Cheverus Catholic Family Newsletter
Just when it seemed spring was here, Mother Nature reminded us that we live in New England, and it (winter) is not over until she says so. Thus we have to wait a little longer.
It has been a busy winter here at Cheverus Catholic. We celebrated the Christmas season with another beautiful performance of the Christmas Pageant, decorated our windows with wreaths commemorating loved ones, had pancakes and photos with Santa, and had a very succesful Christmas Gift Drive.
January witnessed an Open House for prospective students and their families and a wonderful celebration of Catholic Schools Week, as well as a Prayer Service celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We celebrated Black History Month during February with projects, reports, and presentations in all grades. The month of March began with a Prayer Service and the distribution of Ashes as we begin the Penitential season of Lent.
Middle school dances, report cards, progress reports, bake sales, food drives, and N.U. T. Days have all taken place in the last several months. These events all serve to demonstrate the vitality of our school community. I will try to detail some of these and more in this issue of the Family Newsletter.
Cheverus Catholic School Gala Proceeds
As we reported in our last Newsletter, Cheverus Catholic hosted the first ever Cheverus Catholic School Gala on October 20, 2016 at Anthony’s of Malden. At that time, we reported that it was attended by 350 people and that we raised $110,000 dollars before expenses. As a result of the success of the evening, we were able to purchase the Reading Street Program for grades kindergarten through five. The program is a comprehensive curriculum that includes, but is not limited to phonics, phonemic awareness, reading fluency, oral reading skills, reading comprehension strategies, vocabulary development, writing, and spelling. It comes with textbooks, workbooks, and materials for computers and our SmartBoards. Additionally, we purchased E-Texts and licenses for our Social Studies Program in the Middle School for the next three years. Monies will also be used to defray the cost of the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. and the seventh grade trip to New York City. The Gala also raised funds to be used for direct tuition assistance.
The Second Annual Gala will be held this year on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Once again, the venue is at Anthony’s of Malden. We are hoping to surpass last year’s numbers both in terms of attendance and fundraising.
This year we, as a school, were responsible for submitting a two-year interim evaluation to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It was a little over two years ago that Cheverus Catholic was reaccredited by NEASC after undergoing the evaluation by the Visiting Team. At that time the Visiting Team made a number of commendations and recommendations. The interim evaluation is a response to those recommendations and it is intended to provide the Commission with an update on the progress that we have made. I am pleased to announce that the Commission has accepted our report and praised our faculty and staff for the work we have done in not only preparing the report, but also for the steps we’ve taken to address the Visiting Team’s recommendations.
One of the recommendations made by the Visiting Team was to revisit our Mission Statement and to update it. We underwent a process as a faculty, and with the input of our Consultative Board developed the following mission statement:
Cheverus Catholic School educates a diverse population of students with an excellent academic program grounded in the Catholic faith. In the spirit of Saint Mother Theodore Guérin and the Sisters of Providence, to “Love the children first, then teach them,” we foster the virtues of love, mercy and justice, encouraging our students to go forth and share their many gifts with the world.
There were a number of events that took place at Cheverus to mark Catholic Schools Week. Monday’s events included a school-wide prayer service, Geography Bee, and a Family Dinner. Tuesday was Spirit Day, Fun and Games with Mr. Montani and Mr. Lane, and the day ended with a Student-Faculty Basketball game. The faculty soundly defeated the students. On Wednesday, we hosted a Parent Coffee, and the students in grades Pre-School through grade 2 performed for their parents. In the upper grades, there were displays of student work and a celebration of cultural diversity with various foods and representations of dress from different countries. Thursday was a day in which students dressed as literary or fictional characters, and the school provided a free pizza lunch. The week ended with a school-wide mass.
Map Testing will take place beginning on May 1. This standardized testing program will take about two weeks to complete. We will be able to compare individual and school-wide results to the Fall test. Once we have results, we will share them with you.
Congratulations to Mrs. Lepore and the members of our Quiz Bowl Team. Our team took first place in the Face-Off of the Lancer Division of the Malden Catholic Quiz Bowl and second place overall.
Our new website is up and running, thanks in large part to the work of Mr. Lane. Please take a look at www.cheverusschool.com. The teacher pages are still in progress.
We were recently visited by a delegation of teachers from China who are seeking to develop a relationship with an American school. They were very impressed with Cheverus Catholic and would like us to explore the possibility of teacher and student exchanges, teaching classes through the use of technology, and having students skype or use facetime to develop friendships and learn more about one another’s culture.
Recently, (March 16), we distributed report cards. Students in grades 4 – 8 are eligible for honors.
Honor Roll Totals – March 2017
Honors Honors Honors TOTAL
Grade 4 1 9 3 13
Grade 5 3 5 0 8
Grade 6 2 6 4 12
Grade 7 4 2 3 9
Grade 8 2 6 13 21
TOTALS 12 28 23 63
There are a total of 125 students in grades four through eight. This means that slightly more than 50% of the students achieved some level of Honor Roll. We are very proud of their accomplishment!
On March 22 our Middle School students participated the School Science Fair. The level of research, the presentations, and the overall work that went into the various projects was impressive.
In the last issue, we reported that enrollment has grown at Cheverus Catholic School significantly over the last two years. It has increased from 257 students in 2014 to 381 at present. One of the reasons for this success is our Referral and Recruitment Program. I remind you that we are continuing this program this year. I hope that you are able to take advantage of the $1,500.00 discount that comes with recruiting a family.
Expansion and Renovation
As enrollment increases so does the need for more space. Next year, we are looking at the possibility of three kindergarten classrooms. Presently, there are four classes of pre-kindergarten. If we were to have the same number of this group next year, and maintain even three of the current pre-k classes, this would necessitate a third kindergarten classroom. Additionally, we are going to have two fourth grade classes next year where we have only one this year.
All of this requires planning. We are thinking of an Expansion and Renovation Plan that will allow us to accommodate the growing numbers. Briefly, the proposed plan will include converting the current Art Room into a third kindergarten classroom. We will renovate the Small Hall stage to become the new Art Room, complete with computers equipped with “photoshop” and a new SmartBoard. We will move the Music and Spanish classroom to the space above the Gymnasium in order to use the current classroom for the second fourth grade classroom.
It has been years that any improvements have been made to our cafeteria. This summer we will replace the floor, paint the ceiling and walls, and purchase new cafeteria tables. We have already begun the work by removing the outdated and never used air purifiers as well as the air ducts in preparation for painting the ceiling during the April vacation. The remainder of the work will take place during the summer.
The gymnasium is also in need of some attention. There are a number of windows that need to be repaired. The floor has not been stripped and refinished in years. We are looking to get that done this summer as well.
This is an ambitious plan. It will require time to complete and money. We are seeking grant money and using funds from the Gala in order to get as much of the plan done as possible.
Congratulations to our Boys and Girls Basketball Teams on a very successful season.
The Outdoor Track Season will begin this month for interested students in grades 5 – 8.
Finally, as we move through this season of Lent, ever closer to the promise of the Resurrection, there is a heightened sense of hope. To be sure, we are encouraged by the prospect of warmer days, more daylight hours, and summer vacations, but the real optimism can and should be attributed to the reality that we are a saved people. On Easter, we realize the fulfillment of the promise of life everlasting. Christ’s birth, life, suffering and death are validated and we are the beneficiaries!
Even though it is weeks until Easter, I wish you and your family all the blessings and joys of this holy season.
Thomas P. Arria, Jr.