St. Paul's Principal's Message page

Principal's Message

 

March Message:


As I write my message I realise that we have just passed the halfway point in the year. This is a good time to take stock of where we are and how we want to proceed to the end of June. All schools in the Holy Spirit Division are expected to have a continuous education plan. This sounds like a very technical document that would bore people with its educational jargon and focus on targets and outcomes. This is generally the case. However this year we tried to focus the entire document on our Faith. Yes there is jargon, targets and outcomes but the focus will be on one thing. How, as Catholics,  do we help our students and families in a Faith filled way?


Our document is in the shape of concentric circles. At the core are the words, “ All are Welcome” This is based on Marty Haugen’s hymn of the same name. The song calls on us as a school community to be open and accepting of all, as Jesus was. “All are Welcome” is our central theme, but as we go out into the other circles we see how we will put this theme into action. Our second circle has the  tenets of Catholic Social Justice. This section is taken from Pope Francis’ document on how, as Catholics, we should respond to life during the Covid Pandemic. Six of the tenets are dealt with in the document. I will focus on three. Firstly, Care of the Vulnerable. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops states ..

A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.”


Secondly The Common Good. This has been seen so often during the pandemic with many people giving up time, family and even their lives so that we can get through a difficult period.

“The common good is reached when we work together to improve the wellbeing of people in our society and the wider world.”


Finally, Subsidiarity. The belief is that people at the front line or on the ground know what is happening. As a group, they can deal with the issues as they arise. In school scenarios I, as principal, have to be able to understand that staff in the school who deal with issues need to be included in the process of planning and executing that plan.

“Decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central body.”


Our third ring has the school board’s four priorities. The first will always be Faith, which we have placed in the centre of what we are doing. Then there is learning and assessment, wellness and First Nations’ education. These priorities are similar to what we have done in the past, with the exception to wellness. Wellness has been added, partly as a result of the Covid Pandemic, but also due to the increase in the levels of anxiety found among students in the school and in the community in general. 

Finally, how we are going to meet these disparate and complex needs. This can only be done by collaboration. Pope Francis in the book, “The Wounded Shepherd” believes that the Church has … to Serve. He believes that the Vatican should not rule over the Church but facilitate their work as a mediator. His church will be a synodal one. This is in the shape of an inverted pyramid, with the community at the top and the church underneath meeting their needs. This is how  we would like to see in our school. Staff, school administration and the greater community working together to meet the needs of the students and school community.. 

The method we will use to achieve this is the Collaborative Response Model (CRM). CRM is based on the Response to Intervention (RTI) system that has been around for a number of years. The basic premise is that, in order to meet the needs of students, whether educational or social-emotional, we have to work together. With this we have taken a Catholic stance. Martin Scanlan from Boston College has written a book called All are Welcome which uses the RTI model as the method by which a Catholic school can meet the diverse needs of the students in their care. We have adapted this to CRM.

In conclusion St. Paul School will grow and thrive if we, as a Catholic community, welcome all who wish Catholic education. As a community, we will work together to meet their spiritual, educational and social-emotional needs. 


Links:

Continuous Education Plan: https://stpaul.holyspirit.ab.ca/UserFiles/Servers/Server_20674392/File/Resources/Reports%20&%20Plans/CIP%202020-21.pdf 


All are Welcome: http://www.martyhaugen.com/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlnVLP0qFEo 


Pope Francis  Pope Francis in Response to COVID

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/08/05/pope-francis-announces-series-talks-catholic-social-doctrine-light-covid-19


All Are Welcome: Inclusive Service Delivery in Catholic Schools -Martin K. Scanlan 

https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1714&context=ce


Year 2 of Faith Plan - Transformed By the Journey -Be Grateful, Be Gracious

Faith Focus: Using your gifts and seeing the face of Christ in others. 

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OsH6LxkQyIR3nBjeKTgmKXEGPLqX8VJmuu_rIEC7s-4/edit 


Wounded Shepherd: Austen Ivereigh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTXOM95qV8o

-Mr. Muldoon 




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