Dear Families of Saint James,
The beginning of school and the change of weather–a time of year that never fails to be exhilarating! We have been hard at work here at St. James, from implementing new curriculum, to maintaining what makes us great, to revitalizing old traditions.
We have been focusing on two new curriculum pieces this year. The first is our history curriculum, which is based on the series called The Story of Civilization. We purchased and began using these wonderful books last year, and this year our main professional development goal has been a deep dive into teaching history as a liberal art. Each Wednesday afternoon you will find us in our library, learning about “how to use” this curriculum with the expert guidance of Sister Marie Caritas during our weekly staff meetings. Our second new curriculum focus has been handwriting. We are working this year across all elementary grades on the official Zaner-Bloser series. Students are getting lots of practice with manuscript and cursive; we do seek beauty in all things.
Beloved traditions are another important part of our daily life. If you visit in the morning, you will notice the sixth grade crossing guards, seventh grade flags, and eighth grade snack store still going strong. We have also been able to maintain our longstanding tradition of the “+1 Mass,” in pursuit of which most of our grades attend Mass a second time each week–in addition to our beautiful All School Mass on Wednesdays. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, another wonderful fixture of the week for our younger grades, also continues; the Atrium has even gotten a makeover in its new upstairs home.
With so many things carried over and continued, it can be easy to forget that St. James was forced to put many things on hold the past few years because of health concerns. That storm seems to be cleared, however, and so now we are free to reinvigorate our school with new and lapsed traditions. So far the beginning of this year has seen an all school pep assembly, a field trip the the St. Joseph Symphony, more communal lunch times, and the formation of a flexible time of recess and leadership activities that allows the middle schoolers to mix and form new friendships.
The saying goes: “Begin as you mean to go on.” I hope we have not missed any opportunity to set up a fantastic year for you and yours. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you ever have any questions or concerns. As another, more modern, and more musical saying goes: “We’re all in this together.”
Sincerely, and in Christ,
Dean of School
Saint James Catholic School
October 3, 2022
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