Reflections by Randy Hodge
|Posted on August 21, 2017 at 8:15 AM|
St. Patrick School hosted its annual open house this past week and everything is set to begin another successful year. As we begin the 2017-18 school year, we want to provide you with an update on the many initiatives we have been working on. There have been many generous donations and a lot of individuals providing hard work and expertise to make sure St. Patrick School is prepared to meet the needs of our students.
>Technology: Next IT is overseeing our school technology program and is working in conjunction with Mr. Ross Schneider. They have been upgrading our wireless which includes the installation of new access points and new laptops have been purchased for the staff and already in use. The students will also have some new items when they return, including:
• 60 Chromebooks for our high school 1:1 program. All students in grades 9 – 11 will be issued a Chromebook. Seniors may be issued one at their request.
• The middle school (Grades 6-8) students will have a portable lab which will house 30 Chromebooks solely for their use.
• We opted to purchase 30 touchscreen Chromebooks for our elementary students. Research shows elementary-aged students benefit from touchscreen devices which many are already using at home.
• We have a new Shared Time Agreement in place with Portland Public Schools. We welcome Mr. Bob Powers as our elementary computer teacher.
>Dual enrollment opportunities: We have partnered with Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and they will be hosting two classes at St. Patrick during the upcoming school year. Approximately 40 members of the junior and senior classes have signed up and attended orientation on the Aquinas College campus and are ready to go for the fall semester. In the fall, students will take Introduction to Communications and they will take Public Speaking in the spring.
>Battle Creek Science Kits: Last year we purchased the first set of kits for our students. This year, they will continue using the first set of kits and we will be purchasing and using the second set. Last year, students were excited about the hands-on and engaging lessons that are an integral part of these kits.
>Switching back to the ACT: We have finalized our agreement for our high school juniors to take the American College Test (ACT) in the spring. Our official ACT test date has been scheduled for the end of February. We will have our students prepared and ready to go for this important college assessment which will help them when applying to colleges and for scholarships.
>Increased counseling services: For the past two years, one part-time counselor has served our DK-12 student body. To help our students, we will be bringing in a second part-time counselor which will allow them to have access to a counselor all five days of the week. Mrs. Valerie Hynes will serve as our secondary counselor. We welcome Miss Jackie Bass who will serve as our elementary counselor.
All of us at St. Pat's School are excited and ready for an outstanding 2017-18 school year! We are excited about these new programs and are currently enrolling new students. I encourage you to look at our prospective families webpage: http://www.portlandstpats.com/prospective-families and schedule a tour. Welcome Scholarships, along with our “Try Us! You’ll Like Us!” guarantee are available to new families.