Fr. Woolley’s 2ndTrimester Report

March 25, 2019 Feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary

Dear FJVD Parents,

The Peace of Christ be with you. Now that the Second Trimester is over (and I have no Mardi Gras or St. Patrick’s Day concerts to prepare for!), I thought I would give you all an update about various things going on at Fr. Doyle School.

We are well along in our search for a new principal for Fr. John V. Doyle School to replace Jae Smith when she retires June 30 of this year. With the help of the Diocese of Providence’s Catholic Schools Office, I have assembled a search committee consisting of two principals of Rhode Island Catholic Schools outside the Kent County area, a Catholic Schools Office employee, as well as five members of our parish. The principal screening committee isn’t meant to be a representative committee (i.e. consisting of a parent, teacher, school board member, trustee, parish council member, etc.), but rather a committee that has the skills to identify a person with the strong leadership qualities and skills necessary to be a good principal; therefore, I’ve selected members with backgrounds in the legal profession, human resources, military, and finance, all of whom are long time supporters of Catholic education and Fr. John V. Doyle School.

Each member of the screening committee came individually to the rectory recently, to review the files of five candidates who applied for the position. They graded each applicant in each of six areas of leadership, namely, Faith, Mission, Organizational, Educational, Community, and Strategic Leadership. While all these areas are important, the committee and I are especially looking for a principal with strong educational leadership skills, who will support teachers in goal setting and analyzing student data to drive instruction, enabling each student to grow to his or her fullest academic potential.

This past Thursday, the committee met to discuss which applicants they would call in for an interview, and they also formulated questions to ask each candidate based on the six areas of leadership. This week, the candidates selected will be going before the screening committee, and based on these interviews, the committee will then recommend which of these candidates I should consider for hiring. I will then interview these finalists for the position and either hire one of them, or ask the screening committee to look for more candidates. Please continue to pray as we go through this process, that the Lord will send us a great new principal, who will continue to build up our school in the years ahead!

While we’re looking for a new principal, at the same time we are also making progress in hiring an in-school music teacher for the next academic year. Applications have come in, and Mrs. Smith and I are in the process of scheduling interviews with them over the next few weeks. St. Cecilia, patron saint of music, pray for us, that we get a good music teacher for our school!

Lastly, we are gearing up for our annual Spring Open House at Fr. John V. Doyle School, Sunday April 7 from 9—11am. Please invite friends of yours with elementary and middle school aged children to come and “Discover the Doyle Difference” themselves, by seeing all that our school has to offer! A reminder that our tuition referral incentive is still available, offering FJVD parents a $500 tuition rebate if they refer a new parent to the school who enrolls their child; see our school website for details. As the Spring season begins, there continues to be signs of a “new springtime” at our school: for example, we already have double the amount of Kindergarten students enrolled for next year than we had in Kindergarten this year, with still more Kindergarten enrollments expected; we also had a phenomenally successful, sold out Mardi Gras Silent/Live Auction, that had almost double the attendance as last year’s Auction, and made over four times the profit than last year’s did! The proceeds from the Auction will benefit our Technology and Technology related programs at FJVD, and Mrs. Adamo is already starting to use some of the funds to purchase new computers for the classrooms and computer lab.

Speaking of technology, our new Robotics Club is now up and running, every Thursday morning at 7am! We’ve purchased 15 Kindle Fire Kids Edition Tablets, and four more Sphero robots to add to the other four we have, and the kids are having a lot of fun using them, while at the same time learning coding, physics, and problem solving skills. Meanwhile, Mrs. Adamo is using the Kindle Kids Tablets with Dash & Dot Robots in grades K—2 during school. We hope to continue to expand Robotics in our school over the next year!

So, that’s some of the many things going on at FJVD School these days. As Holy Week coincides with Spring Break this year, I will take this opportunity to wish all of you a Blessed and Happy Easter! I will remember you in my prayers as I celebrate the Holy Week and Easter Liturgies. If you happen to be in town for Easter, maybe I will see you at our parish’s Outdoor Easter Egg Hunt for children 12 and under, right after the 9:30am Easter Sunday Mass!

I’m sending you this letter on the Feast of the Annunciation, which celebrates the day that God, through the Archangel Gabriel, asked the Virgin Mary if she would say yes to being the mother of his Son, Jesus. It was actually on this Feast of the Annunciation a year ago, that the Bishop out of the blue asked me if I would say yes to being the Pastor of Ss. John and Paul Parish, and to especially work to strengthen Fr. John V. Doyle School. Like Mary, I was fearful to accept the call to be pastor of the biggest parish in the diocese, and my home parish; but also like Mary, I was certain that God was calling me here. I must say, I definitely have no regrets answering God’s call: so far, the Lord has tremendously blessed me, the parish and the school in so many countless ways. And I’m sure God will continue to greatly bless and prosper Fr. John V. Doyle School in the years ahead, so long as we all, like Mary, continue to say “Yes” to God’s will, and keep her Son Jesus at the heart and center of our school!

God bless,

Fr. Woolley