What’s new at our schools

| August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

bigstock-AppleThe Catholic Spirit asked principals of Catholic elementary and high schools in the archdiocese to share initiatives launching this year and new leadership, if applicable. The following is a selection of their responses.

After 11 years of fundraising, St. Peter, North St. Paul, welcomes a new gym floor in the multipurpose O’Reilley Hall, where for decades students played sports on poured composite. The floor’s first use was an Aug. 15 wedding reception for school principal Alison (Frank) Dahlman, who married Totino-Grace science teacher Jim Dahlman.

• Most Holy Redeemer, Montgomery, has added a separate STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math) class for middle school students and an interactive Spanish program, and will be ending its school day with an all-school prayer and song.

• St. Jude of the Lake, Mahtomedi, plans to create an educational monarch butterfly garden, supported by a STEM grant.

At Shakopee Area Catholic School, Shakopee, a certified Children’s Yoga Calm instructor will help prekindergarten and kindergarten students improve physical, social and emotional balance and self-esteem through weekly yoga classes. The school is also opening a new media production lab and launching an eighth-grade capstone class where students reflect on personal growth.

Claire Shea is serving as interim junior high principal at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St. Louis Park, after Carol McNamara retired this summer. McNamara was the junior high’s founding principal, serving since 1989.

Ann Coone is the new principal of St. Raphael, Crystal, where the school is expanding its Spanish and technology programs.

Becky Kennedy is the new principal of Our Lady of the Lake, Mound, where new monthly progress reports will help parents and teachers better evaluate the blended learning model the school implemented last year.

Students at St. Ambrose, Woodbury, will be using new Chromebooks. The school also launched a new website.

Lisa Simon is the new principal of St. Vincent de Paul, Osseo, where students will be working with electronic tablets, netbooks, iPads and Android technology.

Students at St. Joseph, Rosemount, will enjoy the $28,000 playground equipment installed in May and funded in part by the annual Catholic United Financial raffle.

With the help of a $4.3 million capital campaign, Holy Family, Victoria, is transforming its large media center into a performance center and making an underused part of the high school an information center for collaborative work and research.

• St. Timothy, Maple Lake, is building a four-classroom addition and launching a preschool program for children ages 3 and 4. It also plans to integrate new technology, including Smartboards and Chomebooks.

• Presentation of Mary, Maplewood, is working with experts at St. Catherine University’s national Center for STEM Elementary Education for teachers’ professional development. The school also opened a second full-day kindergarten classroom.

• St. John, Vermillion, will enter the second phase of a two-year strategic implementation of differentiated instruction techniques. It is also adding a math tutor to its staff.

• Our Lady of Peace, Minneapolis, is implementing a new K-5 math program, Math Expressions, and a new middle school STEM grant. It is also expanding the length of its daily math and literature/language arts classes, and increasing the number of Spanish, art and music classes for all grade levels, K-8. The school is also extending the school day by 10 minutes, dismissing at 3 p.m.

• St. Rose of Lima, Roseville, is celebrating its 75th anniversary Sept. 19 and has made strides in reaching out to its alumni base.

As The Catholic Spirit previously reported, St. Alphonsus, Brooklyn Center, and St. Mark, St. Paul, are implementing a new educational model, IDEALS, aimed at reaching students’ multiple intelligences.

• Annunciation, Minneapolis, was accepted this summer as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme Candidate School and will begin implementing the framework this fall in grades K-5.

Frank Miley has taken the helm of Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul, as president after the June retirement of longtime president Dick Engler.

• St. Thomas Academy, Mendota Heights, has revamped its military curriculum to focus on leadership skills and the school’s history, traditions and culture, military history and principles of just war theory.

• Notre Dame Academy, Minnetonka, is pairing with Benilde-St. Margaret’s Sept. 12 for a Singing for Scholars event. Opera singer Maida Khudoley will perform with the BSM choir to raise funds for NDA.

• St. Agnes, St. Paul, is opening a $16.7 million student activities center with a double gymnasium, auditorium; student commons and classrooms.

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Category: Back to School