCADA classes for 4 – 8 grade
Friday, April 29
o Robotics Class – 3:00 – 4:00 – Room 206
USED UNIFORM SALE – 2:30 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. – Outside across from Lot B
Sunday, May 1
o 8th Grade Confirmation – Cathedral – 2:30 p.m.