Each year the Diocese of Columbus Office of Catholic Schools’ Department for Education issues a report to provide accountability for its educational program. The results of the following testing programs are detailed: The Ohio Graduation Test (OGT), the Terra Nova, and the Assessment of Catechesis Religious Education (ACRE). The results of these assessments are used by the Diocese and individual schools to identify areas of strength and areas in which improvement is needed.
The Diocesan high schools are required to administer The Ohio Graduation Test. The OGT assesses the curricular areas of mathematics, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Each student must score at proficient or above in each subject areas to receive a diploma. To this point, results are available for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
The Terra Nova is a standardized test which assesses reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. The tests are used nationally by public, private, and parochial schools. Diocesan students are compared to students across the nation. In the Diocese of Columbus, the tests are given annually to students in grades 3 through 8 in the fall of the year.
The ACRE is a standardized test which assesses knowledge of the Catholic faith and the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The scores are based on the percentage of students answering correctly. Diocesan students are compared to students around the nation who took the ACRE at grades 5, 8, and 11. A copy of this year’s Catholic Schools’ Report Card is being sent home in this week’s Thursday Folder and will be posted on our website.
For the past several weeks I have sent home a reminder in our Thursday folder concerning the FACTS Tuition Aid application. That information is found in this week’s Thursday folder. It is extremely important that this application be completed on-line no later than March 15, 2011. Other forms of local tuition assistance are dependent on the completion of the FACTS application. Please, if you are in need of tuition assistance for the 2011/2012 school year, take time to complete this application. Questions? Contact the school office at 654-1632
Think Summer! Well, maybe not weather-wise, but Summer Solutions for your son or daughter. I received information recently that indicated schools will no longer need to hand out Summer Solutions order forms or collect anything. Our school will only be responsible for sending a parent letter and handing out the books when they arrive at our school. Parents can now order online and still have their books shipped for free to our school. We have been involved in the Simple Solutions program for the past few years in the areas of math and grammar. This is a program that provides daily review of math and grammar material and has been shown to have a positive affect on student achievement testing. Many of our students have been involved in the Summer Solutions program as well. This has provided students with the opportunity to continue to review important math and grammar information without a gap in the learning process. This has also given our teachers the opportunity to begin introducing students to new material without spending a lot of time reviewing previously taught material. More information will be sent home in the coming weeks concerning this program and ordering information.
Interim reports will be distributed on Thursday, February 17th and not on February 10th, as previously scheduled. With the delayed openings, early dismissals and a couple of closings it has been a challenge to get a good picture of student progress to this point in the quarter. It is my feeling that one or even two tests do not necessarily give an accurate indication of student progress and that the additional week may provide opportunities for more assessments.
Registration packets will be sent home this Thursday, February 10th for those currently in grades K – 7. Please take time to look over the information and return the completed forms to the office on or before February 25th. Registration will be held between February 14th– February 25th. If you have questions concerning registration, please call the office at 740-654-1632.
Several tuition assistance programs that are available through our school are dependent on a family completing a FACTS form. In completing this form you may also be eligible for tuition assistance from the diocese. Information concerning the FACTS form has been sent home by way of the Thursday folder for several weeks. Deadline for submission electronically can be found at www.factstuitionaid.com and must be submitted by March 15, 2011. In today’s economy, every little bit helps and there is financial assistance available to those who qualify. Applying for tuition assistance used to be found only at the college level. Times have changed and so has the economy. Assistance is available . . . apply for it today! Information concerning the tuition assistance that is available is found in the registration packets being sent home this week
A big thank you to all who worked to make our Open House a success! Thanks to our faculty and staff for their contributions of projects from their classrooms and being present during the Open House. Our Advisory Board members who organized the event and our parent volunteers who set up the tables, met with perspective parents, took care of refreshments and did most of the behind-the-scenes work. A special thank you to our students who were tour guides to those who visited. We were all proud of the way they conducted the tours and their appearance. These students made all of us proud and I am sure they made their parents proud as well. In the weeks ahead we will see the fruits of our labors. It was great seeing the signs announcing our Open House around town. Thanks to those who distributed the signs and to those who took signs for their own front yards.
As I mentioned last week, I am seeking information to make available to our students and parents concerning grief and dealing with grief, especially after the loss of a parent. I am aware that each family deals with grief in its own way, but I feel that, as a Catholic community, we need to be sensitive to those in our school community who suffer the loss of a parent and would like to assist these students and their families in any way possible. A couple people have offered suggestions and once we have had time to put this information together we will make it available to all of our families. It may be hard to describe, but you almost have to lose a loved one to really feel the love and support of our school community and parish communities during those difficult times. Parishes have bereavement committees that give assistance to families. Perhaps there could be such a committee within our school community or see in what ways a parish committee could assist families. Feel free to share any ideas with me.