Notes from the Principal's Desk: September 12, 2017

I would like to thank everyone for a terrific start to the school year.  The energy surrounding the students and faculty has been very positive the past several days. I have been in many classrooms the past week, and it is so enjoyable to see the students engaged.

Thank you to all of those who attended the Back to School Days last week. Our goal was to offer more time for parents to spend with teachers and provide multiple opportunities to visit, so parents and guardians had choice in which session they chose to attend. If you were unable to make it to one of the Back to School Day sessions, know that you were missed.  We encourage you to contact your child's teacher so they can bring you up to speed on any classroom procedures or activities. In tomorrow's Wednesday bulletin, there will be a link to a short 5-question parent survey regarding Back to School Day.  Whether you attended the event or not, we ask that you complete the survey so we can examine how we did and move forward in creating a better product next year. Please know I am grateful for your feedback.

This Thursday, weather permitting, we are planning to have Sheffield Studios on campus to shoot a promotional video for the school.  We are asking students to wear their winter uniforms so we can look our best in the video. All students who make the effort, regardless of completeness of winter uniform, will receive an "out-of-uniform" pass for Friday, September 22. The rain date for the shoot is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 21. A separate communication will be sent to all families as a reminder.

Last week, I mentioned my three core values as an educator, and I would like to speak a little more about how I put those values into action at Cathedral. As educators, our fundamental goal is guiding students on their road to success. Faculty meet weekly in different teams through the month to discuss best practices and collaborate, whether in full faculty meetings, department meetings, team meetings, or Professional Learning Communities.  In addition to these weekly meetings, we take time on a monthly basis for school-wide professional development. This year, we will be using these sessions to examine student data in the various content areas and develop strategies on how we can use the information collected from informal, formative, and summative assessments to improve instruction in the classroom.

Additionally, a rotating group of faculty will use these days to travel to innovative spaces outside the traditional school environment. While at those locations, I will be asking them to examine our practices as a school, in the classroom, and as teachers with the intention of thinking creatively about how to best meet the needs of our 21st-century learners.  On Monday, I visit Betamore, an incubator space in downtown Baltimore, to receive a tour and to discover how we may use the space to engage our teachers to think differently about how to best engage our students.

I hope to see everyone at the Haiti Carnavale this weekend!

Michael Wright