On Tuesday, September 5, we officially began our twenty-second year. We started the 2023-2024 academic year with 58 young men. Included in that number are 12 fifth graders, 14 sixth graders, 18 seventh graders and 14 eighth graders. Our academic year began with an orientation night for the 5th grade students and their parents on Wednesday, August 30. The orientation night was an opportunity for the new students to meet their 7th grade big brothers. This involved pairing a seventh grader with a fifth grader to help them become acclimated to our school community. Throughout the year the seventh grade student is expected to be attentive to the acclimation of the new De La Salle gentleman into the culture of our school. Such leadership skills are what we aim to instill in all students and this is a special opportunity for the seventh graders to mentor their little brothers. We cannot think of a better way to start the new year than helping our boys understand that “we are our brothers’ keepers”.
The parents of our 7th grade students were also present and they spoke with the parents of the 5th graders about the role of parents in the life of the school. Families of the 7th grade students were also informed that we will once again be sending their sons off to the farm trip in Vermont. This tradition of the De La Salle School promotes experiential learning and environmental stewardship where our boys will be involved in learning in natural environments. The farm trip is a fantastic way to engage our students in hands-on learning experience about agriculture, sustainability, the environment as well as a great opportunity to strengthen their brotherly bonds
On August 29, we had our first faculty meeting. We are excited to begin this new chapter in our school’s history and are blessed to have an enthusiastic staff eager to engage the young men that God has entrusted to our care. Along with our returning faculty and staff, we have a new staff member who will be teaching music. We also had out first retreat which was facilitated by Brother Edward Shields, from the office of Mission and Ministry in the Brothers District of Eastern North America. Brother Ed helped to prepare our staff for the start of the twenty-second year. As a community of faith, we discussed The National Eucharistic Revival. The National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery here in the United States by helping us renew our worship of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The staff worked on creating opportunities to celebrate our faith in celebration of the Eucharist that will be implemented throughout the school year.
With the start of a new school year comes opportunities to renew our faith. Since The De La Salle School opened in September 2002, we have had the practice of attending the 12:10 PM parish Mass on those Fridays when school is in session for a full day, and we had the privilege and opportunity to do so Friday, 8 September. We also celebrated our “Welcome Back Mass” together with the faith community on Sunday, September 10, where we received a blessing from Father Chris. Parents had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Elder, Mrs. Becker, teachers and staff at “Back to School Night” on Thursday, September 14, where discussions of the goals and expectations for the new school year took place.
As you are aware, many of our families are unable to purchase the materials needed to participate throughout the school year. We were blessed to have bookbags donated for every student. Thank you to Supplies for Success -Give Back with a Backpack and the Brooke Jackman Foundation for helping equip our students so that they may be empowered in their education.
I would like to thank our former executive director, Mr. William Gault, and the Board of Trustees for purchasing air conditioners for every class. The students, faculty and staff are truly appreciative for this act of kindness. Throughout the summer, we worked closely with LSMA Alumni to plan for our annual Golf Outing and Bocce Tournament on September 25th at the Lawrence Gold and Country Club. Thank you to the committee members who are working so tirelessly to make this event a great success! There are some spots available to play, and we would love for you to join us in having fun for a great cause. Please see the registration information below.
On a final note, when faced with adversary, Saint John Baptist de La Salle always relied on divine providence. His last words were, “Yes, I adore in all things the guidance of God in my regard.” As I begin my tenure at The De La Salle School, I am filled with excitement and anticipation on our new year because of the generosity of all who have contributed to our success by their prayers, donations, gifts in kind, and volunteer service. It is humbling to see Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s legacy live on in the caring for the underserved.
We are looking forward to a wonderful school year and have great things planned for our students! Thank you for believing in our mission. There is a lot of work to be done, and with your support we will accomplish our goals because with God all things are possible!
Respectfully yours in our Brother, Saint John Baptist de La Salle,
Roxanna De Peña-Elder