Message from the Principal
The Hot Buttons
As we move deep into the school year I thought there might be some interest on the part of many in our school community as to what are some of the “hot button items” or goals that the school will be focused on throughout the school year. These items are the focus of my article.
College & Career Readiness - The Indiana Department of Education has challenged all schools and school systems in the state to aggressively attack the issue of making sure our high school graduates are “college and career” ready. This means they have the knowledge and skill set to be successful whether they are matriculating to college, the work force or the military. The perception on the part of many people in our state is that this is a goal for high schools! That is a misperception that is hurting many schools and school systems as they strive to improve in this area. Having our high school graduates ready for success in college and/or the workforce is truly a K-12 educational issue. If a child does not master the necessary skills in the elementary grades, they will not find success in middle school. If the student does not master the necessary skills in the middle school grades, they will not find success in high school. The obvious final piece of that equation is that if the student does not master the necessary skills in high school, they will not find success in college and/or the workforce.
There are solid remediation programs, and I believe gaps in a student’s learning can be closed and overcome so that they can move forward in our educational system and find success. However, in some cases, these gaps have existed for so long and have become so wide that realistically it is very, very difficult to close that gap. The result is a student that does not have the skill set necessary to be successful as they move forward. We have an outstanding school and are the beneficiaries of receiving well prepared incoming freshmen from our South Deanery grade schools. However, we are not immune to the gaps in learning that I referenced earlier. There are students at Roncalli and in our South Deanery schools with significant gaps in their skill set. It pains me to see some of these students struggle profusely with proficiencies that should have been mastered at a much earlier age. Identifying these gaps as soon as possible and working toward closing these gaps must become a priority for all of us in the South Deanery.
College and Career Readiness are measurable goals! Roncalli will be working aggressively toward developing the most comprehensive growth student model being used by a high school in this area. This will help us accurately measure our improvements and know where our continued improvements must be made.
Bullying-harassment - This is a serious issue for all schools at all levels in all parts of our country. It is an issue that is not letting up or going away! In just the first four weeks of school this year it was addressed in the following venues at Roncalli – Freshman Orientation, first day of school presentation by the Dean of Students, Principal’s opening address to the student body, speakers in our religious studies classes, special assembly program for our freshmen and sophomores, presentations to all fall sports teams, cheerleaders, coaches, custodians, and cafeteria workers. I am certain there was bullying and harassment when I was in high school in the 70’s but this issue is exaserbated by Facebook and text messaging. I wish there was a way we could keep Facebook and texting away from all people until they were 21 as it is at the core of just about every bullying/harassment issue in a school setting. We will continue to take an aggressive position on this behavioral matter.
Alternative pay structure for our teachers - For as long as I have been in education teachers have been paid according to a predetermined pay scale driven by two factors – their years of experience in the classroom and the degree they held. Neither one of these factors really addresses whether or not the teacher is effective in their work! All schools within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis are in the process of crafting a compensation plan that is more comprehensive and is directly linked to expertise in the classroom and student learning! I am very excited about the plan that is unfolding at Roncalli. While I believe we have an outstanding faculty, I am confident that the implementation of this compensation plan will result in improved teaching and increased student learning across the board.
Christ’s invitation - “Come to me..." - At our opening school assembly the students, teachers and staff members were reminded of how often the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, uses the word “come” in his teachings. “Come to me and be fishers of men,” “Come to me all of you who are tired and weary,” Come to me all who have sinned,” “Come to me all who thirst.” Christ is not calling just the “A” students to follow Him! Christ is not calling just the athletes to come and follow Him. Christ is not calling just those that get the leads in the play, musical and choral concerts to follow Him. Christ is not calling just “the popular” kids to follow Him. Christ is not calling just those that come from loving, stable homes to follow Him. You get my point. Christ’s invitation, “Come...,” is one that is extended each day to each and every one of us. My hope is that each of us will accept his invitation each morning to come and follow Him.
God bless you and please join me in praying daily for our students, families, teachers and staff members!
- Second Semester Exams
Time: All Day
- (V) Baseball - Sectional @ Roncalli (HOME)
Time: 5:00 pm
- (V) Softball - Sectional Final at Warren Central (AWAY)
Time: 6:00 pm
- (V) Track and Field (Boys) - Regional @ Connersville (AWAY)
Time: 6:00 pm
- Servants Heart of Indy
Time: 6:30 pm
- Nativity Parish Math Tutor
Time: 3:15 pm
- Wannamaker Softball Concession Stand
Time: 4:00 pm
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