Yesterday I attended a Principals’ Conference Day where we had a long and heated discussion about enrollment, recruitment of new students and retention of students currently enrolled in our schools. Many of our larger Catholic elementary schools have gone or will go to a “single tracking” system this year. This means that they have always had two of each class, and they will now have one of each class. There are many who think that unless one can squeeze 600-700 children into a building, one cannot charge a reasonable tuition. Many think that, in order to compete for the wealthy families in the Washington area, we have to become elite private schools. That means admissions testing, publishing our test scores, no financial aid, fancy buildings and trips to Costa Rica or the Dominican. I think they’re wrong.
I think we have forgotten what and who we are. I think that we have to remember that we exist for children – not for parental connections or to be included on a “ten best” list. I think we have forgotten that the families who come to us and stay with us from Pre-K through eighth grade do so because of what they see happening to their children here. I think we have forgotten that even when we over-commit on tuition assistance, and pay no attention to admissions tests, it all works out in the end.
We are simply a small Catholic school. We provide however many opportunities as are necessary so that all of our children make progress. We teach our children to watch out for one another. We teach them to work hard, and to make the most of the gifts they are given. We pray, and we share, and we remember not to take ourselves so seriously that we forget to laugh at our mistakes.
As we prepare for the 2017-2018 school year we realize that our new applicants are families that have been referred to us by you – our current parents. We also find that each of our eighth grade students will be able to study at a wonderful Catholic high school next year, and most of them will need to choose from several choices. As Admissions Directors tell me how much they want students from Lourdes, I say, “I knew he would turn out to be a great student!” or, “I knew she was smart all along!”(even if I had my doubts). I am reminded this week that education is truly a process that moves children from learning how to open their own milk cartons to being admitted to some of the most rigorous academic programs in the country. This process works as long as we make sure we have the right teachers in the right classrooms, and as long as those teachers never stop believing in the children we teach. This process works as long as you trust us to know what we’re doing, and as long as you tell others about Lourdes when they are looking for a good school.
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming." Goethe
23 Seventh Grade field trip to Most Valuable Player
24 Mass, 9am
Fifth grade and sixth grade to Harper’s Ferry
27 Deadline for new families to apply for tuition assistance for 2017-2018
28 Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper, 6pm – 8pm
1 Ash Wednesday, Mass 9:00am
Strategic Planning Committee Meeting, 6:00pm
2 Non-Public Schools Advocacy Day in Annapolis, Middle School, 8:30am – 2:00pm
3 Mass, 9am
4 First Penance, 10:00am
Elementary School Principals Job Fair, 9am – noon, The Academy of the Holy Cross
7 Eighth grade field trip to Museum of Natural History
10 NO SCHOOL, All teachers to professional development at Saint Francis International School
15 Seventh grade field trip to Museum of Health and Medicine
16 Kindergarten and first grade to the Building Museum
17 Third quarter ends
Drama Production – Alice in Wonderland – 7pm
18 Drama Production – Alice in Wonderland – 7pm
21 Eighth Grade Confirmation Retreat
22 Report Cards go home.
24 Mass at noon
31 Mass at noon
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.