Weekly Letter (Apr 16, ’18)

“My job is not so much to teach my students what they have to learn, but to teach my students how to learn and tolove doing it..”
– Mrs. Poon to 5th grade parents at Back to School Night, annually

Dear Star Families,

I am overjoyed that Mr. Gallagher is Star’s new principal. Having worked with him for nearly two decades, I am confident in his ability to lead Star as the Catholic Liberal Education (CLE) model is investigated.

This letter is jointly written by Mr. Gallagher and myself and is meant to inform you of our current professional understanding of the methodology and why putting a name to the work we do in educating your children is an idea we both welcome and embrace.

While Star’s faculty is excited about the possibilities of this new model, we do share your questions. As lifelong learners, we must find our answers before moving forward. We assure you that School Year 2018-19 will not see any significant curricular changes. During this time, a focus group will consider the model’s viability in our school. A curriculum adoption plan will be carefully developed and firmly established before any implementation will occur.

Currently, we know that CLE is neither Catholic indoctrination nor is it exclusively for Catholics. At our school, faith has always been an invitation, never an imposition. This has always been and will always be true. We also know that CLE means: Catholic Liberal Arts Education. Such a model has the potential to give Star’s faculty the vital instructional tools and support to help us more effectively fulfill our mission of “helping children develop their God-given potential in order to lead them to Christ.”

As educators, we recognize the pedagogical tenets in CLE. The instructional methods are ones we already use but, admittedly, not to their fullest potential. At its foundation, CLE’s goal is to develop in students those abilities that will more deeply establish the habits of lifelong learning. This is one of our primary goals but is only one part of our mission here at Star.

The CLE model, in our view, gives our faculty professional recognition as Catholic educators who teach through the lens of our faith. Star’s administrative team is committed to hiring professional instructors of the highest caliber. The commitment and support from Fr. Joseph and the Archdiocese mean regular professional training which further strengthens our work as faith-based educators. The result will be the sort of instruction that cultivates not only active lifelong learners who meet high academic standards but also ones able to face the future with a deeper sense of their spiritual and moral selves.

Further, the CLE model validates our current teaching methods, which include most of the educational buzzwords.  Our current academic and spiritual “baseline,” as recognized through our 6-years WCEA accreditationStar Renaissance Testing Scores, and ACRE test results, when informed and enhanced with dedicated professional development training can only serve to improve our work as your children’s instructors.

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With love, faith and hope,

Mrs. Theresa Poon & Mr. Dave Gallagher

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