I hope this finds you transitioning back from our recent break, and re-acclimating to your daily routine. We are in the home stretch of the 2016-17 school year and FXW is like many schools in that we don’t wind down to the end of the year, we wind up.
It is at this time of year when memories are formed from the many milestone experiences. The last weeks of the school year are busy with students participating in annual field trips, service opportunities, many of our 2nd graders celebrating their First Holy Communion, and the inevitable graduation. For months now, we have been planning the celebration of the many accomplishments of the Class of 2017.
Graduation is one of those milestone markers that serves as an indicator to parents and teachers that yet another year has passed. As we watch our eighth graders accept their diplomas, we are reminded that an education is the greatest gift we can give a child. Since 1989, I have carried around a “Reflection of the Day” clipping from the Boston Globe and have taken to heart, even prior to entering the school world, the words of Joseph Addison:
“Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate…At home a friend, abroad an introduction, in solitude a solace, and in society an ornament.”
In addition to a quality education, we place equal value on providing our students with a distinct school experience. Nearing the close of my second year, I have put much thought into the education and experience an FXW graduate receives. While we may be in the home stretch of the year–and it is a sprint to the finish–paradoxically we take a “marathon” approach to the 10 years or more that we share with our students and families. In education circles, this longitudinal approach compels us to have discussions about measuring our success. As our students prepare for the next level, we continue to think about the people they are becoming, the values they have developed, and how they put them into practice. We approach our work as though we are building a foundation for a prosperous future. This construct also applies to our School and our success.
To assist in articulating what lies ahead for our School community, earlier this spring we initiated a strategic planning process that will be a “living and breathing” document to guide FXW for the near term. In the coming weeks, you will each have the opportunity to participate in this planning process. Additionally, we will continue to refer to the recommendations provided to FXW two years ago by the accreditation visiting team on behalf of the Independent Schools of the Central States (ISACS).
As we welcome spring, I reflect on the year we have had in our FXW community, in our city, and in our country. We celebrated sacraments with students, enjoyed artistic and athletic performances, and as parents we gathered at grade-level socials, school events, or the Listen to Learn Initiative. We were captivated by the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series and the unprecedented presidential election, irrespective of our team or political affiliations. I am thankful for the FXW community to share in these moments that will hold lasting memories for our students and ourselves.
Finally, looking back at this past school year also allows for us to clearly focus on our future. I think about how our mission and community are central to our job of preparing our students for what lies ahead. To this end, I encourage you to join us on Monday, May 15 for Dr. Derrick Gay’s Presentation: Is Your Child Ready for Success in the 21st Century? Dr. Gay will be speaking at the OSP Campus from 8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. and at the HNC Campus from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30pm. We are taking registrations here, and registration closes on May 10.
Equipped with plans, priorities, programs, and a parent partnership – as well as the continuous support of our mission – we are excited by how well FXW is positioned and even more optimistic about where we are headed.