Cabrini Chronicle

Principal to Parent Newsletter

Quarterly Newsletter

Wow! Spring has finally arrived after a very rough winter. I thank God every day that Wollner Excavating was able to accomplish the parking lot and get a layer of asphalt down! We had an amazing Together Event in March and it was wonderful to see so many of you there. Thank you to all of those that made that wonderful night possible! In this edition of the Chronicle I will address the following topics in more depth below:

  • Early Registration Due Date Change
  • Auction Update
  • Reading and Writing Update
  • (Old From Last Edition) Standards Based Grading- What does an A, B, C or 99%, 83% really tell you about your child's learning?
  • Love and Logic- Positive Parenting/Teaching techniques parent meeting.
  • Education in Virtue

Reading, Writing and Library Update

After several weeks of consultation and conversations with various agencies such as Cooperative Educational Service Agency(CESA), the Milwaukee Archdiocese and several Catholic schools, we are nearly ready to present a more detailed road map of our library changeover, first referenced in January. Our update on this topic is best explained in the context of our big-picture need for a building-wide reading and writing curriculum re-alignment that has been on going since fall. Due to the magnitude of this exciting topic, we will be issuing a special edition communication dedicated only to it in mid April. Please stay tuned!

Registration Due Date Change

With the crazy winter we have had, registration has been on the back of a lot of people's minds. It seems like we did not have a "normal" week since Christmas. We also want to give further communication on the Reading, Writing, and Library topic. Due to all of the things going on, we are going to push the "early" due date of registration back to May 10th instead of April 10th. Please try to get those forms in before that date as it is hard to plan for staff assignments and create schedules without knowing our general numbers. We look forward to serving the students and families that choose Saint Frances Cabrini and see it as our mission to teach about the Lord our God along with academics! Thank you for your continued support!

Auction Update

We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our school and parish. That was on full display at the auction in March. What an amazing event to celebrate our school and parish, together! The goal of the auction is to build community and we accomplished that goal. It was great to see so many laughing and having fun! The second goal is help raise funds for the school so that we can continue to educate students to the best of our ability. We accomplished that as well! Our goal for the fund a need was $15,000 and we raised $18,000! This money will go to finish our wifi infrastructure and purchase new Smart Projectors for our teachers. We did come up short in terms of hitting our numbers for the operations budget. We are brainstorming another way to raise funds to cover this shortfall. Thank you for all of your generosity and support! We look forward to next year's Together Event!

Standards-Based Grading

Saint Frances Cabrini, along with all other Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic schools, is adopting a method of grading that is a more accurate and honest way of communicating information about what your children are expected to learn and how they are progressing along their learning paths. This method, called Standards-Based grading, allows each parent to know which concepts and skills are being studied each grading period and track how their individual child is progressing in learning those concepts and skills.


With Standards-Based grading, teachers communicate whether students are currently demonstrating learning at a level 1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4. Students demonstrating learning at level 1 are getting ready to learn concepts and skills. Students demonstrating learning at level 2 are building foundations for mastery of concepts and skills. Students demonstrating learning at level 3 have mastered the concepts and skills and are able to apply them when working independently. Those students who are working at level 4 make new connections and extend their learning beyond a demonstration of mastery.


Standards-Based grades are more flexible and can change to reflect a student’s learning. Standards-Based grades will fluctuate to reflect the progress a student makes in mastering one set of concepts and skills by moving on to new or more complex concepts and skills. Standards-Based grading does communicate up-to-date information about a student’s current level of knowledge. Standards-Based grading does show how a student’s learning has progressed over time. It does not average scores from weeks past, before a student’s learning progressed. It does not penalize a student for not knowing something before it was taught.


If you have questions about Standards-Based grading, please feel free to contact me. I will be sending updates as we go along this year. The staff and I will be learning how some of our practices need to change and how we can best serve the students of Saint Frances Cabrini. I have included several articles about Standards-Based Grading for you to read if you would like more information along with a video on why we are making this change.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kRHC2WF8JI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=dGcjhaQuXK8

Education in Virtue

I have been diving into our new virtues learning curriculum. I have been thrilled with it and cannot wait to implement next year. One of the pieces that I have been using as the principal is using a virtues contract with students that are struggling with a certain virtue. For example, Honesty and Obedience are two of the 28 virtues that come with the program and are two that many of students struggle with. When I sit down with a student, we talk about what they think they are missing in terms of virtues. Often times if a student is in the elementary grades, I will have 6 or 8 virtues selected for them to pick through based on the incident that was described to me. With middle school students I have them look at the full list and they pick 2 that they struggle with. The process is very similar to how we should be doing an examination of conscience before reconciliation. After working with the student to narrow down the virtue that needs to be cultivated, we talk about different ways that the virtue would look like or sound like. For instance, a first grader might tell me that honesty is telling the teacher the truth when they have done something wrong. An older student might say something about not covering up a mistake or hiding something from their parents or teachers. These are all situations that deal with honesty, but which look and sound different as they grow older. After we come up with looks like and sounds like I give them the Saint prayer card that coincides with that virtue. On the card is the definition of the virtue, a Saint that represents the virtue, a scripture verse that coincides with the virtue and finally a prayer. We will pray the prayer together and then the student takes those prayer cards with them, knowing that I will be checking in with them a week from then to see how they are doing on that virtue. I will check in with the teacher as well to gather more information. This process can be done by the teacher and by me and we will be looking for the best way to implement with the different age groups.


The part I like best about this process is that it is centered around God and the Saints. Matthew Kelly, a prominent Catholic writer, states that the biggest lie in Christianity is that Holiness is not attainable for ourselves. I think in today's society many of us probably think that is true. How can I remain focused on God and listen to Him, with all the temptation in the world? How can our students attain holiness? These questions I have asked myself often. My hope is that this program will help with this. Keeping the focus on what God wants, rather than I need to be honest because my teacher or parent said so. God wants me to be honest because dishonesty hurts my relationship with Him. Get ready for some awesome and exciting things for next year!

Love and Logic

Our Love and Logic presentation will be April 11th in the church from 6:30 to 8:00. I hope that everyone can attend! It is a program I was introduced to and adopted in my classroom. I used it and found it improved my interactions with students, especially with those I had previously considered "difficult". We will be offering childcare for those that need it. Please call the office to reserve a spot for childcare. This presentation is an introductory part, and if you come and really enjoy it, we will be offering small group classes to learn the rest of the program! I have attached that flyer so you can mark those dates down. We are offering two different sections, one for those that can attend during the day and one at night for those parents that cannot make it during the day. We hope to see you there!

Parent Meeting

We will be holding a Spring parent meeting this year. It will be held on May 16th at 6:30PM in the church. This meeting will be centered around the topic of Standardized Grading. I will have a short presentation and then will allow time for questions on this topic. It will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have as we head into the summer.

10:30 Sunday School Mass Date

We are excited for our school to be represented at Sunday masses again this year! Our final date for this year is this Sunday, April 7th 3rd grade. If you will be in town this weekend please join the 10:30 mass. Thank you!

Lunch Balance

If you have a lunch balance, please try to take care of that as soon as possible. We appreciate it!

BOX TOPS

As we head into our final quarter of school, we want to make a push for box tops! Each class will keeping track of how many they bring in and will be supplied with pizza party by me at the end of the year.

RESOURCE

I also want to share a resource for parents as we all work to help our students learn and grow as children of God.

Tips on how to Pray with your kids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrV0LP58d_A

In Closing

We have an astounding 42 school days left in this year. These days are going to be filled with excitement for the students as the weather finally warms up. It also is exciting because of all the fun things that happen at the end of a school year, along with the anticipation for Summer Break. Enjoy the excitement with your kids and have a blessed Easter!

Mr. William Waech

School Principal

Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic School

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13