Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Branching out a bit...

Something different, for a change.

I liked the food festival, as it brought the various ethinic groups together. We had a few Italian families making spetza and sausage and peppers, the Mexican families making their food, and some Polish people making theirs. It was a great display of diversity and unity at the same time, long before those words became buzz words.

Bringing it back is a good idea, but I'm not sure that asking for people to donate time, food, and all the profits from their work (and it is a lot of work) is going to be as sucessful as it was in years past. Old Dover Days involves a lot of people in a lot of different groups, especially kids, and people are stretched thin already.

We'll see how it goes, but the sign up sheets this weekend didn't look promising.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Next Comments - Under "Context"

Now, I have not been through one of these myself, but the comments from someone one the inside were interesting. Apparently this dog and pony show is not uncommon. I still think it is interesting to look at, even if by pulling it apart is shows more of the uselessness of evaluations then anything else.

• the pastor for his interest and support in Catholic education

Really? How often have your kids seen Father Dan in the classroom?

• the principal for her vision, dedication, and guidance in her educational leadership of the school

Puhleese. Given as how they say repeatedly that they want written vision, I think this is hard to please.

• the assistant principal for her daily leadership and her supportive role in the school

Okay…what else should an assistant principal do?

• the faculty and staff of Holy Cross School for their dedication, example, and professionalism in establishing a welcoming and family friendly educational facility

Hard to argue with, but if you can stack the deck with who the “family” are….should be an easy win.

• the parents of Holy Cross School for their commitment to and support of Holy Cross

See above.

• the Middle States Steering Committee for the thorough work in organizing the work of the self-study

A bit self congratulatory, wouldn’t you say?

Friday, March 13, 2009

A bit too late, don't you think?

There are times that I've tossed aside some items simply because they start bordering on nit-picking - see, we do have some standards.

However, I do question the item in the newsletter about the meeting of Catholic School Parents up in Wilmington. I may not agree with all of their goals, but fully support the school's efforts to publicize and get parents involved in this group. However, if you want people to attend a meeting, how much good does it do to send it home the day of meeting? I didn't get home until 5, didn't look at the newsletter until after dinner, and I don't think I'm all that different than most parents in that even if I wanted to attend, I found out way too late.

Monday, March 9, 2009

And Now, part II

• The day-to-day attention to supervising the maintenance and custodial issues

Probably would help to improve the relationship, as well. I know she came in like gangbusters on this issue, but obviously we’re not the only one noticing the cleanliness of the school.

• The ongoing professional development for faculty to support the educational goals and special needs of students.

No arguments, although not sure the focus of the past year on children with special needs is where Holy Cross School is, or should be headed. “Special needs” means special treatment, which means extra costs and extra money.

• The continued effort to improve communication with parents, especially through the use of PowerSchool.

I like the “continued effort” that they work in there, but we’ll deconstruct some later comments about that. I think PowerSchool is doing exactly what it should be doing, but am willing to be enlightened what else could be done.

• The updating of the Science lab and the enhancement of technology resources to increase active learning.

Again, no argument here. One of the reasons the high school was forced to shut down (for those not here at the time) was the declining ability to maintain academic standards in such areas. I’d argue, however, that Denise put all the eggs in the basket with the grant application….she never answered the question what she was going to do if the money wasn’t available, and the issue dropped after she was denied.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Part I of Recomended changes

I didn't like the way the last post came out, so I'm going to break the next posting into two parts.
However, I did notice a few odditities about the report, starting with it designating Holy Cross as an "urban" school. Okay, we're within city limits, but do you really think one would or should call it this?

Anyway, on with the post....

The pursuit of the goals set forth in the action plan to ensure the school’s strategic plan
remains a living document

In other words, update and modify the existing plan to something that has measurable items. No arguments on this.

• The establishment of an Office of Institutional Advancement that will ultimately include a Director of Development

This would require good community and alumni relations, which aren’t exactly a strong point right now. THIS probably should be a priority, even in troubling economic times. However, I think any resources are being forced into simply looking for bodies to put in the seats.

• The pursuit of a traffic control study and the establishment and enforcement of rules to address safety issues.

Something that some have been calling for since she got here and pursued a few actions that made the traffic problem worse. The "enforcement of rules" works IF the rules make sense and actually would help solve the problem.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Good News Reviewed

Having some time off today, I thought I'd pull out the highlights of the report listed below...and a few comments, as well. I'm glad they got recertified, but given the rate of schools that do meet the requirements, is that something to crow about? It is like

• The family atmosphere that pervades the interaction throughout the school community

Not as much as in the past, but it is good to see that some of it still survives. I guess if you cherry pick who gets to meet with the panel, it helps, eh?

• The leadership of the pastor and principal that empowers the faculty and staff in fostering a loving and caring Catholic school that is proud of its Catholicity and educational opportunities.

I would doubt that many of the staff feel they are empowered…unless they are told they are told they are, and where they are allowed to be empowered.

• The re-establishment of the School Advisory Panel and their diligence in monitoring the
strategic plan.

“Re-Establishment” is a rich one, given how Denise did everything in her power to eliminate any such group, and said she didn’t want or need it about a year ago…and drug her feet to get it “re-established.”

• The high-level of parental involvement and support of Holy Cross School and Catholic

Want to compare what the level of involvement was in past years?

• The students of Holy Cross for living and assimilating the faith and Christian values
taught in both school and home

No arguments whatsoever. We’ve got good kids, if I do say so myself.

• The accurate evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of Holy Cross School as written in the self-study document.

I might doubt the “accuracy”, but the completeness is probably more the issue.

• The actualization of the school’s Mission and Belief statements.

Academic gobbledygook. Read the Mission and Belief Statement sometime and tell me how they could NOT meet it.

• The curriculum improvements being addressed in the areas of language arts, math and

Change is good, I guess, even if it for change’s sake, but I’ll give her this one, as well.

• The organized use of available communication tools throughout the campus.

Walkie Talkies and the Intercom system, I guess. Glad the school is using them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Things to talk about...

Since it is somewhat buried at Holy Cross School's website, and it had very little notice (the short one line notice in the newsletter), I thought I would help the school by bringing some notice.


There are plenty of things to talk about in the report, but why don't y'all take some time, review what is there, and we'll be back. One thing you may want to consider as you look at it is the timeframe and the status of some of the groups indicated.