Words from Walcott Street
December 22, 2017
December 22, 2017
As we get ready to begin our Christmas break, it is an appropriate time to reflect on this wonderful season and review the first four months of this school year at Saint Raphael Academy. I know I am often guilty of rushing from one event to the next during the four weeks of Advent; unfortunately, our busy days can sometimes distract us from the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus allows all of us to have a personal relationship with the son of God. I am not a theologian, but for me the Christmas season is always about excitement and anticipation. When I was a child, my excitement was directly linked to the presents under the Christmas tree, but now that I’m an adult, the anticipation I feel is knowing that Jesus was born for my salvation and that I (we) can lean on him during both good times and challenging times as we journey through our life. To me the most important “present” we get every Christmas is never under the tree, but rather born in a manager so many years ago!
The 2017-2018 academic school year is off to a great start! Throughout the fall, the students have been focused on their studies and making good choices throughout the school day. We have many highlights from the last few months, and I’d like to mention some of them: All of our students took their SATs/PSATs this fall and the results have been extremely positive. The averages scores of our students continue to climb, and this year is no exception. Additionally, our students excelled in all of their extra-curricular activities; whether competing in a fall/winter sport or stealing the spotlight in our wonderful fall musical “Pippin,” SRA students rose to the challenge. The Academy also received a $30,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation (Thank you, Champlin members!). This money is earmarked for our STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) and we are very excited about the opportunities this will provide our students as we begin the second semester! Last, but not least, everyone at Saint Raphael Academy celebrated the selection of Mr. Terry Murray as this month’s “Golden Apple” winner. All agree he is the perfect choice to receive this honor for outstanding teaching in Rhode Island. As you can tell from my comments, there are a lot of great things happening at Saint Raphael Academy!
I hope all the Saints family members have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2018!
November 8, 2017
The first quarter has come to a close and we have our Parent-Teacher conferences scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) evening from 4:00 -7:00 pm. I am encouraging as many parents/guardians as possible to please come be part of this evening. I know some parents work during this time period or have other commitments, but tomorrow night is one of the few times during the year when the SRA parents and teachers can meet with each other and discuss our students.
A very big part of the evening is for you to review your child’s academic performance during the previous two months and meet their teachers. (This is important for all grades — 9th-12th graders.) Even more important is the message you send your son or daughter by attending: that doing well in school is crucial to their future success and you are a partner in that endeavor.
I hope to see everyone tomorrow evening. Let’s keep up the wonderful momentum of this year and try to fill Alumni Hall with SAINTS!
October 20, 2017
I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather; I can’t remember a nicer month of October. As we watch the leaves begin to fall, I automatically begin to think of two big upcoming events at the Academy. The first one is the Junior Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2019 on Wednesday, October 25, at St. Joseph’s Church at 7 pm. This ceremony is a rite of passage and we take a moment to recognize and acknowledge the Class of 2019 as upperclass students at Saint Raphael Academy. During the Mass, all of the students will be called up to the alter and given a memento (ring or SRA pin) signifying they are now part of the student leadership at SRA. I highly encourage all of the juniors, their parents and families to attend this very special occasion on Wednesday evening. The Class of 2019 has been a very strong and united group since their freshmen orientation; I am hoping they continue this trend as juniors. After the Induction Ceremony, there will be refreshments at Alumni Hall. I look forward to seeing you all there!
The other important event on the horizon is our Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, November 9. Once again, the conferences will be in Alumni Hall from 4-7 pm. Your child’s report card will be given to you when you arrive, and all SRA teachers will be available to speak with you throughout the evening. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and speak with them about any concerns you may have with your child’s progress. If the conversation warrants further discussion, please schedule a private teacher-parent conference for the near future. I encourage you to attend, as it shows your son/daughter that you want to see them excel at Saint Raphael Academy. It always amazes me the next day when I tell a student I enjoyed speaking with their parents and I see their reaction.
I am hoping to see a record number of SRA parents on November 9. Let’s team up together and make certain all SRA students are off to a great start this academic year.
I will see you on Walcott Street,
October 2, 2017
The month of October is here, and we are very excited about the many upcoming events. Yesterday, we started the month off with an amazing Open House on our campus. The energy level was tremendous, and we again saw increased crowds of prospective students and their families! The SRA staff and faculty did a great job, but it isn’t a success without the support of our student ambassadors! Once again, our students “stole the show!” If this is an indicator, the Class of 2022 is going to be a great addition to the Saints family!
We also have other very important events scheduled for October. On Friday, October 6, all SRA employees will be attending our annual retreat. This is a very special time for all of our staff and faculty; it is one of the few times when we all get together and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship. Due to the SRA retreat, there will be no school this Friday.
Another very important event in October is the PSAT exam given to all underclass students on Wednesday, October 11. All students (except the seniors) are expected to be at SRA on time for homeroom at 8:00 am. The test will be administered in the morning, and the students will be dismissed at approximately noon. No lunches will be served at SRA on October 11. Please ensure your child is prepared and ready to go on PSAT day! The seniors should use the day to visit prospective colleges and universities.
Lastly, SRA Homecoming weekend is October 13-14. On Friday, October 13, we start Homecoming weekend with our annual Walk-a-Thon. This is a great event and the students enjoy their time together, ending the day with a BBQ and a pep rally. The football game on Friday against Woonsocket will begin at 4:00 pm, and we look forward to a big crowd. The SRA Homecoming dance will be on Saturday, October 14, in Alumni Hall starting at 7:00 pm.
We have a really busy next two weeks, but the momentum and energy level here on Walcott Street remains very upbeat and positive! I hope to see you at many of these events!
September 14, 2017
Last month during the student orientations, I spoke to the students about how to be successful academically at SRA. I told the students there were three points (minimum) they should accomplish every day:
Pay attention in all your classes. Be engaged in the learning process; ask questions if you miss something in the lesson. Be an active learner, really listen to the instruction and try to understand the purpose of the lesson. Assume the responsibility of the learning, and realize you are the most important person in the educational process.
Complete all of your academic work when it is due! Stay current with your homework and your classroom work. Don’t wait until the last moment to accomplish a project.
If you need help, ask for assistance. Our SRA faculty does a wonderful job every day working with our students and making certain they understand the material. If you feel confused about a certain part of a lesson, ask the teacher for extra support and assistance.
Earlier this week as I was beginning to write my blog, I thought, what could an SRA parent do to help their child academically at SRA? I came up with these three strategies:
Make sure your child completes their homework every day. Most nights your child will have homework (minus this weekend, due to the “No Homework Pass”).
Please use Plus Portals to monitor your child’s academic progress at SRA. By using the portal, you will see all of your child’s grades and their homework assignments. All parents should have received a Plus Portal link; if you haven’t received the link, please contact Mr. Dickervitz at email@example.com.
Make certain your child has an evening routine. When will they accomplish their academic work? When is their time to relax and interact with others? Try to separate the two different times. Lastly, if your child does begin to struggle academically, there is after-school tutoring (contact Mrs. Baxter), and don’t hesitate to reach out to the teachers or the school administration if you’d like to have a meeting.
I know for many SRA parents, this is relatively basic information. However, it is also a great time of the year to remind everyone that all members of the Saints community have a role to play in the academic development of our students.
Key Dates for September
September 15– Professional Development Day (No School)
September 18 – Opening of School Mass with Bishop Tobin
September 19 – Senior Parent Night with Guidance Office
September 20 – College Fair for the Classes of 2018 and 2019
September 21 – Class of 2021 Freshmen Parent Welcome Night
Time and location for all of these events are on the SRA website calendar.
August 30, 2017
Welcome to Opening Day! As a community, we are so excited to have your child/children at Saint Raphael Academy. The teachers are back from their summer break, and they are ready to engage, educate and mentor their students. This is my 6th year at SRA, and I think—change that to know—our faculty is the best in Rhode Island. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Baxter, each department has rigorous updated curriculum that superbly prepares our students for the colleges of their choice.
During the summer, the SRA administrative team has also been working tirelessly on the new West cafe and nearby girls and boys bathrooms. Please take a look at the attached photo and tell me what you think! I asked one student what they felt about the new cafe and his response was, “100% silk.” I think that is a good thing in today’s vernacular!
Since it is the first day of school, it tends to be very busy; I will keep my comments brief. I am so excited to be back at Saint Raphael Academy and I know it is going to be a great year! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to call me (723-8100 x113) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expect more principal blogs throughout the school year!