Dear friends of Catholic education:
As we enter into the second half of another school year, it is only fitting that we take time to reflect on our accomplishments. We hope you will start that journey by reading through the pages of Pillars magazine, an exciting publication highlighting some of the great things happening in and around our schools. Certainly, there are many more stories to tell, but this is a sampling of our achievements and our commitment to faith and excellence found in each of our 22 schools.
Our schools are busy places, and it takes so many dedicated administrators, faculty, parents, volunteers and other supporters to ensure that they thrive. This year, we are particularly proud of the advancements we’ve made in continuing to meet and improve upon the standards set forth by our system-wide Middle States Accreditation. After careful consideration, we’ve elected to focus on seven of the 12 standards that we believe will make the greatest impact in continuing to provide a robust educational experience. Our proactive approach to New York State ELA and mathematics examinations is just one example, as we work together on common assessments to help hone student instruction and focus achievement throughout the entire school year — not just at testing time. Small classroom sizes and low student/teacher ratios allow us to do this more effectively, as do the talents and dedication of our faculty.
We are also pleased with the progress of the decentralization of our four high schools — a process that has been in the works at various levels for the past several years. Each is at a different point in the process, but all have committed to the development of new ways of operating as stronger, independent entities —making their own decisions on enrollment, development, finances, and embracing academic programming based on information unique to each school’s specific needs, resources, strengths and weaknesses. The concept of decentralization is one I firmly believe will continue to build stronger school communities for the sustained success of our Catholic school system.
While our high schools have decentralized and many of our elementary schools are becoming more autonomous, we remain, of course, a unified ministry of the Diocese of Syracuse. To this end, we are making a greater effort to work with other mission resources and departments within the diocese in the practice of stewardship and for a greater sense of faith and fellowship.
Our enrollment remains stable, and our schools remain vibrant. Certainly, we’d like to see continued growth, and we are making strides to do so — not an easy task in a challenging Central New York economy. We ask you to continue to support our Catholic schools through your financial support, volunteerism, partnerships and, of course, prayer. We thank you for being a part of our Catholic school family.
Yours in Christ,
Superintendent of Schools