Weekly Letter (Jan 4 ’17)

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful and fun vacation. I also truly hope that you were able to take a few quiet moments to consider how much God loves you.

There really is nothing new to write about today, so I thought I’d share some important statistics with you. This came to my mind for two reasons: prospective kindergarten parents have been asking about how long the faculty has been together and I’m already beginning to work on next year’s budget.

Star of the Sea School has 14 classroom teachers who have a total of 14 Teaching Credentials, 12 Master of Arts degrees, and a combined 179 years teaching at Star. We can add another 75 years to that if we count time some of us have worked at other schools. That means that each of us averages almost 13 years at Star and just over 18 years each as educators. These statistics are pretty boring, but you should know that longevity like this makes a school stronger, gives students a sense of security, and shows great dedication on the part of teachers.

Recently the schools of the Archdiocese have started using the STAR Renaissance Test to have an objective measurement of student skills. You may recall that in September our Math scores were good and our Reading scores were great. We now have the results of the 8th grade’s second STAR test of the year.

Our class average in Math rose from 850 to 875 (the end of year target score is 852). In Reading, the class average rose from 1150 to 1200 (the end of year target score is 858). We should all be very proud of these scores, especially the kids who took the tests. But it is also important to note that The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Department of Catholic Schools has been using the STAR Test since last year and they warned us that most scores dropped in the second round of testing in their Archdiocese. That makes our scores all the more impressive. The next round of STAR Testing (for grades 2-7) begins on January 9.

It isn’t hard to see the relationship among teachers’ degrees, longevity on the faculty, student achievement and a community that feels like family. Catholic schools rock, and Star is one of the best.


Happy New Year,

Terrence Hanley


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