Accreditation – Parent Letter

Greetings,
Thank you for your continued support as we move through our Lenten season, anticipating Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday and a much anticipated spring break for our families and friends.

During this year, we have evaluated our school in preparation for our three-year review for accreditation. Thank you to those of you who completed the parent satisfaction survey at the beginning of the year. The results exceeded our expectations as we are continually humbled by your support and willingness to volunteer.

This past year, our faculty and staff have divided and into the four different Domains of the accreditation process. We have completed a self-study and analysis of everything we do at Sacred Heart Cathedral School within the four Domains. The Domains include Catholic identity and mission, governance and leadership, academic excellence and operational vitality. The head of each Domain has written and submitted a report to the accreditation committee for approval. This means, as a faculty and staff, we have compared what we have accomplished to the standards set by the Florida Catholic Conference (FCC). This is a rubric, requiring we have evidence to support our own internal rating.

The accreditation committee, consisting of Ms. Mary Camp, FCC director, along with superintendent, Mr. Michael Juhas, and Dr. Dan Guernsey, a humanities specialist, will be at our school, Tuesday, April 30, to review what we have submitted.

The committee has reviewed the evidence that has been submitted and our action plan for improvement. They will observe throughout the school and review our action plan. Our action plan is our plan to continually improve our school for the next three years. The committee will meet with the faculty and staff at the end of the day, explaining their findings. We will share their finding with you.

Blessings,
Mrs. Elizabeth Snow
Mr. Dave Kimbell
Mrs. Mary Adams

Lenten Greetings

As we continue with our Lenten journey together as a school and parish community, I share with you some of our Lenten reflections. Led by Mr. Redding and his team, the middle school students will experience their retreat tomorrow morning in Ave Maria Hall beginning at 8 a.m.  Also led by Mr. Redding and his team, the fourth and fifth grade students will experience a retreat on Tuesday, March 19, also in Ave Maria Hall.  The lower elementary students will experience a mini retreat which will be held in their classrooms.  As a school community, we continue the journey of the Stations of the Cross every Friday at 2 p.m.  You are welcome to join us for this prayerful afternoon.
The Terra Nova tests have been sent in for grading.  I will be in touch to explain the scores when we have the school results.  I was at the Florida Catholic Conference this past week in Orlando.  This conference is held every two years.  Principals, assistant principals and superintendents meet and attend classes for three days.  I was able to attend many sessions on Apple education.  I am excited and looking forward to our continued relationship with Apple.
At the end of student-led conferences, our middle school science olympiad team is traveling to Orlando for state completion on Saturday, March 30.  Mr. Kimbell is off to an accreditation visit this week and I will be chairing an accreditation visit in Clearwater the first week of April.  Our own accreditation visit is set for April 30.  More information on this as we progress through our material.
Trivia Night was a huge success and record setting funds were raised for this 9th consecutive annual event.  Please plan ahead to participate next year as we celebrate our 10th year anniversary.  A special thank you to the many people who continually organize and support this event.
Thank you for your continued support.  You are the best as you support our mission at Sacred Heart Cathedral School.
Blessings,
Elizabeth

Testing News

Blessings on your long weekend  As we look forward to this week, we recognize that it is that time of year again…time for standardized tests.  The faculty and staff at Sacred Heart Cathedral School  is getting ready. Test schedules are being coordinated, test booklets counted, and practice test booklets are being distributed. Students in grades two through eighth grade will be taking these standardized tests.

In the past, we have always administered the Iowa Basic Test. This year, in response to a request that all the Florida Catholic Schools are taking the same norm-referenced test, we will be administering the Terra Nova test. While this test is similar to the Iowa, there are some strategies we can utilize to help our students be successful with this new testing format.  

We will only be administering one test per day and this will be first thing in the morning, right after prayer.   Consequently, please have your child to school on time within the next two weeks.  Your child’s teacher has been reviewing for the Terra Nova, but this is everyone’s first time taking the test.

Here are some proven test strategies:

Q: Should I guess if I don’t know the answer?

A: In the case of Terra Nova, the answer is yes. The Terra Nova does not take off points for answering incorrectly; they just don’t add any!

Q: What should I do if I’m stuck on a question?

A: Skip it. Your child can always return to the question once they have answered those they are more sure about. But advise your child to be careful about filling in the answer sheet. It may seem obvious to skip that line on the answer sheet when you skip the question, but in the more intense atmosphere of a testing situation, it’s easy to forget to do this.

Reassure your child – Tell your child the test will not give us the same data as MAP testing.  This is a norm referenced test which compares students in the same grade across the state to see how they are learning compared to their peers.

Listen carefully – Listen carefully to instructions from the teacher.  Be sure you understand exactly what you have to do for each part of the test.  Look at ALL the answer choices before deciding on the correct, most complete answer.

Look for key words – Look for key words in test directions and questions such as: choose, describe, explain, compare, identify, except, not and but

Listen carefully to the instructions from the teacher, and read the directions to each question carefully. Be sure you understand exactly what you have to do for each part of the test. Look at ALL answer choices and choose the best and most complete answer. If, you are not sure which answer is correct eliminate choices that you know are incorrect. Then focus on the remaining choices.

Stay focused – Do not let other students distract you.

Please, please, please get to school early and get a good night’s sleep the night before.  A protein breakfast is an added bonus.

 

Blessings,

Elizabeth Snow & Mary Adams

 

Principal’s News & Notes

Greetings,

As we approach and immerse our hearts and thoughts into this Advent Season, we are reminded of the any blessing we have been given. The Student Council’s Advent project has identified 18 children from our neighbor parish, Saint Anthony’s, that need our assistance.  It is our goal this Advent Season to collect money so we can provide presents for these 18 children.

We are asking for monetary donations which we will be collecting within the next two weeks.  Once the money is collected, student council members, teachers and class representatives will shop for the presents requested.  Presents requested are very moderate; clothing and an occasional bicycle. Once the presents are bought, student council and representatives will wrap and present under the Angel Tree at church.

We thank you, in advance, for your participation in this project.

As for the Christmas programs.  Those students in grades 4th -8th that are involved in choir have been asked to participate in Lessons and Carols with the Cathedral , Tuesday, December 4th at 7 p.m. This is a very special opportunity for the students to not only sing as a unit themselves, but to be involved in the larger choir community.  This is quite an honor for these students to be invited to this event. I realize the time may be later than usual, but this is a life experience that I am sure these students  will remember forever.

On Wednesday, December, 4th, the students in Pre-K through 3rd grade will have their own performance of  Christmas melodies at 6 p.m. in the gym. This performance will last around 30 minutes. Students are asked to dress in Christmas attire.  Mrs. Johansen will be directing the Pre-K-3rd program.

Blessings,

Elizabeth and Dave

Letter from the Principal

Fall Greetings,

Thank you so much for your response to Lucky Hearts.  Thanks to you, we have once again reached our past goal that makes it possible for us to provide extra resources for our classrooms and teachers.  We feel very blessed as you, our families and supporters continually support our Sacred Heart Cathedral School family.

This next week brings many classes traveling down the street to the Pumpkin Patch, with buddies and alone as classes. This a great time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, while we enjoy one another’s company.  We also experience the joy of being a student at Sacred Heart Cathedral School as we share with our buddies, and create and confirm relationships. We are so fortunate to have such a family friendly neighborhood.

We have ended our first quarter and are anxiously looking forward to student led conferences.  Your child/children have worked hard to present presentations to you, their parents.  They will share with you their strengths, weaknesses and plans for the future.  I know you will be touched as I have spent many hours in the classroom only to find an overwhelming goal of being kind to one another and finding joy in my classmates.  Our mission is becoming a reality at Sacred Heart Cathedral School.

As always, it is an honor to serve you and I am continually humbled by your support and generosity.  Mr. Redding took a truck load of supplies this weekend to those families affected by hurricane Michael. As families of Sacred Heart Cathedral School, if you decide you would like to take your family for a weekday workday, please let us know and your child/children will be excused from school for that day.  I understand how important it is to spend time as a family and the week days is the highest need for family support.

We are looking forward to two school events.  We are hosting a PTO general meeting this Wednesday, beginning with appetizers at 5:30 followed by a general meeting at 6 p.m.  This event will take place in our outside newly designed outside patio, weather permitting.

This Friday there are many events happening at Sacred Heart Cathedral School.  Our families from PreK-5th grade are participating in our Seat ‘n Treat activity held on our campus grounds.

Our middle school students are participating in the championship football game as they take on Little Flower/EDS at Catholic High School at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening.  Please try to support both events this weekend.  We have so much to be proud of here at SHCS.  Our families, PTO, sports programs continually support our mission.  You are the best!

Looking forward, the 8th grade will once again be following tradition in the mission of service as they help at the YMCA on October 30th.  The 8th grade will also be sponsoring the Fall Fest for those students in grade Pre-K-5th grade on October 31st.  This fun day will take the place of individual Halloween parties.  The 8th graders have planned many fun activities for these young people.

Please join us for Mass on All Saints’  Day at 8 a.m.   Bishop Wack will be the celebrant.

The following week, Mr. Kimbell and I will be attending the Catholic Liberal Arts Conference and three other teachers will be attending a seminar on Mindset and Determination in New Orleans. We will all return to Sacred Heart Cathedral School eager to move forward with what we have learned from these conferences.

I know you will all continue to support our annual Pumpkin Run. Please keep the pumpkin bread coming in as this is crucial for the support of the run. This is such a special day for our parish and school community.  The briskness of the early morning air and the warmth of the air at the completion of the race just lend towards a wonderful family day.

As we move into November, we will continue our annual Thanksgiving Feast on Friday, November 16th.  Our 8th grade class, as part of their commitment to service, will be serving the students in grades Pre-k through 7th grade. Consequently, we will not need parent volunteers for this luncheon.  Once the 8th grade is finished serving their fellow classmates they will have their own luncheon together.  This class is to be commended on how they rise to the occasion to serve others.

Blessings,

Elizabeth and Dave

Principal’s News & Notes

May Greetings,snow

We honored two very special faith celebrations this past week.

The 8th grade were recognized for their growth in their faith throughout these past years at Sacred Heart Cathedral School in our annual “ribbon pinning” ceremony, this past Friday. As is the tradition, the 8th graders are “pinned with a ribbon” by their 2nd grade buddies reminding everyone of our mission here at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. The 8th graders then give their parents a rose recognizing their parents’ commitment towards sending them to Catholic Schools and the sacrifices involved.

Then on Sunday, I was able to witness our families bring forth their child to celebrate the sacrament of First Eucharist. I also had the special honor to be able to be a Eucharistic minister during this celebration. I am so blessed to be part of this community. I am continually humbled as I serve as your servant leader. Thank you for your continued support as we continually move forward developing our faith community.

Our virtue for the month of May is zeal. Zeal is explained as love in action. As explained by the the Holy Cross Priests, the congregation of Bishop Bill, to serve with zeal is “to make God known, loved, and served, and thus save souls” – that was the charge that Blessed Basile Moreau, founder, gave the Congregation of Holy Cross. This virtue is explicitly important to our diocese as reinforced by our bishop.

As we move forward, I have some dates to share with you. This Friday is the Crowning of Mary where the 2nd grade students will crown Mary. All members of our school are asked to bring flowers to contribute to this special recognition to Mary. The 8th graders will have their traditional final end of the year retreat this Wednesday. They will attend the 8 a.m. Mass with the parish. They will then walk to Bayview Park for their retreat led by Mr. James Redding. The retreat is followed by confession and Adoration.

The 8th grade took the ACRE on Monday and the 5th grade will be taking the ACRE Tuesday and Thursday. This test is a composite analysis of understandings of the faith and morality.

There are some end of the year fieldtrips which are grade specific. 4th grade had a blast on Monday, 5th grade is next, followed by 2nd grade.

The 8th grade finals will be published to parents/students. Finals for 6th and7th grade will also be published this week.

Our wonderful elementary students are enjoying learning, reading and sharing with one another. These young people are just fantastic as they are so open to learning and excelling. It is incredible to see first graders learning double digit subtraction!

Father James, Mrs. Barry, Mr. Schmitz, Mr. Elting, Mrs. Poller and yours truly took our 8th graders on an amazing trip to Tallahassee. We shared meals together on our way from Pensacola to Tallahassee and back again, enjoyed some sightseeing including the new and old capital, the museum, and Wakulla Springs. The highlight was definitely lunch on the 6th floor terrace at the FSU stadium and time just spent to explore and spend time with friends. We ended the day having dinner at one of Father James’ hangouts at Wakulla Springs. It was a locally owned restaurant and the food was terrific! Again, a great time for this class to just spend time with one another and enjoy sharing a meal together. I repeatedly heard comments about how considerate our students were and their kind manners. This was truly one of the best fieldtrips!

Congratulations to our track team! Not only have they continued the tradition of excellence, but they showed Sacred Heart Cathedral School mission as everyone rallied around Joey Camposagrado and his continued efforts to improve from his brain bleed that occurred during practice. This track meet wasn’t about accomplishment, but support for Joey. Thank you, everyone for your prayers and support for Joey’s family.

8th grade graduation is May 21st at 5:30.kimbell

Kindergarten graduation is May 22nd at 10 a.m., and our last day of school is Friday, May 25th .

As always, my prayers for blessings as you continually support our school and faith community,
Blessings,
Elizabeth and Dave

Principal’s News & Notes

Greetings,

6iponz8xt
As we continue our Lenten journey, we turn our hearts and minds toward the virtue for the month of March which is mercy. Mercy is our ability to care for those who suffer. Please discuss mercy as a family this month as we will be talking about it as a school
community.

Next week we will begin the Iowa Assessment test for students in second through
eighth grade. Please send in a nutritious snack for your child so they are equipped with nutrition to do their best.

Students in second, fourth and sixth grades will also take the CogAT test
which measures a student’s ability to understand the material.

The Iowa Assessment provides a nationally norm-referenced measure of a student’s
basic skills. It is designed to measure to what extent a student has learned,
understood, and is able to apply important concepts and skills. In addition, the test can
provide valuable feedback to students, parents, and schools about student progress
from grade to grade. The tests are used by the administration and faculty to evaluate
the effectiveness of the curriculum and to gauge the overall achievement of our
students in relation to those across the diocese, state and country.

The MAP scores and progress will be addressed during student led conferences later
this month.

Trivia Night is this Saturday evening. We are looking forward to a fun-filled evening
while we raise money for our school. Thank you to all the families who provided gifts for
our class baskets!

While it is a tradition at Sacred Heart Cathedral School for our 8 th grade students to
attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral, we will not be in school. If possible, please
make arrangements to attend this rich Mass and blessing of the oils which are used in
all of the diocesan churches for the year. The students have always come away from
this Mass with a sense of awe and awakening to our faith. Next year, we will continue
the tradition of taking the 8 th grade to the Chrism Mass because our spring break will
once again return to Easter week.

Upcoming Events

  • Fridays during Lent
    • 2:00 pm – Stations of the Cross (please join us)
    • 5:00 pm – Parish Fish Fry
      • Thank you for supporting STUCO by sending in desserts for the fish fry. Proceeds will provide assistance to the alpha Center

 

  • March 22 – Early Dismissal
    • Student-Led Conferences
  • March 23 – Early Dismissal
    • Student-Led Conferences
  • March 24 – Science Olympiad State Competition
    • Good Luck to our SHCS teams
  • March 26-30 – NO SCHOOL
    • Spring Break

Lenten Blessings,
Elizabeth Snow

David Kimbell