Year in Review 2015-2016
We finally have evidence that summer is upon us: the return of the sun! May and June are such busy months for students with extra studying, exams, locker clean up, and of course, the anticipation of summer. The faculty, staff, and administration of Holy Child has been busy as well, closing out this year and already planning for the next one.
If you were unable to attend our End of the Year Meeting last Tuesday, we want to catch you up on some details about what we accomplished in the past year and what you can expect in 2016-17.
I am so grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our parent community. You are engaged, passionate, and so dedicated to Holy Child. It has been an extremely busy and productive year which would not have been possible without your cooperation.
As we begin several days of festivities here at Holy Child, I want to take a moment to congratulate the Class of 2016 on their incredible accomplishment and wish them well as they head out into the world. We are so proud of each and every one of you.
We discovered in this year’s survey that there are many areas in which we are trending positive when compared to the previous year’s assessment. Parents are pleased with the strength of the academic program, communication of fundraising expectations, student enthusiasm, and communications. You told us that you are pleased to see an improvement on how we strategically plan for the future, student leadership opportunities, and that you have a better understanding of how your contributions are allocated. We are grateful that our parents are willing to share their opinions about our strengths and areas for growth. Getting a pulse on the community is key to progress in the right direction.
We were pleased to announce that because of the generosity of donors in our community, we will be able to remodel and furnish eight new innovative classrooms over the summer, bringing the grand total to ten. We show our community what we value by what we invest in, and this demonstrates our commitment to revolutionizing the classroom experience.
1– 1 Surface
Next year, grades 6 and 7 will have school owned devices, and grade 9 will purchase their own Surface Pros. We are offering a Summer Tech Camp for teachers in July where they will be paid to come to Holy Child for a week and be trained to be the technology leaders on campus.
The occasional early dismissal days for your daughters this year, culminated in a successful year of curriculum mapping for our faculty. We have invested in a cloud-based software, that allows teachers to plan courses from year to year, eliminating duplication of topics and exposing opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary work.
After building upon the foundation of our advisory program and with an eye to ensuring that we continue to equip our students with all the tools necessary to be successful inside and outside the classroom, our Dean of Students Julie Burke plans to attend a week-long conference on social emotional learning over the summer. At faculty orientation in August, we will welcome the trainer for that conference to our campus for 1 ½ days of training so that our teachers will be prepared to help your daughters navigate the often challenging high school years.
In addition to the classroom renovations and updates to the library, construction will begin on a spiritual garden in front of the Upper School. The space will be contained in stone walls and will feature benches, as well as a beautiful statue of Mary and the Holy Child. In the fall, the space will be dedicated in honor of all the past heads and principals of Holy Child. We also plan to build a lovely patio behind the Upper School where students can gather for lunch, breaks, or even outside classwork.
As you no doubt have seen, Holy Child has debuted a new website, complete with new branding. We have taken our use of social media to a new level, and have had amazing opportunities to share stories, accomplishments, and some amazing photos with our community and beyond.
Our admissions process has been reinvigorated from start to finish and as a result, our numbers are up across the board. The application and notification process were improved upon by making our hallmark personal approach even more special. The shadow visit program was revamped and a panel discussion with current seniors and parent added for a more personal touch. Lastly, our Open House model was overhauled, and this year we welcomed twice as many people to campus as the year before
We are 80% to our fundraising goal of $1.26 million! We have had an amazing response to our new initiatives: Innovate the Space, Fund Forward, and The Fund for Holy Child. There is still time to give before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2016, so please consider making a contribution to the program that speaks to you.
A hardworking business office, combined with a faculty and staff who watch the bottom line closely, we are under budget for the 2015-2016 school year. We work to keep benefits and compensation strong to attract and retain the best and the brightest to work with your daughters. Lastly, we are looking at some new bus routes to accommodate our burgeoning student population.
We have kept you updated on our strategic planning process throughout the year, and as we head into the summer, we are focused on some final steps. Our team is now working on the objectives that will stem from the goals that were developed during the strategic planning retreat. Once the objectives are created, they will be fine-tuned at a late summer meeting of the committee and a plan should be put forth to the community in the fall.