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Principal's Report April 2018

April 20, 2018
By Our Lady of Sorrows School
OLS Students Honoring Mary

Principal’s Report to OLS School Community

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT STUDY
Earlier in the school year Monsignor Barrera and the school council gave us permission to bring in outside educational consultants to conduct a school improvement study. The purpose of the study is to examine all areas relevant to student achievement, including instructional delivery, testing and curriculum, and strengthen them as needed. The consultants have begun their observations and collection of data in the middle school grades and will continue until the school year ends. We look forward to the final report and implementing their suggestions on how to continue to better our school.

Alliance with Notre Dame University
OLS School is in partnership with the University of Notre Dame and its Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. ACE program promotes Catholic education among graduate students seeking their Master in Education degree and places those highly qualified graduates in Catholic schools across the country. OLS is fortunate to have two such teachers on campus – Mr. DeSapio and Ms. Sternberg.  Although Mr. DeSapio will be leaving at the end of the school year, a teacher has already been assigned to the position beginning in August.

STEM Education
OLS is applying for participation in the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education program (SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENGINEERING / MATH) through the University of Notre Dame. This competitive program selects, funds, and trains cohorts of teachers who commit to a 3 summers, 2 school years intensive program that focuses on implementing STEM into all areas of the school curriculum. The program collaborates with researchers and practitioners at Notre Dame and across the nation to help all students innovate, engage, and excel in the STEM disciplines. We will update you as the process gets closer to the acceptance date.

In Christ,
Mrs. Luisa DeLeon
Principal

OLS: The Assistant Principal Awakens

October 29, 2017
By Our Lady of Sorrows School
Picture of a younger Mr. D with trumpet

Good Sunday afternoon! Here's a glimpse of a typical day for me now that I've had a chance to practice the Assistant Principal role at OLSS for nine weeks.

My mornings are very similar to my pre-AP days: supervising students in the gym, unlocking doors for Camera Crew / Worship Committee members, and supervising Worship Committee members as they set up our morning altar. An addition to my normal routine is that I'm also observing that staff members arrive on time to the gym to supervise their students (something I didn't have to focus on before). I'm also approached more by parents, staff and students with questions or issues before and after Morning Assembly. Additionally, when Mrs. DeLeon is not on campus in the morning, I'll do a quick walkthrough of the school to make sure there aren't any pressing issues that need to be taken care of before the school day begins, as well as checking in with staff members at all three morning drop-off areas. Finally, once or twice a month I'll have to attend 7:00 am meetings with parents, parish (Church) staff, or local community leaders who are all helping to make OLSS the best it can be.

After Morning Assembly I head up to Mr. Gomez's room to teach 6th grade religion Monday through Thursday. Once class is done, I'll typically head to the front office to check on messages or to see if any front office staff or Ms. DeLeon need to talk to me about anything. Once those conversations are done, I'll head to my office (located in the original building, next to Ms. Flores' office) to work on everything needed for Mass (Monday mornings) and to check that faculty members are posting homework / classwork / class announcements and grades in a timely manner (Monday afternoons).

One of my most important responsibilities throughout the week is helping teachers and other staff members maintain the discipline of the school. As such, I work with Ms. DeLeon, our team leaders (Ms. Cindy / Ms. Bay for Jr. High, Ms. Saenz for Elementary, and all five Montessori teachers) and homeroom teachers to make sure that all students are practicing behavior appropriate to their age and to our setting (a Catholic school). When students don't act as the saints they are becoming, I help ensure that our discipline plan is followed as justly as possible for all students and families. That means setting up parent, student, and/or teacher conferences, entering Discipline Slips into RenWeb, sending out notices of detention, and running detention on Thursday afternoons. It also means that one of my primary duties is responding to situations as they come up during the day - as much as I try to plan my day out, emergencies come before anything else.

The rest of my week is spent doing a combination of:

  • grading / planning for Religion Class
  • connecting to parents on the phone, through email, or in person
  • talking to faculty and staff members
  • observing staff and students throughout the day in all areas of the school
  • working on our school social media sites
  • working on the weekly Newsletter
  • ensuring that Worship Committee members are ready for Mass practice
  • making schedules for Altar Servers
  • looking and planning ahead for special activities
  • reading up on Catholic school leadership, Catholic teaching, technology, and educational resources to share and to help me become a better Assistant Principal

Finally, being Assistant Principal means that I'm at school late sometimes (until 9 pm some days!), at school on some weekends, and working at home most evenings and weekends as well. (Though that's something that our teachers do as well!)

All of this is done in the hope that our school continues to grow as a place where Jesus can be seen in every child, family,  and faculty & staff member so that we can help each other eventually get to heaven. I look forward to continuing to serve our parish and school community, and I humbly continue to ask for your prayers for myself and everyone who is serving and ministering at our parochial Catholic school.

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo De La Rosa III

(And by the way, in case someone doesn't make the connection, the title of the article is a play on the titles of the last two Star Wars films - I'm eagerly awaiting December 13th!).

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