Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart. (1 Sm 16/7)
It is April already. This means only two months are left in this school year. Even though March's weather was not the best, the month was full of activities and successful happenings. Our eighth grade trip was great, and even though we had snow on the ground and very cold weather, we were able to stay with our itinerary and enjoy Washington. We are so thankful for that.
Also in March, we received some exciting news. We applied for a grant to help us acquire a mobile iPad lab, and we were awarded $10,000 towards the purchase of it. With those funds and funds from other sources, we were able to purchase the tablets, power sync cart, monitoring computer, and insurance. We purchased teacher iPads earlier (see attached picture), and today we received notification that some of the recently ordered items are being shipped. The teachers are attending workshops and webinars to be able to use this lab to the fullest and further engage our students in their learning and successes. We are very excited for this new phase of technology to be added to our great school and incorporated into our curriculum.
Another bit of exciting March news is that we have been working on updating our website. It is almost finished, and when it is completed, we will let you know.
We are in the last quarter of the school year. You should have received an expectation letter from each of your student's teachers. Remember that homework and grades are posted on ParentsWeb. If you have any questions or concerns about your student/s, do not hesitate to contact your teachers.
As I write this letter, our students are taking their IOWA Basics Skills Tests. These tests are given to inform us of many things. First of all, it tells us (and you) what the students know and don't know. They also tell us how well we are doing as teachers, and we use this data to help us plan for the future. However, they are not the end all assessment. We know that some students do not test well; or, some students may not feel well when taking a particular test. Or, there can be other variables to interfere with the assessments/results. Although this is great data and we use it, this is only a piece of many pieces of information we use to assess our students and inform us of our instruction. We generally get the IOWA results back in May, and we will send them home with the students' report cards.
One of the most powerful events we put on at OLPH is the Living Stations of the Cross. This is presented by our eighth grade students, and every year I am deeply touched by it. This year the presentation is on April 11. It will be at 2:00 for the student body and 5:30 for the parish. I highly recommend you attend one or both of the presentations. It will be a great lead in to Easter week and break.
Other April events are:
· April 3 -- Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night
· April 4 -- First Friday and the Virtue (Generosity) Mass
· April 5-- Volunteer work day for parents (and students). Nature Place and our grounds are really in need of sprucing up. We can use many hands.
· April 9 -- $1 Out of Uniform
· April 11 -- Jason Evert presentation for 7th and 8th grade students at Notre Dame High School
· April 14-18 -- School Closed for Easter Break. See the Fanfare, Websites, and Church bulletin for the church schedule for Holy Week.
· April 21-- School closed for Bishop's Day
· April 22 -- Students return to school
· April 22 -- Life-Touch pictures: Out of uniform and spring sports pictures
· April 28 -- Beginning of the week long Book Fair
· May 2 -- Grandparents Day: More information will be coming out on this, but please mark your calendar.
As I close this letter, I want to pass along a wonderful compliment we received last week. We have a student teacher, Sister Agnes, from Aquinas College working under Mrs. Burns and Mrs. Workman. Sister Agnes' professor from the College, Sister Michael Andrew, was here evaluating her last week. This is the second student teacher we have had from Aquinas, and Sister Michael Andrew has been the evaluator for both. She told me that she visits many Catholic schools, and all have Catholic Identity, but that OLPH is Catholic to the core and she experiences this in the classrooms and even feels this and our welcoming spirit just walking through the halls. She also remarked to us that she thinks that we are the best kept secret in Tennessee. Wow! You can imagine how great I felt.
I hope you have a wonderful April, and a refreshing and safe Easter break. As the end of the school year approaches, I am reminded more every day on how blessed I am to be part of this community. Thank you for all you do.