April 30, 2016
Dear St. Therese Parish Community,
We are more than half way through the school year, and I want to share some very exciting news with you about our school: The input we have received this year from the greater academic community has been very positive. I have received calls from several of the local high schools commending our students for their HSPT scores and entrance essays. They have remarked that this year’s scores are the highest they have been in recent memory.
These principals are asking what has caused this sudden uptick in our student scores. The answer is simple. Classical curriculum works. In just seven months, our students are writing and speaking more effectively, they are demonstrating higher critical thinking skills, and they are developing a deeper faith because of the classical curriculum.
My thanks goes out to each of you for your confidence in our teachers. Your consistent support of them enabled us to achieve this high degree of educational excellence in such a very short time. Our students, from the Kindergarteners who are already reading, to the students in 8th grade who can explain entropy and the mysteries of salvation, are becoming better scholars day by day. It is with great joy that I can report to you that all of our teachers will be returning next year to continue the foundation built this year. I know you will join me in commending them for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the academic success of your children.
I am also delighted to announce that renovations on the previous TK classroom have already begun, and it is being transformed into our Little Flower Atrium. Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, our students in Kindergarten and First Grade will take part in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program in this newly created space. We will be the only parish school in the Archdiocese to offer this program as part of our curriculum and it will expand to include Second Grade by the following year. I encourage you to go to www.cgsusa.org to learn more about how this unique program takes our Catholic Faith and literally puts it into the hands and the hearts of these tiny souls. And please, spread the word!
It is no secret that the cost of a quality education exceeds the amount of tuition that is asked of each student and their family. Even our school fundraisers don’t close that gap completely. That is why we as a school are so very grateful to Father Philip. The central core of his “New Vision” is that every family in our parish must be able to afford an authentic Catholic education for each of their children. To this end, Father Philip innovated the change in our tuition structure last year so that every fourth-plus child in a family will have their tuition waived. It is Father who continues to insist that in spite of the fact that the cost to educate each child has risen for the past three years, tuition will not be raised to cover the loss.
Rather, he has appealed to the entire parish to help subsidize the school as its main ministry. He has also successfully gone out into the community and met with large donors to plead the case on behalf of our students and encourage these individuals to become benefactors for our families. He continues to support our parents in their efforts to make our school fundraising events a success. Together, we have come to a pivotal point in our school’s history. Word is getting out that we are once again a united school and parish with an exceptional educational community.
As we continue to grow in our new vision, we hope you will continue in this journey with us.