As we prepare for the upcoming school year, I think it is good to reflect again on Catholic education. We are blessed in our area to have some very good Catholic schools available to our youth. It is also very nice to see a brand new building at Cathedral High School that is almost ready to open which clearly shows how invested they are.
During these COVID times when so much uncertainty is prevalent, I think the smaller class sizes and the more personal connection with students and families can be very beneficial in providing the best education possible. When using distance learning or covering faces with masks it can be much more difficult in connecting with the individual on a personal basis and meeting their specific need – and the larger the class the more that difficulty is compounded! I can only imagine how difficult it must be for teachers to lead a classroom and ensure that all students are engaged and participating so that the advanced students are not bored and that those students who need more help have their needs properly met. It is hard to imagine how much more difficult this must become when the students are not even in the same room but participating via their computer!
As a member of the school board for All Saints Academy and St. Joseph Catholic School, I was glad to see the allocation of significant funding for technology and materials to assist in distance learning and the extra staffing and hours needed to address COVID concerns on campus for the safety and health of everyone. I want to thank our principals, Ms. Paula Leider and Mr. Karl Terhaar, for their work and leadership during these challenging times. It is important that we continue to appreciate all the teachers and staff as well who have been and continue to be deeply committed to teaching the next generation in a faith-filled environment and preparing them for success in this world and eternal life in the world to come.
Please pray for all teachers and students as they return to school. Also, please consider supporting our schools throughout the year. Our schools rely fairly heavily on fundraising to keep tuition costs low and this year without the ability to have the large gathering or festivals, your support will be even more important. There are still some openings at our schools for students and preschool. Please contact them if you are interested in more information, and encourage others to consider it as well.