Dear Parents,
It’s been exciting to mark the end of another school year with many significant traditions and transitions we celebrate as a community at FXW. From the Third Grade Clap-Out to the Ceremony of Recognition to the Graduation & Baccalaureate Mass, great change and great continuity were on display this month.

Another tradition is our Year-end Faculty and Staff Mass which celebrates the past year, marks the beginning of summer, and reminds us of the wonderful camaraderie we have at FXW. Our partner Pastor, Fr. Greg, a wonderful storyteller, provided a homily that appropriately closed the school year for faculty and staff and was also fitting for where FXW is right now.

As an outstanding high school athlete, Fr. Greg experienced great success, particularly on the football field, in part because on the occasion he was not at his best, he learned from his lapses. These experiences seemed to provide great insights which he enthusiastically shared with the FXW community throughout the year. One such experience when he was blindsided by a tackle in an important game taught him to, in his words, “always keep an eye on the whole field.” Fr. Greg encouraged us to focus on the “whole field” of our work as FXW faculty and staff, knowing that our specific daily efforts in the classrooms and across our campuses, are providing our students an education and experience that will stand the test of time.

The education and experience that our Class of 2017 received hopefully matches the contributions and impact they had on this community. In the closing weeks of school, we made every effort to prioritize how we would send off our graduates appropriately, and I trust that this year’s class of 92, talented FXW graduates, will make an impact at the many outstanding high schools they will attend. As impressive as our list of high school acceptances may be, I am of the opinion that getting into a good school is more of a match to be made than a prize to be won. This was brought home to me at Graduation, as I watched teachers from Pre-K through 8th grade celebrating not only our graduates’ accomplishments, but also the relationships that have borne fruit so richly over multiple years. This is a broad field indeed and a joy to survey. Our teachers have truly enjoyed being matched with these students.

Both the Graduation exercises and the relative calm of school break, offers a great opportunity for me to take that broad view of all that is happening at FXW. I am pondering, for example, the many conversations with parents that have come out of our Listen to Learn initiative. Your level of engagement in this process is something I deeply appreciate as a crucial help in “keeping my eye on the whole field” of the educational experience here at FXW. The information gathered has provided a framework for our strategic planning as well as our campus master planning and programmatic enhancements. As you see and experience many improvements in the months and years to come, please know that these are a result of your valuable input. We plan to engage the community in the Listen to Learn initiative once again to continue to have your feedback on the direction of our School.

I am happy to report, with more focus and momentum, that FXW has agreed, in principle, to a new long-term lease with Holy Name Cathedral. Therefore, we can move forward with comprehensive renovations to the Auditorium/Theatre, as well as to the additional classroom spaces we will secure when finalizing the new lease. The renovations will commence this summer and will likely impact some programming and scheduling this fall. We will share more as we get closer to the opening of the school year, but are certainly looking forward to–among many improvements—new seating that will silence the squeak in the auditorium.

I hope your summer is off to a great start and that you and your family are enjoying the pleasant weather, more free time and the many events and activities our city offers this time of year. You will hear from me later in the summer season as we continue to plan for our bright future at FXW.

Regards,

Michael Kennedy
FXW Head of School

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120 S. Desplaines St., Chicago, IL 60661
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