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.

Today is the feast of All Saints. Around the world, Catholics celebrate the people who live their lives in service to others. At Mass today, Father Fitzgerald reminded us of our belief that all of us who do good for others are destined to become saints.

As a school, we believe that it is our responsibility to educate the whole child. This responsibility means that we must help students develop not only their intellects, but also their social and emotional readiness for the challenges they will face in life. We teach them to be openhearted and empathetic. The last line of our mission statement says that we “practice the good with conviction.” In other words, it is essential that children begin to think about the needs of others and actively do something to help them.

We develop this mindset in a number of ways. First, our teachers select reading materials that reinforce this message. For example, three of my favorite books, Counting on Community, What Does it Mean to Be Kind, and 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World show our youngest students how they can make a difference in the world. The last book that our 8th graders read is The Crucible, a classic book about scapegoating. I recall listening in on a class discussion at the end of last year that warmed my heart and put a smile on my face: they understood and embraced their responsibility to stand for justice. I could clearly see that these students were ready to graduate.

Additionally, each month we select a Spirit Day to raise funds for a meaningful nonprofit organization and students are allowed to dress out of uniform. We practice this long-standing tradition in Catholic schools to focus on developing a philanthropic spirit in our students. We collect a dollar from each child and each teacher highlights the meaning behind making this gift. In October, the money that was collected went to fund research organizations to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Next month, we will learn about the poor and hungry, donating our collection to the Saint Vincent De Paul Society’s food pantry. There is not pressure on any child to bring a dollar in; if a child forgets, he or she can still be out of uniform. The goal is to teach our students the importance of finding the need around us and becoming part of the solution to address that need.

Please help us to reinforce this message at home. In my experience, I have found that empathetic children become happy and kind adults. And, in the spirit of All Saints’ Day, we all want our children to become saints on earth.

Sincerely,
William Gartside
Head of School