St. Patrick School Community,
I will start by reiterating what I know you have heard me say before:
“The faculty and staff are by far the most valuable resource a school can have.”
I not only believe this in theory but I use it in my practice as an administrator to help guide budget decisions and opportunities. Because I believe this so strongly I find that it is one of my primary functions as the principal to find ways to support the teachers to become the best that they can be. I just wrote an editorial for The Pilot that will run during Catholic Schools Week that speaks to this very same belief.
This leads me to some wonderful news to share about a great opportunity that I was able to secure for our faculty. I have been in talks with Stoneham Public School District to partner on a grant since the beginning of school. Today, after several meetings and communications, I met with the district administration to receive the good news that we received the grant in the amount of $30,000! I will detail the great opportunities that our teachers and students will receive because of this grant:
- Four 2 ½ hour training sessions on Google G-suite for education, assistive technology, and Chromebooks for all of our faculty (hint, hint: we will be implementing a 1:1 student Chromebook program in our middle school next year and we have already made the transition to become a Google for Education School)
- A 2 hour training with an Occupational Therapist focused on executive functioning and ADHD
- 2 hours of consultation with the Occupational Therapist for classroom and/or student observation
- The K-3 teachers will be trained in the Wilson Fundations program which is heavily regarded as one of, if not the best early literacy program. In Fundations students in grades K-3 receive a systematic program in critical foundational skills, emphasizing phonemic awareness, phonics and word study.
- The K-3 will also receive the Fundations program kit for each grade level paid via the grant
- Two summer courses for our teachers:
- Technology Supports for Inclusive Education
- Impact of Trauma and Poverty on Social Emotional Learning, Brain Function and School Success
The teachers, being the consummate, caring professionals that they are, were elated to hear about this opportunity and are really looking forward to utilizing and applying the knowledge that they will receive from the courses and resources. This of course is all done to then directly benefit each and every one of your children by providing them with the best teachers, resources and best practices possible.
I will continue to update the community as we progress through this plan and I will continue to look for ways to partner with other organizations and obtain grants that will benefit our school and our students.
Anthony FontanaSt. Patrick School CSW Editorial