Although the ancient Mayan calendar concludes in 2012, and “…tomorrow is promised to no one,” we at Holy Family School envision a bright future for our students! Several key components of school life are reviewed here.
Students at Holy Family are nurtured in their knowledge and appreciation of the Catholic faith through prayer, liturgy, scripture, and Christian values. This year, we are focusing on developing liturgical ministers, through the training of lectors and cantors for weekday celebration of the Eucharist. Father Dan gives wonderful homilies at the children’s liturgies, and parents are always invited to attend these Masses on Tuesdays (5-8th), Thursdays (1-4th) and Fridays (K-8th). In addition, we urge all parents to attend and participate in weekend Masses with their children at Holy Family or their home parish. Second graders are busily preparing for their First Holy Communion, and all students participate in Lenten activities, including weekly Stations of the Cross, Family Meetings and Lenten Penance Services. Late spring highlights include our May Crowning Ceremony and 8th grade Solemn Communion and Graduation.
Academics and Achievements
Students in Grades 3-8 have just completed the first half of the annual ISTEP+ assessments and the new third Grade IREAD tests are complete. This year, schools are evaluated statewide by their performance levels and growth over the previous year. Congratulations to our Academic Olympics Teams on their recent achievements in the deanery competition: Grades 6 and 7 placed first and grade 8 placed third in very competitive matches. In addition, Holy Family students have excelled in Serra Club and Right to Life essay competitions, County Spelling Bee and State Geography Bee. Led by parent volunteer coaches, teams of 6-8th graders are preparing after school for another academic competition in Seymour!
Parent and Community Support
The School Commission, Home and School Association and Strategic Management Team are all working on behalf of school families and the faculty and staff. Recently, we held our Auction Premiere – What a great success with over 400 dinner guests, exciting bidding, wonderful food and prizes, and the Louisville Crashers band were terrific as promised. Net proceeds toward school budget revenues are going to be approximately $62,000, which is magnificent. Our cafeteria and church hallways are undergoing a makeover that will occur in two stages. First, over Spring Break, the new ceilings and lighting units will be installed, and later, the walls will be resurfaced to enhance the gathering spaces and common hallways. Painting of the 1954 upstairs hallways will continue over the summer months. In our long-range plan is the renovation of the 1954 and 1962 school structures. Generous members of our parish community and past parents have joined an initiative to provide a tax credit scholarship account for school families of low-to-moderate incomes. Along with the new school voucher program, this scholarship program will enable students to attend Holy Family regardless of family income. Great things happen when our parents, parish and community invest in our school!
Community Outreach and Service
Holy Family Community recognizes our many material gifts and resources, and our families are very generous in their service to others, especially the less fortunate. Recently, students raised Coins for the Community and donated funds to three local charities, and each grade collected over 100 pieces of clothing or canned goods to support In Heaven’s Eyes. For tornado and storm victims, members of the school and parish have donated money or provided volunteer support, and we are collecting library books for relief efforts for schools. Additional relief efforts will continue as the recovery progresses. Thanks to all our generous families!
New Initiatives and Future Directions
Many schools across southern Indiana are moving toward a “balanced” school calendar which provides longer fall and spring breaks and a shorter summer recess. Catholic schools in the New Albany deanery are also looking toward this calendar model for the future. However, for 2012-2013, the Holy Family calendar will appear very similar to the current one with two major exceptions: due to the dates of the bi-annual Indiana Non-Public Education Association Conference, our Fall Break will occur October 15-19, one week later than the NA/FC Fall Break; and due to the early Easter next year, Spring Break will occur March 18-22, one week earlier than NA/FC schools. (Archdiocesan schools are expected to be in session during Holy Week and Easter Week.) Beginning in 2013-2014, we anticipate two week breaks for both fall and spring, which should typically coincide with both Providence HS and NA/FC schools unless Archdiocesan directives dictate otherwise.
One to One (1:1) Learning – Picture students carrying a tablet and a slim folder instead of a backpack with 30 pounds of textbooks and trapper-keepers, submitting online homework instead of shuffling stacks of worksheets, or getting instant feedback on assessments instead of waiting days for teachers to calculate scores. Does this sound exciting but far-off? Maybe, but we are already investigating 1:1 Learning, a technology-based curriculum that provides students with the tools and speed of access of the 21st century! We are consulting with IT professionals about our school infrastructure for wireless technology, and we anticipate that teacher training and development of online curriculum will progress soon thereafter. These exciting developments will provide rigorous and engaging lessons for students designed to cater to their individual needs and abilities.