March 2, 2017
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
Over the last few months, we’ve been having community conversations about the length of our school day as well as our weekly schedule - when we have our early release day for faculty meetings and when we celebrate Mass. As a result of those conversations with our full faculty, School Commission, PTO, and Fr. Gary, we have some changes for the school week that will be put into place for the 2017-2018 school year.
First, to be more in line with what is the norm for other Catholic and area schools, we will extend our school day by 30 minutes in 2017-2018. The school day will begin at 8:15 am (with doors opening at 8 am) and end at 3:15 pm. Our research found that the St. Joe’s school day is 20 to 30 minutes shorter than most Catholic schools and other schools in our area. We look forward to having the extra time with students to help them in their growth.
We will also be changing our early dismissal day from Wednesday to Tuesday. On Tuesdays, school will dismiss at 2:15 pm - one hour earlier than all other school days. This early dismissal is for faculty meetings. Meetings on Tuesdays opposed to Wednesdays will allow the faculty to meet and discuss items before the week is already half over. This has been a limitation of our Wednesday meeting time.
Mass will remain on Wednesdays but will no longer require us to come to school earlier than the other days. School on Wednesdays will begin at 8:15 am, just like all other days in the week, and Mass will begin at 8:30 am. This has been an important piece for me and for all of us in this conversation. We see the challenges and inconvenience our current Wednesday schedule has created for families, and we’re hopeful that a consistent start time each morning is helpful in establishing home and family routines.
We want to offer our gratitude to Fr. Gary and our parishioners for their flexibility with the change in the Wednesday Mass time. We enjoy celebrating weekly Mass with the parish community, and we’re grateful that the new scheduling will allow us to do so without requiring us to adjust our Wednesday start time to be earlier than our other school days.
We also want to thank you in advance for your flexibility in regard to these changes. Those of you who have been at St. Joe’s for some years are likely very used to the way it’s been, and we want to be sensitive to this. We’re hopeful, though, that you’ll understand that these changes will best serve the entire community as we look to support learning at the school.
If you have any questions or concerns with the plan for 2017-2018, please do not hesitate to be in touch.
In gratitude for your continued partnership,
Joe Manning, Principal