Exciting Update - Saint Paul School
Dear Saint Paul the Apostle Community - below is a letter sent out to our
school today, which contains an important and exciting announcement regarding the future of Saint Paul School! So that our entire community may know about this exciting opportunity, the text of the letter is below:
Dear Saint Paul School Community,
Welcome back! We wish each of you a blessed Christmas and a happy, joyful new year! It’s a great feeling having our campus fully alive once again as classes resumed on Tuesday.
As we continue to seek ways to better promote and grow Saint Paul School, we are very excited to announce an amazing opportunity that will build upon the incredible work already occurring here every day on behalf of our wonderful teachers while serving to establish a key differentiator for us amongst our diocesan parochial schools and thus bring us the stronger enrollment we all wish to see.
Over the past few months, the school administration has been in conversation with an education group called The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education (henceforth “ICLE”). (The idea of “liberal education” and “liberal arts” are incorrectly skewed by any political connotation with these terms, so please don’t jump to conclusions just yet!) While there is a wealth of information available on the
is simply thus:
The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education inspires and equips Catholic educators to renew today’s Catholic schools by drawing on the Church’s tradition of education, which frees teachers and students for the joyful pursuit of faith, wisdom, and virtue. The Institute proposes to fulfill its mission by: (1) Reflecting on Church teachings and historical approaches to guide today’s lived experience of education; (2) Recovering and adapting the classical tradition of liberal education as embraced and developed by the Church; (3) Supporting Catholic educators through conferences, teacher development programs, in-service workshops, consultation, and publications; (4) Advancing this vision among schools, colleges, dioceses, and other individuals and institutions involved in Catholic education.
In the coming months, Saint Paul School will work with ICLE in examining ways of adopting a curriculum that will capitalize on the already-present giftedness of our teaching faculty with the goal of beginning an implementation process at the beginning of the new school year this August. We are happy to report that a hugely important first step to this process was accomplished just this week! We were blessed to have present with us at Monday’s teacher in-service Ms. Colleen Richards, the Director of School Services for ICLE. (Information about Colleen and other members of the ICLE team may be found
.) Colleen presented an overview of what is meant by a liberal arts education, shared success stories from parochial schools around the country, answered our teachers’ questions, and even led an exercise of what a normal in-class discussion would look like according to a liberal arts model using the Gettysburg address as an example. A truly deep, enjoyable conversation ensued!
Our teachers had nothing but positive comments during and following Colleen’s presentation. ICLE reports that teachers find greater freedom and joy teaching under a liberal arts model, and the palpable excitement amongst our teachers on Monday points to just that. Given the quality of our teaching staff, not to mention their impressive combined number of years of teaching experience, this is a much-needed stamp of approval for our moving forward with this vision. (Father Szatkowski is particularly excited about this endeavor given his liberal arts background through University of Dallas!) Together, we look forward to seeing our students grow in intellectual virtue as we further instill in their hearts and minds a desire to wonder and pursue truth –
Truth, who is Jesus Christ.
We strongly encourage you to explore this program through the following links, which will certainly answer many of the questions you understandably have!
·Watch this brief
from ICLE that serves as an overview of Catholic liberal education.
pertaining to other parochial schools who have adopted a liberal arts curriculum through ICLE to discover how this has helped so many others schools struggling with enrollment again thrive.
this past summer.
·Peruse the ICLE website (links above).
·(Optional, but strongly encouraged…) Register for and watch the one-hour
regarding this program. The same presentation was offered to our teachers Monday by Colleen Richards from ICLE, who you’ll hear on this webinar.
Of course, there’s no greater resource to Saint Paul School than our dedicated, knowledgeable teachers, so please feel free to ask them about this program and their experience of Monday’s workshop with Colleen from ICLE!
Furthermore, all of the information presented in this letter was shared with members of the Saint Paul School Advisory Council. Just yesterday, we had a conference call with the members so that we could answer questions and further explain the process for implementation. We are excited to report all members on the call are in full support of this initiative and the positive impact this will have on our school and the education of our students.
Thank you for your continued support, and we ask you to join us in daily prayer for the success of this program and the growth of our school. We have a bright future ahead of us!
Fr. John Szatkowski, Pastor
Mr. Michael Davies, Principal
Father John Szatkowski
on Friday, January 10 at 6:19PM