Beginning of the Year Reflection
“Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelations 21:5)
How fortunate we are to restart, to reset, to return. New beginnings are an extraordinary grace from God! Each academic year offers students, parents and educators the opportunity and blessing of a fresh start. At this time of year, new dreams take shape, new goals are crafted and fresh pledges are made by students, parents, coaches and teachers.
Like New Year’s Day, the start of school includes a fair amount of wishful thinking and a particularly optimistic brand of hopefulness and goodwill. There is a collective consciousness around making things better; around building better relationships; making better decisions; taking better care of oneself and others; of studying more and better; about being a better friend and a better self. This is good! Indeed, this is how it should be.
At SMSA, we are striving to be a better Catholic school community. As people of faith, we know that God calls us to build His Kingdom, the “City of God” – the “shining city on a hill” that we read about in the New Testament. But how? As always, Jesus offers us a way:
“Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16
In this new year at SMSA, let’s give every effort to be a ‘shining school on the ledge:’ In other words, someplace where students are proud to let their light shine! A community that is safe, positive, loving, encouraging and inspiring. A place where God’s presence is felt in the behavior and actions of all, and where prayer and creativity, accompany inquiry, reflection, learning and integrity. A place where students are dedicated to understanding their God-given gifts and where caring classmates, teachers, coaches and parents work collaboratively to help each and every student to identify and unpack their gifts. Though it may not be explicitly stated in our Curriculum Guide, this is the essence of Catholic education. At SMSA our Ledger Way points us to this higher ground!
I believe that God’s creative and loving Spirit is ever near to us, always eager to love us, shape our hearts and “make things new again” in our lives. We have so much to look forward to at SMSA this year! I look forward to being on this journey with you as a partner in mission.
Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us.
A Word of Gratitude
For me personally, the return of school this year is extremely special! I am very excited, grateful and blessed to begin anew as principal for this generous and lively Springs community that has not been shy about sharing its pride or passion. The warmth and enthusiasm I have encountered since joining SMSA may represent the greatest experience of welcome and hospitality of my career in Catholic education. My sincerest thanks to the students, parents, alumni, staff and faculty that have gone the extra step to make sure my new start has been so very positive! Be assured that I will be holding our community in daily prayer throughout this year.
High School Update
- September 3, 2019 – First Day of Classes!
- Open House, August 29, 2019: Scheduled for 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 29th. Please plan to drop-off student supplies, obtain course schedules, receive new locker assignments and combinations and meet teachers.
- Student Schedules: I am grateful to Mr. John Resop for his dedication to resolving complex scheduling conflicts while working to finalize student schedules. I also thank Mr. Resop for the patient tutoring he has graciously provided to me around the SMSA scheduling process. Skyward access for all student schedules will be enabled by Friday, August 16th. Regarding schedule change requests: Students who have a schedule that still contains conflict (i.e multiple courses scheduled during the same class period) should reach out to Mr. Resop before the start of school. If there is an error on a student schedule that was made by the school (i.e. wrong course choice reflected) please connect with Mr. Resop to address that matter. Any schedule change that is initiated by a parent or student and which does not reflect an error or conflict, shall be managed by the guidance office only after the first day of school (Tuesday, September 3rd). Finally, Open House on Thursday, August 29th is NOT an appropriate time to arrange for schedule changes.
- Daily Bell Schedule: Last year, a faculty advisory committee worked with administration to integrate a “9th Hour” flexible activity period into the daily bell schedule for the 2019-2020 school year. The new schedule has been finalized and will be operational from the very first day of school. The eight standard academic periods are intact. Ledger Period remains along with the new “9th Hour” option which also serves as homeroom. For students in grades 6 – 12 the school day begins at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. Copies of the new daily bell schedule will be available at Open House on Thursday, August 29th.
- Faculty Meet and Greets: Individual meetings with nearly every member of the faculty and staff have been completed. These sessions have been valuable as a general operational orientation to SMSA while also provided important information about heritage and mission. Also a great help in setting priorities for this year.
- Interviewing Prospective Faculty: Recent interviews have positively resulted in the hiring of new and talented faculty in the middle school and high school level. Interviews will continue until all hiring needs are met. Watch for a full summary and profiles of all new SMSA faculty in a future eLedger.
- August In-service Days Scheduled for Faculty: While many faculty members have been frequent visitors to campus through the summer, Thursday, August 22nd marks the first official day that faculty return for the 2019-2020 school year. New faculty will begin with a special day of orientation to SMSA on Friday, August 23rd. On Monday, August 26th – Friday, August 29th full day In-services are planned for all faculty and staff.