Message from the Head of School

A bi-weekly newsletter is sent to our school community. To read previous newsletters, please scroll to the bottom of this page. The most recent message is shown below.

Welcome

There is something special about the start of a school year. I see the smiles on the faces of the children as they are reuniting with their friends and I listen to teachers who are bubbling over with new ideas that will be tried in their classrooms.

During the summer, we worked hard to get our facility ready for your students’ return. Carlos, our custodian, is certainly an unsung hero and the building looks great! The summer’s major improvement work is continuing into the fall: we are in the process of replacing the antiquated heating system with a state-of-the-art system that will include air conditioning! If you were around this summer, you may also have seen the work that was done to replace the roof.

Staff and Teacher Updates

I am blessed by the contributions of our Board members, administrative team members and our teachers.

Mrs. Pat Casey is Chair of our Board of Trustees. She has served on our Board for the past ten years and has helped us to develop a strategic vision for the school.

Mr. Keyon Hurd is new to us this year. Mr. Hurd will serve as Assistant Head of School and lead our Loyola Academy team and grade five. We are excited to have him join us; he brings a wealth of experience and is already loved by the teachers and students under his care.

Many of you know Mrs. Katie Lamothe. She will continue to lead our Pre-K through grade four teams. She has been with us for the past 12 years and helped shape our school to what it is today. She is also responsible for the school’s digital communications.

Mrs. Kate Ward is the Director for Institutional Advancement. Kate helps us develop partnerships with foundations, businesses and donors who share our vision and support us. Last year, she helped us raise $1.3 million to support the many programs that we offer. I know she will be counting on you to fully participate in the annual Race to Educate that takes place in the spring.

Mrs. Erica Rego serves as our Director of Admissions. If you are new to the school, you know how passionate she is about Saint Columbkille. Her daughter is a proud graduate and she is a proud mom.

Ms. Lavinia Ifrim, our Business Manager, works tirelessly collecting the tuition and paying our bills and she does it all with a smile.

Ms. Rachel Rumely has been with us for 11 years and serves as our Director for Catholic Mission and Identity. She coordinates our liturgical celebrations and is responsible for our school’s marketing efforts.

Sister Catherine has been with the school for many years and supports the learning needs of students through individual and group tutoring.

Mrs. Kelly Myles is our Learning Specialist. Kelly helps teachers work with students who may have learning differences.

Ms. Melinda Bouras is our Student Support Coordinator. Melinda connects families to services that may be needed outside of school and works with students who may find themselves in conflicts with others.

Many of you know Mrs. Jennifer Lynch as a parent. She is our new administrative assistant and will try to answer any questions you may have.

Our most valuable players are our incredibly talented and dedicated teachers. Know that they are special and will make a life-long difference for your child.

School Community

Welcome to our families who have returned to us and a special welcome to the new families who have joined our community. We are incredibly fortunate to have families who are committed to working with us to educate and form their children. We share the same aspirations for them as you do: we want them to be challenged, joyful and above all else, caring and respectful.

I know that you want your children to develop a moral compass that will guide them through life; helping them to always do the right thing, regardless of the pressures that will be put upon them to do otherwise. You want your children to discover their talents and to be proud of their uniqueness, to grow up with an appreciation for others, particularly for those who come from different backgrounds. And most importantly, you want your children to be known and loved, for you understand how alienating life can be. Ultimately, we want our students to become the future leaders who will make a positive difference in the world.

We understand that we have an awesome responsibility and we promise to do our best to partner with you in the formation of your children. We have identified and put action plans in place for a number of initiatives.

Responsive Classroom

We have implemented a platform called Responsive Classroom to help our students to be socially and emotional well adjusted to the many pressures they face in our world today. With the explosion of technology and social media, children need to be taught the skills necessary for developing healthy relationships, including resilience and self- advocacy. During the summer, our teachers have been trained and are enthusiastically using this new platform in their classrooms.

This year, we will work hard to create a school environment that is culturally responsive. One of our school’s greatest assets is our diversity. We want to understand how to best celebrate this diversity and to make sure that everyone feels welcomed and valued. Our school wants to be the antidote to the polarization that is pervasive in our country. We want the next generation, your children, to be open to and advocate for others.

We also know how important it is for families to bond with other families who share their values. We will work to deepen Family/School partnerships through engagement opportunities to create a stronger community.

Healthy, thriving schools can boast that their parents are full partners in the educational process. Thank you to our parent leaders who have met and forged a plan that will enable more and better networking for parents with one another and with the school. I am inspired by the parents and administrators who worked so hard build a strong, positive relationship between the home and the school.

Boston College Partnership

We are grateful to Boston College for providing us with the research and expertise that is needed for the school to be values-driven, academically rigorous and cutting edge.

This year, we will further develop our relationship with Boston College in the establishment of our school as a Laboratory School. Professors from Boston College will work with us on two initiatives: to help us understand how to best educate children whose primary language is not English, and to work with our teachers in grades five through eight to enhance the oral presentation skills of our students using digital media.

Our talented teachers will continue to have free access to graduate programs at the university. This, undoubtedly, has helped us to have the strongest faculty with whom I have ever worked.

Closing

We look forward to the completion of the new HVAC program in the coming months. Over the next several years, we hope to raise the necessary funds to replace the 350 windows and to renovate the 118-year-old gymnasium.

The school has grown in every way. Many of you have grown with us. We believe we are a special school with a bright future.

In closing, I look forward to getting to know you and your children even better. Thank you all; I wish you a happy and successful school year.

Sincerely,

William Gartside
Head of School