Dear Families of Saint Joseph School,
It was nice to see some of you at the PTG General Meeting. The meeting was so informative to me and the teachers as we heard amazing enthusiasm from the PTG group as we approach our biggest fundraiser of the year, the auction: Dreams Take Flight! I hope to see all our parents there!
At the PTG meeting I highlighted some of our goals for the 2018-19 school year. For those that may have missed the meeting I mentioned:
- High School/Elementary School Collaboration: The high school and elementary school has made tremendous progress collaborating this past year. Father George, Mr. Jennings and myself believe we have only scraped the tip of the iceberg. Together in the 2018-19 school year, we will determine how to further share our resources, where it be facilities, supplies or people. This will allow continued stability to both schools. Our goal is take the Saint Joseph Family to the "next level of great."
- English/Language Arts and Reading: A new English/Language Arts program will be put into place for our grades K-5 that will align with the middle school program. It will allow for a comprehensive leveled reading program with further grammar and vocabulary instruction. This new curriculum will also allow for alignment with our middle school’s rigorous ELA curriculum. We are meeting with several companies who have amazing programs. Today after the students are dismissed with will meet with one such supplier so all the teachers can learn about the different programs and we can make a collective decision which program is best for our school. A decision on the program will be made and shared with you by May.
- A multi-year technology plan will be put into place with development and training for the faculty, additional classroom implementation, and infrastructure support. There will also be a website upgrade to make it more user friendly for parents and guests. This is an exciting next step to build upon the major accomplishments we have already made with technology integration this school year. We have contracted to work with the Beehively group. They are a comprehensive Information Technology company who can help wrap our arms around all areas of technology in our school. They will help with the infrastructure, the equipment as well as help with professional development for our teachers. They recommend and help implement platforms and applications that enhance our student learning in the classroom. We have already begun our baby steps with Beehively and are impressed and excited with where we can take technology at Saint Joseph.
- A social/emotional growth program will be put into place to give better tools to our teachers and students. The program will emphasize the importance of positive human relationships. It will be a proactive approach versus a reactive approach when dealing with social or emotional conflicts. We will roll out the details of the program later in the Spring.
Many of the initiatives I mentioned above were direct concerns you posed in our school survey. I appreciate all those families who participated. I take your feedback very seriously. If you did not have have a chance to fill out the survey, and would like to, please click on
. It will direct you to the survey that you can fill out. The more I hear from the community, the better job we can do!
On a separate note, I mentioned at the PTG meeting that we will be having a "lock down" drill. The drill will be conducted the week of March 5-9, 2018. The Diocese of Oakland requires that we call a Lock Down drill once a year.
Due to recent events involving schools, we wanted to give you a reminder and outline of our school’s procedure for a “Lock Down.” If there is a need to go into “Lock Down” mode the procedure is as follows: An Announcement will be made on the intercom system that “We are in Lock Down.” Students are instructed to remain in the classroom. Any students that are in the hallways or Learning Center will be directed and ushered into the closest classroom. Classroom doors are then closed and locked. Students are then instructed to gather under “the red dot area.” This is an area that the Alameda Police Department has deemed to be the safest location in the classroom for students to be. Classroom lights are turned off, and time permitting windows are closed and shades pulled. Students are to remain in this location and be still and absolutely quiet. In a drill, classrooms will be opened and cleared by the school’s Safety Coordinator or Principal. In a true “Lock Down,” a police officer will be the only person permitted to open a door and call “All Clear.”
We know this can be frightening for teachers, staff, students, and parents, but we feel the more prepared we are, the more we can keep our students safe. We encourage families to discuss and share thoughts and feelings with each other. As always, our main goal and focus is to keep the students entrusted to our care safe.
God’s Blessings On Each of Us
Dr. Marquita Yriarte