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.
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.
Mrs. Luisa DeLeon
Every month Mrs. DeLeon will offer a brief glimpse into OLS life with highlights and upcoming events.
- Our water fountain for the playground has been installed! Thank you parents and PTO.
- Students took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in Reading/Language Arts and all Math. These Fall tests serve as a baseline for teachers to assess skills and plan for reinforcement. They are used in the Spring to assess progress after the ITBS full battery tests are taken.
- OLS School and Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville volunteered to serve as pilot test schools in administering the ITBS online. OLS 8th graders took the online test over two days. The feedback from the students was positive.
- Teaching staff received training from Riverside Publishing Personnel at the Diocesan In-service on September 5th. Riverside is the company that produces and manages the data and reports information for the ITBS for all schools. The training encompassed how to interpret the scores, how to print reports, and how to use the data in lesson planning.
- Other workshops attended by staff since summer include making math fun, cyberbullying, science, religion, interpreting testing scores, CPR, and Safe Environments, just to name a few.
- OLSS will be using the weather make-up day of January 26th in place of the instructional day lost due to Hurricane Harvey. It will be a ½ day with early dismissal.
- The National Junior Honor Society held their induction ceremony on September 8th for 7th & 8th grade students who qualified.
- Book Fair begins the week of September 25th.
- Grandparents Day is scheduled for Friday, September 29th at the school Mass with a light breakfast provided afterwards in the gym.
- SAVE THE DATE: The school play will be held over two weekends on February 16th / 17th & 24th / 25th.
Our Principal, Mrs. DeLeon, is usually at school before 7 am daily. She begins her day by making sure all is well within the school building and opens any classrooms where a substitute may be needed. Then she returns to her desk, reads a Bible passage, gets her coffee and answers emails while the building is still quiet. Sometimes she will meet with a parent.
By 7:30 am until assembly, she will walk to the arrival areas to make sure all is running smoothly or do a teacher’s duty who may be running late. Mrs. DeLeon makes any needed announcements at assembly but mostly lets the students run the assembly because they do a very good job of organizing it. She returns to her office after assembly to do any needed paperwork like order teaching supplies or books or return phone calls. This is the time, especially early in the week, when Mrs. DeLeon checks the lesson plans that all the teachers have to send to her every week through their computers. She wants to make sure the learning is happening.
Halfway through her morning, Mrs. DeLeon does a daily walkthrough of all the classrooms. She will walk into a classroom to see what the students are working on or to watch how the teacher presents the lessons or just to say "Hi." Students say that many times they don’t even realize she has been sitting there watching until she walks out! Mrs. DeLeon says sometimes she just peeks in because she doesn't want to interrupt.
Students and teachers often see Mrs. DeLeon in the cafeteria at lunchtime helping serve food, clean tables, and sweep the floors. Sometimes the students will see her eat a quick lunch in the courtyard but most of the time she forgets to eat.
The afternoons are spent in her office doing paperwork, back in the halls checking on students and teachers, and visiting the church office. And almost every day, she has meetings with parents, with students, with Monsignor, with the Superintendent, and many other things that concern the school. You also might see her with a plumber telling him to fix a leaking toilet, or with the air conditioning man telling him it’s too cold in the classrooms, or you might see her after school at a volleyball game jumping up and down and yelling at the referees.
Mrs. DeLeon is usually the last person to leave the school after all students have been picked up. She is a busy Principal! But the most important thing is that no matter how busy she is, her door is always open to students! She keeps a jar of jelly beans on her desk just for them!